As president of the wellness website DrAxe.com, Evan Tardy not only knows how to build a healthy mind and body, but also a healthy marketing strategy for businesses.
It’s that secret of strategy he’ll be sharing as 2018’s first AMA Nashville Power Lunch speaker on Thursday, January 11 at City Winery, diving into the history of DrAxe and how the company has been able to connect with people around the world.
“Our company exists to transform lives. That’s been the vision from day one,” Tardy said.
“Day one” happened around eight years ago, Tardy said, when he first met successful clinician Dr. Josh Axe with a site and newsletter dedicated to getting holistic, empowering nutrition information to patients.
“‘If I have to stack chairs to be a part of what you’re doing, then I’ll do that. I’m in,’” he remembered saying to Axe on the phone after learning more about the founder’s mission.
A month later, Tardy had moved to Nashville and jumped headfirst into DrAxe.com, making pivotal decisions at Axe’s kitchen table and shipping the site’s products from the garage.
And as the business started small, so did the marketing. Starting with Axe’s first 200 newsletter subscribers and 300 to 400 likes on Facebook, the team tracked followers by the 1s and 5s, Tarday said, aspiring to one day have a page with thousands of followers like that of entrepreneur Tim Ferriss.
“I remember looking at all of that and looking at people that were ahead of us and thinking ‘Wow, how could we get to that level?’ But through trying and trying and continuing to push through, we started throwing stuff against the wall and starting to see what stuck,” he said.
Today, 2.5 million people follow the Dr. Axe Facebook page. 2 million people receive the newsletter. And the business’s website registers 14.5 million unique visitors per month. According to Alexa’s metrics tracking service, this makes them the No. 1 natural health website in the world, Tardy said.
Two major factors played into the road from 200 to 2 million, Tardy said. The first part of Dr. Axe’s strategy was one of Tardy’s favorite lessons from Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Crush It!”
“Give value, give value, give value. Then ask for business,” Tardy said
By creating valuable content for consumers before asking for their business, Dr. Axe built a foundation on providing educational content – 2 to 3 articles per day – and established an audience for the product before it even existed.
It also means actively trading providing “information” – which, in this day and age, is readily available for anyone who wants it, Tardy pointed out – for “insight,” creating relevant content on how to apply knowledge for lasting change.
The second factor in the marketing plan was the company’s choice to not strike out in many directions at once with their marketing campaign, but rather to make every move very intentional.
“For us, we decided to really focus our efforts on being really, really good at one channel, mastering it. Once we got past the 80/20 of results on that channel, then we started working on another channel,” he said.
For Dr. Axe, that first, main social channel was Facebook. By zeroing in on one platform and “proactively ignoring” others four years ago, the team was able to consistently create content built specifically for a certain community, investing energy, time and care in one place and seeing major change as a result.
The team’s efforts on social media, content development, SEO, article marketing and email marketing all tie in together to create a cohesive marketing strategy that has rocketed Dr. Axe from $2M to over $100M in less than 4 years.
But perhaps the real secret of success lies in the advice of one of Tardy’s friends.
“He says that the key to being successful is to have one really good idea and then be extremely careful to never have another good idea. It’s making sure you don’t get distracted,” he joked.
Tardy will be the keynote speaker at AMA Nashville Power Lunch’s The 4 Pillars of Digital Marketing on January 11. Register now.