When I opened Nova Yoga Studio in 2010, I had no idea how important and valuable social media and video production would be to the growth of my business. And now? I have my own YouTube Channel and my own show on Rogers Cable.
When I went to Los Angeles for an advanced Yoga Teacher Training program in July of 2011, I started offering videos as a way to stay in touch with my clients. I was closing the studio for a week, because at that time I didn’t have any teachers that could fill in for me, and I wanted people to stay in the Nova Yoga groove (and stay connected to me and my teachings) while I was gone. Before I left I told everyone that I would be filming yoga sequences and posting them on YouTube so that they could keep up the flow on their own. I’ve realized that one of the best things you can do is tell someone you are going to do something: it’s game on, you HAVE to do it! My training schedule in L.A. was pretty hectic, sometimes going until 10:00pm in the evening, so the only time I could find to film each video was before my morning session in my rented apartment . . . at 6:00am. Suddenly this idea didn’t seem so appealing. But I did it, because I said I was going to.
And I’m so glad I did! Clients said they found the videos incredibly useful; so a few months later, after deciding that I wanted to increase my social media presence, I began offering free weekly videos that I named ‘Feel Good Friday’ videos. It was pretty simple and didn’t cost anything except my time. I would set up my laptop to film the video (I now use my iPhone), do a slight bit of (very basic) editing, and then upload the video to YouTube and share it on Facebook and Twitter. Each video offers a 15 minute creative Vinyasa/Flow Yoga sequence structured around a certain theme, such as Yoga for Neck and Shoulders, Core Strength, or Peace Flow. Sometimes I get a little kooky and creative with my sequences and my titles: Turkey Detox, Yoga for the Rainy Day St. John’s Blues, Rockstar Flow, and Yoga for Shovel Shoulders.
I didn’t know what to expect when I released these videos out into scary internet land. Would people like them? Would people like me? What would the response be?
Within a year I had 50 videos uploaded, over 13,000 views, and a ton of positive feedback. I’m still creating these videos and I’m always pleasantly surprised by who they reach: I’ve been stopped at a grocery store by a busy mom of a toddler to say she is so happy to get her yoga fix at home on her own schedule, I’ve heard from a former client who has moved to Sweden and is delighted that she is still able to practice with me, and I’ve gotten an email from a group of women in Vancouver who are doing a 15 minute a day yoga challenge using my videos. Yes – the videos have an audience not only in St. John’s but throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe!
More opportunities are arising from this venture; this past summer I worked on a project with Rogers Cable, creating The Nova Yoga Show, a 13 episode instructional yoga program which is being broadcasted daily on Rogers. Now that I have an audience through my YouTube and Rogers videos, I’m also planning on releasing a yoga DVD in 2013 which will be available for purchase and will feature a full 60 minute yoga practice.
With a bit of time, the power of social media, and a sprinkle of creativity, I’ve been able to promote myself and my business locally, nationally, and internationally, and I will keep offering this service as long as people keep wanting to go with the flow.
Take a look at a couple of my ‘Feel Good Friday’ videos:
Yoga for Neck & Shoulders:
Melanie Caines is an Actor, a Yoga Teacher, a proud Newfoundlander, and the Owner/Operator of Nova Yoga Studio. Check her out at www.novayogaonline.com or flow with her online at www.youtube.com/user/melaniecaines.