Why You Don't Need More Clients to Hit Your Revenue Goals
I remember when I first opened the doors to my business in 2004. I was sooooo excited! It was finally happening! I was going to spend my days doing the bodywork I loved (bodywork that had helped me heal and become whole again) and I was going to be able to help so many people!
It was such a beautiful vision, that I didn’t really stop to think about whether or not I was going to be able to make a living doing it.
I thought, “I’ll just show up for people, be of service, and the business part of my practice will take care of itself.”
Except, of course, that’s not how it works.
I now know you have to put in just as much work on the business side of your practice as you do for the hands-on work.
Believe me, I spent many an afternoon studying anatomy because no one was calling for appointments. Worse, sometimes they called and then didn’t schedule a time with me. So, I can tell you first-hand — it’s frustrating, tiring, and confusing trying to hustle for those first clients.
And then once they DO come in, you can feel like you’re back at Square One, looking for the next 1-hour appointment.
I know, Sister, I feel your pain. But it doesn’t have to be this way…
I’m going to let you in on a little secret today — you don’t always have to be hustling hard to get more clients in the door to make your revenue goals.
There are basically 3 ways to earn more income in your practice. Let’s break them down:
This is the place most solopreneurs begin to try to increase revenue. And it makes sense, right? See more people = make more money. Well, yes, but there are a couple of problems with this approach for bodyworkers.
First of all, there comes a point where you’re going to max out. The work we do is physical and it’s intense, even if we practice a subtle-touch modality like CranioSacral Therapy or Reiki. The work can take its toll not only on our hands, shoulders, and back, but also on our emotions and spirit. (That’s why it’s SO important to create and maintain healthy boundaries, which I talk more about here.)
A general guideline you can use is 20 sessions per week. If you’re giving more than 20 sessions per week, it may be difficult for you to continue that pace for the long haul.
Another problem with this approach to earning more income is that it is the most difficult to accomplish. The time, energy, and money you spend to acquire new clients can be immense, and no matter what strategy you’re using to attract these new people to your practice, it’s not going to work continuously, all the time.
Luckily, you don’t have to rely on getting more clients because you can also…
Increase the lifetime value of the clients you have.
We’ve all read the research that says it’s between 7 and 10 times harder to find a new client than it is to keep your current clients, so you can begin thinking of offerings you can create that will further serve your existing clients
For example, when I began my career, I was focused on serving women and I wanted to help them with the issues my clients were struggling with. I used my background as an English teacher to create quarterly study circles. I called them Explorations in Health Study Circles. Here’s how they worked:
Each quarter had a different theme, such as eating well, the connection between stress and happiness, or women’s brain health. I opened the groups to my current clients first — they paid a fee to be a part of the program, and once they joined, I sent them the reading list for the group (3 books per quarter). I also created Reflection Guides to go along with each book so that participants could take notes, journal about their ideas, and reflect upon the reading. Then, at the end of the month, we gathered in person at my office to discuss the books and share. It was a wonderful community of women, who all got so much out of the program.
And it was an opportunity for me to earn more income, doing work I loved, all while serving my current clients so that they could live better lives.
In the same way, you can create offerings, programs, and packages to serve the clients you already have. It’s an excellent way to earn more revenue, but it tends to take some time. To really offer value to your people, you don’t want to just slap something together. Your offerings need to be a reflection of you, and also help your people live better lives. It can take awhile to put something like that together.
So while you’re working on it, you may want to…
Raise your prices.
This is BY FAR the fastest and easiest way to earn more revenue. I know it can freak you out because I used to be terrified to increase my rates. Most of us have mindset issues around money, and I was no different. I used to be terrified that I would lose all my clients, who would leave me to get bodywork from the person across town who charged less.
But that didn’t happen.
I figured out a way to not only raise my prices with integrity and intention, but to do it in such a way that my clients are not only able to budget for the increase, but they actually pay me in advance, giving me a nice income bump BEFORE the new prices go into effect.
I created this process from lots of trial and error, and lots of sleepless nights, where my mind would race around, wondering how in the heck I was going to be able to keep my doors open, AND serve the people I wanted to work with.
Raising your rates doesn’t have to be something that makes you want to barf. (One of my business principles that guides my work is Don’t do anything that makes you want to barf! Profound, I know… ☺️) It can be done with integrity and intention, so that both you and your clients feel good about the change.
I’ll be talking more in the next few weeks about how you can go about increasing your prices so that you don’t have to work so darned hard, spinning your wheels trying to find new clients you can invite to work with you. In the meantime, you can use my FREE Bodyworker Revenue Checklist to see what the best approach is for you to increase your earnings so you can hit your income goals and finally breathe a sigh of relief.