“Let me just give you my business card….”
Really? I hear you say. You mean in addition to all the other things we have to think about as new teachers (lights & music in the studio, inhale and exhale counts, getting that first gig, what the next training looks like) we have to think about getting yoga business cards?
You mean the ones from my old full-time job ones won’t do?!
(No, dear yogis, they won’t.)
And perhaps, just perhaps, your next thought is something along the lines of: “Hang on a just a hot second. If I’d wanted to have to deal with business cards, resumes, job interviews and the like I would have stayed in a conventional job surely!”
“How is spirituality suddenly for SALE?” you might lament (an idea that is beautifully dissected by Derek Beres in this amazing article btw)
True, there is the element of the corporate and the holistic sitting slightly uncomfortably next to each other.
But the reason I set up Yoginomics was to blow apart the myth that the two things can’t exist in harmony. This is just one tiny example of how we as yoga teachers can learn from the corporate world and professionalize our vocation.
In this article, I’m going to break down the why, how, and wherefore of joining the business card brigade. I’ll also throw in some hot networking tips!
We’ll run through:
- What Are Business Cards Actually For?
- Designing Your Yoga Business Card
- Yoga Business Card Tips and Tricks
- Suppliers and Cost
- I have my beautiful business card – now what?
- I don’t want a business card, am I a bad yoga teacher?
Give this chunky little guide the once-over and you’ll soon understand why business cards are an invaluable part of your professional yoga teacher toolkit – AND you’ll be comfortable creating them, and giving them out.
What Are Business Cards Actually For?
One of my favorite movie scenes of all time involves the humble business card. In American Psycho, the 2000 horror/comedy based on Brett Easton Ellis’ novel of the same name, a group of Wall Street bankers engage in an egomaniac business card swap-off.
“ Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God. It even has a watermark…” American Psycho
The joke, of course, is that they are identikit characters, constantly mistaken for one another, and the business card represents one of the only ways of holding onto any individuality or status.
No comparison with yoga teachers, right?….. right?
Okay, this might be a bit of a ‘sharp intake of breath’ association, but the fact remains there are a lot of us yoga teachers out there. Some won’t realize the value of effective personal presentation, some won’t need to, but for most of us mere mortals, having the right marketing tools is crucial.
There’s one other thing too. I have a collection of every business card I have ever had printed. When I get them out occasionally it’s like looking at my career in mini-rectangles of the colorful card.
It reminds me of how far I’ve come and I get a little swell of pride at all the things I’ve done. As a yoga teacher, the fact that you need a business card, to begin with, should a mark of distinction, a milestone in your burgeoning career. BE proud, and get excited.
So. In terms of what yoga business cards are FOR, here would be my rundown:
- demonstrating professionalism
- making a strong first impression
- supplying accurate contact details…
- ….and giving people a reason to contact you
- indicating qualifications (yes you can have RYT 200 at the end of your name!)
- reminding people they met you at an event
- enhancing your brand
- getting one up on your fellow yoga teachers*
*no really, just kidding
Designing Your Yoga Business Card
Okay, you now realize that life has added up to almost nothing without your yoga business card, and you’re desperate to get something going. Let’s get down to the fun part of designing something super pretty.
You reach for your iPhone to call the friend of a friend who’s this uber graphic designer, and you start compiling mood boards all over the house.
Easy tiger. I do remember the [good?] old days when we started my headhunting business was ordering new business cards was a performance that took weeks and weeks of internal discussion, supplier sourcing, proofing and a large chunk of our budget.
These days, no need. Even if you haven’t done much work on your brand, it’s extremely simple to get something simple and effective mocked up.
If you’re going to have a crack yourself, then get a blank piece of paper and assemble some key information. Know your colors, know your fonts and decide what information you want to include. Websites like Tailor Brands give you a platform on which to design your logo, and then away you go – you can use a tool like Canva or Picmonkey – or for the old school amongst you, a simple powerpoint slide will do.
And if you don’t have the energy or time to get started on your own, you can crowdsource your way to branding nirvana using Fiverr or 99Designs. (Or buy your mate who’s Head of Art for a major agency several beers. A-hem)
“Eggshell. With Romanian type. Whaddya think?” – American Psycho
Yoga Business Card Tips and Tricks
A few things to bear in mind for your budding graphic designers before you get overly carried away!
Keep it simple
We talked about creating your perfect yoga resume a while ago and just as I urged you then to resist the urge to transform yourself into some kind of woo woo yoga alter ego, the same applies here. Don’t feel you need to go to town with the look and feel – lots of white space and clean lines will do. And finally, while ‘fun’ shapes will stand out, bear in mind they still have to fit into a wallet….
Think about the detail
Make sure you settle on some fundamentals: decide what you want to call yourself first of all: teacher or instructor? Things like ‘Guru’ or ‘Harbinger of Enlightenment’ don’t go down so well.
Will you include your qualifications or will that make it too crowded? Similarly, will you include one of your social channels? If you are an out and out Insta-yogi the answer is probably yes so make sure the design accounts for that.
Make sure your email address is professional. If you already have a domain and website it should preferably be linked to that (in which case you don’t strictly need both email and web address…) otherwise keep it classy: email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure it’s CORRECT
This is advice 101 but please please make sure there are no mistakes – if you notice errors after printing then this could cost you unnecessary yoga pennies.
Even worse, you don’t notice and give a card to someone they won’t be able to get in touch with! If you’re including a quote, check all the spelling, and attribute it correctly to the author. Remember it’s all about making a strong first impression!
Don’t skip on quality
I do have some sympathy for my banking friends in the movie American Psycho. There is something to be said for the polish and professionalism they are drooling over. Now, I’m not suggesting your yoga teacher business card should be embossed and watermarked, but do make sure that it’s on quality card and well produced. With the number of cheap suppliers out there (see below) there is no excuse for a scrappy piece of paper you printed yourself!
“This is really super. How’d a nitwit like you get so tasteful?” –American Psycho
Suppliers and Cost
You may have a man at the end of your road or a guy at work who ‘does’ printing and can knock something up for you quickly and cheaply. However, as above, don’t skimp on a professional production. With the widespread availability of amazing online suppliers/printers these days, you can get wonderful quality and fast delivery for not much money.
Our absolute favorite organization for all things business card-esque (and a raft of other printed materials should you look at flyer, postcards or stickers going forward) is without question Moo.com.
I’ve been a customer for years and if you want an amazing calling card designed online and delivered to you in a beautiful box in just a few days, you can’t go wrong. I went for bright white with my logo on the back, heavy luxe thick card with red velvet hued edges.
And now I sound like Patrick Bateman.
(£30 for 100 mini cards if memory serves me correctly….amazing value!)
Other suppliers we like, and have received the thumbs up time and again in all the yoga teacher discussions we’ve witnessed:
“I can’t believe Bryce prefers Van Patten’s card to mine.” – American Psycho
I have my beautiful yoga business card – now what?
I’m a big believer in the idea that you never really truly know where your next student/client/ new business partner will appear. I’ve met people on trains, at bus stops, and christenings, and had conversations that quickly warranted the handing over of that magic piece of card stuff.
And that’s without even trying. At the other extreme, if you hang out at large scale events, like a yoga festival or maybe something like the OM Show, networking is one of the main aims of the game, so here you will certainly need your little box of magic and lots of confidence in sharing your chats and the love around.
Now, I know that being so forward in coming forward isn’t for all of you. But at the very least, if you are teaching studio classes, and definitely if you are teaching a workshop or special event, then make sure you have a little box handy on your mat so you can give them to students as and when appropriate (rather than handing them out at the door – too much!)
Which brings me to my main point when it comes to networking and business cards. And that is: giving someone your business card should never be the main event or the first thing you do. The humble yoga business card is simply the contact detail-laden foot soldier bringing up the rear.
My golden rule of networking summed up in one handy sentence?
Engage, generate connection, add value, and ask questions
Then, and only then, produce the cosmic personal details card of wonder:
“Raised lettering. Pale Nimbus. White.” – American Psycho
I don’t want a business card, am I a bad yoga teacher?
Of course not! If you don’t vibe with the idea of passing out your details all at once on an initial meeting there are many other ways to bring folks into your community and your yoga sphere.
Many teachers these days are using personal Facebook pages as a way of gathering their yoga tribe together – so you can simply get people to find you online.
Alternatively, just ask for their card!
Happy Networking Yogis!