Help! What Should I Write About in My Email Newsletters??
If you've been in the bodywork business for any amount of time, you know that you need to keep in touch with clients and prospective clients.
The idea is that folks need the chance to get to know you, to like you, and to trust you before they become your Raving Fans. But how do you do that? One of the easiest ways is to send out regular email newsletters.
The biggest concern bodywork therapists have is what the heck to write about. We delve into this in lots of detail in The Bodywork Project, but there are two main mistakes I see therapists make in your newsletters or blogs --
1. You only talk about sales you're having, or asking people to fill your schedule, and
2. You write way too much, and your clients don't read it because it's just too dang long.
You can avoid the first mistake by focusing each blog or newsletter on a certain topic. You can add a PS or sidebar to tell about a sale you may be having, but the focus of the article needs to bring value to the person reading it.
What are your readers interested in? What problems can you help them solve? What have you learned recently that may benefit them?
I see many therapists try to write way too much in an article. Remember, your clients and prospective clients are busy, and they are most likely skimming your article (just like you may be skimming this :) You can divide a large topic into more readable, shorter articles, and then you've got four or five written, rather than just one.
And don't forget to let your personality shine through. You don't have to be a literary hot shot to be sincere and authentic in your writing. Remember, you want your readers to get an idea of who you are and how you tick to see if they would be a good fit for you.
Here's one of my most popular articles from my hands-on client newsletter. I wrote this almost 10 years ago, and you'll notice there's no Call to Action, no pushy sales, no asking them to fill my schedule. It's just a chance for me to share my thoughts and feelings so readers can get a genuine sense of who I am. Check it out, and then post the topic of your most popular article in the comments. Can't wait to hear what's worked for you...
BODY IMAGE AND THE BEACH
I have a confession to make. Sometimes it's easier to know what to do than to actually do it. Case in point: body image.
Last summer, I was talking with a group of friends and told them, "It's finally happened. I've become one of those women who wear a skirty bathing suit bottom."
Dismayed, these friends (all of whom are younger than I and in terrific shape) informed me that I had to take the skirty bottom back to the store. That I was absolutely not allowed to think my thighs were jiggly or that covering them up was essential.
One of my friends even said, "Mindy, just own it. It doesn't matter how big you are, as long as you own it. If you feel large, be large and in charge, and no one will even notice what you think are your jiggly thighs."
This made complete sense to me. As a matter of fact, it sounded like the kind of advice I would give. There was only one problem: I couldn't own it. I didn't feel good, and I didn't know how to pretend otherwise. I wore the skirty bottom all summer.
Quick interruption in the interest of full-disclosure. I am not obese or even much overweight. I'm just about the right weight formy vertically-challenged frame, and I'm satisfied that I generally eat well and am healthy. But even so, like many (most?) women,there are things about my body I would change if I could.
I thought about all this over the winter, and wondered why women did this to themselves. At the same time, I began adding some strength training to my exercise routine, which made me stronger and helped me to feel good from the inside. Maybe I was starting to "own" it?
Not so fast...
When I went shopping for a bathing suit in the spring, all sorts of insecurities came crawling back. (Whoever thought fluorescent lights in dressing rooms was a good idea, anyway?)
I finally ordered a bathing suit online and was pleased to be able to order the tops and bottoms separately. So, I got a skirty bottom, but I also got a regular bikini bottom. Gulp.
I wasn't quite brave enough to wear the bikini the first couple of times I went to the beach, and I spent a long time in my beach chair contemplating that.
Here are a couple of things I came up with that have helped tremendously when dealing with my own body image issues. I hope they help you, too.
First of all, while I was sitting on the beach, watching folks come and go, I came to a realization: no one looks like a bathing suit model. No one. Not the high schoolers, not the weight-lifters, no one.
It occurred to me that women are supposed to have curves. Hmmm.
Maybe if we all just recognized the fact that we're all in this together, we wouldn't compare ourselves to super-models and to each other, and we'd spend that wasted energy doing something productive that made us feel great. Hmmm.
Second, I looked at the men on the beach. Now, male Reflections readers, correct me if I'm wrong, but the men I saw were clearly NOT agonizing over their body images. Lots of rolls, lots of guts, and I say, bully for them! At least they're not wasting precious brain cells thinking about cellulite.
The thing that really propelled me into a different space around my feelings about my body, though, was a photo I saw of myself when I was 22. I was lovely, young and strong, but I was wearing long shorts, covering up what I then thought were my jiggly thighs.
They weren't jiggly at all, though. They were strong and flexible, and got me where I needed to go.
I'm now 44, and unlike Dara Torres, my body can't do all the things it could do at 22. It takes me a little longer to get going in the morning, and a little longer to recover from a wild and crazy night out.
I don't say this to complain. I say it because I realized that in a flash of an eye, I'm going to be 66, and then 88. And I'm going to look back at photos of my 44-year-old self and wonder why I didn't appreciate every single cell of my body every single day.
You guessed it. I have now worn the bikini to the beach, as well as the skirty bottom. And I keep reminding myself that I am strong and vibrant and wonderful.
I saw a bumper sticker that summed this up beautifully. It said,
"Start a Revolution. Love Your Body."
See you at the beach.