Saturday, March 09, 2013

W10.06 Case Studies: Kimberly Peterson in Chula Vista, USA. Part Two


Yesterday I wrote that Kimberly is one of many teachers struggling to get a practise going based mostly on trying to sell Alexander Technique as a solution to your problem - right down to having “Alexander Technique” as the headline of her website. Hopeless. I started this blog because I realized that Marketing and Selling like that does not support teachers. What’s a better way? To find a niche that you have an affinity with, that have money and set about explaining how you can solve their problems. Kimberly is dancer, so my strong advice is that she focus where she already has passion…

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Step 7 – Write Your Story
Kimberly had a dancer’s breakthrough: “As a late bloomer in the industry, I have only blossomed after figuring out how to free up primary control. Without that I was stuck in positions and happy with my awesome flexibility.” So can other dancers relate to this?

Kimberly needs to figure out: what are the problems that frustrate dancers? What kind of dancers? Ballet? Modern? Jazz? What do they worry about? What are they looking for to get better?

First, Kimberly needs to get really, really clear on this point.

Second, Kimberly needs to focus her time on it.

At the moment her work is fragmented: doing classes for kids, teaching Pilates, working with a Pain doctor, running a weekly group. What she needs to do is get clear who she wants her students to be and put her focus and attention there. Decide that, then start exploring their needs and wants in writing. Use a blog to explore those issues: talk about your own experiences, start demonstrating to your audience that you have the ideas and solutions that they have been seeking for years.

Step 8 – Invent a Back-End Business
You need a functioning front-end first.

Step 9 – Undoing The Stories That Bind You
Kimberly writes: “I am having a hard time finding time to deliver these flyer I make or connect with local companies that will benefit from this work.” We find time for what we want to do - so the passion Kimberly feels for the work is not motivating her to get out there and sell it.

Somehow there seems to be a firewall between Kimberly’s passion for the work, and the focused and disciplined approach required for building a business off that passion. Being a mum with 2 small children is already a focused and disciplined activity, so if she can do it there, why not in her business as well? Maybe she doesn’t want two pursuits like this: “I want to be involved with everything and want everyone to get along kind of person. But really I love taking naps!“

She needs to decide if she wants a business; or are things fine the way they are? If she wants a business, then she needs to decide what her business is about: who is it for, how does it help them, and what can they do. And her answer need to integrate, to connect together to build a congruent system. At the moment, the only clear plan I can discern is: “tell them about Alexander Technique” and they will come. No, they don’t. At least not enough of them to make real money.

“I am selling the Alexander Technique” seems to be a core belief that drives Kimberly’s action, and maybe yours too? And the frustration is that not enough people want that. Welcome to the real world. You can’t solve that problem Kimberly, but I get the feeling you think you can. I hope you do, it’s not something I was good at. Forget Alexander Technique - PLEASE!

Step 10 – Launch Your Marketing & Sales Funnel
What you can do is sell something people want. What is that? Previously I suggested she go with where her affinity is: dancers. Decide that, go for that. Get focus on that…

Focus means you select where you put your flyers. More than that, you go meet every single dance school administrator/teacher in the whole of San Diego!!! You make contact with people in the dance world. Write articles in as many magazines for dancers that you can find. You offer to give free lecture/demonstrations anywhere where dancers meet. You go online to the forums and start talking to dancers. You find out the top dancer blogs in the area and comment on them, lead people to your own blog. You become a speaker at dancer conferences, you set up a mastermind group of Alexander Technique dancers.

Go, go, go! But get your Service Product clear first.

Step 11 – Become a Authority/Celebrity
That has been this week’s topic: what are the stories of your life that will communicate what you offer to dancers? How can you leverage your personality to make learning with you a fun and engaging experience? What solutions do you have that will deliver your Authority?

Step 12 – Find Partners, Make Deals
Alexander Technique teachers, working in the same niche, could form alliances together that would benefit all of them. This is a long term strategy, but there is power in numbers. A simple way to start is putting together a Mastermind Group of dancers with the specific intention to discuss how to build an Alexander Technique business that works.

Robert Rickover has been a great one to support gathering of information about a niche on his website AlexanderTechnique.com. Now FaceBook has appeared as the ideal place for people to congregate in groups and share ideas. Kimberly could open a group for dancers, and gather ideas for building her business from the experiences that other dancer Alexander Technique teachers have experienced…

TOMORROW: Eileen Troberman writes her reply to my Case Study of my suggestion start a BodyChance school in San Diego…

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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 Kimberly Peterson 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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