Many people are hesitant to try something new. So what do you do when you want to convince potential clients to give your work a try? Giving people samples is one strategy that has worked for many. Here are some tips on how to reach people with brief, inexpensive samples of your work.
7 Steps to Reaching New People with your Skills
Decide what kind of clients you really want in your practice. Do you like using your skills to: reduce the strain of pregnancy, help people with chronic pain, assist athletes in staying at their peak? Your goal will determine where you want to go. Whatever your targeted group, choose a group of people who are willing and able to pay your fees.
Brainstorm a list of venues. Consider setting up in natural food stores, gyms, salons, athletic events, other health practitioners’ offices, work sites — or any place that has lots of foot traffic. Now narrow the list so that the site fits the client. Here are two examples.
- If you want to fill your practice with people who are dealing with work stress or recovering from work-related injuries, get permission to set up in fitness centers, salons, or juice bars in the business district after work hours.
- If you want to do more sports massage, set up a table at a sponsored run or a massage chair at a gym.
Cultivate your contacts. Make friends with the person who supervises the location, whether it’s a shop owner, receptionist, or event planner. Offer that person a free session or give him or her a discount coupon to use in the future. Make sure she or he has a handful of your business cards, flyers, and brochures. If you’ve been friendly, you will probably get help spreading the word.
Gather the supplies you need to offer $5 or $10 brief sessions. A massage chair is usually best, but for some groups like athletes a table is better. If necessary, you can use a regular chair to give upper body massage or energy work. Bring a cash box, so you can easily make change. Have cleanser or wipes on hand to keep the chair or table clean.
Get contact information. Use a simple intake form, so you can ensure client safety, and be sure to include space for their name, address, and email address. Get permission to mail or email follow-up offers like discounts or specials, newsletters, or more in-depth information on topics of interest. For example, massage for women or massage for headaches.
Give each person your full attention. Listen well to their needs, and let them know where and how they can find you.
Give people a chance to reschedule or stay in touch. Have your appointment book out, and make sure they leave with your business card, brochure, or both.
It’s sometimes hard to connect with potential clients, but if you offer affordable care at their convenience, they will have little to lose by giving it — and you — a try!