Your Competition Can Help Your Wellness Practice!

Your Competition Can Help Your Wellness Practice!

Image result for know your competitionTo most effectively promote your wellness practice, you need to know as much as possible about your fellow practitioners. Just as athletes and armies study their opponents, you should find out the strengths and weakness of your competition. This is not so you can defeat them – as in football or war! It’s to help you differentiate yourself from others! To create your unique position in your local wellness marketplace and get noticed by your niche of Ideal Clients, you need to know your competitors!

Who are the other practitioners in your area who treat the same problems that you do, both in your modality and in others? They may be your colleagues and your friends. Even if you are not a competitive person, their practice is in competition with your practice. It’s not personal, it’s business!

Suppose you are a counselor who helps people manage the stress in their lives. Here’s a partial list of your competitors (other professionals who also treat stress): Clinical Psychologists, Massage Therapists, Spas, Personal Trainers, Life Coaches, Acupuncturists, Yoga Instructors, Meditation Teachers, Hair Stylists, Bartenders and Priests (kidding…or am I?). Who are your competitors – other practitioners who treat the same type of clients, conditions or problems as you?

Conduct thorough research on colleagues and competitors in your local area who work with the same type of clients as you do – those who target the same niche or population, or treat the same conditions. Read their ads in the Yellow Pages, their brochures, their business cards, their flyers on the wall at the mall.

Call other practitioners and ask them what conditions or populations they work with, what sets them apart and why you should choose them. Chances are they will stumble over this, letting you know that they have not given much thought to their own USP, which gives you a marketing edge.

If your competitors are not differentiating themselves by defining their USP, this gives you an incentive to make your practice stand out in the marketplace. If they are marketing themselves as unique, you have an even stronger reason to do so!

Introduce yourself and invite them to meet in person, a friendly professional visit, in their office, yours or a coffee shop, etc. Bring them a small gift such as a treatment product or a plant. Look around their office through the eyes of a potential client to get a feel for their space, how they present themselves, the impression their office makes.

Meet your colleagues and competitors so you can get a sense of their business – their personal style, policies and procedures, skills and techniques, personality and professionalism. If you like what you see, briefly mention the possibility of working together in a future joint venture, such as a public presentation to grow both your practices. Invite them to visit your office, or to a networking or business event. Ask if they would be interested in trading services with you and, if they agree, offer to do their session first.  

Knowing each other’s styles and strengths can help you in several ways:

  • Set you apart as unique
  • Target your niche
  • Make referrals to each other
  • Assist you in planning a joint venture

Make a list or spreadsheet to keep track of all your different competitors. List all of the practitioners who compete with you, as well as everything you learned about them from your research – their modalities, skills and techniques, credentials, mission, professional philosophy, personality, office features, marketing materials, Unique Service Position, joint venture potential and any other qualities you discover that characterize their healthcare practices and/or help you to define your own business.

If you’re tempted to skip this step – if you think you don’t want to call your competitors and go schlepping all over town to meet them and check out their practices – think again! Think about how this research will help you differentiate yourself. Think about the competitive advantage it will give you. Think about all the clients you will get as a result. Think about how doing your homework will grow your income. Think about it as if your success depends on it – because it does! If you think it’s a lot of trouble – you’re right! But do it anyway – you and your business are worth it!

Treat Your Wellness Clients to Special Tricks for Halloween!

Treat Your Wellness Clients to Special Tricks for Halloween!

Do you give Halloween treats in your wellness practice? It’s the perfect holiday to impress your clients with extra care! I make trick-or-treat goodie bags for my massage clients, filled with wholesome snacks and healthy treats. But there’s a lot you can offer every day, so think of Halloween as inspiration to treat your clients to special customer service year-round!

How do amenities fit into your wellness practice? With little cost, time or effort, you can provide impressive extras – before, during and after an appointment, to keep clients coming back again and again for more of your special magic!  And the best part? You can add value to your client’s experience without adding a penny to your cost or a second to your time! Here are some tricks to treat your clients:

Answering machine message. Change your friendly greeting weekly, and always offer a special promotion, to let callers know from their first call to you that your service is above and beyond the standard!

Before the appointment. Send new clients their intake paperwork to fill out and return before their first appointment. Give existing clients a reminder call 2 days before their session. To be prepared for their treatment, ask what they need help with and what has changed since last time.

Reception area. Always be there to greet clients when they enter your office. Eliminate ‘waiting room’ from your vocabulary and from your business office – arrange your schedule to never keep anyone waiting!

Before the treatment. With new clients, go over their intake form together, item by item, to make sure they understand your policies and procedures. This eliminates the awkwardness of a surprise later – such as paying for a missed appointment. People appreciate knowing ‘the rules’ – we feel more comfortable and secure when we know what to expect. Before entering the treatment room, offer a drink of water and use of the restroom.

Treatment room. It is comfortable, attractive and impeccably clean! Calm serenity is crucial here. Maintain a comfortable room temperature with a heater, fan or open window. Flowers and foliage are subtle and always fresh – no fake flowers or dead leaves. The treatment table is pre-warmed on cool days. Use natural light during the day and low wattage lamps for evening sessions.

During the session. Put a purifying salt lamp in the treatment room. Play serene ambient music. The first thing I do after entering the room is place a heating pad on the client’s back; I move it around during the session, to pre-warm each area before treatment. With bodywork, careful draping is mindful of modesty, privacy and professionalism, and helps the client feel safe and comfortable. Clean lubricant off the client’s skin with moist warm towels.

After the session. Offer the client a cup of water. Always invite people to schedule or confirm their next appointment. This is not being pushy or needy! Many people feel drowsy or disoriented after a session and they appreciate you keeping track of their schedule. Always give a new client something to walk away with – an article, bottled water, product sample, energy bar, etc. – to remind them of your business! Put your name and contact info on everything you give out! Always, always say thank you for coming in! Surprise and delight clients with a no-tip policy. If you don’t want this as a general policy, you can have a special “No-Tip Day,” weekly or monthly.

Follow-up Call. Check in by phone the next day with new clients, or an existing client with a new problem. If their next appointment is more than a week away, call between session to see how they’re doing and remind them to follow the self-care routine you gave them. Ask if they have any questions or if there’s anything you can do for them. If they’re in pain when you call, offer to see them sooner than scheduled.

On-going Connection. A keep-in-touch marketing system keeps your practice in the clients’ awareness. This includes email or postal mail items, such as a newsletter, or an article of interest to the client. A Referral Reward Program offers free massage to clients who refer others. Pre-schedule birthday and holiday e-cards each year, with new clients added as they come in. Here. 

Exceed Their Expectations!

Helping clients feel better with great technical skills is the bare minimum you should give. People expect an effective treatment – that’s why they called you in the first place. You can impress them, and gain their long-term loyalty, by enhancing their visits with amenities that have a huge impact on the client’s experience, with little or no cost to you. Use special amenities every day. Not just with new clients, but with all clients; not just for Halloween but in every single interaction – whether on the phone, by email or in person.

These special treats are a key factor in keeping loyal ideal clients and getting their referrals. Keeping repeat clients over the long-term brings in more money and more satisfaction than One-Session Wonders who leave a big tip and never return! Use every opportunity you can to give your clients extra service with tricks and treats!

Show Potential Clients You’re the Real Deal!

Show Potential Clients You’re the Real Deal!

People are naturally skeptical. It is normal to want proof and assurances before jumping into something new, especially when it involves our health, our time or our money. And wellness care involves all three of these factors! They won’t easily believe you unless you back up your claims with good reasons to do so. If they don’t trust you, they won’t enroll with you for health care.

“Can I believe what you say? How can I trust that you will help me?” These are critical questions that many people have about wellness care and holistic health – especially if they have never tried an alternative to conventional medicine.

“Isn’t natural health just a bunch of old wives’ tales and kitchen table concoctions?”

How can you build trust and credibility? Let’s look at four ways to inspire what is known in the marketing industry as “the know-like-trust factor:”

1. Be yourself! Let people get to know you, let your personality shine through. Talk about your work in everyday language, not professional jargon. When buying personal services, like health care, people want to know the person they are going to be working with, especially if it involves touching their body. Use your photo in your marketing as much as possible. Have a few personal things around your office, such as family photos and simple decor that expresses your personality and interests. The more people see you  being yourself, the more they will know, like and trust you! Set up your office to reflect your personality (but if you’re messy and disorganixed, get some help with this!)

2. Exercise your bragging rights! Show proof of your education, experience, expertise and excellence. Display your framed diplomas, certificates licenses, awards, photos and articles People are reassured by proof that institutions, associations and government agencies recognize you as competent and professional.

3. Show social proof! The best time to get a rave review is immediately after someone has experienced a great result from working with you. If you get referrals from physicians or other healthcare professionals, ask them to write testimonials about how you have helped their patients. Testimonials help convince people that enrolling with you is a wise investment in their health. This powerful tool lets prospects know that people just like them, with the same problems and concerns, were helped by your care. Use entire testimonials or excerpts, along with the client’s photo when possible, in your marketing materials. Frame a few testimonials and hang them with your certificates, or keep them in an album to show people during their Discovery Session. You can also make post video testimonials on your website, blog or social media.

4. Be clear! Your marketing materials should have clear explanations of your modality in general, as well as special qualities that make you and your practice stand out from the crowd. Make sure to focus your marketing messages on benefits and results, not a laundry list of techniques you offer. Put a FAQ section on your website to address questions about your work. List results and benefits clearly in both spoken and written marketing.

People are naturally skeptical. We want proof before we trust someone or something new, especially involving our health, time or money. Inspire people’s trust with 4 simple strategies: Be sincere, highlight your experience, expertise and experience, use client testimonials in your marketing, and clearly state the benefits you provide.

What other ways can you think of to assure hesitant or skeptical prospects that you are the real deal? Please share your comments below.

3 Tips to Get New Wellness Clients!

3 Tips to Get New Wellness Clients!

Image result for stepping stones

While visiting the websites of hundreds of wellness practitioners, I was struck by the number of sites that were “All about me, Me, ME!” on the home page.

Your website’s home page is often a prospect’s first exposure to you and your work. So make sure the home page is all about the clients! Use short bullet lists of your Ideal Client’s needs and your corresponding solutions. (And save all about you for your About Me page.)

Remember – when people are looking for a solution to a health problem, they don’t care about you and your credentials, your education, your techniques or anything about you. They only want to know how working with you will benefit them. So don’t try to impress people by talking about yourself – your training, your techniques, your equipment. Instead, make sure you educate your potential clients about the results they will get from working with you – not from massage, or acupuncture or chiropractic or counseling, or whatever your modality is – but specifically how working with you will help them.

Tip #1. Get Clear on Your Niche!

What’s your niche? Whether you pronounce it “nitch” or “neesh,” you need one!

You may think the best way to get lots of clients is to market to everyone! But you actually get more ideal clients by narrowing your niche to a small specific group. To identify your niche, spend some time asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is it that my current clients have in common?
  • How do I set myself apart from the competition?
  • What is different about the services or products that I offer?
  • What are the “extras” that I bring to the market?

Word your marketing materials so they speak to your ideal client as if you were having a conversation with them about their needs and your solutions. Fill your practice more quickly by narrowing your niche, defining exactly who you serve.

Your special gift will not be expressed at its highest potential if you work with people who don’t fit your Ideal Client profile. But that’s exactly what happens when you target a wide audience, instead of a small niche – specifying exactly who you will and will not accept as clients.

Tip #2: Deliver Tangible, Specific, Measurable Results!

The more you focus on the practical, tangible results clients get from working with you, the more clients you’ll have to work with. Even if you offer a less tangible wellness service, such as energy healing or intuitive readings, you can still focus on the tangible results that show up for your clients.

You simply need to focus on the impact your service has on your clients’ lives – health, family life, work, finances, relationships, opportunities – everything. I love seeing the look on my clients’ faces when they realize just how far-reaching our work together will be! So make sure they are clear that they will get back to work, or get out from under crippling pain or depression, lose weight, or whatever it is you offer. Don’t do this in a phony way or make unrealistic promises. Be sure you’re able to deliver what you promise – and then deliver it!

Tip #3: Create Treatment Programs!

People love systems – they explain in an organized way exactly what the problem is and how to eliminate it. So it is very helpful to name your programs and treatments in a way that potential clients can see their problem and the results they will get simply by reading or hearing the name of a treatment, such as “Easy Fix for Computer Abuser’s Syndrome” or “Pain in the Neck Solution” or “Golfer’s Hip Health” or “Eat Yourself Thin.”

Keep in mind that overwhelm, stress and pain are rampant in our culture. People get caught up in – but are reluctant to change – lifestyles that create these conditions. For instance, an avid golfer is not likely to give up the game to avoid hip pain. So they crave simple solutions that make it easy for them to meet their needs, relieve their pain, solve their problem.

Take a good look at how you work with clients and transform what you do into a compelling, simple program or treatment. You’ll be amazed at how this helps people understand how you can help them and they can’t wait to sign up to work with you!

You’re only a few sentences away from your next three clients! All you need to do is hone in on your niche, list a few compelling results you help people achieve and create your program to deliver those results!

3 Tips to Get “Forever” Clients!

3 Tips to Get “Forever” Clients!

Image result for new clients

If your marketing makes your wellness business and your services appear different from the typical practice, then potential clients are more likely to notice you!

The steps to getting “forever” clients involve matching your credentials to the needs of your target audience. Consider keeping a journal for this purpose – either handwritten or digital – so you can add to it and refine it throughout your career. Here’s how to get started:

Tip #1. Know Yourself.

The first step in differentiating your practice from others is to clarify your special qualities. Begin by listing things that identify you as an expert in your field, including your: education, expertise, experience; skills, specialties, strengths, philosophy about health and wellness; personality and character traits; how you do business and practice your modality, such as dependability,

What other special things about yourself and your business make you different from others in your modality?

An example of my uniqueness is that my massage therapy practice focuses on myofascial injuries and chronic pain conditions. This is unique in my area because most other therapists:

  • Have a general practice instead of a specialty
  • Don’t identify what makes them stand out

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 describe about themselves?

Tip #2. Develop Your USP – Unique Service Position

Your USP is what makes you stand out from the crowd of others in your field, those who practice the same modality as you; and those who practice a different modality but serve the same target audience, such as a yoga instructor and weight-lifting coach who both help people get fit and strong.

Identify and describe your USP with your answers to 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?

You will not necessarily share all of these features with clients or list such details in your marketing. The purpose of this exercise is to clarify all the special things about you – things that we tend to forget, lose track of, take for granted.

Identifying all of your unique traits will also improve your self-confidence. Whenever you need encouragement – a business pep talk or an ego boost – read over your list. It will make you feel better and perhaps inspire you with new ideas and goals!

Keep your list up-to-date as you add new skills and qualities.

Tip #3. Share Your Story

What inspires your passion for your work? What influenced you to enter the health field. Your story can be a powerful catalyst to attract clients!

Many of us were drawn to wellness work by an experience, realization or insight that attracted us to enter a wellness career. 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 touch people emotionally and motivate people to try your service, especially people who have a situation similar to yours, those who have never tried a holistic modality or those who are skeptical.

When you make it personal about yourself in a way that others can identify with, and when you relate your story to the needs of your target audience, you have the magic formula for a client-attractive story!

Part of my story as a massage therapist is that I first became intrigued with bodywork when a friend resolved my chronic ear infection with a hand reflexology treatment, and this initial interest quickly led to a lifelong career!

You can see two examples of how I tell my story of The Prosperous Practice here:

Interview form: http://theprosperouspractice.com/about-donna-thomas/

Narrative form: http://theprosperouspractice.com/about-prosperous-practice/

There is a huge amount of information on business story-telling beyond the scope of this article. There are also many different options of how to tell your story. I suggest you explore various styles and choose one, or a combination, to inspire you. These links will get you started with information on story-telling for business and marketing:

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/storytelling-guide

https://www.copyblogger.com/remarkable-marketing-story/

Be Yourself and Let Others Know You!

Highlight your uniqueness to stand out in the crowd and get potential clients to notice you. Be authentic! Share personal – but not private – things about yourself that will help others relate to you. Create and use effective story-telling to make your wellness work sound special and different. Emphasizing your uniqueness can make the difference between a person who walks away and one who can’t wait to become your “forever” client!

Attract Wellness Clients with Social Media Marketing!

Attract Wellness Clients with Social Media Marketing!

Image result for social mediaMy last client of the day emerged from the treatment 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 – aha! 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 short shelf life! Sometimes it seems I’ve barely finished one post and it’s already time for the next one!

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 to keep my page updated for readers, my content fresh for search engines and my bonds forged with Facebook Friends and Fans!

2. 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 content that is relevant, timely, entertaining, informative and actionable.

3. 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.

4. 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. You can even pre-schedule your posts for an entire week or month! (Assuming you have written them!) This consistency is more effective than haphazard posting.

5. 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. Sometimes images boost interest; other times 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.

6. 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, suppose your niche is 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.

7. Get Personal! Connect with your audience by personalizing your posts. Write as if you are having a conversation with one person.  People will pay more attention if your words speak directly to them. It’s fine to primarily post professional 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.

8. 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!

Bust Out Your Big Marketing Blitz!

Bust Out Your Big Marketing Blitz!

Image result for blitzIf you got into wellness work to help people, you have to take action with marketing to achieve your goal. Waiting for the phone to ring is not a marketing strategy! You need to take action and reach out to the people who need what you offer! People will call you – but only if they don’t know about you! You need to be proactive!

It’s time to bust out your Big Marketing Blitz! Don’t just trickle, like when the car tire is parked on the garden hose. Bring out the fire hose! Create a 2-week blitz marketing campaign and repeat it quarterly. If you really want more clients, then get crackin’ with these specific and assertive steps to success:

  1. Make appointments with yourself. Schedule some blocks of time to work on your 2-week blitz campaign. Write into your schedule specifically what you will do with each block of marketing time. BONUS: Once you’ve created your blitz system, you can reuse it to attract new clients and reactivate former clients whenever your bix needs a boost!
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Always make an offer in your talk – something special that meets the prospect’s need. Add a bonus to sweeten the deal.
  4. Contact local publications and find out how publish print advertisements, such as a classified ad, a press release in the newspaper, an article in a local magazine, etc. Do not post flyers around town – it’s amateur.
  5. 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.
  6. Donate a Gift Certificate to a public charity event, such as a school fundraiser or community benefit. Yes, this means donating your time. Think of it as an investment in your business. Are you willing to invest an hour into getting someone as a long-term paying customer?
  7. Social media can be your BMF – Best Marketing Friend! If you do not already have accounts on all social media outlets relevant to target market, get signed up now! Posts about the benefits you provide and your special offers will entice people to call you. Remember that posts with images get better results than text-only posts. Get in the habit of posting your open appointment times regularly through each week. Get and use a logo to increase your visibility and recognition online.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. I bet you can come up with more strategies to promote your wellness business when you Bust Our Your Big Marketing Blitz!

5 Simple Steps to New Clients!

5 Simple Steps to New Clients!

Image result for stepping stones in waterWellness 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 only if they know about you! How will they know about you? Waiting for the phone to ring is not a marketing strategy! 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 fill your schedule with new and continuing clients. 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 web-browsing 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 or challenge you will treat and market only to that target. (ie, back pain, headaches, allergies, etc.) Or choose a specific population or group, such as pregnant women or parents of teens. 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 as 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! Create a 2-week blitz marketing campaign that includes: 

  • A real postal letter to everyone you know and ask them to refer anyone they know who may need what you offer; 
  • 3 presentations within a 2-week period;
  • A print advertisement, such as a classified ad or a press release in the newspaper;
  • Participate in a local event by offering brief introductory treatments or information;
  • Donate a Gift Certificate to a charity event.

COMING NEXT WEEK: More details on the BIG MARKETING BLITz!

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, 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! 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? Keep your self-confidence strong and deeply believe that what you offer is of great value to others. 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

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 already? I’m still working on my summer tan!”

Image result for roller coaster

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, create invitations, decide on menu.

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

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

Image result for leaf in swimming pool

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. 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!

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!

Image result for box of crayons

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!

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.

Who Gets Voucher Coupons?

Image result for teacher with studentsTeachers have mental 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 your modality 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 it as a marketing opportunity – 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 snacks; 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. 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, promoting 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 massage clients from handing out small cold packs to my son’s teammates for soccer bruises. 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 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 may be able to 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. Consult their website for contact info, then call the administrative office and ask for an appointment to discuss your service.

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!

WordPress theme: Kippis 1.12