Years ago, when I did my first workshops in Winnipeg, I met Beth Martens (who I featured in the March 2011 blog post on Yoga for Caregivers).
She was a yoga teacher and single mom who was so committed to getting out of the struggle of ‘making it’ as a yoga teacher. And such a lovely person. When she found out I was doing my six week, virtual Niching for Hippies program she offered to share her story in case it might inspire others in their journey around finding their niche.
This guest post by Beth is also a great example of the power of having a unique point of view on the journey your clients are undertaking. And a powerful example of how our deepest wounds can often be the doorway to our truest niche.
Give it a read and share your thoughts below. Beth would love to hear your reflections.
Niche Marketing Musings by Beth Martens
As a musician and yoga teacher who combine yoga instruction with live music experiences, my yoga audience has become increasingly more mainstream. You can’t spit without hitting a yoga centre (and I hope you don’t!). It is increasingly more difficult to message and market what I do now that “modern” yoga is becoming just another form of popular exercise.
Thankfully, it’s made me really think about the people I want to work with and how I can identify what comes naturally to me as a niche. All I knew about that to start, was that it had to be meaningful, have deep roots and be able to engage me at the love-level in the context of healthy community. Tall order!
So I sat down one-on-one with Tad Hargrave, Marketing for Hippies guru-dude, a few years back when he presented his first Winnipeg workshop to the local holistic crowd.
In the session, I concluded, based on my own journey of travelling to India eight times, surviving a life-threatening cancer, and being a mom of a young son and facing many major life challenges earlier in life, that I wanted to work with caregivers.
I also knew that due to the unruly nature of live-in-person events, I wanted to teach workshops, create teleseminars and videos, as well as produce and publish recordings of my music for the growing digital market.
Every person who is faced with having to niche market will experience some form of anxiety. Part of the risk of “narrowing down,” is eliminating and possibly alienating potential students and clients.
Caregivers seemed to fit my personal mission and be a minimal risk, because at least 1 in 3 people will become a caregiver at some time in their life. Caregivers may include – professionals, parents, family or friends looking after sick loved ones and those in general who take it upon themselves to be responsible for someone else’s well being. So I left the net big and wide, not wanting to lose my already captive appreciators in the process.
In that first year of focusing more on caregivers, I created a series called Yoga Cream Pie. It combined everything I do into one health-packed, self-spa day that was a haven for caregivers. They were able to relax and get cushy with some restorative yoga and massage. The day included live music and a chance to connect with other caregivers. The community seemed to take notice and soon I was doing yoga for all kinds of professional caregiver events as well.
Last summer we offered up a caregivers’ urban retreat and niched it “For Those Who Want to Get Away and Can’t,” recognizing that this group has a limited ability to carve time for self-care and personal development, and we made our sold-out event really easy to access.
While on paper my large, broad-span niche worked well, I noticed nothing but frustration would arise in regards to how to communicate about my services – in fact, I couldn’t come up with a clear message because I was trying to talk to so many different kinds of caregivers!
At that time I was inspired to divert away from mass messaging and create several personal yoga coaching programs instead. Recognizing that people have specific healing and therefore yoga needs when it comes to recovering from their caregiving ordeals. It wasn’t long before I had a steady stream of clients that could take what I have to offer and get deep, lasting results in their lives. This allowed me to choose the people that I wanted to work with individually, who were actually ready and able to work with me. I no longer had the feeling that I was just putting in time for work – I was REALLY helping them and vicariously everyone with whom they connected.
As a niche exercise, coaching was amazing at helping me define who I actually wanted to work with in a really specific way. I came to entertain the idea that if I’m going to spend such a large portion of my life devoted to work I feel passionate and utterly compelled to do, then I wanted it to be with caregivers that are specifically on a cosmic path of the soul – a term that I now use ‘moon mamma’ to describe. Once I came to this realization the inspiration for Moon Yoga was born.
Moon Yoga is for people who are mothering, both in the literal and in the Divine, archetypal sense. Mothering, in the classical definition, is very demanding, most times beyond the boundaries of what we feel we are capable. We persist because it does seem rather important to grow humans. But Moon Yoga goes beyond the literal meaning of ‘mom’ into the archetypal Divine Feminine. A style of mothering that applies to raising children as much as it does to ushering into being an infinite variety of creations.
This motivated me to leave behind teaching the garden-variety yoga classes that are so readily available these days, and create Moon Yoga with its own theme song and logos. I am again personally inspired knowing that if I am extremely skillful in doing that which the moon cycles naturally favour then I won’t waste my time. I will be confident in knowing and getting the right things done at the right time. I will meet my goals, despite being bogged down on the physical plane as a mother.
Every person on earth (the opposit of a niche!) can benefit from using yoga to get in sync with the natural flow of universal cycles. But herein lays what distinguishes you if you are in fact a ‘moon mamma’ like I am. In addition to my son, I have “mothered” several creations into the world. Including the introduction of a rebel-devotional music movement called kirtan in my hometown complete with recorded CD’s and an E- book for “People Who Can’t Sleep” along with live workshops.
Now I am serious about doing my part in bringing the Feminine Divine Mother archetype out from the underworld where she can shine in all her glory.
What makes you a ‘moon momma’ is that you’re really mothering, you are letting another being or creation depend on you for their daily existence. How does this make you unique and give you special yoga, lifestyle and spirituality interests? It means you focus much more easily on other people rather than yourself, you have (or make) no time for yourself, you are feeling the effects of stress in your life and are motivated to be very efficient with your time.
Moon Yoga’s World View in a Nutshell:
I’ve known my whole life that I could get in sync with something more than the outer and often artificially constructed, schedules and demands of the world. Using the cycles of the moon as the basis for a yoga practice, or for that matter a work and life direction, means you not only know what to do, but when. You can stop wasting your time fighting against nature and its rhythms. I am not explicitly delivering content to all the “moms” out there, but to the cosmic and yogi mothers, as an archetype, who are ushering a new life to earth in infinite ways.
To make this type of yoga available to my ideal client I have contained it as a 12 Week Moon Yoga Online Challenge, delivered via the Internet at bethmartens.com. The course contains 12 yoga/meditation/music videos that are niched for “moon mammas”. From a business perspective, one of the beauties of teaching this yoga class online every week is that it almost instantly becomes a readily available hard-copy, packaged product that is easily repackaged.
I’ve realized through all my life experiences, that to thrive you have to know three things: how to build (grow), how to repair (heal) and how to clear debris. This is what Moon Yoga teaches – how to recognize and observe lunar energy and apply it to the workings of your own lifestyle, actions and yoga practice. To not just learn to respect the ‘lunar lean’ that is on everything and everyone, but to use it as a launch pad for putting your good stuff into the world.
My niche group includes women entrepreneurs, mompreneurs, moms, hippies, astrologers, yogis, new agers, new thought-ers, holistic practitioners, caregivers – nearly all the niches to which I can relate. And here’s where I would love some feedback – is the ‘moon mamma’ niche, like caregivers, too big to communicate to with any clarity? Or is it, in fact, too narrow?
I am predicting that the key to the potential of this niche, may be the sub-niche under “People Who Like to Learn Their Yoga Online”. This is something that I believe is going to explode beyond proportion. I’m a bit late with generic online yoga courses, but possibly a pioneer of the first online cosmic, archetypal and astro yoga.
The hope is that narrowing the niche doesn’t divert me away from what I’ve already accomplished. For example, I discovered how easy it was to slipstream my existing music repertoire into a Moon Yoga Music Video collection that I am in process building. This music “accidentally” fit as the perfect soundtrack to Moon Yoga with ridiculous synchronicity.
My main form of marketing is using social media and YouTube videos, interspersed with small tastes and samples from my video series, a teleseminar and MP3’s from previous and new recordings from The Yoga Lullabies 2 which is coming out this fall. My next gift-offering is a free 15 minute practice video, The River of Mother Ganga Mantra for Moon Mammas, that includes mantra, kirtan, guided meditation and a yoga practice.
Since carving out caregivers as a niche market a few years back, refining it down to ‘moon mammas’ as a micro niche within the caregivers, this niche has actually expanded. Is it now so wide it’s almost not a niche anymore. Let me know what you think.
Beth Martens is a yoga teacher, personal coach, writer and musician living in the Canadian prairie. She can be reached at email@example.com and you can find more information about Moon Yoga at www.bethmartens.com.
Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program https://marketingforhippies.com/niching-for-hippies/