Laughter Yoga Business, February 2015
One of the challenges of writing a blog/column/article every month is coming up with a topic, or knowing what it is that people need to know. So last month I put out a request to those of you who responded to my monthly piece to tell me what I should write about. Matti Antilla from BC Canada accepted my offer and asked “How do you go from a non-profit to a profitable Laughter Yoga business?” Thanks Matti. Here is the “simple” 5 Step Process to achieve this.
1. Start and run a weekly Laughter Club - As Laughter Club is free (I ask for donations to cover expenses which people happily pay), people have lower expectations than when you start to charge for a laughter presentation or workshop. A Laughter Club is where you can practice your skills as a laughter leader, trainer, facilitator, presenter, and speaker, without fear of people judging you too harshly. It also helps build your confidence. It let’s you experiment with new laughs and be able to handle a diverse group or people. The MOST different and diverse group that you will EVER encounter will be at a social Laughter Club.
2. Improve your presentation skills - One of the common misperceptions is that because you can run a Laughter Club then you can present Laughter Yoga to other interested groups and charge for it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Professional speaking is a skill that needs to be learned. I highly recommend Toastmasters as a starting point http://www.toastmasters.org Another thing that I recommend is to develop a set Laughter Session format that works and stick to it. If you want to know how you’re going as a presenter, you can video one of your presentations and send it to me. I will give you my feedback and some tips and hints on how to improve it … free of charge.
3. Create a Killer BIO - Your bio has many uses. It can be used to send to prospective clients, in your marketing material, on your website, to get people excited about attending your session, and to introduce you onto the stage to name a few. It is your “brag sheet” that has people saying … WOW! I have a process to create a 1 page Killer Bio that is a part of my 2 Day Laughter Yoga Business Training. http://www.laughteryoga.org/english/training/page/97 This training can be done online. (An extension of a Killer BIO is to create a Killer Video Demo. It’s not cheap but will pay for itself in the first few gigs you get when people see it).
4. Have a Business Plan - A business plan has many uses. It allows you to determine the number and types of programs that you want to present, and to which groups. It helps to determine your Vision Statement and how that will be achieved. Most importantly it helps you to know how much to charge. One of the most commonly asked questions is “how much should I charge?” and my answer is always the same. Refer to your Business Plan as the answer is there. How to create a 1 page Business Plan is also part of the 2 Day Laughter Yoga Business Training.
5. Have a Marketing Plan - One of my speaking mentors said to me one day “Without an effective Marketing Plan you’re the best kept secret in town”. He followed it up with “Merv, there are speakers out there who are half as good as you, getting twice as much work as you, because they are better at marketing themselves.” OUCH and TRUE! The prime purpose of a Marketing Plan is to provide you with leads. From there you can make sales. It also gives you clarity about which method you should use, along with the message that you want to send. Developing a Marketing Plan is also a part of the 2 Day Business Training.
As I said at the start this is “simple” … but not “easy”. This is why people find it hard to achieve. Matti thanks so much for your question, and allowing me to blatantly promote my 2 Day Laughter Yoga Business Training ha ha ha. If you have any further questions about how to go from Free to Fee then please feel free to email me at email@example.com at anytime. Recommendations for future topics are also appreciated.