Yoga teachers, hands up if you’ve been told that you ABSOLUTELY NEED a yoga website to promote your teaching.
Almost all the “experts” say you do, right? They suggest that once your yoga website is live — after you lay down some serious cash to a well-meaning web designer — your site will buzz with activity as students, new and old, anxiously hit refresh to see if you’ve posted a new blog or added a class to your schedule.
I used to be one of those well-meaning yoga website designers. But, after working with several clients, I realised a simple truth.
Most yoga teachers do not need a website.
Instead of making money selling my yoga website design services, I ended up refusing to build a site for any teacher who could not adequately explain to me why they “needed” a website. Most couldn’t.
As you can guess, my nascent yoga website design business didn’t grow very quickly!
So, are you one of those teachers who does not need a yoga website? Can you save a shitload of time and money by NOT creating a website — and still have a thriving yoga career?
Read on to find out…
7 Reasons to NOT Waste Your Time and Money on a Yoga Website
(And what you should do instead)
Reason 1. You don’t have money to burn. If you’re rolling in money, then by all means, hire someone to create your website and to keep it up-to-date. If, like most yoga teachers, you’re barely scraping by, then paying for a website should not be a priority. There are ongoing costs, like paying for hosting and a domain name, plus upfront costs, like paying for a web designer.
If you do have a little cash to spend to promote yourself, investing your time and money on Facebook Ads will provide a better return on your investment.
Reason 2. You’re too busy to make updates. You know what’s worse than not having a website? Have a website that is out of date. If your website has a blank blog and a class schedule that applied to the summer of 2015, then any student who visits will wonder if you’re still teaching. Or, they might think your teaching skills will be as outdated as your yoga website. Either way, if you can’t make time to update your website weekly (or at the very least) monthly, then you should have a website.
Reason 3. You’re not compelled to write. Many teachers think they need a website because they “might want to start a blog”. You may have heard that blogging is a great way to build your reputation and make a deeper connection with your students. This is true. But it only works if you feel compelled to write regularly and you make a dedicated effort to promoting your blog.
An effective blog is a LOT of work that goes far beyond writing a post every once in a while.
My advice? Don’t start a blog unless you LOVE to write and you feel passionately enough about it to spend most of your free time sharing and promoting what you’ve written.
Reason 4. You’re not technically inclined. If you believe those Squarespace and Wix ads, making a website is so easy a 5-year-old could do it. It’s true, making a crappy website is pretty easy. However, creating an effective website takes a LOT of skill.
If you’re not a techie person and you don’t truly enjoy learning new technical tools, then creating your own website, or just keeping it up to date, will fall to the very bottom of your to-do list; it will never get done.
Let me repeat… it’s far better to have no website than one that is months (or years) out of date!
Reason 5. Your schedule is stable. If your teaching schedule is pretty much the same every week and you teach at only a couple of studios, you don’t need a website. Instead, make sure your studios keep your schedule up to date on their sites and that you share your individual classes on your Facebook Yoga Page.
Reason 6. You sell have online classes, books, or other products. If you regularly film classes to share or sell to your students, or if you have t-shirts, ebooks, and other items for sale, then a website is the perfect hub to gather these various offerings together. If not, then there’s another reason you don’t need a website!
Reason 7. You don’t run your own studio. If you have a yoga business — like a studio or a retreat centre — find the time and money to create a great website and keep it updated! If people can’t find you online, or you have outdated schedules and contact details on your website, you’re losing business every day. But, if you only teach at other people’s spaces, then keep reading to find out where you should focus your online marketing efforts instead.
Don’t Need a Yoga Website? Here’s What to Do Instead
So, if you don’t have a website, how are you going to:
- Promote yourself?
- Keep in touch with your students?
- Build your community of yogis?
You’re going to do it on…
Yup, if you’ve been hanging around with us for a while, you know we think Facebook is the perfect place to promote yourself and your yoga teaching.
Facebook isn’t perfect and it’s not a magic bullet. You will have to put in time and effort to learn how to use it most effectively. And once you’re at a certain stage you’ll want to pay for Facebook ads in order to keep building your yoga business.
Even so, Facebook has several very compelling advantages over a website.
1. Your students are already on Facebook. With almost 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is not going away soon. Your students are far more likely to engage with you inside of Facebook than they are to visit your website. And yes, that does include young people and seniors, despite what you may have heard.
2. You already know how to use it. While there is a learning curve when it comes to creating an effective Yoga Page on Facebook, you already know how to do the basics. Even the most technical stuff you’ll attempt on Facebook is far easier than simple tasks on WordPress or Squarespace.
3. It’s free to get started. Facebook lets you create a Yoga Business Page for free. Then it provides you with a whole suite of business-building tools — like analytics, events, and easy sharing — at no extra cost.
You will only start spending on Facebook when you dive into Facebook Ads and even that is relatively inexpensive. In comparison, unless you do it completely yourself (which will require dozens of dedicated hours) creating a website will cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars upfront.
So for now, forget about creating a yoga website for now. Eventually, as your business grows, you may find you need to create one. But for now, focus your efforts on your Facebook Yoga Page for maximum return on your time and money.
♥ Happy adventures, Stephen & Jane