Hate Networking? Then You’ll Love This.

Shy Woman Hates Networking

This week, I’m hanging out with fellow yoga biz teachers on the Yoga Teacher Blog Tour, a 30-day e-extravaganza that dishes up daily, free business tips for private yoga instructors. (If you missed yesterday’s pose, head over to hear Betsy Rippentrop, Dr. Yoga Momma, discuss “5 Tips Every Yoga Teacher Needs to Know” from her unique perspective as a psychologist and yoga teacher, and stay tuned tomorrow to check out Julian Walker of YogaTeacherGradSchool.com!)

Accordingly, this love note is designed for all of you private yoga teacher readers… but even if you’ve never taught or practiced yoga, it’s a message we can all relate to!

The idea came to me last week. I was in the middle of a conversation with a client in my Business Primer program for yoga and wellness teachers, and we fell into a topic that is often dreaded amongst business owners (and particularly private yoga teachers!)…

Marketing.

For most people, marketing feels intimidating, inauthentic, or otherwise uncomfortable. But, as the Universe would have it, it’s also one of the most crucial components of successful businesses.

And it’s not just in the business world, either. For instance, have you ever…

  • needed to attend a gathering or event, but really wanted to cancel because you didn’t want to talk to other people?
  • been stuck in an elevator with someone, engaging in awkward conversation?
  • volunteered for a charity fundraising effort, but struggled with how to ask for donations?

Yep, those are all “marketing” issues. Welcome.

Personally, I used to hate marketing. But then I completely reframed my concept of what marketing is.

The change was massive in impact, but required just 3 simple mindset shifts that are now woven deeply into the Business Primer curriculum.

Mindset Shift No. 1. Networking vs. Connecting

Does anyone really get excited about attending “networking” events? Exactly. Instead, think of your next networking gig simply as a chance to CONNECT with others.

Every networking event is a prime opportunity to share your talent, your gift, your light with other like-minded individuals who happen to be in the same corner of the world, at the same time as you!

For you private yoga teachers, for instance, imagine that everyone you meet is already your newest client, and (s)he’s sitting on the mat, waiting for session to begin. Intend to give at a networking gathering, in the same way you intend to give at the beginning of a class, and notice how the conversation changes.

Mindset Shift No. 2. The Elevator vs. Elevate Them

Back in my last life when I was a lawyer, I was told over and over again about the importance of having an “elevator speech” — the 30-second pitch that you can make to a potential client or other connection. Its purpose is to give the other person an understanding of not only what you do, but how they might use or refer your business.

Suffice it to say, I avoided a lot of elevators. I got the point, but I hated the concept. Now, one of my all-time favorite treats to teach is how to ditch the “elevator speech.” Instead, I suggest creating an ELEVATE THEM” speech.

The idea here is that, while it’s important for us to quickly and effectively discuss what we do to the outside world, it can often come across as a pitch… which often feels icky, especially when you’re a wellness worker.

(Sidebar: The Ick is sticky stuff. if you bring it to an interaction, you’ll probably leave with it, too.)

To avoid feeling icky and pitch-y, remember that the intention behind an elevator speech is you — what you do, what you offer, what you have going on — but the intention behind an elevate them speech is, well, right there in the phrasing. What do you do… for them? What do you offer… for them? How do you support? How do you share?

Even if you say the same elevator-esque words, honestly, just being mindful about this intention can dramatically change the tone of any conversation, but especially with your private clients. Think about it. Then, speak about it.

Mindset Shift No. 3. Selling vs. Serving

Another mind-altering marketing trick is to rethink your concept of sales, and replace it instead with SERVICE.

Practically speaking, every time you’re engaging with a potential new client (or friend!), you are probably trying to close “a sale”. But often when we think about “selling” our services or selves, The Ick stops us cold.

So, let’s stop that.

Instead of simply focusing on the sale, remember that you’re here to serve. Every time you meet a future client, every time you complete an initial consultation, every time you tell anyone about your offerings, you’re experiencing an opportunity to serve your surrounding community.

As a private yoga teacher (or an attorney, or a consultant, or anyone else who doesn’t sell products), just recall that what you do sell: services. Remember the root word in what you do, and you’ll transform into a more confident deal closer.

So, let’s go! This week, how can you shift your mindset while “marketing?” Whether you’re working on an aspect of your business — or on this week’s appointments that involve others — how might you bring a different energy to those interactions (and, hence, encourage a different experience of them)?

To master your “marketing,” shift your mindset!

Good luck connecting, elevating and serving your people, people.

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