In this episode, John and Chris will address an issue that is in every yoga studio owner’s mind right now as we head closer to the new year. That is the issue of how to succeed in the business in 2020 in the midst of an increasingly competitive environment where big box gyms are becoming an everyday threat.
Yoga studio owners are very concerned that the big box gyms are going to take over the yoga industry and demolish all the mom and pop yoga studios by incorporating yoga that will compete with them in a way that they won’t be able to keep up. Big box gyms and corporate-style yoga entities like CorePower have very deep pockets and therefore, millions of dollars to spend on marketing, and so the only way to compete with them is by doing things differently.
John and Chris will share the five main things that yoga studios can do to achieve that and succeed in 2020. They are; telling stories, creating a high barrier to entry introductory offers, combining online and offline, discovering the activation point for your students, and shifting from experience-focused to results-focused programs. They will dive into each of those things in detail, so you can learn how to immediately implement them in your yoga studio to stay ahead of the competition and grow your business. Stay tuned for more.
Key Points Discussed:
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This episode was released January 1, 2020
Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors
00:00 Number one is, focus on storytelling. Number two is, create a higher barrier to entry offers. Number three is, utilize online and offline to create more of a nurturing process for those people. Number four, discover the activation point for your students. One of your number one KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and number five, shift from experience-focused to results-focused programs.
00:26 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.
00:57 Alright. So, the question is, “What are the trends for yoga studios that will lead to success in 2020. Are big-box gyms going to take over the world? Is CorePower going to demolish all mom and pop yoga studios? And, are the gyms going to start incorporating yoga that will compete with you and put you out of business?” And, what are most gyms charging, Chris? $10 for a membership? $10 a month? Aaah man. It’s much… any much more than that. I think one is $10 a month. But so, the question is, “How can we compete in that environment?” Because they’re not going away. Right? We know like, our brother owns two yoga studios up in Northern… it’s Northern Virginia, but it’s not really like, Northern Virginia when you think about it. Yeah, more central. A little more central. And, the Capital Richmond and CorePower Yoga is opening up two places. I’ve had conversations about them, and he’s like, slightly concerned, not too much, but like, that’s the reality of it.
01:53 We’re in a Facebook group about the yoga studio owners, and man, there’s a lot of threads that are about, “Man, what do we do that, CorePower Yoga is coming in. Other big-box gyms are offering yoga. Everyone around the corner is offering free pop-up classes here and there. And like, I just can’t compete anymore.” So, what we want to talk about is, how can we compete in that environment? Because if you think about it, any big box gym that is offering yoga, or any corporate style yoga place like CorePower, or the like, have deep pockets, guys. They have millions of dollars to spend in marketing, in their marketing campaigns. And so, they can come in and just blow us away on competing in the marketing… In the marketing world, unless we’re doing something different. And so, what we want to talk about, there are five main things that yoga studios, people like you and I, that we can do to make 2020 our best year and to future proof us against some of these giants coming in and trying to take over. This year has been one of our best years. Revenue wise, attendance-wise, hands down one of the best years that we’ve ever had.
02:54 And it’s not a coincidence that, this has been the year that we’ve spent most on business coaches, like literally joining masterminds with people who are committed wholeheartedly to making their business the best business ever. Right? And all of these different industries too. So not just, like we didn’t join masterminds of yoga people and yoga studio owners, but masterminds of people who are in, like mingling with people in e-commerce, totally online, consulting, coaching, information products, offline. There’s like, gyms, and physical therapists, and like, people who are. So, all of these varied industries and we’ve been talking to people like having one on one conversations with people who are… we are… That’s the idea. I don’t know if like, if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, “I don’t know what a mastermind is.” Essentially, it’s a small group of people who have joined this, that group to connect, to share information, to talk about best practices, things that work, things that don’t work.
03:51 Typically they’re led by like the guru, like the marketing or the business coach guru who’s giving you their guidelines, their frameworks to help you. But so we’ve gotten that and we’ve gotten the on the ground boots on the ground. What are these other people doing? And if what I know is that when you are able to mix different modalities and different industries and you see what someone who likes you would think like has nothing to do with your business at all, like an information online, completely product business. Like how does that relate to yoga? Well, what you get is these really creative ideas that can help you in your business. And so that’s what we’ve been doing for this year and it is not a coincidence that this has been our best year. And so we want to do is share what we’ve learned from them, share what we’ve implemented and tailored to yoga this year and what we plan on doing in 2020 to help you crush 2020 as well.
04:42 Because the common denominator in what Chris was just saying guys, is that you can be an expert in yoga and you can be an expert in martial arts and you can be an expert in making quiz arts or whatever your expertise is. I don’t know what quiz arts are. I don’t need it. So it’s like a widget. It’s John’s form of a widget. Google it. Yeah. That was a way to us. I was actually trying to think of the word widget and I was like, I quit art. He’s just going to start saying random words. If I just start throwing random words out, I apologize. It’s been a long day, but the common denominator guys is that we need to understand marketing and advertising in order to create success in our businesses. We have to understand business in order to create success in our businesses. When we started this, we’ve talked about this before, but when we started we thought, okay, I can just be the best yoga teacher and I’ll draw people to me just for that reason and I can kind of shoot from the hip when it comes to business.
05:35 No, you cannot. You can be the best and you can be broke, right? You can be kind of on the average, but understand business, marketing, advertising and being the most successful, wildly successful. So this is part of what we want to talk about today in this podcast. Let’s get into, let’s get to the five things. We’re gonna run through these things. Some of them going to dive deeper in later episodes, but number one, now we’re going to say this is for 2020 but this is actually probably going to be as long as you ever are in business for the rest of eternity. That’s a huge statement, but I’m pretty sure it is. And number one is focused on telling stories, your features. The product itself is not why people buy from you. It’s not why they come to your yoga studio. What creates the epiphany is the story.
06:26 Now, when I say epiphany, the realization, if you take it back like what got you into yoga in the first place was a story. Most likely you heard it from a friend, you read it somewhere. This experience that somebody had, maybe it was a teacher that told you their story or maybe it wasn’t, but somewhere along the line, a story is what you heard of a success in yoga that was like, you know what? They have similar pain, a similar problem that I have that and they had that result. I want to go check it out. It’s what stories do is hold up beliefs and so we all have beliefs are actually what drive us, right? What make us, what causes us to make the decisions that we make in our lives. Steer us in specific directions. Every single belief that we have is held up by a story.
07:12 We’ve talked about this before, but somebody coming in or not coming into your studio being a part of what you do, they have a belief that is either holding them back or going to push them towards you. Now that belief is held up by a story. When we tell our story to that person, they have a belief about yoga. Yoga. Yeah. It’s, it’s really, uh, it’s, it’s super, it’s too spiritual for me. I don’t want to like go into a room and like sniff incense and chance and like it’s too fufu and weird for me. So that’s a belief. And they had that belief came from a story that they’ve experienced directly or heard from a friend. When we come in and say, here’s our story about yoga, about how I got into it, about, about how my significant other got into about how my friend got into it and it changed their life.
07:58 We can replace that story that held up that belief in that person’s mind and shift the belief to make them, make them, to encourage them to come in and practice. Right. It’s all storytelling is so, so, so, so, so powerful. It is one of the most important things that we can learn to do. Tell good stories and I think we did a whole podcast episode before on actually how to tell stories, but telling stories is going to be your number one thing. Yeah. The art of it is to be able to tell it in one sentence and be able to tell it in 10 minutes. That’s where the craft has to be cultivated over time. Okay, so that’s number one. Tell stories. Number two creates a high barrier to entry. Introductory offers as a mouthful. What we mean by high barrier to entry is charge more, increase the price at some point.
08:48 I don’t know when it was but it was back in 2005 I was already like prevalent in the yoga industry is a low barrier to offer. Meaning I think like one of the most famous ones is 30 for 30 $30 for 30 days of yoga. You what I’ll add to that is where they got it, where I think yoga studios got it from was where gyms were doing, cause all the gyms went through that phase of, and if they’re still doing it to this day, very low barrier to entry offers 30 days for $30 come in and just use the gym up as much as you want and we’ll get you in. And so yoga as yoga studio owners, we were like well who do we model? We just model the gyms that are doing it around us. And so all of a sudden yoga studios started doing the same thing 30 days for $30 or two weeks for $2 or 10 days for $10 and we’ve created this low barrier to entry offers, which is commoditizing yoga.
09:36 Meaning people are just going around and saying, what’s the cheapest thing I can do? And so when we take it back to how we started this, like the trend is like the big box gyms are going to offer better yoga, VF Corp powers and the like coming into all of your to your towns and they’re going to start competing. And if you don’t have the amount of money that they have, you can’t compete. I core power yoga, they do a week for free. Why? Because they have money, they have capital that they can spend money on advertising, on marketing at a loss, meaning they’re not getting any of that money back. There’s throwing these ads, you’re throwing this marketing information out there and losing money in the process to acquire leads to acquire students coming in for free and then they can wait. They have the time, the luxury of time to be able to wait for them to sign up after the fact before they start making money.
10:31 In fact, in certain instances it takes six months for these big box gyms and yoga places to actually make money off acquiring clients. I know personally we cannot do that. We would go out of business and now you if prior to that you didn’t have to worry about that, then you could do 30 for 30 and it may be working. But my question is always, what does working mean? How many of those people stick? How many of those people leave? How much of them coming in? Like does it like what is it that when they come in like there’s service that has to be provided. Are you paying for people to be at the front desk? You’re paying teachers like you’re paying people. There’s a cost to just deliver the experience of what you’re offering. Your studio’s meaning. So if you’re not making money on the introductory offer and you have people coming in and kicking the tires of your studio to see if it’s right or not.
11:21 And they don’t stick. All of a sudden you’re working harder, you’re spending more money, you’re not making any money and you’re hoping that these people will stay around and they’re not. So the aim in 2020 is increasing what you’re charging for your introductory offer. And to be able to do that, you have to be able to create more value in the offers. So you have to understand how to make better offers. We’ve done a podcast on that before. Yeah. So fall in love with your clients. Fall in love with your students, like blow them away with the value that you give them and like do that normally. But if you can do it on the front end, you create a hybrid install for you, charge more for it and the blown away with the value you give to them. They will stick with you forever.
11:58 They’ll fall in love with what you’re doing. They’ll realize this is what I want to do and it will differentiate you from the big box gyms and the big yoga corporations that are coming in because they won’t do it. They’re just going as many people coming through the door as possible and they’re just putting their marketing dollars behind that. They’re not going to do this in the 2023 for three. Number three, combine online and offline, right? Create Facebook groups and deliver content, right? Give nurture people online. Create a connection online because that’s what’s lacking, right? People coming in and just coming in and practicing and practicing and practicing and not actually getting a deeper connection is not helping in your attrition is not helping the people that are coming with you stick with you because they don’t feel that connection. If we can create, now obviously it’s hard to create that connection one-on-one.
12:51 There are ways you can do that, right? Having like get-togethers and things like that, which are super important, but if you can add to that an online component, you’ll blow people away. It’s just a way of what are the idea is like brainstorm all the different ways you can connect and we have to be able to utilize this online platform. Now, Facebook groups are probably the biggest thing right now where you can get your new people into an online community and then speak to them, talk to them, let them understand what you believe in. Like, let them like download your belief system and the culture that you’ve created within your studio. There’s this awesome Ted talk by Simon Sinek and he talks about the why and the why is more important than the how and what most people lead with the web. What are you going to get?
13:33 You’re going to get hot yoga, you’re going to get yoga. It’s going to be this going to be that. Here’s all the, here’s the features. You love benefits. People don’t care about that until after they understand what you believe in and why. So what we’re saying is number three, use online and offline. If you’re not delivering that and you don’t have a process by which you can deliver that in your yoga studio and you’re just hoping that the teachers are articulating that and that you’re there enough to connect with them like you’re just leaving too much to chance. And so what you can do is create a Facebook group as an example and use it to transmit your belief, transmit your why so that they understand what you believe in. And if they believe in the same, then you have a way higher chance of them sticking around and being your student over the longterm.
14:14 The other quick addition, I’ll give it to this one to number three, is to create online courses. If you can add to people coming in and practice with you live with online courses that they can do a home study course about the yoga that you teach, right? That process and the system that you teach at your studio, you can create an online experience for them where they can study online. It creates that deeper connection. It’s nurturing them. It’s like an indoctrination into your process, which will just reinforce them wanting to practice with you. So that’s number three. Number four is what we call to discover your activation point, an activation point. So in every industry, there is like whatever it is that you offer, we’ll talk about yoga. There is a point at which it activates someone’s desire to stay with you and you have to figure that out.
15:03 I don’t know what it is for you. I don’t know how many so but is a number of classes within that introductory period when they are trying to kick your tires of see if like what you do is right for them. There is a point at which if you can get them to practice that number, whatever that magical number is. For us we just realized or preliminary reports are 5.64 times within a two week period, 5.64 times in a two week period. That means we basically have to have someone practice three days a week for two weeks and we know once that person hits that number, the probability that they will become a member jumps like 70% versus someone who’s under that number. You have to figure out that activation point for 2020 like and if you have a software system you definitely just dig in like we have my body.
15:48 It took a little bit. It takes a little time to figure it out, but it is worth the time and effort because once you understand it, then you can focus all of your time, all of your energy, all of your effort to creating that front end, what we’ve talked about, the high barrier to entry, offer and focus, all of your attention on creating the incentive and the guarantee to get them to that Mark, whatever that number is. If I promise, if you do that, it will make the biggest difference in your conversions into membership. It’s one of the most important KPIs that you can find guys. It’s the KPIs, key performance indicators. It’s digging into your numbers and figuring out what that activation point is. It will change your business. Last one. Number five, shift from experience focused to results-focused programs. What does that mean?
16:34 Experience focused programs don’t give any indication of a result. There’s nothing tangible as to what I will get from it. Come in and practice well. It’s going to feel amazing, challenging, challenging. You’ll do yoga and you’ll have the suit. It’ll be a cool experience and hot. It’s going to be invigorating. You’re going to feel relaxed and you’re going to feel like it’s funny cause you’re like, well relax. Isn’t that a result? Yes. But how tangible is that? How can I like how can I define that and make it relevant to how that’s going to make me a better person, a better husband, a better father, better son, better whatever. Cause when it comes down to it cause we want, we all were searching for results. Now obviously your yoga, your what you’re offering gives people results, but what we’re saying is you have to articulate that.
17:21 You have to let people know that they are going to get these results, X, Y, and Z results. If we don’t and we leave it up to, well I have a yoga studio and so you’re going to come in and have a yoga experience. It doesn’t motivate people. What does that mean? Like it’s not specific enough. If you say, well, I’m going to, I’ll guarantee, right? You may even put a guarantee on it. I guarantee that you come into practice with me for six weeks, that you will be this much more flexible. You’ll be this much stronger, you’ll be, you’ll have much less stress and you’ll have X amount increase in energy and energy, right? Maybe a little bit hard to quantify that, but you think about a little bit. I can quantify flexibility. I can quantify stress levels and quantify strength levels. I can quantify energy levels simply at the very least just by asking people to a one through 10 you know, and make it a results-driven focus that you’re giving to people so that when you express this to people, they can see their finish line in their mind already.
18:20 And this is the difference between results and experience. And then that brings us back to number one, which is to tell stories because how are you articulating the results through a testimonial, through a story that you have gathered from the people who have already gotten the results that this person wants. So let’s repeat it. Number one is focused on storytelling. Number two creates a higher barrier to entry offers. Number three is utilizing online and offline to create more of a nurturing process for those people. Number four, discover the activation point for your students. One of your number one KPIs, key performance indicators. And number five, shift from experience. Focus to results. Focus programs. Yeah. So as you go through this, yes, it takes time to gather testimonials. Yes. The activation point, it’s going to be an iterative process. Meaning it’s going to, you’re not going to nail it on the first one, right?
19:10 If you don’t have the reporting, then you gotta like put it together. Ask people how many times they practice, look at him, log him, go old school, get pen and paper. But if finding it, it’s worth the time and the energy and the effort because then it focuses all of your attention to the one thing that you know moves the needle. Yeah. So if somebody were to do all of this stuff, Chris, what does it look like to pull this stuff off? Like what do, how’s it gonna affect their businesses? How’s it gonna affect their, their studios? It’s going to allow you to make money on the front end. Not lose money, but you can actually make money acquiring students and those students become members. So you will make money on the front end, you’ll increase your memberships and you create more buy into your culture.
19:50 They have, you have aligned your beliefs with their beliefs and that creates lifelong students. Isn’t that the opposite of what business school teaches though? Yes. Yes. Oh my gosh. In some ways, yes, yes, yes. The other thing, reduce churn. Yeah. Well, that’s if you have lifelong students, that’s naturally going to reduce churn, right? So membership people less cancellation and then number three-digit number three yet. Yes. That has more bind to your culture. John said it all, man, said it all. He said he’s on top of it. Rock and rolling. Right? That’s all we got. So follow those things for 2020 implement one at a time, right? Each quarter. Try one. What we’re doing right now at the time you’re listening to this today is the launch of our six-week fountain of youth challenge. Everything we just talked about is in this challenge, right?
20:41 It’s defined and there are results-based. It’s a higher barrier to entry offer and the front end. What a huge online and offline component offline. There’s huge value. We are going to change people’s lives. There’s indoctrination. We have online courses, right? The digital products that they’re going to use to help ensure that they have the results that we’re promising. Facebook group, we gathered testimonials of people who have been practicing with us who felt like yoga. What we do is the fountain of youth and so we gathered those. We put them on the landing page. We’ve been putting it on social, like everything we just said is what we’re utilizing is what we’ve been doing. Parts and pieces over 2019 2020 we are, this is what we are committed to and we hope that you do the same because we know this is the key to success in battling what is coming.
21:27 The trend of big-box gyms offering yoga and these core power yoga is coming into our towns and trying to take us down. We will not stand for that. No, and this is how we will stand up in defiance. If you found this valuable, please rate, review and subscribe and we would love it. It means to like the world to us. And if you want more of this type of information, then please join our yoga entrepreneurs secrets Facebook group and we just give all this information out for free like we’re doing on the podcast. So thank you so much for listening and remember, do the work, honor the struggle, make the world a better place.
22:07 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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