Understanding your yoga studio’s signature story

Similar to the elevator pitch to a total stranger, the signature story of yourself and your business tells a tale of transformation in your life.

SNEWS attended the Yoga Journal Live conference in Estes Park, Colo., Sept. 14-21, 2014, and throughout the next few weeks, we’ll bring you coverage from the event with news, education and trends from one of specialty retail’s fast-growing sectors.

Branding is a vital factor in the success of any business, so as a yoga teacher and studio when you’re the business, and what you’re trying to sell is yourself, it’s imperative that people know who you are and why they should trust you. A teacher or studio must connect on an individual level with the students, making them feel comfortable, safe and confident.

In Karen Mozes and Justin Michael Williams’ presentation “Marketing 101: The Truth about Social Media and Videos,” part of Yoga Journal Live!’s full-day course The Business of Yoga, the duo discussed many topics, one of which was the importance of branding.

The key takeaway on this topic: Perfect your signature story. Similar to the elevator pitch in that it’s a succinct way to convey information to a total stranger, the signature story tells a tale of transformation in your life. It must bring the audience into the story, present an area of vulnerability and explain how you overcame the difficulty. Be sure to incorporate a defining moment where you made a decision that forever affects how you live.

In the yoga realm, teachers and studio owners should include their “decision that yoga was going to be the thing that you do in the world. You stepped into your full power,” Mozes said. And make sure that moment is in the past, in other words, a transition navigated successfully.

At its most basic core, your signature story tells your audience, essentially your potential customers, a bit about you and what makes you different from the rest. It gives people a reason to choose you.

“It’s not about the color on your website, not how your business card looks. Those are important, but it's not what’s going to help you stand out,” Mozes and Williams said. “The power of you knowing your story is what’s going to help you stand out.”

Knowing your signature story also gives you solid ground to return to whenever things get difficult.

“No matter how far advanced, we have to come back to the primary questions of who are you, what are you here to do and how are you going to give this message from a place in your heart, not from what you think you should sound like.”

-- Courtney Holden

To boost your business acumen in person, check out the next Yoga Journal Live conference, which will feature a similar Business of Yoga daylong workshop.

>> Hollywood, Fla., Nov. 13-17, 2014

>> San Francisco, Calif., Jan. 15-19, 2015


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