Saturday, February 09, 2013

W06.06 Case Studies: Véronique Druesne in Cork City, Ireland - Part Two

If you didn’t read part one of Véronique’s case study yesterday, I recommend you do so first. I offered Véronique quite an explosive new idea for her Service Product, and it may suit some of you too. The commentary below assumes you know what that idea was. Welcome to Part Two of Véronique’s story from another muddle-headed wombat…


Step 5 – Put Together Your Team
In early March I am heading off to Los Angeles (BTW no LA teachers have yet responded to my request for a casual get together!) to study for 9 days in Ojai, California. It’s costing me more than $7,000 – but that is how I stay successful, by spending my money studying with great teachers. What am I studying?

I am studying with a person I believe to be one of the greatest teachers to emerge from America, ever. Just like Alexander, she is a home-spun genius, a woman who worked out her own solution to a universal problem, then started teaching people because they asked her how she got to be so different. This woman has developed a secular method of exploring emotions that is so close to Alexander's discoveries, it is almost creepy. For those of you who don’t know the work of Byron Katie, it’s about time you did. My BodyChance teachers are starting to learn all about “undoing” thoughts and beliefs that make you stiff.

Véronique – I believe Katie is your mentor for the development of the Service Product I proposed yesterday. Start by reading “Loving What Is.”

Step 6 – Write Your Story
This one is simple. Véronique starts her emotional “undoing” work publically in her blog. Be careful though – don’t blunder about like I did for two years!

When I was going through my painful separation with my wife, I did a similar kind of process with my daily Facebook posts. However, what happened was that all my friends thought I was going nuts. My family cringed and simply wouldn’t read them, and one of my best friends actually defriended me for awhile. Wasn’t such a good plan, although I did rally a few dedicated followers, Véronique being one of them!

Recently I was reflecting with my staff – who also worried about my wacky behaviour during this period – and Basil Kritzer eventually shared his brilliant insight into why it didn’t really work: “There was no hope.” Ahhh. That made immediate sense to me. Yes, I was posting the dark side, but no-one really got that this was how I was staying light!

So don’t make my mistake Véronique – no real-time online undoing processing. Post the stories when you’ve already figured out today’s crisis! And only post (another of my errors) stories empathetic to the concerns of your niche: what keeps your 30~50’s woman awake at night? Write about that. You are obviously having a few nights like that of your own.

Step 7 – Build Your List
Stay simple – write “Your Story” out of the blog posts you slowly generate. How did you get to Alexander Technique – what was your emotional journey? Blog about that. Develop this into a series of “step” emails that acclimatize people to the “deeper” bodymind way you investigate physical pain, eventually leading to a invitation to come to you. To start off, make a “free” but conditional offer: Join The Mailist and receive a free or discounted group session – but only send that offer after they have some of your series. Then let them drop in on your regular groups – it will bring them into the community of you faster. At the moment there’s no offer to entice a person to join your email list, and as you need more signups, do it this way. Later switch the deal to a free download of the “Six Secrets of Good Posture.” More on that below.

Step 8 – Invent a Back-End Business
Here’s a radical notion: get out of the business of offering individual lessons. Sure, if you love it, you can continue – but make it an expensive, premium product, not your standard fare. This is very long term, and I suggest it only so you think outside the box. What could your business look like then?

Regular workshops – that you run for your woman – can develop into a back-end business. It works like this: you do regular local workshops (instead of lessons – it can amount to the same income involving must less time, and you collect some premium private lesson clients to put you into surplus.) Once you have developed a strong following – this could take a few years to achieve –  you announce a premium-priced, restricted-entry residential for your most faithful students. I haven’t managed to do this well yet – so this is all very pie-in-the-sky stuff for now. I talk this way only to get your thinking moving in different directions. I have found the exercise of doing this often delivers a brilliant plan that is totally unexpected and fitting my situation perfectly. This process takes a year or more of focused questions and unconscious processing, that’s my experience.

Step 9 – Undoing The Stories That Bind You
This is your Service Product – start on you!

Step 10 – Launch Your Marketing & Sales Funnel
Véronique writes: “People wanting their quick fix and taking 6 the lessons and leaving after that and that's it because they see it needs work and discipline and they want quick answers with no strings attached. Also possibly as the novelty wears off and maybe I need more training to learn how to keep people.  It's frustrating and I understand it as its also my own problem.”

One function of a marketing and sales funnel – which incidentally can be 2 or 3 years long in our business – is that you “pre-qualify” the people who arrive at your Introductions. Véronique – there are people willing to go the full distance, but not if it is just a “physical” thing. Reading between the lines it seems like you are still being a good girl and teaching Alexander Technique in the way you think you are “supposed” to. If I am correct, drop all that, and start doing what you want. For now, your funnel is your blog, the email lists where you get more friendly and personal, and introductions where you explore offering a deeper experience.

All those practical things you are doing – keep them up. Just start filling them with an more authentic service product from you. Slowly, slowly. This is a years thing, not a months thing. Alexander Technique is an industrial life long business.

Step 11 – Become a Authority/Celebrity
Remember that you filter the Alexander Technique for your students: they see it through your eyes first. I had an extraordinary experience of this when I first met Marjorie Barstow in 1986. I’d arranged a residential workshop in the Snowy mountains, then out walked this short, elderly woman to start teaching all of 50 us at once. She had an assistant, but he didn’t do much. I had already been teaching for 7 years, yet all that time I had been looking at the moon’s reflection in the lake, believing that to be the moon. Marj metaphorically tapped me on my shoulder and pointed to the sky… “There’s the moon.” she twinkled. It was exactly the same, and totally different, and my way of teaching Alexander's discoveries has been an evolving mystery ever since. Thank you Marj.

Step 12 – Find Partner, Make Deals
Put this on a shelf and wait for now. Once you find your own authenticity in the work, people will find you. Meanwhile, keep getting the Hoover out, vacuum the floor and explore a different activity every class. You wrote: “I teach 6 week evening courses (these seem to be popular) I call them the secret of good posture classes.” OK – work out “6 secrets” and “reveal” one each class.

Work this out in a blog series, and loop it back into your classes and step emails. Groups maybe your thing – they certainly seem to be a popular thing for your students. Isn’t that saying something to you? Community Véronique – build a community. You can innovate more group sessions themed on topics that come out of your blog confession sessions. I look forward to it!

TOMORROW: Christie Johnson delivers her verdict on a plan for the last 50 years of her life…
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CAVEAT: Remember what Alexander said: “They will see it as getting in and out of a chair the right way. It is nothing of the kind.” Is this case-study about the “right way” for Véronique Druesne to go ahead? It is nothing of the kind. It’s intended to demonstrate a way of thinking, not a set of proscriptions, even when they read as proscriptions! My true intention with these case studies is to provoke you into finding another way to understand the same ideas.

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