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Are you findable? Take these simple yet essential steps to promote your business. Bonus - they are all free!

How are you growing your client base? You need to let local people know that you exist, even better you want them to seek you out. But is your business findable?

Discoverability is key and there are a few key steps everyone can take to be sure you get found. We've put together our favourite five free ways to being findable.

First of all it's important to spend some time identifying who it is you are looking to attract to your business. Once you know your target market you can start to put into place the ways those people will find you.

Step 1 - How can you get your business to show up on Google?

To be successful online there is one golden rule, you must be findable! If you were looking for a reflexologist in your local area online what would you do? One of the most common approaches is a google search. How else do we find anything out these days!

We often hear from therapists that they have tried all the best practice to get their websites ranking highly on Google searches only to have the algorithm change and for their business to disappear, if indeed they made it to that ever illusive first page of Google. Well Google have provided a simple and free way to bypass the need for market leading SEO. Following the simple steps to create and claim your free business profile ensures that when people search for a 'Reflexologist near me' as an example they will see you there, pin dropped on the map, link to your website if you have one, telephone number and even reviews if you have some! All for free. Go on, give us a reason why not to take advantage of this?!

With a free Google Business Profile, you get more than a business listing. Your free Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps.'

Step 2 - How can you share your business online without a website?

If you are just starting out or don't yet have the budget for a website (or simply don't feel you need a website) then we would suggest you set up a business page on social media... Don't scroll straight past this! We understand that this can seem daunting, especially if you aren't on social media yourself. There is a great deal of pressure for people to ace their social media presence, post regular updates, post at the right times of day, post in the most effective formats, have a huge social following and the list goes on! It's no wonder people feel this isn't an option for them. Think about what you need from this - a small following of local people who fit your target market and engage with you is extremely valuable. If you focus on sharing what they will like or need then you will be successful in growing your following effectively.

Social media really seems to be the marmite of the marketing industry! Love it or hate it there's not really any avoiding the value for therapists to have a presence on social media. If you don't yet have a website it can take on that role of being a place that clients can not only find you but gain a little more information and reassurance that you are genuine. Take Facebook for instance, you can provide contact details, gather recommendations from clients, post treatment lists, share photos and branding, take bookings, advertise offers and most importantly join the conversation all for zero cost!

A common myth busted about Facebook now based on conversations we have had at the Academy - yes you do need to have a personal account in order to create your business page, however you can keep your personal page private and it can be empty if you don't wish to use it.

A great feature for making the most of social media is that you can add locations to your social posts. There will most likely be local groups or complementary businesses to network with also - this all helps to raise awareness and build a profile in your local area.

Step 3 - Think local... How can you make your business more visible locally?

If you can have signage locally to capture footfall then that is fantastic. But what if you can't take advantage of this? Let's get creative here - are there complementary businesses who would benefit from sharing your business? An example of this is if you are a mobile therapist; find local holiday lets or hotels who don't have their own spa setting. They may benefit by enabling their guests to book a treatment with you. Alternatively are there local groups who would benefit from a demonstration of your treatments or a masterclass - for example a local business whose workers are sat at a desk all day or gardening group who would benefit from a demonstration of stretches or self-care.

Step 4 - Talk the talk

Practice summing up what you do in one or two lines. Imagine you had to fit your elevator pitch onto a post it. The key to this is to think about what makes you different. Your clients could go to anyone so what makes them pick you and keep coming back to you. Is it the way you make them feel? Do you offer something no one else does? Know your unique selling point and have a very clear, concise and compelling message to give to everyone you meet. Networking doesn't have to happen in formal settings so tell the world what you love to do and the passion you have for it. People buy from people so sell yourself and the knowledge you've worked so hard to gain!

Step 5 - Word of mouth

By far the most valuable form of marketing is recommendations and rave reviews from your clients. Your clients will tell their friends and family about their experience with your business and can be your biggest cheerleaders. Social proof is so important to inform and reassure buyer behaviour. Always ask for feedback and simply check it's ok to use for your marketing - whether its reviews and recommendations on google, social media or via email for your website or marketing materials - always ask!

The key to this is to always keep in mind your target market demographic and consider how and where they will seek out your expertise. Marketing doesn't have to be costly especially when you are starting out.

Did you know the Cotswold Academy website has a page on the website where we can share your business? Our Find a Therapist page helps link people up with therapists in their area. Simply let us know if you'd like to feature.

At the Academy we run regular workshops and courses to support you throughout your journey into this industry and beyond.

Thursday Evenings - Free Weekly Drop-in Session

Our Thursday Evenings are designed to give you practical hands on guidance and discuss any issues that have you stumped in your clinic.

Building your Business in Complementary Health & Sport - Free Workshop via Zoom

This workshop is focused on working out what your target market will be, but more importantly, how you will get yourself in front of those groups of people. Throughout the workshop there are opportunities to share ideas with other therapists and hear from Chris Phillips, Principal of the Academy about his journey into the industry and the tips and tricks of marketing yourself to drive success.

BRAND NEW: Kickstart Your Therapy Business - Two Day Course

This two day immersive experience is for holistic and sports therapists alike looking to give their business the kickstart it needs to go from classroom to clients. Equally for anyone working within the health and sport industry in a place where they feel their marketing needs a refresh this will enable you to hit the reset button.