It all started with a video, at least for me. I saw it last fall, shared it via Facebook, in part because it was so beautifully done, but mostly because it said, “Never give up,” and showed it in such a beautiful way.
When you’re an entrepreneur with a business you believe in, not giving up is a message you need to hear again and again.
If you haven’t seen Arthur Boorman’s story, then watch this video…immediately:
I happened across Arthur’s video again a couple of months ago, and this time, I took a minute to find out more about how his transformation happened. A minute became a half hour and that half hour turned into a serious exploration into something called DDP Yoga.
What is DDP Yoga?
DDP Yoga is the brainchild of Diamond Dallas Page, a three-time World Champion wrestler (yep, that wrestling) and the most unlikely candidate to be doing yoga (more on that later). DDP Yoga itself is a combination of yoga, traditional fitness, dynamic resistance (isometrics), and sports therapy. The claim is that you can get strength, cardio, and flexibility in one, minimal-impact workout. We’ll talk about the program itself in Part 2.
What’s Awesome About the Business of DDP Yoga
I’ve analyzed the history of the DDP Yoga business and suffice to say, this business has had an interesting ride. You’d think that a celebrity with name recognition and a huge fan base would find entrepreneurship pretty simple – create something and your people will buy it, right? Wrong. Not only does the business of DDP Yoga have an interesting story, it has a lot of lessons you can learn from.
Remember that DDP created something that, by its name alone, faced rejection by DDP’s fan base, mostly comprised of some fairly macho dudes. But DDP is rebranding yoga as a manly endeavor (DDP Yoga started out as “Yoga for Regular Guys”), returning it to its original warrior workout status. And here’s the other piece of the DDP rebranding story – the original workout (which you won’t find anywhere) was watered-down DDP. And it didn’t work. Lesson: If you’ve created a personal brand that works, stick with that brand and don’t let it get diluted. Period.
It’s easy to see the smart public relations at work with DDP Yoga. DDP and those he’s helped with DDP Yoga are regularly featured on shows like “The Doctors,” and Adam Corolla’s podcast (and mine!) The coolest thing about their PR is that they have a ton of hooks—they’re redefining yoga, there are these well-known wrestlers like Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Scott Hall who DDP has brought back from the brink with friendship and his yoga regimen, DDP himself as the unlikely yogi, not to mention the massive transformations like Arthur Boorman, and the contrarion idea that you can get cardio, strength, and flexibility at the same time, without jumping around. Lesson: Look for the hook in your story (or create one) and make that the centerpiece of your PR campaign.
The video about Arthur Boorman has over 10 million views now. But that video would never have gone viral if it had been a commercial for DDP yoga, or if it had ever mentioned DDP Yoga. That it didn’t include the words “DDP Yoga” was intentional—they wanted to inspire people with the video, rather than to advertise, and they knew people would follow the breadcrumbs if they really wanted to. Lesson: Viral videos can’t be contrived or poorly-concealed ads. It’s an art form. And it’s not about selling, it’s about the difference you make.
Social Media Power
If you take a close look at DDP Yoga’s marketing strategies, you’ll notice a serious social media platform. DDP himself has been on YouTube for years, and his social media platforms, most notably on Twitter and Facebook, are nothing to sneeze at. Take a look at the Facebook page for DDP Yoga and you’ll see a huge lovefest for the program, with people talking about their journeys and transformations. Same thing with the Twitter feed. People don’t just like the program—they love it. And they’re passionate enough to talk about it a lot. Everything gets retweeted and favorited, and DDP knows that’s key to people feeling connected to him and to the brand. Lesson: You have to manage your social media and leverage it. Don’t outsource the relationship-building in social media. Connect with the people on a human level and really build those relationships.
Another smart move made in the DDP camp is the use of celebrity endorsements. There’s no better endorsement than the progress of DDP himself, having made a better-than-ever comeback from a massive back injury that could have ended his career. But the list of celebrities who have been helped by DDP Yoga is growing by leaps and bounds, including wrestlers Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Scott Hall, Chris Jericho, Golddust, Stevie Richards, Zach Ryder, UFC fighters Sean Loeffler, Jim Miller, Tito Ortiz, Justin McCully, and Josh Barnett, comedians Gabriel Iglesias and Ralphie May. This might be the one place where DDP had a true advantage—he had relationships with well-known and well-placed individuals who tried out the program. However, even pre-existing relationships aren’t always enough to get you an endorsement by a celebrity or well-known person. You have to have a product that works. Lesson: Build authentic relationships with well-placed people in your industry—it’s a good way to show up in the world to build genuine relationships. It also turns out to be highly beneficial later when you can help each other out in a variety of ways.
So here’s the point:
The success of your business is about more than just how you market your business. As I’m always telling you, you need self-mastery, solid relationships, good branding, smart PR, and a strong marketing plan, but you also need a lot more, even if you’re a celebrity with name recognition, wealth, and a lot of fans.