This is a picture of me doing something that has been making a big difference to my yoga teaching and to my students.
It’s free, it's super easy and it’s achieved three amazing things in my yoga business:
1. My students LOVE it
2. I’ve saved a tonne of time
3. It’s made me more money
The great thing about video messaging is that there are no big video files to upload or download. You make a recording using a free app which then generates a URL (web link) to send to your students.
I’ll explain a bit more about how it works, and share the apps that I use, in a moment. But I want to share with you how I’m using video messaging and why it’s helping me save time, make more money and make my students very happy!
Here are five ways I use video messaging:
1. Keeping paying students on board.
It’s 100% true that it’s much cheaper to keep an existing student than to find a new one. If you’ve got paying students, you should be focusing 100% on how to keep hold of them – don’t take their loyalty for granted.
I use video messages to keep students loyal and connected. Video messages are more personal and much easier for your students than reading a block of text in an email. For example, I send personal messages of encouragement between classes and they’re REALLY popular. Here’s an example (and notice I've got hair scraped back and no make up - yep, just come out of the pool and not even THINKING about making things look fabulous. Just get things done!).
Click on the image to see the video message:
2. Explaining tricky yoga stuff.
Have you ever taught something in a yoga class one week, then the next week it seems like nobody properly understood it? This can be especially true with new or tricky concepts, such as a subtle alignment cue or a pranayama technique. This is where video messaging is a life saver. I often pull out specific aspects of a class I’ve taught and explain it in a video message. Students have an opportunity to hear the instructions again and practice it between classes. It makes a big difference to student progress, and they absolutely love it – which keeps them coming back for more.
Here’s an example - click on the image to see the video message:
3. Welcoming new students.
Rather than send a boring email, I often welcome new students with a short video message. This is a wonderful way to delight new students, help them feel connected and share important information about your classes, including safety and special instructions. Whenever I send a welcoming video message to a new student, I always get incredible feedback and it’s really reduced my drop-out rate! Here’s an example - click on the image to see the video message:
4. Making a class recording for students
Students LOVE to have a recording of the class you teach them each week. It gives them an opportunity to do some yoga during the week and stops them ‘browsing’ classes offered by other teachers. You can either record the class as you teach it, or do a separate recording. Either way, your students really appreciate the extra value a recording offers (make sure you have student permission if you are recording a live class). Here’s an example (and notice that I'm interrupted by noisy magpies but keep on going - no such thing as perfect and your students like to know you're an authentic human being!):
Click on the image to see the video message:
5. Showing students how to book classes (or other techy stuff)
One of the things I love about video messages is that you can record your screen – either with or without a little image of you talking at the same time. I use this feature to walk non-techy students through problems they’re having with my booking system. Just sending a little video that shows them which button to press and where to input information saves them (and me!) a LOT of time.
Here’s an example - Click on the image to see the video message:
And a bonus 6th way to use video messaging - I used it to help yoga teachers transition their classes online at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It really, really helped a lot of people - that's good for the soul and good for business. Here's a link to some of those quick 'how to' videos I recorded using Loom. Click the image to see how I did this:
How to use video messaging in YOUR yoga business
So how do you use video messaging? I started off using Loom. I LOVE it because it's free, easy and even allows me to edit out the bits at the beginning and end of the video where I'm fiddling with the camera! But then Loom restricted the number and length of my videos on the free plan (don't you hate that?!)
So I jumped ship to Vimeo, who now offers free, unlimited video messaging (but not the same easy editing facility, unfortunately). Here’s how it works (I don’t have any affiliation with Vimeo or Loom and don’t make any money from referrals, so you always know my recommendations are unbiased):
5 Steps to successful video messaging
Step 1. Go to Vimeo’s Screen Recorder home page and sign up for free (or you can sign up to Loom if you don't mind the restrictions -it's a better app!): https://vimeo.com/features/screen-recorder
Step 2. Follow the instructions to add the Vimeo extension to your browser and give Vimeo permission to use your device’s microphone and camera (this is the only slightly techy thing you have to do – get a teenager to help if you get stuck!)
Step 3. Choose what you want to record: Just your screen; just the camera; both your screen and the camera.
Step 4. Click record and make your video. Click stop when you're done.
Step 5. Vimeo will save your recording and produce a URL link. Copy the link and send it to your student.
It’s as simple as that. Unlike recording video on your phone, you and your student don’t need to upload or download large video files (although there is an option to download the videos if you want to).
Give it a go! If you don’t like watching recordings of yourself, you’ll find that the more you do it, the better you feel about it. Remember, YOU are your harshest critic and your students are NOT picking you apart as they watch your videos. They are loving you for doing something so thoughtful and supportive.
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Nikola Ellis is the founder of Adore Yoga, yoga therapist, counsellor and teacher trainer. She conducts regular trainings that help people of all ages, shapes and abilities enjoy the benefits of yoga and meditation, including Meditation Facilitator Certificate Trainings; Level 1 200hr Teacher Training and Post Graduate Yoga Teacher Training in Mental Health, Adaptive Asana and the Foundations of Yoga Therapy and a highly regarded professional 650hr Graduate Certificate of Yoga Therapy.