Wednesday, January 16, 2013

W03.03 Maybe There’s A Market Ready and Waiting Just Near You?

All over the world there are ripened Alexander Technique markets, full of frustrated devotees just waiting for the wheels of your plane to scorch the tarmac of their local airport. These markets can be picked up through the arrival of any Alexander Technique teacher. The niche is Alexander Technique and it took a century for it to develop, but for those of you who are still not sure about this whole niche thing, these markets are waiting…

Tokyo was such a market when I first arrived in Japan, totally clueless about all the insights I am sharing now. As a result of the infrequent visits of foreign teachers, a dozen of these frustrated devotees had banded together, faithfully attending every workshop, hoping one day they could themselves become teachers. I stumbled into this market and started a school for them - it was how I got started in Japan. I did the same thing in Nagoya, and later Osaka.

It was only as those markets wound down that I got my wake up call and started to develop the strategies and insights I am sharing with you now. However, I discovered my “place” can be a moving target. It may be that you don’t need to settle in any place, but look for the place that will settle for you. This could change your whole way of thinking about “niche”: what niches become possibilities if you are willing to travel anywhere, at any time, to meet their needs?

Now you are not looking for a bunch of people living near the location of your studio, but through your blogging, website and networking, seeking out invitations from your niche to go to them. If you love travelling, love meeting new people and having new experiences, this is another way to think about your “location”.

Gone are all the overheads, hassles and paperwork of setting up a studio - instead it is plane flights, hotels and dinner out that you factor in. How you can find these people, and structure your deal with them, is part of the information I will explore with you in Step 12.

However, this is one exception to my general advice to avoid “Alexander Technique” as your primary niche. Alexander give his first lesson in 1894, and had his first book published in 1910, so there’s been ample time for interest to collect in the oddest of places around the world. Many of them are there waiting for a teacher to turn up...

As a result of my book “Principals of the Alexander Technique” (which is about to be published in a New Edition) I have had many letters from people attempting to follow my instructions to “self-teach” because they had no access to teachers. Many would have gladly organized a visit had I been willing and able to go.

Maybe there’s a niche, even the “frustrated devotees of Alexander Technique” niche, within a day’s travelling of where you live?

TOMORROW: Should I Teach At Home Or At A Studio?
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