Yoga teacher utilises Social Media to reach business nirvana
Interview by Dan Willersdorf
SMSM: Tell us how your business “Love Life. Live Yoga” came about.
CLS: I have been doing yoga for years. I really love to share my passion, inspire people and help them lead better lives. I started teaching casual classes in Bundaberg at the beginning of 2014 after moving from Sydney. Initially my plan was to just do two, maybe three classes each week, but since the demand was there and our following was growing quickly, I was soon running five classes per week, offering additional workshops, and I even organised our first yoga retreat in Thailand in March.
SMSM: What kind of marketing strategies did you implement, and how effective were they?
CLS: When we put our website up, we spent quite some time on SEO, making sure that people would find us when searching for yoga classes in our area. Within a couple of months we managed to appear on page one of Google for nearly every search term that contains ‘yoga’ and ‘Bundaberg’.
SMSM: What made you decide to use Social Media (Facebook, etc.)?
CLS: We always knew that Facebook was going to be our tool for growing our business. My husband works in marketing and has used Facebook to successfully promote many other businesses in the past.
To attract new students and grow our classes, we have solely used Facebook. It has allowed us to grow our fan base way beyond the people who actually attend our classes. Our very first campaign was a Facebook competition where people could win a 10-class pass. The post was shared and liked dozens of times and probably cost us $20 to promote. This really helped to get the word out there and create a bit of buzz.
“The longer you wait, the more you will have to catch up. So make a move and get on Social Media.”
After some time, we put together a free 1-day yoga workshop called ‘Yoga Base Camp’. We aimed for 30 people, and were absolutely stunned when we over 70 people registered in less than 12 hours. All just through Facebook with a promoted post that got people onto a squeeze page where they could register for the event.
Yoga Base Camp has really helped us to spread the word and get people to experience an entire day with me teaching where they can enjoy the atmosphere. It was an amazing experience. Yoga Base Camp is definitely going to be one of our ongoing conversion tools.
Facebook is an amazing platform to promote almost any kind of business. No other platform out there lets you target your audience in a way Facebook does, which results in higher conversion rates and less money spent per conversion.
Another important point is that Facebook allows you to connect with people, even when they aren’t ready to join just yet. Take Google Adwords for example. If people click on an ad, but don’t buy your product or service, you still pay for the ad, but the opportunity is lost. With Facebook, we find that a lot of people will at least like our page, even though they aren’t ready to buy yet. This gives us an opportunity to engage with and educate our audience on an ongoing basis.
Furthermore, communicating on Facebook is fast. Everyone is on there and the majority of people check their newsfeed multiple times a day. You are basically putting your business in their pockets.
SMSM: Did you find any aspects of using Social Media for business difficult?
I didn’t find it particularly difficult to get started on Social Media. I live what I teach every day and I share thoughts, quotes, yoga poses and anything I come across during my days. Really, it’s just like sharing things that I value with my friends.
SMSM: What were the things that you learned as you went along?
CLS: The biggest lesson to learn was that Social Media is not about business. It’s about people; about stories that inspire us. It’s important to post about things that your followers genuinely care about.
Sharing relevant content, I believe, is the first step in building a strong relationship with your audience. It is also important to not only post, but to listen to what they have to say.
Listen, acknowledge and respond. Every now and then someone posts a negative comment on a post, but staying positive, open and compassionate has proven to be the right thing.
We got a negative comment once and decided to respond in the nicest way possible. Suddenly, we had our whole Facebook community behind us and the person ended up deleting the comment. As a result it only made our community stronger by sticking together. I believe you can always turn a negative situation into a positive experience.
“The biggest lesson to learn was that Social Media is not about business. It’s about people; about stories that inspire us.”
SMSM: What aspect/s of Social Media do you find the most beneficial for businesses?
CLS: It is great for businesses because it’s a free tool that allows you to invite others into your own little world, stay connected to them, and build strong relationships with them.
I sometimes wonder how some businesses still aren’t utilising Social Media to grow their audience. The fact that it’s basically free and that you can communicate with your customers in real time was enough to get me on board from day one.
SMSM: What are some tips you can share with business owners still contemplating using Social Media?
CLS: The longer you wait, the more you will have to catch up. So make a move and get on Social Media. Make it an integral part of your business. There are plenty of great workshops out there to help you get going.
SMSM: What is next for Love Life. Live Yoga?
CLS: We are planning to produce a number of inspirational and how-to videos for Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo that will help our audience to stay motivated and improve their yoga practice, no matter where they are. Videos are a great way to educate and inspire people.
Visit www.LoveLifeLiveYoga.com.au to find out more about Love Life. Live Yoga
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