August 30th, 2013 (three years after the original post). Allison has changed her marketing and is working with “somatic” practitioners in general. Good move. I hope she is successful with it. I have heard good things about her work.
I was just in the process of writing a brief blog post on the decline of professional organizations such as Feldenkrais Guild of North America, based loosely on some ideas I encountered in Death of the Guilds by Elliotte A. Krause. Feeling the desire for a brief moment of procrastination, I went to Facebook where I bumped into an ad by Allison Rapp:
She’s promoting her distance mentoring program, “Less Elusive, More Obvious™” What?! This is not only an unimaginative title…but also something she felt the need to trademark? (Laughter) I’ve often wondered about the wisdom of spending time and money trademarking derivative ideas that have no marketing gravity and that no one wants to steal. But that’s another story.
Here’s the webpage with Allison’s offer:
Though I wasn’t particularly intrigued, I did consider giving her my email in exchange for the free videos that she is promoting. Why not? I like to encounter potentially new ideas and I appreciate when someone uses the internet to spread them. I was willing to GIVE HER the opportunity to SHOW ME that she has something to teach.
But then I noticed that she wanted additional information from me. Her form asks for the name of the educational director of my Feldenkrais program and my year of graduation. In other words, I have to prove to her that I was in an FGNA training so that she can sell me something. I’m sorry, but no. That’s not how it’s done.
If someone wants an opportunity to earn my trust, sell me something, or explain a point of view, I can be willing to give my email or other personal information. But I am certainly not going to jump through hoops to do so. When you are selling something it is up to YOU to earn the trust and the right to begin a conversation.
As she notes on her webpage, she’s “been a trainer for nearly twenty years” (who cares) and of course, she flashes the obligatory badge of knowing Moshe personally (yawn). Not much of a value proposition in my view.
It seems to me that if she truly wanted to spread her work and to build a strong practice of teaching others to practice, she would start with a wider net. Why limit the audience? She’s using the same type of exclusionary logic that has kept the work out of the hands of so many for so long. She’d love to teach you more about how to grow a practice but only if you can prove that you are not an Anat Baniel, Mind Body Studies, Bones For Life or some other undesirable practitioner.
So, let me just turn the tables here and ask Allison Rapp:
“Do YOU want more clients?
Are YOU tired of being the best kept secret in town?”
Yes? Good. It might be time to re-think your marketing strategy if not your entire world view.