As a small business, it’s important that you connect with residents surrounding your studio. The more familiar people are with your business, the more likely they are to join and recommend your studio to friends and family.
Energies Balanced yoga studio in east Austin, Texas, knows this well. Its founders, Lisa and Todd Johnson, are residents themselves. In fact, Lisa grew up a few blocks away from Energies Balanced’s current location, in a home that has been in her family for six generations.
With community in mind, the studio offers multiple events that invite local residents from the outside, in. Community events at the studio range from workshops to a yoga, art, music and happy hour that highlights local artists and creates a relaxing and welcoming space for students to unwind.
In addition, Energies Balanced hosts a yearly yoga retreat held at the nearby Davis Ranch each fall. There, yogis and teachers gather together for a few days of unlimited yoga, entertainment, food and wine.
“The main idea [of the studio] is community,” said Alison Steir, a volunteer at Energies Balanced.
According to Steir, community events are a way to connect with the tight-knit following the Johnsons have built over the years. “At the opening of the studio they said, ‘We never could have done this without you guys,’” she recalled. “It is a family. We all know each other really well. We help each other, and yes it’s a business, but it’s more about the people.”
Steir’s Tips for Reaching out to Your Community
“Offer events that will bring the community in.” If you don’t host an event, no one can come.
“Start slowly.” Add one event and then grow from there.
“Build a following.” For your event to be successful, you have to build a group of people who feel that they belong.
“Build relationships.” According to Steir, the Johnsons have been going to the Davis Ranch for years. As a result, hosting a retreat there was a natural fit due to that established relationship.
“Create brand advocates.” Because Energies Balanced has a teacher training program, those teachers then go out into the community and spread the studio’s positive message.