This is the part where I see so many practitioners go blank! Being in a space, helping people solve problems - that's what we are good at.. promoting ourselves? often not so much..
1. HOW DO I EXPLAIN WHAT I DO? I could talk forever on this topic and in the future I will. But for now, lets keep it simple.. don't describe what you do, describe how you make people feel. For example - I'm a Kinesiologist. But how I describe what I do is -" I work with anxiety, autoimmune and learning". If I have more time/ can go deeper I say "I'm a natural therapist that works with.....". What you'll find is that people will look for a connection with one of those things and expand on it with their own story such as "Oh I have a son with anxiety". Then you've formed a genuine connection with that person. There's also no checking out because they don't understand, re-explaining "no, you're thinking of iridology" or the dreaded question "what's that?!". If you don't yet know what you work with - just pick something that you would like to work more with. You can change it up (no-one will know!). The worst thing you can do to make people check out is describe the therapy in detail.. for example "a kinesiologist uses muscle testing to.../ homeopathy is....".. it's too much new information and words for someone to process! They will check out if they are unfamiliar with it. Once you have a conversation flowing then you can add in the details in a relaxed and conversational manner. This goes for print material, talks etc as well. Give people words that they can connect to. We have offered ourselves as service to the community - so explain why your services are of benefit!
2. HAVE 7 WAYS OF GETTING YOUR NAME OUT THERE People will generally hear your name/ connect to your service at least 3 times before making an appointment! So the general rule of thumb is to get your message out there in 7 different ways. Don't just put out some business cards and wait - especially in todays bombarded society, people need to really feel safe and connected before making a step into an unknown. This is also why word of mouth is our biggest friend as therapists. Start with one a week/month :-) Here are some options: * Flyers/Postcards - make them informative, not just about you (see point 1) - why would I pick up your flyer? Because I want help. * Talks on specific topics - online and in person. I'm in a new town so I'm holding a "Let's Talk" series. I've done anxiety, autoimmune & gut health so far. I have sooo many more issues to talk about so I'm holding one a month in my clinic. * E-Newsletters - again don't just introduce yourself.. make it something that they will want to pass onto their friends. I have always done this authentically, from the heart and shared a piece of wisdom which I have come to myself. You can also share stories, how tos, did you knows or recipes etc. * Facebook groups - if you're a mum, join the local mums groups and offer advice when others post questions. Look for other groups such as local health and wellness groups, or even community noticeboard groups and reply to questions posed (always mentioning that you're a local therapist!) * Drop your business cards in random places - wherever you can! Public toilets, park seats, play grounds etc. * Instagram - connect to other local businesses, share posts, tag, message them and ask them for coffee. * Networking - this is my favourite! Meet people in your local networking groups. One you'll meet people who are in all stages of business and who can help you to grow yours and two you'll form friendships with people who love to promote! The friendships I established in my networking days were genuine and so supportive to me. Even 5 -10 years after leaving the groups I will run into people on the street and have a hug and a catch up. It's also handy when you're growing your business and need things like signage and conveyancers! Just google "local networking groups" and try them all - even if they push you out of your comfort zone :-) * Blog - you can do them written, in audio version (podcasts) or Vlog (you tube videos) it's the same as the newsletters, except a blog is essential for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) - i.e. getting your name at the top of google! Plus it helps people really understand who you are and if they connect to the way you write/talk then they will be trusting of you before they walk in the door, or be likely to talk about you to their friends even if they haven't met you because you offered them such comfort/education when they needed it. * Hold events and workshops- you can start with holding one with someone who has a database if you don't have one of your own yet. Or leave the flyers everywhere you can! * Build your referral network - another favourite! Get in contact with other therapists in the area - I write letters saying hi, this is what I do, I would love to catch up, I offer free sessions, I pop into the clinics and introduce myself and take cards, I refer as much as I can/is of genuine help to the client, I get treatments myself.. I've met some beautiful therapist friends when they have done simple things like email me asking for a coffee catch up.Build your own 'table' in your local community! * Get creative! Leave handwritten cards offering pieces of wisdom/advice, put stickers everywhere, do beautiful instagram shots, hold a stall at a local market selling little potions. 3. USE APPS LIKE CANVA It's so easy these days to get a professional look with your marketing. One of my favourites to use is Canva (www.canva.com). It has all of your templates needed for facebook posts, e-books, banners, flyers- everything! I payed a graphic designer to get some looks and a professional logo then I'm able to use Canva for all of the little bits of marketing I do.
4. BUILD THAT COMMUNITY As we head into the new yin world, people are searching for more community and connection 'to their tribe'. The work we do as practitioners provides a natural point of contact. I believe it's important to keep that connection outside of the clinic room and building your community is one way of doing it. To keep in contact with your tribe/community you need to store their contact details in a database. Mailchimp is the one that I use for this. It links to my booking system so that every clients details naturally join my mailing list (just have a check box on your intake form) and i have an opt in on my website. Most people these days provide a little something for joining their mailing list - I have a "Healthy Eating PDF" that gets emailed automatically from Mailchimp when they join my list from my website. There's no right way of building your community. There are plenty of programs etc that can teach you how to reach people through sales funnels, landing pages etc. I'm a firm believer in it all coming from the heart and connecting in a way that is authentic to you so do your research on what's available and use the programs that fit who you are.
5. GET YOUR WEBSITE RIGHT The way that people will generally connect to you and your message nowadays is via your website. The little things like spelling mistakes, links that don't work, dysfunctional layouts and pages that don't make sense can all turn people off before they even book. I recommend researching and finding websites that you like the layout of and getting a website designer to help you. Cat Doyle from Soothed.com has been my designer for 12 years and she specialises in Therapists websites. You can build your own with apps like wix, weebly and squarespace and it may be a good first option, but a website designer will make sure that your site is at a professional standard.
6. LET IT BE AN EVER EVOLVING THING! Just as we are never stagnant in our development, your marketing won't be either. Most people will change their logos colour and font after 1 year and then again at 2 years! Let it be a little imperfect. If you're getting stuck on finding a 'look' don't settle on one! Authenticity always trumps staged in the long term.
Other useful apps: * Typic - write on/ edit your photos to post on instagram and facebook * Animoto - professionally edit and write on your videos for you tube and other marketing. * Mailchimp - send out emails, keep your database, make lead pages, send auto replies etc * Photoforest - Stock photos for natural therapists! * Fiverr - For when you don't want to do it yourself and want to outsource! * Teachable -For your online courses * Zapier - one of my secret weapons - it allows you to set up automatic actions between software. For example, if I set up an online event through eventbrite, people can pay through eventbrite and through zapier I can create a link which will register that person into my zoom webinar and into my mailchimp list. * Zoom - an online meeting/webinar platform (you can also hold sessions through here if you do them online) * Eventbrite - online booking and payments for events