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yogipreneur radio - ask the yogipreneurHello and welcome to Episode 17 of Yogipreneur Radio. I’m your host Racheal Cook.

Today’s episode is an Ask the Yogipreneur, where I answer a listener’s question about the ins and outs of running a successful yoga biz. If you have a burning Q for me, make sure you pop over to TheYogipreneur.com/ask to leave a voicemail. You’ll get coaching on your yoga biz and help thousands of other yogis, who are wondering the same thing, learn right alongside you.

Today, we’re talking about something that all professionals struggle with at some point, and one that can feel especially difficult for heart-centered and yoga entrepreneurs who deeply care about their students.

Let’s get to it. Here’s the question from Cheryl…

“Hi Racheal. My name is Cheryl. I’m from England all the way over in the UK. My question is:

How do you wrap up a private session or class on time when you’ve got clients or students that really want to talk to you.

Although you’ve got 5 minutes, that 5 minutes can easily turn into 25 minutes, you can’t go, you run late onto the next session and it throws your whole day out. Despite you saying you’ve got to go, clients/students just won’t listen.

I don’t want to offend anyone, but at the same time, I need to stick to my schedule. If you’ve got any advice on that, that would be really helpful. Thank you!”

Cheryl – I so hear you with this Q! It happens to so many of us and without a clear plan for how to handle the situation, it can turn this huge opportunity to grow your yoga biz into the most stressful part of your day.

The first thing I want to highlight is what a HUGE opportunity this is for you and your business!

When your students stop to ask questions or chat after a yoga class or private session, they are asking for more! It’s a huge sign that you are deeply connecting with them and making a difference through yoga.

But when you’ve gotta keep moving to get to your next appointment or class on time, you’ve gotta have a plan in place that both helps you say “not right now” and “I care and want to support you on your journey.”

It really is a question of establishing boundaries AND having a plan to ensure you’re taking care of your students.

Before we dive deeper into this question – I do want to say that I think it’s important for all yoga teachers to carve out a little bit of time both before and after class to chat with your students. Teachers who take the time to get to know their students, learn a little bit about them, and answer their questions do see more repeat students and build a stronger sense of community in their classes.

BUT – there is a big difference between a quick “hey, how are you today?” and “loved seeing the improvement in your practice today!” and a 25-minute discussion after class. You can totally spot the difference.

Like I said – if your students are stopping you after class to talk – it’s a HUGE opportunity for your business. But the challenge comes when you don’t have a clear pathway to getting more from you.

The first question to ask yourself – What clues are your students giving you about what they really want?

:: Are their questions more like FAQs – things that could be perfect content on your blog or newsletter, that you could direct people to over and over again?

If this is the case, maybe it’s as simple as directing your students to email you the question {or even leave a voicemail similar to how we do Ask the Yogipreneur} so you can take some time to create a response everyone can benefit from. Then you don’t need to spend 25 minutes answering those questions – simply getting in the practice of sending people to sign up for your regular emails will build your biz and support your clients.

:: Are their questions pointing to a topic that you could create a deeper level offering around – like a workshop or specialized series of classes?

If you’re getting people asking a lot about something you’ve been exploring in class and wanting to dive in deeper, then you might have a workshop on your hands! You can literally say to them something along the lines of – “I LOVE this question and honestly, it would make a perfect topic for a special class or workshop so we could dive deeper.”

:: Or are their questions a sign that they could benefit from more personalized private yoga sessions?

A good majority of the time – the best next step for these students is to simply invite them to work with you in a private setting. Especially if those questions are going from a quick one minute response into a 25 minute conversation – that’s half a private yoga session right there!

You HAVE to set clear boundaries around your time – because if you find yourself getting sucked into these super lone conversations after every single class, it’s actually DEVALUING your time.

When your students take that time for granted – especially if you’re saying “hey, I’ve gotta get to my next appointment” – they are less likely to actually PAY you for your time via a private lesson or workshop.

This is why BOUNDARIES are so essential for every yoga teacher!

I know, I know – we want to be open and accessible to our students! But the truth is, without boundaries, you will constantly find yourself feeling exhausted and depleted by your students.

The first step to creating that clear boundary is to decide what needs to happen instead of the conversations after class – and communicate that to ALL your students.

It could be as simple as writing up a quick email or announcing at the end of class “hey guys – I love answering all of your questions and supporting you in your yoga journey, so I’ve decided to open up some dedicated time in my calendar just for you.

Here’s where you can book your free 15 minute phone session with me. This will let us quickly get tot the heart of the matter and without the time crunch of me needing to get to my next class, I’ll be able to be 100% present for you.”

I highly recommend setting these sessions up to be PHONE appointments.

Why? Because you are busy! And honestly, we all know that a 30 minute coffee date is really an hour and a half by the time to go through everything to get there.

And the best part about having these quick phone sessions? With just an hour or two a week available, you’ll be able to talk to anywhere from 2-6 students who are potentially a perfect fit for private yoga or another offering you may have.

To make it even easier – have a business card with a link to the online calendar so they can book those sessions without interrupting you or playing email tag to find a day and time. We love using something like Acuity Scheduling or Calendly.

So what do you say during these free mini-sessions?

The goal of these conversations isn’t to give away all your expertise for free! Yes – be generous and answer their Qs – but your primary focus should be asking strategic questions and figuring out how you can best serve them.

Too often, just like the times when those students have grabbed you after class, these types of sessions are just asking you a million questions to get quick advice.

It is your job, as the yoga teacher, to provide leadership for these conversations. You want to take the time to really understand what is coming up for your student, what challenges and concerns they are having, and then determine what level of support they truly need from you as their yoga teacher.

Once you’ve invested your time in this conversation, you’ll be able to serve them much better going forward…not just an occasional band-aid private session…but by developing a more tailored solution that’s designed to get them where they want to go.

Now you might be thinking – “ok Rach, that sounds good…but once they start talking, I can’t get a word in! How do I offer these calls without 15 minutes turning into an hour?

It all comes down to being a true professional.

And professionals create an intake assessment to determine what’s at the root of the problem for their potential students.

I find it so helpful to have a list of questions to choose from:

  • What’s the problem you’re having?
  • What is the worst part about that problem?
  • What would you love to experience instead?
  • What would that do for you? What difference would it make in your practice and your life?

In fact – I have a little cheat sheet for you to download in the show notes below.

Click Here to Download Your Free Worksheet!

Once you know where they are and where they want to be, you can recommend the next steps that make the MOST sense for them. One of the biggest mistakes that I see for many yoga teachers, when they start these conversations with someone who could be a perfect fit for private yoga lessons or another offering, is they are hesitant to give their recommended next steps and follow-up with that student.

Remember – you are a PROFESSIONAL! Not a Google for all things Yoga.

These sessions do NOT need to be a sales pitch – but if you honestly feel that you could help this student, it’s up to you to say,

“It sounds like x, y, and z are your main concerns in your yoga practice and you’re looking to experience this instead.

Is that right? Awesome. I’d recommend doing this. {Give them a quick tip or baby step they can implement on their own and that helps them go in the right direction.}

And honestly, this is exactly what my favorite private yoga students work on with me. Would you like to hear a little more about privates and see if that might be a fit for you?”

Then you can tell them a bit about how you work, book their first session in your calendar, and follow-up via email with your confirmation, agreement, and invoice.

When you’ve thought through this process, you will have not only shown that you value your time and expertise as a yoga teacher, but will have created a seamless opportunity to use these conversations to fill your higher-level programs and offerings.

As I wrap up this Q for you Cheryl, I wanna just acknowledge that starting to establish boundaries will likely feel uncomfortable!

You’re basically re-teaching people how you want to be treated and asking them to value your time. That’s one reason why I really recommend thinking through what you want this process to look like and then announce it to your existing community. You may have to spend a few weeks or even a month telling people that you’ll only be answering these types of questions during those free mini-sessions…or via your blog…or inside your Facebook group. You get to decide the format that makes the most sense for you and your business. And you might experience some feelings of guilt that you’re not allowing everyone to just pick your brain whenever they want.

Remember – it’s up to YOU to establish and protect your time. It’s up to YOU to own your worth.

It might not be easy, but there is a lot more ease on the other side of well-established boundaries!

Thanks again for your question Cheryl, and thank you to everyone for listening. I hope these answers serve you in your yoga career, helping you embrace your role as a professional and improve your relationships with all your students.

For the show notes and resources like the Free Session Cheat Sheet, check the bottom of this post.

If you liked this episode, you won’t wanna miss out on what we’re working on behind the scenes to bring you more insightful interviews and inspired action steps to build your yoga business. Make sure you subscribe to Yogipreneur Radio so you’ll be the first to know when a new episode is published on Wednesday mornings.

Thanks! And I’ll talk to you soon on Yogipreneur Radio.

rachealcookpurple-300x64


 

Show Notes::

Click Here to Download Your Free Worksheet!

Submit a question to The Yogipreneur

Acuity Scheduling

Calendly

To learn about designing an online home to speak to your niche, check out:

Techy Training: Your Sweet Site

What To Do Next?

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