Alexander was great at marketing his work – in the next few letters to my students in BodyChance, I set out some alternative marketing plans based on the old man’s methods in a time when there were no phones, no radio and poor transport…
SUBJECT: The Most Powerful Marketing Method That Everyone Avoids.
Today I thought I’d let Alexander give you a lesson from his marketing play book.
Alexander walked off the ship into London in 1904. He quickly set about building a practise, and his first port of call was to a Harley Street ear-throat-and-nose Specialist. Clutching a letter from his mentor in Sydney, Australia – a Dr. Mackay – Alexander knocked on the door at 9am on a Sunday morning, betting that the busy doctor was most likely to be home…
In the early 1900’s, this was how Alexander set about building his business! Today we call this “belly-to-belly” marketing, and it is the most labour intensive but fruitful kind of marketing you can do. It also takes a lot of courage, gumption and confidence. Are you doing it?
Start with: Who do you know? Who do you know that knows somebody? Start thinking like this: who might help you in your quest for students by giving you an endorsement? They can be a big fish in a small pond – that doesn’t matter. It only matters who is swimming around in their pond…
For Alexander it was a huge success – he spent the entire Sunday offering lessons and explanations to the doctor, his wife and children! This man went on to refer to FM some of his most famous clients – the great actors and actresses of the West End. They in turn endorsed Alexander to their friends and fans: his London practise was soon thriving.
Today’s equivalent is your local area doctor, chiropractor or acupuncturist – any medical or paramedical with more clients than they need. Find out who that is, and figure out a way of being introduced. The key question here is: what do they want that you can deliver to them: do they want respect in the community? or leadership opportunities? or satisfied clients? or commissions? For example, recently at BodyChance we decided to give 30,000yen ($300) to any teacher that sends a student to ProCourse.
This is itself a marketing project, different from a website or making a brochure.
Alexander was notorious for this kind of name-dropping. His books are riddled with endorsements from well known people of the time. He loved His Lords and Her Ladyships. You need to find their contemporary equivalents to endorse you…
Those people from small communities, where the idea of specializing in a niche is not realistic, your path to success means becoming a community figure. Get involved, do things, express opinions – meet the other locals. Do some outrageous events. Get famous. Go belly-to-belly with as many people as you can. Put up a stall at the local farmers market – why not? Word of mouth is as powerful a marketing technology as an online a google adds campaign, and you set about both consciously, constructively with a specific outcome in mind.
Settle down tonight, make a list of everyone you know. Then make another list of who they know. FaceBook is one place to start. But also think about your local community: who you could talk to? what would interest them? This is a whole area of marketing to consider.
The essential key is always the same – forget about Alexander Technique and what you have to give, figure out what the other persons wants and find a way of giving that. Alexander knew, from his experience in Sydney, that the ear-throat-and-nose Specialists didn’t have a clue how to deal effectively with breathing disorders, or even hoarse throats. He also knew that this doctor was the Specialist for famous actors and singers for the West End, London’s famous theatrical region.
Alexander’s Sunday knock on the door at 9am was not a piece of accidental luck, it was a well planned strategy…
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