When a new member signs up for their first class, are they filling out forms and creating a transaction for you or are they taking the first step of their journey on the path of enlightenment?

The famous marketer Seth Godin released a book in 2005 titled “All Marketers are Liars.” The title was later changed to “All Marketers Tell Stories.” In the very beginning of the book, Godin points out people (consumers) tell themselves a story based on how the marketing of your brand made them feel. The point is this: As a marketer, you must sell a feeling, not a service. However, that is just the beginning; we then must back that feeling with authenticity, something there is surely no shortage of in the yoga community. Now let me ask you again:

Is your studio a place for fitness or a sanctuary of zen and fulfilment?

Are you a yoga instructor or a spiritual guide?

Do your members stretch for an hour or do they practice balancing their minds, bodies and spirits in pursuit of their ultimate practice?

Some people may say they’re the same thing said differently, but your members will notice the difference in how they feel, and your bottom line will notice a difference too. If your members feel the latter option of each question, they will have a far different experience compared to the people that experience the former options. The latter camp will tell themselves a story that you and your studio are the one and only person and place that can give them such an amazing experience.

So how do we tell a story that can inspire people to feel so strongly about your studio and more importantly, your brand? First, it is important to understand the worldview of your target market — understand their philosophy of life. Once you determine the most common worldview of your target market, then all you have to do is frame your message to fit it. This will not just ensure that your message is heard, but more importantly, people will want to listen because you have related to them. People will begin to tell themselves a story — maybe that story is you understand them or maybe your studio cares more about their physical and emotional needs than any other place of fitness. With this strategy, your prospective members will begin to tell themselves a fanciful story and as long as you deliver that authenticity, the second they step through your doors and enjoy class, you have made their story come true.

Evoking certain feelings can be a tall task for marketers. Fortunately for you, as a studio owner, you are likely very in-tune with yours. So go ahead and give marketing feelings over services a try — it may put a smile on your students’ faces.

Dan Berger is Mr. Personality (co-founder) of fitDEGREE. Learn about fitDEGREE’s Early Adopter program at studio.fitdegree.com.