In this episode, Chris talks about the importance of yoga entrepreneurs knowing the kind of clientele they want to serve. It’s very critical for a yoga entrepreneur to enjoy being around his/her clients because it contributes greatly to the thriving and sustainability of their business.
Chris will share the mistakes himself and John made at the beginning of their studios in regards to sending mixed messages to the marketplace because they felt “Yoga is for Everyone”, and how they got passed that. Tune in as he also shares the framework that will help you figure out who your ideal client is, so you can make money while enjoying serving your students.
Key Points Discussed:
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This episode was released November 13, 2019
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 What we want to really talk about today is understanding that your who, who it is that you want to serve, is like the very first thing we need to figure out as yoga entrepreneurs, whether you’re in a yoga studio ownership role, or whether you’re just like a solopreneur doing your thing and offering yoga and all the different places that you offer yoga. Regardless, we want to get really clear on who it is that we serve.
00:24 What’s up everyone? You are listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. I am Chris Yax, and I’m John Yax. We are part of a small group of yoga entrepreneurs who are committed to making a living, doing what we love, without feeling guilty about making money, or ashamed of being successful, because we know the real value of yoga and how the world needs it now more than ever. This podcast is here to teach the strategies and tactics so we can thrive financially as yoga entrepreneurs. We are the Yax brothers and welcome to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets.
00:55 Alright. Good morning. Friday morning, and here we are, Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. And, we’re going over… Today I say we because I always say we. I am going over… John is here, he’s just not in the camera. He’s behind the camera and… I’m excited about this one. Because for years and years… so we opened up Hot House Yoga in 2005. Now, in 2005, it was… the whole industry was totally different. I mean, this is now 15 years ago. And so, like, it was so new. What we were doing, yoga studios were still like, it was not super common to have yoga studios in the area, in… like in the marketplace. Like there was… it was beginning, but we were like right on the cusp of like this whole idea of yoga really exploding. And so, we had the benefit of that because it was so new that just saying yoga was like enough of what in the marketing world is called a pattern interrupt for people to be like, “Wait a second. Yoga? Like, what are you talking about? What is this thing that you call yoga? What are these postures? Let me check it out.”
01:57 But, what we want to talk about today is, what we did wrong back then, what we’ve learned since, and the power of understanding you’re who. So the whole training today is about who is your who. And to finish the story, back in 2005 when we started, we thought that yoga was for everybody. Now, it’s going to sound odd, because I truly believe yoga is for everybody. I believe wholeheartedly that there is a style of yoga in this world that’s being taught in some community that people live in, that is perfect for them to achieve the results they’re looking for. I know it’s true because I just believe wholeheartedly in the process, and understand the value of what’s the service that we’re providing as a yoga community.
02:41 Now, what I also understand is, the “what I do” isn’t for everybody. Back in the beginning, when we first started teaching, the way we would message to the market, to the people who we wanted to attract was, it’s for everybody, so hey, if you’re this or if you’re that and if this person or that person, you’ve got this experience or that experience, then we want you to be here, because we can help you. And, what I mean is, in every single message, that’s what we were saying. Whether we were broadcasting that on radio, where we were broadcasting that on TV, whether we were broadcasting that in a local newspaper, or magazine, or rag, it was like, we would list all of the things that we thought we could help, which was basically a list of everybody who’s ever… that we could ever think about who has had any problem ever in their life that we thought yoga could help, and we would list it. And what happened….
03:33 Now, like I said, in 2005 like just by saying we offered hot yoga, it was enough of like, okay, they list all these things. Like I may pick out one of their things for me, but I’m going to try it anyway. Now the market is so mature that doing that people are like, no, that’s not for me. Why? Because when you speak to everybody, you speak to nobody. And so what we want to really talk about today is understanding that you’re who, who it is that you want to serve is like the very first thing we need to figure out as yoga entrepreneurs, whether you’re in a yoga studio ownership role or whether you’re just like a solopreneur doing your thing and you know, offering yoga and all the different places that you offer yoga. Regardless, we want to get really clear on who it is that we serve.
04:13 And there’s a process that John and I have learned that we’re now teaching that has worked for us really, really well. And so we’re going to take you through the process today. Oh, we’ve just done a, an advanced teacher training where we taught this in depth. This is going to be more of a 30,000-foot view. Let me give you some of the ideas. And so there’s just not, I want to keep these, these trainings a little shorter and so there’s just not enough time to be able to dive into the real mechanics of this. But this should give you a good insight into like, okay, how am I marketing now and is it effective what I’m doing now and can I make the tweaks understanding this, that may help it be more effective cause we want to reach the people who we know we want to serve.
04:51 And so it starts by understanding who is your who. Now we’re saying who is your who because it’s kinda catchy. But what we’re really saying and the other way of looking at it is that who is your avatar or your ideal client? Now, why is it so important to figure that out? Because these are the people that you’re going to be spending your time with, that you’re going to be attracting into your world and like they’re going to be the relationships that you form and you want to make sure that the people that you are attracting are the people that you want to be with, that you know, one you can serve and two, that are going to appreciate what it is that you’re providing. Because we’ve been there where we had like those students who they weren’t the right fit. I don’t know how we attract on or what message they heard that brought them in.
05:34 But I knew this was not gonna work out. And there was a period of time where we kept attracting the wrong students and we was, because the message we’re sending was the wrong message attracting the wrong people. So my first point is that why this is so important is that when I’m in business, whether or not a business is a relationship that you’re forming with the people that you’re employing and, or you’re employed by or, and the people that are coming in that you’re servicing. And so we want to make sure that the people that we are servicing are the people that we enjoy hanging out with and that we know we can help. So understanding this is really important because it’s kinda like what I want to be in this for the long haul and I want to make sure that the people that are here, that I’m serving, that I’m seeing, that I’m communicating with and I’m talking to, that I’m helping are the people that I enjoy being around.
06:16 That’s just selfish. But it’s also important for the thriving in the sustainability of your business. Uh, so let’s start jumping into it. And what I want to talk about first is the three markets. The three markets are health, wealth, and relationships. Now, I don’t care like we’re talking about yoga, cause this is yoga entrepreneurs secrets. But anything that you as a service that you provide, what you’re really providing is one of these three things. Is it health? Is it wealth? Is it relationships? Now, what’s interesting when I flipped the page and what you’ll see is that any service or product can be sold within health, within wealth or within relationships, depending on the positioning. And so this is what I mean, that’s the other side. All right? So we have the market, you have HWR, health, wealth and relationships. And for our purposes, because we’re talking about yoga, the submarket.
07:09 So as you go down, you’re like, okay, I’m in health, but my sub-market is yoga. Like you get, start getting more detailed as to what it is that you’re actually providing. And as we go deeper, it’s then who am I actually serving? When I get deeper into this. And so market health market wealth market relationship, the sub market as you go deeper is like okay for us, let’s just say it’s yoga, right? Generally yoga for each one. No this is what’s cool is that we think, and you may think this too and it may be true for you and what you provide that yoga, if you just look at it for the face value of it, it’s health of course people are coming in, they’re getting stronger, they’re getting more flexible, right? They are getting the mental benefit of conscious movement and conscious breath, which is then helping them like the mental clarity that’s created, right?
07:55 You could even say that is helping the relationship with themselves. Cause if you look at the deep and the core of what yoga is, it’s our sense of self that we’re correcting in the totality of what yoga offers. So what’s so cool is that yoga can actually be sold or position in the health market, in the wealth market or the relationship market. And what I mean is when you get to your niche, I may decide that I want to serve people with post traumatic stress disorder, right? And so that puts me squarely in the health market because they are unhealthy mentally from a past traumatic experience. And I want to help serve them so that they can be free of the PTSD. Now we’re still in yoga and I could say, you know what, my niche, I’m a business coach and so I wanna help yoga studio owners or yoga entrepreneurs or online yoga businesses to make more money [inaudible] so you could be in the yoga business because up market you could be a business coach and be totally people make more money in the wealth market.
08:57 I hope this is making sense cause all of a sudden what you think you’re providing, you may realize, Oh, you know what? I have a different niche. I’m pretty sure the people I’m talking to right now is we’re going to be squarely in the health and maybe the little bit in the relationships, but this is important just to understand the framework so that you can find out where your positioning is and then understand who it is that you want to serve. So this is at the beginning framework that’s going to help us get to that hoop. Now I could also say in relationships I teach yoga, but I teach yoga for marriages, right? I am a couples relationship yoga expert and that may be true. You may have gotten your training and it’s all around relationships. You may have been a therapist and then you got years yoga certification.
09:36 You find the blend, this beautiful blend of what yoga can do for relationships and use your therapy sessions and create this beautiful experience for people that helps them with relationships, right? So it’s really cool to see understanding the market, understanding your sub market and where you fit is going to start really getting more, giving you more clarity as to who it is that you’re serving. Now at the, you may be saying like, Whoa, that’s a lot of information. How do I know? Well, what we always say and what we teach is look at the start point is to look at your story. What brought you to yoga? What were you struggling with that you wanted to resolve that yoga? Like then you found yoga and yoga helped you experience it so much so that you’re like, you know what, I’m coming a teacher and I want to serve.
10:22 I want to serve because I want to help people like come, like go through and get past what I’ve gone past. I want to share it with others and then I want to do it so much. So then I’m opening up a yoga studio and I’m gonna get people coming through the doors. Right? And so once you have that story in mind, what’s so powerful about that is then you’re then going to craft who you want to serve around that. Now it may not be your story. So we’re doing that. A thought in the beginning, the advanced teacher training that we were doing like two weekends ago, there’s a woman there who she is serving the PTSD community now. She didn’t have it herself, but she was a member of the military and the people that she saw within the military, her, like her team and her peers within that community, she saw suffering.
11:09 And so what she wanted to do was help those people. And funny enough, there was another gentleman who, who actually had the experience of PTSD, was in the war and came back and was struggling with it and yoga helped them. So we have two people like serving the market of people with PTSD. Now what’s really interesting is both of them are in the military, but as you go into it, so let me finish the point part. One of them was like, this is my story. I use yoga to overcome my struggles with PTSD. And the other one was like, I didn’t have it, but I am called to serve that community because I was part of the community and I see them struggling and now I know what I have as a gift of yoga can help them and so, but my point is still part of your story is going to be the people that you want to serve, whether it is your story specifically or a story of somebody in the community that has called you to serve.
12:02 Now next level, this is where we’re really getting into the nitty-gritty is so let’s just use this PTSD, yoga and health as the example. There’s various types of people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, right? And the example I just gave, part of that demographic is veterans who have been to war and have come back and they’re struggling. Another aspect of that is first responders, who every single day are putting their lives on the line and going into just unconscionable scenarios where their fight or flight system is like fired every single day. And that repetitive experience, whether it’s just one horrible experience or just the repetition of that, it just fires up the brain to be constantly on guard, right? And so they may be the type of person that you want to serve or people that have domestic violence in their past that have struggled to overcome that.
12:55 So even within the post-traumatic stress community of this, this type of niche that you want to serve, there are various types of people. Now this is what’s important as a service, what you’re providing for that specific person, the solution, the yoga, the product that you’re putting together isn’t necessarily going to change between veterans first responders or domestic violence people. But the way in which you attract those people must be different because the message I’m talking to a veteran about is not going to be the same message that I’m talking to someone who’s experienced domestic violence. So understanding your who crafts the message so that you can attract them attracted meaning, Hey, are you struggling with this? I have a solution. I, I’ve either been there or I’ve helped people get past what you’re experiencing. And then they’re like, yes I want to be past this.
13:46 And they say, what can I, what helped me? And you’re like, yes I can help you. And then all of a sudden you’ve attracted your who because you understood where your niche was, where they were, meaning what was their story? And then you told a story in relationship to what they experience, meaning your message to attract them because you related to them in an honest and authentic way. I hope this is making sense. This is so important. And so let me take it back to the yoga studio owners cause we have a lot of those in the group. So the yoga studio example is for most of us, I know there’s anomalies here, but let’s just take, I’m going to take, make a big sweeping generalization and say most of the yoga studio owners, they’re in the health market with the sub-market of yoga. And it’s general terms and like for us, this is our example.
14:34 Our niche is hot yoga. Within that market, we teach hot yoga. Everything we do, we turn on the heat and we do these two styles of yoga. Now, this niche for some of you may be on your Saara, maybe I and Gar, maybe Ashtanga. That may be your thing. Some of you have a studio where you’re like the where I do kind of everything all the time. There’s some challenges to that, but we’ll talk about it. So within that, I then have to know like this niche isn’t enough for me to know who that is. I have to get into saying like, okay, in my story, in my experience of what yoga did for me, who is it that I really serve? And my story is one of, initially it was pain. I was in martial arts physically in pain from the, the intense training that I was doing.
15:20 And yoga helped me alleviate that. And so I look at this and I’m like, Oh, I can speak to people who have body pain and they may not have the relationship of martial arts. That may not be the trigger of it. It may be aging, but I can still speak to the solution. The result that you can get from practicing at our studio in relationship to being out of pain. What I also know is I went through a period, right? Like as a business owner, as a father, as a husband, there are stressors in life that trigger me every single day and I know this practice helps me manage and alleviate that stress. Now the other third part, and I’ll talk about the broader, so this is my example and I, we actually have a, what’s called a funnel right now for our introductory package, and it’s John’s story of his acute stress disorder that happened because of martial arts.
16:10 So not only physical pain, but stress and how yoga helped alleviate from it. And so he tells his story on this landing page that encourages people to hear what he’s saying, to relate to what he’s saying. And then potentially come in and buy a two week unlimited to come in and try out to get the same result. So it’s so important. All of a sudden we have a message that we know who we’re talking to from our own experience or a person that our lives experience who were called to serve. And then we present that message within a story understanding what John talked about last time, vehicle, internal and external, false beliefs that the story helps to alleviate. So what we’ve done, the studies that we’ve found is that there are three big reasons why people come to yoga, right? So in whether it’s hot yoga, whether it’s a new start, when they think of yoga in the broadest terms of what they’re looking to alleviate, the results they’re looking for is stress relief, alleviation of body pain, and they want some type of alternative wellness.
17:07 Meaning the gym isn’t doing it for them anymore. Running’s not doing it for him anymore and they need something different that’s going to help them get the result they want. Whether it’s aging, then fighting the effects of aging, whether it’s just keeping the body in shape or whether like whatever it is, flexibility. So alternative wellness. The other thing is like in that is flexibility. So when I go back to the story I told them beginning in 2005 what we were doing was in every single one of these, Hey, want to get flexible, give back pain. Is life really stressing you out? And if you have one of those, but you see the others, what it says is, well that’s not really me, but when I now say, Hey, are you stressed? Here’s the story of my stress and how this hot yoga experience helped me and that’s it.
17:50 That’s the only message they get because then I know who to target because I know who my who is. My point with this is I then may have a different and different message to people with body pain. Now. Again, it may not be my physical body pain story, but it may be someone who I’ve helped give the result that they’re looking for. We have a friend who we’ve known for a long time. He came in with severe back pain, well he loves to surf and he wasn’t able to surf. It was literally like the passion that he’s most excited about in life. He wasn’t able to do. He’s come in and now he’s surfing. He’s like, he has a house in Nicaragua and he’s like planning on retiring early and going and living there and he was given that opportunity because of what hot yoga gave him the relief of his back pain.
18:31 That’s a powerful story. If someone has that and they feel how back pain is like been debilitating them in their life and it’s taking away the passions that they have, like the joy of living. That story is going to connect with them, but it wouldn’t connect with them if I also added and are you stressed and would you like to be more flexible state? My point is when you understand your niche and you understand your who, your who may be varied. Like in the yoga studio example, that’s why I wanted to outline this is that I’m not gonna devote all of my effort necessarily and say my whole yoga studio is devoted to body pain. You may choose to do that, but what we know is that there are the three types of people, and if I understand there’s three types of people and I understand what they’re dealing with, I can tell a story from people who we’ve worked with or our own story that can help attract them and get them to come in so they can achieve the same result that the story has told them that we’ve experienced.
19:22 So what we’re really saying is like niche marketing. Some of you have that very specific thing. I don’t, my sister who’s in this group, she wants to serve people with special needs. That is a very specific thing where she may not be in this stress, body pain, alternative wellness arena. She knows exactly and it’s a very specific type of person that she’s going to craft her entire studio, her entire business around serving that population. That may be it. But for us as a yoga studio owner, I am not focusing completely on one of these. I’m sending different messages to each one of those people to attract them. And what happens in that meaning I’m like paying for ads is I’m paying for information. Did that message work? It doesn’t mean it’s the wrong message. I may have just relayed it in the wrong way. The story may not have landed right.
20:13 I may have put it in the wrong in the wrong format. The headline may be off. I may be like missing the target within if you’re doing Facebook ads. So what’s really important is you’ve got to test it. And we’ve been doing this for 15 years and we’ve tested a lot and that’s why I can say confidently stress, body pain and alternative wellness. Now who’s got stress? Parents have stress, moms have stress, business owners have stress. So then in that I want to focus my attention on stress related to business owners. I can relate to them because I own a business, right? I can relate to parents because I’m a parent. You see what I’m saying? Like the sudden how even within this there are these little submarkets of people that you can attract. This is so important as as a yoga studio owner because wherever you land within the niche of what you do, understanding who you want to serve and understanding the story that got them to where they are allows you to send messages that relate to them that attracts their attention and hopefully brings them into your, your atmosphere, your orbit so that you can serve them.
21:13 The last thing is whatever this is, you got to make sure you deliver on it. Right? For us, we know that the methodology that we use within hot house yoga and what we teach and the concepts and the teacher trainings, it works. It works because we’ve been doing it for 15 years and we have the results, the social proof of people who have been practicing with for that long. And they’ve given us testimonials as to man, it’s changed everything in how I relate to stress and the stresses of my life. It’s totally like our friend who’s, I’ve got zero back pain. This is the place that’s done it for me. Right. So my point is, if it’s back to if you’re an Institute of yoga, are you sure that the classes that are being delivered to your students are giving them the experience that you’re promising?
21:54 Cause what we’re really saying with these when you get down to your who is your giving them a promise of some result and just make sure that you’re delivering on it. That’s the most important thing. So that was a lot. And I’ll try to condense it and keep it short, but I hope it was helpful. I know there was a couple of questions. John, will you, uh, do you know if that question all right, Karen, you said how to figure out why you’re marketing to a certain type. What makes you want to market to them? It’s a great question. So why you’re marketing to a certain type. It goes back to your story. Why? Like why are you marketing to a certain type of like the bigger why is that’s the only way your marketing is going to be effective. You have to know who you’re talking to.
22:35 If you don’t know who you’re talking to, then you have no idea how to craft the message, which is really just wrapped up in a story of someone’s struggle. They’re the solution for the result and then the achievement in the transformation that they experienced. So the why is this is like how you like broadcast the way in which you broadcast your message. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, then you don’t know how to speak to them. Now as far as that was, why would you choose one person versus another? Well, I would always say just go back to your story. Like why? Like who do you want to serve based on what you feel called to do for them? So for me it’s like I know the power of yoga because of how it helped me experience like a pain-free body and a stress-free mind.
23:19 Right. Funny enough. That’s why that’s like two-thirds of the reasons why people come in. Now I want to serve those people. I may decide I want to serve those people who are stressed, who are parents who I feel super call to because I know that the reality of when you’re stressed, what happens and how you treat your children is way different than when you’re like your mind is free and you feel good and you’re joyful about the experience of living and so the why is really like what do you, who do you feel called to serve and why would you want to serve them? Because you have this heartfelt desire to make real lasting change in their lives. That’s why we start with what is your story? Why did you get into yoga? Why are you teaching it? What was your experience or what was the experience that you had living where you were introduced to someone who is this type of demographic of person who now you want to serve because we feel so-called.
24:05 It’s got a spark. Why is because it has to spark passion if you’re in this for the long haul and so you really want to be like, like have longevity in this business. Who you’re serving has got to resonate with you deeply because at the end of the day, it’s the night. The value that you provide is what causes the money to come in, but that’s not why you’re doing it. You’re doing it because you feel this heartfelt desire to serve this person, to give them a result that they live a more passionate and purposeful life. That’s why this is so important is because you’re like narrowing down and getting super excited and passionate so that you can be within the struggle of what it means to be an entrepreneur, what it means to be a studio owner and all of the fires that come up. And you have this like it’s literally the fuel to keep you going every single day because you feel so passionate about serving that person or that demographic or that group of demographics of the people that you know we’re going to come in and that you can really help. That’s the reason. That’s why. So if there are any questions an after the fact, if you’re watching this as a replay, please put them in. Uh, let’s keep this as an ongoing conversation and we’re gonna keep delivering this the next week. We have another lot of training on Friday and please join us. Thanks
25:13 you so much and we’ll see you soon. Yes, thanks so much for listening to Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets. Do you have a question that you’d like us to answer raw and uncut on the podcast? If you want your questions answered, all you need to do is head over to Apple Podcasts, and do three simple things. One; rate and review telling us what you think of the podcast. Two; in that review, ask anything you want related to yoga, and three; if you want to shout out, leave your Instagram handle or name and that’s it. Then listen in to hear your question answered Live, raw and uncut. Join us next time on Yoga Entrepreneur Secrets Podcast. Thanks.
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