Monday, February 11, 2013

W07.01 What Is The Most Valuable Asset Of Your Small Alexander Technique Business?


Robert Rickover has been tirelessly encouraging, advocating, scolding, pleading, explaining, dramatising and doing everything in his quite considerable abilities to convince Alexander Technique teachers to get a website. Personally, I think his best selling line goes something like this: “These days, not having a website is on par with not having a phone number.” That’s rather shocking, and true.

So I will start advocating my own cause, which must accompany your website. I will hammer away at my cause till they put me in a grave – hey, I might even have it chiseled in the rock above me! What is my cause?

Every Alexander Technique teacher needs a list of followers. 

Why?

It is an extension of your teaching practice. It is a way to support your students deepening, integrating and sharing their discoveries with others. You want the work to grow, to spread don’t you? Included in that is you want to make a living doing that, right? Well, this is one way you do it.

Your first step is to decide: are you willing to engage a larger body of people in an ongoing relationship with you? We're talking five times as many more! Ten times if you really want to be financially secure and evangelically robust. So who are these people?

The Students To Engage In Your Mailing List
Essentially three groups, all needing different kinds of care:  Firstly, the people who have been to your sessions and stopped – continue your relationship with them; Secondly, those currently coming to your sessions – continue engaging them outside your sessions; Thirdly, those who have not yet come, continue inviting them to participate more.

Now the first group: of those that came for a session once, what kind of follow up do you have in place? At BodyChance we have an automatic series of emails, phone calls, gifts and special offers that go to anyone who visited our studio for a trial session (and didn’t sign up). How many of these people do you stay in contact with? Have your calculated your conversion rate i.e. the number of people who continue lessons divided by the number of people who made contact with you? Do you know that number? This is how you motivate you to gather more students.

Next, of those who took many lessons with you and then stopped, are you holding “events” for them? Are you sending them advice about how they can continue to practice? This is how you entice them back for “refresher lessons!”

Now the second group: how do you keep your students engaged outside of lessons? You don’t – not really, right? Maybe you give them a task to follow at each session, but what kind of encouragement do they receive when not in direct contact with you? Have they got something to read, to stimulate them, to keep them thinking about your sessions? This is how you get them to continue after three months!

Let’s take the third group: how many people do you know about that are considering coming to your sessions? These are people hanging around online (twitter, Facebook, phone enquiries, email enquires etc) but you haven’t met them face-to-face. Just about none? The is how you get your practice going as well as you want!

How To Raise Money For Your Trip To The Next Congress
John Lennon is credited with saying: “When I want a new swimming pool, I write another song.” A strong mailing list, that you have invested your time, creativity and resources into, eventually gives you the ability to raise money when you need it. BodyChance’s list is responsive to certain people and workshops – we know that we can sell out a workshop quite quickly from some our lists. It creates a certain kind of financial security.

Is that a place you would like to be situated?

Then start a list. At least begin collecting names in an organized way while making a plan to develop that list. This week I will explore how you can use this activity to develop your Service Product, while simultaneously serving as a marketing tool to encourage engagement. It’s time you began to develop your unique “form” of Alexander's discoveries within a community that wants it. More on that tomorrow…

TOMORROW: How To Use Your Mail List To Develop Your Service Product.
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