Saturday, January 16, 2010

We're Moving!

CHICAGO - MAY 22:  Travelers pass through O�Ha...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Hello, Dear Followers:
It's been awhile since we've posted here, and we appreciate you sticking with us.

We hope you'll follow us to our new home, called Success Traveler. It's a WordPress website, and it's pretty snazzy. You'll like it.

Some of these blog posts will migrate over there.

Mostly, though, is a whole system for mentoring and plugging into a positive community of Feldenkrais teachers who want to move forward and grow their practices into something that is sustainable, profitable, and enjoyable.

The majority of resources on the site are free. You can download videos, an e-book, and several other special reports. There's even a slide presentation that you can use as a starting point for making one of your own.

There are also two paid levels. They include more content, along with access to live webinars throughout the year. Check it out, and participate at the level that's right for you.

Here's the link: . I hope you'll be joining us!
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Facebook Fan Page for Feldenkrais Method(R) of Somatic Education

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement(R) lessonImage by divamover via Flickr

Please allow me to toot my own horn.

Back in 2006, almost as soon as "geezers" (i.e., non-college age people) were allowed on Facebook, I filled out a profile and started a group, "Feldenkrais Method(R): This Stuff ROCKS!" As Facebook has evolved, it became obvious that the party was moving to Fan Pages. So, I began the transition to a fan page a couple of months ago. I hope to phase out and eliminate the old group by July 1, 2009.

Here's the power of social media: I sent out a message from the old group to the members via Facebook, and saw a jump in the number of fans on the new fan page. I also posted a "welcome" video.

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Social media is here to stay. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. may disappear or morph, but the fact remains: people will connect, research, and make decisions based on the information they receive via social media web sites. Facebook is a good "gateway site." If you don't have a profile on Facebook yet, it's time. I'll be your friend, I promise. Just search for and "friend" me. Let me know who you are in the message attached. Then, go to the Fan Page for "Feldenkrais Method(R) of Somatic Education." Click "become a fan." You're in!

More social media posts to come. I'm a maniac.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

YOU are the Brand

A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.Image via Wikipedia

If you want to grow your practice, the most important task is to build trust and a good reputation. You can and probably should do this around the "brand" of The Feldenkrais Method®. Also consider that initially your clients and contacts will remember YOU more than the name of the method, technique, or modality you use. Then, you, your name, and your reputation become a brand that either supports or diminishes the brand (and the work) of the Feldenkrais Method.

One business blogger says that by 2011, 90% of our business will come from digital or word-of-mouth sources. The "new world" of social media and Web 2.0 is no longer new -- it is here and growing. You might be reluctant to get involved with social media out of fear that it will take up too much time, or because you don't understand how it works. I'm here to help.

Take a look at this a short PowerPoint presentation by Grace Rodriguez of AYN Brand in Houston, TX. It's the best overview I have seen that clearly explains what is going on, why it is important, and how to get started. If you're already dabbling in social media but don't quite know what to do next, you'll get clarification here. Then, let's talk about it! Leave a comment on this blog before you go. You're already on your way!

(better view: click the "full screen icon" at the bottom of the video window.)

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Your Personal Marketing Plan

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement(R) classImage by divamover via Flickr

As Feldenkrais teachers, we love exploring options and having many choices for action. However, when faced with the questions, "How can I build my practice? How can I get more clients?" the options seem infinite (they are!) and overwhelming (they don't have to be).

My friend Grace Rodriguez is a marketing and branding professional in Houston, Texas. She has developed a simple template for thinking about and planning for growth. Click the title to read "How to Write a Simple, One-Page Marketing Plan."

I am taking her advice to heart. Here is a tool for deciding what to do, and when to do it. A simple action plan is reassuring, encouraging, and will move you toward creating the kind of practice you want. I will be sharing more from Grace in future posts.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Your Online Listing with

Image representing as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase

You may be checking in here for the first time because you read about in the Spring issue of InTouch. If you missed the article, you can read it by clicking here.

I've been listed on since February, and I'm excited about the potential. Have a look around the site:

You can have a look at an example (yes, it's my listing) at this link:

And you can take a short video tour of the website by following this link:

If you're an FGNA member, you'll receive information soon about how to access and activate your site. If you're not an FGNA member, this might be a great excuse to join! You can still have a listing on, but you'll have to do a lot of the work from scratch.

There's not really any action to take at the moment, if you're a Guild Member. However, have a look at the example, and imagine what you'd like to have on YOUR pages. What I have listed there is what works for me, and it might not be your style. When your site is activated, it's as easy as typing an email to edit your site and make any changes you would like.

Come back here often for additional practice-building support, and future tutorials on making the most of your altMD listing!

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Value Added: Voice Mail and Phone Calls
by Sandra Bradshaw

voice mail for meImage by silas216 via Flickr

We're pleased to share this article from guest contributor Sandra Bradshaw. Sandra is a former special-education teacher, and has been a Feldenkrais practitioner since 1999. Located in Kelowna, BC, Sandra has a successful home-based practice. Click here to visit her website.

In an economic climate where people are counting their pennies, they want the best value for their money. An FI is expensive and in most cases can’t be claimed on medical insurance, so what are you going to do to help your clients get their money’s worth? The most obvious answer is to meet their needs. Of course this is simply good business practice and in hard economic times it is the businesses that meet people’s needs that survive.

A buzz phrase that comes up frequently in our present economic reality is “value added”. This means, the more I can anticipate and meet my clients’ needs, the more likely that we will have a lasting relationship. I am not talking about what you do on the table, but all of the other extras that add up to quality service.

As a Feldenkrais practitioner more often than not your first contact with a prospective client is a phone call. If you have a low budget operation like I have, that first contact will probably be a voice mail message. It is said that in the first 3 seconds of connecting with a new person you are evaluated and judged, and that first impression is virtually irreversible. When your voice message is their first connection with you it has to have a positive impact on the caller that will carry through to your return phone call.

Voice mail greeting

Make it short and to the point asking for a call back time when they will most likely be available so that you don’t have to play phone tag. Include something in the message that gives the caller a sense of who you are and how you view life. My “value added” phrase is, “And have a glorious day.” It might sound a little hokey, but people appreciate a warm fuzzy and it gives them a sense of me as an approachable positive person. I’m always surprised at how many people reciprocate the sentiment at the end of their message.

If you are going away and the office will be closed for a period of time, make sure that you have an absent voice mail message. Include the reopening date of the office so that they know when their call will be returned.

Answer voice mail within 12 to 24 hours

When you answer voice mail promptly you are sending a message that you value the caller and that s/he is important to you. This is already a “value added” tactic because it is adding to that first impression the person is getting of you.

A few years ago I was receiving treatments from an alternative health care practitioner who was slow to answer my phone calls. It would often be 2 to 3 days, or a sometimes even longer before I heard from her. Not only was she slow to answer my calls, she also had a long list of reasons for the delay when she finally did connect with me. It wasn’t long before I started looking for someone else who was more receptive to my needs as a client.

Make your phone calls when you have lots of time

When you are speaking to clients make sure you have lots of time so that the call is not rushed. Of course there are always people that will chew your ear off if you let them, so give them a 15 or 20 minute limit up front. That way they know that you are willing to spend a “value added” amount of time with them.

Listen, listen, listen

The experts will tell you that any time you are out networking 90% of your time should be spent listening and gathering information and 10% sharing your information. A phone call is no different. Be prepared to listen to the caller and if necessary make a few notes as s/he talks so that you can refer back to the conversation at the first appointment.

Have a list of questions

When you ask the right questions you can find out the callers needs quickly and efficiently. The caller will feel valued when you show an interest in their story.

Position yourself as a community resource

If you have your listing under massage, yoga or fitness the caller may be looking for one of those modalities. You quickly determine that they know what they want, and it is not a Feldenkrais session. Give them your 30 second elevator speech so that they know what you do and how it connects with the modality they are looking for, then give them some names of practitioners that are good in their field. Position yourself as a community resource that can give them “value added” information so that they will remember your name as someone that could potentially help them in the future. Make it your business to know who are the best Pilates, Yoga, Massage, Chiro practitioners, etc. in your community, and get to know these people so that they will also refer people to you.

Give the caller “value added” information

Once you have asked your questions and listened to your caller’s needs you are now in a position to give them some value added information. Most of the time a brief explanation of the Feldenkrais Method as it would apply to them is enough. However, from time to time you will have someone who wants more than that before they commit to an appointment. If the caller indicated that they would like more information get their email address so that you can send them additional information.

Last week I had a phone call from a woman whose son has ADHD. I quickly determined that this mother was looking for information, and that she was frustrated with the help or lack of it that her son was receiving through the school system. As a former education teacher, I have a lot of background in this area. I asked her questions about her son, about the school situation, and his program. I listened to her concerns. During the 15 minutes I spent talking to her, I outlined some of the things that I thought would be beneficial for her son, including but not exclusively the FM. I gave her names of other professionals in our community whom I have worked with that are not feldies, but their work philosophically aligns with the Method. I suggested a few strategies that could be implemented immediately into her son’s program without extra effort on the part of the classroom teacher. I got her email address so that I could send her some links to Feldenkrais sites that included information for ADHD and info on a seminar that will be taking place in town next week that has relevant information on ADHD. She phoned me three days later to make an appointment for her son. She said that she had been impressed by the depth of my knowledge, and was confident that what I had to offer would benefit her son.

Value added strategies are not rocket science, but they do take some thought to implement. Next time I will talk about some value added newsletters. See you then!

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Friday, February 13, 2009

The Internet is for Sharing

Heart to HeartImage by mSkeet via Flickr

Recently, a colleague, Robert Burgess, published a book: A Guide to Body Sense.

It contains 50 Awareness Through Movement lessons with excellent, clear drawings to accompany the instructions. The book is designed so that you could photocopy lessons and instructions f or clients after an ATM class orFunctional Integration lesson. I read about the book when he announced it on FeldyForum.

In the past, this information might have stopped with me, and with whoever happened to be reading the forum the day he announced it. However, social media allows me to share information, easily, about Robert's book with all my friends and clients, and potentially with all their friends as well.

This is the magic of sharing. Sharing is what makes a video or website or any other cool thing "go viral," that is, to spread across the Internet and be viewed millions of times. Social media sites make it easy to spread the word about t hings you love -- and the things you hate!

Take this blog post, for example. At the end, you'll see the word, "Share" in a button with a little "+" sign. If you click on that, you'll see a number of different sites to choose from: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Digg, and more! If you have an account on any of those sites, you can spread this blog post so that it publishes on that site as well, as in another location. That is, instead of reading this article here on my blog, and that's the only way people can read it, when you share something, others could read it on Facebook, or wherever you choose. Facebook and MySpace allow you to share articles, blogs, photos, videos-- almost anything you can think of!

Your Facebook page also has a feature up by your status statement (answer the question, "What are you doing right now?") that says, "Share a link." You can copy and paste the URL of a video, article, or blog post -- anything that has a web adress -- into that box. That's another way to share.

To get started sharing, you'll need an account with a social media site to be your virtual home-away-from home. Think of it as a place where you and your friends hang out online. I like Facebook the best. Many of my local friends as well as colleagues around the world are also there. Some people like MySpace. I also have a page on MySpace, just to have one, but I don't use it much. In my opinion, it's less useful for business, unless you are in a rock band, or would like to meet other 13-year-olds. I think Facebook is the best place to start, and you can branch out from there.

Accounts on social media sites are free. The site will ask you if you want to invite friends -- it's more fun if you do. Allow the site to tip-toe through your address book and show you which people you already know are already participating. Invite the people you like, the people you find interesting, and leave the rest. When you log in to the site, you'll be able to see what all your friends are doing, reading, thinking about, and you can select what you share with them.

Another way to share is through blogging. You'll notice that there are links in blue throughout this article. You can click on any link, and go to a website that will give you more information. You can do this manually, which takes a bit of time. I use a new tool called Zemanta, which helps me to link to images, articles, and blog posts that will enhance your learning, if you are curious to know more. Sharing things of value adds value to your presence and your reputation in social media.

The current "hot thing" in social media is Twitter. In 140-keystroke updates, or "tweets," you can update the world about what you are doing, and find out what is going on in the world! Share links that are helpful and positive and watch your followers list grow.

While it's great to use social media sites as a tool for business, to inform people about what you do, and to make contacts with potential clients, don't be tacky. If all you talk about is yourself, you'll be that creepy guy at the party that nobody wants to talk to. Share items that are interesting, that are funny, that are helpful and useful to others. You'll establish a reputation for being someone worth checking in on. So, next time you see a photo or video you like, or read an article that makes you say, "Oh, YEAH!" just click "Share." You'll be amazed at the conversations you start having -- conversations that build your business.

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