Yoga and Social Media: How to Promote Your Yoga Brand While Remaining True to Yourself and the Practice
If you find yourself worrying about how to promote your yoga brand, you’re not the only one.
It’s a bit of contradiction—yoga and marketing. While yoga is centered on the inner-self, promoting your brand can make you feel a bit like a hypocrite.
Nevertheless, maintaining an online presence plays a strong role when it comes to making a living teaching yoga.
But there’s good news for anyone who struggles with this: it is possible to market your brand and stay true and authentic to you.
The six tips below will help you promote your brand without feeling like a fake or superficial; they’ll help you remain true to yourself and create a community of people that follow you for being you.
Change Your Perspective
You might feel that you have to change who you are in order to market yourself effectively. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
You don’t need to change anything—you just need to embrace the authentic version of yourself. Ultimately, people want to see the real you.
This will also create a sense of trustworthiness. We can always tell when someone is authentic and when they’re not. Showing your true self will keep people coming back for more because authenticity is becoming less and less common.
Change your perspective from needing to be a certain way to highlighting the most genuine parts of yourself. Not only will it be more effective in the long run, you’ll have more fun with it along the way.
Do the Work
As the saying goes, practice what you preach.
Maybe the best way to be authentic is to actually live your teachings. Anything you teach in your classes or post online—make sure they’re actually your beliefs and a part of your life.
For example, if you encourage people to do ten Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations) each morning, do them as well. If you’re teaching forgiveness but still hold tons of grudges in your own life, do the work needed in order to forgive.
You’ve got to do more than say all the right things. You have to live them.
You must be able to put your own teachings into practice. Your community will appreciate it and you’ll feel much better about yourself if you’re being honest, authentic and genuine, both on and off the mat.
Embrace Your Story
We’ve all got a story. Use yours.
Like I said above, people want to know you. That’s what will keep them coming back to your classes, your website, shop, etc.
You don’t have to tell everybody everything about yourself, but share your journey—with yoga, life, love. It doesn’t matter.
Be transparent. Be vulnerable. Be honest.
You have to let go of the need to please if you’re going to put yourself in the spotlight. Show people who you are and stand up for what you believe in.
There’s somebody out there that feels a similar way or has experienced the same things you have. Let them know they’re not alone.
Create a Community of Teachers
Sometimes having a support system is helpful when it comes to marketing. If you have a local or online community of teachers who share your passions, team up with them!
Whether it’s creating a brand together or simply encouraging one another behind the scenes, having a network behind you can make all the difference. You can lean on each other and share your fears, worries and anxieties with one another.
Creating an authentic network of teachers is great not only for emotional support, but you might be able to help each other grow your businesses, too.
Don’t let marketing take over your life.
You’ve got to be able to take a step back from your business if it’s going to be sustainable.
Don’t wear yourself out. Create a schedule if you need to, and then stick to it. Take breaks when you’re exhausted.
Your business should feel freeing rather than constricting. Connected rather than forced.
Whatever you do, don’t lose sight of yourself, and create boundaries.
This is a big one. Yoga selfies have become very controversial in recent years.
If you search the word ‘yoga’ on Instagram, you’ll find over 26 million posts to sift through, a large majority of which are yoga selfies.
The big question is, is it right or wrong to post yoga selfies as part of your marketing strategy? Well, that’s completely up to you.
However, there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration before you snap a hundred pictures of yourself.
The biggest problem with yoga selfies is that we seem to only see photos of the more challenging poses, such as inversions and arm balances. Yoga selfies seem to have become a convenient way to show-off.
This not only provides a distorted view of what yoga embodies, but it also tends to push beginners away.
Post photos of yourself falling out of poses, even!
Make it real and appealing to yogis of all levels, not just ‘advanced’ yogis (if there is such a thing), and show us your real practice.
You don’t have to change who you are in order to market yourself effectively. Stand firm in your beliefs and don’t worry about being liked.
There will always be people who don’t like you, people who don’t care, and people who love you. Focus on the latter.
Figure out which marketing tactics feel most authentic to you. And the ones that don’t—change them! In the same way you create your own yoga practice, make your brand promotion yours.
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).