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. Listen to your client – what do they need today? 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 drink 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 treatment needs. 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 or an aggravation. If their next appointment is more than a week away, call between sessions 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!

Instead of these options – Trick OR Treat – give both! Special tricks to treat your clients with the best service possible!

Show Potential Clients You’re the Real Deal!

Show Potential Clients You’re the Real Deal!

Image result for know like trustPeople 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.

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! Testimonials help convince people that enrolling with you is a wise investment in their health. 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. 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 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:

1. Be sincere

2. Highlight your expertise

3. Use client testimonials

4. 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 Ways to Get New Wellness Clients!

3 Ways to Get New Wellness Clients!

Image result for good leader is a good listenerWhile 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 home page is often a prospect’s first exposure to you and your work – so make sure it’s all about the client. 

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.

Then you must repeat these same essentials over and over again in your marketing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a brand new practitioner, have been in business for years or you’re launching an empire – these basics remain constant. To get and keep clients, you need a repeatable system to keep them coming in for the fabulous results you provide.

Tip #1. Get Clear on Your Niche!

The first thing you need to do is get clear on your niche – the target population you wish to serve. It’s hard to explain how you can help people if you don’t first identify who you can help. Clearly explain the results you provide and make sure you have effective treatment programs for the problems of your target market.

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

It’s simple really: the more you focus on the practical, tangible results that 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, counseling 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 in x number of days or weeks, or be able to play with their kids again, or get out from under crippling pain or depression, 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: Name Your Treatments!

It is very effective 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.

Examples: Computer Abuser Syndrome, Pain in the Neck Solution, Golfer’s Hip Health, 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 and relieve their pain.

Take a good look at how you work with clients, then 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 new clients! All you need to do is hone in on your niche, list a few compelling results you help people achieve and name your solutions to deliver those results!

8 Ways to Attract Wellness Clients on Social Media!

8 Ways to Attract Wellness Clients on Social Media!

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 Facebook post the other day was so funny! And it reminded me to call you!”

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? Ask yourself these questions 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? Is there a link to your website? 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 for your content to be 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!

Be Unique to Get “Forever” Clients!

Be Unique to Get “Forever” Clients!

Image result for horse of a different colorPotential clients are more likely to notice you if your marketing makes your wellness business and your services stand out as unique – different from the typical practice.

The 3 steps to getting “forever” clients involve matching your skills and knowledge to the needs of your target audience. We recommend keeping a journal for this purpose – either handwritten or digital – because you will add to it and refine it over time throughout your career. Here’s how to get started:

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 special things about 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?

Step 2. 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:

  1. What do I offer that my colleagues and competitors do not?
  2. What features of my practice differentiate me from others in my field?
  3. Why should someone work with me rather than my competitors?
  4. 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.

Step 3. Share Your Story. What inspires your passion for your work? What influenced you to enter a health career? Your story can be a powerful catalyst to attract clients!

Sharing your experience can touch people emotionally and motivate them 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.

Many of us were drawn to wellness work by an experience, realization or insight that attracted us to enter a health career. In many cases, this compelling story or defining moment was a health crisis of our own or someone close to us.

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 unintentionally resolved my chronic ear infection with a neck massage, and this initial interest soon 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/

https://www.storyforth.io

Be Yourself and Let Others Know You!

Highlight your uniqueness to stand out in the crowd and get potential clients to notice you. The trick is to be enough like potential clients to have them trust you, and different enough to stand out as unique. Be authentic! Share personal (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!

Bust Out Your Big Marketing Blitz!

Bust Out Your Big Marketing Blitz!

Image result for fireworksIf 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 2 presentations 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!

Stamp Out Stinkin’ Thinkin’!

Stamp Out Stinkin’ Thinkin’!

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

url1It upset me to hear this negative and blatantly untrue statement made by the keynote speaker at the massage school graduation ceremony. Why did they invite a speaker who would cast such a dim and discouraging light on the potential of new therapists just entering their career?!

Then I realized she was simply speaking from her own experience, which was based on her limited beliefs about healing, money and success.

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

5 Practices to Elevate Your Business Beliefs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 millennium force

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.

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.

SHARE YOUR IDEAS! 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!

More fall fabulous-ness:

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 platforms – social media – 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

OK, this is gonna be kinda long – but so worth it! So go make a cup of tea and settle in for a bit…

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 targets school personnel and events. It’s a great way to support the health of these valuable community members who shape our children’s futures! It’s actually a huge target market that you can tap into – every town has schools!

Here’s a step-by-step system to create your Back-to-School Special: 

– First of all, make room 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. Do it now – 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 more schools, 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 low-cost healthy promotional gifts – little 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 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. Contact the school office in advance and arrange for your materials to be placed into teachers’ mailboxes during the first week of school.

Who Gets Your Coupons?

Teachers have stress and physical complaints (computer shoulders, bending/standing all day); give them a coupon/voucher, attached to a small low-cost gift or… an apple for the teacher!

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

Image result for crazy lunch ladySchool support staff: Administration, maintenance crew, teaching assistants. And don’t forget the lunch ladies!

Get Involved! 

Schools provide many opportunities to market your wellness services. Check out these ideas:

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

Workshops for classrooms, teams, community centers, families, after-school programs. Examples: a nutritionist could teach how to make healthy home lunches; a psychologist could teach positive mindset for academic success. Because many schools have a limited budget for outside programs, this works better for attracting clients if you give a free workshop, using your expertise and your coupons to bring clients to your office. What could you teach or share to help draw clients into your practice?

Volunteer in a classroom and attend PTA meetings, 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. 

School 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: Pain gel sample; protein bars; mini cold/heat packs.

Community teams. Many towns have fall sports – a great place to offer a Special, such as Autumn Athlete’s Advantage! You could also be a volunteer coach, to meet more people. And for even more exposure – sponsor a team and your business name will be on uniforms and announced at all games!

Offer your services at practice, if you do bodywork, for sports conditioning, injury treatment, improved performance and preventive maintenance. Seeing you in action will spark interest faster than words on a brochure!

Parents of athletes can be another source of clients for you – and the sports field is where to meet them! I got lots of parents as massage clients from handing out small cold packs to my son’s teammates for soccer bruises. (My kids are now in their 30s and some of these parents are still my clients!)

BROWNIE POINTS: Give each person 2 coupons – one to use and one to share!

Who to Contact

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

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

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

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

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

School boards and PTAs 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, 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 and better health.

And don’t forget your shiny new box of Crayolas!

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!

No More No-Shows in Your Wellness Business!

No More No-Shows in Your Wellness Business!

WARNING: Strong Language Ahead! Proceed at Your Own Risk!

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It’s disappointing and annoying when a client doesn’t show up for an appointment. Not only do you lose income, it also denies someone else an opportunity to get your help.

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

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

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

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

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

Proactively Prevent No-Shows

Don’t let such scenarios occur in your wellness practice! Don’t let your business suffer because of missed appointments! Make sure your policies and your boundaries support you and your business, while supporting clients in personal responsibility and getting the care they need! What could I have done differently? And what can you do to avoid no-shows? Try these 6 strategies:

  1. A reminder call is the most common and most effective tactic to avoid no-shows. Make a reminder phone call, text and/or email two days before the appointment. On your intake form, ask how they prefer to be reminded- by phone, text or email. If you don’t actually speak with the client, ask her to call back and confirm. Brownie Points: Delegate reminder calls to an assistant, giving you more time for clients or marketing!
  2. Send an email or text midway between appointments, saying you look forward to seeing them again. To keep the perks of working with you fresh in their mind, mention the result they got from their previous session. Also mention possible consequences of missing their next session, such as their problem worsening. You could make a special offer for their next appointment, such as an add-on amenity. And be sure to remind them of your 24-hour cancellation policy.

Get the exact word-for-word script for this message! Send us an email request: info@theprosperouspractice.com or a private message on our Facebook page – The Prosperous Practice!

  1. Offer some evening and weekend hours. Look at your schedule to see when your slowest hours are; then switch them for a few evening and weekend hours per month, allowing you to grow your business and help more people! Years ago, when I did this, my business increased by 25% within the first two weeks! Give it a try! It will allow you to serve people who work during conventional business hours.
  2. Have each client read and sign an agreement to follow your policies, especially your cancellation policy. Most people sign a contract without reading it, so allow enough time at their first appointment to go over the agreement together and have them initial it, item by item.

For a free copy of my Intake Form, send an email request, text or Facebook message.

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

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

  1. Fire bad clients! They are not your ideal clients if they repeatedly show disrespect for your policy and your time. Just let them go – you don’t need clients like this!  Be polite but firm and offer to give them a list of practitioners who may be more lenient than you about no-shows. Make room for the ideal clients you want and deserve! (Need a script for this awkward conversation? Send us an email request or a private message on our Facebook page – The Prosperous Practice!)

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

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