How to Generate New Content Ideas When You’re Stuck

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Are you having trouble coming up with content ideas for your website? New blog post ideas always seem to strike me at the most inopportune times. They’ll hit me when I’m driving, in the middle of the night, or when I’m in the shower. And what happens once I get to my destination, wake up, or hop out of the shower? The idea is forgotten. Does this sound familiar? Here are a few ideas that work for me to combat forgetting my best ideas.

If you wake up in the middle of the night with a good blog topic, turn on the light and write it down. Chances are you will not remember it otherwise. Keep a notebook and writing utensil by your bedside for this. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a simple pocket-size steno pad will do the trick.

If you’re driving, safely use your phone recorder. On iPhones, you’ll want to launch “Voice Memos.” I can’t even count how many blog ideas have come to me while driving and this little trick has saved me. This blog post is one example of that. With the assistance of Siri, you won’t even need to take your eyes off of the road.

Regarding the shower, I don’t have very much advice for you. A dry erase board could help. Or just try really hard to remember your ideas. I’ve found that if I repeat something to myself seven times, I’m more likely to retain it. For those times when the ideas don’t just come to you out of the blue, check out these eight ways to generate new content ideas for your business.

8 Ways to Coax the Muse

You know you need a blog for your business but if your content muse takes a little more encouragement than having a clear mind, consider a brain dump of possible blog posts. Quickly write everything down that comes to your mind, even if you think it’s not the best idea. Seeing it written out can trigger your brain to generate another topic. Once you’ve got a page full of ideas in front of you, go through them at a slower pace and select the best ones to add to your editorial calendar.

Another way to come up with new post ideas is to look for inspiration around the web. Search hashtags on social media channels to see what other people are covering. You don’t have to stick to your industry either. In fact, looking at others may be better. You’ll discover new ideas that aren’t being applied yet in your field. Another source of inspiration is your competitors. What are they doing that your brand could do better? Take some time to familiarize yourself with their content topics.

What are people asking? The frequently asked questions that your industry receives can lead you to some really helpful blog posts. These can be questions posed verbally or through searches on your website. If one person has the question, there are likely others out there wondering about the same thing. Create a blog post to be a source for their answers.

Interviews add a human element and are a great source of information in any industry. You could interview employees about specific aspects of their jobs, executives about their life before starting the brand, or customers about a problem that your product/service addresses. These are just a few ideas. Your interviews can be about anything industry related that will be interesting for your prospective buyers or current customers.

Conduct a search on Google Trends. You can find related topics to your industry and go deeper into your search to find more specific ideas. Be cautious, though; Google Trends can quickly become a time sucker. There’s just so much that you can do with the tool so limit your time there.

Look to old content that has performed well and repurpose it. Take your most popular blog post and turn it into an infographic or expand on it further and create a white paper. The idea obviously resonated with your audience, so don’t reinvent the wheel.

If you’re still stuck check out HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator. You simply enter three nouns, and it generates five blog topics. You’ll get a few oddball ideas, but you’re bound to find at least one that will work for you.

My last piece of advice would be to take a walk, step away from the computer, and maybe exercise a bit. When you stop dwelling on something the answer often shows itself.

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This article was originally published to rabidofficemonkey.com in March 2017.

Top 3 Marketing Tips for Yoga Teachers

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Are you struggling to fill your classes to capacity? One of the biggest marketing mistakes yoga instructors make is not sharing their classes, events, and workshops enough. If your students don’t know you’re teaching, then you can’t expect them to show up.

“You cannot serve people if they don’t know you exist.”
~ Lenka Stefanakova

It can feel weird promoting yourself, but someone has to do it. If you get queasy at the thought of self-promotion consider what Sage Rountree said in this blog post for Yoga Journal, “understand that you are not promoting yourself, you are promoting your work, and your work is bringing yoga’s benefits to your students.”

Being a yoga teacher is a job, and you should be thinking of it as a business. Companies advertise their products and services, and you should be doing the same. Here are my top three marketing tips for independent yoga teachers to put into action this year.

Use More Visuals

Visual content including images, videos, infographics, etc. are a few of the best mediums to communicate with your students. Images and infographics can be easily created using Canva. Here’s an example of one I created.

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If you’re a little leery of creating videos, it’s time to take a deep breath and hit that Live button. Animoto reported that “four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.” Local St. Augustine yoga teacher Rachel Layne posted this video to Instagram last week promoting her Vinyasa Flow class.

After sharing your visual content via social media or your blog don’t forget to include it in an email. Simply including the word “video” in the subject line of an email can increase your open rates by 19%! That’s huge when the average open rate in the fitness industry is only about 22% according to MailChimp.

And don’t forget about flyers. As much as we all love our digital toys, people are still walking around in the real world. A few places you can post your flyers at include the grocery store, local restaurants, the post office, or health food stores. Don’t forget an eye-catching yoga image that reflects your classes.

Guest Writing

Consider pitching an idea to a local newspaper. If your yoga classes are more on the gentle side and geared towards seniors, you’ll have a better chance of reaching them through a print article than something posted online. Another perk is that the newspaper likely has an online version too.

Local businesses that have a blog could also be open to guest postings. Bonus points if you can find someone in the same industry that attracts your type of client, but isn’t a competitor. For yoga teachers, this could be a health food store or metaphysical shop. Contributing an article will build your credibility as an expert in the field and introduce you to a new audience.

Build Relationships

Connect with other teachers and attend their classes. Share a photo on social media of you and the teacher after class; you can even include a quick blurb on how you enjoyed the practice. They’ll appreciate the shout out and likely reciprocate the action in the future. Same goes for sharing other teachers’ events.

Being out there on the mat in the student role can help you build a connection with the community of students too. Practicing beside them allows them to feel your energy and gives you the opportunity to build a relationship. The conversation will likely lead to you revealing that you’re a teacher (if they didn’t already know) and when your class is held.

Post your schedule to your website, share it on social media regularly – not just once a month, and talk about it whenever you have a chance. Remember to remind your students at the beginning or end of class about your upcoming workshops or classes. If you teach more than one class a week at that studio, make sure to mention your other class(es).

Do you have any other marketing advice you’d like to share with our community of yoga teachers? If so, post it in the comments section.

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How to Find Powerful Hashtags for Social Media

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had two yoga teachers ask me about how to use hashtags on social media. Technology is often not high on the priority list for many yogis, and I’m gathering that very few in our industry know how to attract new students or customers by properly utilizing hashtags.

If you grew up with social media this may not apply to you, but you still may learn a new way to find powerful hashtags that can help to get your brand noticed. Skip down to the section on Finding Hashtags if you already know how to use them.

Finding Powerful Hashtags

Hashtag Basics (or #basics)

Hashtags help you to get noticed. If you click on a hashtag on Twitter, it jumps you to a stream of every tweet with that hashtag. Same goes for Instagram and Facebook. Someone that is interested in yoga is likely to scroll through photos/posts with #yoga. If you’re using #yoga too, they’ll see your image.

Try to use only two per tweet, maybe three max. You should be using them in EVERY tweet you post.

On Instagram put your hashtags in a comment below your caption. You can use up to 30 on Instagram.

For Facebook, a lot of people don’t use them. I’ve even had some people ask me why I was using them there and almost get defensive like I wasn’t following the “Facebook rules.” But, these were individuals who don’t work on digital so, poo on them! If you do use some in your Facebook posts, three is a good number. Test it out and see how your audience takes to it.

LinkedIn is another place where many users aren’t used to seeing hashtags, but you should still be adding them to your posts. The hashtags on LinkedIn help to categorize posts and allow new readers to find your content.

Finding Hashtags

You’ll need to find hashtags that are relevant to what you’re sharing. So if your post is about writing a book use tags like #amwriting #fridayreads #amreading, etc. You can find new ones to use by looking through the streams of others using these hashtags. Click a photo in the hashtag stream you’re viewing and see what other tags that user listed.

If you are targeting a geographical area, use relevant hashtags to your region, i.e. #StAugustine #JaxBeach #Jax. Again, if you look at other people’s posts, you can find new hashtags to use on yours.

Here’s a trick to finding new hashtags on Instagram:
Go to the search section on Instagram and click the Tags tab.
Type in the hashtag you want to find more about (using yoga in my example). You can see from this screenshot a list of other relevant hashtags.

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Click one of the tags and then read the Related hashtags at the top of the page, you can scroll to the right for more. This can be a rabbit hole and lead you to find tons of new relevant tags.

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Hashtag research will lead you to new accounts you may want to take notes from and follow. Reviewing what works for others in your industry is smart. Check out what are other yogis are using that appears to be gaining traction for them.

Another way is to start writing a word and see what tags auto-populate.

When looking for hashtags to use on Twitter, I often consult Hashtagify. It provides you with a popularity rating of a particular hashtag and gives a web of relevant hashtags. Again, this can be a rabbit hole and can lead to an overwhelming amount of results. I use Hashtagify weekly to find new hashtags to use on social media.

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Finding hashtags is something you want to revisit regularly. New ones are popping up constantly, and you’ll want to test and reevaluate the ones you are using every so often.

Do you have any other ideas about how to find new hashtags?
Let me know in the comments below! 

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5 Ways to Market Your Yoga Business on a Small Budget

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The idea of marketing is a daunting task to many. Something you may have little time for, and even less of a budget. But it doesn’t have to take endless hours, and you don’t need thousands of dollars to build your online presence. The suggestions below require a small time investment, but little to no monetary expense.

1. Create a Website

According to Inc. Magazine, 60% of small businesses with 1-5 employees don’t have an online presence. Don’t let that statistic include you! If you have a Facebook page for your yoga business, great. But that’s not enough.
Facebook goes down sometimes, and there are a number of adults who chose to veer clear of social media.

Creating a website for your business will cost money, but it will also help new clients to discover you and is worth the investment. If you’re a yoga teacher, a website will differentiate you from other teachers without one and give students a place to view your schedule if you work for multiple yoga studios.

2. Publish Blog Posts

Consistently posting to a blog can assist in increasing your page rank on search engines and it humanizes your brand. Each time you publish a piece of content, Google comes back to index your website.

Using your blog to communicate discounts with customers is one thing, telling your brand’s story is another. Publishing regular blog posts will encourage your audience to visit your site giving you another opportunity to connect with them and take one step closer to converting them into a client.

As a private yoga teacher, you could break down the anatomy of asanas in a weekly column, post recipes related to Ayurvedic spices, or discuss the metaphysical benefits of energy healing. You should post about whatever it is that differentiates you from other yoga teachers. What else do you know that many yogis have an interest in?

3. Host a Twitter Chat

Conducting a Twitter chat can be a very productive way of marketing your business and reaching a new audience. Involving a partner or an influencer from your industry with a substantial Twitter following is even better. Here’s a 6-step plan to launching your first Twitter chat.

1- Find a partner/influencer in your industry.
2- Decide on a topic that you can conduct your Twitter chat around and create an event-specific hashtag. Be creative and try to make it on the brief so it doesn’t take up many characters when people respond.
3- Promote your Twitter Chat! Start early on this and include any involved parties requesting that they join in sharing the event.
{This handy infographic on using Canva to create images will come in handy here.}
4- Generate five questions you can ask attendees.
5- Provide the questions to the involved parties before the Twitter chat so they can prepare their responses in advance. Doing so will allow them to interact with other attendees more because they won’t have to spend time crunching their responses down to 140 characters.
6- Launch your Twitter chat at the scheduled time and be sure to engage with attendees.

4. Guest Post

Writing for other businesses’ sites will allow you to reach a new audience. Search out companies that attract similar clients, but are not competitive with your business. When pitching an idea on your proposed post consider the problems that your products or services address.

As a yoga teacher, look for local organizations you can partner with on a guest post. If your business is online (maybe you even teach online), do your research and then approach non-competitive industry related businesses. You can even offer a trade, where they guest post to your site too.

5. Video



Live video is an inexpensive way to get your face in front of customers. It doesn’t require much to air a video. Decide on the platform you’d like to use (Facebook, Periscope, Snapchat, Instagram…), come up with a topic and maybe a general outline of what you’ll say, and go live! People don’t expect videos that were published in real time to be edited.

Businesses that sell yoga products can offer a behind the scenes look at their production, show the product in use, answer FAQ’s, etc. As a yoga teacher, you can broadcast your next group class.

Sharing videos is a great way to get yourself and your brand in front of customers, invite shares, and possibly create an awareness of your brand for a new client.

There are a number of other budget-friendly marketing strategies you can employ as a yoga business. I hope that the ideas listed above provide some guidance and initiate the next step in your client seeking efforts.

Are you ready to start marketing your yoga business but aren’t sure where to start? Contact me and let’s build a strategy to generate more sales for your business!

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3 Ideas to Borrow From Yoga & Apply to Your Social Media Marketing

Looking at the parallels between yoga and social media might sound unnatural to many. But as a yoga instructor and social media professional, it seems normal. Here are three parts of yogic thought that can be rolled into how you approach social media in your business.

-Centering
-Drishti (focus)
-Pranayama (breathing)

Now let’s take a closer look at each one.

Centering

Centering or meditation often starts out yoga classes. It’s meant to bring you into your space, allow the mind to calm, and create a sense of body awareness. Centering is also the time when the teacher lets you know what you’ll be doing in the class, a plan so to speak. In social media listening and planning should be the first steps.

While practicing yoga the practitioner aims to quiet the mind. Social listening requires silencing your initial ideas of what to share and rather listening and analyzing what others in your industry are saying and talking about first.

You should pay attention to:

-What questions is your target audience asking?
-What problems need solutions?
-What real-time events are happening that can allow you to enter a conversation?

Drishti (focus)

The dancer pose is one of many asanas that requires a focused gaze, or a Drishti, to maintain balance. Without focus, you will wobble from side to side and fall out of the posture.

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In social media, you must have a focus too. Otherwise, you can get pulled in various directions. Keep a business goal in mind as you utilize social media.

Some companies use social media mainly for customer service reasons; others use it to increase brand awareness and for lead generation, etc. Be sure to establish your primary objective when starting to use social media in your business.

Pranayama (breathing)

Each inhale has an exhale, just as each interaction deserves a reaction from the brand. Maybe the reaction is a quick tweet to thank someone for sharing your content, simply a like, or perhaps you respond with a question asking what the person’s biggest takeaway is. Just as there are different types of responses to an interaction, there are many different pranayama techniques.

Approach social media marketing as you would a headstand. Prepare a plan, stay focused, and keep breathing.

If you need assistance with your social media plan, shoot me an email or give me a call. Let’s work together to get your yoga business discovered by more students!

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How to Create Graphics with Canva to Up Your Social Media Game

Are you ready to up your social media game with visuals, but don’t know where to start? Maybe you have ideas, but no experience with Photoshop or other design programs. I have a free and easy solution to your problems. Small business owners, meet Canva – a free, web-based design tool.

{Side note: I have no affiliation to Canva. This is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share this awesome tool and what it can do.}

In Canva you can create social media visuals, presentations, brochures, letterheads, eBooks and more. Their drag and drop feature combined with the free (and paid) layout designs make creating your next attention grabbing image a breeze.

Here’s a SlideShare I created for Bernie Borges at Social Business Engine using Canva. The mass number of available features is impressive and allows for customization in every degree.

Other projects I’ve created using Canva include Instagram images, infographics, Facebook images, Twitter images, and more. I designed these images for Social Business Engine‘s Instagram.

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Here are 4 ideas to kickstart your social media image creations and increase brand awareness:

1) Quotes
2) Blog titles
3) Events (virtual or in-person)
4) Holiday greetings

Once you’re registered with Canva and logged in, consult the below infographic (also created on Canva) for the next steps to quickly creating your new design.

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For those of you that simply don’t have the time to create your images, contact me. Let’s discuss getting your brand noticed with some new graphic images for social media.

How do you plan to use Canva?
If you’re already using it, what are some of your favorite features?

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9 easy steps to creating fancy images with Canva.