Getting Started with Private Classes
Teaching has always been a trial-by-fire job. This means, the only way to become a good teacher is to teach. You cannot and will never progress with teacher trainings alone. I was always a teacher. I was a nurse for a couple of years and then I taught English for nearly 10 years until I decided to change my subject. One of the things that got me started was private classes. I was able to hone my skills without the pressures of a group class, while I saw the real-time progress of my student. It was one of the best experiences I had teaching. It is something I have carried over to my current profession.
Private classes, like retreats and workshops are one of the biggest earners when it comes to a yoga teacher’s roster of services.
Private classes, like retreats and workshops are one of the biggest earners when it comes to a yoga teacher’s roster of services. Even if you only have a couple of private classes, it can boost your monthly income by as much as 200 - 400€ a month. You only have to worry about one student, you can track their progress much better, and here at Momoyoga, we support private classes. We even have a feature for it on our platform–making it that much easier for you to add private classes into your services!
The only downside is the extra commute, which is part of being a teacher anyway. How do we get started with the business model of private teaching? Read on and I will take you through the necessary steps from an effective sales pitch and client maintenance.
Private Classes : A Starter Guide
Step 1: Who Do You Want to Market for?
I’ve always said, you can’t please everybody and you shouldn’t try. The same goes for your business. Knowing who you want to target will determine the kind of marketing plan that fits your demographic. This goes the same for private classes.
Your target cannot be everyone even if you are willing to travel to see them. Why?
- Because not everyone will want classes from you
- You will not be able to provide for everyone’s needs
- Going into private classes without a clear presentation will make it seem like you went into this business half-baked–as if you didn’t think things through.
Take the time to look at your strong skills as a teacher. How you can make it your niche? Maybe even combine disciplines or add a spiritual aspect to your service to make a specific well-rounded session that will pique your desired client’s interest. Be creative. What do you want out of a private class? Chances are there will be others like you.
Step 2: It Starts With Your AD
When you write about your services you have to think about these key factors:
- What your service is about
- What sets you apart
- How much?
Whether it’s a short blurb or a long scroll down til the end of the webpage, a good ad needs to cover these basic aspects. Your offer, your specialty, and your price–which is probably the trickiest of all. To come up with your advertisement, you will need to do a bit of objective reflection. What are your strengths as a yoga teacher, what areas need help? etc. In my case, I may not be able to teach hand balancing but since I was a nurse, I was very good at explaining why we do poses a certain way or a certain order. Which drew in clients that were looking to correct something in their body. These are some of the things you may consider when coming up with your personalized service. As for the price, I consider the place I live in and see how much yoga studios are charging monthly for their classes as a group. If they charge 50 euros a month for 4 sessions , that’s what I charge per class and work out how to bring that down if a client pays in bulk. It’s up to you if you want to discount at 5-10% increments, the point is your price should usually be in proportion to the place you live in. This way you don’t step on other yoga teachers in the community and you don’t overvalue your service which is bad on your image. Take some time to find your balance that serves your business and your community.
Step 3: The Beauty of a Discovery Class
The discovery class is a sample 15 - 20 minute taster class of what you’re offering followed by a private consultation for the rest of the hour on your client’s needs and goals regarding their yoga practice. What makes it great is that you hit so many birds with one stone in this session. As a teacher you showcase the uniqueness of your classes, you can assess the actual skill level of your student. With this you can estimate when the client can achieve their goals. To top it off, you offered all this for free which gives you a generous image. Why? Because you start and finish off strong which is the point you want to be in when you present your price points. I have tried this myself and it has worked out quite well. They will usually sign-up even if it’s only for the month, but that’s ok, you’ll have space for the next one.
Step 4: Have a Starter Pack and Push for That
Starter pack is 4 sessions a month which comes out as 1 class a week. What sets it apart? The discount for paying in bulk. If you charge 50 euros per private class, but the starter pack is 175€, each class comes out as 43,75 €. That’s a 12% discount. Pricing your services, like yoga is all about finding balance. You need to consider the cost of living in the community, the demographic, the number that benefits you, and a discount to make it more appealing for your students. I know pricing can be difficult. It is both an internal and external process but you have to remember, you are not a monk––and that’s ok! Canvas the local studios in your area, connect with a few teachers. Google the local rates for personal trainers or start a thread with your friends. Keep your focus group small though, the bigger you go the more opinions fly out of nowhere.
Step 5: Have a System for Flexibility
Soon enough, you will build a rapport with your private clients. You will connect and sometimes the camaraderie you build will ultimately cause a few financial setbacks. When vacations, short notice cancellations, and national holidays happen, your students will ultimately ask to deduct a class day or 2. It happens more often than you think. So you need to plan ahead for that.
You can either:
- have an initial agreement in writing. Agree on the protocols you set in the event of certain circumstances.
- Deduct the classes for next month if clients have anticipated absences like vacation days coming up.
- Have Make up class days. Although, this can be tricky as most clients only dedicate that day for your sessions and might not opt to recuperate their class.
Whatever you decide, your business will have it’s ups and downs. Not everyone will agree with your policies but if they feel you are the best fit for their lifestyle, they will sign-up or stick with you. If not, that’s ok. Take it like a breakup. There are plenty of fish in the sea.
Step 6: Students Will Ask for Something Different—Be Ready for That
Private students are fickle. Once they feel stronger, they’ll want more. They will desire progress in their practice either by asking for something general or pointing out a pose on Instagram they would like to perform. You have to be ready with an answer or they might just go with someone else. Yes. Client loyalty is difficult to acquire as well as maintain. It hurts too. Imagine building all that rapport, then for one moment that you couldn’t deliver–they leave. It’s painful, right? It’s not just about the income but also because whether you admit it or not, you connected with this person. Still, things like these can be avoided by keeping up with the trends. More importantly, maintaining a strong self-practice so that you always have an answer. You don’t need to come off as an expert guru, just be up-to-date in your craft. If there is a part of yoga practice that you happen to be weak at, be honest about it but say that maybe it’s a journey you can both take together. Then prepare for that in the next session.
Let’s recap! Who do you want to teach? You can’t teach them all. So think of what you would want from a private class. What offer do you think is worth it for you? Make your advertisement. Remember, It has to be Specific, special and a bang for your buck. Have a discovery class as your sales pitch. This consists of a 10-20 minute preview of your class, a consultation and your price. It will give you a strong first impression. Have your price list but push for you starter pack. A monthly 4-session set of classes that doesn’t come off as too intense. If they want more the price list is there. Discuss terms clearly with your client because life will get in the way. Lastly, be up-to-date with the trends in your industry. In time, your students will ask for something new.
If there is a part of yoga practice that you happen to be weak at, be honest about it but say that maybe it’s a journey you can both take together.
Our job requires us to stay inspired so we can guide our students through their journey. How? We keep teaching. We carry on and improve one day at a time.
Good luck and stay safe Momoyogis!