You need a cheerleader.
That’s what we’ve learned after talking to a slew of you during marketing consultations.
So here we go. Five cheerleader-y things for you.
1. You Are Absolutely Worth It.
You have studied. You have done your work. You have made the commitment. You — and your profession — deserve to be taken seriously. Yes. You really do.
So many massage therapists, estheticians, energy workers, etc. that we talk to are giving their services away in far too many fundraisers. Or are afraid of raising their rates. Or most of their clients respond only when a deep discount is offered.
When you diminish your “perceived value,” you diminish your Self.
Cheerleading practice: Go to the mirror right now, look yourself in the eye and say, “My rates are [$65] an hour.” Say it thirty-seven times. Smile, be pleasant, be confident.
2. Your Clients Want to Know What’s Going on.
Your clients should know if you are moving and where to. Your clients would like to be reminded that you have gift certificates available. Your clients want to know that you’ve just completed a new CE course on neck and shoulder work.
Telling your client what’s going on in your practice is simply good customer service. It’s good for them (you are thinking of them and acting for them) and it’s good for you (you are reminding them that you exist and prompting them to book a session). It is not an intrusion.
Cheerleading practice: Make a list of all the notable events in your practice for the first half of this year — classes you’ve taken, changes you’ve made, articles you’ve found that would be helpful to your clients. Each item on this list was a reason for you to contact your clients. Look ahead to the rest of the year. What’s on the horizon? Plan to contact your clients with your “news.”
3. You Are an Authority.
Just because a client is vaguely aware of how her knee bone connects to her shin bone, doesn’t mean she can make her leg work better. That’s your job. She trusts you. That’s why she goes to you. You are an authority on her knee, at the very least.
Cheerleading practice: Next time you’re at a stoplight, look at the person in the car next to you and think about what you could do to loosen up that person’s shoulder. Or neck. Or emotions. Whatever. You could do it, couldn’t you? Odds are no one in the cars around you could. There. You are an authority. (This doesn’t mean you’re superior, it just means you’re the local authority on necks, etc.)
4. Of Course You Could.
You could teach a class. You could write an article. Either one of those things would be a great way to stand out from other practitioners in your area.
The problem is that you are nervous about being on public display AND/OR you don’t feel like you have “enough experience,” that you “don’t have a right to be there.”
Again, you have studied. You have done your work. You have made the commitment. You have what it takes.
Cheerleading practice: Examine your daily life and find the place where you are the authority figure. Some people I talked to are moms who successfully practice positive discipline. Some are yoga teachers. Some have been school teachers. One (I love this one) was a barista and got personal satisfaction from selling more pastries than any other barista in the shop.
You all have been in a position where you direct other people’s movements and decisions. Bring that attitude with you when you are speaking or writing for the public.
Sidebar: One great exercise we did with a friend was to video her when she was talking to a client one-on-one. She was clearly in her comfort zone. We studied the tape and picked out certain physical postures she adopted when she was making an authoritative point. She consciously adopted those postures when she practiced to speak in public. When she put her body in the authority zone, her brain was more inclined to follow along. It worked for her. Think about it.
5. You Are More Than “Just A …”
When someone asks what you do, do you say, “Oh, I’m just a [massage therapist]”?
AAAIGH! NO! You are not “just a …”
The only time we want to here “just” in your self-description is when you say, “I help relieve allergy symptoms for just $65 a session.”
Listen folks, most people we’ve been talking to are obviously talented and committed. They lack confidence in themselves and, therefore, in their work.
When you have just a little confidence in your position, you will make just a little headway.
When you translate the belief you have in your work into clear communication with your clients and potential clients, you’re on the path to a more successful practice.
Surely there are more cheerleader-y things that you would like to add. Add ’em in the comments below. We can’t wait to see what you have to say.