There's no denying that as a therapist you wear a number of hats; therapist, business owner, bookkeeper, marketeer to name but a few! We talk a lot at the Academy about how best to manage our business to free us up to do what we do best - provide treatments to our clients.
There are many offline marketing strategies that will take your time and energy so we wanted to set out a few online strategies which if set up now will be an online presence 24/7 for you. A safety net working day or night for your business that we use ourselves. Whilst not an exhaustive list of the many, many options we are faced with these are the ones we favour and why. Hopefully this will prompt an impassioned debate on our social media and you will give us your key three in opposition! The more the merrier.
So why did we choose these three?
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! Admittedly there is one problem with this approach, what if people aren't actively looking for you? We recognise that sometimes we also need to promote ourselves to our target market wherever they are spending their time online. These are the strategies that we use ourselves and that have proven their worth time and again for us. We also selected the three that are affordable and easy to use, designed for beginners as well as more advanced users. We should say we also don't have shares or commissions in any of these platforms! :)
Our key three...
- Google Business ListingsWith a Google My Business Account, you get more than a business listing. Your free Business Profile lets you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps.' We are often told at the Building your Business workshop that therapists 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 listing ensures that when people search for a 'Reflexologist in Cheltenham' 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?!
- Social Media.It 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! It's been an invaluable resource for many during lockdown to be able to share out updates, promote products and gift vouchers, and even build waiting lists. 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.
- Facebook Advertising.There's a catch with this one! You have to know who your target audience is. The power of Facebook advertising is that you can target by location, age, interests, job titles, and many more aspects to a scandalous level of detail! Having worked in the advertising industry for over a decade I'm yet to come across more effective and efficient paid advertising to reach your target market this efficiently. Don't think the type of people you want to work with are on social media? As you go through the simple steps to set up a campaign you can literally find this out! Facebook will forecast how many people matching the demographics you set there are in the area for the cost that you choose. Let us give you an example using Chris' favourite target group of Gardeners in the local town. As I write this I can opt to spend £5 and target people aged over 55 in Cirencester who have an interest in Gardening, Facebook estimates that I could reach 700-2000 people - how cool is that!
So there we have it our three key places we are marketing our business online right now. Our approach is that we must be findable for those actively seeking our service AND we must seek out those in our target market who may be passive and promote our services to them. To help people actively searching for us on google we combine our listing, Google Ads and SEO to underpin our efforts. Then we also seek out our target market on social media through our feeds and through paid Facebook ads, which are also delivered across Instagram. Of course there are other options and we are always on the hunt for new ways to get our message out but with the resource we have this combination works well.
So what's stopping you?
Some of the reasons we hear for why therapists aren't marketing themselves online include fear of the unknown and not feeling they have the time or resource. We recommend investing the time or money. Find someone to manage it for you for a minimal outlay or get in touch with the Academy on a Thursday Evening and get a little support in setting it up yourself.