Marketing 101: Networking To Sell Your Yoga Retreat

By Moraima Capellán Pichardo

As a yoga teacher, networking might not be your first instinct but it is essential to build a following if you want to pursue a yoga retreat. So, whether it’s your first yoga retreat or your fifth one this year, networking, as a yoga retreat leader is pivotal to spread the word.

At the Yoga Loft, we not only assist on the structural and logistics of your retreat package but we can help you spread the word to our network. We also love to collaborate on our social media pages by cross promoting posts and engaging with your followers. But your retreat is your baby, so what can you do?

yoga marketing - yoga networking

Narrow down your niche

You might already be aware of the basics: a website to highlight your yoga business and an active social media presence. But before you even create your website and share content on social media, have you thought of your niche? The international business world of yoga is massive and unfortunately, if you are not clear on your values as a teacher, your voice can get lost in the noise.

Keeping in mind the traditional and required aspects of teaching yoga, what can students get from you that they won’t in other yoga classes and retreats?

Think back to your first yoga class as a student. Did you come to yoga as an established athlete? Or did you arrive to your mat, recovering from a physical or mental ailment? Are you particularly gifted in guiding students into their first of many inversions? Or perhaps, you can lead your students into healthy and balanced backbends?

Those answers give you a different perspective to build an audience and most importantly give you a channel to understand your students.

Build your base—in person

As a yoga teacher, I always finish class by opening it up to questions and comments. I want my students to feel that they have a voice in their experience in the yoga classroom.

This translates into growing with your students. As students become more comfortable to the idea of sharing their kinks on the mat, you, as a teacher are given a doorway into how you can grow. Because yoga is wide reaching, the needs of students can change in every class and person. By making your class open to adjustments, you can start to build loyal students that will grow with you. This is essential to new yoga teachers because those students can in turn write testimonials about you and your classes.

Get your students involved

Say it with us: reviews, reviews, reviews. We cannot stress it enough, testimonials of past and present students will help build your credibility as a yoga teacher and yoga retreat leader.

Don’t be afraid to ask your students to share the news of your classes with their friends and family. Bonus: Build an email newsletter where you can share news and upcoming events to your dedicated students.

Partner with yoga studios

If you are already teaching regularly at a yoga studio, consider the possibility of becoming partners to market your yoga retreat to their existing student base. If the yoga studio is already an established brand then you can use that to your advantage by tapping into their existing network. And if it’s your first yoga retreat, you might be able to connect with a more experienced mentor that can help guide you through the process.

Look for sponsors

Having an active social media presence is important here. Relevant companies might be willing to sponsor a giveaway or #yogachallenge for your retreat as a cross promotion.

Think outside the box: which products might be needed for your retreat? The Yoga Loft is located on the sunny beaches of Cabarete, Dominican Republic, so the the latest winter yoga fashion line won’t work for your students. You will, however, need sun protection, reusable water bottles, beach towels and even daytime snacks.

Here’s what won’t work:

Yoga is a personal practice where emphasis is placed on the teacher-student relationship. Networking is personal. Building a following that follows your niche is personal.

Printed ads and sometimes even online ads that do not target your audience are outdated. The former is also terrible for the environment. Don’t waste effort and/or money on the void of snail mail and printed advertisements.

Networking to build a following for your yoga retreat must rely on your personal relationships to the business of yoga, your niche and your students.