Day 10: Engage Your Audience

Megan Mcdonough

Community FairThis past weekend, my husband and I worked at our town’s little community fair. It’s the longest running fair in the United States and is a real old-fashioned, agriculturally based fair. There are all sorts of exhibits where people show off their skills, including canning, baking, sewing, woodwork, crafts, literary arts, and more.

My two children exhibited their wares. Jon displayed mint sprigs, purple potatoes, and Lego toys, while Emily displayed green tomatoes, plum tomatoes, cucumbers, and marjoram. There was also judging of rabbits, cattle, and sheep, as well as a lumberjack contest and a tractor pull.

However, there was one thing noticeably missing: the typical amusement park rides. This fair has been frozen in time.

While the kids were running barefoot through the common, Joe and I worked at a booth selling the maple syrup that we make on our small family farm.

When I’m selling in our little fair booth, I apply a very effective skill I learned years ago when I was in the health care industry – and this skill is equally applicable to your yoga work. It is the art of engagement and disengagement.

When most people pass by a booth, they keep on walking. They tend to skim over the contents of the booth, avoiding eye contact, and then walk right on by. It can be awkward.

This same awkwardness can often be found in yoga – maybe someone is thinking of trying yoga for the first time. Or a regular yoga practitioner has just moved into a new area and wants to find a local yoga studio. Or perhaps someone needs to find a different teacher because the one they felt comfortable with now has a different schedule.

Whether a person is pausing at a booth or trying a new yoga teacher, it requires that individual to step out of a comfortable routine. Our mission is to encourage that step by engaging people in a non-threatening way. At a tradeshow, you see vendors offering all sorts of things to encourage people to enter – from free i-pod raffles to trinkets like pens or toys, and even free chair massages. At our fair, we offered free test-tasters of our maple syrup.

What do you offer to encourage participation in your yoga work? How do you encourage people to take that step into the studio?

For my 21-day challenge goal to fill the Train the Trainer virtual program, I encouraged people with an invitation to participate in a free online course. In this three-lesson course, which is filled with over an hour of packed content, yoga teachers can learn – without having to make any commitment – what it means to be a trainer. In an easy, high-reward, low-risk way, people can try the training role on for size. Does this fit me? Is it where I want to bring my work?

You can see how I have implemented my strategy here:

The art of engagement means that we actively offer what we have to give. My husband, who is a quiet sort of guy, noticed that when he offered a free taste of maple syrup, people would be more willing to buy. He felt less awkward because he wasn’t “selling”; he was just offering what he had to give. The maple syrup sold itself.

Tomorrow, I’ll write about the art of disengagement – letting go of those efforts that are not serving your business. Today, though, let’s hear your comments about engagement. Share with us what you do to encourage people to move out of their routine. How does your yoga work sell itself when you share what you have to offer?

Take the Challenge:

[tags]Megan McDonough, training the trainer program, yoga business, business marketing consultant, 21-day yoga marketing challenge[/tags]

Author: Megan Mcdonough

People with big ideas face a constant challenge: how to transform that vision into a new and better reality. Whether it’s change in your personal life or success in your business, vision needs action (and rest) to manifest.

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