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As mentioned in today's Announcement, we are seeking assistance from everyone on how to promote this important new program to a brand-new audience. We know that most of you here will not use this program (or you might, if you are a teacher, to get ideas on how to work with your own absolute beginners), but we are interested in doing something we have not done before: finding out how to reach those millions of people who need our work, but do not know about it.

 I am talking about the kinds of people who always tell you, "I know I need to do more stretching" (while doing none!), but who find even the usual starting positions too hard.  I am talking about family, friends, and co-workers, who have some idea of what you do for fun. But how do we reach all the other people who need grace and ease in their bodies, especially in the era of Trump? What we are trying to create with this new series is the sort of experience you would have if you came to one of our Beginner classes. No prior knowledge, no required skill set, just a curious person who wants to know how to start stretching.

And I feel this thread will become a repository of information and techniques that all who run their own business can benefit from, if we get this right.

I was prompted to ask for the ST Community's assistance after reading about Olga's success with her new Instagram channel (two brand new clients in the first week as a direct result). And I feel IG is perfect for bringing in new clients to a bricks-and-mortar establishment, if people do not know what you do, or if the brand (like Stretch Therapy) is new in your area.

But the Absolute Beginner's Stretching series (10 x 45 minute solo exercise, follow-along programs) needs to be put before people who have never heard of our work, and whom we may never see. 

How do we do this?

I imagine we can come up with a range of strategies that will get us there. All ideas, no matter how left-field, will be gratefully considered!

 

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On 10/26/2017 at 8:48 AM, Kit_L said:

And I feel IG is perfect for bringing in new clients to a bricks-and-mortar establishment, if people do not know what you do, or if the brand (like Stretch Therapy) is new in your area.

I do feel that IG is a very powerful platform for reaching new audiences, but there are also many other pages that advertise their stretches/programs. The challenge here would be how to convince the audiences that Stretch therapy is a better system. Often these pages show stretches, but I feel that the 1 minute limit for videos on IG is not enough to showcase the finer details for stretches in the ST system. I also think IG/FB works well on a local level, I have gotten a bit of inquiries when my friend shared my ST page, but these are the people that are willing to try a brand new system. 

I also have friends who I strongly suggest them to try my classes, they themselves know they need to stretch more, but still are unwilling to start. Another would be the time commitment, I feel that many would not be willing to commit to 45 minutes of stretching, especially when doing it alone. Most of the time they only want to stretch the area where they directly feel the discomfort/tightness/pain. 

These are my thoughts for now, hope they are relevant and did not go off topic! 

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Dexter, thanks, and not OT at all. All your points are excellent (particularly the point about the proposed 45' class duration). We have had some ideas on this, including making a short YT program explaining what we feel are the shortcomings of competing products (without naming any) and perhaps even including a sample exercise or two.

Reason is our FB presence is, in a real sense, singing to the choir. This is our audience already. Our goal is to reach a brand new audience, and somehow convince them that our programs are the ones to get!

We have over 2,000,000 vides and 22,000 subscribers, so we know whatever we put there reaches out far wider than FB. And we have investigated Facebook's "business" model (where you pay for targeted ads) but the capacity to narrow demographics (say, for the back pain program, marketing to people on the back pain groups there) and that's a FB no-no. So, really, what's the point?

Unless something goes viral on FB, you really only reach the people who already know about what we do. 

Please keep talking on this; it is very helpful to us.

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Hi Kit

Great idea. I am finding the Overcome Back Pain exercises are are a great start for absolute beginners and they suit my class here at work, I have a range of levels including some of my more experienced students, because the stretches scale really well.

You will get it right.

facebook feed based on interest. I get shown lots on stretching, sewing, cooking based on what I have looked at before. I am not sure if you have to pay to be included in that data analytics process that selects content for individuals.

We can all share the promotial material with our online friends and in person with our classes to pass on to their friends, we get a few new students that way.

People are often told to stretch by physio and the like and some show up in our classes. Maybe making connections with these businesses and practicioner associations so they can use as a tool to refer patients to that they may be more likely to use than the pictures and instructions they give to patients now.

regards

Louise

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Let me throw in some thoughs (after re-reading your original post I have made an extensive edit)

- use ALL channels available, some are more suited to one type of the audience and some to other, but unless you try them all in earnest you will never know which one would bring the most bang for the buck

------------- I decided to walk the talk and have just started a Twitter account... I have no idea whether it is useful or not, but I learnt from the IG experience that I should never discard any channel however unlikely it may be. Besides, a new channel does not mean you have to produce new content.------------------------

Thinking in particular, so you want to sell a online programme to a new audience (and I do think 45 min is too long for a newbie). Assuming no $ spent on promotion:

- create 60 sec intro clips into each of the 10 modules of the programme. And a video is always more interesting than a photo or a text

- make them captivating: use surprise factor. Let your imagination flow.

- make them audience-relevant: take people from the street or in the mall and get them to do the stretch. Get your policeman do a stretch exercise. Get your postman. Be the everyday person. (Please do not use a cat... who can relate to a cat ??? sorry!!!!!)

- make them time-relevant. Use Halloween costume, Santa Claus, whatever public holiday (worldwide) is coming.

-------------The actual follow-along video does not have to be all that... you just need to get their attention and the CLICK-------------------------

- make the link to the actual programme clearly visible and the CLICK THROUGH easy. For eg, a lot of news sites living on Instagram post the latest feature on the Feed and the link to it in their profile (and say, 'link in the Bio') which they then renew regularly

- make those links time-limited! so that people know that these will not be waiting for them forever, they cannot say 'great, I will do it when I have time'

- 10 weeks, 10 short promo videos, 10 weeks programme. And people want to see the end to it, in the beginning all are interested in destination more than the journey.

- insert an element of competition. People are widely competitive. Again, the newbies mainly )))

- get your network (people like us) to share your posts on our own channels and groups.

All this is no news to anyone familiar with the Social Media Marketing. For me - I am not a social media person - the biggest challenge was to actually START DOING IT and to SHAMELESSLY SELF-PROMOTE. If you think "cream rises to the top" - and that the world is fair - you are fooling yourself :D  :D A la guerre comme a la guerre :D

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I could post a thread on the GB forums. ;)

Reddit may be a great place for this, as there are so many different communities, from r/flexibility, weightlifting, bodyweightfitness, yoga, etc...I don't believe mods will let you outright advertise, but I think if it's "organic" they will be fine with it (i.e. a member of the forum who does not directly monetarily benefit from the product...typically they will allow posts that are "reviews" of a product).

Just my 2 cents. I think you have a lot of loyal friends/followers who believe you're doing something very valuable for a great price. Everywhere I looked for stretching advice, people said the same thing.

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Something I've seen implemented by GMB and Wim Hof is offering 3 people free access to the program based on a weighted lottery. People accrue points based on how many of their friends they refer and get signed up for the lottery. The more points you accrue, the greater the chances of winning the free program. A major benefit from this is that you get people to sign up with their email addresses, so when the program goes live, you now have a great base from which to market it and those that signed up for the lottery also know when the program is ready for purchase. 

How to set something like this up is beyond my capabilities but I'm sure there are some tech savvy people who can help you with that. 

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Yes the lottery where the winner gets free access (or another freebie) is a good one to get people interested. I ran a survey on Facebook (via in several location-relevant groups) offering a free lesson as a prize. I got many replies in Day 1 (when the thread was still high enough) and sent emails to three winners inviting to book a free lesson but noone has replied :D I guess the emails went straight into their junk mail boxes. This is a thing to consider - how not to end up there.

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I think (at least I have this feeling here in Germany), that there are many people who are actually too shy to try something like a "stretch", especially on their own. Some think that this might be dangerous and the idea that stretching could relieve their pain is new to many people, who have never experienced something like serious stretching in a sport. To reach these people we need to (1) explain them the idea of stretching per se, (2) that and how it can be done by everyone and (3) that and how effective it may be to release their pain and fix their problems in (4) differentiation to already existing methods; (I think I would do this in form of a short film, visualising this kind of tension/pain release) and then (at the end of the short film or any advertising/explanation) offering them a simple way to do this (which could be your absolute beginners stretching series with follow-along-routines).

45 minutes are good, but I would do shorter versions too. People are busy, they want to spend the least amount of time to get the biggest results. This cannot be done in stretching of course, but we may find a relatively short time scale, which will enable absolute beginners to experience the effectiveness of your method first time; through this experience they may open themselves then to dig a bit deeper into this and to stretch for longer periods of time.

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I'm seconding the IG option. You guys need to get on this. Its perfect for giving people a taste of your work. 

With K's love of editing and photography and the ability to reach a big audience via hashtags its perfect

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Absolute Beginners is a great idea.  I have directed a few people towards ST for a daily five style follow along routines, but that doesnt exist so far, including people with limited mobility needing eg chair based routine. Agree with @Dexter some shorter programs would be good too eg 20' 40' 60'

IG clearly works very well for smaller organisations and individuals to promote themselves, and you must definitely be there. By the same token, I must admit personally to finding it hard to navigate and not a go-to site, which makes me wonder if it doesnt just work well for reaching certain populations? Certainly some of the people I wanted to guide to ST dont even know what IG is let alone have an account! And I suspect quite a lot of your target is in this boat.

"Interactive" content delivery is definitely also worth considering eg a six week "challenge", with some regular eg weekly content/progressions "drip fed" into the program, a bit of personal support (which you'd give in the forum anyway if asked).  Dedicated FB pages and/or groups lend themselves to this quite well, and Im not aware IG offers anything like that functionality.  Ido's 30-Day Squat Challenge page is a good example that "re-zombifies" quite regularly.  Combine this with incentives to share and re-post to extend reach in what seem rather "cheap/tacky" ways, but do work.

A bit left field, but I wonder if you could reach some of the non-IG crowd via Pinterest which is much more traditional in its structure (basically public clippings book format - the crocheted-tea-pot-warmer version of the internet).  I have a selection of my favorite ST free YT content "pinterest-ed" https://www.pinterest.ch/danieljftemplem/kit-laughlin-you-tube/ and use those links to share videos if asked.  I quite often get spontaneously "re-pins" or whatever they are called despite having very little other Pinterest activity, Im sure if you had a properly curated page you'd come up high in any search for stretching.

 

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7 hours ago, SwissDanny said:

A bit left field, but I wonder if you could reach some of the non-IG crowd via Pinterest

Thank you! I have just opened an account there too. Found my niche (Pilates Reformer) and lots of great material already shared there.

My motto lately is "Say yes" and "Why not". Any channel is worth trying until proven to be useless (after some honest efforts are put into it). In the same way people have preferences for learning (audio, visual, tactile etc)  your message will reach them via their preferred Social Media channel. And, unlike millions of bloggers trying to make their living by self-promotion on the Social Media (amazingly large number, I joined some of their FB groups to learn the tricks), you have great content already. USE IT.

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Another vote for even shorter content - 15mins would be ideal.

In trying to broaden the audience, so many people are unable to set aside longer blocks of "spare time".  I've finally got around to attempting a complete run-through of the 'Sitting for Meditation' video.  Each of the three times I've tried, I got to around the 40 minute mark, when something - AKA our toddler - distracted me away.

Having to devote 45 mins, or an hour to something can be an impediment to engagement.  Things can always be broken down into synergistic, smaller chunks; but the beginner needs that to be done for them.  3 x 15 mins of spare time is a lot easier to find than 1 x 45 mins.

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Organic reach is more and more difficult to get so paid advertising is worth a thought. You do not need to go all in, give it some test runs and if it does not yield any results you can still ignore it. I would not completely ignore Facebook Ads, they can be a powerful tool. Moreover, consider your distribution channels. I know Vimeo works great for you but sites like udemy.com are sources where people actively search for specific content and might find your videos more easily. Youtube has paid content too, but i think they are going to remove it.

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Hello

I have been following Kit's work for awhile and organically learnt about it through the "Move Smart Podcast". Podcast, especially large reaching ones such as Tim Ferris, Ben Greenfield, Joe Rogan, Rich Roll, London Real, etc have amazing reach for minimal investment of resources. I also know of a several sites that have various authors contribute content that also have huge reach. I believe Ryan Hurst from GMB has contributed to both On it and Whole Life Challenge as well.

https://www.onnit.com/academy/

https://www.wholelifechallenge.com

http://breakingmuscle.com

https://www.codyapp.com

Kit's work is of the highest quality and deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. I know how much it has helped me and I know it could help a lot more.

Cheers

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On 11/1/2017 at 12:21 AM, pogo69 said:

synergistic, smaller chunks; but the beginner needs that to be done for them.  3 x 15 mins of spare time is a lot easier to find than 1 x 45 mins.

Synergistic. This is exactly what I meant.  Sort of programs with natural breaks, where you can stop or carry on.  Or even modular with suggested and DIY playlists.  That would even be a "new" concept.

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11 hours ago, SwissDanny said:

Or even modular with suggested and DIY playlists.

Great idea; can you elaborate a bit? Spotify for stretches? We have decided to make the initial programs in the series shorter (the first five or six) and later programs longer; I wrote a long post on this but there are a few details we need to work out before I post this (I have saved it). Each of these shorter programs will be on a theme, and will link internally; any of the blocks can be put together if the student finds they have more time (which always happens once you actually *get down on the floor and start stretching*). :)

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Just another idea to throw in to the pot. We - the ST followers - could all organise a synchronised internet event where we share and search for ST new programme simultaneously, at the agreed day and time. Like an online flashmob.

I understand only a little bit of the google and internet workings but if a lot of people suddenly search for the same topic or click on the same link, this topic will be shown as "trending" and that would attract more people (who love to follow what's trending).

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2 hours ago, Kit_L said:

Great idea; can you elaborate a bit? Spotify for stretches?  :)

Yes, exactly.  I guess if you filmed them all in the studio with similar continuity, fade in/outs and less intro, just follow along with cues say, it would look very slick when one moved to the next. I think Vimeo offers playlisting via albums but not sure how slick it is.  Perhaps they could be embedded in a mobile app! @MarkusO?

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33 minutes ago, SwissDanny said:

Yes, exactly.  I guess if you filmed them all in the studio with similar continuity, fade in/outs and less intro, just follow along with cues say, it would look very slick when one moved to the next. I think Vimeo offers playlisting via albums but not sure how slick it is.  Perhaps they could be embedded in a mobile app! @MarkusO?


Mobile app with a catalogue of stretches, that would be awesome. Like reference cards with the most important queues. Then you could create your own routines ("playlists") in that app using that references, store them, and share them with other users. Hmm... I should work on that :) 

There is something similar already (stretchitapp.com) but I am sure we could do better.

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20 hours ago, MarkusO said:

Mobile app with a catalogue of stretches, that would be awesome.

Now we're cooking! Combined with Olga's "online flashmob", we can do this. Markus, seriously, start researching this as soon as you can (it will be a paying job) and let's Skype soon. Does it need to be useable on a laptop too? Think HDMI out to a BIG screen...

Keep it coming!

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To the concept of a Stretch Therapy APP, I can suggest a couple of existing examples from the people that I follow. Both APPS I think are still very raw and I do not use them myself but simply follow the development.

1. Yamuna created and is marketing AnatomyU https://www.yamunausa.com/pages/anatomyu

her recurring topic in classes and workshops is exploration of your own body using the soft balls and other devices. This APP builds up on that topic.

2. Pilates Avatar https://progressivebodyworksinc.com/pilates-avatar

This is a tool to build your own Pilates on equipment workout (in contrast to following a Mat class on Youtube or other video channel). Just add equipment - some studios are joining this network to offer the users of Pilates Avatar the use of their equipment (for a fee). It is like a DIY Private Equipment lesson without the teacher - for experienced users obviously.

Another thing to consider, if you are going to build such a collection: it would be great to add a section for teachers (not only ST teachers, but also fitness coaches, PTs, Pilates trainers) with specific cueing tips for each stretch. You will expand your audience and this way for example I would have something more to recommend to my colleagues in Pilates than just a website and workshops.

 

Re use of laptop or big screen - I do not think so. Personally I use Instagram for exercise ideas and I just take my phone with me on the Reformer to try each new move. I do not bring my laptop into the studio at all.

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6 hours ago, Kit_L said:

Does it need to be useable on a laptop too? Think HDMI out to a BIG screen...

Andorid and iOS devices both support direct wifi "Miracast" streaming in HD quality to quite a lot of newer TVs, and all can support via ROKU, AppleTV, Fire TV sticks/boxes.  For PC use I would go for a web based solution (eg vimeo, youtube etc) rather than machine based software.  But personally a mobile or pad works better while on the floor.

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Thanks Kit! In the end with these things it comes down to native mobile app vs. web app. Modern Web Apps (accessed via browser) have the advantage that they ideally can be viewed on every device (and have the look and feel of a native app on the phone/tablet). Web apps can also be packed into some kind of container later on to deploy them as a real app on the phone. The drawback is that you have no offline access but you would probably want to stream videos anyway. I will wrap my head around this and what could be a solution that would have manageable effort.

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I strongly vote for the web app solution. If I understand this right, in this way you would be more independent (no dependance on iOS and Google, like if you're making a mobile app.) I imagine that this may be a point for you.

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