You’ve done all the prep work. You know exactly what kind of student you are hoping to teach. You’ve brainstormed a few different locations to teach. So how do you approach an organization to set up a class?
Create a proposal
A well-crafted proposal is an essential tool to gaining entry into the “non-yoga” world. If you are trying to start a class anywhere other than a gym or studio, a proposal helps you to create:
- Clear expectations: The location knows exactly what you are offering, options for payment, and how the program will be run.
- Professionalism: A written proposal maintains a level of professionalism. Too many yoga teachers start a program with just a conversation and nothing in writing. A written proposal shows dedication and will increase the support from the organization.
- Education: Most of the people you will talk to know nothing about yoga – and what they do know is often wrong! Educate them on the benefits of yoga. Provide clear points that answer the question “Why do the people here need yoga?“.
What’s in a proposal?
All yoga teachers should have a yoga resume. This resume should be customized to show your yoga background. This is not a resume that is full of every non-yoga-related job you’ve had since college. The purpose of this resume is simply to show your major accomplishments in the yoga field to show potential employers or partners that you know your stuff!
Here are some tips for your yoga resume:
- Keep it to one page! Most people take less than 30 seconds to skim your resume. If it is full of unrelated information, your resume will not stand out.
- Education: Include college and where you completed your yoga training. Just as you may include your college major, include the hours and styles of yoga in which you are trained. You may also wish to include additional training in specialties, such as prenatal or kids yoga.
- Contact Information: Include current contact information including email and cell phone. Make all contacts as professional as possible – use your name as your email address (example: firstname.lastname@example.org) and make sure your voicemail message is appropriate.
Your bio showcases your passion and purpose as a yoga instructor. This is not the place to tell your entire life story, however some personal details will set you apart and explain your uniqueness as a teacher. A dynamic bio is a useful marketing tool for workshops, presentations, and any locations where you teach.
Include in your bio:
- What attracted you to yoga?
- How has yoga transformed your life?
- How has teaching yoga changed your life?
- Describe the experience you offer as a teacher.
- Describe your mission as a teacher.
This is the most critical piece in your proposal package. A well crafted proposal letter can be used to generate interest and start negotiations for a teaching position.
This letter should be 100% custom tailored towards the reader. By providing details specifically geared towards their needs, you greatly increase the chances of securing a teaching position. As you create this letter, answer these questions for your intended audience:
- What is yoga?
- What are the benefits of yoga for THEIR clients?
- What type of yoga do you teach? Include class descriptions.
- How can providing yoga to THEIR clients help their business?
- What is your process for managing their clients and referrals (once you get a name, how do you follow up)?
- How can you help promote their business?
A note on discussing payment and pricing:
Set clear expectations around payment and pricing. There are several ways to get paid when teaching outside of gyms or yoga studios, however make sure to GET IT IN WRITING. Document your hours, classes, and private sessions to ensure that you are compensated correctly.
How can you get paid?
- Insurance: If you are teaching at a doctor’s office, chiropractor, or physical therapist, your clients can charge their insurance for your services! When looking towards these locations, provide a range for payment to ensure that you can fit within the insurance guidelines.
- Hourly/Headcount: If you are looking to teach at a location such as a martial arts studio or dance studio, it may be easier for them to simply pay you similar to how they pay other teachers. If they do not currently have a set pay structure, make sure to include a base range that is competitive locally and is a win-win as your classes increase in size.
- Renting Space: If you are simply looking to rent space from a location such as a church, recreation center, or community center, make sure to get a sublease agreement in writing. This will detail what your responsibilities are including when rent is due. If you are looking to rent a space, include your space requirements and proposed hourly rent in your proposal letter.
What do you do with your proposal packet?
DO NOT BLAST OUT VIA EMAIL OR MAIL! If they are not expecting this material and have no relationship with you, expect a 1-3% call back rate on unsolicited proposals. So what do you do?
- Friends & Family” Let your core network know you are interested in new locations to teach. Be specific and ask them if they know of someone who may be interested in helping you. Tell them about the type of locations you are interested in teaching.
- Networking: If you aren’t already involved in local networking groups, start looking for one! Many groups meet once a month and the members are all ready to provide contacts to grow small businesses. Carry your business card and let them know you are looking for new locations to teach.
- Call List: Create a list of prospective locations. If you are looking to offer yoga for a physical therapy office, make a list of 50 offices. Pick up the phone! Ask for an appointment to discuss how you can help them grow their business through a referral based strategic alliance. Meet face to face and build the relationship!