Why should you, as a yoga teacher, develop your Yoga Style? The short answer is: To get out of the mudwrestling marketing of the generic yoga teachers, you need to be different, to be remarkable. And for that, you need to develop your yoga style.
A Cool Concept to Develop YOUR Yoga Style
I got it from an author named Seth Godin. And he is a top-notch marketer. He has a blog, he also has a whole series of great books. But the both, I want to recommend for you here is called linchpin. Which you should read. And he has another book called "The Purple Cow". And these two boost all of his work dovetails together. But basically what he tells you is:
How do you market YOUR Yoga Style?
This turns out is like a turning point in the way that people and companies do business. And if you listen carefully to what Seth Gordon says: Success in business of the 21st century requires, that you need to be remarkable. You have to be doing remarkable work. This is contrasted to just doing good work or excellent work. The keyword here is remarkable.
Remarkable means: Is there's something about the product or service that's unique? That just stands out? And that's what the phrase "The Purple Cow" means. The purple cow is something, that's so different, that when you see it, you have to stop and say: "Oh, what the fuck is that?"
Let me go take a closer look: You'll notice this is a whole new philosophy, how to approach your work as a yoga teacher. Because a lot of times we do is we try to hold ourselves back. And we try to not make any bold moves in the way that we create a business as a yoga teacher. But what we try is, to create a generic product, or service, that will appeal to everybody. Because this makes intuitive sense. But being remarkable is like putting something very specific out there. Who wants that? Fewer people, than if I put out something very generic!
So, let me create and put out something completely generic, and then I'm going to have a lot of business. But due to the fact, that most new entrepreneurs think like that, a lot of new generic products are getting created. And you only can enter a saturated market with lower prices. That's why, for the generic products the competition is the hardest, and the prices are the lowest! As a new bee in a saturated market, you cannot succeed in the competition.
Marketing a generic product is like mudwrestling
- very price-sensitive,
- expensive to get attention,
- brutal cut thought competition,
This kind of mudwrestling marketing is simply disgusting!
Well, the era of generic products is over! That was the 20th and the 19th century. But it does not work in the 21st century anymore. This was a very interesting insight, learning about this, and when I started to understand it. Oh, I can't believe I didn't see this before. But this is such a big game-changer. It seems so simple. And that's the beauty of Seth Gordon's ideas. Is that they're all very simple and obvious ideas. The only problem is, most of us aren't acting on that. We're not implementing them. Does that match your observation, too?
Some of these ideas are simple, but they're counterintuitive. One of the things he says is: The mass-production economy of the 19th and 20th Centuries is over. They've run their course. And the future is no longer mass production. The future belongs to niche products and services with personality.
Niche product or generic product
What is the difference?
What's a generic product? It is a commodity that appeals to everybody. And it doesn't have much personality. It just is what it is. For example, gold is a generic product. Just a commodity, a faceless substance. You don't care, from whom you buy your gold if you buy gold. As long as it's gold, you're happy. Well, it might seem like it's cool to manufacture generic products. But please accept, it's not, and you don't want to be manufacturing generic products!
So, here's a practical example for you: Let's say, you launch a new brand of toothpaste. Then you're not going to make a generic toothpaste. Because that market is completely saturated. It's completely run its course. And you don't want to make a new brand of potato chips. Generic potato chips appeal to everybody in a market, that also is saturated and runs its course. And nor are you going to make the next generic car that is going to appeal to everybody. That markets are saturated and run their course. The future is not in coming up with these universal products. The future is to come up with these niche products, that appeal to people's idiosyncrasies.
So, if you do want to make toothpaste, or if you do want to make new potato chips or a new car, you can do those things, but it should not be a generic thing. You have to do it for a niche market. So maybe, you can come up with a new brand of potato chips for lovers of vegan food, who are allergic to gluten and don't like corn. This is a very specific niche market. And there are probably a million people out there, who like that. And you could make a successful business just on that.
But if you think through it, you may feel, that this is not very counterintuitive. And you might feel, that these are negative circumstances. Because it expresses, that all the big companies are already serving all the big niches and all the big markets. And sort of now, we're only left with very small nices and these little tiny markets to enter. Don't look at it like that. Because this is a very positive thing. You don't want to be creating generic faceless products. And you don't want to be another faceless generic corporation. That era is already running its course. Do you understand, why that's not very fulfilling?
It is hard to serve your clients as a yoga teacher with a generic faceless corporation. That's not what you want. Anyways, what human beings want, is personal contact with other human beings. They don't want generic contact with a faceless Corporation. And the market is going this way nowadays.
If you notice now, the generic faceless corporations, the insurance companies, banks, and car manufactures, most of these old economy companies are putting a personal face onto their services. And you may notice that their advertising, making, and commercials are getting much more personal. Can you feel, how this is appealing to you on an emotional level?
A lot of these companies are creating mascots, characters, and persons, who are representing the face of the corporation. Why are they doing this? Because we emotionally relate to those individuals. But we can't emotionally relate to a generic faceless product.
So, what does this practically means for you?
You have to go against your intuitive urge to create a broadly appealing product. Instead, you need to create something different. Stop trying to appeal to everybody. Stop trying to please everybody. It's okay, to create a niche product. And this doesn't mean that you're going to have a small business. You can have a multi Million Dollar business that targets a nice market. The global economy is so large nowadays, that you don't need all of it. You don't even need 1% of it. You'd be happy with just like 0.00001%. And it can serve you well. Did you already realize that?
Now, what is the beauty of this whole thing?
If you develop your yoga style, you can express who you truly are. Which is something you couldn't do effectively in prior generations. Just one very simple example: If Prana Healing Yoga resonates with you after you participated in one of my classes, or healing sessions, or if you like my style, the likely reason is, that the way that I teach yoga is a niche. It's certainly a niche. Why do I do it like that? I don't just do general yoga, that appeals to everybody. My classes are always some kind of funny. And there's a certain format of my style. And there's a certain way in which I talk to my participants, that differs from the average traditionally yoga teacher. Right?
And on the other hand, those who don't like my style are not participating in it anymore. But since you are still listening to or reading this, or since you might have participated frequently in my classes, then you probably are resonating with me, with my personality, with my style. So true, isn't it?
There's something like a personal connection. And this personal connection is a lot more powerful, than if I just came up and started teaching generic yoga, with no personality, and should appeal to everybody in the world. I'm not trying to do that. I'm trying to find my niche.
And why is it important to develop your yoga style?
Well, this is important, because one of the biggest challenges you're going to face with opening your yoga business is marketing. That's going to be one of your biggest challenges.
Why is marketing your biggest challenge?
Because nowadays we've got so many products, and so many services, so many people out there starting their businesses, and their websites. All of this is gathering the attention of potential customers. There are millions of people doing this. And due to that, it's really hard to get attention. It's hard to get up followers to build a snowball effect. That's the hardest part of your business when starting as a yoga teacher. So, to develop your youg style and grow your business until you can truly say: Okay, I'm successful now.
I got a lot of recognition for what I do. And I've got enough money to support myself without worrying about it. To get to that point, you're going to have to market yourself very well. That's the genius thing about The Purple Cow:
Develop YOUR Yoga Style - It Markets Itself
And remember, what a purple cow is: It's a remarkable thing. For example, my colleague Gus Wira. I got to know him years ago when we participated in the same yoga teacher training. He often makes his participants laugh, with pranayama breathing during the downward-facing dog posture. Due to that, he became the inventor of the happy downward-facing dog. This is something pretty simple, but very remarkable, just different! Whatever you're putting out there into the marketplace has to be remarkable. Now, remarkable means also it's different, extraordinary, uncommon, outstanding, unusual, or striking. And due to that, it touches us emotionally, which makes it easy to remember.
It's almost when you stop and look at a car wreck. What do you want to see? What can I see? Maybe there's a dead body in there? Let me take a look. This is just kind of weird and sick, but I just want to see what's there. Are you still with me?
And so, all the cars slow down to take a look. That's emotional touchy, and due to that a remarkable situation. Well, you need to learn, how to do the same thing with your positioning and in your marketing. But listen, I'm not saying, you need to do something low brow, just to get attention.
Instead of that, I'm saying, you can't expect that marketing will work for any yoga style. Finally, you got to put your uniquness online. To do so, you got to be maximally creative, you need to be outstanding, and you got to be bold. Because your greatest risk is not, that you're going to create a weird product, that nobody is going to buy. That's not the biggest risk anymore. The biggest risk is, that you're going to create a mediocre product, or just a good product, a decent product. But then, that product is going to get drowned out in the marketplace. It's going to be almost impossible to Market such a product. Because if I create a new generic toothpaste, that's very similar to all the other brands of toothpaste out there:
- Why should anyone want to buy from my brand?
- There are already so many good brands.
- Why should my brand even have a chance?
And, as a generic product, it won't have a chance. Not unless you have one hundred million dollars to market it.
So, the moral of the story is: Stop trying to appeal to everybody. That's clear by now? And also, bring creativity, artistry, and personality into your work. This is a very beautiful thing, that you get to now do this. And that is in fact kind of necessary to be successful. So, whatever you're doing, if you're designing your yoga studio, put some artistry in it, put your personality into it. When you're marketing a yoga retreat, put your personality into it. If you're designing a new yoga clothing line, put your artistry into it. And in case you develop your yoga style, have your personality attached.
Put your emotional touch on it
If you're writing a new yoga book, whether it's about pranayama breathing, yoga healing, or a book about the purpose of yoga. Do it in a new way. Give it a new cover. Print it in a new format, have some special offer in it. Put artistry and creativity in it. It has to be different! Correct?
You can't just make another generic yoga book, nor a generic yoga studio. We've already got millions of books, as well as yoga studios. It would have to be in a more interesting personal way. Now listen inside.
Use your intuition to answer these questions:
- How would you do it, if you didn't have to hold yourself back?
- If the book, your studio, or your retreat was an expression of your essence, how does it feel?
- What if the development your yoga style was the expression of your precious personality?
- How would that feel like?
- What would all be contained in it?
- How should it look like?
- And would it resonate with you?
- If you visualize it, are you already able you feel gratitude for it?
See, the difficulty here is, that it's scary to publish this online if it represents your personality. Instead, if creating a generic product you can just say: Well, this generic yoga will work in the marketplace, and here it is. Anyone wants it. But listen inside: Then you're going to hear crickets chirping in the background. Can you hear the? Or maybe you'll get some success. But even if not, that's kind of easy to handle. Because if someone rejects your product, you don't take it personally. But think about this: If you put your personality into it, and people reject it ...
This of course might happen, there's no guarantee here. You're still very likely to fail, even if you develop your yoga style and market it. No matter how you do business, you're likely to fail. So imagine, you put your personality in developing your yoga style, and still, it fails. It is likely, that you take it as a kind of a personal insult. You will take it personally. Correct?
So, with the purple cow approach, your ego is more on the shooting line. But you know what? That's just the new way of creating businesses. And you should appreciate these recurring impulses for your personal growth. So, if you're going to start your personalized yoga business and you fail, your ego hurts like a sour muscle, or it gets overstretched and you feel the pain. Okay good, that's fine, relax! Next time you will try it again. Now, you have an extended skillset from those hard-won learnings, like a grown muscle and increased moveability.
Become a Linchpin
Another thing, well worth listening to is: When Sed talks in the book "Linchpin" about being indispensable and what being indispensable means. Indispensable results in having job security. So, you want job security. And if you develop your yoga style, you become automatically the linchpin. No matter, if you run an own studio, if you are a freelancer, or if you're working as an employee for somebody else. One thing you want to do is to position yourself as an indispensable asset within the business, within the marketplace, or your job, by manifesting your style.
What is an indispensable asset?
Well, indispensable means, that you are a linchpin? This linchpin is the necessary thing, and without it, nothing worked well. So, in your company, how are you positioning yourself to be the linchpin? The linchpin is NOT the central cog in the machine. You don't want to be a cog in the machine. Even though the cog has a predictable and easy type of work. But it is easy to be outsourced, and easy to replace. So, you don't want to be a cog. You rather want to be the one, who knows tricks, and secrets, and techniques, that nobody else knows. You want to be the one, that if you're not in the company, or if you take a vacation for a week, that the company starts not running smoothly anymore. That means, that they need you. Right?
If they need you means, you're going to be the last one cut, when it comes time for rationalization measures in the company, or when the economy flushes down the toilet, or whatever. You're not going to get the ass, you're not going to get fired, you're not going to get downsized, nor you're going to get demoted. Why is that?
To Develop Your Yoga Style is The Heart Piece
Now if you have your own business, you got to be the heart, of course, you are automatically the heart of the business as soon as you're starting your own business. But with your own business, you got to position your product, or your service in the marketplace, as being the heart of the marketplace!
So, for example, let's have a look at the Microsoft Windows operating system. That's like the heart of most personal computers. It's very hard to get rid of that. If something would happen to Microsoft, billions of computers would stop working, or work less efficiently. So, Microsoft will remain, even if you don't like Microsoft. You're probably going to put up with them anyways. Because they're just completely indispensable. That is a linchpin in this market.
How do you position yourself as a linchpin in your market?
Think about that, give that a lot of thought. All right, so you got to recognize, that marketing is going to be a very huge challenge for you. Perhaps the biggest challenge. It's going to be the biggest obstacle to your success. Because the marketplace is overflooded, right? This creates a challenge because everyone wants to have the brand of their own business known in the marketplace. So, you're competing with others for eyeballs, for attention. It's hard to get noticed these days. Because everyone is clamoring to get attention.
So, the bottom line is: That you need to be remarkable, extraordinary, special, or different. A work that's so outrageous, that when someone sees it, they want to run to their parents, or their wife, or their husband, or to their girlfriend, or boyfriend, or to their kids. And wants to talk about your product. Right?
Free Marketing by Word of Mouth
is your purple cow at work
So, start thinking in the inception phase of your yoga classes, retreats, your books, products, your service, business, or your career, how you can be remarkably different. Start thinking about that, embody it in the product and your marketing. And the question that I want to leave you with here is:
What is going to be your purple cow?
You should do this little exercise now. I mean, you always should think about this question. You need to do it. You must find a really honest, authentic, and true answer. So go ahead, and find yourself the answer to the question:
What is your purple cow?
In my yoga business, it is "Prana Healing". And if that appealed to you, my purple cow is functioning. That means it's remarkable.
If you find something like this, that is appealing, then you're going to be way ahead of your competition. And you're going to position yourself very nicely, outside of the mudwrestling marketing of the generic yoga teachers. And you put a seed to succeed with your work as a yoga teacher and for your yoga business.
I certainly hope, that answered all of your questions about:
Why should You Develop YOUR Yoga Style?
If you have more questions, please start a discussion in the comments below or drop me a notice using the WhatApp button on the bottom right of the screen.
Prana Healing Yoga
Book Recommendation: The Purple Cow - PDF Download by Seth Gordon