I am in love with Winnipeg.
My old friend Jeff Golfman picked me up at the airport today (arriving from Tour Stop #1 in Calgary yesterday.
And he drove me straight to Woolsley.
Woolsley is the cool, hippy neighbourhood in town. It’s full of old quaint houses and big old trees that are covering the streets and yards with their beautiful autumn leaves.
I am completely charmed.
Winnipeg: will you marry me?
But, it gets better.
I’m staying at Jeff’s 5000 sq ft. office and loft apartment (pictured on the left). It’s gorgeous and the perfect space in which to relax and catch up on emails. And Saturday night we’re having a secret party here! Woot.
Tonite I led my first workshop at the incredible holistic center that is Hollow Reed Holistic (pictured here). The Hollow Reed started five years ago as an herbal apothecary. It’s run by Chad Cornell (a Master Herbalist) and his wife Nancy Hall and overflows with the best and most welcoming community vibes. Two months ago they opened up a broader holistic center with a group of other practitioners and they’ve got this neat little workshop space.
They’ve clearly become a hub in Winnipeg for cool, holistic things.
I showed up earlier today to check out the space and make sure everything was okay – only to be warmly welcomed by Kalee who worked there. And then Chad (pictured to the left) came out of his session and made me some amazing tea blend to help with my cough. Plus this incredibly bitter root to chew. It’s terrible tasting so it must be good medicine!
And then at I led my ‘Marketing 101 for Green and Local Businesses’ workshop to a packed crowd. We got 30 people in the space – and I don’t think we could have fit too many more folks in there.
Part way through, I invited Chad to come up to the front to be ‘hot seated’.
I asked him to share his ‘top three target markets’ he’d come up with during an exercise before the break. They were:
1) People really into natural medicine.
2) People who are ready to do the work.
3) People willing to pay for the work.
I asked the group, “Which of those is the clearest?“
They unanimously voted for #1 – people into natural medicine.
“Numbers two and three,” I pointed out. “Are great as criteria of your ideal client. They’re qualities you’d want in any client. But they’re not ‘target markets’. They’re not communities with shared needs or experiences.”
This is a huge distinction that most people fail to make – they confuse the ‘best client criteria’ with what a ‘niche’ is.
Your best client criteria are things like: they show up on time, they pay on time, they refer people, they do their homework, they refer people, they are open to feedback etc. It’s all the things you expect of your clients.
A niche is something like: doctors, lawyers, backpackers, vegans, Doctor Who fans, Buddhists, Burners, Crafters etc.
A niche is a tribe. The rest are the things you’d want in any client.
So, then we explored the first group: people interested in natural health using my philosophy of ‘Big Circle: Little Circles’ (which I promise to write about soon). I asked the crowd gathered to list all the specific groups that would be into natural healing. And the group delivered: holistic practitioners, yoga students, meditators, folks in the native community, folks in the Indian community etc.
I asked Chad to pick one of those more specific groups. He picked Yoga Studios.
So, we started to explore what kinds of ‘Offers’ he could make to connect more deeply with that crowd.
Jackie Avent, a friend of mine there, came up with a great idea of him going to Yoga studios to offer workshops on ‘cleansing’ since he works so deeply with herbs. I thought that was a great idea. If he even did one presentation per year at every yoga studio in town – he’d be connecting with a whole new crowd of people. And, if he came up with some sort of ‘next step’ offer for people after the workshop that could get them into his studio that would be great.
That ‘next step’ could be as simple as inviting them to join his email list, or offering them all a free 30 minute consult with him (and the chance to upgrade when they book), or perhaps it would be an invite to another workshop at his space.
And, on the theme of ‘becoming a hub‘ I also offered the idea of his hosting a gathering for all of the yoga studio owners and teachers in town to come to his space for a party or an intentional conversation around ‘how do we get more people in Winnipeg doing yoga?‘. And he could be honest about his intentions, ‘Yoga students are great clients for us – so, the better the yoga scene is doing – the better we will do.’
It was a beautiful night.
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