This weeks Idea: Yoga that’s too hot to touch?

with Neil Godin

His name is Chris Ridout. He’s the owner of Zoomer Yoga in Coquitlam, BC. You’ve never heard of him. And neither have I. But. Chris is using a marketing strategy that’s as old as the hills (and as new as tomorrow) to guarantee that a lot more people will have heard of him – real quick.

Chris has taken out ad space in one of his local rags, called SNAP Coquitlam – a print weekly based on photos instead of text. Instead of treating his space as a regular display ad, Chris makes it look a bit like an editorial column – and gives himself the opportunity to play editor. The text (below) is hard to read, but take a moment to magnify it and you’ll get a real kick out of the questions and answers he has written to himself from imaginary readers.

The Yoga Guy. Fake questions. True answers. Brilliant marketing!

The Yoga Guy. Fake questions. True answers. Brilliant marketing!

Here’s my favorite: “Dear Yoga Guy. Does Hot Yoga mean you have to be a hot young hard body to do it? I’ve never taken a yoga class before, but someone told me I should try it.” His answer (in part): “You’re gonna sweat. A lot! May I recommend a beginners Hatha Yoga class instead.” His language and tone are irreverent and fun. Just the tone needed to let readers know that yoga – or yoga at Zoomer Yoga, at least, isn’t intimidating and aloof. Not only is he raising his profile with this approach, he’s educating the public, and widening the market for yoga in general. How good is that?

Your call to action

I urge my marketing and sales coaching clients to take similar approaches as part of what we call their
“attraction marketing” program. The idea (obviously) is to attract new customers without old fashioned selling. At the very least you should publish a blog and newsletter – giving yourself a vehicle to stay in touch with past and present customers – and get in front of new customers. Doing so also gives you a platform for sharing your ideas, knowledge and insights about your business – while positioning you as “the expert” – “The Yoga Guy” in this case – so that people come to think of you as the go-to guy or go-to gal, when they want what you sell.

I love looking at our Google stats (Google Analytics) for Marketing Dangerously – seeing people from around the world subscribing to the newsletter and visiting the blog. It’s good for business and, like yoga, it’s good for the soul.

See you next week.


If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.


  1. Hey Neil – love your stuff. I couldn’t read the Yoga print. Could you send out pdf attachment or something?

    As a realtor, I’m trying to promote my webinars for home buyers and sellers – no hype, no sales, just good info. I’m a believer that people want ‘the beef’ instead of the sales pitch.

    • Hi Bruce. Just saw your note now (stuck in my spam filter. Ouch.) Please just enlarge your screen to read the yoga text, but if that doesnt work for some reason, pls lemme know, and I will send a pdf. Thanks for your note.

  2. Greetings Neil, We got a kick out of seeing a SNAP “article” used in the above marketing article that you wrote. You’d probably like hearing about how the entire business model of SNAP focuses on some of the points you touched on. While we do work with soem clients to portray them as “experts in the community” with articles (like the one in your Yoga example). Our real tool is in our event coverage. Those photographers and “small” stories, (our content) is submitted/created by the community themselves. In other words the content is generated by the audience, ensuring they will always be engaged with it.With that philosophy in mind we actually will work with a local business to act as 3rd party to brag about the various community related or “good news” events that local businesses or organization is involved in. Of course, this even leads to us helping a business create those events as well. We do not charge for that but do it to help the community see the various good news events they (and the business community) are a part of each month. This service is invaluable for business that donate to charity, have customer appreciation days, staff bbq’s etc. While we make money helping them promote goods & services (through ads), we give back to those partners by investing in them to brag about their reputations in the community (with positive event coverage/positive PR). All around it helps a business fire on all cylinders and get way better results keeping their brand top of mind in a hyper-local arena (i.e. their hometown). Most of the time a business works with a marketing vehicle to sell goods and services only, and must leave the “reputational PR” to their own social networking devices. Interesting concept, don’t you think?

Speak Your Mind