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2020 has been a very challenging year for many small business owners, especially those whose business model depends on providing in-person services. Sommer and Paul Sobin, owners of Thousand Petals Yoga in Chapel Hill, found themselves in uncharted territory when the state-mandated gyms and fitness studios close in March for an indefinite amount of time. With decades of Zen teaching experience and breathing techniques under their belts, the couple kept calm and turned to their trusted partner—Rivers Agency—to bring their business online.

“Moving from our studio to entirely online classes was a big transition for us,” said Sommer Sobin, owner and instructor at Thousand Petals Yoga. “Rivers had helped redesign our old website, so we consulted them about the best way to communicate these changes and advertise our new offerings. The goal was to keep our students engaged in their practice with us, and also attract new people looking for online fitness classes.”

Rivers needed to move quickly to drive new business to Thousand Petals Yoga and retain its client base. The Sobins opted to offer students three options to choose from on their new online platform. Their premier product is a monthly online subscription for unlimited on-demand classes, they also offer donation-based live-stream classes, and recordings of the previous week’s classes.

To promote the monthly subscription for on-demand classes, Rivers built and designed a new landing page for the Thousand Petals website. The subscription was prominently featured with an explanation of what was included and a compelling offer to try it for free for seven days. Their library of recorded classes is hosted on Namastream, an online teaching software, and subscribers can access hundreds of classes for just $25 a month. Using an existing software platform expedited the transition and was a cost-efficient way to manage the technical requirements.

Next, the website was updated to feature the studio’s three offerings and explain each product. Rivers then wrote SEO descriptions for each of the product pages to optimize the site’s searchability and broaden the studio’s reach since a physical location was no longer a constraint for attracting new students.

“Our new online presence is the future of our studio,” noted Sommer. “We’re so grateful the Rivers team got us up and running quickly so that we can practice with our students and have a revenue stream for our business during these unprecedented times.”

Five Takeaways to Successfully Move Your Business Online

  1. Research competitors to make sure you’re offering competitive rates
  2. Leverage your email list and social media channels to promote your virtual offerings
  3. Use metadata and keywords to expand your reach
  4. Include incentives to lower any barriers to entry
  5. Don’t recreate the wheel—find a platform that is built to support your business niche

If you’re taking your business online, the Rivers team in Raleigh, North Carolina is here to help.

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