5 Ways to Quickly Get More Clients
January is generally a pretty good time of year for massage and bodywork therapists.
Your ideal clients are recovering from the stress and busy-ness of the holidays, and they’re ready to begin taking care of themselves. Often, that includes making time for an appointment with you. Hooray!
But some years, there’s a lull or a delay. I remember one year I got my treatment room all ready over the winter holidays — I cleaned, smudged, and rearranged. I couldn’t wait for folks to start up again in the new year.
Except, they didn’t. Not really. A few loyal clients made appointments, but not the number that I had spent so much time envisioning over the holidays.
At the time, I was beyond disappointed and discouraged — I needed the income! — and I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong.
Why weren’t people showing up?
Looking back now, with my 16 years of experience having my own business, I realize that I was missing a key strategy in my marketing and outreach: I wasn’t inviting people to work with me.
I don’t want you to make that same mistake, so today I’m going to give you 5 easy ways to jumpstart your new year by getting more clients quickly.
Here we go!
DELIGHT your current clients. Before you do one single thing to market yourself, you need to be sure that your services are outstanding.
This can seem counter-intutive: “Don’t I need to just get a ton of people through the door?”
It doesn’t matter how many people come in for an initial session with you. If your skills and service are just “meh,” the clients aren’t going to return, and they’re certainly not going to tell their friends about you.
So, before anything else, be sure you are offering a premium client experience. (We talk more about this in the upcoming Step Up and Fill Your Practice Challenge that begins January 21. You can read more about it and register here.)
Once you’ve got the DELIGHT piece in place, it’s time to INVITE people to work with you.
The number one most productive and easiest way to get more clients is from referrals.
We’ve all asked friends and family for recommendations on everything from the best pizza in town to where they get their hair cut. And the bodywork business is no different.
The problem many bodyworkers have is that they don’t ask for these referrals.
Well, of COURSE not! How gross does it feel after a wonderful session with a client to try to say, “Um, could you tell everyone you know about me? Thanks.”
I mean, you became a bodywork therapist so you could help people release their pain, not so you could be a used car salesman. But you don’t have to be pushy or salesy to ask for referrals. Think of it instead as inviting people to work with you.
One of the easiest ways to do that is to include it in your follow-up letter after the initial appointment.
The follow-up letter is a snail-mail letter that welcomes clients to your office, offers your observations of the session and recommendations for going forward, and also invites the client to share your information with other folks they know who may be your ideal clients. Include a couple of business cards to make it easy for people to share, and Boom! You’re on your way to getting some great referrals, and you didn’t have to say one single awkward word after the session.
(You can get an example of the follow-up letter here.)
Use Referral Partners. You can also receive referrals for new clients from other wellness practitioners (bodyworkers, counselors, social workers, doctors, nurses, etc.)
But how do you get them to refer people to you?
There’s no better way than to give them a taste of the work you do.
Simply reach out and contact other practitioners who are in alignment with you and the work you do. Introduce yourself and tell them a little about your work and your ideal clients. Then invite the practitioner in for a complimentary session, so they can really have a feel for what you do. They are much more likely to refer to you if they know you personally.
(I do this via snail mail because people are inundated with texts and emails. A professional, genuine letter in the mail stands out. I have an example of the letter I use here.)
Offer one-time freebies to people you already know. Use the resources you already have. Instead of trying to find new people to become clients, let your friends do the marketing for you.
When I made the transition to doing only CranioSacral Therapy in my practice, I ran into the problem that almost no one in my town knew what the heck CST was.
So, I offered free 30-minute sessions to people in my book club, service organizations I was a part of, and a women’s group I belonged to. These people knew me, so they wanted to refer their friends and family to me, but they just weren’t sure what I did.
After a free 30-minute session, I told them who my ideal clients were, and I couldn’t believe how quickly my appointment book began to fill up with referrals from people I already knew.
Finally, if you are speaking to groups of people about your work, don’t forget to invite them to work with you. This is a huge mistake many therapists make: you schedule a presentation for a group of your ideal clients — let’s say, women suffering from anxiety.
You prepare your talk, and it goes great. Afterwards, a couple people come to talk with you, and after you leave, you’re sure that it was a smashing success — except no one calls for an appointment.
Try this instead: at the end of your talk, finish up with something along the lines of, “If this work resonates with you, I would love to share more. You can sign up for my monthly email newsletter where I talk about xyz by writing your name and email address on this form I’m passing around, or I’ll be here for a few minutes after the meeting to talk with you more and to set up appointments if you’d like to try this therapy. Thank you so much for having me here today!”
You’re not being pushy, you’re not being sales-y, you’re simply inviting people to work with you and get the care that could be just what they need.
I look at it this way — if someone WANTS to work with me, have I made it as easy as possible for that to happen?
I’ll be teaching more about how to get more clients and fill your practice in the upcoming Step Up and Fill Your Practice Challenge.
This 100% free training begins on January 21, and you can save your spot by registering here. It’s a ton of fun, and you can connect with other like-minded therapists so that 2019 is the year you really break out and soar. I’d love to have you join us. Sign up here!