Friday, December 10, 2010

Brainstorming Help, Please

Penn State Erie, the Campus Where I've Been Teaching

Today is a big day: my last class day at Behrend (Penn State Erie) until next Fall.  I am excited, to say the least.

I am excited to not have to drive out there in the winter weather.  The taste I have gotten this week is icky.  I am excited to not have to be thinking about a writing class practically twenty four seven, because that's how I roll.  I am excited to be able to completely focus my efforts of my and Marcy's creative works.

But I am also very nervous about that last one.  I feel a bit lost, a bit ignorant when it comes to the building-a-business part of teaching yoga/dance/movement.  I am a fantastic teacher, but how do I get more students?  How do I also work on my own movement creations?

So here I am, standing before you, with open hands and a quizzical look on my face: Do you have any tried and true methods that you are willing to share?  Do you have any advice of any kind for this newbie?


Rachel@Suburban Yogini said...

Oooh this is a super tough question. 6 years of teaching and I still don't know the answer. Clients come and clients go, sometimes I get loads, sometimes I have really quiet months and I've yet to work out why. I think the work we do is harder to market than, say, a web design company or computer support company, you know?

I rely on a mix of posters, flyers, local coffee shops supporting me, my website, google adwords and lots of good vibes. Oh and word of mouth which takes time....

Bob Weisenberg said...

Hi, Christine.

I think the best thing you can do is find a few other people who have done what you want to do, or gotten where you want to get, then copy the hell out of whatever they did!

Sounds simple, and it's not. But once you find a model, whether someone you actually know or just read about, you might be surprised at how clear the path becomes.

Of course, you will always need to adjust the model to your individual circumstances. But I've found this to be the fastest way to solve a business challenge.

Bob W.

Creativechaos said...

I agree with Rachel, it is all about posters. I'd also put an ad on Craigslist. Also, word of mouth helps too. Maybe you can say you will offer a discount if they bring a new client (or something like that).

Good luck!


Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul said...

I am not in your field exactly, but am thinking about starting a business down the road. This advice is logistical or practical, but I've been reminded many times and will pass it on to you... stay authentic to your brand and the individuals you want to serve. It's easy to get caught up in trying to meet everyone's needs when you're starting a business, but you really need to focus on your target market and stay true to your expertise. Don't try to do or be everything.

claire said...

Christine, the person who comes to my mind is Marisa @ Brave Harvest Holistic Promotions on Facebook.

On the other hand, I have a healer friend here in PR who is in the process of starting his own practice. He has someone helping him, but this does not seem to be a easy process.

We have a free magazine _Natural Awakenings_ for the whole island. You must have something similar where you live. That would be a way to get known.

At any rate, I am fascinated with your project. Please tell us all how it goes.

Blessings and prayers for your project :-)

Jacqueline said...

Hi Christine,
I can't recommend anything about new movement ideas, but as far as building your clientele and reaching out to new students, there are several possibilities. I'm not on Facebook, but isn't there some sort of group or fan club or something? I know a lot of holistic practitioners use FB. You could give out passes for one free class for your loyal followers to share with their friends, or just offer a blanket "free" or reduced price for the first class to all newcomers. I first tried yoga through the adult ed program in my town--many people are too shy/self-conscious to go to a studio or gym. The adult ed program or library seems like (and is) a safer place. I later felt comfortable going to a gym and yoga studio. I attended a holistic nutrition program where we learned a lot about marketing; if I think of anything else I will share with you. Best of luck; you'll do great. And again, if you do a weekend workshop type of thing and I am free, I'M THERE!! :)

belladawn said...

"When you pursue your dreams, every second is an encounter with God. Following your dreams opens your heart allowing God to enter and fill you with Bliss."

I say, let go of control and allow God to answer. Listen and watch for him to give it to you.

Love and Light :)