Thinking About Advertising? Come from Your Heart with Integrity
So, you’ve got a clear idea of what you want your massage or bodywork business to look like, and you know exactly how much revenue you need to bring in each month to sustain your practice.
There are many ways to attract your perfect clients that you’d like to work with — everything from networking to referrals to engaging on social media. And you may decide that what will work best for you is advertising.
Advertising can be a terrific tool to reach your ideal clients, but there are a couple things to keep in mind before you jump all in.
Advertising can be expensive.
It doesn’t have to be, but I’ve seen way too many instances of therapists thinking that an ad was going to cost one price, and it ended up costing hundreds (or thousands) of dollars more.
When you are researching advertising sources, be sure to get a quote on the FINAL cost of the ad. Know how long it’s going to run, and if it is print advertising, how many issues will include your ad.
And be sure to get everything in writing — preferably a contract that both you and the advertiser have signed.
Facebook ads can be tricky.
There is an entire industry of people who specialize in nothing but Facebook ads. This is because the platform’s algorithms are constantly changing, and it’s a full-time job to keep up. That’s why I recommend hiring a specialist to handle the ads for you, though I know that may not be practical for everyone.
If you want to bite the bullet and give it a try, I recommend you choose a budget and stick to it. If you decide on spending $10/day, don’t increase it as soon as an ad begins to do well, or decrease it if you don’t seem to be getting traction. It takes some time for your ad to “kick in,” and changing things up can do you more harm than good.
And whatever your daily ad spend is, you must, must, MUST set an overall limit for the ad campaign. $10/day adds up much more quickly than you might think.
(You definitely do NOT need online advertising to grow your practice — I built a full practice without ever advertising online.)
Be sure to include a Call to Action.
A Call to Action is business-speak for telling people what their next step should be.
If someone sees your ad, and they think they may want to work with you, what should they do? Call you for more information? Go online to make an appointment? Check out your website?
A common mistake that bodyworkers make is that they don’t invite people to work with them because they don’t want to seem pushy, slimy, or 'salesy.’ But if you’re not clear about what to do next, your potential clients will be confused about their next steps.
I think about it this way — If someone sees this ad (or blog, or article, or interview) and they WANT to work with me, have I made it as easy as possible for them to do that?
Come from your heart with integrity.
I’ve seen therapists make terrible mistakes with their ads because they were trying to be something they’re not. You just need to be YOU. The more authentic you are, the more of your ideal clients you’ll attract to you.
For example, be careful of using stock photos in your advertising. A pair of hands or a flower is perfectly fine, but if you use a stock image of a treatment room, for example, you’re not creating a safe container for your clients.
Clients see the image of a treatment room, and that’s what they expect when they come in for therapy. If your treatment room is completely different than the image in your ad, it can feel like a bait and switch, and trust is broken before treatment even begins.
Be genuine and authentic in your advertising, and be sure to follow the rules of the licensing board of your modality.
Digital and print advertising require different types of ads.
When you advertise in print, you typically want to include as much information as you can so that people can make the decision from the ad whether to find out more about you and your work.
But online advertising is different — the goal of an online ad is to have the person click on the ad to find out more. That “click” will bring them to your website, where you have much more space and time to share who you are and what you do.
So you want an online ad to be eye-catching, to have the basics (what is the service? who can it help?) and a call to action to click here to find out more
Advertising can be an effective tool to attract new people into your practice. But it’s not the end-all and be-all of finding new clients.
And to be effective and resonate with your ideal peeps, it needs to be done with careful planning, with heart, and with integrity.
If you’re not sure you even want to advertise, you can find other ways to start building your practice by taking my free Bodyworker Clarity Quiz to help you find your way.
Simply click here and answer a few short questions to discover your Bodyworker Brilliance and receive a custom Quickstart Guide with key insights and ideas to design your dream bodywork career and grow your business with ease.
You don’t have to take as long as I did to figure it all out. Once you know which stage of the journey you’re on, you can take the best next steps for you and your practice.
You’re not alone — I’m holding you in my heart and cheering you on. You can do this!