Sunday, March 31, 2013

FINAL: Guest Post From Karen Loving in Reply to My Case Study...

Karen affirms her current practise, and looks to changes she is and can be making. There’s food for thought for other teachers here, especially those trying to survive in a small community…


I thank you for the feedback it has been very thought provoking. I have been making notes all week and now I'm down to the wire of getting it together for you.

Yes I am content and I don't think I knew it; years ago when I was in a psyche class the prof asked what success truly means and I said contentment; so maybe I am successful. I do have a husband who shares our expenses, he wants to retire and I want to continue working and increase my revenue.

However my success drivers are $ and helping others find contentment and realize nothing is out of their reach - there is a choice in how you live your life, and I continue to give clients that encouragement through our work together, and live it myself.

My clients are mostly women over 55 who have been with me for 5-10 years (20% of my client base); and I want those who have the willingness to change and the commitment to do so; therefore, I think narrowing my niche to women over 55 who are alternative thinkers, tired of the tried and true.  Those who want to stay young and flexible by committing to learn about their bodies and how consciousness affects everything they do in life. That depicts me as well, I have always preferred to stay on the edge.

Because of my small community, I have taught yoga, group AT classes (Titled Healthy Aging not Alexander Technique), and also do CranioSacral therapy to broaden my base, I am now realizing that my Alexander Technique business is growing, and I feel that is because of Jeremy's blog advice. And yes some of my clients come for CranioSacral however, they get an Alexander Technique lesson at the end, my Alexander Technique clients get the reverse, after they work; a table turn and then we review the "work" we did at the beginning of the lesson. And yes they come back, and maybe it is the nurturing part, I'm  fine with that.

I have several mentors who are not Alexander Technique teachers and they give me great insight as to what the person who knows nothing about the work wants to to solve their problem. My website designer and social media consultant, held me to the language when I so wanted to use Alexander Technique jargon.  She said you want lots of videos and photos, very little text and a blog that teaches something. She definitely knows more than I do, as I get lost in my AT world, expecting others to know what I am talking about!

New clients can go to my website and contact me and I then get their email or I have sent out several Mail Chimp emails to ask my current clients to sign up for my blog, also new clients are asked to join my blog for ideas they can use between sessions. It is part of the lesson requirements.

I realize my free reading group is not a back end business, and am excited about the idea of Alexander Yoga, and I plan on implementing that in my next session, with the value added upgrade, don't know if the market can stand $185, so working on the numbers. My yoga classes pay my rent in both offices so that is perfect for me. If a yoga student is having difficulty in class I suggest they do some private AT lessons.

Stories that bind me are that I am someone who comes from the fear of "lack" and I left a high paying corporate job 20 years ago and took a path in the complete other direction, I thought the same money would come since what I am now doing is much more amazing and wonderful and I was going to change the world too! I found out otherwise and also blamed the Alexander Technique work as too hard to explain. (Wasn't my fault!!!), now I have found if I market from a place of fear I keep clients away, if I market consistently and not attach to the "results", business rolls in. Familiar? So I am continuing to keep from feeling that if don't see so many clients a week that I'm going to be standing on the street corner with a cup.

I feel I am too empathetic with my clients and share too much of my personal story, we always become very close friends as I feel my work is very intimate and clients open up, feel safe; they comment on my teaching space in that way quite often. I am creating that connection very well.

I am going to change the heading on my website to: I love people and want to see them move forward and grow into who they are and can be.

I love working with musicians and performers, we have a newly restored theater in our small town that will draw many traveling acts and I intend to offer my skills by advertising in their program and on their bulletin board that I am available, have recently been in contact with the young artist orchestras.

TOMORROW: Going on to WorkStep Three – Location. Where will BCLA be? Where will you be?

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 6 – WorkStep Two: Niches for BodyChance Los Angeles (BCLA)

Keep thinking about niches: one small niche for BCLA are teachers, trainees and long term devotees of Alexander Technique – how to look after them?

With Brett I am planning a modular program of study on how to work in activities, groups and with emotional “stuff” in an appropriate Alexandrian way.

I’ve spoken by Skype with Cathy Madden, Tommy Thompson and Eileen Troberman, and they are all on board. Michael Fredericks is over in Ireland, but I have texted him and we talk next week.

Eileen is great in showing teachers how you can add some other activities to your chair and tablework that totally engages your students. Michael and Cathy will speak to teaching a group - rather than teaching an individual – an essential skill in BodyChance’s studio model.

We no longer offer private lessons in Tokyo, except as an “expensive” option. BodyChance runs more like a Yoga studio – 90 minute groups at all times of the day, 6 days a week, book your Self in over the internet.

Tommy Thompson of course covers the emotional stuff – have you seen him work? The guy is amazing, a real gift to our community. His languaging of the work is totally unique – no-one speaks quite like him. It’s quite a trip.

Where’s Jeremy you might ask?

Well, Jeremy doesn’t have a visa to work in USA, and I am not screwing that up. What I will do is offer an online “debriefing” component to the program in a closed Facebook environment for participants. Will the other teachers join me?

How will your business support your niche? Be creative, start generating Alexander Technique “plans” your students would want. Mix your private lessons with groups – it builds your community so people come longer, which brings more ease into your business.

A Lesson About The Power of Niches
Today I received a cry for help from Sara B James – I totally get her frustration. She wrote about her efforts to build her practice:

“In the last two weeks I've worked really really hard, I've met dozens of people that seem interested but then I email them and I don't hear back, I have put up dozens of flyers. I can't even get my friends interested in it. I'm not sure what do to…”


Keep re-reading my course, because the answer to your question is there. Who are these people you are talking to? For your "really, really hard" work to yield success, it must be towards people in one community. My guess is these people are all over the place? Then your effort doesn't reinforce itself. By that I mean - you talk to one golfer, you talk to another, then they talk to each other. It starts as 10 in, 1 out; but if you focus on a niche, then it’s 5 in, 5 out. Then it’s 1 in, 10 out and you have it made. All boiled down it means this: find your niche, stick to it like a dog with a bone, and watch your business grow.

TOMORROW: Going on to WorkStep Three – Location. Where will BCLA be?

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 5 – WorkStep Two: Niches for BodyChance’s BCLA studio

TO-DAY: Delivering BodyChance’s Niched Teaching Style in LA

Yesterday I was writing that BodyChance has a differentiated style of teaching Alexander Technique - like, new software for the human brain, Alexander Technique Version 3.1 (if you get the joke). So to avoid confusion, BodyChance will enter the Alexander Technique niche market in USA as a new service product; as another modality.

Don Weed’s ITM movement in Europe or David Gorman’s Learning Methods in Portland, USA are other examples of repositioned Alexander Technique: living outside the framework of the Affiliated Societies and ATI. BodyChance is situated in that space. It clearly educates, certifies and continues licensing it’s own BodyChance teachers. That is a niche carved out, then developed from, the already existing Alexander Technique market. Stephen Shaw and Peter Grunwald are doing the same thing with Shaw Method and EyeBody.

What are you considering for your niche in your 12 point plan? Are you positioning as a new Brand? Your choice of niche pivots on your available resources - take your Self through my questions in your own niche…

What are the Niches for BodyChance in LA?
This is Hollywood - what do people worry about the most? How they look, how they look to other people. Sharon Jakubecy is clearly niching her Self to that market - and she is doing very well. There is still plenty of room left for BodyChance aka Brett Hershey. Is Brett interested in that?

Success in a niche today depends upon a sharp message-to-market match, communicated effectively through Social Media by a clearly identified personality with strong affinities to the niche. This is a long term strategy, which builds credibility, authority and eventually celebrity. Celebrity is created and sustained by a wealth-creating list of followers, but who do they follow?

Every niche needs a personality at its helm.
Brett Hershey, as Director of BCLA Basic (ATv3.1 for the public), needs his own following - what will his niche be? Looking at his current career - Brett has done the impossible. He has built an Alexander Technique niched practise, wow! He has been multi-niching his work as fast as he can meet people to sell it too.

In Japan, BodyChance actively promotes Alexander Technique through developing relationships with media (to encourage articles, radio & TV interviews, stage joint events, offer prizes etc.) and other businesses and organizations (sending BodyChance teachers to teach). This work lifts the profile of “Alexander Technique” itself, and all Alexander Technique teachers benefit, not just BodyChance – it has happened in Tokyo.

What Other Niches Does BCLA need?
Brett is talking with other teachers in LA now about this project. What we are looking for are flexible-minded teachers, with a clear passion in some niche (music, dance, golf, pain relief), willing to re-tool themselves if necessary to start a new career with BodyChance. Talk to Brett about it…

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