The COVID-19 crisis changed almost everyone’s life, and its impacts have been felt on a global scale. As yoga teachers worldwide make the transition to hosting virtual yoga classes online, it’s essential that we do it well, especially as online yoga is poised to continue growing even after lockdowns are over.
Thriving in an environment with such fierce competition takes patience and careful planning. Whether you want to stream or prerecord your yoga classes, focusing on the quality of your offering should be a priority.
What are some of the ways to stand out in the crowd?
1. Choose a Niche
With thousands of yoga teachers hosting virtual classes, it’s crucial to define your niche. Think about what and who you want to teach. It will help you create quality, specialized content and give you a direction to focus your marketing efforts.
For example, do you want to teach future yoga teachers, as they do at Sewall House Yoga Retreat in Island Falls, Maine? Would you like to teach children or adult students? How about incorporating something unique in your classes?
If you aren’t sure what your unique angle should be, asking your existing students for feedback is an excellent place to start. Doing a bit of market research to define the gaps and discover opportunities for effectively differentiating your classes is also a good idea.
A quick Google or Quora search will give you a ton of yoga-teaching examples and questions from people who want to learn. Ubersuggest is another excellent tool you can use to research the most popular search terms on Google.
Finding your niche should be your starting point. Make a note of all the various yoga schools out there. Write down what they teach, and what potential students are looking for, then see if you can find a gap to fill in with your classes.
2. Pick a Business Model
Once you’ve chosen your niche, you need to select a business model that works best for you. There are several types of business models for yoga teachers, and the most popular ones include:
- Pay-Per-Class: The most straightforward business model is Pay-Per-Class, where students pay a flat fee to attend an individual session. It is a good practice to include in your offer, but it doesn’t offer the flexibility most yoga students need.
- Membership: With the subscription or membership model, students pay a monthly fee to access all your sessions. It requires creating an exclusive member’s area on your platform where paying students can access premium content. This can be expensive for you, the business owner.
- “Hybrid Option” or a multi-tiered subscription: Some streaming platforms like Uscreen offer multi-tiered subscription models. They allow you to provide specific content for a fee (like pre-recorded classes) and include super-premium content (let’s say live courses) in a higher tier.
Many yoga studios include on-demand videos in their business model and offer a wide array of joining opportunities for students.
If you choose a platform that allows you to record and save your live-streaming classes, you can create several different subscription and payment options.
3. Create a Perfect Recording Setup
Where and how you choose to stream your yoga classes can mean a world of difference. Some of the most critical aspects of an ideal yoga teaching setup include:
If you want to teach yoga online, the background of your recording setup should be spacious, clean, and free of clutter. Successful yoga teachers usually choose either soothing indoor sets or record outside with gorgeous landscapes behind them.
Light walls are perfect for creating a clean, airy look. However, a dark background with “yoga objects” in the frame and good lighting also works well.
It’s essential to make sure the light isn’t behind you when you shoot. Backlight floods the camera sensors and makes you look like a silhouette. For this reason, yoga teachers usually don’t teach with a window frame behind them unless they are positive the light won’t disrupt the shot.
Natural light can look amazing if you’re opposite a window.
Remember that while you’re teaching yoga you’ll turn a lot, so be sure to add light from the front and the sides for optimal results.
Learning how to set up a perfect camera shot every time is very important for the quality of your classes.
As explained in this video, setting up a perfect shot heavily depends on figuring the correct camera position.
Since you’re teaching yoga, your entire body needs to be in the shot. However, you will also need enough space in the frame around you, so, for example, your hands don’t get cut off if you raise them above your head.
Purchasing a solid tripod should be one of the first tasks on your list. It will be a game-changer for you.
Audio is where most virtual class videos fall apart. Paying attention to the quality of your audio and making small purchases here and there is necessary if you want to succeed.
When students attend your virtual classes and practice with you, their essential connection to you is through audio, not video. They won’t be able to look at the screen at all times, but they sure will hear you.
Make sure to double-check your computer and internet and computer quality, and definitely buy a premium microphone that is designed with high-quality materials and delivers a clear, robust sound.
Check out this video for five tips for perfect live stream audio:
The music you play is also essential. The volume should blend with the tone of your voice, and you shouldn’t have to shout over the music to be heard. NOTE: Be sure to use royalty-free music to ensure you don’t run into legal problems with your music, if you plan to publish your content online.
Once you have all the necessary basics, you should always test shoot before hosting a live virtual yoga class.
4. Create a Virtual Class Plan
The last thing you want to do is hit that button and start hosting a class without a plan. Unless you want your course to consist of random exercises you think about on the spot, you need a solid plan for each virtual class.
While it may sound intimidating, it’s pretty straightforward. Start with a key goal or pain point you’re trying to solve, then take it from there. The earlier you can get planning, the better.
Plan what you’ll be teaching, the intro, the main content, and the next steps of the classes. Once you have the key elements in place, the class will feel more natural for you and the students.
5. Promote Your Virtual Yoga Classes
If you want to make money online as a yoga teacher, you need to promote your virtual classes. You need to create a user funnel and make efforts to build a community.
The critical elements of proper promotion include:
- Sharing your content everywhere
- Referring viewers to your streaming platform
- Offering a free trial
- Entertaining the audience
- Paying attention to what makes them buy and what doesn’t.
Successful yoga teachers suggest that focusing on your brand and optimizing social media promotion are the basis of successful marketing efforts. Publish your videos on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Create a strong message that refers viewers to your streaming platform and once they get there, make sure to keep them.
It’s also essential to educate, inform, and entertain your potential students to set your brand apart from the competition.
6. Be Inclusive
Yoga teachers need to continually figure out new ways to make their classes more inclusive. There are several ways to do this, but the most important ones include integrating each member into the community from day one.
Always make sure each member feels like a part of the community, especially new members. You can do this by offering personalized support and assistance.
Sending a welcome email or a newsletter is an excellent practice. Follow up by providing tricks and tips on better understanding the platform and easier integration with the rest of the students.
Encourage your students to contribute feedback, so you’ll know exactly what they’re looking for and deliver what they need. This way, you’ll know what your students enjoy so you can plan your future actions accordingly.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
Just like yoga, perfecting virtual classes takes practice. By learning the basic procedures and following the best practices, you’ll quickly learn the basics. It’s up to your creativity and dedication to refine them in time and master the entire process of hosting virtual yoga classes.
Author Bio: PJ Taei is the founder and president of Uscreen, an all-in-one video monetization and live-streaming platform that empowers video entrepreneurs and creators to monetize their content and build thriving businesses around their videos.