Social Media Marketing Attracts Wellness Clients!

Social Media Marketing Attracts Wellness Clients!

While waiting for my last massage client of the day to get dressed, I quickly scanned my messages and sent appointment reminders to the next day’s clients. But something kept nagging at the back of my mind – the feeling that I was forgetting something!

Just then the client emerged from the massage room and we booked her next appointment. As she was leaving, she turned and said, “By the way, your story on Facebook this week was so funny! And it reminded me to call you!”

Facebook – HA! That triggered my aging memory! Suddenly I remembered what I almost forgot to do: create new content for my social media sites!

Social media is all about keeping your clients and followers engaged and entertained. Growing your list of subscribers is the primary goal – and relationship-building is the best way to accomplish this. Connect with potential clients by sharing helpful, relevant information.

Information on social media has a shorter shelf life than fresh produce at the market! Sometimes, it seems I’ve just barely finished one post and it’s time for the next one already!

Are you a drive-by poster? You have 30 minutes before your next appointment, so you quickly post 10 Facebook updates in a row! That’s a haphazard way to build the crucial know-like-trust factor. Consistency is the key to building that relationship with your social media readers.

People have a wide variety of favorite social media sites, but for wellness clients, Facebook is the most populated site. So in the interests of space and time here, we focus on steps for Facebook. Exactly how do you keep reader interest high while running your practice and managing your life?

Here are 8 ways to manage the content on your Facebook business page to maximize your social media engagement.

  1. Schedule Your Posts

This time saver will also help you be more consistent. Facebook has a handy little tool – right there where you post updates. Before clicking on the “post” button, find the “Publish” tab in the lower right corner below your post, then click on “Schedule” in the drop-down menu.

This allows you to pre-schedule the day, hour and minute when you want your message or image to post on Facebook. Then – ta-da♫ – it magically pops up on your page at the scheduled time! I used to enter my posts individually every couple hours all day. Then I wised up and hired a teen tech intern to pre-schedule them for me! I pay her about $10 per week for a few minutes per day to keep my page updated for readers, my content fresh for search engines and my bonds forged with Facebook Friends and Fans!

  1. Assess Your Content

If your content doesn’t get many likes, shares or comments, consider re-writing it. Re-assess how you are trying to connect with your Facebook fans. What kind of content are you sharing and, more importantly, how are you sharing it? Social media expert Gary Vaynerchuck offers some effective questions to ask yourself when creating Facebook content:

Is the text too long? Is it thought-provoking, entertaining, or surprising? Is the photo relevant to the post? Is your logo visible? Have you chosen the right format for the post? Is this content interesting to anyone else? Is it authentic? Are you asking too much of the reader?

To attract and keep engagement as consistent as possible, it’s vital to have the right content that is relevant, timely, entertaining, informative and/or actionable.

  1. Maintain the Relationship

When others like your post, make a point to write a comment or question to increase the engagement even more. For instance, you can simply ask: “Hi Mary, I‘d love to know exactly you like about this post.” If a post gets a lot of likes, you can ask an additional question in the comments, such as: “How will you use this tip to improve your health?” Or share your answer to a question, to encourage the “likers” to participate.

  1. Be Consistent

Post new content daily and keep a manageable number of posts on the page. You are trying to build a relationship, so if you can’t commit to posting three times a day consistently, then post just once a day, 7 days a week. This should not be a problem if you use the Facebook pre-schedule feature mentioned above. You can even sit down for an hour and pre-schedule your posts for an entire week! (Assuming you have written them!) This consistency is more effective than haphazard posting.

  1. Check Your Insights

Check to see which of your posts attract the most attention and keep a balance or variety of different types of posts. They can include: photos, article links, videos, blog posts and more. Stay aware of constantly shifting Facebook trends. A few months ago, photos or images boosted interest; recent data shows that straight content gets more comments. Facebook has improved the tools that give us info about our posts, so make a point to review your stats weekly.

  1. Share with Industry Experts

Share pages or groups to build your credibility. Select non-competitive pages or groups popular with your target market. For instance, if you are trying to reach females age 30-50 looking for pain relief, where do they go on Facebook? What local community pages or groups do they join? Once you narrow this focus, start sharing content from their page to yours. Make comments and contribute to the conversation without spamming or self-promoting. When you share your knowledge in an authentic way on Facebook, your expertise will become evident and others will start to seek you out. This easy process should take you less than three minutes a day.

  1. Get Personal!

Connect with your audience by personalizing your posts. Write your post as if you are having a conversation with one person.  People will pay attention more if they feel like you are talking directly to them. It’s fine to primarily post business content, but spice it up here and there with some personality and glimpses into your life. Show your personal – but not private – side! Your readers will relate to you more easily if they feel like they know you. Sharing your life and personality will help forge the know-like-trust bond. Your readers will appreciate you speaking to them – increasing your likes, shares and comments!

  1. Be Descriptive

Post your photos with a description, tag people, include a website link or call-to-action. When you optimize images with your page name, it drives up your traffic. When you tag someone in a photo, it not only alerts that fan, but that fan’s friends are also notified; they want to see what their friends are up to and in the process they find themselves on your page.

It’s Easy – Like Eating an Elephant!

This may feel like a lot to remember or implement. Treat it like eating an elephant – one bite at a time! Start with one of these 8 tips, use it long enough to become a routine, then add another strategy, and another as you become comfortable. Remember when you first started learning the skills of your modality? It seemed like there was too much to remember. But soon, you developed a habit and it became automatic and natural. Apply that same mindset to your social media management. Follow the steps, be patient, keep practicing and soon it will be second nature to “Optimize Your Social Media Strategies to Attract More Ideal Clients!”

Does Your Wellness Practice Stand Out in the Crowd?

Does Your Wellness Practice Stand Out in the Crowd?

Image result for rainbow horseIf your marketing makes your wellness business and your services appear different from the typical practice, then potential clients – especially Ideal Clients – will pay attention to you! Your challenge is to stand out from the crowd, to get potential clients to notice your services.

A couple of years ago, traveling from my home in Hawaii to a marketing workshop with my mentor, I strained my back lifting my bag into the overhead bin on the plane. By the time I arrived in Dallas, my back was feeling very sore and I was no longer looking forward to sitting through three days of lectures! So I opened the Yellow Pages to look for a local massage therapist with experience treating back injuries. What I noticed about the ads – they all looked the same! Most had a menu of modalities – Swedish, deep tissue, hot stones and so forth. Many listed conditions they treat, such as headache, backache, stiff neck. If you switched the names on the ads, it wouldn’t make any difference! There was nothing that made one business stand out from the others, nothing differentiating each one as unique, nothing that shouted “I’m the right massage therapist for you!”

Don’t make the same mistake in your marketing! Have you identified what makes you different from others in your field, what makes you stand out and get noticed? Highlighting your uniqueness can make the difference between a person who walks away and one who can’t wait to sign up and stay forever! Learn how to get the “forever” clients!

A mistake that many practitioners make is trying to be like others in their profession. They see a successful practitioner and try to duplicate how that person runs their business. You will be better off identifying and expressing what makes you different from other healthcare professionals, rather than trying to be the same as others. You’ll have more biz success if you develop your own unique answers to these questions:

– How are you different from your competition?

– Why should people choose you over others?

Unique Service Position

Your answers to these questions form the essence of your Unique Service Position. Your USP – Unique Service Position – is the answer that you’ll give when someone asks you, “Why should I choose you and your health practice over every other practitioner in town?”

When you incorporate these answers into your marketing, it will tell prospective clients what makes you special. If there’s nothing that makes you stand out as a practitioner, then why would prospects choose you over everyone else out there offering your modality? Without a strong USP, there is no good reason and they might as well go down the street instead of walking through your office door. And they probably will!

Know Yourself

The first step in differentiating your practice from others is to clarify your special qualities. Your USP is about you and your practice. To develop your USP, begin by listing your credibility factors – things that will allow your target market to see you as an expert in your field. Include your education, your expertise, your experience, your strengths and your skills. As a wellness practitioner, you also want to get clear on your philosophy about health and wellness. Also on the list: your personality and character traits, focusing on qualities that relate to how you do business; for example, friendliness, compassion, determination. In addition, include the way you provide your service, such as focused or purposeful. What other special things about yourself and your business make you different from others in your modality?

What do you offer your clients that they can’t get anywhere else or that other practitioners have not taken the time to identify and articulate about themselves? Your USP should answer these 4 questions:

– What do I offer that my colleagues and competitors do not?

– What features of my practice differentiate me from others in my field?

– Why should someone work with me rather than my competitors?

– What special personality traits make me an excellent practitioner?

Your Personal Story

Many of us were drawn to wellness work by an experience, realization or insight that attracted us to enter the holistic health field. In many cases, this compelling story or defining moment was a health crisis of our own or someone close to us. Sharing your experience can often motivate people to try your service and see if it can help them with their particular challenge, especially people who have never tried a holistic modality or those who are skeptical. For example, I became intrigued with bodywork when a friend resolved my chronic ear infection with a neck massage that unintentionally realigned my cervical spine!

Sharing your story of what inspired your passion or influenced you to enter the health field can be a powerful catalyst to attract clients.

Stand out from the herd and highlight your uniqueness to get potential clients to notice your services. Learn and use effective marketing to make your wellness work sound unique. Be unique and stand out in the crowd – to attract and keep a full schedule of Ideal Clients!

Have you identified what makes you different from others in your field, what makes you stand out and get noticed? Highlighting your uniqueness can make the difference between a person who walks away and one who can’t wait to sign up and stay forever! Learn how to get the “forever” clients!

 

Attract Plenty of Wellness Clients with 5 Simple Steps!

Attract Plenty of Wellness Clients with 5 Simple Steps!11410885-clients-customers-sales-profits-ahead-coming-street-sign-symbol-Stock-Photo.jpg (1300×927)

Wellness practitioners often ask me how to get more clients and make more income. I offer free tips and concrete ways to make this happen, but they do not take action. They say they’re ready, but some complain about lack more than abundance. I know that sounds harsh, but the reality of success as a wellness entrepreneur is that marketing is the fastest path to new and ongoing clients! Without an employer and management, such as at a spa or clinic, you’re both boss and employee, and you’re the one who has to make it happen!

If you got into wellness work to help people, you have to take action with marketing to achieve your goal. People will call you – but not if they don’t know about you! You need to be proactive! So if you really want more clients, then get crackin’ with these 5 specific and assertive steps to success:

1. Devote 3-5 hours a day to get new clients and fill your schedule. This is not a time for excuses or to “sorta” do it. If you are not seeing enough clients and you are not marketing, then what are you doing all day? You need to spend business hours doing business – either working with clients or getting clients. If this idea scares you, here’s a simple plan: Decide on your business hours, such as 9-5. Whatever time you are not with clients during your work day should be dedicated to marketing your practice. It is not free time for TV or shoe-shopping! Put marketing into your calendar as an appointment with yourself. And don’t no-show on yourself for anything except a paying client! Your business is your client for a marketing appointment! And remember – this intense marketing schedule is not a forever thing; it’s only temporary until you fill your practice – and you will – if you follow this plan.

2. Target one specific problem, pain, challenge or population you will treat and market only to that (ie, back pain, headaches, allergies, etc.) Or target a specific group, such as athletes or pregnant women. Then tailor all of your marketing – emails, blog, ezine, presentations, etc. to that one problem or group and get as specific as possible. Once you’ve targeted one problem or population and marketed it to the max, repeat the process with another, then another and another – until your appointment book is consistently full. You can target as many populations or a many health conditions as your practice can support, but only one at a time! Remember this guideline: One person, one problem, one solution per marketing campaign.

3. Big Marketing Blitz! Don’t just trickle, like when the car tire is parked on the garden hose. Bring out the fire hose! Write into your schedule specifically what you will do with each block of marketing time. Create a 2-week blitz marketing campaign that includes:

1. Send a letter (a real postal letter, not email) to every single family member, friend, acquaintance, colleague and client you know. Discuss the target problem or group you selected above in Step 2 on what you’re offering, how your work can help this problem, and ask them to refer people they know who may need what you offer. Have a way to draw people in, such as enclosing a few coupons for a free introductory session or consultation.

2. Schedule 3 presentations (yes, at least three) within a 2-week period to talk about your work – local organizations that feature speakers at their meeting, such as Rotary Club; a free talk at the public library; a hiking club meeting; a golf course clubhouse; a pregnant mom’s group; meet with a school athletic coach; take a doctor or dentist to breakfast and talk about how you can help their patients.

3. Do at least one print advertisement, such as a classified ad, a press release in the newspaper, an article in a local publication, etc. Do not post flyers around town – it’s amateur.

4. Participate in a local event, such as Relay for Life or a marathon, by offering brief introductory treatments. If your modality doesn’t lend itself easily to public demos, hand out your info and free offer with a low-cost incentive gift that will help people remember you.

5. Donate a Gift Certificate to a public charity event, such as a school fundraiser or community benefit.

4. Give a Free Sample! Come up with a generous and authentic free offer to give potential clients a taste of what you do. Some ideas are: a teleclass, an article, a workshop, an introductory session, or an audio or video on your website. When you give away a high-quality sample, people will think: “If her free stuff is this good, her paid services must be fantastic!” Remember to emphasize the benefits you offer and make clear how people can take the next step to work with you.

5. Believe in Yourself! We’ve saved the most important step for last. Keep your self-confidence strong and deeply believe that what you offer is of great value to others. If you don’t believe in yourself and your potential for success, how can you expect others to do so? People need your gifts, your talents and skills. You can ease their pains, challenges and struggles. You attract clients by deeply knowing that you are needed, and the way you share that is through marketing. It is not selfish, materialistic, pushy or needy to market your services. Marketing is a divine tool that makes others aware of how your work can make their life better! How can you help them if they have no awareness of what you do and how it can benefit them? Clear the cobwebs out of your inner being and embrace success for all those you will serve. A fortunate by-product of serving others is success for yourself!

These are just a few ideas to get you started. What other ways can you think of to promote yourself? Share your solutions and your success in the Comments Section below!

How to Stop Your Stinkin’ Thinkin’!

How to Stop Your Stinkin’ Thinkin’!

“As massage therapists, we are here to share our healing gifts. If you decided to enter this profession to make a lot of money, you chose the wrong career.”

url1It upset me to hear this negative and blatantly untrue statement made by the keynote speaker at the massage school graduation ceremony. Why did they invite a speaker who would cast such a dim and discouraging light on the potential of new therapists just entering their career?! Then I realized she was simply speaking from her own experience, which was based on her limited beliefs about healing, money and success.

Unfortunately, this poverty consciousness has pervaded the healing professions for centuries. Many practitioners work with this belief as the foundation of their wellness practice and some are even proud of it.  Some end up working two jobs or holding a garage sale to make ends meet! They equate financial success with greed, and hold a belief that struggle and sacrifice are hallmarks of higher consciousness. They say: “I’m not in it for the money.” They think it is less noble and less spiritual to help people for money. Nothing could be farther from the truth – there is nothing enlightened about poverty!

5 Practices to Elevate Your Business Beliefs

Would you like to have a few strategies to integrate into your mind, your business and your life to heal your money consciousness and shift your money reality? Here are 5 healthy practices to stamp out stinkin’ thinkin’ about money and your potential for financial success as a wellness practitioner:

1. Be aware of your limiting beliefs and negative thoughts. You have to acknowledge something exists before you can change it! Do you ever have thoughts such as: “Nobody in this town would pay that much for a massage.” Or “There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to get rich as an acupuncturist.” Or “I shouldn’t make money from other people’s pain.” Or “I’m just getting started, so I can’t charge very much.” If you have such thoughts and beliefs, it’s definitely time for a change!

2. Challenge your beliefs. Every time a negative thought comes up – or a behavior habit based on a negative belief – accurately call it a “limiting belief,” not “reality.” Your reality is something you create with your thoughts. So expand your thoughts about what is possible for yourself. There are no limits to your possibilities. As the song goes: “If you can believe it, you can achieve it.” Investigate ways to leverage your time and talent into more income and learn how to work smarter, not harder.

Remember – your income is a gauge to measure how much you help people, not a measure of how selfish you are! How do you measure up?

Here are more simple ways to upgrade your money consciousness and shift your financial reality:

3. Emulate success! Look around for people – especially other wellness practitioners – who are free of limited thoughts about money and success. Connect with successful practitioners. Ask them how they became financially successful and how their success is related to their beliefs about possibilities. Subscribe to online newsletters and social media groups of successful practitioners and marketers. Seeing success in others will elevate your thinking about what is possible for you.  Settling for less than you are capable of limits your ability to reach and help as many people as possible. Remember that the more money you make, the more people you can help! 

4. Focus on the positive difference you make for your clients. Make a point of documenting positive feedback you get from clients. Ask them how your work has helped them and write down their comments. Ask them to write testimonials and read them frequently to boost your self-confidence about your potential for success. This will help you see the value of your work and to establish fees that are in alignment with the value you provide to others. When you get clarity about your value, you will start attracting clients who willingly pay what you ask to get your solution to their problem, pain or challenge.

5. Hang out with abundance thinkers! It’s hard to change your beliefs when you surround yourself with people who are also stuck in limiting beliefs about success and money. As your abundance thinking gets stronger, you can become a role model for negative thinkers. In the meantime, protect your budding abundance consciousness by spending your time with positive, successful thinkers in your life.

Stamp Out Stinkin’ Thinkin’! As you integrate these 5 success practices into your habits of thought, you will see shifts in your business, in the health of your bank account, in your career satisfaction and in the level of freedom in your life. Break free of stinkin’ thinkin’ so you can grow into the success that you need, want and deserve!

No More No-Shows in Your Wellness Business!

No More No-Shows in Your Wellness Business!

WARNING: Strong Language! Proceed at Your Own Risk!

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It’s disappointing and annoying when a client doesn’t show up for an appointment. Not only are you losing money by not treating that patient, it also denies someone else an opportunity to get your help.

To my knowledge, I’ve had only one dissatisfied client in my 40+ year career – and he was a doozie!! He left me this angry voice mail: “Are you fu##ing kidding me?! I showed up for my f#c#ing appointment and you’re f##king not here!! You suck! I’m telling my doctor about your f###ing crappy business policies and I will make sure no one in this town ever again gets your f###ing crappy massage!”

Always having heard only praise and positive comments about my work, this was a new and jolting experience for me! Here’s the back story:

This injured client had shown up on time for his first few appointments. Then, due to a change in his work schedule, I rearranged my schedule to give him Saturday morning appointments for the next 8 weeks. When he missed the first Saturday session, I left him a phone message to please confirm his next appointment. I light-heartedly told him there was no charge for the first missed appointment, because every client gets ONE “Get Out of Jail Free Card!”

The next week again – no-show, no call! This time I called and texted and emailed him that his remaining appointments were cancelled. I said I would be happy to continue working with him after he paid for the missed appointments and prepaid for the remainder of his treatment series, according to the policy agreement he had signed.  I didn’t hear back from him about this.

For his third Saturday appointment – which I had canceled due to his lack of communication – the client did show up – and I didn’t. That’s when he left me the strongly-worded message! With the clear vision of hindsight, I see I could have done things differently. But who knew! We do our best to accommodate our clients’ needs, right? In this case, it backfired on me!

Proactively Prevent No-Shows

Don’t let such scenarios occur in your wellness practice! Don’t let your business suffer because of missed appointments! Make sure your policies and your boundaries support you and your business, while supporting clients in personal responsibility and getting the care they need!

Use these 6 strategies to avoid no-shows:

1. A reminder call is the most common and most effective tactic to avoid no-shows. Make a reminder phone call, text and/or email two days before the appointment. On your intake form, ask how they prefer to be reminded- by phone, test or email. If you don’t actually speak with the client, ask her to call back and confirm. Brownie Points: Delegate reminder calls to an assistant, giving you more time for clients or marketing!

2. Send an email or text midway between appointments, saying you look forward to seeing them again. To keep the perks of working with you fresh in their mind, mention the result they got from their previous session. Also mention possible consequences of missing their next session, such as their problem worsening. You could make a special offer for their next appointment, such as an add-on amenity. And be sure to remind them of your 24-hour cancellation policy. (Would you like to have the exact word-for-word script for this conversation? Send us an email request or a private message on our Facebook page – The Prosperous Practice!)

3. Offer some evening and weekend hours. Look at your schedule to see when your slow hours are; then switch them for a few evening and weekend hours per month, allowing you to grow your business and help more people! Years ago, when I did this, my business increased by 25% within the first two weeks! Give it a try! It will allow you to serve people who work during conventional business hours.

4. Have each client read and sign an agreement to follow your policies, especially your cancellation policy. Most people sign a contract without reading it, so allow enough time at their first appointment to go over the agreement together and have them initial it, item by item. (For a free copy of my Intake Form, send me an email request, text or Facebook message!)

5. Accept credit cards. When scheduling the first appointment, inform the client of your cancellation policy, ask for their credit card info and let them know they will be charged for a missed appointment. Someone who refuses to give you this info may not be your Ideal Client, if they don’t respect your policies before they even walk into your office.

This being said, I have a one-time-only “Get Out of Jail Free.” I don’t post or discuss this policy. But if someone calls to apologize and reschedule, I have the option to offer this or not, depending on their attitude and their reason for missing the appointment. Just make sure they understand that this offer is good for only one missed appointment and they will be charged for future no-shows or late cancellations. We can all forget or make a mistake. Giving people a little break like this helps create goodwill, earn trust, promote repeat visits and encourage referrals.

6. Fire bad clients! They are not your ideal clients if they repeatedly show disrespect for your policy and your time. Just let them go – you don’t need clients like this!  Be polite but firm and offer to give them a list of practitioners who may be more lenient than you about no-shows. Make room for the ideal clients you want and deserve!

There’s no reason to let no-shows jeopardize your wellness business. Simply establish and implement clear policies – set firm boundaries and enforce them!

Fabulous Fall Marketing Ideas!

Fabulous Fall Marketing Ideas!

I can read your thoughts, as you read this week’s title: “What up with this Fall marketing? I’m still working on my summer tan!”

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As the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer move relentlessly toward autumn, we can create summer memories that last a lifetime. One of my favorite summer memories is riding the roller coaster at the amusement park!

But a roller coaster ride in my income is not my idea of fun! It represents seasonal spikes and dips that disrupt my business and my bank balance. It’s hard to have a stable life if your income is erratic! You can avoid these ups and downs with a seasonal marketing schedule. Make consistent time each quarterly season of the year to plan and prepare the following season’s marketing.

You can start now to plan your fall programs and services by booking some fall marketing time into your schedule as appointments with yourself. Do at least one marketing activity per day during the summer, to prepare your fall launch. Here are just a few suggestions for autumn programs and their target markets:

– Back-to-School Specials – Market to teachers, school staff, coaches, pediatricians, students.

– Offer a class or workshop – Share your expertise in a group setting.

– Summer Skin Repair – Sun Worshippers, tourists, athletes, dermatologists.

– Jet Lag Recovery – Vacationers returning home, to help them get back on track.

– Autumn Athlete’s Special – School/community sports, teams, coaches, parents.

– Trick or Treat Bags – Healthy goodies for clients & associates.

– Pre-plan a Winter Holiday party – Compile guest list, get invitations, decide on menu.

– Get a head start on winter – Address Christmas cards; plan winter services and specials.

– Set up a Holiday Gift Certificate Station in your office – Help your clients with their gift shopping.

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Which of these fall promos are your faves? Which will you start with? Add your marketing idea to this list. Get really creative with another idea! Inspire us with more of your brilliance: 

Take advantage of summer sales at local and online print shops to order your Christmas gift coupons now. Avoid the holiday rush by addressing holiday cards and wrapping gifts for clients, colleagues, networking partners and referral sources. Pre-write and pre-schedule your Fall/Winter ezines, blog articles and social media posts.

Many practitioners increase their fees at the first of the year. If you plan to raise your rates, plan a Fall campaign to announce the increase to your clients and ease them into it. Consider offering a prepay program at current fees to be used after the fee increase.

Use stay-in-touch marketing vehicles to inform clients of your upcoming programs and promotions. You want to make sure you have special offers that will motivate your clients and prospects to keep up with your services as part of their regular health care routine, whether that means daily, weekly or monthly! Your fall marketing should also keep you on their mind for holiday gift shopping and inspire them with “the gift of health” for holiday giving!

Your wellness business doesn’t have to be at the mercy of seasonal peaks and valleys. With careful planning – followed, of course, by action – you can avoid the stressful roller coaster ride! Success is more about strategic marketing than about seasonal changes.

Once you chart out your seasonal marketing every quarter for a year, you will have an automated marketing system that you can return to year after year, throughout your entire career. Avoid the roller coaster ride of seasonal ups and downs in your income with careful planning, consistent marketing and regular implementation. Let us know how it goes with your Fall marketing plans!

Get New Clients with a Back-to-School Special!

Get New Clients with a Back-to-School Special!

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One of my favorite childhood traditions was opening my brand new yellow box of Crayolas on the first day of school! Do you remember that smell?! Nowadays I have a different Fall tradition – my annual Back-to-School Special!

“Fall marketing?! It’s still summer! What’s the rush?” you may be wondering!

Well yes, exactly! It’s already August, when the new school year has already started in many areas. A Back-to-School Special is an ideal opportunity to tap into a client-rich environment for your wellness practice!

Whatever your health modality, a Back-to-School Special can customize your Fall marketing to target school-related personnel and events! It’s a great way to support the health of these valuable members of the community who are crucial to our children’s futures! It’s actually a huge target market that you can tap into – every town has schools!

As you may know by now, I’m a big fan of “systems.” Here’s a system to create your Back-to-School Special:

First of all, make time for marketing! Get out your calendar and schedule a few hours of specific Back-to-School marketing each week for the rest of the summer. Start now – go get that calendar and book a few appointments with yourself – for marketing your business!

Make a list of schools in your area. Start small with what you can manage for now. If you have kids, start with their school – teachers, staff, parents, coaches. Each year as you repeat your Back-to-School Special, widen your circle to include individuals and agencies that serve students, such as counselors, social service organizations and after-school programs.

–  Design and print your marketing materials – brochures, business cards, rack cards, flyers and voucher coupons. Make sure your wording focuses on the client’s challenge and the results and benefits people can expect from working with you.

Develop a social media campaign for your program. Get the word out on Facebook and Twitter, in your ezine or newsletter, website and blog!

Make a promotional kit for the school office. I use a 2-pocket folder that includes: brochures and/or rack cards, business cards, Introductory Offer vouchers, and small low-cost healthy promotional gifts. (I like to use things that can be easily stapled to a coupon or biz card – tea bags, lotion samples, etc.  Have fun getting creative with little promo items that relate to your specialty!)

Networking. In a structured networking setting, such as BNI, be sure to announce your program in your weekly meeting and ask for referrals to specific school personnel – principals, counselors, teachers, support staff and coaches. Example: “I would like a referral to the principal/school nurse/PE teacher/soccer coach/etc. of ABC School.”

And don’t forget about casual networking with people you encounter in your daily life. Here’s a mini-script for when someone asks about your biz: “I’m so excited to tell you about my new program! If you know a teacher, principal or coach, please give them these vouchers for my Back-to-School Special.”

What to Offer

Voucher Coupon. Use a coupon or voucher to draw people into your practice with a Back-to-School Special offer. The wording on your materials should be targeted to the specific needs of teachers, coaches or whatever group you’re marketing to. Do not call your offer a discount; it’s a special fee, one-time offer, or introductory special etc. Contact the school administrative staff in advance and arrange to deliver your materials to be placed into teachers’ mailboxes during the first week of school.

Teachers have stress and physical complaints (computer shoulders, bending/standing all day); give them a coupon/voucher, attached to a small low-cost gift such as a product sample, tea bag, or… an apple for the teacher! Get on the good side of your kids’ teachers by giving them your coupons as a Back-to-School gift.

School counselors are a perfect back-to-school target – especially if you’re a health professional who deals with behavior, such as a psychologist or clinical social worker.

School nurses and health aides may refer students with sports injuries or other health conditions that can be treated with your modality.

After-school programs are eager for new activities for their students. This could be an ideal setting to offer small workshops. You may get paid little or nothing for the workshop – think of this marketing opportunity as an investment of your time that will pay money dividends later!

Workshops can be offered to classrooms, teams, community centers, families, after-school programs and more, either at your location or theirs. Examples: a nutritionist could teach how to make healthy home lunches; a psychologist or life coach could teach students about positive mindset for academic success; a massage therapist could offer a foot massage lesson and have students make their own foot reflexology socks.

Because many schools have a limited budget for outside programs, this is more successful in attracting clients if you give a free workshop, letting your expertise and your coupons bring in clients and income, rather than counting on the workshop as a primary income source. What could you teach or share to help draw clients into your practice?

Volunteer in a classroom to meet teachers and parents. What people do for a living often comes up in casual conversation, giving you a perfect opportunity to educate them about your work and motivate them to call you.

Sports programs are a big part of autumn and the school year – and now you can be part of it too!

Coaches will be interested, both for themselves and their athletes. Examples: bodywork for muscle strain, fatigue and injury; nutrition for better sports performance; counseling for a winning attitude. Gift ideas to attach to your coupons for coaches and athletes are: Pain relief gel sample; granola bars; ice or heat packs.

Community teams. Many towns have Fall sports leagues such as soccer, rugby and football – a great place to offer a treatment or program such as your Autumn Athlete’s Advantage! You could also consider becoming a volunteer coach, which will further boost the trust factor between you and your local sports community. If you sponsor a team, your business name will be on uniforms and announced at all games!

Offer your services on the sidelines, if you do bodywork, to promote the value of your work for sports conditioning, injury treatment, improved performance and preventive maintenance. Parents of athletes can be another source of clients for you and the sports field is where to meet them! I got lots of massage clients from handing out small cold packs to my son’s teammates when they got bruised on the soccer field. Seeing you in action will spark interest faster than words on a brochure!

Brownie Points: Give each person 2 coupons – one to use and one to share!

Who to Contact

Pediatricians perform school physical exams during the summer prior to each school year. So this should be the first group you target in your Back-to-School Special marketing campaign. Call the doctors and ask to meet with them, to explain the benefits of your modality for their patients. If you do bodywork, talk about the benefits for sports injuries. If they’re too busy to meet, offer to drop off your info/referral folder.

Dept. of Education. In some towns, you may have to go through channels to work within the public school system. Start early to establish these contacts, talk to key personnel, and schedule meetings. Bureaucratic wheels tend to turn slowly, which can make this a challenging part of the process, but your hard work and persistence will pay off because you can return every year – once you set up this repeatable system.

Brownie Points: Be sure and give some of your BTSS Coupons to your DOE contact person! The administrators of schools I’ve worked with have used coupons as incentive or thank you gifts for their teachers and other personnel.

Public schools in small towns are more casual and you can contact the school administrators directly, bypassing the DOE. It is helpful to know someone who works there or get a referral from someone you know, such as a networking partner or your child’s teacher.

 – Private and charter schools often have more flexibility and less red tape than public schools, so they may be more receptive to your program. Call the administrative office and ask who you need to contact, or consult their website for contact info.

Local school boards and private school boards of directors often welcome concerned and committed community members into their groups. Getting involved and serving your community as a member provides a networking opportunity that can lead to many on-going referrals to your wellness business.

At the beginning of the school year, with new hopes and promises, everyone is eager to make a fresh start and learn new things. Make sure your work is one of those things – so they can start the school year with a clean slate, a new box of Crayolas and better health!

Please share your Back-to-School Special in the Comments below!

Save time and stress with our Done-for-You Magic Marketing Templates that you can re-use every year for your annual Back-to-School Special! Email us: info@theprosperouspractice.com with DFY in the subject line.

Get Loyal Clients with the Magic Question!

Get Loyal Clients with the Magic Question!

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Sometimes during a session, a client will ask you how often most people come in, or how many treatments you think she will need. A good answer at this point is to say, “What I discover during the treatment helps me assess your needs. So I don’t know until we’re done exactly what you will need in terms of ongoing treatment. We’ll discuss this after your session, but right now, you’ll get the best benefits if you just focus on today’s session. How does that sound to you?” (Of course, you would customize this script for your specialty.)

After the session, you can simply ask your client, “How do you feel now?” Most people will be very positive and enthusiastic. They often say, “When do you think I should come back?” But if not, then you can use this Magic Question: “Would you like another appointment?”

Your response shows the client that your goal is for her to get better. You might say something like: “Well, your [problem] needs more work. If you wait too long between sessions, we start from the beginning each time and healing is slower. But if you come back for [number] sessions close together, you will progress more quickly. Once we get [problem] under control, then you can cut back to monthly maintenance treatments to keep it from developing again.” A script like this can be modified for many different healthcare modalities.

Your customers are much more than just a revenue stream; they each present an opportunity to forge a long-lasting partnership. An attitude of caring and some positive thought can go a long way toward converting first-time customers into repeat clients. Here’s something else very valuable, a simple magic question that keeps clients coming back and turns them into long-term clients – just five little words: “Would you like another appointment?”

Most people say yes!

A bodywork client emerges from your treatment room in a state of relaxed bliss. If your wellness biz is other than bodywork, such as nutrition or family counseling, the client will have motivating new information or inspirational insight. The client answers yes to your Magic Question because her amazing experience with you is fresh in her mind! She may already be thinking that she should do this more often, perhaps even on a regular basis. So when you ask her if she wants to come back, she gets the impression that you are in tune with her needs, because she was just thinking the same thing! This is the time to secure her repeat business.

Keeping the client’s best interests in mind, give her a clear assessment of what you think she needs. I fill out a Treatment Plan, review it with the client and give her a copy to take home. This gives her something tangible to walk away with, to help her remember you. Every time she sees it on her desk or fridge, she recalls her fabulous session with you! It also keeps you in her mind if, for some reason, she leaves without booking another appointment.

When someone needs your services but is worried about finances or scheduling, acknowledge their concerns and respond accordingly. Remember it is not your job to help them find the time or the money! It is to tell them how you can help. If you do a good job of explaining the value of your work, they will be inspired to find a way to work with you! They will be motivated to become a long-term loyal client. And they will say yes when you ask the Magic Question: “Would you like another appointment?”

Become a Money Magnet!

Become a Money Magnet!

Image result for money magnet

For most wellness practitioners, our primary goal isn’t to accumulate money. It’s to help others. But even though money isn’t your main motivator, you can’t ignore it and expect to have a thriving practice and abundant life. There’s bad news and good news about this.

The bad news: Most wellness entrepreneurs have not been trained in how to develop a positive, healthy relationship with money – one that honors both their desire to serve others and to prosper financially. So instead of regarding money with respect and appreciation, we unconsciously push away money or opportunities to earn it. Many influences in our culture – family, society, religion – have shaped our attitudes and behaviors with money. We often send mixed messages to the Universe – saying we want to be prosperous while harboring a money mindset that sabotages our success.

And the good news: It’s easy to turn this around with a simple attitude adjustment. A simple mindset shift leads to different action. Different action produces different results, helping more prosperity flow into your life.

Do you push away or ignore money opportunities? To make sure you send a clear message, align your mindset with action and make the most of opportunities, here are 3 money mindset tips:

Tip #1 – Eliminate Money Drama from Your Life!

Do you have people in your life who create a lot of money drama? I used to be one of those people! But once I realized what a time and energy drain it is to get caught up in financial drama, I took steps to eliminate it from my own mindset and behavior, by gently excluding certain beliefs, behaviors, habits, situations and people that did not support my goals.

In your wellness biz, your income represents many things. It provides the basics of life – food and shelter. It may help you provide for others. Your income is also a symbol of your self-worth, as well as reflecting how much good you’re doing in the world, how much you’re accomplishing and well you’re achieving your purpose of helping others.

Money drama is a success saboteur that can manifest in many ways: running your bank balance into the ground, credit card abuse, never knowing your account balance, coming up short every month, ignoring your bills, borrowing from others, feast-or-famine money cycles, shopping addiction, anxious nights – all that stuff is money drama!

Recognize where you’re allowing your own and other people’s money drama into your life, then take action to eliminate it. If you actually don’t have enough money, learn to cut way back on non-essentials for a while, adjust your lifestyle within your means, find ways to earn additional income and pay down debt.

Tip #2: Let Your Light Shine!

Stop playing small – holding back from the fullest expression of your talents and abilities. Doing so denies your divinely-given natural gifts and talents. Dimming your light disempowers you and those around you.

Many wellness entrepreneurs play small, hold themselves back or diminish their abilities and accomplishments, for fear of offending others. Now think about this – before you skip past it saying, “Not me.” If you were to suddenly double your income, who would you be concerned about upsetting? It’s common for someone close – a friend, family member, coworker, for example – to feel threatened by your change.

Shine your light brighter! When things go well, proudly let others know about your success! Affirming your abundance may attract more income for you, so turn up the volume and hear that sweet sound – cha-ching!

Tip #3. Stop Believing That Sacrifice Serves Others!

You can be poor and serve some people or you can be prosperous and serve more people. Assuming your purpose as a practitioner is to help more people live healthier lives, which do you choose? Which is in better alignment with your purpose?

I know some practitioners who love to help poor people. I also know some who feel guilty about getting paid to help people, about profiting from people’s pain. Community service and pro bono work are fine, but… then these practitioners end up with no money as well! How does this serve your purpose of helping lots of people?

The greater your success the more people you can help! By helping people who can’t pay you, you are denying the opportunity to expand your practice so you can help many others. I recommend that you create a profitable niche of ideal paying clients who are willing to pay you well for the benefits that you provide for them. And then…

Once you have your own finances in order, you can reach out to those who can’t afford to pay. It’s like the airline policy – put on your own oxygen mask before helping someone else with theirs! This way, you can actually help many more people. This way, everyone benefits – you and your clients!

Instead of pushing away money and opportunities, welcome them! Shine your light and fulfill your Divine Purpose – to serve others and live the rich life that you need, want and deserve – supported by your very own… Prosperous Practice!

Grow Your Wellness Biz with Ripe Peaches!

Grow Your Wellness Biz with Ripe Peaches!

peach-picking

Summer! It’s time for my favorite fruit – fresh peaches! Growing up on my grandparents’ farm in South Carolina, I spent many lazy summer days reading Nancy Drew books in a peach tree, nibbling and dribbling peach juice down my chin!

Do you like ripe peaches too? You’re really gonna love them as a quick income boost in your wellness practice!

“Low-Hanging Fruit” and “Warm Prospects” are conventional marketing terms for interested people who may be a perfect fit for your health business, but they haven’t yet become clients. My inner Southern girl likes to think of them as “Ripe Peaches” – potential clients who need follow-up.

Low-hanging fruit is ripe and ready for picking! Compare these “Warm Prospects” to ripe peaches hanging on the tree. They are so heavy with sweet, juicy ripeness that they weigh down the branches, and practically fall into your hand with a slight touch – when the timing is right!

In your wellness practice, the Ripe Peaches are people you’ve met and discussed your services with in the past 1-24 months. They were interested but perhaps the timing wasn’t right for them, or maybe they couldn’t afford it at that time. You may have met them casually at a social event, or in a more structured business setting, such as a networking meeting.

And don’t forget that former clients are the ripest peaches of all! They already know you and your work, you have already established the vital know-like-trust connection. All they need is a slight nudge to drop into your waiting hand!

Don’t wait for potential clients to call you! It is part of your job description as a business owner to follow up with leads. Simply give them a call, re-introduce yourself and remind them where you met. Don’t try to sell your services to them. Just let them know you’re thinking about them, ask them how they’re doing and offer them a complimentary gift, such as a no-cost Discovery Session, free info on your website or a ticket to your upcoming talk.

Timing is crucial. If picked too soon, your peaches are inedible – green, hard and sour. Wait too long and either they’ll rot or someone else will pick them! Likewise in your health business: if you push to sell your services too soon, you will lose prospects before they have a chance to know, like and trust you. If you wait too long, they may lose interest or go to another practitioner for the help they need.

Research shows that it takes 3-7 contacts for people to respond to business follow-up. So continue contacting your Ripe Peaches on a regular basis until they opt out or make an appointment.

Who are your Ripe Peaches? Who can you think of that you’ve met and discussed your services with in the past 1-24 months? Have you collected contact info from everyone you meet in doing business, as well as casually or socially in your daily life? If not, start doing so immediately! Always ask: “May I have your card?”

With your “Ripe Peaches” (potential new clients), make an offer they can’t refuse, such as special pricing or a free Discovery Session. Ask if they would be interested in hearing about your special offer. Prepare in advance – don’t try to wing it when the person answers the phone! Decide what you want to offer and memorize a friendly conversational script.

Don’t be shy! Continue contacting your Ripe Peaches on a regular basis. Always give something of value in each connection, such as free info, a product or service, followed by a great offer! Don’t take rejection personally!

Now… go pick those “ripe peaches!” Follow up with people who have shown interest in your work! Then make them an offer they can’t refuse – to start working together to help them with your unique solutions!

The Prosperous Practice Home Study System shares how to consistently build your wellness practice with new clients, in a natural, authentic way, without seeming pushy or desperate!

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