“Google makes it so easy for people to find our business, and that’s huge for growth.”Suzie Mills
Founder & CEO
Suzie Mills bravely served her country in the U.S. Air Force for eight years. While deployed to Afghanistan, she decided she wanted to offer veterans and civilians alike a more holistic way to keep their bodies and spirits in healthy shape. Back home in Northern Virginia, she founded Honest Soul Yoga in 2013 to give yoga newcomers a judgement-free place to explore the practice. “Our focus is on welcoming people. We want to create a community, especially for military families,” Suzie says. With this special mission in mind, she has grown Honest Soul Yoga into one of the most popular yoga studios in the area.
Honest Soul Yoga relies on the web to get the word out to local would-be yogis. “I know from personal experience that yoga can be intimidating,” Suzie says, “so I try to have a strong online presence that shows people exactly what they can expect from us.” That means keeping the studio’s Google My Business listing up-to-date with the latest business hours, photos, Q&As, and customer reviews. “For us, it comes down to being searchable, sharing reviews that reflect who we really are, and providing clear directions to our location—those are what bring people through the front door,” she explains. To compete with larger studios, Honest Soul Yoga turns to Google Analytics to better understand their customers and fine-tune their marketing. “It allows us to curate the Honest Soul experience for them. They know we’re the right fit before they ever step into the studio.” Internally, they use G Suite tools, such as Gmail, Docs, and Drive, to collaborate from anywhere and stay on top of business.
Today, nothing is too great a stretch for Honest Soul Yoga. Seventy percent of customers continue to find them online, and their entire marketing budget is now committed to digital. They have tripled the size of their studio to 3,600 square feet and expanded to include a 500-square-foot retail space. They employ 30 people, over half of whom are veterans and military spouses, and plan to open a second studio in 2018. For Suzie, however, the real victory is being able to create a strong community for the veterans and their families who comprise over half of her clients. “We’ve been offering yoga twice a week at Fort Belvoir for military families for two years,” she says. “We’re proud to give back to the military community in any way.”