“How do I fill up my retreat?”
This is a BIG question for every single yoga teacher who’s in the process of planning a retreat.
We know that selling out your retreat translates into feeling like your retreat was a total success.
Because, what happens if you don't fill-up your retreat?
You may end up cancelling your retreat or, losing money in the process... or worse, you may end up feeling totally burned-out and never wanting to plan a retreat again - thinking "nobody wants what I have to offer."
We really don’t want this to happen to you and that’s why we decided to write about it!
First of all, we know first hand how retreats can be so amazing for both you and your students.
It can help you grow your yoga business beyond your weekly classes. Retreats can offer your students a yoga + travel experience that transcends your regular yoga classes at the studio.
Retreats can be a beautiful platform of growth and transformation, for both you and your students. There are few things that can measure up to yoga + travel.
So, how do you make sure your retreat sells-out? How do you know what type of marketing efforts will pay off and inspire your students to sign up?
Here are 4 tips that will help you get on the right path with your marketing and help you fill-up your retreat, without the all the "selling" overwhelm.
1) Get clear on WHO the retreat is for
To make sure your retreat will be a success, it’s important to set the right foundation for your retreat from the very beginning by being super clear on WHO your retreat is for.
Who do you imagine joining you?
Who will benefit from going on your retreat?
What type of students do you want to serve with your retreat?
Think about who you’re most inclined to serve with your retreat. Is it postpartum mothers, or high achieving career women, or young people who suffer from anxiety and depression?
This is what’s called your “target market,” or what we call your Ideal Retreat Client. Being clear on WHO you’re trying to serve helps you get laser focused on your message and reach the right people for your retreat.
A young career woman may have totally different needs and desires from a retreat than a new mom. Therefore, your retreat theme and your marketing message should be totally different depending on who you’re trying to serve.
2) Know what your students want and need
When thinking about ways to fill-up your retreat, it’s important to think about who’s on the other side: YOUR STUDENTS.
What do they want and need from a retreat?
Are you creating something that will truly be of service to them?
Remember to keep your students in mind when creating your retreat theme, picking your location, choosing the best dates, and planning your yoga classes...all the way down to the smallest details, like the flow of your retreat schedule.
When you understand what your ideal retreat students really want and need, you can create something amazing that they can’t resist, a retreat that’s in tune with the needs and desires of your students.
So, instead of trying to convince them to sign-up, your students will be eager to join because your retreat it exactly what they need.
You can survey your students and potential students, both online and in person, to learn what they want from a retreat. This is also a great way to get feedback on your retreat ideas and start building the interest for your retreat.
Knowing WHO your retreat is for and what these students really need is crucial to creating a retreat that will sell-out. We actually created a free guide for you with tips on how to create a waitlist for your retreat (before your retreat is even announced to the public). Be sure to download it below.
3) List The Benefits
How will your students and potential students benefit from your retreat?
Once you’ve gotten clear on your ideal retreat students and know what they what/need, you're ready to create your “retreat theme”. This is the blueprint for your entire retreat experience and encopasses everything your retreat will offer your students.
But why is it important to have a theme in order to fill-up your retreat?
People always want to know what they’re gonna get. They want to know how they’re going to feel and what they’re going to walk away with. So you want to communicate with your potential students WHY they should join your retreat.
What are they going to gain from the experience you are offering them?
If you only list the dates, location and activities in your marketing - whether on a social media post, your website, or a flyer - potential students may not be enticed to sign-up.
If your retreat marketing is leaving your students uninspired, or with questions about the benefits of your retreat, they're simply not going to book their spot.
And if you’re not clearly sharing the benefits of your retreat… your marketing has done the exact opposite of what it should have done. You've unintentionally pushed potential students away.
So, think about how you can paint the picture of all the benefits your retreat has to offer.
For example: if you're focusing on serving mom’s of young children, the major benefits could be time for self-care, being pampered, having the luxury to to sleep-in for a couple of days, and maybe even a workshop on how to maintain a home-practice with young kids around.
Consider not only the tangible benefits, like extra activities, yoga, food, and accommodations, but also the not so tangible ones, like spiritual connection, self-awareness, time to read a book, time to be present with yourself, time away with a loved one, and deepening a specific area in their yogic path.
4) Build the Buzz Early
This is by far the most overlooked -but highly effective strategy- to fill-up your retreat. Most yoga teachers wait until they have everything ready before they announce their retreat to the public (we were guilty of this too in the beginning).
But, if you do that, you're missing out on building momentum for your retreat. As a matter of fact, what you're doing when you build early BUZZ for your retreat is creating a list of highly interested people who will be ready to sign up once your retreat is all planned out. Essentially, you're creating a waitlist! It’s that simple. And oh so effective.
How do you build the early retreat buzz?
We created a free downloadable guide with 3 simple yet effective strategies to build the buzz early and create a waitlist for your retreat.