Let Freedom Ring in Your Wellness Biz – with Systems!

Let Freedom Ring in Your Wellness Biz – with Systems! 

“In a world with no systems, with chaos, everything becomes a struggle, and predictability is not there. And it becomes almost impossible…” – Bill Clinton.

There’s so much more to being a successful wellness entrepreneur than working with clients. Do you struggle with all the endless details of running your practice – clinical, clerical, administrative and marketing tasks?

And this is all in addition to our primary purpose of taking care of clients! No wonder so many practitioners stress out or burn out!

As a health service professional, your plate is indeed very full! But when you set up systems to handle all of the business and marketing activities, you can work more efficiently and have more freedom for personal time and other important aspects of your life. Once you implement specific policies, protocols, tools and resources to manage your practice, you’ll wonder how you ever functioned without them!

If you’re feeling overworked and overwhelmed, if crucial tasks are falling through the cracks – then you’re wasting valuable time and precious energy that you could use to serve clients and achieve your personal and business goals. Create systems so your marketing is on auto-pilot year-round, with ease and convenience for you, throughout the lifetime of your business.

Systems are absolutely crucial if you want to multiply your business and move to the next level. Whether you are struggling, starting, sustaining or succeeding, systems will get you to the next level of success, and the next after that. How do you currently get things done in your business? Most likely you have a self-generated business, meaning that if you don’t do it yourself, it doesn’t get done!

Take a close look at all the different parts of your business. For example: how you get clients, how you get paid, how you deliver your services or products, as well as administration, marketing and scheduling.

You can actually devise a system for each of these activities. In my business, every aspect is systematized – scheduling, marketing, client sessions, promo, admin, social media, networking, ezine, blog, even cleaning and laundry! Everything has a time and a place, and gets done efficiently with time to spare! How will you use your spare time?

Look at the different aspects of your business to see what’s working well and what’s falling through the cracks. Decide which things absolutely have to be done by you and which can be delegated. Ask how something can be systematized so that it is done the same way each time. What can be automated with technology and what can be delegated to others?

For instance, keep a script or checklist by the phone for intake with new clients. To further systematize this same task, have your prospects pre-screen themselves by reading the FAQ section in your website, so you don’t have to repeat the same conversation with every prospective client.

Use systems all over your business. Whether promoting a new program or cleaning the bathroom – systematize it! Whatever it is – closing the sale, ordering supplies, client intake – whatever it is, give it a system so you always know what to do and when to do it. Systems also allow you to delegate certain aspects of your business, freeing up your time for more flexibility, freedom and fun in your life!

Remember to make time in your schedule for marketing! Do you find yourself at the end of the week wondering where the time went and feeling frustrated because you only accomplished a fraction of what you wanted to get done? If so, then you need a weekly calendar with designated blocks of time to work on certain aspects of your business, as explained in detail in The Prosperous Practice Home Study System Module 2: Make Room for Marketing.

This will instantly improve your productivity and reduce your stress by giving you more control over your time! Then stick to your boundaries – your system won’t do you any good if you don’t follow it! Make a commitment to yourself to honor your intentions. Turn off your phone ringer, email beeps, social media chirps and all other distractions – electronic and otherwise.

Don’t wear all the hats in your biz – delegate! Most likely at this point you’re in business for yourself, with yourself and by yourself – meaning if you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done! The key to having a business that runs like a well-oiled machine is to get help and delegate certain tasks to a live or virtual assistant. If you are handling everything yourself and important things are not getting done, this translates to lost opportunities, fewer clients and less income. If you think you can’t afford it, start small with 1-2 hours per week. The goal is to focus your time and energy on attracting clients and working with clients, while someone else does things that are outside your area of expertise.

Avoid overwhelm, burn-out and chaos! Systems are crucial if you want to multiply your business and get to the next level of success in you holistic health practice. Whether you are struggling, starting, sustaining or succeeding, think about all the different tasks needed to keep things running smoothly. Then create a repeatable system that works every time for each business activity!

Steps to Success 12: The Prosperous Practice Guide to Ongoing Systems

http://theprosperouspractice.com/programs-products/steps-to-success/

Would you like to know in advance what you’ll be doing every day, week and month to grow your business? All the great marketing strategies in the world won’t help you succeed if you don’t implement them in an orderly plan. Keep your practice on track and your life in balance with business, marketing and lifestyle systems, so you can focus on your purpose – to serve clients with your unique gifts.

12 Ways to Survive and Thrive in Your Wellness Biz!

12 Ways to Survive and Thrive in Your Wellness Biz!

Last summer I moved back into a former home that I had rented out for a few years. The house needed many repairs, including re-covering the ventilation holes under the eaves. The screens that originally covered these openings had fallen off, allowing a family of birds to set up housekeeping in the attic.

Even though the exterminator humanely evicted the birds, I felt badly about disrupting their lives! For a few days, they bumped their little heads on the new screens as they tried to return to their usual routine. But they soon learned that it was easier to find a new way than to keep doing something that no longer worked for them.

Isn’t this true for us as well? Change is hard – but sometimes life demands that we adjust and adopt new ways of doing things. What are you doing to survive and thrive in your wellness practice? Are you still doing things in the old accustomed ways, but not getting the results you want? Whether you are a fledgling practitioner flying solo for the first time, or established and ready to spread your wings, any of these suggestions can help your business fly. And all of them together will make it soar! Here are 12 Ways to Survive and Thrive in Your Wellness Biz!

1. Support a Mindset of Success

Do your beliefs about money and success limit your business? Identify and eliminate limiting thoughts and habits, such as fear and procrastination that stand between you and a thriving practice.

2. It’s About Time!
Do you feel like you should accomplish more in a day? You can get more done if you: devote at least 3 hours per day to marketing; use business hours for business activities only; and schedule clients, business and personal activities in blocks of time.

3. Find Money on the Table!
Jump-start your income with these quick money strategies: Raise your rates; follow up with leads; make special offers; reactivate former clients; offer gift certificates; sell products; get a j-o-b.

4. Shine Your Special Light!
Clarify what makes you unique in your field. Identify what makes you different, focus on the results you provide, highlight your special gifts, offer things that other practitioners don’t – so you’ll have a unique answer when someone wonders: “Why should I choose you?”

5. Identify Your Niche!
Do you market to anyone and everyone? Ironically, the smaller your target market, the more clients you will attract. Fill your practice more quickly by narrowing your niche, defining exactly who you serve.

6. Focus on Problems and Solutions!

Match your solutions to the problems of your Ideal Clients. Clearly expressing your target market’s problems and your solutions makes you irresistible to your Ideal Clients!

7. Create Magnetic Marketing Materials!
Is your marketing customized for your niche? Appeal to your Ideal Clients with a customized Magnetic Marketing Message that attracts Ideal Clients to your solutions, results and benefits.

8. Offer Packages!
Are your services priced to sell with less effort and more income? Serve your niche better with client-attractive packages that offer solutions and results instead of individual sessions that trade time for money.

9. Step Out for Success!
Do you hibernate in your office waiting for clients to call? Go public with speaking and writing to educate and attract your Ideal Clients.

10. Diversify Your Marketing!

Does your business garden grow a variety of strategies? Start simply, with 1-2 strategies and expand your marketing garden as you succeed and achieve!

11. Use the Gentle Sales System!
Does selling your services make you feel like a pushy salesman? Stay in sales integrity with our script for a compassionate conversation to guide clients to enroll in your services!

12. Set Up Systems for Success!
Do you know in advance what you’ll be doing every day, week and month to grow your business? A preplanned marketing schedule simplifies your business, keeps your practice on track and your life in balance.

 Hey, remember those birds I evicted? It took a few days, but they finally learned that it was easier to adapt new habits than to hold on to ones that no longer serve them. What about you – are you repeating the same things, hoping for different results? I encourage you to try a new approach to help you soar high in your very own… Prosperous Practice!

Spread the News – with a Client-Attractive Newsletter!

Spread the News – with a Client-Attractive Newsletter!

Image result for girl with megaphoneFortunately there’s a better way to connect with clients and prospects than shouting through a bullhorn! A business newsletter is a marketing power tool that can help you reach more people and attract more ideal clients!

– Is your practice the first thing your clients think about when they need health care?

– Do you want loyal clients who don’t even think about going to another practitioner?

– Would you like to have a solid base of clients who regularly refer others to you?

– Do you want referrals from physicians and other healthcare providers?

– Would you like for these referrals to also become loyal clients who make referrals?

Not contacting your clients on a regular basis is one of the biggest marketing mistakes you can make as a wellness practitioner. And yet, according to a research poll, only 10% of holistic practitioners send a newsletter to their clients.

When you don’t keep in touch with current and past clients, they are less responsive to you, less loyal to your business and less interested in your services. The most valuable business asset you have is not your office, not your equipment, not your skills – it’s your clients.

So it’s crucial to the success of your practice that you take good care of your client list – and not just when they are in your office for an appointment. Making sure you take care of them between appointments is the best way to keep you on their mind. And this is where your keep-in-touch marketing system comes into play. Your newsletter is more than a tool to educate clients about health; it also allows you to:

– Offer special promotions

– Keep clients informed about your business news

– Build trust by sharing little glimpses into your personal life

The whole purpose of marketing is to build relationships with people over time, so they always think of you for their health and wellness concerns. Marketing helps to build a solid relationship with clients, so that you retain their business over the long-term.

Contacting your clients on a regular basis is one of the strongest marketing strategies you can use. Keep in touch with the people on your list of current or past clients, so they stay responsive to you, loyal to your business, interested in your services and happy to refer people to you.

While a printed newsletter is effective, an ezine is even more so. An ezine – tech-talk for email magazine – has an added advantage of saving you time and money, because it doesn’t have printing tasks and mailing costs. Either way – print or online – a newsletter helps you:communicate regularly with your clients and colleagues; build the crucial know-like-trust factor with potential clients; establish recognition of your brand; promote your service; encourage referrals from clients, doctors and other practitioners; give you an edge over competitors who do not use a newsletter.

Your ezine can be your silent sales partner! Here are 10 simple ways to add marketing energy to your email newsletter:

1. Have an opt-in box above the fold, so that people can subscribe if they received your ezine from a friend!

2. Embed clickable links to your website with text and images throughout your ezine. Provide links to products, programs or events. Your ezine banner should contain a clickable link to your home page. Links help readers get more information fast and can have a big impact on sales.

3. Include links for readers to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and any other social media sites that you – or they – use regularly.  There are many attractive and affordable options of icon sets for visual interest.

4. Use a P.S. to ask readers to forward your ezine to their friends, followers, and colleagues. You can also use the forwarding feature available with most professional online email services.

5. Post updates on social media sites each time you write a new article. Include a link to your opt-in page and encourage readers to subscribe for regular delivery.

6. Grow your mailing list fast, with a link or reference to it in places people are likely to opt-in. For example: your email signature, in your bio, within the footer of online articles, your business card and all printed marketing materials.

7. Include an offer. Make your ezine an effective marketing vehicle with this one simple rule: Always include an offer – an existing product or resource, a new launch, a free Discovery Session, a “read more” link to your website.

8. Provide a free way to learn more about your business. Whether casually in a social situation or more formally in a presentation, offer your ezine and its free gift to everyone you talk to.

9. Start where you are and make improvements as you go. Don’t get bogged down in creating the perfect ezine before you start sending it.  With the online format, it’s easy to make changes.

10. Send it regularly and frequently. Weekly is ideal! If that’s too overwhelming at first, send it every 2 weeks. Less than that – don’t bother! Seeing you often is what keeps you fresh in your client’s mind. Inconsistency undermines your credibility.

If you’re short on time, implement one feature each week until your newsletter is complete and your publication schedule is in full swing with a weekly ezine going out to all your clients and colleagues! A note via email, postal mail or on your recent blog post, plus a simple offer, are all you need to get started sending your ezine today. Tweak it a little each time and before long you’ll have a high-powered marketing tool that attracts clients while you work, play and sleep!

Need More Clients? Nail Your Niche!

Need More Clients? Nail Your Niche!

“You can please all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” –Abraham Lincoln.

What’s your niche? Whether you pronounce it “nitch” or “neesh” – you need one in your wellness practice!

Image result for hammer and nailOne of the biggest marketing mistakes I see holistic practitioners make is not being clear about their target market. I know because I’ve been there! I used to think like a lot of practitioners – that I needed to market my services to as many people as possible to get enough clients! And guess what?! When I marketed to everyone I never had enough clients!

What about you?  Do you target a specific group? Do you know if there is a demand for your service, and do you have a plan to market and sell what you offer?

Some practitioners believe that it is unethical to make money from other people’s pain or problems. Others may think they just have to share their divine gift and God will provide for them.

If this is you… listen up! Yes, God does provide. But She – God, Source, Universe, whatever your word for a Higher Power – doesn’t just drop money from heaven! Money comes in the form of an opportunity. The money passes to you through your client, in exchange for the help that you give them!

If your business ideal, dream or goal feels like divine inspiration, then you’re off to a good start as a Spirit-based practitioner! But your message has to reach the right audience to bring you more success and income. The following steps will help you create your unique wellness idea, take action on it and get the results you need, want and deserve!

Step 1: Research
Research your idea to see if there is already a market demand for your particular wellness modality, idea or perspective. Don’t worry about competition. If others are already doing what you offer, it means there’s a market for your service or specialty. If no one is doing it, you may need to change or narrow your niche.

Step 2: Identify Who You Want to Work With

Once you get clear on your target market, you can develop a marketing plan that attracts the right people and discourages those who are not a good fit for your wellness biz. 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. Here’s how to identify your niche:

Your niche is made up of people who already know they need help, they just don’t know how to get it. That’s where you and your marketing come in! Use your marketing materials to speak to your ideal client as if you were having a conversation with them about their needs and your solutions. Word your marketing message in a way that your ideal client will ‘see’ herself in magnetic marketing questions; she will answer ‘Yes!’ to them and pre-qualify herself as your enthusiastic new client!

You will not have to turn away non-ideal clients, because they will not ‘see’ themselves in your specifically-targeted message and will realize that your service is not for them. Your special gift will not be expressed at its highest potential if you work with people who don’t fit your Ideal Client profile, who drain your energy, squabble about money, make excuses, procrastinate and disrespect your time. 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.

Step 3: Sharing, Not Selling

Finally, you need to get comfortable with sales. I don’t mean the stereotype of the slick used car salesman! I’m talking about offering something you believe in, to people who need it – a solution that matches the needs of your niche. Think of it as sharing your services, not selling.

Conscious business marketing is totally ethical. It is not about closing the deal. It’s ‘having a conversation’ about how your work benefits people. Remember, every successful business – including yours – has the solution to a specific problem, pain or challenge.

Ultimately, as a wellness entrepreneur, you need to go beyond your big idea. To bring your great business idea into reality, you need to start with getting clear about your target market and the best ways to reach them with your message.

Run Your Wellness Biz Like a Well-Oiled Machine!

Run Your Wellness Biz Like a Well-Oiled Machine!

Image result for well-oiled machine

Does your wellness business run like a well-oiled machine?

Compare your business marketing with car maintenance. You shouldn’t wait until things start breaking down to call the mechanic. It’s an ongoing process of scheduled maintenance, so your car is always ready to take you where you need to go.

The key to more clients, more income and more time off is having a business that runs like a well-oiled machine – like a consistently maintained car! The goal is to have every business activity in your holistic practice organized into a process that is easily repeatable – either by you or by someone else.

Systems give you reliable, repeatable results in your productivity and income. When a marketing activity works, document it and then do it again and again as needed. If the system is good, it will create the same repeatable results each time you use it.

It is so important to establish a schedule for regular, consistent marketing, for every day, week, month and year of your business. And then – the most important part – stick to your schedule!

Systems allow you to focus on your two primary business activities: working with clients and attracting clients. And systems also give you more freedom, time and energy to enjoy your life!

6 Steps to Create Systems in Your Wellness Practice

At this point, you may be saying, “Okay, I get it – I need systems! But exactly how do I create a system? Where do I start?”

It’s actually a very simple, step-by-step process – a system to create systems:

1. Notice what’s not working. Make a list of things that you let slide, what takes up a lot of time, what you keep repeating and what creates stress for you.

2. Decide which of those things can be systematized – clustered, grouped, blocked, automated or delegated. For instance: do a chunk of social media time twice a day instead of random minutes throughout the day; or better yet, delegate social media to an assistant who will bring important items to your attention, while handling routine posts and comments. What can you time-block or delegate?

3. Write out the exact steps for each procedure or protocol. This will take some work and time up front, but will give you much more time, energy and peace of mind in the long run. Once you have it all organized to work on its own, it can be handled easily and efficiently by you or your team.

4. Write an Operations Manual for every task in your business – from cleaning/laundry to client care – and add to it as needed. This applies to all of your duties, as well as those of your team members. Write out detailed descriptions of every task so they are easily repeatable by more than one person.

5. Create a system to monitor the work of your team, so you don’t totally abdicate responsibility. As the business owner, you are responsible for the results – the finished product or service. So make sure you have a system to check on the status of projects you have delegated to others. Schedule a block of time each week to review their progress.

6. Systematize all of your marketing, so that every strategy attracts clients with a system. Automate your client management, social media, calendar, email, ezine and blog with a specific day and time each day, week or month for every marketing activity.

Create your systems now – to prepare for big success! Get your biz running smoothly on autopilot and have the infrastructure ready for a full practice, even before it fills up. Don’t wait until your client schedule gets busy and then suddenly realize you need systems but don’t have the time to create them. Example: Prepare a few client files – if you build it they will come! Get it all set up now!

The best way to make sure you always have a full practice is to always include consistent marketing in your schedule, even when it seems like you don’t need it. Have a couple of activities you can do to fill time between client appointments, such as calling inactive clients, or sending  thank you notes or requests for referrals. When you have a break between client sessions, use it for marketing – not TV or a shopping trip! Marketing is just as important to your success as clients, perhaps even more so – because marketing is what attracts clients in the first place.

You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish, and how much more money you will make, when your wellness biz becomes a problem-free zone – because of your organization and systems. It ultimately gives you more time to enjoy your life with self-care, travel, hobbies and the people you care about. That’s really the purpose of being an entrepreneur – to live your life with freedom and fulfillment, whatever that means to you. And using systems in your business will allow you to do that!

June – Prime Time for Gift Coupons!

June – Prime Time for Gift Coupons!

Image result for gift card images

Dads and grads and brides and grooms! (Try saying that fast 10 times!) June is bustin’ out all over! And it’s a great month for bustin’ out Gift Coupon sales in your wellness practice, because it’s the traditional time of year for… dads and grads and brides and grooms!

I recently sold a package of 8 mini-massages to a blushing bride-to-be for her bridesmaids’ and groomsmen’s gifts. When the recipients call to book their 30-minute massage appointments, I will offer them an upgrade to a longer massage and/or spa services for an additional fee – a value-added service for them and more income for me!

Last week a new client who came in for her first massage, walked out with 3 Fathers Day Gift Coupons in her purse – for her husband, her father and her father-in-law! She said the humorous promo sign by the toilet motivated her!

Gift Coupon sales are a major source of income in my massage therapy practice. Almost every day, a client buys a Gift Coupon for a special occasion, or packages of mini-massage coupons to keep on hand for last-minute gifts, or for times when they need to give presents to many people for one occasion.

If you’re not currently selling Gift Coupons, consider adding this income-generator to your offerings. If you do offer them – but don’t sell as many as you’d like – try these13 ideas to boost your sales:

1. Promote Gift Coupons for holidays. Plan promotions for each holiday and start your campaign 4-6 weeks before the date. The month of June, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mothers Day are the 3 biggest holidays for Gift Coupon sales, so plan accordingly not to miss out on these golden opportunities. Get the word out to your clients via email, postal mail, phone calls, social media and office signs. 

2. Make Gift Coupons visible. Create a display in your reception area, ideally where clients can see it when they check in and again when check out. Have a sign saying something like: “Share the Gift of Health for Someone Special!” And be sure to mention it, in case they’re in a hurry and  don’t read the sign. 

3. Display signs to promote your Gift Coupons. An ideal place to post a sign is on the back of the treatment room door, so clients see it as they leave the room. Make sure you have attractive signs visibly posted throughout your office. Another good display area is the restroom – in clear view of the toilet! 

4. Talk to clients in person. When people come in for appointments near holidays, remind them that you sell Gift Coupons. There’s no need for pushy sales. Simply remind them that Gift Coupons are available for wonderful healthy gifts – much better than a bottle of scotch! 

5. Send out reminders. Make phone calls, mail postcards and/or send email to remind clients that Gift Coupons make great last-minute gifts because they are easy to buy and they are appropriate for all sizes, all ages, all genders and all occasions. Offer to postal mail or email the Gift Coupon to the recipient. 

6. Offer an incentive. For more sales, make sure there’s something in it for the buyer! If the buyer is a client, give them a value-added service at their next appointment – something that does not increase your time or cost. Examples: Integrate hot stones into a massage, add a special recipe with nutrition counseling or a customized asana series for a yoga student. See what you can come up with that fits your modality, and give the client extra value without adding to your cost. 

7. Send a letter. Be sure to contact inactive as well as active clients. Emphasize how easy it is to shop for everyone on their gift list for many occasions. Offer to sell by phone or on your website, making sure you’re prepared to accept credit card payments. 

8. Offer shorter time frames. Instead of selling Gift Coupons for one-hour appointments, sell just half-hour times. If your service or product is not time-based, consider a smaller offering that still provides value. With a lower cost per unit, people are likely to purchase more, which will increase your overall sales. 

9. Offer to upgrade. When the Gift Coupon recipient calls to schedule their appointment, offer to add additional time or service for an additional fee. For example, a 30-minute treatment could be upgraded to 60 minutes, or acupuncture could include moxa. They see it as getting a bargain, such as a 60-minute massage for the cost of 30 minutes. Again, if your business is not time-based like massage, think of a low-cost, high-value upgrade that you can offer.  

10. Sell only high-quality Gift Coupons. Use full-color professional printing on large cards with envelopes, to increase the Gift Coupon’s perceived value. Or have plastic renewable gift cards made. 

11. In addition to Gift Coupons, you can offer other gift items from your retail area, and make up gift bags which include a Gift Coupon and a few small gifts. 

12. A big seller in my massage practice is packets of 4 or 8 multiple Gift Coupons for mini-massages – 15 or 30 minute sessions. People love these when they have lots of gifts for one occasion, such as a bridal shower, or to keep on hand for last-minute gifts when they don’t have time to shop. Recipients are always invited to upgrade to a longer session when they call to schedule. 

13. Set up a Gift Coupon Station. I have a special table that I decorate for each for each important Gift Coupon occasion – Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Bridal, Graduation and Christmas. Include flowers and/or balloons; pens, envelopes & stamps (offer to mail for them); a sign, price list, sample GCs, extra gifts. 

I recommend using the terms Gift Coupon, Gift Voucher and Gift Card instead of Gift Certificate, and here’s why: Most states have laws about the expiration date on gift certificates, usually 1-5 years from date of purchase. (Here in Hawaii, it’s 2 years). Coupons, on the other hand, are allowed a short expiration time – days or weeks.(think about all those grocery coupons with expire dates – can’t do that on a gift certificate!) Because we want those gift recipients to come in ASAP and not lose track of their gift, a Gift Coupon with a 7-30 day expiration will encourage them to redeem their coupon soon – before they lose it! This also gives you a sooner opportunity to educate them about the benefits of ongoing care and get them on your regular schedule.

 If you don’t sell Gift Coupons, consider adding this income-booster to your services. If you don’t sell as many as you’d like – try these effective ideas to boost your sales! Remember – each Gift Coupon recipient is a potential regular client who will also buy Gift Coupons and refer others!

How to Give Prospects What They Need!

How to Give Prospects What They Need!

Image result for benefits  “I’ve been in business for 100 years and I got my XYZ degree from ABC School and I use blah-blah-blah techniques and yada-yada-yada.”

Most wellness entrepreneurs, when talking about their services, make the same mistake – talking about themselves in excruciatingly boring detail.

News flash – nobody cares! I cringe when I hear a practitioner talk to their prospects this way, because I know they’re losing potential clients every time someone hears or reads this kind of marketing message! These practitioners are talking about what they do to clients, not what they do for them – what real benefits they offer and what results clients can expect. They just tell people, “All about me!”

If you’ve been doing this, don’t kick yourself. You can easily turn it around – right here, right now! Learn how to refine your approach to client attraction by making it all about them! 

Here’s a simple 3-step process to clarify what’s in it for your prospects by spelling it out in your marketing materials – the benefits and results clients will get from your services:

1. First, think about your prospect’s biggest problem, pain or challenge, as pertains to your work.

2. Then ask yourself exactly what you do for clients – what results do you give them, how do you resolve their biggest challenges?

3. Finally, word it in a way that makes someone with that problem want to work with you. Make it about them, and make it clear that you hold the key to the solution they need – not just any acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, counseling – but your treatment, your services, your care.

Until you can tell someone what’s in it for them to work with you, they won’t pay much attention or take you seriously. As they say in the marketing industry: “Speak to their pain.” You get people’s attention when they read or hear about a solution that is personally relevant to them and their own experience. One way to do this is to focus on the benefits of your work – the results people can expect from working with you.

Effective client attraction is based on creating client-friendly marketing messages. One of the most important concepts to understand is the difference between a feature and a benefit:

Features are the characteristics of a product or service. Benefits are how those features help the customer. You don’t buy a car because it has airbags. You buy a car with airbags because it’s safer in a crash. You are buying safety and peace of mind. A feature of a product is its size, shape, purpose, capacity, etc. Airbags are a feature, safety is a benefit. Spinal manipulation is a feature of chiropractic care, greater mobility and less pain are the benefits to the client. A low-fat diet is a feature of nutritional counseling, weight loss and more energy are benefits.

In the healthcare professions, features of your practice are things like the modalities, techniques and equipment you use, such as a computerized nutritional analysis or a pregnancy massage table. Those things are about the practitioner or the practice, not the client. Make your marketing and your practice about the clients – what you do for them.

A benefit or result is what the product or service does for a client, the solution it presents. A contoured cervical pillow provides comfort; the shape is a feature, comfort is the benefit. See the difference? In health care, benefits could be: reduced pain, improved function, better sleep, less anxiety, weight loss, more energy, for example. This is what you should emphasize when describing how you help people.

Do you see how this benefit-focused marketing approach grabs the attention of prospects? Doesn’t it make sense that people are more likely to work with you if they clearly see how you can help them? Isn’t hearing about the benefits to them more client-attractive than a list of features about you and your business? A list of your techniques is of little interest to potential clients. Remember what they are interested in – themselves! What they are most preoccupied with is their issues, their problems.

Make sure your marketing clearly show the benefits your clients will get from working with you. The solutions you provide should specifically match the needs of your Ideal Client. Everyone wants to know WIIFM – “What’s In It For Me?” The more you clarify exactly how you help people, the easier you make it for them to see your work as the solution to their problem!

The Ripple Effect of Referrals

The Ripple Effect of Referrals

Image result for ripples in pond

Picture what happens when you throw a stone into a lake – the ripple effect! Compare this image to a new client being referred into your wellness practice. If one person refers someone, that’s great, but it’s just a tiny ripple that doesn’t go very far. If 20 people each refer someone, that’s 20 ripples that go farther and last longer. If those 20 each refer 20, that’s 400 ripples creating a tidal wave in your business! Do your referrals create a tiny ripple or a tidal wave?

Research shows that on average most people know about 300 people. The 300 people that you know each know 300 people, and they each know another 300, and so on.

Do your 300 people all know about your wellness business? Do they all know that you want to get referrals through word-of-mouth? Do they know how to refer people to you? They probably would be happy to send others your way, but you need to educate them on how to refer, using these 3 criteria:

1. Why to refer (the best clients come from trusted sources)

2. Who to refer (your target market, your Ideal Clients)

3. How to refer (with a system or process)

The ultimate goal of marketing is not just to attract clients; it is to develop a 100% referral-based practice consistently filled with Ideal Clients. So ideally, as you implement various marketing strategies, all of your clients eventually will come by word-of-mouth recommendations from people in one of four key contact groups:

 1. Personal Contacts

2. Professional Contacts

3. Prominent Contacts

4. Power Contacts

 Let’s explore each of these 4 referral sources in detail as they relate to your marketing:

 4 Referral Groups

1. Personal Contacts: Family and Friends. These are people who know, like and trust you the most. They are your unpaid support team – ambassadors of goodwill for your business! These are the people you market to in Everyday Marketing – family and friends you see frequently and casually as part of your normal, everyday life.

Sure, most of them know basically what you do for a living. But do they really know exactly what you do? Do your parents know? Do they know what services you offer? How about your siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins? Do they know who’s in your niche and what their challenges are? What about your best friends? Do they know the benefits, results and solutions you provide?

Have any of these people experienced your work? Could they accurately describe your work to a potential referral? Have you educated your Personal Contacts on how to identify Ideal Clients and refer them? Start with those you know best. Start informing them, educating them, and asking them for referrals! Go ahead – don’t be shy! They love you and want the best for you. They will take pride in helping you be successful!

2. Professional Contacts: Clients, Customers, Colleagues, Business Associates. This group is made up of people you meet in your business environment – clients, colleagues and business associates. Your clients are a goldmine of referrals! They could be your most reliable referrers – even more than friends and family – because they are currently working with you, making them genuinely enthusiastic, with your benefits fresh in their mind! Former clients are also a good source of referrals. People are more likely to act on a recommendation from a happy client than from your doting dad!

The second group of Professional Contacts is colleagues – other health professionals with whom you have a lot in common because of your similar work. You may already know them through structured or informal networking, through other business endeavors, by reputation in your community or from a social setting. Some of them might be your friends, or your competitors, while others may serve the same niche but with a different service from yours.

Business Associates are people other than colleaguesthose with whom you come in contact in the course of doing business – both retail and services – such as your landlord, mail carrier, office janitor, web designer, bank clerk, florist, plumber, pharmacist and so forth. They usually have at least a general awareness of your business or know you by reputation. Their work connections make them particularly suited to recommend you to others. Just let them know in a friendly chat that you welcome their referrals!

I have gotten clients from all of these Professional Contacts, and more! Think of everyone you do business with in one way or another. How many Professional Contacts can you add to your list?

3. Prominent Contacts: The Millionaire Matchmakers of the Business World! They are natural networkers who know many people, are popular and well-connected, and have a knack for matching up people who can help each other in some way. You may meet them in many places – work, family and social events, community work, church, school, café, sports or networking. They connect with a lot of people on a regular basis, they are skilled at making connections between people and enjoy making referrals.

You don’t interact with Prominent Contacts as often in your everyday life. It is a more formal business relationship, so you will need to make extra effort to connect with them. But it is well worth your time to do so, because they hold a key to much potential growth for your business.

You don’t need a lot of Prominent Contacts – because they know so many people that they will do a lot of promotion for you in the natural course of their life. But you do need to keep in touch consistently over time with your Prominent Contacts. Don’t drop them like a hot potato after you meet with them or after they refer someone. Keep them up-to-date on your progress. Once they refer someone to you, they will take a more personal interest in your expanding success because they have helped make it happen, so their reputation is on the line, as well as yours! They have invested in you by trusting you with someone they know. They will most likely continue to refer if you keep yourself and your biz fresh in their mind with regular contact through email and postal update letters, your weekly ezine and personal meetings.

4. Power Contacts: Major Source of Your Niche. Power Contacts connect with many people and have the potential for many referrals. Power Contacts are individuals, organizations, services, companies or stores that serve your target population. They may or may not be in a business similar to yours, and you may not know them as you do your family, friends and colleagues.

Their customers may be your Ideal Clients, even though people go to them for different reasons than they go to your business. For example, customers don’t shop at a natural foods store for acupuncture or a neck adjustment. But the store can be a rich source of clients for you as a practitioner – once you learn how to open this treasure chest of referrals! You may meet some of these key people or businesses through a networking group, through a mutual acquaintance, by their presence in your community or even cold-call them from the phone book.

Make lists of everyone you know in each of the four categories of contacts: Personal, Professional, Prominent and Power. Call or write them one-by-one, until you have reached everyone on every list! Invite them to meet with you to discuss your business. Make it easy for them to refer by giving them coupons or vouchers to give to their contacts. And of course, make sure all your referral sources have a stash of your business cards.

By tapping into these 4 profitable sources of referrals, you will grow your business and be able to share your gifts with a larger audience of Ideal Clients! The Ripple Effect – tiny splash or tidal wave – the choice is yours!

Make More Money by Working for Free!

Make More Money by Working for Free!

In my massage therapy business, I have made most of my money from giving away free treatments!

“Wha-at?” you say! “How do you make money by working for free?”

Do you offer free introductory sessions? I long ago lost count of the hundreds of repeat paying clients I have acquired from this marketing strategy! Even after 40 years as a remedial massage therapist, the Discovery Session continues to be my primary client attraction tool. It consists of a mini-massage treatment and a casual conversation about the client’s needs and how my work can help them.

Many wellness entrepreneurs are opposed to the strategy of offering free sessions. Their “reasons” include:

– It lessens my credibility.

– It’s unprofessional.

– It cheapens the value of my work.

– I can’t afford to work for free.

– People will take the freebie and run!

While I understand these objections, I take a different view. I know from experience that it’s possible to build a steady base of repeat clients by giving away services. But for it to work right, you need a system.

Letting prospects sample your services by giving free sessions is one of the most powerful client attraction strategies you can use to promote your practice and build your client base. This doesn’t mean you set up on a local street corner and offer freebies to every tire-kicker who comes along!

On the other hand, no-cost sessions are very effective when offered to a qualified prospect who has shown interest in working with you. For example, if your website offers a free report on how to choose a [your modality], the people who request the free report are qualified prospects.  You don’t have to sell them on anything because they are already interested in learning about what you do. People who are not interested will not request it. Your website offer automatically filters out those who aren’t a good fit for your business.

When these potential clients receive your Free Report, they see that it also has a Free Offer, in addition to your high-value information! Again, those who request the offer are strongly interested in what you offer. When they call for the free Discovery Session, you have a few options at this point. You can either:

1. Invite them for the free mini-session, giving you the opportunity to invest your time with people who are good candidates to continue as clients. Isn’t the potential to get a long-term loyal client worth this small investment of your time and energy?

2. Offer to upgrade their free mini-session to a full session for an additional fee. For instance, as a massage therapist I give a free 30-minute session, and offer to upgrade to 60 minutes for half of the regular massage fee. Most prospective clients see this as getting a full treatment for half price! A nutrition counselor could give a free nutrition assessment and offer a few tips on improving the diet. What could your upgrade offer be?

3. Offer a virtual mini-session with a phone or Skype consultation. You will follow the same system as an in-person session, having a conversation about their needs and your solutions, and giving them a little sample of what it would be like to work with you! You could also offer a take-away bonus, such as a hand-out, download or an exercise that they can take immediate action on. Think about the implications of this strategy for your wellness practice!

Offer them your solution to their problem, letting them know that you’re here to serve them, that help and relief are available!  With the free Discovery Session, you serve them in 2 ways:

1. By giving them a sample experience of your work. “This will give you a little/temporary/partial help while we figure out your next step.” This implies that you have the solution, that they will get some immediate relief, that you want to continue working with them and it gets them curious about what that “next step” could be.

2. By offering them a long-term solution to their problem. “If I could show you a way that you could improve/eliminate/deal with ____, would you be interested in hearing about that today?” Rarely does anyone say no; the majority of people answer “Yes!”

Please note that we’re calling your free sample a mini-session. It should NOT be a full session! It’s a short session in which you pack a lot of your value into a little of your time! Remember – you are investing your time, not spending it!  As with most investments, we expect a return of more than we put into it. If you consistently invest quality time with potential clients, you will see a big return on your investment!

Giving free treatments can serve as your primary client attraction strategy if done with a system designed to attract loyal, long-term clients! I continue to fill my massage practice using this approach, so I strongly encourage you to give it a try!

Avoid Summer Slowdown Syndrome!

Avoid Summer Slowdown Syndrome!

Summer – as the temperature goes up, your practice can go down – before you realize it’s happening! So you need to get crackin’ now to prevent Summer Slowdown Syndrome!It’s early May and not a moment too soon to start your summer marketing campaign!

Image result for almost summerWhat causes Summer Slowdown Syndrome? Clients – even the ideal ones – tend to disappear from your wellness practice over the summer. Schedules change, people travel, kids are out of school, summer guests visit. Your practice can get off track with fewer clients, causing a big dip in your income. Then you’re faced with a challenging recovery to get back in gear for Fall.

Or… you can plan ahead for a sizzling hot summer business and a smooth transition into a busy, productive Fall!

Preparation is the key to avoiding Summer Slowdown in your holistic healthcare practice. Plan and prepare now, in the last few weeks before summer. Don’t wait until business slows down – that’s like fixing the roof when it’s raining! 

Clients often take a summer break from treatment, causing a serious setback in your income. Plan ahead to keep your holistic health practice thriving through the summer!

Here are 10 strategies to help your wellness practice survive Summer Slowdown Syndrome:

1. Target a Sub-Niche! While many people travel during the summer, others opt for a “staycation” – offer them a summer special. More summer target groups: Teachers and school personnel; children & teens; summer tourists; summer athletes; houseguests of your friends and clients!

2. Offer Packages and Programs! Enroll clients in prepaid, prescheduled treatment series, starting now with a ‘drip campaign’. When set up properly, packages minimize summer drop-outs, making your schedule and your income more predictable.

3. Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse! Offer an irresistibly good deal on your Summer Vacation Package – a series of treatments focusing on a specific condition, problem or issue, with special summer pricing. Emphasize the benefits of staying on-track with regular health care over the summer.

Please share your client-attractive Summer Vacation Package in the Comments below!

4. Host a Class, Workshop or Event! You can make more money per hour with groups than with individual sessions, while clients save on the cost of private lessons. Teach basic techniques, for example “Simple Summer Self-Care” or “Fun Foods for Families.”

5. Market to Summer Visitors – If you live in a place with summer tourism, target this market. Also let clients know about your Summer Guest Special for their visiting family and friends. Sell a package of mini-massages that an entire family could share, for example, or a spa service could offer a Summer Skin Care Special. My Golfer’s Advantage is popular with tourists year-round at the luxury resorts near my home. Contact hotels, inns, resorts, vacation rental managers and B&Bs; explain your services and ask for their referrals. Go public in a big way with your marketing.

6. Join Summer Fun and Games! Volunteer with summer sports teams – your kids’, your own or community teams! It’s a golden opportunity to market your practice to teammates, coaches and parents!

7. Start a Worksite Employee Health Program! Contact a local business about offering their employees a brief introductory consult or treatment at their work location. This strategy magnetically draws Ideal Clients into your office!

Which of these sizzling hot summer strategies appeals to you the most? Please share your inspirations in the Comments below!

Uh-oh! What if you get a late start with summer planning and your business drops off? First of all, go to your calendar for next spring and schedule some consistent time for summer marketing, so you don’t get left behind again next year! Go on – do it now – schedule next year’s summer marketing! And then come back here for the last three of our 10 strategies for summer success!

Here’s how to use the extra time created by Summer Slowdown to your most profitable advantage!

8. Tackle a Big Project! Take advantage of reduced client time to do something that you’ve been putting off –a website, continuing education, order new products, write articles, teach a workshop. Be sure to mention your project in your ezine. (What – no ezine?! Start one during summer slowdown!)

9. Take a Vacation! Recharge yourself with some TLC for the upcoming busy Fall and Winter seasons. Go on a trip, or simply relax at home. Hang out with family and friends. Play tourist in your local area. Get some good self-care – bodywork, exercise, rest, fresh summer produce.

10. Prepare Your Fall Launch! Spend 30-60 minutes each day during the summer to plan and promote Fall programs such as: Back-to-School Specials for teachers, staff, coaches, students, pediatricians and parents; Athlete’s Advantage for real and armchair athletes during football season; healthy Trick-or-Treat Bags for clients and prospects; a Winter Holiday Party!

Preparation is the key to avoiding Summer Slowdown. Clients – even ideal ones – can tend to disappear from your practice over the summer, because many people – especially families – have different schedules and activities. Don’t let that cause a big drop in your income! Plan and prepare now, in the last few weeks before summer, with these 10 strategies to create yourSizzling Hot Summer Success!

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