How do I take my yoga studio online?

How do I take my yoga studio online?

DON’T OVERTHINK IT! The most important thing is to get yourself out there. Your members won’t remember if your first online yoga class was a little wonky. They’ll remember that you showed up for them – and kept their mind and body occupied during this uncertain, stressful time.

You may not have physical classes, but your community remains intact and vital to your studio. You need them and they need you – now more than ever!

Don’t be scared to just get out there and get better as you go. We live in a very technologically advanced world. Cameras and sound systems can seem intimidating – but you already have everything you need.

Keeping your setup as basic as possible, all you need is a cell phone or computer, Facebook Live, and some open floor space to take your yoga class online. Zoom is another easy option to enable audience engagement directly during the class.

Prepare for launch… then just do it!

If you spend too much time trying to curate a perfect system instead of putting the content out there, it won’t be as powerful. They’re not expecting perfection. They’re expecting you to show up.

Deciding on a filming location? Some things to consider:

  • You’ll need some distance from your camera in order to show the entire yoga pose. That means a relatively large space.
  • Where is the lighting? Put your brightest light (or a nice sunny window) at 45˚. A second dimmer light can be used on the opposite side to soften your shadows – if you have it.
  • Distance yourself from the background to keep your image crisp on screen. If you’re right up against a wall, you’ll blend into it.

Have a spot in mind? Set up your camera and do a quick trial run. Once you see it on camera, you might realize your position needs tweaking or there is a bad echo. Large empty rooms tend to echo more than smaller, carpeted spaces.

You really do have everything you need. But if you’re looking to upgrade, a lapel mic is a good investment. Air pods can work for this too. When you’re teaching online, you’ll be far away from the camera to show the entire pose. A mic will help your sound come in clearly.

Ok, So you’ve decided where to film your online yoga classes, and maybe even created your first video. What do you do with it now?

Sharing on your site

Creating member-only online yoga classes isn’t as hard as you think. It can be as simple as creating a private Facebook group and recording a Facebook Live within the group or posting them later. Once you have recordings of your live classes, you can group them together by type so they’re easier for members to find.

Truth → Keep it simple.

Want to keep members on your website? Create a password protected page and nest your recordings there. First upload them to YouTube as private videos, then grab the embed code from the share menu. Add that line to your page behind the scenes.

Remember to keep the titles of your videos clear and simple. You want your members to know what type of yoga class it is and if they’ve already seen it. The date (or #1, #2, etc.) should be in the title.

Always keep your member in mind! When you take your yoga classes online, they must be easy for your members (and the public) to find and use. 

  • Your members should know which video to watch – that means clear titles.
  • Accessing the content should be easy – that means only entering their password once to get to the member’s only area.
  • Send a reminder email 10 minutes before class time with a link so they don’t lose track of the time and miss it.

Everything you do RIGHT NOW is about building community. Providing community for your members will get them through this difficult time and come back as strong and healthy as possible. It will also drive your business forward during this time and set you up for a strong comeback.

Take the leap and get started teaching online. Your community needs you, and you need them!

Struggling to adjust your studio to social distancing rules? Confused about what to do next to keep your studio running? Get The Ultimate Studio Survival Guide during Social Distancing so you can respond with confidence and keep money coming into your studio during this time. Take action now to get our special PAY WHAT YOU CAN pricing. Click here to get started!  

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How do I shift my membership pricing for online yoga classes?

How do I shift my membership pricing for online yoga classes?

The world looks very different right now. Most studios have transitioned from their traditional brick and mortar classes to online only membership. It’s easy to think your studio is offering less – fewer classes, only online – and should charge less. That’s just not true.

Truth → Your yoga studio offers more than online classes.

The community your studio offers is vibrant and special. Right now, more than ever, people are looking for community. If they can, your members will want to keep supporting you, like you’ve supported them.

Don’t panic!

You’re afraid members won’t be able to pay – that cancelations will start rolling in by the dozens. Many studios are panicking and immediately dropping their pricing. That’s a mistake.

Some industries are taking a hit right now, but many people are still working from home and getting their full paycheck. Those members will be happy to keep paying their membership, as long as you’re offering them value!

Don’t change your pricing until your members ask for it.

There’s a sweet spot with your pricing. It all comes down to the numbers. Let’s say your members are all paying $100 a month. If you jump in and say “These are hard times, we’re cutting membership pricing down to $50 for online classes…” all the sudden you’ve lost half your income. That’s a BIG problem for keeping your studio alive in the long term.

Let’s say instead you keep things at $100. Sure, some people will come to you and put their memberships on pause or even cancel… but you’d be better off until you lost HALF your members.

MY ADVICE: Play it cool! And keep providing value!

Keep your pricing where it is for now, but be prepared. Get a down-sell ready. Then, when members come to you looking to cancel or pause their memberships, you’re ready to offer them an alternative. You have something prepared with them in mind.

Once you get to a threshold where the number of people on pause is really high it might be time to restructure your pricing. You’re not there yet.

Create a down-sell.

Get a good down-sell option ready for your members. Normally, you’re much more focused on bringing in new members. Now it’s all about keeping the members you have. You need to be prepared for cancelations. Don’t just give up.

Make the conversation about your members and what they need, not about the cancelation. The human to human deep-level connection you create in a yoga studio is special. Reach out personally and get the conversation started.

Truth → When things are back to normal, you want people to remember how well you handled this situation.

Say something like “We totally get it. It’s a crazy time right now. We’re still on a mission to help you be your strongest – now more than ever! Here’s what we’re doing for you… Right now, we have a special relief offer. Let’s talk about a membership that works for you.”

Truth → Not all your members have to pay the same amount.

Your members aren’t all paying the same now. Some joined during a promotion. Some are autopay. Some are annual. There are a variety of price points. Decide internally on a discount you could offer members who reach out to cancel.

If worst comes to worst and they are determined to cancel, offer them a pay what you can option or a pause instead. It won’t help you in the short term, but it will later. It’s MUCH easier to send out an email blast letting everyone know their memberships are back on than it is to recruit them again once things settle down.

What about virtual memberships?

Ultimately you will need a virtual membership offer to your online classes if you’re going to create any new sales.

The challenge is to not undermine your existing membership pricing that you’ve managed to keep your members on.

This comes down to a communication issue. You need to be pro-active and control the narrative by giving your regular members an offer. This should include an opportunity for them to stay on their full-priced membership as a way to support the studio and as much as possible offer additional value.

The keys to a strong online offer:

  • Keep your offer as simple as possible
  • Limit the number of options – 1 single online pricing option would be strongest, as consumers are either in or out right now
  • Ideally it should be auto-recurring
  • If you go with multiple virtual recurring options, the goal is to make a perceived value differential between the offers instead of just a price difference (eg. 5 live streamed classes vs. unlimited live streamed classes and access to recordings in the members area)
  • In terms of choosing a dollar amount, don’t try to compete virtual only class-based options that are already established, because you can’t

You can sell this new offer on your website. Just because your doors are closed, doesn’t mean you can’t get new business. You can still have the best of both worlds – an approachable online-only price point AND full-priced membership with added benefits and value.

Try this → Email all your past members and get them going on your online offer!

Giving old members or students without a current pass a re-intro offer or letting them know about the new offer you’re running is a great way to get them back on board! They already know your brand. They have experienced the value you offer. It’s time to get them back!

Reach out to your gung-ho students too – you know… the ones at class five times a week – and ask them to invite their friends around the country to your online classes with a virtual buddy pass. They’ll be happy to spread the word about how great your studio is!

Struggling to adjust your studio to social distancing rules? Confused about what to do next to keep your studio running? Get The Ultimate Studio Survival Guide during Social Distancing so you can respond with confidence and keep money coming into your studio during this time. Take action now to get our special PAY WHAT YOU CAN pricing. Click here to get started!

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Go beyond online classes to bring your community together in these uncertain times. They need you!

Go beyond online classes to bring your community together in these uncertain times. They need you!

Community is the backbone of your studio. If your students only wanted someone to lead them in a few postures, they’d have stayed home and looked up a class on YouTube.  Instead, they have always made the time and taken the effort to drive across town and show up for your yoga classes.

Truth → Community matters to your students!

For the next few weeks or months, connecting within a community will be harder for all of us. Most people are staying home. Some states and countries are on full lock down. Isolation is commonplace.

Your community needs you MORE THAN EVER! Now is the time to lean into building up your community. Together you can spread joy and hope, even during social distancing.

Truth → Right now your focus is not selling yoga classes. It’s all about community.

Create a long-distance yoga experience.

Yoga studios around the world are switching to online classes as their communities experience mandatory or voluntary shut downs. You probably already have all the tech you need to make the switch! It’s easier than it sounds.

For help making the transition check out my article “Make social distancing work for your yoga studio.” It’ll take you through the process, complete with a step-by-step checklist for optimum success.

Taking your studio online is a GREAT first step in keeping your community engaged. But don’t stop there!

If I asked you about the yoga experience at your studio the first thing you’d mention are your awesome yoga classes. It makes sense. People go to a yoga studio to practice yoga…. plus a whole lot more. 

Your students come to you for the atmosphere you create as much as the class itself. They love getting to chat with the other students, greeting the teachers and seeing smiles of recognition from your front office staff. They might even enjoy petting the resident dog or checking out your shop.

It’s about the WHOLE experience – the community.

Go BEYOND online classes to create community.

Online classes simply don’t create the same amount of community as in-person classes. There’s no chatting in the changing room, greeting the staff, trading stories about your week or small talk as everyone walks out to the parking lot.

Truth → Your community misses those small day-to-day interactions!

Go above and beyond for your community! People want to embody their higher image of themselves when they’re at home during a time like this. But few ACTUALLY do it. Offer them the opportunity to act in their higher image and they’ll thank you for it.

Truth → Your community deserves the best.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX! Your community is living a different reality than normal, complete with different distractions. Don’t compete against them… lean in!

People are at home stressing and need to decompress. They want community, but don’t know how to create it beyond scrolling social media. Create it FOR them!

Here are some ideas:

  • Teach a meditation class: Try early or late when the kids aren’t up. This could be the only time your members have to focus inwardly without the outside pressure of entertaining stir-crazy children…
  • Lean into your Nidra teacher: Your community could really benefit from Nidra practice right now! Highlight it for people who don’t know and bring it to the forefront.
  • Showcase your favorite recipes: Everyone is cooking at home these days, whether they want to or not. Live stream yourself cooking or post your favorite easy, healthy recipes. Anything from smoothies to soups.
  • Try remote private classes: Yoga is life changing! Your members will want to share it with their partners and children. Now might be the perfect time!
  • Relaxing social time: Recreate those easy social moments at the studio with a cocktail hour to unwind at the end of the night, or a yoga café to start the day.
  • Game night: Many people enjoy board or dice games. Using an online game platform, you can all play together.
  • Watch party: Get on social media and watch a movie at the same time. Have a live commentary in a member’s only Facebook group. This is one situation where virtual might be better… no shushing!

Think about your local culture. What do your members and people in your area like to do? Recreate that! Anything on the fringe but related to wellness and holistic yoga practice is fair game: recipes, mediation, relaxation techniques.

Truth → Everyone deals with isolation differently, and you know best how to help your members through this time.

While you’re taking care of everyone else, don’t forget to take care of yourself. It’s okay for you to exhale. Take a break. Play LEGOs with your kids. Have your own personal practice time. Take a nap after posting a class.

It’s important for you to stay healthy. That means avoiding the virus AND avoiding entrepreneurial burn out. Major burnout has ramifications for your entire business and existence for months. Take it slow if you need to!

Our community of dedicated yogis is here to support YOU. You’re not alone. Check out the webinar recordings in the free series “The Yogapreneur’s Guide to COVID-19″ for the latest information and help with implementation. You’ve got this!

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Make social distancing work for your yoga studio.

Make social distancing work for your yoga studio.

In this uncertain time with shelter-in-place laws and social distancing, nearly everyone is staying home. People are living outside their normal schedule and adjusting to a very uncertain time. They need community. They need yoga.

During this challenging time, your studio can offer the same thing it’s always offered – community and a chance to become the best version of yourself.

You may not have physical classes, but your community remains intact and vital to your studio. Your members will remember how you showed up for them during this time with social media posts, encouraging messages, online community and even virtual classes.

Not sure about online classes? Don’t overthink it!

The most important thing is to get yourself out there. Your members won’t remember if your first online class was a little wonky or not. What they’ll remember is that you showed up for them and kept their brain occupied during this uncertain, stressful time.

Truth →  Launching is EVERYTHING.

Don’t be scared to just get out there and get better as you go. If you spend too much time trying to curate a perfect system instead of putting the content out there it won’t be as powerful. They’re not expecting perfect, they’re expecting you to show up.

We live in a very technologically advanced world. At the end of the day all it takes is some open floor space, a computer and Zoom or Facebook Live to run an online class. Getting the lighting and camera position right definitely helps – but at the end of the day if you have a computer and the internet you’ve got all the essentials.

Some tweaks for sharing yoga online.

Running online classes is a little different than running them in the studio – beyond the format. When you’re teaching an in-person class a limited number of people must be in the room at a set time to benefit from the experience. Online you have completely different limitations.

You don’t need as many yoga classes when you’re running live. If people can’t make it, they can watch the recording later. Instead of 5-7 classes a day you can streamline into one of each type of yoga you offer. Then members who miss out are free to watch the nested video later that day or even on the next one.

Try this → Streamline your schedule to a couple full length classes a day at key times.

People are living a different reality right now. Instead of going off to work and dropping the kids at school, practice and rehearsal they’re home. Don’t be scared to change up your class times. You’re not working around their schedules in the same way and people’s daily rhythms may change too. 

Tip → Think about your community and what would appeal to them.

You’re competing with different things now.

To get to a physical class, your members must work around their schedule, drive across town, park and set up their yoga mat in a dedicated space. Getting there is the challenge for your students. By the time they unroll their mat they’re ready to concentrate and enjoy the yoga experience.

Online it’s a bit different. Now your community is in their living rooms instead of your studio. Getting there is much easier, staying focused is A LOT harder. Most people aren’t going to do a full 90-minute yoga class because right beside their living room is their kitchen with snacks and wine… or their partner who wants to use the T.V., the kids fighting again or any number of other distractions.

That doesn’t mean you can’t do any full classes, but it may be an opportunity to try out shorter options. People are much more likely to get a 20-minute or 30-minute class in. That’s even something they could invite their family to join in for.

Try this → Stream some of your shorter classes publicly. Get the word out, build a broader community.

Want to restrict some or all of your online classes to members only? Make a password protected page on your website. This is easy to do on all the major platforms – Squarespace, WordPress, Live Edit. Once the page is ready, embed the videos directly on it so members only have to put their password in once… AND they’re staying on your website, boosting traffic.

Teaching yoga online might feel a little awkward at first, but keep going! 

Here’s the thing → everything feels uncomfortable until you do it a few times. You probably felt a bit nervous your first time on the yoga mat. You might have had a bit of anxiety when you taught your first in-person class. This is normal… and you should expect a few of those same feelings now. That’s okay. 

When things get tough, dig deep. Remember how much your community needs you in this moment and at this time…and keep going. You can do this!! 

Our community of dedicated yogis is here to support YOU. You’re not alone. Tune in to our regular webinar series “The Yogapreneur’s Guide to COVID-19” for the latest information and help with implementation.

And check out the Webinar Recordings and additional resources and checklists here.

You’ve got this!

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Maintaining your studio community during COVID-19

Maintaining your studio community during COVID-19

Around the world people are sheltering in place, practicing social distancing and canceling plans. It’s overwhelming, scary and inconvenient. Everyone is trying to figure out what the next few weeks will look like for them. There’s a lot of confusion out there for all of us. Of course, when you run a business, it gets complicated. Fast.

Yoga studios and other wellness businesses are looking for ways to serve and stay involved without the physical classes that typically sustain their community. I bet you are wondering what to do now, right? 

Truth → Your studio is more than your classes!

If I asked you what makes your yoga studio unique, I guarantee one of the first things you’d mention is your community. The community created around yoga is a unique, high-value thing other businesses don’t have in the same way. Your community is the backbone of your business. Lean into it.

Right now, your community is shaken. Everyone’s a little bit panicky and confused. There’s a lot going on. People are navigating TONS of changes – from having kids out of school and working from home to canceling spring break trips and other plans.

It’s a lot to handle… and they can’t go out for a drink or get in a yoga class to unwind. 

Listen, your community needs you right now!

You’ve spent years developing a brand. Your yoga classes and the experience you create in your studio changes lives. Your community looks to you for leadership and for help reducing stress. They count on your studio as part of their journey to becoming their best selves.

Truth → Now is the time for you to be a rock for them!

Show your community you’re here to support them. Show them you’re a resource for them to lean into. Hold steady and don’t add to any of their panic.

The BEST WAY to support your community is to show them you’re here for them.

When things get hard people come to your studio to relax and let their stress go. The world has gotten much more stressful in the past few weeks and honestly this will likely continue for a while. It’s important for you to hold space for them through this crisis.

What does this look like? Maybe online classes and encouraging social media posts. Or for you it might look like virtual live events, or even a reassuring tone on the phone. Anything you can do to reach out matters. You can do this!

Remember to take care of yourself too.

As the owner of a wellness brand, you’re in a unique position. Your community is looking to you for calm during the crisis. They know your practice supports a relaxed, healthy lifestyle – it’s what you’ve built your brand on.

Truth → Yoga is life-changing; lean into your own personal practice.

Self-care is VITAL. You cannot take care of your community if you’re not taking care of yourself. Keep breathing, meditate, and practice your pranayama. Hold space for your feelings and intentions and keep your personal yoga practice strong. It will get you through this challenging time.  

Remember, you’re not in it alone. The Yogapreneur Community has your back! We’re going to do everything we can to make sure you’re prepared and dialed-in to the best strategies for this time. This is your community to lean on.  

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is the true test – > what separates the professionals from the amateurs. Not Coronavirus specifically, but this… when the struggle is real, when things are totally outside your control, when life is completely unpredictable. This is the real test. I know you’re in the position to weather the storm successfully and be there for your community. I believe in you! 

I’m hosting a free webinar series to support YOU however I can. Sign up for The Yogapreneur’s Guide to Social Distancing: best practices for wellness businesses during this season of caution in response to COVID-19 now.

➡️ Here’s the link to sign up for the free webinars

Tune in with your questions about the transition and what it means for your studio. Don’t have specific questions? Join us for the community!

💻 And check out the webinar recordings.

We’re here to support each other.

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