Saturday, November 10, 2012

Your Niche Could Be Right Behind Your Nose: 6th Letter to BodyChance Students

I practise what I teach – these blogs are REALLY niched down. I write to students wanting to make a successful career of Alexander Technique. That profile also works for Alexander Technique teachers ready to re-engineer their practise. If either of those profiles fit you, you’ve landed in the right place…

Currently, I am blogging a series of letters to my BodyChance students in Japan:

SUBJECT: Your Niche Could Be Right Behind Your Nose…

Dear Seito-san,

I am especially concerned for those of you still feeling lost, still wondering:

What is my niche? What is my market? Jeremy tells me it can not be Alexander Technique, but it is Alexander Technique that I love. I don’t have any special skills, I don’t know who I can appeal to…

So, rest back and enjoy reading about Jane.

Last Thursday, Jane Avery publically posted a wonderfully articulate message on my FaceBook wall, explaining her own passionate relationship to Alexander’s discoveries. It is in response to my 4th letter to my BodyChance students when I wrote:

“Saying your passion is for Alexander Technique is a bogus answer – it is not truly descriptive. How did you, personally, benefit by having sessions? You have passion for “something” that Alexander Technique supported or improved. What is that “something”? ”

Jane replied:

 “This “something” you speak of that AT has supported or improved is the re-emergence of Me – as the universe intended. It is also the success I now enjoy remaining alive and being increasingly well. Working with the Technique has resulted in the peeling back and discarding of the toxic, burdensome layers of damaging pedagogy, as well as the self-imposed and culturally indoctrinated rubbish that I’ve accumulated throughout my 40+ years of living.”

Wow. If I read that on a website, I would be definitely interested in Jane’s version of Alexander Technique. So who is Jane? Are there more Jane’s in the world? Well, I took a look at her FaceBook page and found an Alexander Technique teacher in Nova Scotia who is also a mother, busy with housekeeping and looking after her little girl, the bird pond and other domestic chores. She has a rich, inner life that she shares with others, and obviously thinks deeply about many things, not just Alexander Technique.

I wonder – are their similar kinds of woman in Nova Scotia? Would Jane know how to access these people? Mothers convene in all kinds of places. So do people with environmental concerns, political concerns, peace concerns. You might not think that’s a place to find pupils, but once you know who you seek, these are the kind of surprising things you discover. You find your self marketing in the most odd places, places where no Alexander Technique teacher has dared to go forth before.

Sure, a message of “fix your back” and “move better” would look extremely odd and out of place in these kind of environments, but when Jane writes: “…peeling back and discarding of the toxic, burdensome layers of damaging pedagogy, as well as the self-imposed and culturally indoctrinated rubbish” there’s a wrath there that would resonate with people already feeling angry about the state of the world. Jane’s message - how to start with you - could be a fresh new angle for them to pursue. It might intrigue them enough to attend a free intro session at the very least.

So your niche may not be where you are looking for it – on the outside. You may find your niche on the inside, right behind your nose. This is not a market defined the sense of “hobby” or “skill” but a market defined by “need” or “concern”.

One marketing teacher I worked with put it simply: “Problems are markets.” I puzzled over that comment for awhile, then it was obvious. A bad back is a problem. Jane’s “problem” is more existential in nature, but in today’s developed societies, it's a biggie.

So what can you do?

Just write a passionate letter to you about what you are about. Start there – see what you produce. Then ask: who would resonate with this message? For example, where else are people writing like that, and lots of people are reading that message?

It’s another way to tackle this niche question. But tackle it you must.



PS. Please add to Jane’s comments by making some of your own on my FaceBook page. If you are not a friend, please make a request here and say hi.

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