Since moving to Los Angeles, I’ve been on the receiving end of “advice” about how to run our business on a daily basis.
This has come from agents, managers, CEOs of major media businesses, YouTube “experts,” internet marketing gurus, and other industry hangers-on.
I get hit with this advice at parties, meetings, run-ins with my neighbors and the inescapable pick-your-brain coffee meetings. It is inescapable.
The problem is that almost all of it is terrible.
It just took me too long to realize it.
In the early days, I listened and I even implemented some of it. This has cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars and at least a year of my life. No exaggeration.
For the most part, these people all have good intentions. They’re just operating on an outdated paradigm of how things work. They also have a desperate desire to be successful in the “industry.” They aren’t interested in a 7-figure lifestyle, but a 9-figure...
I’m writing to you from my hotel room in Austin, TX. It’s Day 3 of the SXSW festival and it’s great to be back in Austin - which feels like my hometown even though I wasn’t born here. I’m listening to a great Twine Time playlist which really has me feeling the Austin vibe.
Adriene and I kicked off the festival with a panel on how we started Yoga With Adriene and how we operate a business where we give 90% of everything we make away for free. It went really well and I look forward to doing more of this in the future. I’ll share the recording as soon as SXSW posts it.
Thank you to everyone who downloaded the 30 Days of Yoga case study. The feedback was really great. While the foundational YouTube stuff is critical, sometimes you need some kind of “stunt” to move the needle. So if there’s one big thing to take away from that it should be: keep trying new things.
There were a couple of recurring questions amidst all the emails...
For the past 5 years, Yoga With Adriene has published daily videos in January. This started in 2015 with our first 30 Days of Yoga series. When we hatched the idea, YWA was still just a two-person company with Adriene and I doing everything.
Back then, the channel wasn’t growing very fast. I think we still had less than 100,000 subscribers. The response to the videos was great, but the audience was small. I thought that a daily yoga series in January could change all that. Especially, if we put in the extra work to promote it. We had a loyal audience, we just needed something really cool (and free) that they could tell their friends about. It might just be a shot-in-the-arm for the channel.
Once we started production, we quickly realized we had bitten off a lot more than we could chew. 30 videos is a lot more than it sounds like when it is just an idea on paper. After a few days of production with just me running two cameras, we hired an additional camera person for the...
We recently wrapped up the 2018 Yoga With Adriene Roadshow. The tour ran for 6 weeks with stops in Stockholm, Berlin, London, Amsterdam and Paris. I was lucky enough to tag along for two weeks in London (with a quick trip to Amsterdam). Each year the crowds get bigger and the experience gets more mind-blowing.
The photo above is from Alexandra Palace in London where over 2,400 people attended. It took two hours just to get everybody in the room and on their mats. The energy in this space was amazing.
This started with two people in a room with a couple of cheap cameras trying to make YouTube videos that would introduce people to the tools of yoga. We wanted to bring yoga into the lives of people who might not feel comfortable attending a yoga class.
Now we have the honor and privilege of meeting these people in “real life” at some of the biggest yoga events I’ve ever seen. The energy we poured into Yoga...
Ever since the first 30 Days of Yoga series, life has been a blur. I somehow forgot (or never knew) that these videos existed. They were produced by YouTube as part of the Creator Academy. Adriene talks about how to start a YouTube Channel and how to turn your viewers into dedicated fans.
We've learned a lot since these videos were recorded but everything we're doing now is built on the foundation that she talks about in these videos. So, whether you're already a YouTuber or are just thinking about starting a YouTube channel - they're definitely worth the few minutes it will take to watch them.
If these videos piqued your interest and you'd like to know more behind-the-scenes info about how we started the Yoga With Adriene channel, check out this episode of Audio on Video - recorded right around the same time.
In January of this year we launched the first Yoga With Adriene product. It was called REBOOT and it was a 4 video online class designed to help people get over their "holiday hangovers" and establish a consistent at-home yoga practice. We had no idea what we were doing. It was the first online video product that I had ever launched and everything that could go wrong pretty much did.
Despite the chaos, REBOOT was a huge success. With the help of the REBOOT community, we gradually worked through the technical issues and polished up the class. It was a significant turning point in the Yoga With Adriene project. In addition to the videos and instruction, we created a closed Facebook group for people to share their experiences.
It was in this group that all the elements came together and a thriving community started to take shape. This group allowed Adriene and me to communicate directly with people from all over the world who were fans of the show and liked it enough to invest their...
It's been a little over a year since we launched Yoga With Adriene. I figured it was time to finally update you on how things are going.
Right now we’ve got almost 40,000 YouTube subscribers and our daily video views are consistent and trending upwards. Our email list is healthy and growing (despite a lot of neglect). We also just had a very successful product launch. Despite some really bumpy spots in 2013, I think things are actually going really well.
I knew YWA had a lot of potential, but I had always planned on using it as a case study. I had learned a lot through the creation and production of Hilah Cooking and I wanted to implement some of those things and launch a new project. Yoga seemed like the perfect fit and I knew Adriene would be the perfect host.
When we were in the early stages of developing the show, I had planned on writing an in-depth blog series about this. I got totally overwhelmed in the production of almost 200 videos last year and the blog series never...
Just a few years ago I would have never predicted I would be spending almost all my time creating “lifestyle” content. Back then I was totally focused on making bloody low-budget horror movies. But I was feeling really burned out after my last feature and decided to give myself a year to just explore and experiment with what interested me. I spent a lot of time getting my internet skills up to speed and learning about the world of internet marketing and online video.
Before I knew it, Hilah and I had launched Hilah Cooking. Learning how to make a successful YouTube channel was a lot of fun and I found myself completely obsessed with internet video. I felt like I had found the perfect combination of filmmaking, publishing, marketing and the geeky search engine stuff I had spent so much time studying.
Perhaps the most gratifying part of it, was that there were a LOT of people who actually wanted to watch this stuff we were making.