Be too lazy to fail?

I read a review recently by a journalist in a magazine, who’d interviewed the author of a book called ‘The Lazy Winner – The Art of Productive Laziness’. The book cover also has the bizarrely long subtitle: ‘How to do more with less effort and succeed in your work and personal life without rushing around like a headless chicken or putting in 100 hour weeks.’

On the basis of this article I bought the book online and read it from cover to cover. This is a unique occurrence.

I am in fact an avid reader, but when it comes to self-help books I only tend to read the first few chapters, grasp the concept and then find a nice place on a shelf for it. Book becomes shelf-fodder. (Not a unique occurrence.)

But every now and again I find a real treasure. The Lazy Winner is well written, witty and insightful.

In it Peter Taylor suggests applying more thought before leaping into action and throwing effort at a problem or task. A lazy winner, he says, aims for maximum result with minimum effort. Intrigued yet?

You can download a taster of the book on this link:

If you’re interested, DON’T pay full price of £14.99, get a used copy on Amazon for half the price or less.

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Sending your own e-newsletters, which package to use?

The secret of the internet is that it truly has the potential to interact on a one-to-one level with an unlimited number of people.

So how can YOU gain the benefits? E-newsletters of course! But beware… if too many people hit the Spam button whenever you arrive at their inbox, it can affect your ‘credit rating’ – meaning email providers (hotmail, aol)  will automatically shut you out if they think you are an intentional spammer.

Before I give you some anti-spam tips, let’s discuss the best enewsletter package to use, of which there are many. I’ve tried a fair few and all have their pros and cons in terms of price and ease of use. I can now recommend MailChimp as the best in my view.

Mailchimp1. You can set up a free account using the Forever Free Plan – for up to 2,000 subscribers and can send up to 12,000 emails a month – but you are stuck with the Mailchimp logo at the top of all your emails.

2. The Free Plan does allow you to create an online form for your website to capture up to 2,000 subscribers. This gives people a way to express their interest in your services and for you to start building up a database. The Free Plan also provides templates which you can use to create visually enticing emails.

3. If you want to use only your own branding, and the ability to send an unlimited number of emails, the monthly price plans start at about £6.50 for up to 500 subscribers and about £10 for up to 1,000 subscribers. The good news is that there are no hidden fees.

Mailchimp also comes with handy video tutorials and easy-to-use templates.

Now for some antispam tips First of all, using a service such as Mailchimp gives you credibility as far as  email providers are concerned. Mailchimp has it’s own ‘credit rating’ and you ride on the back of that. It also provides ‘unsubscribe’ buttons, plus you scan your enewsletter before you send it for content that is likely to be rated as spam. What you can also do:

  • Be Expected. If people know they subscribed then they won’t be surprised to hear from you. But don’t over do it, once a week is too often. Think about how often you like to receive one from someone you’ve subscribed to yourself.
  • Be Relevant. Split your audience into as many different interest groups as you can; people who inquired via your website, your yoga students, potential leads… This is generally called ‘segmentation’ and it’s vitally important that you can segment your audience in order to keep your enewsletters as relevant as possible.
  • Keep it as short as possible. It’s harder than you think!
  • Be focussed about what you want to achieve with your enewsletter… this is very important as once you start creating one it’s tempting to keep adding more content. However, each item you include will detract from the overall impact of your main news or promotion.
  • Offer things of real value as well as your promotional messages. For example a Health tip for the Day or an inspiring quote or short story.
  • Use clear headings so people can quickly scroll down and see different topics easily, you generally have about 2 seconds to convince someone to read it, and most people tend to only scan through anyway.
  • Your Call to Action – Keep it simple but prominent, be it a phone number or email address.
  • Provide a link for readers to view the Web version. Mailchimp provides an option where people can choose to see a webpage version of the enewsletter, this is handy in case it doesn’t load properly through their email.
  • Play safe with Images. There is no guarantee that viewers will be able to see the images. In fact, Microsoft Outlook often won’t display the images until you hit the ‘download images’ icon. Therefore images must be carefully used and only if they are essentially required. Some points to consider while using images are:
    1. Use Alternative text for all images, so that the viewer sees a name for  image while it’s loading or if it fails to load.
    2. Never ever create an all-image email newsletter, it may be attractive to look at but what if your customers can’t see it
    3.  Don’t use images for headlines.
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Create a unique, custom-designed Facebook Page.

Creating a Facebook Page for your business is a handy way to keep in touch with your yoga students; you can give them class updates and little tips to help with with their practise etc. Pages are usually what people ‘like’ when they hit the Facebook icon on your website.

Facebook Page designs tend to be rather basic though, so how do you create a really snazzy one?

Try one of these templates:
http://pages.wix.com/new#!__new

They are templates for Pages which look like mini websites within your Facebook Page. Pick a free theme and it won’t cost anything. The demonstration video explains how to adjust the theme with your own content and then insert it into your Page.

Wix PagesGood luck!

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Finding yoga pictures for your promotions

We’ve all experienced the power of images, especially emotive imagery. Why does a picture speak a thousand words? An image communicates directly on an emotional level, which is the most powerful way to connect with a potential customer.

The Dru brand uses photographs and colour extensively to convey it’s brand values and quality. Not doubt in your own promotions, you too will be looking for photos.

It’s tempting to simply download the Dru photos from our website, however copyright isn’t transferable, so you will need to purchase or take your own photographs to use in your websites, posters (unless they are Dru branded posters) and other communications.

Where to buy yoga photos:

The great news is that you can now purchase yoga photos very cheaply from various websites.

Cheaper prices:
www.bigstockphoto.com
en.fotolia.com
www.shutterstock.com

Medium prices:
www.istockphoto.com

Expensive:
www.gettyimages.co.uk

Simply search keywords such as ‘yoga class’ ‘yoga outside’ or ‘meditation’ and you can choose from literally thousands of photos, each available at a sliding scale of prices depending on how large or small you need the file size.

Good hunting!

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This might be useful?

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Why it’s worth popping into the Yoga Show 2011.

It’s been a while since my last post, but thought I’d drop you a line while we still have a few weeks left before the Yoga Show London, Olympia on 28-30 October 2011.

I will of course be there on our Dru stand (J1 and J1A) it’s our 8th Yoga Show and I do recommend a visit if you’re free.

1. Most of the Yoga industry will be there. You can check out the competition and find out what’s hot in yoga. Have you ever heard of yoga boxing?? Yep. Now I’m not suggesting you tailor your classes to include the latest trends but it’s worth seeing what IS popular.

2. It’s a good chance to browse the yoga shops (they usually have big stands) which have all the latest book titles, music and yoga accessories.

3. Talking of accessories, you can pick up nice discounts on some of the best yoga clothes ranges out there. Especially on the Sunday when they are trying to shift the last of their stock. It’s a great opportunity to try on different ranges and see which ones suit your body shape and personality best.

4. Networking; you can meet other yoga teachers and swap stories and tips. Hand your business card out to people who run yoga holidays. Why not offer your services as a yoga teacher on one of their ventures? Offer to teach the morning yoga sessions on a Thailand holiday and get your airfare paid. It’s a good way of earning your holiday.

5. You can try other types of yoga – there are lots of lectures, classes and demos.

Basically it’s worth researching the industry that you’re in and I do recommend it.

Until next time!

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A4 Dru Yoga Posters, Student posters and where to put them.

A quick update on the new posters.

I’ve had some requests for A4 versions of the Dru Yoga posters, I’ve just uploaded them onto the download page (email me if you haven’t got the link). Student Teacher will also see a few new posters too.

Good places put put them? Cafes, supermarket notice boards, (anywhere people have to wait around) doctors and dentists waiting rooms, railway stations, laundrettes, chip shops, hairdressers, manicure salons, libraries and cinemas, shop windows (especially if they are next to bus stops), places of worship, village halls, community centres and youth clubs, colleges, universities, health stores, pubs, leisure centres, spas, beauty salons, office cafeterias. If outdoors, (in a bus shelter) then do laminate them to make them waterproof.

Why not also hand your yoga students a bunch and ask them to put some up in their own area?

Good luck!

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