yoga and brand voice on social media ~
Whether you are a new teacher, new to social media or looking for continued growth and success in this now hugely popular yoga market, bridging the gap between the sublimation of the Self and the era of selfies can be daunting.
When I started teaching Yoga twenty years ago, our biggest tool was the business card. Those with the budget for it had a website. Those with distribution skills printed up loads of flyers and left them in local businesses.
While we still need these tools, we live in a digital age and cannot deny that it is a huge help to our business to know how to navigate them. Just to coast on the old mediums is not going to cut it if you want to get your personal brand out there. Yes, you have to put yourself out into cyberspace! But who are you?
WHO AM I? This is a classical and central meditation designed to uncover our true and essential Self, beyond the bones of the body, thoughts of the mind, emotions of the heart. The image you want to portray, whether as a cohesive studio of professionals or as a self-employed practitioner, is unique, and often needs to be uncovered. So what is your brand voice?
Your brand is based on the experience you want your clientele to have when they do business with you. It is based on facts such as your credentials, teaching style, personal philosophy, and teaching niche.
For example, are you the athlete turned yogi, the ex-dancer, or the person with a back injury who found yoga was the ticket to transformation? Do you love teaching children? Do you like to headstand everywhere you go or do you prefer to have your image captured when you are meditating by the lake? Are you a physiotherapist as well as yoga teacher?
As any yoga teacher knows, when teaching a complicated posture it is best to break things down into basic steps. So here are four tips on how to find and project your brand voice as a teacher or studio on social media.
1. Be authentic. Keep in mind that yoga principles such as Satya (truthfulness) apply. If you are marketing yourself as a vegan and only vegan, and your beau puts up a photo on Instagram of you biting down on a bacon cheese burger, you are projecting a false image. Be yourself, be credible, show your personality, or that of your teachers, and your professionalism.
2. Define your brand voice. Your brand voice is expressed through your values, personality, and any vocabulary and media you use to tell your story. On social media platforms, like Twitter, for example, your brand voice can shine out in a hashtag, such as #liveyouryoga or #anatomygeek. The voice becomes part of your story, and invites conversations with you, a point we will examine in a later blog post.
3. Establish a good foundation. As you would in asana, you need a stable platform to convey your brand voice from. A website and presence on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instgram are important.
4. Create great visual presentation. On social media platforms thise involves the use of eye-catching, story-telling cover photos and logos. Fill out all the details on your profiles with your brand voice in mind, and pay attention to the details. Use of colors, fonts, and other graphics is a way for you to visually describe to others what your brand is about.
The content you share on social media, and how you engage with your audience are important. In my next two blog posts I will expand on how thest topics. Meanwhile, set yourself up for continued success by uncovering your brand voice.
meditation on social media
Today, I wrote my first of three blog posts (to be published elsewhere, will keep you posted) on social media and community building for yoga brands. The modern yogi(ni) is Linked-in, Facebook, Twitter, Texting, Emails, Facebook connecting to twitter, the blog, Linkedin. Joining groups (you know and don’t know), Liking and Un-liking pages, connections with people you know and their connections who you may not know…Comments from the groups you are connected to and know but not personally, connecting through cell phones and apps and sync-ing with your computer, your laptop, ipad…Sigh. Incredible. We have adapted to technology and it is unbelieveable how much we can connect just by learning what is available ….
The word YOGA is from the verb, yuj, meaning “to yoke, harness”(Feurstein). In the Upanishads, it also meant “spiritual endeavor” (Feurstein) and later, in the Bhagavad Gita – we are talking 3rd or 4th century BCE- it denoted “spiritual discipline” or methods of “self-realization (Feurstein). Check out this beautiful verse from the Gita (Stephen Mitchell): “Strong in the practice of yoga, with a mind that is rooted in me and in nothing else, you will reach the Supreme Person that I am.” We commonly say YOGA means union, connecting…mind+body+spirit, because in this fast-paced world, they don’t always feel in the same place at the same time.
So I ask you, are you linked-in and plugged-in professionally and personally? Do you actually turn your cell OFF in yoga class or just to vibrate? Or could you benefit from turning off cyberspace connections for a moment and tuning into the one link that unites body and mind=the Breath. Go ahead, try. Breathe in calm, breathe out tension…Feel YOGA’d-in….
Yoga in the subway: I was just sent a link to this article, with lots of pretty cool photos of people in yoga poses in the subway. I think it is very creative, though the subways are pretty dirty and I would not want to put my mat down let alone my hands for a handstand. When I take the subway, I usually just focus on being mindful of my surroundings and my breathing and that is sufficient for me.
The byline for the article is : Are Yoga Enthusiasts The New Acrobats (you can read it by clicking HERE). As with any topic, there are many perspectives, and, I sometimes am inspired to move into a pose outdoors so I am in no place to judge. In the article, they say, “on one level, it’s pretty impressive (and perhaps even inspiring) to see all these flexible people strutting their stuff on subway cars.” On the other hand, it does border on “attention-seeking”.
I suggest we come back to the origins and spirit of Yoga for a moment, and just reflect that “Yoga is a Practice Not a Performance” so maybe “yoga in the subway” is like performance art…Weigh in.
Have a great holiday ! Breathe and reboot…
In case you missed it, here is a link to my last post for Yoga Travel Tree, titled : “Too Much of a Good Thing: Can You do Too Much yoga?”
I always take the approach that yoga is a system, with different components – eight limbs. Any kind of physical practice should feel like it is opening you, not yanking or pulling or compressing. And breathing – whole category! Please check out my cd, YOGA MIND for tips on how to set up and some complete practices that can accompany you. As for developing focus and other side benefits, they evolve like wisdom. Nothing like private yoga class instruction though, very different from group !
The meaning of the word yoga is to unite. We bring body, mind, breath/spirit together in our practice, we integrate compassion and kindness into the tapestry of our lives. Whatever traditions you celebrate, this is a time of renewal and regeneration. I feel this most when I am relaxed. It is all perspective : Alone ~ ALLONE
The breath, from a yoga therapy perspective, is both tool and toolbox.
Read on : My latest blogpost is now available on MindBodyGreen “Why Breathing Isn’t As Easy As It Seems (And How To Do It With Intention)”