Your Yoga Pricing System Sucks(here’s how to fix it)
Part #2 of 7- Double Your Yoga Income
“Last month was great, but I did way too much yoga.”
– Nobody (ever)
The biggest thing yoga teachers and studio owners mess up is their pricing strategy. They charge too little for a drop-in class, and too much for unlimited memberships. They expect their clients to pull out their wallet dozens of times a year (just isn’t going to happen), and they have dozens of different membership options.
This is craziness, and it needs to stop.
When I finally decided to “crack the code” on membership and class pricing, I had to look outside of the yoga industry because most people are doing it so wrong. Instead, I looked at gyms and private clubs, and it became immediately apparent that just a few simple rules must be adhered to.
#1. Short term students are energy drains who create a lose-lose experience for you and for them. Your student doesn’t get results, you don’t make any money, and you end up feeling like you wasted time.
#2. Recurring revenue will set you free. This business is only fun and interesting when you have a core group of clients who pull out their purses one time (I repeat: one time), and then never again. This is win-win. Paying for things is a pain, it takes a lot of decision-making energy, and ultimately should be minimized to as few times as possible.
#3. Long term students are the best students and should be rewarded with extremely low membership prices. The drop-ins and short-term students must subsidize your committed students memberships because they are your business. I’ve mentioned there are just two assets in yoga, you and your community. Your long term members are your highest-value community asset—do everything you can to keep them around forever.
Those three rules above are easy to read and say “Ok, that makes sense…” but the question is what does it mean? It means that in my business, I almost never sell drop in classes—literally, it’s a rare occurrence. Ninety-five percent of my students are on recurring memberships (set it and forget it system) and they are extremely happy about it.
Students openly talk about how our system is the best membership billing program they’ve ever seen.
How is this possible?
Make your single class price (or your private class price) deliberately expensive. It should be expensive enough so that students regularly ask “Why is one class so expensive?”
When students ask, explain to them honestly: “It’s expensive because we don’t actually want anyone to buy it. With one class, you won’t get the results you’re looking for with yoga.”
Remember, you want to be in the membership business, not the concert ticket business. Members transform their lives, develop friendships, improve their health, and make you proud. One-off students drain your energy, make your community feel transient, and don’t get the real benefits of yoga.
SIDE NOTE: My Story
Much of what I’m teaching you in this lesson flies directly in the face of how 95% of yoga studios are run, and four out of five of those studios will no longer exist three years from now. Most studios are in the “movie ticket” business focused on one-off transactions. I’m in the community and membership business—it’s a totally different world. Take the plunge. Once you do, there’s no going back.
Check out part 3 of this series: How to Teach Less & Earn More