Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Old Marketing Trick Did Alexander Use To Attract Students To Him? 13th Letter to BodyChance Students

Alexander’s second major strategy from his marketing play book is shocking, if only because few Alexander Technique teachers today have the guts to follow his lead!

SUBJECT: What Old Marketing Trick Did Alexander Use To Attract Students To Him?

Dear Seito-san,

Alexander could never be accused of being shy about his opinion.

In the oughts’ of last century in London, there were no phones or radio – the only form of mass communication available was the newspaper. So what did Alexander do? He started writing Letters To The Editor. Usually his letters took objection to some article, so that he could deftly introduce his own ideas and differences.

Alexander was not niching. He was using another strategy…

For some of you, career success through niching is not the answer. There can be many reasons for this: you have no particular skill or niche interest beyond Alexander Technique; you live in an isolated or small community; you are not mobile. So what to you do? You become a somebody. How do you do that? Lot’s of different ways.

How did Alexander’s go about doing that?

Alexander reveled in being the contrarian. He insulted as many people as he could – in the nicest possible way – using one of the oldest tricks in the marketing book: make your opponents look like idiots who don’t know a thing; then offer your own, elegant solution.

Rather than talk about what you have to offer, spend greater time tearing down your competition. Expose their fatuous arguments and unsubstantiated claims – people are already familiar with these ideas, so you immediately put yourself into a context they understand, but then what you say is original, startling, unique. You want to shock people – you do it by expressing out loud what they are thinking on their own.

Sure, some people will be angry, you will be ostracized – but they were never going to be your clients anyway. However, there will be others positively fascinated, intrigued and hungry to know more. Those are the people who can become clients.

In fact, the same niche principle applies. You are going for a smaller segment of a bigger market. In this case, your “market” is defined very loosely as the people within an immediate geographical location. You write about common, universal things. But different things – you keep it interesting, shocking, a show that never ends. You are the product, not Alexander Technique.

We live in a time when the cult of personality has taken over our media, our television, our magazines – it’s everywhere. Look at any magazine cover and invariable there’s a personality: it is this person doing this activity. You want to be “this person” and start blabbing in a unique and fascinating way. You can talk about lots of different things…

Alexander was quite consistent at this: at various times he attacked contemporary education, medical practise, exercises, concentration. For example, people who are sick of being told they must exercise will love you saying that you can “over-exercise” and harm yourself. A indolent individual reading that for the first time might say “Alleluia” and sign up immediately for your mail list.

Take it even further: why not be devilishly cheeky and wicked? You don’t have to be nice: sometimes frustrated people flock to someone who says it like it is. So you pull apart every other solution ever offered – and show people how dumb and ineffective they are. Tell them you have a better answer, but don’t tell them what.

Just invite them to a belly-to-belly with you. That’s the final aim – they want to touch you, know you, be part of your community. Of course this is not for everyone, and your personality will decide how you do it, but it’s what Alexander did, and he made a fortune doing it.



PS Become one of my FaceBook friends and let me know what you think – just put in a friend request at this link www.facebook.com/chancejeremy

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