I've been working a fair bit lately, although not necessarily on the things I want to be working on. Through necessity, I've been working on my website, on my social media, marketing...I've been learning about h1 headings and meta tags, SEO...
There's a very big learning curve here, and I'm no technophobe, I have had a blog for a number of years, I used to update the websites in the educational trust where I worked. I also built my own website, so I'm not scared of the IT stuff, it's the social media animal that's trickiest for me...do you do Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tik Tok? Snapchat? Ok, maybe not the last two, but it's a minefield. What are my potential clients going to be looking at, and how will they find me? How do I let them know I'm here, when I can't put a permanent sign outside the building where I am based? You've got to do social media, but you've got to do it 'right'.
It wasn't difficult to set the accounts up, it's keeping on top of it all and creating interesting and appropriate content that's hard. It's finding out that, while you've been merrily posting the best images you can come up with on Instagram, you've got followers in the USA, Australia and Portugal, of all places. All that is very lovely, and I am grateful to those people who have followed me, but I happen to be in West Yorkshire, so I'm pretty sure none of them are going to come to one of my classes or book a massage in the next week or two.
Not that all this social media and marketing is not completely fascinating (well, it's not completely fascinating, let's be honest) but it's not why I resigned my full time, very nice job, working with people I really liked with a pay check at the end of the month. The reason I did all of that is because I felt a pull towards this business, this 'thing' I have created, for better or worse.
I started teaching a yoga class one evening a week. Just one class a week, in addition to my full time job. Soon I was hooked, and stretched to a second and third class. This was only 17 months ago. I had studied Swedish massage a few years ago, and decided to take a Sports Massage qualification. Once I did that, I knew that this was going to take me somewhere - the combination of massage and yoga to me is just like a magic formula. I see people coming to yoga who really would benefit from getting a massage as well, to address areas of muscle dysfunction, overworked muscles, circulation and to also help with relaxation and stress management.
Equally, some of my massage clients could really do with coming along to a yoga class, to reinforce the work we're doing with the massage. It's just such a beautiful combination, and it makes my heart sing to hear people telling me how much better they feel, how great they feel after a yoga class, and how the massages have made such a difference to how they feel.
What I love, and have returned to spending more time on, is creating the yoga classes; working on sequences and combinations of postures and movements that will help the different classes I teach. It's not one size fits all - sometimes I know exactly who will be in class, and there will be specific poses for that group (for example Pregnancy Yoga will be adapted and modified for the ladies in the group, and their specific stages of pregnancy), oftentimes I won't know who is coming and will adapt the class once people arrive. It might become more challenging when I see my more advanced clients have come to class, or I may offer different modifications for clients with a hip issue or a beginner comes to try it out.
I know I have to continue working on marketing, I have to learn about social media and how to let people know who I am and what I do. But I would much prefer to work on the classes, work on my massage technique and read around the subject of massage and alternative treatment than spend hours and hours in a scattergun approach to marketing. I'm working on that, I'm working with a mentor and feeling confident that with a strategy and structure I will be able to reduce the amount of time, blood, sweat and tears I spend on Facebook posts, group posts, trying to find appropriate images for Instagram, etc.
It most definitely is a learning curve. I recently discovered Facebook Lives, and I have to admit it makes me cringe to record them, and even more to watch myself (I try not to) - but that's me on there, warts and all. (I don't actually have warts, but you get the idea).
Right, I'm off to plan an energising sequence for class tomorrow. See you on the mat!