Q: I offer a service that is unfamiliar to most people, but is in fact very helpful for a lot of them. How do you educate the market so they know that your services are what they’ve been looking for?
A: Ah, to be a trailblazer. It can be very exciting to be at the leading edge of a new modality. Yet it can be quite challenging too. The key is to tap into the market’s existing desires and then get them excited about how your services can fulfill those desires in a new and better way. If you want people to “know that your services are what they’ve been looking for,” there are 3 stages of awareness you need to take them through.
1. Meet them where they are at now. In general, why do people seek out a practitioner such as yourself? Think about what your best clients have told you or better yet, look into their treatment records. Why did they initially come to see you? When you write your marketing materials, speak to those desires. Use language and images that will evoke a “That’s ME.” response. Now you have their attention.
2. Show them what outcome is possible. What tangible results can people get from your services? Imagine if you were filming a silent movie starring one of your best clients. How has their life been improved? Do they look different? Feel better? What is it like to be on the other side of the problems you helped solve for them? It’s even better if you can demonstrate this with testimonials.
3. Explain how your methodology works. Without getting overly technical, explain how and why your services work. If you’ve connected to the person’s desires well in stages 1 & 2, a certain level of trust is already established. This step is just to explain enough so that they think, “That makes sense,” and to overcome any objections they might have to the process.
Any client marketing materials, advertisements, classes, or even interviews you do need to include all 3 of those stages for it to register an “Ah ha!” with your audience.
As far as finding that audience goes, here are a few suggestions.
Reach out to the media. One big thing you have going for you with a new modality is that it can be newsworthy. If your services are performed locally, then you can financially benefit from coverage in the local papers, especially the lifestyle oriented ones. Although mention in national publications (health, beauty, and women’s magazines for you) will give you great credibility on your website, etc.
Speak at local health & beauty fairs. You may consider yourself an introvert, but if you can put together a slideshow presentation that takes people through the 3 stages of awareness, followed by an introductory offer, it can really pay off. If that seems too big, you can also get on the speaker list for events at your local natural grocery or wellness clinic. Although those tend to not be as lucrative.
Work your referrals. Many holistic practitioners don’t like marketing, yet some of them still do really well. Why is that? Because they are really good at relationship building with their clients. Create a new client incentive and ask your current clients to help you promote it. Lots of practitioners in obscure modalities have full books, simply by doing this really well. Instead of needing to educate the masses, let your clients educate and evangelize for you.
Chief Inspiration Officer - Jaya Savannah International
Jaya Savannah is a strategy coach and consultant for holistic businesses at JayaSavannah.com.
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