We’ve heard the following statements (or something like them) countless times from customers. Today I’m here to tell you they just ain’t the truth… or not the whole truth, anyway.
1. If I Build It, They Will Come
If simply opening your doors is your approach to gaining clients, you will almost certainly be disappointed. People have a variety of choices for wellness care, so just being available is not going to bring anyone in. You really do have to market yourself. Don’t immediately panic and think, “Oh no, I can’t afford yellow pages or direct mail.” Word-of-mouth marketing can be just as good, or even better, than advertising.
2. My Work Sells Itself
Yes, your hands-on skills need to be as good as I’m certain yours are. That said, if you don’t have a marketing plan, your chances for success are slim. If you don’t believe me, just listen to Stephanie Chandler, author of The Business Startup Check List & Planning Guide, “Marketing is an investment in your business. If you’re doing it right, it pays itself back and then some.”
3. I Work on Everybody
Actually you can’t work on everyone. Find a focus (or two) for your practice. I’m not saying you should decide, “I will ONLY do myofascial release!” But you may decide that you primarily want to help people with chronic headaches, fibromyalgia, and old injuries that aren’t improving. That will help you focus your marketing efforts, such as making presentations to particular kinds of groups and passing out business cards with a message that speaks to particular kinds of clients.
4. I Can’t Succeed Due to Competition
Having other practitioners in your community may be a good thing. If you network with them, you can learn from them (or with them). You can also learn by observing what other wellness businesses do. Where have your friends and family members experienced bodywork or other wellness therapies, and what do they say about it? How did they find out about the other businesses in the first place? Do your homework, learn what you can, and put that knowledge to good use in your own business.
5. I Can Quit My Day Job
If you are just starting out, you really owe it to yourself to be realistic. A newly established practice is not likely to pay the bills right away. Many people build small businesses while working at a job, which can keep your stress level manageable as you build your practice slowly and steadily.
[This article was adapted from a blog originally published on the Natural Touch Marketing blog site. We are posting it here for your benefit, and with permission.]
[Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]