I attended a yoga class this evening at Bikram Yoga Castro
. The studio is owned by LaMott Atkins. LaMott is a gifted instructor.
The best classes happen when LaMott takes the class along with the students and -- when the group is made up of somewhat more experienced students -- LaMott leads the class in silence. Seriously, he barely issues an instruction. It’s perfect. Everyone knows just what to do because LaMott taught us.
I’ve been going to yoga semi-regularly for about two years. I bought a fancy yoga towel, but I haven’t purchased my own yoga mat yet. I borrow the mats that are available in the studio --partly because I ride my bike to class and haven’t figured out the logistics, but partly because, well, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
LaMott opened his studio about 6 years ago. I helped him launch the business. We held a press conference/yoga class, and the press loved it. We invited a handful of politicians, bankers, and city officials to the press conference. LaMott had all of the suits stretching for the photographers in the extreme Bikram heat.
The press conference was covered by a number of papers, and LaMott made the front cover of the SF Business Times. The article, “Limbering up gay business
,” was written by Mark Calvey. The photo accompanying the article was simply awesome. LaMott was doing a full-on locust pose. His heals were completely over his head. (Unfortunately, the Biz Times photo isn’t available online anymore, but here’s a photo
from a more recent SF Chronicle article about LaMott .)
My blog is ostensibly about marketing, so I’m not sure why I’m writing about LaMott (except for the fact that I just came from yoga and I’m still sweaty), because he doesn’t really market his business. That was one of the challenges working with LaMott. He doesn’t like to market. But in reality, he doesn’t need to.
LaMott markets his business simply by being himself.
LaMott is a kind, skillful teacher. Some days there are as many as 30 people taking his class (that’s a lot), but you always feel like he’s talking directly to you. I’ve never seen him lose his patience, and I’ve never heard him raise his voice in anger or frustration. He is a magnet. People love LaMott, and they just keep coming back to take his class.
But I guess that is the perfect marketing strategy, isn’t it? Offer a great product, and be yourself.
I think it is time for me to buy my own yoga mat.