You already know that you’re here on this planet to elevate humanity but perhaps you’re feeling a bit confused about how to organize or market a spiritual retreat. That’s fine, you’re not a natural born marketer, you’re a soul-led leader, here to guide us through our healing and spiritual journeys.
The good news is: you can learn how to market your transformative event in a way that remains authentic AND it brings you aligned abundance.
REAL ADVICE FROM SOMEONE WHO’S BEEN THERE
And instead of just giving you tips on how to attract soul clients as a spiritual entrepreneur, I thought it’s best to give you something a LOT more specific to retreats. Because when you market a spiritual retreat, it’s not a service you’re selling. What you offer is a life-changing experience.
My intention was to bring you a real retreat expert to give you practical advice that’ll not only fill your retreat but you can market your retreat in a way that’s in alignment with your mission.
Meet the extraordinary Sheri Rosenthal, the founder and creative force behind Wanderlust Entrepreneur and the visionary leader of Journeys of the Spirit. Sheri and her team have journeyed through nearly a thousand retreats, and she’s here to share her invaluable insights with you.
🎁 Sheri also has a generous gift for you – a resource that will illuminate the path to marketing your retreat with authenticity, even if you’re a new to the business realm. You can grab yours at the end of this article. JUMP TO THE FREE RETREAT MARKETING RESOURCE ↓
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PRACTICAL TIPS FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL RETREAT
First of all, who is Sheri Rosenthal?
Sheri: I am the CEO of Wanderlust Entrepreneur and it is the joy of my life where we help heart-based entrepreneurs add transformational destination retreats to their businesses so they can travel the world, help more people and make a great income doing so. And in my formal life, I was actually a physician who practiced for 18 years.
Then way way back in 1998, I sold my practice and I went on a bit of a spiritual journey. I went and studied with Don Miguel Ruiz (who wrote The Four Agreements) for eight years, and during two of those years, I ran his business. And during that time, I was able to run and manage all of his transformational destination retreats. The first retreat turned my head around 180 degrees. Changed my whole life perspective.
After training with Miguel Ruiz, I opened my own travel agency. Then in 2014, I started Wanderlust Entrepreneur specifically to train retreat leaders. The people in our community are amazing. They’re all people who are transformational leaders that want to change lives, and there’s nothing more inspiring than being with people who are changing lives worldwide.
IF YOU’RE PLANNING A RETREAT FOR THE FIRST TIME
If you have a calling to host a soul-enriching retreat but feeling a bit lost in the maze of marketing, you’re about to read a ton of practical tips on how to market a spiritual retreat, why money is not your enemy and what to include on your retreat sales page. Grab a cup of tea and a notebook, as this article is really juicy, enjoy!
😳 What’s the biggest surprise for someone who organizes a retreat for the first time?
Sheri: There are a lot of surprises! Most people don’t understand how much marketing is involved in filling a retreat.”
They also realize they don’t know how to price out a retreat, and they end up losing money or not making any money at all. And that is always heartbreaking for our transformational leaders because they’re giving so much and then it’s upsetting when you make nothing in return. That is an extremely critical issue. And most of them have no idea about travel law. So they do things and they’re actually doing them illegally.
💸 Why is it important energetically to receive decent financial compensation for your retreat?
Timi: When someone is pouring their heart, their wisdom, their knowledge and their energy into something so meaningful, yet they are not even breaking even or are they just making a little bit of money is heartbreaking. In your opinion, why is it super crucial for someone to be compensated financially for the amount of work that they do? And I’m not thinking just let’s make a quick profit here, but energetically speaking, why is it important for us to fill that?
Sheri: Thank you for bringing that up because this is such a core issue. It’s not a lot of people think oh, Sheri’s all about the money. No. No. And no.
The way that you are compensated for that so that there’s an exchange of energy is that people are paying you in the form of money because that’s what we use. I mean, it could be chickens, it could be exchanging anything. However, in our society, it’s a piece of paper.
It’s not money that’s bad or wrong or anything. It’s simply a unit of energetic exchange. If you’re giving from your heart and soul for a week on a retreat, this is the way that they honor you back. When you say “Oh, I don’t want to take a lot of money” or “spiritual people don’t take money” what you’re doing is putting your hand out and saying to the universe, I am not accepting abundance. I’m not accepting or participating in an exchange of energy.
That is so not in alignment with how energy moves. If you are giving, people want to gift you back, okay?
Timi: this is something I also see happening a LOT within the spiritual community. There is a ton of resistance towards financial success in general. There are a lot of limiting beliefs about why you shouldn’t be compensated for spiritual skills or knowledge. We were born into THIS timeline. We chose THIS timeline. And this one happens to deal with money.
🙈 What is something that seems boring when planning a spiritual retreat but is really important so it often gets overlooked?
The marketing. They think that simply by the Law of Attraction, people are going to sign up for their retreat. They don’t like marketing and they don’t do it. Or they simply don’t know how to market a spiritual retrat. So even if they create a beautiful sales page, they don’t put it out there.
There could be many different fears behind that: fear of putting yourself out there, being judged or being looked at. Moreover, most people are very uncomfortable when they get negative feedback. It happens. I mean, I have a huge community and you can’t help but have some negative feedback, you just don’t take it personally. (which is also one of the Four Agreements.)
“It’s your sacred duty to market”
You cannot help people unless you put your material out there for them to see and sign up for.
Timi: It’s one thing to want to change the word for the better, but what are you doing to actually achieve that? Because if you are just envisioning it or desiring it, that alone is not going to be enough. Yes, it’s going to set the wheel into motion, but to see real results, you need to take action. You need to take aligned action to call in the energetically aligned clients.
💫 Why is it important for someone to know who their ideal clients are? From an energetic perspective, what happens if I end up just taking anyone with me on a retreat versus if I call in the aligned tribe?
A lot of people rather than learning how to market a spiritual retreat, they just list their event on retreat listing sites to get just anybody. Sometimes you could get someone nice from it, but for the most part there’s misalignment. You really need to promote your retreat to people who know and trust you. Who align with you. It creates an energetic synergy on the retreat and that’s beautiful.
If you get random people, they don’t align with your material. They become, what I call, problem children where during the retreat they start up trouble. They’re always fighting you and challenging you or create a negative energy. Describing your ideal clients is not about the demographics. It’s about the psychographics. Finding people that have the pain points, issues and life perspective that align with you and what you want to teach.
IF YOU WANT TO MARKET A SPIRITUAL RETREAT
There are 2 crucial elements that must be in alignment:
- LOCATION. You are very careful about the location you pick. And that that location aligns with what you’re teaching.
- LANDING PAGE. Your sales page and your website are in alignment with your ideal clients.
What’s your top advice to people who already hosted retreats but didn’t manage to fill them with aligned clients? How can they better market a spiritual retreat?
Choosing a location for a spiritual retreat
First of all, retreats have been around for a long time, and they’ve evolved. People have evolved. You have a much more educated base of people who are purchasing. And this is very important when you want to market a spiritual retreat effectively.
Alignment is critical in retreats that you are very careful about the location you pick and that that location aligns with what you’re teaching. That makes the retreat so much more powerful.
For example, if you’re doing a writing retreat, you could do it on a wonderful beach in a beautiful location or in the woods somewhere. But you could also do it in a place like Edinburgh, which is known for its literary vibe, which would be really fun! And there would be places to go and things to do that would really add to the retreat itself. So it didn’t feel like a workshop that just had some tours or free time to do whatever. If I’m writing my legacy book and that’s what the retreat is about, I also want to walk in the footsteps of other famous authors and get that energy. There should be alignment. It makes it easier to sell out a retreat.
What to include on a retreat sales page?
To successfully market a spiritual retreat, you need a sales page. When you put a retreat together on a website, you’d normally have a dedicated page to tell about our retreat. That’s where people sign up. A retreat sales page is simply a page on your website where you’re sharing all of the delicious information about your trip. And hopefully it’s illuminating. So much so that by the end of the page people want to sign up. And it has different elements to it:
- An intro that explains who this trip is for.
- A part that is interactive, so you’re putting people into the retreat itself with your words.
- Sections that talk about why they should be there, like why are they coming, who is this trip for?
- Benefits talking about the retreat venue, talking about the food, talking about the activities, talking about the value they’re going to get and all of that.
- A cancellation policy and all the important legal issues.
You need to make sure that on your page you are magnetizing the people that you want to go on your trip.
⛑️ If someone doesn’t have marketing skills and doesn’t know how to write copy, is there a way for them to easily get started?
Yes. In our courses, we take people through a process where they really go deep into their ideal client. And deeper than they probably ever thought they would. What is really challenging that person? What are the things that you as the retreat leader want to help with on your trip? So it’s all about understanding your ideal client. What issues you want to help with on the retreat, and how you’ll solve those.
When you work these out, you actually have text to put on a sales page. We take them through this process by getting them submit their homework and revising what they’ve written. Until they have really great text. It’s a tool they can use not just for spiritual retreats, but in their overall business. For anything they’re promoting, they can do the same exercise for a program, a product, a live event or a workshop.
🎁 What resources do you recommend to soul leaders who want to plan and market a spiritual retreat?
We have a wonderful free starter ebook for marketing a retreat. And if you do decide to download it, on the thank you page you can also make use of a free masterclass training. It’s a prerecorded training that goes into some very important issues that most retreat leaders don’t think about. Again, I talk about sales pages, pricing, legalities. It’s a lot squeezed in an hour training, but it’s very helpful. So you can start thinking, I get this. Now I see what it is that I need to have in place to have a successful retreat.
Those two things: the free ebook and the free training, that’s where I’d start to get a better perspective. This is our way of getting to know each other like a little dating. If you feel like it’s helpful and you align and resonate with what we share, then maybe you want to take one of our courses and that’s fantastic. We’d love to have you.