Marketing or Shopping – Which Do You Choose?

Marketing or Shopping – Which Do You Choose?

Image result for i love marketingDo you ever feel uncomfortable with marketing your business because you worry that people might think you’re too pushy or too needy? There’s a fine line between the need to market and not appearing needy.

Marketing is a large part of my business. In fact, I have come to think of myself not as a massage therapist and a marketing mentor, but rather as a marketer who does massage therapy and a marketer who coaches wellness practitioners.

The other day a friend asked me to join her for lunch and shopping. I declined her invitation: “I can’t do that on a Tuesday – it’s my marketing day.”

She whined, “You’re always booked solid weeks in advance! Why do you need to keep marketing every single week?”

Her comment tempted me to join in the fun. I really had to stop and think about it! What would be the harm in having a little fun shoe-shopping with my friend and skipping that week’s marketing?

Then I remembered that the reason I consistently have clients is because I consistently do my marketing – same day, same time, every week – without fail! And especially because I run two businesses, it is crucial that I maintain this schedule.

Regardless of what business you’re in, your main job is marketing and your particular skill or profession is what else you do to get paid by clients. But to attract the clients, you have to first be a marketer!

This simple shift in perspective can mean the difference between struggle and success in your wellness biz. If you’re a chiropractor, you’re a marketer who practices chiropractic. If you’re an acupuncturist, you’re a marketer who does acupuncture.

Until you really take this concept to heart and incorporate it into your business life, you will get poor or mediocre results. Once you accept that your primary job is marketing, and then start doing it the right way, you will see more success in your business.

Of course, if you prefer, you can continue with your less-than-great results. Or you can just go back to a job with a paycheck and someone breathing down your neck!

That fine line I mentioned between looking successful and needing to market is really about chasing after clients. If someone seems too eager about something, we question their motives: “If you’re so good, why are you so available? Why do you need to chase down clients?”

First of all, you should never chase business. It seems cheap and annoying, and it doesn’t make people want to work with you. You know the icky feeling you get in a store when the salesperson follows you around and keeps offering you things? It’s like that! If you appear to need them more than they need you, then you’re not just chasing  business – you’re chasing it away!

My practitioner clients know that marketing is about creating value and trust over the long term. It’s about establishing yourself as a solver of your clients’ problems. It’s about providing the results they want, rather than a particular technique or treatment. It’s about developing a relationship so that clients want you, you and only YOU! And when they feel ready – not when you think they should need you.

Remember – chasing clients = chasing away clients! Here’s the formula for successful marketing:

Value + Trust + Time = All the Clients You Need

Now that you’re getting away from the idea of chasing business, of appearing too needy or pushy, how would you answer the question: “Why do you need to market when you always have plenty of clients?”

Here are some answers I use:

“I always have clients because I’m always marketing.”

“A couple of clients recently finished their treatments and I want to fill those openings.”

“I want more clients because it means I’m helping more people.”

What’s your answer?

Hopefully by now it’s clear that you have to market! But do you know where to begin or what to do first… and second… and third? You can quickly attract more ideal clients and make more money with The Prosperous Practice Marketing System, a step-by-step guide that provides all the strategies, tools and techniques you need to market and promote your wellness practice, so you can share your talents with the many people who need your unique services! http://wp.me/P42qnM-5r 

4 Ways to Stretch Your Start-up Budget!

4 Ways to Stretch Your Start-up Budget!

Image result for stretch your dollar

Many wellness entrepreneurs start out their private practice with a handicap – the belief that they need costly investments to be successful – an upscale office, a bells-and-whistles website, state-of-the-art equipment and so forth.

As wonderful as these things are, they are not the reason people will choose to work with you. Most potential clients will decide to work with you before they ever see your office or equipment. It’s not the trappings of business that make people take us seriously. It’s our ability to let them know, like and trust us, based on the service and value we provide.

I started small and eventually opened a multi-therapist office that I and my clients love, but even so, it’s not big, fancy or high-end. In fact, it is quite small, and completely outfitted in a charming and comfortable style – with thrift store décor! To this day, with over 40 years in private practice, I choose to spend my money on trainings and travel, rather than fancy office furniture.

Maybe you want fancy furniture – and that’s fine! But it’s not worth going into debt for it, before you’ve established a solid client base and consistent income. Here are a few simple tips to stretch your start-up dollars and attract high-quality clients, without breaking the budget.

Tip #1. Mind Your Mindset

Did you know that 90% of business success is based on mindset, while only 10% can be attributed to marketing?

This is especially true for wellness practitioners. As a group, we seem to have more mindset issues than entrepreneurs in other fields, especially around charging money for our work. We may doubt our potential for big success or our ability to handle rapid growth. Some practitioners feel guilty about making money from people’s problems. So it makes sense that overcoming these limiting beliefs and habits will help you grow your practice more quickly and easily.

Working on mindset will help you avoid the stress of overwork, overwhelm and underpay that many practitioners commonly experience. Fear and doubt can cost you more than financial investment in growing a prosperous practice.

Tip #2. Hold Off on High Rent!

Clients generally do not work with you because they like your office. In fact, most people decide to try your work after meeting you in person, before they ever see your location. The first impression you make motivates them to schedule their first appointment. And the result they get from that first session determines whether they will return – not the appearance or location of your workplace.

While building up your biz, consider sharing an office until you are more established. Renting full-time space is a waste of money if you’re seeing only a few clients per week. Check classifieds for office sharing. Ask family and friends if they know of potential space for sharing. Let clients and colleagues know that you would like to share an office. If you share your own space, you will have more control over your environment than if you move into someone else’s office.

If your heart is set on an upscale location, ask building managers or receptionists which businesses might be open to sharing. If there’s no on-site person to ask, go door-to-door and ask tenants if they might be interested in sharing. Write a letter or create a professional-looking flyer explaining your service and your need. Maybe there’s a building bulletin board where you can post a request for shared office space.  Many businesses have unused space that is expensive to maintain, so they may welcome an opportunity to reduce their costs by sharing.

Many hotels and business centers have special rooms or suites that they rent out for meetings. There is a growing trend for office space rental by the hour or day, in some areas called co-work space. If your practice involves only meeting with clients, such as consulting or counseling, and you don’t do exams, treatments or need special equipment, check out local hotels, business centers and co-work facilities.

Consider a hotel room or meeting room. Do some research to determine the average fee in your area, prepare a proposal for a lesser amount and present it to hotel management. Keep the upper hand in negotiating the fee and be prepared to walk away if they won’t accept your terms. Often they would rather accept a lower fee than not rent the space at all. Make sure the fee includes restroom usage and use of the hotel business area for internet and printer, if needed.

A hotel meeting room is also a great option if you’re presenting a talk, class or workshop, but be prepared to pay a higher fee if you want catering services, such as food and beverages.

Also consider a home office, if this is something that could work for you, your practice, your home, your clients and your family. This could be an interim arrangement until you have enough income for a separate office. I have used a home office at times in my career and built a solid client base in the home setting.

Tip #3. Get Clients Before an Expensive Website!

While a website is eventually necessary for growth, you can skip this expense when you’re first starting out. Or start with a free do-it-yourself site. Focus your limited start-up resources on getting your first few clients, then use your increased cash flow for a more sophisticated website.

Use networking, community service and word-of-mouth to meet potential new clients. Visit every networking group in your area to get a feel for one or two that best suit your purposes. Invite people to a free or low-fee Discovery Session. Offer services or information at community events. Prospects appreciate the high value they get from this format. You don’t need a website for this client-attraction strategy.

Tip #4. Make Every Cost an Investment!

Everything you spend money for in your business should give you a good return on investment (ROI). A networking group, coaching program, training course, marketing system, all supplies and equipment – everything you spend time or money for should help monetize your business. Many health entrepreneurs are not clear what return they expect or they don’t get their money’s worth by implementing what they’re learning.

When I enrolled in high-cost coaching to help me develop and market The Prosperous Practice, I promised myself that I would implement everything I learned. I continually looked for ways to maximize my return in every program and product I invested in. Sometimes my ROI was tangible, such as a website and a tech assistant. And sometimes it was abstract, such as more confidence, which helped me, energetically and emotionally, move to the next level of success. By investing at higher and higher levels – even when finding the money was challenging – I was able to steadily move forward and create a flourishing business.

Don’t Let Budget Limit Your Success

A limited budget does not automatically mean limited success. With a new practice, don’t spend money that you can’t comfortably afford right now. Take a closer look at what you really need and what you can do without for a while, and apply these tips. See how many other ways you can be creative in stretching your budget until you can truly afford the bells and whistles. Remember, this is your business! So don’t let anything – especially a low budget – limit your professional and personal success, satisfaction, and achievement!

6 Ways to Listen Your Clients

6 Ways to Listen Your Clients

Image result for thanks to my listening deviceThe primary purpose of any business is to make money. In fact, the definition of business is “exchanging goods or services for money.” In most cases, revenue depends on customers or clients. The foundation for your successful enduring business is a long-term two-way relationship with your clients. To foster this crucial relationship, you need to do only 2 things:

– Listen for your Ideal Client’s problem. What is their biggest need, pain or challenge that relates to your work?

– Solve their problem. Respond to their need and help them do, be, get or keep it.

Whether you attune to your Ideal Clients’ needs live or virtually, one-to-one or group, there are 6 simple guidelines to help you listen in the right way for the right things:

1. Listen Selectively

Many health entrepreneurs listen to the wrong people, such as family or friends, and then let bad advice lead them astray. People whose business opinions matter fall into one of three categories:

1. Prospective Ideal Clients

2. People with knowledge or experience of your Ideal Clients

3. People you pay for advice, such as a coach or mentor

Be cautious about listening to anyone outside these groups. Or listen, in order to learn or to rule out their opinions, but do not feel compelled to follow their advice simply because you know them! Don’t allow any one negative or critical person or opinion to throw you off-track. Don’t be influenced by opinions that are non-expert or irrelevant to your business.

2. Listen for Repeating Patterns

Look for patterns or trends in the words, phrases, ideas or suggestions from your target audience. Then integrate those words or ideas into your marketing message, so that it speaks to people with those needs.

3. Listen for Specific Goals & Challenges

All business is about solving some kind of problem that people are willing to pay for the solution! What solution do you offer that people are willing to pay for? If you want more Ideal Clients in your wellness practice, listen for these 4 specific things:

– Listen to what’s working. One person’s success, result or breakthrough could inspire another!

– Listen to their goals. What outcome do they want? You can’t help them get there if you don’t know where “there” is!

– Listen to their problems, frustrations and challenges. What’s getting in the way of achieving their goal or outcome? Where are they stuck? Is it money, time, fear?

– Listen to their language. How do they describe their situation? If you “read between the lines,” they will tell you exactly where they are, where they want to go and what’s stopping them!

4. Listen for Buying Triggers

You have probably heard that we base our buying decisions on emotion. Stirring up emotions may make people want what you offer. But most people are smart enough to not make a purely emotional decision, especially when it comes to their health or their money!

You also need to appeal to their need and their logic. Make sure your marketing message will trigger an emotional response in the form of a desire, a want. If you’re on target, the emotional response will activate a reaction of need. Then complete your marketing message with a logical, compelling reason to buy your offer.

5. Listen for Power Words and Client-Specific Vocabulary

Power language is words or phrases with a high emotional charge. Consider the difference between saying “overweight” and “fat.” Or between “cost” and “investment.” Or “show” and “reveal.”

As you develop your awareness of marketing, emotional buying and client language, you will start hearing and seeing words in a different way. Especially pay attention to words from your niche, also from your own and affiliate professions.

If your client base belongs to a certain generation, profession or sub-culture, use words, phrases or slang that speaks to them in their own language. Focus on terms specific to that target group and “seed” them into your marketing, to plant “seeds” of ideas into the mind of your reader or listener. For example, many of my massage clients are referred by doctors, so I target doctors by seeding medical terminology throughout my marketing messages – I want to catch their attention and receive their referrals, so I speak to them in their language.

Set up a “swipe file” to store your collection of marketing phrases and power words. If you see a website or brochure with wording you like, save it in your file. But don’t copy others exactly – tweak the language to make it your own while keeping the message intact. Keep adding to this file over time and refer to it frequently when working on your marketing materials.

As a health professional, you would seed your marketing with words about the needs of your clients and the problems you solve, along with words about benefits and results – how your work helps people! For health entrepreneurs, this includes words relating to pain, pain relief, greater comfort or more energy, for example.

6. Listen with an Open Mind

Many practitioners ask questions with a particular answer in mind, and are unwilling to accept an answer they didn’t expect. They have an agenda and simply use questions as a lead-in to tell people what to do, rather than really listening to the client and responding appropriately.

Don’t assume you already know what your clients want. Don’t use the Discovery Session to get a potential client’s agreement or confirmation on your opinions. Really sit back and listen with an open mind to hear their needs, desires, frustrations and challenges. The only way you will truly be of service to them is when they feel heard!

If you ask the right questions, your clients will tell you exactly where they are and where they want to go. These goals and desires will guide you in how to attract and serve them as a client. Once you really hear them, not only will your marketing more effectively draw them in, but will also serve them on a deeper level when their improved health upgrades other areas of their life.

Truly listening – and hearing! – establishes rapport and credibility with anyone who has the particular need that you target. Trust and communication open up when you speak the same language as your audience! Once you tune in to your clients’ need and craft a marketing message that addresses it, you’ll always have enough clients and enough money coming in. And you’ll gain confidence knowing that your work is making a difference in people’s health and their lives!

Imagine New Clients into Your Wellness Biz!

Imagine Your Way to New Clients!

Image result for visualize successMost of us, as wellness practitioners, chose our profession because of a desire to help others improve and optimize their health. For the most part, we didn’t start a healthcare career with hopes of earning a huge income. The biggest challenge for most practitioners is marketing and growing the business. Most professional training contains little or no marketing education, so we’re left to figure it out on our own.

Well, it took a while but I figured out the marketing! Then I learned that marketing alone is not enough to attract a full schedule of ideal clients.

A large part of success depends on mindset – the beliefs and attitudes we have about business and about our ability to succeed. All the marketing strategies in the world won’t help you if you don’t firmly believe in your own success and actively picture it in your mind on a daily basis. Marketing and mindset are like the right and left hands of your business. Both are necessary, and when used together, are more effective than one hand alone!

While the right marketing strategies work great to grow your business, there is also a unique and playful way to use your mindset to grow your wellness business – by using your imagination!

Imagine Your Ideal Practice

Based on the concept that our beliefs determine our reality, a practitioner can create a full practice with her imagination. When you imagine that you have a full practice, and express gratitude for it, the Universe will provide it!

I know – it sounds very woo-woo! And previously I was skeptical. But I trusted my mentor who recommended this approach – I did it anyway, even though I felt silly at first.

And it worked! In fact, it worked so well that it has become an integral part of my daily office practices and I owe part of my business success to this mindset strategy.

While each practitioner’s vision will be different, there are some basic activities to visualize your ideal practice. To start, determine your ideal schedule per day and per week, along with the number of clients you want each day. Then prepare for and attend to this clientele with the following steps:

1. Visualize potential clients in your mind with specific health issues that fit your modality. Then develop a strategy or treatment plan for each imagined person.

2. Prepare paperwork you will need for those clients, setting up file folders, labeling them New Client #1, New Client #2, etc.

3. Pencil in (fake!) appointments in your schedule for New Client #1, New client #2, etc.

4. Send yourself email/text reminders of your visualized new schedule. Leave yourself voice messages confirming the imagined appointments.

5. Prepare Welcome to My Business letters for your new clients.

6. Do daily client prep activities, such as: keep a clipboard, with new client paperwork and a pen, handy and visible at all times; set up your treatment room for a new client.

7. Keep a Gratitude Journal and write daily entries of appreciation for your new clients.

8. Follow this procedure every day.

The more realistic your visualization, and the more you create it in your mind and in reality using the above steps, the closer you come to manifesting it. Proponents of this method agree that it works best if you enjoy your visualization and feel grateful for the biz growth coming your way.

The Reality of the Placebo Effect

Understanding the placebo effect can help you understand how this visualization game works. Scientific data confirms that placebos help alleviate mental symptoms such as depression and anxiety, as well as physical conditions including inflammatory disorders, Parkinson’s Disease and even cancer.

Scientists and physicians have studied the brain for decades in an effort to understand the placebo effect. Although there is still much to be studied, investigators have determined that placebo responses result from active brain processes.

The subconscious mind cannot distinguish between imagination and reality; it perceives both as equally valid and real. The subconscious informs, directs and controls the conscious kind. So it will direct the conscious mind toward activities that support the beliefs of the subconscious.

As the song says: “If you believe it,you can achieve it!” A Harvard University study indicates that what we believe becomes reality. The study involved hotel maids’ perception of exercise and weight gain. Those who regarded their work as exercise lost or maintained weight, while the maids who did not consider their work as exercise gained weight, even though both groups performed the same work.

For building a wellness practice, visualization and game-playing relies on this same concept. By adjusting your perception of how busy your practice is through imagination backed up with action, playfully enjoying the process and appreciating your imagined success, you will be amazed at your ability to attract more ideal clients into your business.

Go ahead and act silly – with creativity and conviction! You’ve got nothing to lose and plenty to gain!

Clean Up Your Business – with SOAP!

Clean Up Your Business – with SOAP!

Image result for bar of soapIs your wellness business messy or clean? We’re not talking about your housekeeping here!

In other words, are your work space and all of your business practices organized and effective? Is your marketing systematized and scheduled? Is your schedule filled with Ideal Clients? Do your clients return for repeat business? Do you leverage your resources for maximum results? Is your income enough to support your business needs and your lifestyle?

If you answered “Yes” to all of these questions, read no further! But if your business is lacking or struggling in any of these areas, it’s time to clean it up – using SOAP!

One day many years ago, early in my massage career, while designing a new form for my treatment notes, I realized that the same system I used to assess my clients’ needs could be applied to the health of my new and struggling business! You may already know about this process.

Are you familiar with SOAP notes – a method of recording your patient’s condition, treatment and progress?  Not only is it a system for documenting client treatments, it’s also a clever way to assess and treat your business needs: Treat your ailing business like a patient by applying the SOAP method to your business!

Let’s look at this way of documenting patient care, and then we’ll “rinse and repeat” the same process for your business!

SOAP is an acronym – each letter in the title stands for a different element of the method. To start the assessment of your business challenges, get a sheet of paper and divide it into 4 sections. Write one of these words as a heading on each section: S=Subjective, O=Objective, A=Assessment, P=Plan – S – O – A – P!

Starting with the letter S, this section contains subjective information. This is the client/patient’s version of their pain, problem or challenge. It includes everything they tell you about their condition – how it started, when it started, how often it happens, what makes it better and worse. It’s their personal – or subjective – view of their situation.

If we correlate this part of the assessment with a stressed health practice, then the subjective information represented by the letter S would include problems in the business – everything that is not working well. Visualize your business as a patient and imagine a conversation between you and your business, like your interview with a new patient. What questions would you ask to elicit this information? What would this “client” tell you about its health problems?

Here’s an example of the S, or Subjective, part of your evaluation. Write down your business challenges in the S section of your business SOAP notes. For example, problems in your wellness practice could be something like this: Primary complaint: Not enough income. What improves it: More clients. What aggravates it: Clients don’t return.

As you can see, the SOAP Method is a simple way to get clarity on the challenges and solutions of your wellness practice!

Continuing with our SOAP notes theme, the letter O in the SOAP method stands for Objective. This includes all impartial, unbiased information relating to the patient’s condition: all measurable data and rating scales, such as the 0-10 Pain Scale; test results and reaction to treatments. It also includes the practitioner’s objective findings of the patient’s condition, based on commonly-accepted evaluation criteria, such as observation and palpation.

Related imageApplying this process to your business SOAP Notes, rate the “pain” of your practice using the analog 0-10 Pain Scale. What number is it – how badly does it hurt? If the pain is 0-3, you’re doing most things right – just keep doing what’s working, while exploring new opportunities for growth! If the pain is 4-7, change the treatment (try something else) or adjust the dosage (do more of what works and less of what doesn’t). If the pain is 8-10, call 911 – it’s time for a major intervention!

Be sure to include things that improve your practice and what helps it thrive, as well as things that sabotage growth and keep your business in a poor or mediocre state. List all of these objective findings in the O section of your Soap Notes.

Now consider the A in SOAP, representing Assessment. Here a physician would diagnose the patient’s condition, based on the subjective and objective findings – the patient’s complaints integrated with measurable data. Since diagnosis is beyond my scope of practice as a massage therapist, this is where I record my impressions of what is going on with the client, as well as results of the massage – how the client reacts to treatment.

In the case of your unhealthy health care business, the Assessment portion of your business SOAP Notes might look like this: Unhealthy Money Mindset of limiting beliefs; low self-esteem; lack of self-confidence and fear of change; weak, painful marketing muscles from repetitive cycles of intense use and benign neglect; loss of financial strength from ineffective marketing; unproductive use of time due to disorganization and overwhelm; vertigo/loss of balance from erratic income; stunted growth due to improper marketing nutrition.

The final section of the SOAP Notes for this “patient” is P for Plan, which contains your recommended treatment for this patient’s complaints and problems. This is where a medical doctor would prescribe a medication, refer to a specialist such as a surgeon, or recommend adjunct treatment, like massage or acupuncture.

Ask questions like these:  “What do I need to do to help the patient from where they are to where they want to be? What should I do for short-term improvement and what will help the patient achieve long-term goals?”

You recognize in treating a client that the healing process involves more than a few techniques for an hour or so. The condition probably developed over time and it will take time to reverse it. So you follow a protocol or system to help them heal over time.

Likewise, growing your practice involves more than a one-time quick fix or occasional shot in the arm! You need a strategic, ongoing process that you repeat on a regularly-scheduled basis – like taking a prescription medication every 4 hours. In our hypothetical case of your business as the patient, this would be equivalent to a dose of marketing for 2 hours per day, or once a week for 5 hours, for example.

Treat your healthcare business the same way you treat a patient! Use the same process for your business that you do to evaluate and plan a client’s treatment. Again, the strategic problem-solving approach to treatment involves the four distinct steps of the SOAP Method:

Subjective + Objective + Assessment + Plan = S.O.A.P – a process to help you create a Treatment Plan for your wellness business with strategies that will ensure a steady supply of Ideal Clients and an abundant income for the business and lifestyle that you need, want and deserve!

Who Says Marketing Isn’t Fun?!

Who Says Marketing Is No Fun?!

Does your wellness practice struggle? Does it fall short of your dreams, ideals and goals? Wouldn’t you love to create a steady stream of clients flowing into your business? If you want to keep your income growing and generate more cash flow, try these strategic – and FUN! – methods to attract a full schedule of Ideal Clients!

As entrepreneurs, our businesses reflect our personal values and vision.  But business is more than values and vision. The purpose of a business is to make money. And consistent clients are the key to enough money to stay in business, and to live the life of prosperity and freedom you envision for yourself!

What is the solution to inconsistent client flow and the erratic income it produces? Try these 3 proven marketing strategies to create a fresh flow of clients into your business:

Strategy #1: Appreciate Existing Clients!

Valentine’s Day is coming up – a perfect opportunity to nurture your clients with something special. Keep it simple with one of these ideas – or one of your own:

– An email, e-card or handwritten note expressing your appreciation for their support of your business

– A sweet treat such as candy or cookies

– A pdf report of health tips

– Extra time on their next session

Strategy #2: Go Public!

Are you sitting in your office hoping for the phone to ring? Well… hope is not a strategy! You need to get off your aspirations and go get clients! Figure out where your ideal clients gather in groups. Then go meet or mingle with them and draw them in with your marketing message. Examples:

– If you serve athletes, then join a gym or do a joint venture with a sporting goods store – to meet, mingle and market!

– Suppose you’re a marriage counselor who advises engaged couples on how to have a happy marriage. Network with other professionals who serve this population – wedding planners, photographers, bridal shops, caterers, salons.

– Check local newspapers for listings of community group meetings, especially health-related events. Contact some appropriate groups and offer to speak at their meetings or join as a member.

– Join a networking or referral group, such as BNI or NAWBO. It’s like having your very own sales team recruiting clients for you!

Regardless of your niche, clients are out there! Don’t wait for them to come to you. Go find them and let them know that you have the solution to their problem, pain or challenge!

 Strategy #3: Throw a Party!

Who says marketing isn’t fun?! This strategy is the opposite of going out in public to meet prospects. It brings the public to you! An Open House at your office gives people a glimpse of your workplace and reinforces your professional image. Visiting your work environment is the best way for people to understand what you do and how you can help them. Create a buzz about your party by announcing it in social media.

Invite everyone you know – and encourage them to bring a friend! Collect each guest’s biz cards to draw for a prize! Invite them to sign up for your email list for future marketing! Put out brochures, biz cards and special offer coupons. Make a time-limited Special Offer and give a bonus for enrolling during the party! Have party favors imprinted with your biz name – a tangible reminder of your business for guests to take home! Have a video or slide show about your biz. Follow up with a thank you note to everyone who attended!

Brownie Points: If you receive referrals from physicians – or you would like to – schedule a business party for March 30, to coincide with National Doctors’ Day. Invite some doctors and talk to them about how your work can help their patients and how to refer patients to you.

Creating a sustainable business that generates a wealth of steady income begins with empowered action! Set your bold goal for – how many? – new clients this month! Then get into action! Any one of these tips will attract clients. Use two for even better outcomes! And use all three for spectacular, get-ready-to-grow results!

Everyday Marketing!

Everyday Marketing!

Image result for woman on beach with laptopWhat do you think is the most common complaint I hear from my coaching clients?

“I don’t have time for marketing!”

­­­­When you run your own business and you wear all the hats, time becomes your most precious commodity. With so many priorities, it’s no wonder that marketing often takes a back seat!

But it’s crucial to the success of your practice that you make time for marketing, regardless what phase your business is in – start-up or established. Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. It’s your primary tool for attracting and keeping clients!

24 hours a day often just doesn’t seem like enough time to fit in all that you need and want to do. While “getting it all done” may be a myth or an unattainable goal, there is a way to maximize the time available to you – it’s called Everyday Marketing.

We can’t add more time to the day but we can add more marketing to our time! You can effectively combine marketing with other activities.

Although time-management experts usually advise against multi-tasking, there are easy ways to combine marketing with things you’re already doing, without compromising the effectiveness of either activity. Here are some examples:

Workshops, business meetings, networking and cultural events. Invite a business contact or potential client to join you. Strengthen the relationship by getting better acquainted in a relaxed way. Explore opportunities to work together. Your friends might also benefit from attending and they will see another facet of your professionalism.

– Lunch or coffee with prospects or colleagues. If you are already planning to meet up with someone, invite another person to join you. With more people, it feels like a fun social event, while accomplishing your business mission. Everyone makes new contacts, you have more people to share about your work, and group conversation sparks new ideas! (Caution: If you are going to discuss a potential client’s medical condition, do not bring other people to the meeting.)

– Traveling. Arrange to meet for lunch or dinner with a client, prospect or colleague. On a business trip, this is usually more enjoyable than eating alone. A meal you would be eating anyway takes no time out of your vacation schedule. Share a meal with a local resident and you may get hot tips about where to go, or potentially make a sale or enroll a new client.    

– Take a hike! Meetings with business associates don’t have to take place in an office or restaurant. Invite someone to join you for a run around the track, a gym workout or a game of tennis. I’ve gotten a few great clients on my neighborhood morning walk! Not all business deals are made in business setting. Golf courses and tennis courts are famous for business meetings! Get exercise and get clients at the same time!

Doing errands. Talk to strangers! Strike up a conversation while waiting in line at the bank or grocery store. Start with a casual comment about the weather or a local event. Steer the conversation toward the other person. If you ask someone what they do for a living, they will probably ask you the same question, giving you a perfect opportunity to say something intriguing about your work. For example, instead of just saying, “I do massage,” you could say “I help people overcome pain so they can function better in their life.” They will naturally ask how you do that. So tell them and offer them your business card or introductory coupon. In fact, give them two – one to use and one to share!

Reading an article. If you come across articles that might interest your colleagues, clients or prospects, take a moment to write a quick note: “Thought this would interest you.” Postal mail impresses people more than email that you take the time to send them something of personal interest.

– Social events. The best business relationships often begin socially. Make sure to take biz cards everywhere you go – for example, a wedding, a party, a sports event, your child’s activities. After starting with small talk – “How do you know our hosts?” or “Which child is yours?” – make your next question, “What do you do?”  Their natural follow-up will be to ask you the same question, giving you a golden opportunity for a little friendly marketing: “I help people overcome pain…”

– Relaxing. You may have a long list of marketing projects that take time but not your full attention. Combine mundane tasks with a fun activity or some pleasant company. I listen to webinars on the beach after my morning swim! Enter client contact info into your phone. Make phone calls from the hot tub or a park bench. Review your prospect list while listening to music. Bribe Pay your kids to help you stuff and stamp envelopes while you watch a movie. Get together with another entrepreneur to work on marketing over a cup of tea.

As you can see, there are many ways to include marketing in your busy life. We can’t add more hours to the day. So instead of wishing you had more time for marketing, include marketing into the time you already spend on errands, chores, travel, family time and social life! Maximize your time with everyday marketing!

Attract More Clients with Testimonials!

Attract More Clients with Testimonials!

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou – Happy New Year from Hawaii! The start of a new year is a great time to introduce a new marketing strategy into your wellness business!

Start out the year with a little help from your friends – people who know, like and trust you, and ask them for… testimonials!

Image result for client testimonialsTestimonials are statements from people about how you helped them with their problem, pain or challenge. Do you have any testimonials from satisfied clients? If you do, it’s time to get some new ones. If not, it’s time to get crackin’!

Testimonials are an important marketing tool that shows prospective clients that other people just like them have benefited from your services or products.

Getting testimonials can feel uncomfortable at first. We worry about appearing pushy, needy or braggy. Get over it and ask anyway! It’s not for yourself – to brag or pump up your ego! It’s so you can offer your expertise to others who need it.

What if someone absolutely raves to you about your work in person, but when you ask them to write it down, it isn’t as compelling? If you have a system to collect testimonials, you won’t miss golden opportunities for your happy clients to help you attract future clients!

Here are a few tips to get great testimonials: 

1. Write the testimonial yourself. Don’t worry – I’m not suggesting that you make up testimonials! But if someone has complimented your work or the results they got with you,  write up what you think they said, and send it to them for approval or changes. Include a note with the proposed testimonial, asking their permission to quote them, and say ‘This is what I recall that you said to me. Can you approve this, or change it if it’s not quite accurate?’ Usually people will approve because it’s easier and also they may remember their meaning but not their exact words. You get a quicker response with the wording that you want.

2. For clients who want to write their own testimonial, provide a fill-in-the-blanks template with prompts and guidelines to help them provide the most effective information for your needs.

It shouldn’t be about what a great person you are or the techniques you use or how nice your office is. Testimonials should focus on the benefits and results the client got from your work.

3. If you’re with someone in person, record an audio or video testimonial. It’s quick and easy with a smart phone, and then you can use the recording on your website and transcribe it into a written testimonial.

Practitioners or clients who have an ethical or privacy issue about the medical confidentiality of testimonials may be more comfortable if their name and/or photo is not used. While attaching a name may give it more credibility, it is better to use only the client’s initials than to have no testimonial at all. You may offer this option to clients.

If you’d like to offer a gift in exchange for the client’s testimonial, make sure it’s something simple that gives value to the client and supports your business but adds little to your cost or time.

Once you acquire a client’s testimonial, you can use it in your marketing materials, such as a brochure or website. Feature one or two testimonials at a time. As you collect the testimonials, rotate them regularly, so that prospective clients will see that you help many people, not just one or two.

If you’re just starting out and have few or no clients, ask family and friends.  Include people you worked with in school or training, such as fellow students, teachers and clients in student clinics.

Share in the Comments below, or on Facebook, your commitment to ask one person who loves your work to write a testimonial for you today! Then go and do it! Which client will you ask first? Testimonials help you get more clients!

Do You Spend Enough Time on Marketing?

Do You Spend Enough Time on Marketing?

Image result for quote those who stop marketingHow much time every day should you spend on marketing your wellness practice to attract clients? If you’re just starting out, or struggling to get clients, marketing experts strongly recommend – and I agree – that you devote a minimum of four hours of marketing per day for 6-12 months.

Many practitioners are shocked at that number, because they typically don’t even spend that much time on marketing in a week or even per month.

Well… no wonder they don’t have enough clients!

If you’re surprised at the idea of spending that much time on marketing, answer this question honestly:

If you don’t have enough clients and you’re not marketing, then what are you actually doing all day?

The average practitioner claims that she doesn’t have four hours a day for marketing. But you don’t want to be average, right? Wouldn’t you rather be outstanding?

Many entrepreneurs spend a good deal of non-client time in non-business activities. Let’s take a close look at the non-essential things you do throughout the day and the week.

These are the time-wasters in your schedule. Each little thing in itself may not take much time, but they add up to many hours per week that you could be used for growing your business instead.

When you look at this wasted time from a marketing perspective, you may see that, like many self-employed people, you regard non-client time as “spare time.” Do you waste valuable work hours on personal activities, such as housework, errands or social media?

Being busy is not the same as being productive! I could keep busy playing solitaire or shoe-shopping all day long. But what would that accomplish for my business growth?

You need to put your extra-curricular activities on hold while building your wellness practice. These time-wasters sabotage your progress and your success. They limit the number of clients who can benefit from your valuable service, undermining your professional purpose to help people improve their health. You can’t reach your goal to help lots of people and make a good living if you waste your work day on non-work.

It’s actually a very simple premise: The more time you spend attracting clients, the more clients you will attract!

Just because you don’t have enough clients doesn’t mean you’re on vacation! Regardless of how you currently spend your “spare time” during work hours, it’s now time for a change.

Eliminate everything during your work day that is not directly working with clients or attracting clients!

From now on, for the next 6-12 months, or until your client schedule is full, do non-business activities after business hours. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have a boss holding you accountable. It’s up to you to schedule your work hours and stay on track, in order to increase your client base and your income. You need to be a tough boss and hold yourself accountable!

It’s difficult, maybe even impossible, to get new clients consistently when you don’t market consistently. Are you spending time on non-biz activities while hoping for clients?  Hope is not a strategy and it doesn’t pay the rent!

News flash – you need to spend your work day actually working! When you’re not working directly with clients, devote your time to activities that will bring them in – call people, get referrals, network, send a newsletter, give talks, for example.

Exactly how you should you structure your time to get the maximum benefits for your business? Monday through Friday 9 AM – 5 PM (or whatever you decide as your regular work hours), you should be… doing what? Yes, now you’re catching on…

… working with clients and attracting clients!

This, in turn, will produce benefits in your income and lifestyle. 

Suppose your BFF calls and says, “Hey, let’s go shopping!” From now on, instead of jumping on board with that, you say, “Sorry, I can’t today – I’m working. But I can go this weekend or meet up after work.”

Your happy-go-lucky friends may not like this, but when you get results in your business, you will realize you’re doing the right thing. (And maybe your success will motivate them to do the same!)

Here’s a simple system to eliminate your time-wasters:

First, make a written list of all the different activities you do each day – both business and non-business things – during your regular business hours. Every time you do something throughout the day, stop and write it down. Be totally accurate and honest with yourself about this, so you can make the changes necessary to expand your practice and your income. For one week, keep a running list of everything you do during business hours.

Next, go through your entire list and ask yourself these 2 questions for every item:

1. Does this activity involve working with clients?

2. Does this activity involve attracting clients?

If the answer is ‘no’ for any item on your list, cross it off the list and stop doing it during biz hours. Cross off everything you do during business hours that distracts you from your two primary activities – working with your current clients and attracting new clients.

Finally, commit to doing this on a regular, consistent basis and schedule it on your calendar. The only reasons for breaking this appointment with yourself are a true emergency or booking a client appointment

Though this schedule may seem extreme, remember that it’s only a temporary jumpstart strategy. When you start getting consistent results with repeat clients filling your schedule, you won’t need to do as much marketing. So then you can reduce your marketing time and start re-integrating other activities into your daily schedule.

You will still need to schedule marketing on a consistent basis throughout your career – it should never become a once-in-a-while activity. Before long, your marketing will be organized into a system that will reduce the amount of time that you spend on it per day. But you may discover, as I did, that you enjoy marketing so much that it becomes your new hobby!

“Those who stop marketing to save money are like those who stop a clock to save time.”

Mindset Makeover for the New Year!

Mindset Makeover for the New Year!

“If you want to change the fruits, you will first have to change the roots. If you want to change the visible, you must first change the invisible.” – T. Harv Eker.

Related imageHappy New Year! What better time to tune up your mindset and make sure you’re not falling victim to that old business plague – self-sabotage! Sometimes, in spite of knowing better, our old negative self-talk can creep back in. Then, before we know it, we’re stuck in a rut of negative thinking that leads to negative actions that create negative results!

There are many negative beliefs and behaviors, but two are common among entrepreneurs: procrastination and perfectionism. So let’s do an annual check-up and maintenance on each:

1. Procrastination

Does procrastination ever stop you from moving forward? If you’re like me, you can come up with very good reasons not to do certain things – not enough time, not enough skills – the standard lame excuses! And so I put off doing what needs to be done – in spite of my best intentions. We are probably all guilty of this at some time!

Procrastination is not laziness. It is fear – fear of the unknown, fear of criticism, fear of overwhelm, fear of failure. We’ve all experienced procrastination at one time or another. Let’s look at a few ways to deal with it:

1. Start small. If you can’t do a lot, do a little. Do a little bit – lots of times – consistently – until finished!

2. Be accountable. Tell someone what you’re doing and ask them to check in with you at a specific time.

3. Set specific goals. Vague intentions create vague results. Organize one shelf. When? Now. For how long? 15 minutes. Celebrate completion! One shelf done = one piece of chocolate!

4. Avoid time-wasters, such as email. Specify a time for every daily business task and write it into your schedule. For instance, I do Facebook every morning and evening for 10 minutes – not all day long!

5. Just do it! Don’t wait until you have enough time, until you have enough money, until the cows come home. You know you have to do it sooner or later, so JFDI – Just Flippin’ Do It!

How will you get past procrastination? And how will you celebrate?

2. Perfectionism

“Hi, I’m Donna and I’m a recovering perfectionist!” One of the hardest things for me is to do is finish something, be okay with it and be done with it.

Perfectionism is related to procrastination. Both are fear-based – fear of making a mistake or fear of rejection, for example. Where they differ: procrastination is about not starting, while perfectionism is about not finishing!

Are you a victim of Perfection Paralysis when it comes to marketing your wellness business? Do you get an idea and start working on it, work on it some more, and then more?

If I had waited until everything was perfect before moving forward with The Prosperous Practice, we wouldn’t be here now. You’re reading this now because I got over myself and became an imperfectionist!

Here’s how the Laws of the Universe operate: You don’t wait for everything to come together and then commit. No, it’s the opposite – first you commit and then it happens! Waiting for perfection can kill your business! Your practice will not achieve optimum success if you wait for everything to be perfect before stepping out. If you wait for perfection, you will never finish.

Here’s how to become an imperfectionist:

1. Choose one project from your to-do list. You may have trouble picking just one, but do not proceed until you have narrowed it down to just one thing.

2. Set a timer for 30 minutes.

3. Spend the entire 30 minutes working non-stop on the activity, with no distractions.

4. Set the timer again tomorrow and work non-stop for 30 minutes on your activity.

5. Repeat the process every day until the project is imperfectly complete.

6. Celebrate the completion – reward yourself!

7. Go back to #1 and start over. Choose another item from your to-do list…There will always be room for improvement and more to do. But you can learn to be satisfied with things as they are, while still striving for more and better, instead of waiting to achieve perfection before you are satisfied or before you move on.

Successful entrepreneurs claim their key to success is: Take Imperfect Action! Implementation is one of the main components in the formula for success!

What beliefs have you accumulated over your lifetime that no longer serve you? What money and business attitudes hold you back? Have you learned how to replace self-sabotage beliefs with positive action?

As you progress through your career and through your life, continue to identify and break through the self-doubt and limiting beliefs that stand between you and success.

It all starts with a decision to change your mindset – to think differently, act differently and therefore attract differently!

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou – Happy New Year – from Hawaii!

Want more exercises like these to build a strong money and business mindset?  We offer Manage a Mindset of Success: The Inner Path to Prosperity” as a FREE BONUS Module when you order our Signature Program: The Prosperous Practice Home Study System. GO HERE TO LEARN MORE!

 

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