July 13, 2020
Running With It: Yoga With Adriene
Yoga With Adriene is currently one of the most watched channels on YouTube. Some say she’s the most influential yoga teach on the planet. Adriene offers high quality, free yoga videos for people of all levels. Whilst she was already on an upwards trajectory, Adriene was one of the lucky businesses who’ve seen success skyrocket since C-19. To say the word obsessed is overused is an understatement - but in this case, it’s warranted. Adriene’s subscribers are obsessed. They eagerly await each new upload, ready to hear those now iconic words “hop into something comfy, and let’s get started”. What is it about Yoga With Adriene that makes her so popular, and what can we learn from it? Let’s get started...

She’s the anti-influencer

Let’s play word association with “fitness influencer.” Pretentious. Half-naked. Lots of makeup. Cringe. Elitist. Unrealistic. Adriene is anything but. She’s entered a saturated health and wellbeing market and done something that is rare: put a fresh spin on it. Her content is friendly (shooting it in her home is a stroke of genius – just two pals hanging out doing yoga together) and accessible to people no matter whether you have the means to get to a bougie studio or not. She reminds you of yourself at home; in comfy clothes with the dog you either have or want to have. The Guardian put it perfectly: “[Adriene] comes across as sweet and wholesome, like the one popular girl in school who was actually kind.” She’s funny and self deprecating, encouraging and a touch dorky.

Her content is spot on (we’ll get to that later) and one of the most important (and very deliberate) choices she makes is to leave her mistakes in the edit. It’s not polished – it’s relatable. Showing her own vulnerability puts the viewer immediately at ease. That’s really all you want from a yoga teacher.

There’s something for everyone – it’s inclusive

Adriene has a yoga routine for everything. Angry? There’s a video for that. Anxious, sore back, period pain? You’ll find something on her channel. It’s easy to see why yoga has exploded in recent months with enforced couch time going through the roof, mental wellbeing taken a hit and physical health suffering too. Millions of people around the world have the same problems, and Adriene has the answers.

Following on from the anti-influencer theme (in fact Adriene has spoken about her dislike of hypocritical influencers here), she is also staunchly non-judgemental. She caters to people on the entire spectrum of fitness, physical ability and yoga knowledge. Adriene’s yoga isn’t particularly technical and you understand it’s more about mental wellbeing than getting ripped in the first 5 minutes of her videos. In fact, she targeted viewers who weren’t yogis and had probably never practiced before to begin with.

Her slogan (and now trending hashtag #FWFG) Find What Feels Good sums it up perfectly – there is no pressure to follow a routine or hold a pose that doesn’t feel good. Want to rest in Childs Pose for the entire video? You know Adriene would be cool with that.

Adriene has created a community

With a welcoming energy and true inclusivity comes community. People want to be (or already consider themselves) friends with Adriene and they want to share their love of her and the yoga with others who feel the same way. She has actively maintained a peer-to-peer tone of voice rather than an authoritative one and the flow on effect of this relationship with her fanbase is the creation of a tight-knit and loyal following. She has guaranteed repeat viewership for herself. Inside that lovely, unassuming persona we sense a very smart, business savvy woman.

Key Takeaways:

  • To cut through influencer noise you have to be completely true to yourself as a person. No mask, no fake bullshit. Viewers know if you’re being authentic and it’s the most powerful tool you’ve got.
  • Inclusivity and authenticity leads to community. Define your values and live by them as a brand.
  • Consistent, high quality content that your target audience can rely on is a fast way of building a viewership.

Okay that was a solid hour of typing. Getting into something comfy and tuning into “Yoga For Writers”.

Check out some other brands you can learn from like Fenty Beauty and Up Bank.