How to Grow Your Yoga Teacher Brand – Part One
Congratulations. You’ve done the training, you’ve got the certificate, and you’re bubbling to share your yoga with the world. This three part series will help you define and grow your brand.
by LUCY EDGE – Adland Brand Girl turned Yoga School Dropout turned wannabe Down Dog Billionaire
Part one – write your manifesto
Why do we love companies like Apple, Ben and Jerry’s, Innocent? Because we don’t just know what they do, we know why they do what they do. This sense of purpose usually stems from a strong founder. Steve Jobs got us all thinking different because he did. A purposeful stand acts as a magnet – attracting new people who share the same beliefs, the same sense of purpose.
Branding yourself as a teacher is the same deal. You need to get clear about what gets you out of bed everyday, why you do what you do, and then you need to communicate that to your people, and the world beyond. You’ll draw like-minded souls who share your purpose, and you’ll build a thriving business.
A brand manifesto is a powerful expression of your purpose and values. It’s an inspiring narrative that motivates you, and sparks like-minded people to join you, creating a sense of belonging and being part of something bigger, something meaningful, something that matters.
Writing your Brand Manifesto
Set aside some proper time. Get some big piece of papers and some big fat pens. Pin the definition of a manifesto on the wall so you’re clear. Think about your favourite brands and why you love them. Think about what you love about teaching. Think about how you feel when you teach. Think about why you feel that way.
Then ask yourself these questions. I’ve divided them into three sections for ease of use.
Be sure to write down all your answers. No judgment. You’re just trying to get the ideas down at this stage.
Question One: What gets me out of bed every day?
What excites you about teaching yoga? What’s your big idea? Your shared purpose? What do you want to rally people behind? What’s your plan for a better world? What’s wrong with the status quo? What do you want to change? What do you want to disrupt?
Holstee wants you to live your dreams, and appreciate every last bite.
Escape the City wants you to do work that matters to you.
Question Two: Who is with me?
Which tribe is on my side? Who has my back? Who will want this too? Why will they want it?
Levi’s want to enfranchise disenfranchised Millennials.
Ted believes the future belongs to the curious.
Question Three: What actions demonstrate my intent?
Why should anyone believe me? What behaviour demonstrates that I mean what I say? What do I choose to do even though it actually costs me time/money?
Patagonia’s Worn Wear programme repairs 40,000 garments each year to help preserve the wild and the beautiful.
Everlane protests against Black Friday excess by shutting down their website.
Putting it together
Some of these questions may help you more than others. That’s okay. The point is to provide the stimulus for what comes next.
Award a star to your favourite statement in each section. Take the favourite statements and decide the common themes.
Write your manifesto
Set yourself up at your kitchen table with all the notes, a working pen, and, if you’re feeling particularly kind to yourself, a packet of chocolate digestives.
Use the active voice – speak as an agent of change:
Use active verbs like embrace, climb, choose. This will create a sense of shared ownership, and create momentum behind your ideas.
Do your words justice.
Ask a friendly designer to lay out your manifesto for you. Or use a free software template like Canva. (Their infographic template is particularly well suited to manifestos.)
Invite your yoga buddies round for down dogs and high fives.
Post your manifesto on social media and tag us – we’ll repost you, and share the best manifestos on a follow up post.