Congratulations! You have completed a course in your chosen complementary therapy and taken the first steps towards a rewarding and varied career. You’ve worked hard to perfect your craft and built a whole wealth of skills in the process, but the hard work is far from over.
What your fledgling business needs now is a solid base of clients – and lots of them! Over the next three months we’ll be exploring how to attract new clients, how to keep them coming back and how to get your visitors promoting your services to their friends and family.
There are many ways to entice a new potential customer to your business, and they needn’t cost a lot. Some savvy planning and a little effort to get your advertising right will set you on the right path.
Here are our top tips for attracting new clients to your treatment room:
The perfect client!
Defining your ideal customer is essential practise for any business selling a product or service. Until you have identified your target customer, how will you know how to direct your promotions? Spend some time looking at the sorts of clients you have already; what age are they? What treatments do they choose? What is their estimated income? Do they work, are they retired? What are their interests? Now think about what your ideal customers will be like and create a profile of information about them.
Now that your customer profiling is complete, you need to check that your business is appealing to your target market. Run a market research exercise with people who fit the description of your ideal client. A short and simple questionnaire should do the trick. Start with a group of people you know, asking a few simple questions. You’ll be surprised how much you learn.
Make it memorable!
Business cards and flyers are a fantastic way to advertise your business at low cost, particularly if you are trying to attract clients from a particular area. If you are going to spend out on marketing your business, getting the perfect logo, card and flyer really is a sound investment. If your budget allows, work with a graphic designer to do this – they will make sure your branding is relevant and most importantly memorable. For tighter budgets try online business card creation services like Vistaprint, but be sure to pick something that stands out and reflects your business appropriately.
Having identified your ideal client, have a look at some of the places that might appeal to them and get your card or flyer up in a visible spot. A flyer in the library might appeal to parents, or retired people. A card in a trendy café might appeal to a younger or more affluent customer. Put cards and flyers up in as many relevant places as possible, even if this doesn’t secure immediate bookings, having seen your advertising, your brand will be the first to mind when customers are searching for a therapist.
Show, don’t tell
There is no better way for your client to experience your treatment than first hand. Try working with local community wellness groups or local businesses to offer taster sessions at events and open days. You could charge a nominal fee for each treatment or offer to run them for free in return for advertising your treatments. Be sure to take plenty of business cards for your potential customers to take away.
Many customers will start their search for a therapist on the internet and if your business does not appear in their search, you’ll be overlooked completely. If you are not planning to develop your own website, registering your details with Google Places can be a fantastic and free way of gaining visibility online.
Sticking with the digital theme, a good social media profile is a great way to advertise your business for free. Use the images you have developed for your branding to set up a professional looking company page with lots of information about your products and services, as well as contact details. Asking your clients to leave you a review is also a great way to gain the trust of potential new customers, before they contact you.
Share and share alike
A smart way to engage new customers is by recommendation from another professional. Speak with chiropractors, osteopaths, yoga teachers and talk therapists in your area and ask if you can swap cards with them to share with your clients. Be sure to share their cards in return.
Level 3 courses at Brighton Holistics include an in-depth module on how to market your business. This unique approach allows you to develop a full business plan ready for the launch of your new venture. Find out more by clicking here.