How I Found My Yoga Studio

by May 16, 2019Blog, Strategy | Entrepreneurship

Most people looking for a new yoga studio go on a spiritual journey. I went on a digital one.

Indianapolis, especially the Broad Ripple area, is saturated with gyms and yoga studios. Do a quick Google search and you’ll see exactly what I mean: 

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Now, I don’t want to come off as complaining. I mean, competition is not necessarily a bad thing. It can, however, be overwhelming for someone on the hunt for the right tribe. Especially if that person is a chronic perfectionist like myself. So where does a girl go from here to start her true journey? 

First Stop, The Google Machine

As I mentioned before, there are a LOT of choices. The list of businesses scrolls and scrolls and scrolls. I immediately started clicking location pins before I even had a chance to let the paradox of choice set in. Proximity was a huge priority of mine, so I started with a couple of studios that were closest to home.

I combed through the entries, looking for for very specific details. How early/late do classes run? What types of feedback are my fellow yogis leaving behind? (Quality reviews beat quantity every time in my eyes, by the way. I definitely recommend looking past the numbers and stars and go straight to skimming the actual comments from the reviews.) Most importantly, does this location have a website?

Is There A Website?

Now, I get a website may not sound like a huge piece of criteria for this sort of search, but hear me out. This is a place I’m planning to spend a lot of time (and money) and I think it’s fair to want all the facts before making that sort of investment. I want to be in for the long haul.

When looking at these sites, I did my best not to judge on design alone. Some effort and a sense of organization that would easily lead me to the answers I seek were my focus. I needed to know…

  • When and what type of classes are offered?
  • How much is charged per drop-in vs. a membership?
  • Do we share the same ideals? (i.e. inclusive culture with a health-first attitude)

Why Can’t I Find the Schedule?

You’d be surprised how difficult it was to find pricing on a few of the sites. Either the information was outdated, not there, or my personal favorite: not displayed because the embedded table from third-party scheduling software was not mobile compatible. This missing piece of criteria alone significantly narrowed down my search.

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Now that I had my endless list narrowed down to two or three candidates, it was time for the final test. I now understood how the studio operated and was ready to see if they walk the walk. Best way to get a snapshot of someone’s personality?

Stalk Their Social Media

This is where Haven sealed the deal for me. Their website had a ton of personality and their Instagram feed gave off the same vibes. Their approach had a fun mix of real photos and on-brand content. They also took (and still take) full advantage of Instagram stories to push reminders for upcoming classes and events. Best of all, their content felt genuine.

Most importantly, their message spoke to me. Their genuine dedication to inclusiveness is what ended up dissuading me from using my free passes at Breathing Space (received at an unrelated, offline event) or purchasing the excellent new Student package at Kompose.

My First Day of Class

That afternoon, I found myself walking into a makeshift yoga studio for my first class. I saw something about this being a temporary location, but I had no idea that this business had not yet completed their brick and mortar space. 

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Based on the completeness of their website and active Instagram account, I had been under the impression that the studio was just receiving a face-lift or undergoing repairs. It wasn’t until I began chatting with Charlie, the girl checking me in, that I learned how new Haven really was. I was also impressed that she was the founder of this studio!

Mission Accomplished

If that conversation hadn’t confirmed I made the right choice for me, then the practice sure did. Since classes were smaller, the instructor was able to take the time to get to know each of us and teach us modifications that best suited our individual needs. I wasn’t shamed for not being able to use my left arm fully, but instead guided down the path of recovery. I’m happy to say I’ve been with Haven for several months now and fall in love with their space and staff a little more each time I walk through the door.

It all goes back to Haven’s strong digital presence. It was Charlie’s solid execution of generating authority in the yogi realm of cyberspace that drew me to her safe haven before the physical space had even been completed. Without the internet, I may have never stumbled upon this inviting little tribe.

Charlie May Have Made It Look Easy…

But you don’t have to do it alone. Starting a business is tough enough. Balancing that with the marketing, even with experience, is no simple feat for the budding entrepreneur. There are so many great ideas that fizzle out simply because they were never heard.

This is one of the biggest reasons I joined Roundpeg. Under Lorraine Ball’s experienced wing, I get to spend ever day marrying my passion to create with helping others share their passions. I’m a huge advocate of ditching the “every man for himself” attitude and a firm believer that the most successful people are those who work together.

If you’re not ready to officially become “friends,” we also have a surplus of free resources readily available. For those of you who prefer a little more guidance, I highly recommend checking out one of our many virtual training sessions. This week we are reviving one of my favorite boot camps- How to Improve Your Website In Four Days. It’s not too late to register. If you’re looking to strengthen your digital journey, I hope to see you there!