While your software is key to the functionality of your business, your studio brand is ultimately based on one thing: your instructors. To build a successful studio, you need a team of talented, thoroughly-loved professionals to support your business. The teachers you hire will determine whether your business makes it or not. Hiring the wrong instructors could lose you business faster than you can say “Namaste”.
So how do you find the right teachers for your studio and brand? How do you weed out the potentially troublesome candidates that could cost you business? Here are some tips to help guide you in the hiring process.
You’re not going to know what a “good” instructor is until you define it explicitly yourself. If you have already hired staff for your studio, then identifying the qualities you seek in new hires will be easier because you have instructors to reference against. However, if you’re getting to hire your first instructor, you’re going to need to be thoughtful about what you’re looking for before you start the hiring process.
Simply considering whether a candidate has the necessary skills and certifications for your studio is not going to cut it when you’re trying to build your specific brand. It’s 2018–– to build a successful business, entrepreneurs have realized you need a successful company culture to support the growth of that business. You need to look at an instructor’s personality, values, and strengths to be sure that they are a good fit for your company. You want staff who back your mission because they hold similar values to yours. You want staff that vibes well with you, your other staff people, and your customers.
Every instructor you hire should not only meet your personal and company culture criteria, but they should also fit the needs of your clientele. Who is your target demographic and what do they want out of yoga? What strengths could a new hire bring to your studio that you or your current staff might not have? Ultimately, you want a studio team made up of instructors of varying strengths and exude what will get your ideal customer through the door.
For yoga studios, the following are some gold standard traits to look for in your new hires:
Do your students want to have perfect form and understand all the mechanics of what they’re doing? A knowledgeable instructor can fulfill that desire for your students by understanding and clearly communicating how to have proper form, the Sanskrit names for all the poses, and the muscle groups that each pose activates. This kind of instructor guides each student’s technique in the way that best suits that student. And a knowledgeable instructor is always learning themselves. A candidate that is eager to learn is an instructor worth strongly considering.
Yoga is one of the most accessible and self-reflective fitness practices out there, but there’s a definite learning curve for beginners. Some skills, flexibility, in particular, can take a while to develop. An instructor with patience understands each student’s current capabilities and doesn’t make them feel self-conscious for lacking experience. This instructor is fantastic at providing modifications to poses and celebrates the wins of students even when improvements are slight. A patient teacher is definitely one you want in your studio because they encourage beginners to stick around and keep coming to class even when it gets tough. This is the kind of candidate you want to hire to teach your beginner classes.
Some people practice yoga to push themselves physically and grow in their capabilities. This type of student needs an instructor to match their intensity–– and while yoga is meant to be a relaxing and serene practice, it can definitely challenge you and make you sweat. For the ambitious student, they need an instructor who can help challenge them and provide safe guidance. This teacher is the type who’s able to demonstrate difficult poses themselves and have a lot of experience with yoga as their craft. The intense and enthusiastic instructor is the one you want to hire to teach your more difficult classes.
The relationships your instructors form with your clients are what will fuel the success of your business. Make sure you hire people that not only you can trust, but your clients can fully depend on too. When your instructors establish that trust with your clients, that’s when your business spreads like wildfire.
It seems like every day, there is a new tool or app that makes social media easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to take advantage of. These apps make it possible for almost anyone—with a bit of vision and dedication—to put together a brand's social media plan and execute it like a pro.
If you are serious about growing your yoga business, you need to be ready to harness the power of referral marketing. So how exactly do you do that? It’s not always as simple as just asking your customers to spread the word about your studio–– you need to motivate and incentivize people to help you grow your studio.
In the fast-paced and busy lives we live, it can be easy to slip into a routine and lose sight of the things we're grateful for in life. Studies have shown that being able to consciously note what you’re grateful for and actively practicing the habit of thanking the people in your life can improve your mental and physical health. As a yogi, you’re aware that yoga isn’t just a practice of the physical body–– it’s a practice of the mind, body, and spirit. Every time you step onto the mat, you’re engaging in an energetic lesson that goes beyond just your muscles and breathing–– it’s a practice that can spark gratitude. And as many experienced yogis can attest, when you put out love and gratitude into the universe, it comes back to you.