The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Now displaying: December, 2018
Dec 31, 2018

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

097: Focusing In On Your Niche [Consultation Call] with Susan Hopkinson




Do you have trouble finding your niche and communicating your unique offering as a yoga teacher to your audience? The niche work that you do in your business is an ongoing process, and it can be difficult to clarify that in your messaging. On this consultation call, Shannon guides Susan Hopkinson through some of her struggles in this area.


Susan Hopkinson is a writer, mother, and yoga therapist. She started practicing yoga in 1985 and became a yoga teacher in 1998. As a yoga therapist who has studied with teachers from all over the world, including Europe, India and North America, Susan believes in teaching people, not poses. On top of writing and teaching yoga, she also offers retreats in both Europe and India.


With such a wide array of services, Susan grapples communicating her niche to her audience. After teaching group classes for over 20 years, she finds her calling in teaching more 1:1 yoga therapy, but isn’t sure of how to convey that to her students. Shannon helps Susan identify some key strategies that will help her focus more on her niche - from updating her website to content creation for her newsletter, to becoming more active on social media.


This episode is full of great tips on how to effectively market your niche to your audience, and to make sure that people know about your unique offering as a yoga teacher. Whether you’re looking for ideas on how best to clarify your message or strategies for sharing content on different channels, this episode is sure to give you some ideas.


Key Takeaways:

[4:40] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Susan Hopkinson.

[6:29] Who does Susan work with, and what kind of work does she do with them?

[8:51] How would Susan define the work that she does?

[11:14] Susan explains more about her move away from group yoga classes to more individualized attention to the student.

[12:26] How is Susan finding students to work within her niche?

[14:53] Susan struggles with the guilt of not teaching group classes anymore. Shannon and Susan walk through her difficulties overcoming that guilt, and how best to tackle that.

[19:34] Susan's website does not immediately showcase her key value proposition. Shannon has some ideas on how she can niche down.

[22:12] What questions was Susan being asked in relation to the 1:1 work she wants to offer? Shannon and Susan discuss how that could fuel the content she was creating in her newsletter.

[26:09] Susan shares how she is using her newsletter to drive traffic to her website through the content she creates.

[29:08] How is Susan sharing content on social media channels? Shannon gives Susan some "homework" to up her game on social media.

[34:53] Susan and Shannon work through her calendar to create a more cohesive calendar that makes sense to her work style, commitments, and financial needs.

[40:20] Susan and Shannon talk through Susan's clientele and brainstorm ideas on booking clients, and some mindset issues associated with that.

[45:30] Susan touches on her challenge with offering yoga therapy - that if you're doing your job, the client will not be coming back.

[50:24] You need to create original content for social media. Shannon shares some ideas for creating original content with Susan.

[53:44] Video gets higher engagement than anything. Susan and Shannon work through if this medium would be a good fit for her.

[55:30] Shannon has some advice for Susan on picking the right season for each of her offerings.

[59:29] Get in touch with Susan via her website to book a session.

[1:01:33] Shannon suggests some activities you can try if you're looking to niche down and clarify your offering.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"90% of the time, I'm not working with postural yoga. I'm working with yoga around mindset, around focus, around working with mudra, working with mantra, working with all the different aspects of yoga that are a little bit more obscure nowadays." - Susan


"I get a lot of people coming that are the wrong people." - Susan


"We want to know immediately when we get to your homepage who you work for, and what you offer them." - Shannon


"Most of the time, it's that people have no idea what you do offer." - Shannon


"I try to keep my business in line with my yoga." - Susan


"The way I look at it is if you have repeat clients, it's because you're not doing your job. So it's kind of like you put yourself out of your own market." - Susan


"Video gets higher engagement than anything." - Shannon

Dec 24, 2018

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

096: How to Create a Yoga Practice Habit with Matt Kowald




How can you form a yoga practice habit? Do you want to do more in your yoga practice but find it hard to form a routine around it? Perhaps you’ve formed an unwanted habit you’d like to remove. Matt Kowald, co-author and co-founder of Yogis Journal, joins Shannon to discuss what it takes to create and maintain a yoga practice habit.


Matt is a varsity wrestler originally from Australia who now lives in Canada. His athletic life sparked an interest into habits, routines and journaling, and he began his yoga practice in 2013. Matt is a personal trainer and yoga teacher who has studied exercise, sport and rehabilitation science, and is currently studying kinesiology at Brock University.


The Yogis Journal is a beautiful journal rooted in the 8 limbs, with the intention of helping people create meaningful rituals and habits around yoga. Matt and Shannon dive into the intricacies of what it takes to form and maintain routines and habits, particularly around your yoga practice. Matt also has some great insights about self-love, following through on goals, and the science behind it all.


If you have been wanting to add in a new habit, or if you help yoga students with their at-home yoga practice, this episode is full of incredible tips and tricks. Stay tuned to the end of the episode to find out about the amazing offer Matt has for listeners, and Shannon has a gift for three lucky listeners as well!


Key Takeaways:

[4:16] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Matt Kowald.

[6:01] Shannon shares her experiences using the Yogis Journal in her yoga practice.

[8:59] What got Matt interested in the work of helping people with their habits around yoga?

[9:58] Matt is from Australia but moved to Canada. What brought him to Canada?

[10:59] What got Matt into yoga?

[11:32] How did Matt carve out the time for all his activities, university and designing the Yogis Journal?

[12:40] Coffee is a trigger for Matt to be more creative in the morning. How does that work?

[13:59] How can we build a habit of doing yoga daily? Matt explains the idea behind hot and cold triggers.

[17:04] What is Matt's suggestion for overcoming habits that have been formed that aren't very positive?

[20:27] What are Matt's thoughts on using a reward system as a motivator?

[21:51] The most important part is setting up a small step. Shannon and Matt discuss why even a small step in the right direction is a good thing.

[24:05] How can we cope with our perfectionist tendencies, or when we fall away from our daily practice?

[26:17] In terms of daily practice, how long does it take to form a habit?

[29:07] What's the best time of day to set up a habit?

[30:32] What is the best way to approach incorporating a yoga habit in our lives?

[32:11] Shannon and Matt talk through some of her own struggles with maintaining a daily yoga practice.

[34:32] What other tips has Matt learned through the years about forming habits?

[36:14] What is Matt's advice to people who feel that they want to make all the changes, all at once?

[39:12] Everyone sets goals for the New Year, but hardly anyone follows through on them. How can we come back to starting our habits again?

[42:12] What motivated Matt to create the Yogis Journal?

[45:47] Matt explains how he uses his own Yogis Journal as a trigger for himself.

[47:45] What other advice does Matt have for yoga teachers struggling with their practice or helping others set up their own practice?

[49:30] Check out Yogis Journal at the website, and do email Matt if you have any questions.

[50:33] Share your thoughts about this episode, your struggles with your personal practice and any other key takeaways with Shannon.

[53:31] Shannon is giving away three Yogis Journals - find out how you can participate in this giveaway!




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"Using the Yogis Journal is just a really fast way to be intentional and mindful about my day." - Shannon


"I initially discovered yoga trying to obviously become flexible for martial arts and wrestling, because it's really hard on your body, so yoga was that perfect... yin to yang." - Matt


"That's what a habit is. It's just a behavior that becomes automatic, and then we do that so that we can do other tasks, more complex." - Matt


"A hot trigger is something that reminds you to do the behavior when you need to do it." - Matt


"The biggest thing is to come from a place of self-love." - Matt


"If you want to make it a habit, consistency is important. Consistency over volume." - Matt


Dec 17, 2018

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

095: Making a CEO Business Plan with Shannon Crow



Do you feel like the CEO of your yoga business now? If you don’t, you’re not alone. It is easy to get caught up in doing the “Worker Bee” activities and lose focus of the “Queen Bee” activities you should be doing to keep your business going and growing.


On this episode, Shannon shares some things she has been doing in her own business over the past few weeks in terms of planning. Taking time off to align her vision with what she really loves to do, and her core values has helped her in her business. She has some insights and tips that will help you look at your business with intention, and mindfully.


Shannon takes you through the steps in this CEO planning process that can help you plan for the future, both personally and professionally. She guides you through each step, from meditation to setting goals, and how these steps relate to your yoga business.


This episode is for anyone who feels like they have a million and one ideas and directions they would like to go in, all at the same time, or anyone who always says 'YES' to commitments but struggles to fit that into their actual schedule. If you're looking to plan a better year, a better month, or are just assessing the state of your business at the end of the year, this episode will definitely make an impact on you.


Key Takeaways:

[6:22] Shannon gives a shout out to Schedulicity.

[7:03] Do you feel like the CEO of your yoga business right now? Do you feel like the “Queen Bee” or the “Worker Bee” in your business?

[8:09] Shannon gives thanks to a few people who have influenced the work that she has done over the years.

[9:20] Your inner teacher is the best guide for you. Connect with your inner teacher, however you need to do it.

[10:41] Shannon shares a personal story about how simple CEO planning can be, and how effective it is when added to your routine.

[13:50] Shannon shares her steps for CEO planning.

[15:10] Step 1: Meditate. Notice the thoughts that are coming in.

[17:28] Step 2: Practice free-flow writing. Don't restrict your thoughts and let them all flow out.

[20:06] Step 3: Become a scientist and analyse the data.

[22:29] Step 4: Create a Santosha page and another page that is the opposite of a Santosha page.

[25:48] Step 5: Write out your 4 areas of importance.

[29:33] Step 6: Focus on one thing.

[31:58] Step 7: Set measurable goals, systems, and habits.

[37:27] Share your own discoveries with this exercise with Shannon, and let her know if you would like to know about more systems!




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from Shannon Crow:


"I've learned that when I take some CEO time where I create a plan for my yoga business, it makes a huge difference."


"Your inner teacher is the best guide for you."


"Your inner teacher knows what you need and what your yoga business needs."


"Let's just really acknowledge that this kind of work takes some bravery. We're digging in and we're uncovering things, and sometimes it's the tough work."


"How were you a rock star in 2018?"

Dec 10, 2018

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 94: Instagram Content Strategy and Stories with Tyler McCall



Are you on Instagram? How are you using Instagram as a yoga teacher to market and grow your yoga business with intention? Tyler McCall, social media marketer, strategist, and coach for creatives joins Shannon on this episode to tell you how you can be using Instagram to generate profit, not just popularity, in your business.


Tyler has 10 years of experience working as a community organizer and also in the non-profit marketing and management world. He shifted into focusing on Instagram in 2015, and has since coached hundreds of entrepreneurs, and managed dozens of Instagram accounts.


We sometimes over-complicate things and get so caught up in collecting likes and followers, that we forget that we should be focusing on generating profit, not popularity, with Instagram. Tyler helps to demystify Instagram and shares how you too can become a rock star at using Instagram to tell captivating stories, build relationships and convert followers to fans, and make a profit.


If you're struggling with knowing how to use Instagram as a tool to grow your yoga business, here’s a tip: it's all about being intentional. Find out more about creating an Instagram content strategy with intention with Tyler!


Key Takeaways:

[4:35] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Tyler McCall.

[6:13] How did Tyler get started in creating strategy for Instagram?

[9:56] Tyler always puts text over his Instagram stories. Why does he do that?

[13:14] What is a content strategy on Instagram?

[15:10] Tyler takes us through creating a strategy.

[17:24] Shannon and Tyler discuss an example of how to apply this strategy for yoga teachers.

[20:25] How can yoga teachers approach Instagram stories? Tyler shares two questions that can help guide your process.

[26:34] What is Tyler's advice to people who are worried about not being "perfect" for an Instagram story?

[28:57] Tyler has a tip on how to create a good story.

[31:05] How many parts of a story should you post?

[33:15] The general rule for Instagram is to answer all DMs. How can you manage that?

[36:00] Shannon shares her experience with someone who did a video reply to her DM. Tyler speaks to why the different modes of communication on Instagram can help you grow your business.

[38:00] Tyler doesn't encourage people to outsource Instagram. Why not?

[39:55] Shannon and Tyler discuss sharing other people's posts or content on your own Instagram page.

[41:18] How does Tyler work with clients and how can you find out more about him?

[43:40] Tyler shares some final do's and don'ts for Instagram.

[47:00] Shannon shares her key takeaways and would love for you to do the same - leave a comment in the Show Notes, or start a conversation in the Facebook group!




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from Tyler McCall:


"A lot of us who are marketing online are not creating fully accessible content for people who consume content differently."


"What I found is that by adding captions to the screen, I'm able to maintain a higher retention rate because ... nearly half of Instagram stories users are not watching with the sound on."


"It all starts with a complete understanding of who you're trying to attract on Instagram."


"If you are using Instagram as a business owner, the goal is profitability."


"The goal is not popularity, the goal is to have a profitable business."


"You are the secret ingredient to your success in business and online in your marketing."


"Your job is to pay attention to your people and what they want to hear from you."


"Show up. Show up as you."


"Don't let your dashes turn into dots!"


"That responding [to DMs] is so important, because that's really where you build the trust and build that relationship with your followers."

Dec 3, 2018

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 093: How to Build a Home Studio with Jo Stewart and Rane Bowen




Have you thought of building a home-based studio? What does it really take to get a home yoga studio up and running? What are the challenges you might face, and the biggest pros? Jo Stewart and Rane Bowen are yoga teachers who not only had a home studio, but also built a new one, and on this episode, they reveal the nitty, gritty details of what it takes.


Jo has been teaching yoga for over ten years, and has completed over 2000 hours of teacher training. Rane is a newer yoga teacher, who got into teaching yoga after being diagnosed with stomach cancer and having his stomach removed in 2015. Rane is originally from New Zealand, but moved to Australia, where he and Jo live, teach yoga and host a podcast together.


Jo and Rane share their experiences in setting up their first home studio, and their process in recently building a new one. They dive into how they engage their followers on social media, and how they showcase their studio to generate publicity and grow their business. From the financial aspect of running a home studio, to the props you need, and even the challenges that come with setting boundaries - Jo, Rane and Shannon examine the intricacies of a yoga home studio.


If you’ve ever wondered about how to build and maintain not only a yoga studio but also your own personal yoga practice, this episode with Jo and Rane is sure to give you some deep insights and actionable steps.


Key Takeaways:

[5:19] Shannon introduces her guests for this episode - Jo Stewart and Rane Bowen

[7:02] What got Jo and Rane started in yoga? What was their first yoga class like?

[10:01] What led Jo and Rane to start the podcast?

[12:21] Why did Jo and Rane decide to open a yoga studio?

[13:17] Jo talks about their journey of opening their yoga studio, and now recently re-doing the space.

[15:31] Jo shares some of her fears, concerns and joys around starting from scratch to rebuild the home studio.

[18:03] What are the challenges of having your own space vs teaching at other spaces?

[21:03] How many people can Jo and Rane's home space accommodate?

[21:41] What are some of the big pros of having your own space?

[23:50] Jo speaks to the financial aspects of setting up and running a home studio.

[25:57] Rane shares more about his other gigs in addition to teaching yoga.

[29:13] What are some of the things that really make a good space?

[34:02] What are some of the essential props necessary for a home studio?

[36:41] How many other teachers use the space?

[38:57] Jo highlights some of her success with print advertising and getting the word out about the studio.

[43:00] Shannon and Jo walk through the process from a students' perspective.

[44:07] What are some policies or rules they've had to establish for their space?

[47:02] How does Jo keep in touch with students in between classes?

[48:24] One-on-one vs. group classes. Jo breaks down the makeup of the classes she teaches.

[49:47] What do Jo and Rane see in the future for their business?

[52:42] What advice do Jo and Rane have for other people who are working together as couples?

[55:31] Jo and Rane share some advice for yoga teachers.

[57:39] What are some things that help in their own practice?

[59:42] Jo and Rane leave us with some final thoughts for teachers who are doubting themselves or feeling isolated.

[1:04:12] Get in touch with Jo and Rane via their website, Facebook group, and on social media!

[1:04:51] Shannon would love to hear from you - do reach out to connect with her virtually or in person!



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"Yoga just kinda got me out of that tortured artist paradigm. It really helped me creatively, but also just mentally and emotionally - I just got so many benefits from it." - Jo


"I never liked the idea of signing a lease, and having a whole lot of financial pressure on me as new business was growing, so always just made sense to me to do it at home!" - Jo


"You don't want to leave all of your promotion and stuff till the end. Get started early! Share your vision, share your ideas!" - Jo


"If you are not putting a load of energy into your home space, you don't often get a lot of people coming." - Jo


"It's almost like you're just going and hanging out with some people, and sharing some stuff that you really enjoy doing with them." - Rane


"We're a body-positive studio, we're really inclusive, and we really wanted to show different ages, different body types, just like yoga is for everyone." - Jo


"If you want to work on your self-love, and just feeling good about yourself -  that's what this practice is for!" - Jo