In the penultimate post of our Art of Marketing Your Yoga Business series, we looked at how important it is to create videos in order to run a successful yoga business.
In this final post, we go one step further to find out whether you should be creating digital products for your yoga business.
What are digital products?
So, what exactly do we mean by digital products? Well, these are any products that you create online that you sell or give away through your website or other online marketing methods. For example, online courses, video tuition, e-books, audio files, digital images or manuals and other written materials in electronic format.
How do digital products relate to your yoga business?
Digital products can be applied to almost any business. In the case of yoga, the most obvious example is an online yoga course, or a series of instructional yoga videos. But you could also create an e-book about some aspect of yoga, a downloadable PDF guide to practising at your yoga studio, or perhaps a series of digital images that can be purchased for use online.
Of course, there are many physical products related to your yoga business that can be sold through your website, such as t-shirts, mats, bags, books, DVDs and so on. But in this post we’re specifically considering products that are made electronically.
Examples of digital yoga products
We’ve worked with lots of yoga businesses, many of whom have found great success in selling digital products online. Here are a few examples:
David Keil of Yoganatomy is one of the world’s leading authority figures in yoga anatomy. He’s been running his website and blog for over 15 years, and in the last few years has moved into creating online courses. All of his video-based courses are very popular and his anatomy courses for Yoga Teacher Trainings are used by yoga teachers all over the world.
David is obviously very experienced at what he does, and is very comfortable talking to camera. Because he works in such a specific niche – yoga anatomy – he has gotten to know his audience very well indeed. This means he can provide very relevant digital products exactly suited to their needs.
Ashtanga Yoga Leeds
Joey Miles of Ashtanga Yoga Leeds offers various digital products in the downloads area of his website. These include audio files of him counting through parts of the Ashtanga yoga sequence and a PDF chart showing all the postures in primary series, as well as a larger poster version of this, which is physically posted to the recipient.
Again, Joey’s products relate to a niche area of yoga – Ashtanga. As an advanced practitioner, he’s very familiar with the correct Sanskrit count and has a clear, steady voice, which is important for good quality audio files.
Peg Mulqueen of Ashtanga Dispatch has a shop section on her website. This mainly consists of hard copy magazines and clothing, but more recently she’s created digital versions of her magazine, available for download.
Again, Peg’s content lies in the niche area of Ashtanga yoga, and it takes a lot of work to create an entire magazine. However, the feedback and engagement she receives from her local and online community encourages her to keep creating these products.
Should you be making digital products?
As with making yoga videos, the decision to make digital products for your yoga business lies entirely with you.
Do you like digital products?
How do you feel about digital products in general? Are you attracted to them in other businesses? Do you find them a useful tool? This is the first question you need to consider, because if you’re not really into the idea yourself, this will definitely come across in any content you create. You don’t want to be making products for the sake of it, or because you feel pressured to.
Does your audience like digital products?
The next question you should ask is, “How will your audience react to any digital products you make?” You probably already know who your audience is, and if you don’t, you should definitely take the time to get to know them. You should never assume you know your audience without having the data to back up your assumptions.
A great way to track your website visitors is to use Google Analytics, as we explain in How do you know your yoga marketing is working? You can also check your email marketing statistics and social media activity to find out more about the kinds of people engaging with your content online.
And there’s always the tried and tested survey method too. You could devise a survey using free software like Survey Monkey to find out what makes your audience tick, what they’d like to see more of, and what kinds of digital products they’d find most useful. This also gives you a great reason to reach out and interact with your mailing list subscribers or social media followers.
Free vs paid products – where do you draw the line?
As we mentioned above, digital products for your yoga business can be sold for hard cash or given away for free. So, where do you draw the line?
It can be hard knowing how high or low to pitch your pricing. You don’t want to be so expensive that no-one buys your products, but you also don’t want to undervalue yourself either. A good point of reference is to check what other people in your yoga niche are charging for similar products.
When it comes to giveaways, these can work really well as a promotional tool. For new visitors and people who don’t already know you or your yoga business, freebies are a great way to give them a taste of what they can expect in your paid products.
For example, you could give away the first module of an online course so people can try before they buy. Or you could create a video showing how easy the course is to use, as David Keil does for his Online Anatomy for 300-hour Teacher Trainings. If you have an e-book, you could give away a sample extract to set people’s expectations for the rest of the book. If you’re selling audio files, you could include a sample of each track, as Joey Miles does for each of his audio downloads.
Have a think about the kinds of digital products you could make for your yoga business. Then see if there’s some aspect of it, or some additional content you could create, to give away for free in order to promote it.
One additional point that’s worth mentioning here is the difference between membership sites, which take a regular monthly payment but require ongoing content creation, versus a one-off payment for content that will not change. Membership sites take a lot of work and we don’t generally recommend going down this route, as it’s a huge time investment and requires large scale, e.g. thousands of people signing up for $10/month, in order to be profitable. Our recommendation would be to focus on digital products that support an existing yoga business rather than running a digital yoga business. There’s already a lot of competition out there!
Don’t do it alone!
The final point we’d like to make about creating digital products for your yoga business, is this: you don’t have to do it alone! In fact, we’d avoid doing it alone if at all possible. Two heads are always better than one, and having other people to bounce ideas off, talk through the process, and help create the actual products is highly recommended.
Even if you don’t have other people you can readily work with, do ask your students, other teachers and your online community for their input. Constructive feedback will help you refine your ideas, provide new inspiration, and keep you on track with creating good quality digital products that are highly relevant for your audience.
Specialist technical skills
Of course, creating digital products does require extra technical skills from both a production and delivery point of view.
On the production side: video editing is a specialist skill; shooting video requires good lighting and sound; and audio requires high quality recording equipment.
On the delivery side: if you’re looking at taking payments you’ll need an SSL certificate for your website; if you’re making videos you’ll need a video hosting platform; and if you’re running courses you’ll need to decide how people will access your content. You may need online courseware like LearnDash, Teachable or Thinkific, or if you’re using WordPress there are lots of plugins that can do this.
Will digital products help to grow your yoga business?
Digital products can be great for generating passive revenue, but they do require specialist skills and a significant time investment in order to do it right. This can pull your focus away from the actual running of your yoga business. You’re looking at a medium term investment for your business, so think carefully and do lots of planning before jumping in.
In fact, it’s just as important to have a solid launch strategy as it is to create the digital products in the first place. Good website traffic and a healthy growing email list are very important here.
Remember that with each passing year it gets easier and easier to create and deliver digital products – so keep an eye on this space.
How Wildheart can help
Although we don’t have a package specifically for making digital products, we do have a great deal of experience in both the yoga world and the online marketing world.
We know yoga, and we know digital marketing. Used in the right way, they can be a match made in heaven for growing your yoga business without losing your soul.