By Steve Strauss, MrAllBiz
In terms of small business, of course no one “won” the pandemic, but if anyone was able to adapt to the times it was YouTube yoga sensation, Adriene Mishler, the woman behind “Yoga With Adriene.”
How Adriene exploded her online yoga business is an amazing success story for a few reasons, but three in particular stand out to me:
- She did it organically, that is, she did not use paid advertising.
- She ended up making money.
- She helped her audience in the process.
These all go hand in hand of course; but what I really love is that her strategy was so simple that it is something any of us can do.
I first became aware of Adriene about a year ago as we were heading into quarantine.
Like so many others, I was nervous about my business, nervous about the future, eating too much and generally out of sorts. That is when my oldest daughter told me about Adrienne’s “30-day Yoga Journey” on YouTube. Given that the yoga studio I had been going to had just closed (and little did we know that it would eventually be for good), an at-home yoga challenge sounded prefect.
And it was.
Like so many others, I was taken with Adriene’s friendly and knowledgeable delivery. Her classes were like a breath of fresh as a time when fresh air was so desperately needed.
Adriene had been growing her online yoga empire for quite some time pre-pandemic, but it really took off in 2020; the pandemic seemed to cement her status as the go-to person for online yoga.
But it wasn’t always so.
Adriene and her business partner Chris Sharpe started posting her free yoga classes on YouTube in 2012 and her following grew slowly, methodically.
But, wanting to accelerate things, they decided to figure out how YouTubers actually searched for yoga classes.
What they learned was enlightening – for them, and us.
It turned out that people didn’t search (as you might have thought, as I had thought) for “free yoga,” or “online yoga,” or any other similarly generic terms. Instead, their yoga searches were far more specific:
- “Yoga for weight loss”
- “Yoga for back pain”
- “Yoga for seniors”
The light went on and Adriene went to work. She started creating, recording, posting, and tagging yoga classes on much more specific subjects. Then, of course, when people would search for those sorts of specific yoga classes, Adriene’s free classes would pop up and get clicked.
Yoga With Adriene passed the 200,000 subscriber mark by 2016, creating a tipping point. Withing a few years, her channel surpassed the 2 million subscribers mark. Her most popular class has now been viewed more than 30 million times.
And today? Today, post pandemic, Yoga With Adriene has almost 10 million subscribers.
The lesson is critical for anyone who works to get clicks online. Instead of creating generic content and generic headlines, dig in, see what your tribe is really searching for (Google’s keyword planning tools can help you with this) and then create specific content and headlines that speak to those specific inquiries.
And I bet that if you do, you will be doing your own sun salutation before too long.
PC: Yoga with Adrienne