Teaching private yoga is a great way to build a reliable income stream and hone your craft as a yoga teacher.
But building up a client base for private yoga classes can seem daunting and very slow at first. Many teachers write a nice little blurb on their website about offering Private Classes and then hope that someone requests one. If you decide that teaching Private Yoga Classes is something you want to do then you need to be proactive about building a client base and focus on maintaining it. Tell people you teach Private Yoga Classes – it really is
Converting Private Clients from Group Classes
If you teach group classes, don’t make the mistake of presuming that just because a student attends a group class that they aren’t interest in a private class. Truth is, they are your target audience, they already know you and like the way you teach. Again don’t presume that just because it’s on your website that they know you teach private classes.
A really simple trick that is often used well by beauticians and hairdressers: on your business social media account such as instagram or facebook add a weekly/occasional post sharing your available times for a private yoga class this week consider including an enticing offer. For example “I have two private yoga class appointments available for this week: Monday 7.30pm and Wednesday 1.00pm. Message me if you would like to schedule in a tailored private one to one yoga session. First person to book gets 10% off – usual price £__.”.
The occasional free private yoga class can work really well if you have the time available and you’re new to teaching privately.
- Offer a Private Yoga Class voucher for charity raffles etc.
- Use social media or email newsletters to run challenges such as ‘3 Sun Salutations a Day for 21 Days’ and offer 1 free private yoga class as a prize.
- Offer a free yoga class to potential referral partners such as GPs, Physios, Chiropractors
- Trade Private Yoga Classes for other services you want – such as a massage.
- Reward and thank existing loyal students of your group classes with a free private class.
What to Charge
Knowing what to charge for a session or block of session can be tough area for many heart centred and holistic business professionals. You need to get comfortable charging what you’re worth and feel confident sharing this information with potential clients.
You’re Worth It
I’ve seen private classes being advertised for as little £15/hour and up to £125/hour for a class with well known teachers in London. How do you decide where you stand? Well there are many things to factor in:
- Your Time: the length of the class, travel time, preparation and follow up
- Your Costs: travel costs and any venue costs – for instance I have two rates, one for if you come to me and a slightly higher rate if I travel to you.
- Your Expertise: you have invested both in terms of money and time over many years to learn and train to teach yoga, you are a subject matter expert and your hourly rate reflects this.
- Your Experience: it is reasonable that a newly qualified teacher and a highly experienced teacher’s rate would be different. It is ok to revise and increase your prices every year or so as you gain experience and build your reputation.
- Market Rate: what other yoga teachers in your area are charging for a private session can be a useful bench mark but don’t make it the only thing that you base your decision on.
The more consistent you are with your yoga practise the more you will benefit from it but the most challenging part of yoga is making the time and having the discipline to get on the mat. For this reason, I encourage private clients to commit to a block of yoga classes. I like to teach a single initial introductory class and at the end of the session outline why I feel a block of classes would be the best fit and what results they can expect to see in that time. I would then follow up on this in a thank you email the next day with an attached invoice, payment instructions and the date and time of our next session. Blocks of 4 or 10 tend to work well. This does two things, it ensures your clients see the most benefits and it enables you to have steady income coming in that you can rely on.
1) Availability: It is really easy to be at the beck and call of your clients and end up travelling all over the place at all sorts of times. This can waste both your time and energy as well. It can also directly affect your teaching ability, for instance if you agree to see someone at 6am and you know this isn’t an ideal time for you, it might be ok for the first few weeks but then you will end of resenting the sessions which will impact your ability to truly ‘be there’ for your client. Look at your weekly schedule and plan out set appointment times which work well for you – don’t want to teach on a Friday night then don’t. When you create these set appointment times it is surprising how happy your clients are to work around these. Don’t feel obliged to teach at a time that doesn’t work for you, this is your business and you set your opening hours – you wouldn’t demand that your dentist see you at 6am on a Sunday morning.
2) Safety: Teaching private classes usually means travelling to your client’s home or seeing them at yours, unless you have the use of a yoga studio. This is a vulnerable position. I recommend setting your own grounds rules and sticking with them. Consider:
- Only teaching clients who you have a direct prior relationship with such as group class students
- Only teaching clients who come as a direct recommendation from someone you trust
- If you teach complete strangers, for at least your first session, tell someone else where you are, what time you’ll be leaving and arrange to call them when you’re finished
- Trust your instinct, if you don’t feel comfortable with your client tell them that you aren’t the right fit and leave
- If you teach a complete stranger, consider having an initial free consultation at a public meeting point, like a cafe, before going to their home.