The Business of Yoga with Chris Brandt

Chris BrandtAs anyone who practices yoga knows, 90% of the effort lies in showing up. But for yoga teachers, filling a room with students requires more than the ability to lead a beautiful practice — teachers also need to be able to get the word out and run a business. Even those with a regular teaching schedule at a popular studio still need to think of themselves as a business, yet business and marketing skills aren’t often taught as part of yoga teacher trainings.

The Business of Yoga workshop was taught in 2013 by Chris Brandt as part of the Victoria Yoga Conference.

Yoga teachers are working really hard to pay their rent, often teaching at multiple studios in a day, while creating and marketing workshops and retreats. Do you know how to fill your classes? Do you know how to sell out your workshops and retreats?
In addition to being a yoga teacher and meditiation instructor, Chris has an extensive business background. He is also the Executive Director of Music Heals, the department head and instructor of the Music Business program at BCIT, a workshop leader for Yoga Business at Prana Yoga Teacher College, and the founder of ContactYoga.ca.

Chris Brandt on business for yoga:
For the past few years I have taught musicians, managers, producers, promoters, and other areas of the music industry how to control and excel at the business side of their careers. These skills and practices are completely transferable to yoga. Yoga teachers and studios are no different than bands and live music venues when it comes to reaching and engaging their audience.There is often a resistance in the yoga/holistic community to utilizing concepts of branding and marketing, because they are deemed ‘inauthentic’ by some. So there is a removal of the demonization needed as much as there is an education to be shared.An overview of the Business of Yoga workshop:
Rule number one: don’t be a flakey hippy. I will explain this in a much more supportive way in the workshop.

There is an obvious distinction between yogis who dabble in business, and business people who get into yoga.To run a successful business, you first need to ask yourself some questions:

  • What is your brand? Are you a teacher that focuses on the spiritual aspects of yoga? The workout? A particular style? A vibe?
  • Does the community know what your brand is?
  • Who is your customer? It’s not who you think it is.

As part of the Business of Yoga workshop held at the 2013 Victoria Yoga Conference, Chris helped answer these questions. He also helped participants optimize their marketing to attract more students and clients, gave tips to help you sell out workshops, and gave key pointers on how to utilize the media.