Tuesday, January 08, 2013

W02.02 To-day I reveal the partner as important as the one you marry!

Deciding upon your niche is one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your career. Make no mistake - this is at the level of getting married, moving to another country, deciding to come out as gay or going back to university. It is not trivial - it needs your full, undivided attention. You must marry your niche, and divorce is not an option. This is for life.

Think Steven Shaw and The Art of Swimming, Peter Grunwald and Eyebody, Roy Palmer and Golf Sense, Malcolm Balk and The Art of Running - can you imagine them switching their niche? Enduring success depends on the depth of your niche-related content.

This is why I say that the Alexander Technique is an industrial business - it takes years of research and development, countless market place experiments, thousands of hours of content creation and a deep, inexhaustible passion to produce the kind of service and products that will sustain your career far into the future.

I gaze a hundred years into the future and I like what I am seeing - Alexander's discoveries integrated into main stream society in an extraordinary range of activities and professions. How can that happen? By your effort. By your deep, sustained and focused effort. So let’s start.

In yesterday’s blog, I presented the reasons I believe Alexander Technique teachers, as with any small business, need to sell their service product to a niche. What is a niche? A niche can be defined this way:

1. There is a common interest: an issue, hobby or profession
2. There are problems seeking solutions: eyestrain, golf swing, back pain
3. There is a defined location: intellectually, geographically and “virtually”

Verticle Markets verses Horizontal Markets - Which Do You Pursue?
Understand it this way: a niche is a vertical market. Last blog I mentioned McDonalds, Toyota and Coke: they all deal with horizontal markets. Anyone who eats, drives a car or wants a refreshment is their potential customer: that market is huge, and the cost of researching and reaching into that market is colossal. These companies tend to do brand advertising based on psychographic profiling: Coke “Things go better with Coke” McDonalds “Happy Meals” and Toyota “Oh what a feeling!” are examples of the kind of broad appeal based on primary human instincts. Can you afford to do that?

Alexander Technique is at face value a horizontal market - anyone who suffers from pain, wants to improve their hobby or develop their potentiality are candidates for our service. Wow. That’s big. To capture a horizontal market you advertise on TV, in newspapers and the radio. You sponsor big sports events and become a community organizer. It is expensive, and impossibly out of reach for one individual Alexander Technique teacher. Yet teachers still try, and then wonder why they fail to attract people!

A niche, however, is within your reach: I want to swim better, fix my eyes, improve my golf swing or run faster. These are all vertical markets. From the broad based horizontal market, you drill down vertically into one niche market. You can find these people. They read specialist magazines, go to their own conferences, gather together online to discuss their topic and will passionately pursue any product or service that answers a specific niche-related need…


TOMORROW: How do I decide which niche market is my focus?
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STOP PRESS!!! A generous opportunity for a free website assessment from Alexander Technique teachers and savvy marketers Imogen Ragone and Robert Rickover Go to this link for details: http://www.alexandertechniquewebsites.net/website-assessments/

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