Hello folks, this is the opening blog on my new website. Reinventing my yoga business during a pandemic has been an interesting and challenging experience. When I look back over the last 12 months and remember that the studio was open for just 6 weeks of that period for “in person classes” I truly understand the transformative journey I have made.
Just before this time last year, I was teaching fifteen classes a week both in my studio and in my local dance studio in town, the Strule Arts Centre. I was incredibly busy, trying to be all things to all people around the offering of yoga.
Covid 19 forced me to a complete standstill, followed by what now?
It took me all of the last 12 months to recalibrate and them some. I responded initially by producing yoga class videos for YouTube.
The learning curve I entered on makes my eyes water looking back over the experience. Not only did I not know how to use a video camera, I had no idea about lighting, sound, types of camera equipment, mikes, backdrops , presentation and so on.
Over night I became the actor in my own film , production manager , sound engineer , lighting technician , director, time keeper, film editor and YouTube expert, iMovie aficionado and communications engineer.
To find out at the end of it all some months later that maybe YouTube is not the platform for me. One hundred and forty videos on I am beginning to think, better try Zoom. Slow learner me!!
Zoom yeah ! Another great opportunity for more learning !!
The Zoom experience has been great. All the earlier learning around making of videos etc. has been useful and my three month YouTube inter-lapse enabled some of my regulars to put down their resistance to online yoga and slowly grow accustomed to the virtual experience.
Knowing that this pandemic was going to go on, new other people have started to sign up for daily classes, numbers gradually growing and it is providing a real alternative to yoga in the loft, for now.
What else about the re-invention process? I learnt how to access grants to buy some of these earlier mentioned extremely expensive toys , spent days writing grant applications , providing invoice trails, email trails, photo images, crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s to be given a grant that in retrospect If I worked out how many hours I worked on it and charged my time out on an hourly basis I may have been better off to buy directly or second hand, grant free. “Ah well more free learning for me” as she laughs out loud to herself.
Hands up what the grant did do, was it focused my mind on what I really needed and had planned for a long time a new website, one of those, with an e commerce facility. This blog site what you are looking at right now is part of that. iDesign Omagh have done a great job can’t recommend them enough.
On this particular website creation adventure, I really sailed into the dark side of learning. More learning that is – the learning this time was, how would I accumulate enough knowledge to direct the web designer
‘to put the front door of the new build house (website) where the front door is meant to be and not on the roof’.
How is a yoga teacher supposed to know these things?
It is no refection on iDesign, its just the nature of the knowledge needed to re-invent a yoga business online. Not only a passing acquaintance with the various technical enquiries, but to have a working familiarity with backend techie stuff, to even contemplate adding an e-commerce/membership option to a website….
Every day I grapple with a myriad of different backend technical queries, website related, bulk email related , zoom related, camera related, or accounts software ( that’s a whole blog of itself) and YouTube and so on
Everyday I learn yet more knowledge (of doubtful value) yet realistically I need to know, painful inch by painful inch, talk about punching in the dark !! The least amount of my time is spent on what I love to do which is teaching yoga
So looking back at the year. I am now firmly established on Zoom with daily yoga classes and have about half the clientele I used to have coming to class, which is a lot better than none.
I have lots of videos up on YouTube but a mere 150 followers and it has brought in just one person to my Zoom classes. Apart from this one small success I have failed miserably to create an income stream from YouTube.
I can speak knowledgeably about YouTube, YouTube Buddy , Mailchimp, Paypal, Stripe, Google Drive, and iMovie; Hovering on my horizon are further learning experience around WordPress, Memberpress, Vimeo and Soundcloud,
Marella Fyffe Yoga is the proud new owner of fancy camera equipment which will be put to a lot of good use over the next 12 months, also has a brand new website all singing all dancing with e-commerce facility , which will be a vital element in the production and setting up lots of live and online courses, as well as self service yoga courses.
As for Marella Fyffe the person, she is sick of learning new technical things and just wants to go out in the garden and forget the lot…. Thanks for reading this far. See you on the mat.