For so many of us ‘marketing’ is a scary word; it conjures up negative images of creative trickery designed to deceive an audience. As a yoga teacher and marketing professional, I know that there is another way. By weaving in yogic philosophy to your marketing strategies, you are able to align and communicate your values through Mindful Marketing. I invite you to discover Mindful Marketing as a practice to communicate who you are, what you’re doing and, most importantly, your WHY!
What is Mindful Marketing?
Mindful Marketing combines the philosophy of mindfulness with the best practices in modern marketing. As a yogi, you endeavour to show up authentically on and off the mat, and how you present yourself through your approach to marketing is no exception. Your personality and values will authentically come through in your marketing strategies, if you connect to your truth and allow that to be expressed. Authenticity in all areas of life is the key.
Embody your Dharma
The ancient teaching of Dharma (commonly referred to as our life’s purpose or meaning) can be applied to your marketing strategy. Finding clarity around who you are as a teacher or business owner and why you do what you do is vital. Once you’ve established this you have a place from which to communicate, It’s then just a matter of finding the correct medium to do so.
Discover your ‘why’
The first step? Find your WHY! It sounds simple and yet in practice it can sometimes feel like a huge question to answer. Take a few moments to connect with your breath, sitting quietly in a comfortable seat. After a few rounds of breath, from your connected state ask yourself, “Why am I doing what I do? Why do I teach the way I do? Or, why did I start my business?” Write down the answers as they come up, there’s no right or wrong! Once you’ve finished take some time to reflect over what you have uncovered. These answers will help you form the basis for your ‘why’. Afterwards, try writing them down in a sentence to form your vision statement (you can call it a mantra if you like). Now that you have the ‘why’ you’ll find it so much easier to communicate that with your community.
Find the channel that works for you
While Instagram is popular with many yogis, if your ‘why’ guides you to reach an audience that doesn’t use Instagram, then you are better to focus on a channel that reaches them more directly. Everything must have a purpose. There’s no need to be on every platform possible, in fact you may find that managing too many platforms doesn’t serve you.
Alignment with your values is a way of living that extends beyond your practice and into your vision, branding and thus how you communicate with your audience.. Be flexible (yep, yoga pun) enough to try a bunch of different things but know yourself and your business enough to pull the plug on a platform that doesn’t work. If you’re terrified in front of a camera, Youtube likely won’t work for you! Practice honesty! Alignment with who you are and what lights you up is necessary to keep yourself and your audience engaged
Pro tip: I recommend choosing 2-3 social channels that you feel are in-line with your message and interests, this also needs to match where your community is receiving their information from. You don’t need to do it all.
Recommended Marketing Channels
Instagram – An amazing way to creatively express yourself and connect globally. Don’t forget that Instagram Stories are a quick way develop comfort in front of a camera, and yes, you can always delete (or share!) your bloopers.
Facebook – Facebook has changed a lot in the last couple of years. It’s ideal for creating events and sharing them. Creating your own private groups is a great way to connect with students and keep your message tailored to that specific audience. As for Facebook in general, sadly to perform well you have to spend a little money. Boosting events and posts doesn’t need to cost a fortune, but you’re looking at a minimum of $30 per post to see some decent traction.
YouTube and video content – If you light up in front of a camera and prefer to express yourself verbally then YouTube is a great option for you. The best way to share these videos is through Facebook and Instagram so if you’re going down the YouTube route, consider creating content appropriate for all video channels to minimise effort and maximise results. Working smarter, not harder is key with content!
Email Marketing – Email is one of the more traditional forms of marketing that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon! Email still has a higher conversion rate than any other channel and is a fantastic way to keep your community updated with what you’re working on and offering. Building a list takes time, but it’s well worth it. When sending emails, use a conversational tone as if it were you speaking directly to the reader. Make sure you have beautiful images and lots of link-backs to your website or relevant pages.
The #1 rule to follow when it comes to content marketing? ADD VALUE.
Yes, you do need to build an email list and grow your followers. It will help you BIG time at some point in your career, but you don’t have to do it conventionally or send weekly sales emails. Think of your email list and social media channels as a way to connect off the mat with your students. Of course, you’ll update them with any workshops or events you’ve got coming up, but how else can you add value?
Approaching your content strategy by breaking your posts into pillars is a useful exercise. These ‘pillars’ will make up the majority of content you share. They can be anything you feel called towards and do not have to all be specifically yoga-related. For example, if you were to post 3 times a week you could have your three pillars as: Inspiration – share share a thought, quote or something with the intention of inspiring your followers; Education – educate your followers on a particular asana through a picture with descriptive text or a short video; Promotion – sharing upcoming workshops, events and class details. Promoting yourself and your business is necessary to grow and expand your reach, however breaking your content into pillars ensures that you’re always communicating something different and are adding VALUE to your followers’ experience.
Here’s an exercise to help you analyse your content
Take a moment to think about that photo or video you’re about to post and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this post adding value to my audience? If so, how and why?
- Am I posting it just because I think I should post something?
- Does it have relevance to my overall WHY?
If the answer is ‘no’ then it’s probably not the time for you to post. Sometimes if you choose to post when it is not the right time or the right content, then it won’t come across as authentic. Relate this back to your practice, if you’re feeling depleted mid-practice rather than pushing yourself through to the next arm balance balance because you think you ‘should’, you could choose to rest in child’s pose and regain grounding in your authentic self.
How to stand out from the crowd and present yourself in a unique and interesting way
Anyone can take a pretty photo on a beach and share it. You might be really really good at handstands, but guess what? So are a bunch of other people. So, what’s your point of difference? YOU! Anyone can technically teach a class, but it’s you that your students come back for. This is why authenticity in your approach to all areas of life is key. Be who you are and express this through your marketing channels. Make your words your own. Showing your true self, being open and vulnerable, is the best approach you can take to growing an engaged following.
Mindful Marketing provides you with a framework to extend your practice off the mat and into your teaching and business development. Being mindful about the way in which you market yourself will lead to an authentic representation of yourself on your marketing channels and to your audience throughout the world. Flip that negative frame you have of marketing and shape it into a mindful practice that contributes to your authenticity and values as a yogi.
About the author:
Emma Maidment is a Communications and Marketing Consultant, Yoga Teacher and Writer. She works exclusively in the health and wellness space with heart-centered entrepreneurs and business owners to help them share their message with the world. Emma is passionate, authentic and knowledgeable. She runs Mindful Marketing Workshops, Mindful Morning events and has a holistic approach to business. She teaches yoga and weaves yogic philosophy and practices into all aspects of her work. She writes regularly on health and wellbeing for Body+Soul and runs a number of wellbeing events. Her background is in Communications and PR and she brings this extensive knowledge and experience along with her passion for wellness to her work. Find out more about Emma at emmamaidment.com or follow her adventures on instagram @emmamaidment_