Friday, December 21, 2012

Step 12 – Make Joint Venture and Affiliate Deals


Last week in Tokyo, we gathered together a group of people in the music industry to meet, talk Alexander and develop a relationship. We had an NHK composer, two Professors of Music, two magazine editors, a book publisher, a Jazz singer, several free lance journalists, Administrators from both university and private music schools, and some accomplished, classical musicians. What was more important than any immediate outcome, was simply establishing the basis of a relationship.

Who could you host for an Alexander Technique event in your area?

Next year we are launching the BodyChance Affiliates program. With that we plan to offer our graduates opportunities to work with companies with whom we are currently developing these relationships, while also educating them in the ideas that I am sharing in this blog. This is part of BodyChance’s plan to establish Alexander Technique more permanently in Japan – relationships with institutions has been one of the tried and true methods in the West to achieve this. It recently came to my attention that Alexander Technique has been part of the Royal College of Music in London for over 50 years. Wow!

What opportunities exist for you?

Landing a job in an institution is no easy task – it is usually a longer term project, but if you start working on it, time will pass quickly enough. It’s part of a mind set that starts thinking like this: what do I have which will help organisations with their problem?

When you approach someone at an organization to make an arrangement, the primary question needs to be: how can I help that person? What is the problem that I can solve for them? This is no different from niche marketing, except now the problems are quite different. You may have an advocate whose problem is budgetary or political, nothing to do with the veracity of Alexander Technique! Can you offer them a great course for next to no cost?

One teacher I know in Australia has been teaching a small course like this at an Adult Education Centre in Sydney for almost 20 years. He makes next to nothing for the work, but told me that a large portion of his long term students have been sourced from that course. Working in these kind of simple, low paying situations turns out to be beneficial to you in the longer run – factor in that income as part of your course payment!

Firstly, you gain access to a new audience while actually being paid to do so. It’s a marketers dream.

Secondly, people often feel safer joining a course through an institution, rather than directly with you. They advertise your course in their brochures and website – it is more impersonal and removed, so if participants don’t like it, they can withdraw without any confrontation. This is marketing – leveraging the lists of other people to access students for you. 

You can also advertise these courses on your own website for the same reasons - people feel safer going to a known institution first. The people who then like your work may well carry on with you after the course, especially if they signed up through finding it on your personal website.

Another version is offering to enhance the work of another practitioner. For a newly graduated teacher, a joint workshop with a singer, fitness expert, dance teacher - or just being a free or lowly paid assistant - can give you both teaching experience and the chance to network. You are not directly looking for clients – although if someone asks you can give them your card – you are developing relationships. If you have your blog, E-zine and free downloads in place – letting people know about this free and helpful information is a non-threatening way to start building a relationship with them…

Look around you. Notice the music, dance and fitness clubs that exist. Know that for every 100 people you can be in contact with, it is certain that you will gain 1 long term student, another 4 to 5 shorter term, and possible another 15 if you have your marketing and sales funnel worked out. Once you have built your marketing machine, the process that orientates them to you is automated, so your job now is to keep filling up the funnel with new people.

Finding opportunities with others is one of the easiest ways to build relationships that can benefit you both. When students in your joint workshop with a singer are wowed by what you offered, the singers reputation is also enhanced. Once the most prestigious Music University in Tokyo decided to bring in a BodyChance teacher, slowly the other music schools started thinking they better have Alexander Technique in their curriculum too.

Of course, if you have already established your Self as an Authority and Celebrity, it will start working the other way around. People will be coming to you with all kinds of offers and opportunities.

Now wouldn’t that be nice?

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