Nailing your Niche in 2020
Survive & thrive
Talking to a friend & colleague last week, I realised from our discussion, the clarity of the choices & direction I chose when the Global Pandemic hit. Driven by a strong sense of a need to survive, fortunately having pre-empted things changing, I had my APT Community ready to jump into One-on-one & Group Sessions all on Zoom. Way back in March, in 24 hours, everything was delivered live via Zoom and there was a great sense of relief we could stay connected, that we could keep going and keep moving together. And going online meant everyone was as safe as possible from this massive unknown Covid-19 pandemic, that we were all in shock, had locked us down - making the four walls of our homes, the safest place to be.
Live streaming on Social Media
As time went on, I felt some pressure to do live stream free workouts and classes via social media platforms, as so many were in my industry. I attempted it a couple of times, but it just felt wrong. Not being able to see the people I am teaching, or to connect, to check-in, as well as correct & communicate with them before, during and after classes, just didn't feel right.
I had fun planning a live stream bodyART Class with Martina from Argentina for her Global Warrior Series in July, teaming up with a different bodyART Instructor in countries all over the world for 8 weeks. This collaboration brought a special new communication and sharing the love of dance and bodyART. I was honoured and excited this beautiful 26 yo professional dancer, singer and teacher reached out to me across the globe, in my 60th year! The respect and exchange was really palpable between us & it also took me out of my comfort zone, which is important to keep growing and learning.
My APT business has always been One-on-one to groups of up to 10 only
When I began nearly 13 years ago, my business was one-on-one mobile face to face, in private homes for the first
6 years. Then moving into Studio Small Groups with an EFM Health Club and progressing into my own hired studio in Richmond from 2014 as well as a local Community Centre from 2016. From 2015 when I discovered and fell in love with bodyART Training, it brought many guest teaching opportunities and even presenting at the big Filex Convention, but APT itself remained very personally based and a maximum of 10 in Small Groups and Classes.
APT's Evolution in 2020
As 2020 has unfolded, it has become so clear to me and reflected in my decisions and APT's evolution, that I want to keep that very personalised aspect of APT intact in ALL I do and offer. Online One-on-ones are equally as personal as they have always been (though I crave the day I can go back to correcting clients through contact and some delicious assisted stretching & releasing in the studio) Group Classes have evolved and found their niche and cover my Mobility Matters Method (created because I saw a gap in what people could access and benefit from with creating simple mobility for themselves, without the intimidation or limitation of going to a gym to get 'fit' or not being able to get out of their home easily and/or being logistically near my studio) thru to bodyART, Functional Movement and Pilates as well as drawing on my background as a professional ballet dancer and Anatomy in Motion Methods.
The Mobility Matters Classes are capped at 16 (currently 10) and all others capped online at 20. In no way do I want to lose that very personal thread of connection with all of my APT Community. Many I have known for several years and even have a couple who have been with me for over 12 years just after I started! Even on Zoom - vast numbers means you end up with pages of gallery view squares . . . while this is ok - it is no longer personalised and becomes mass group fitness where it's impossible to see and connect with all participants fully. While I have no issue with this, and recently attended an excellent webinar with over 300 people, it's not what APT is about and this has instinctively become the framework for APT online training.
Keeping the Personalised Connection #aptcommunity
I plan to always to be able to say hello by name to every person attending a class, session or workshop. Every APT Client is part of a community of like minded, open, generous and curious souls. I encourage communication and questions outside of sessions and am interested in the whole person. I think it's important to be aware everyone is the sum of what they have lived & what is happening in their lives on a weekly, daily basis. Keeping people both safe, curious and cared for, is paramount in my mind and even online maintains a spiritual human connection we all need.
I believe in every APT Client whole-heartedly and if you have seen my Mobility Matters Presentation Part 1 I did for both The Healthy Ageing Summit and COTA Vic & Australia Providers, you will hear the deep rooted history of where this comes from and why it is so vital and important.
Nailing our APT Niche
All this growth & improvement through online live Zoom APT offerings, has definitely given a clear vision and framework for APT's unique niche in the well-being, health and fitness space. I do offer a free class each week as a bonus to my community, for those who cannot afford to pay or want to trial an APT experience, but for example, my Mobility Matters each term (we did in T2 & T3 and is now on offer for T4) has evolved into a live Zoom fortnightly small group Session. In this session we discuss & share, small personal victories, focus on important aspects of mobility and why it matters, ask questions and I run a class to re-inforce and build on what they have learned. The Class video is then sent to all participants to use over the 2 weeks till the next live Zoom Session. It's essential they practise and through this formulate their own daily MM non-negotiables (mobility exercises they choose for themselves to do consistently a few minutes each day) that bring new mobility and for gaining, regaining, improving and maintaining mobility. The current group are in their 50's to 80's and are spread as far as Brisbane. This is one of the amazing border openings of the online space with APT - no longer are we confined to local folk. If one finds the gem of APT, and it resonates with them, APT can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Now I reckon, that is pretty magical.
bodyART translates brilliantly online
Barefoot on a mat - no equipment required, creating a space in your home with soft light and a good quality mat is VERY easily achieved and yet the experience can be life changing even without walking out of your front door! The energy drawn from the 5 elements of traditional Chinese Medicine, breathe focus and Yin Yang philosophy balance, is something many are unaware they need until they experience it. Several people I had met though my guest teaching, have re-found APT during the lock-down/s, because they had done bodyART in the past & realised it was what they needed now to address anxiety, stress and the uneasy feelings of the unknown. They also know, they will have a great workout to strengthen as well as mobilise, release and lengthen their bodies.
APT's favourite Class videos
Were offered for the first time to the APT community while I take a term break - this meant they could continue on with their favourite class/s and program and maintain routine while I replenish and create the exciting new content and programs for the term ahead. This will be an ongoing offering to my community and has been embraced wonderfully I am pleased to report. APT Term 4 starts next week 28 Sept - lots of info here
My 60th year in 2020 and not in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would be anything like this.
However my purpose, passion and belief in what I do and offer to teach & guide people, has grown more than I could have imagined too. Being my authentic self and trusting my life lessons and learning, has been nothing short of liberatingly joyful! When I see the light turn on in my clients eyes - the curiosity, self exploration and tools of knowledge that become part of them, plus the friendly APT Community spirit that is stronger than ever - I know I am living my purpose and honouring my values. APT niche nailed in 2020!
AG - 23 Sept 2020
PS. My future plan when safely possible, is to run both APT Studio and Online Sessions One-on-one and Groups, keeping all of the above mentioned intact - this will only provide greater flexibility, opportunity, commitment and consistency. #themindfulmovement1