Marketing – Just A Bit Sleazy

Marketing – Just A Bit Sleazy

When we are heart centred and spiritual workers, why do we not like marketing?

I have even heard a therapist say that they don’t do marketing.  When I asked them why, with a surprised look on my face, their answer? – “it’s all a bit sleazy and unnecessary really, people will find me if they really want me”.

You cannot be serious?

Well, my immediate thought was, well you won’t have a therapy business for long.

But actually, there are many therapists who feel like this about marketing – who are shy when it comes to talking about their therapy business.  There are too many whose inhibitions and worry about what people might think or say stops them getting the right message out to the right people and as a result, their lives are diminished AND so are the lives of their potential clients.

Marketing is helping people who need each other to find one another.

If you run a therapy business that helps couples with fertility then you have a moral responsibility to market that service in your area.  To not do so would deprive couples of the support to start a family.

If you know that your beauty salon has the treatments and staff that really do make women feel better, more beautiful and more confident, then isn’t society diminished if no one knows about it?

The best salesperson is the one who takes immense satisfaction from the satisfaction that the client gets.

If you substitute the word “salesperson” with the word “marketer” or “business owner” then it’s pertinent to all of us, isn’t it?

Real marketers solve problems for our clients.  We ensure that the services meet or exceed our client’s expectation and we work really hard to fix that where it doesn’t happen.

Is every therapist like this?  No of course not, there are some bad marketers about. But, it is wrong to suggest that therefore all marketing is sleazy and unnecessary.  That’s like suggesting all sportsmen/women are cheats.

Good marketing does much more than just sell services and products – it adds real value to society and crucially, it helps people who need each other to find each other – and that’s what you should be focused on.

If you do not let them know you exist, you won’t exist.

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Client Retention


Client retention is a phrase that is often thrown around in the therapy industry. What’s the big deal about client retention, anyway? You work hard to bring in new clients each week, so who really cares if existing clients choose to come back or not?

Well, that’s just it: Bringing in new clients takes your time, money and resources, if you are constantly having to seek new clients, it’s exhausting and expensive —while it may be true no business can thrive without bringing in new clients, if you can retain your existing client base, then you’ll end up reducing your costs (and improving your return on investment) in the long run.

Simples, keep more clients coming back! This sounds easy enough—surely providing fantastic therapy services is enough to keep clients coming back for more, right? But if you’ve been practising massage for longer than, say, five minutes, you probably realise it’s not exactly this cut-and-dried.

What can you do, other than offer a great experience, to improve client-retention numbers?

First thing is to remember that there are 3 stages in this process of retaining clients!

  1. The First Impression

Many businesses neglect this first and arguably most-important stage. During this stage, you have, at most, 60 seconds to make a good first impression. Most of the time, this won’t include any portion of the actual therapy session. The first 30 to 60 seconds spent interacting with your business generally isn’t spent with another human – rather, this is the first phone call, e-mail, social media or website visit.  Making a great first impression is more than having a smiling face greet new clients who walk through the door. The number one rule of making the first interaction a successful one is to never make new clients (or any clients, for that matter) work to find information.  From your answering machine to your website, frequently asked questions should be addressed in a simple and straightforward manner.  Some things to address include a description of your therapies, pricing, hours of work, contact information and what to expect during the first session. Offering email and newsletter signups on your page will ensure you obtain a potential client’s contact information if they visit your website but don’t want to call.  Offering online booking allows clients who access your website outside of business hours to avoid phone tag.

  1. Then What

Once you get a new client to come through the door for a first visit, your next objective is to keep her there. Your strategy should consist of staying connected to your new clients and encouraging commitment to your business.

Why does staying connected to your clients encourage them to come back? Establishing a way to communicate with clients will keep your business at the forefront of their minds. And then when most people think of massage, they’ll say to themselves, “I could use one of those right about now.”  You can connect with your clients in many ways, and one of the easiest is to use automated e-mails and text messaging. These little gems can be sent out to remind clients of upcoming appointments, to confirm a booking, even to wish them a happy birthday or to remind them to book their next appointment.  Automated emails are not only helpful to the client but are also a great micro- marketing tool when coupled with promotional codes and offers.

It’s also possible to stay connected with clients through education, using your newsletters, blogs and social media.   Many first-time clients aren’t aware of the benefits regular therapies can have on their overall wellness routine. Educating clients on the health benefits of different types of therapies can lead to them incorporating it more regularly into their lives.  Another benefit of education to your client-retention strategy is when your clients look to you as an educational resource, they are less likely to shop around for appointments elsewhere.

Feeling important is also a key factor in client retention. If clients view your therapies as part of their overall wellness routine, then they are more likely to book in advance and plan for the expense in their budget.

  1. Ongoing Clients

Many businesses work hard to retain their new clients, just to forget about them once they reach the status of a long-term client. Just like the first two stages of the client retention, the third and final stage of an ongoing client needs its own, client retention strategy that focuses on great customer service. Great customer service begins with learning what your clients want, and the best place to start is by asking your clients. Get feedback in the form of asking them directly, a suggestion box or an online survey. Once you receive feedback, respond to it. Let clients know their opinions matter; this will ensure you continue to receive feedback.  When you receive negative feedback, respond in a manner that acknowledges how your client is feeling with a “how can I make this better” attitude. Your client may or may not be in the right, but it doesn’t matter. The fact is she is upset and your job is to recognize this and work with her to find an appropriate solution. If you’re able to turn the situation around and make your client happy, she’s not only going to come back but is also likely to refer your business to others.

Once clients reach this stage, you’ll notice a higher-than-average retention rate. However, you’re still bound to see lapsed clients, those who have inexplicably stopped booking their appointments.  Send them an email with a special promotion. Reaching out to lapsed clients will let them know they are missed and you’ll see your retention numbers rise when they book their next massage.

When it comes to the therapy industry, no two clients are alike. Every individual has unique needs and will benefit from your therapies in a slightly different way; just as you use different methodologies of massage to accomplish different forms of healing, you should be using different strategies of client retention to keep clients coming back to your business.

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Earning The Money You Deserve


Today I’m going to be talking to you all about earning the money that you want and valuing yourselves

Now, first off and instantly what you want to think of is getting the mindset right. You’re either going to be running a very expensive hobby, or you are going to be running a business. Soon as you start taking money from people for you to provide your therapies, you are actually in business. As soon as you set up your business and as soon as you launch that’s when you got to notify the HMRC. The tax office. You don’t do it after a year you’ve been in business. You do it as soon as you set up.

So, the other question then that I will often get asked is about money. Because I’m often seeing therapists that they are discontent for their therapies. They’re not sure what to charge. They’re worried about charging too much and then they think that when they’re not getting the clients they’re charging too much, but then they go and offer a discount. I’m often seeing treatment, appointment available with twenty pounds off, or ten pounds off for August or whatever. Which is fine if that brings you, clients, in, that’s the visibility you want then that’s fine. That’s totally up to you, but what you’ll be doing then is working a lot harder for a lot less money. What you want to do is if you start doing offers is to offer value added.

What I want to take you back to is the pricing and how to work that out.

Firstly, you’ll go into market research and you’re going to see what other therapists are charging in your area. You’re not going to undercut them, you just want to see what the dearest ones are and what they’re providing, and what the cheapest ones are and they’re providing. If you end up in the middle, that’s fine. I think that’s the baseball park that we all start from is that we’re in the middle. But you’ve also got to look at what clients you’re targeting. If you’re targeting clients in an affluent area, they’re not going to pay for a cheap therapy. If you’re looking for clients in a rundown area, you’re not going to get paid for an expensive therapy. If you’re looking to provide therapies in a spa-like atmosphere in a spa-like clinic, salon, then again you can do those spa-like prices. We all know where we live, we all know who our clients are, we all know what our target market is.

You then got to look at actually what you want to do yourself. So how much do you want to do? How much do you want to earn? So weekly, or monthly, or yearly. You’ve got to pay yourself. How much do you want your business to earn? By looking at that you’re actually then breaking it down. Say we look at a year. How much do you want your business to earn in that year? You then want to look at how many weeks you’re going to work in that year. Are you taking two weeks off for Christmas? Do you have family and you’re going to take six weeks off in the summer and all the school holidays? Are you only going to work part-time? Maybe two, three days a week? You know what hours and what weeks you want to work, so put down in there how many weeks of the year you want to work, how many hours in a week do you want to work? You can work that out then, for when you’ve got those totals. How many clients do you need a month, how many clients do you need a week? If you’re going to work it then, how much do you want to earn a month? You then want to break down, “Well right, if I’m charging 20 pounds a session, I need so many clients a week. Or I need so many clients a month”. You might look at that and go blimey that’s far too much work, I can’t achieve all that in that time. You know then that your prices are going to have to go up. So, you’ve got to look at your pricing because how much do you want to earn, how much do you want to pay yourself, how many clients are you going to need to cover that because you’ve also got to cover your expenses.

So, your normal things like tax and national insurance. You might have room rent. You might have travel. You might have laundry bills from washing the towels and everything else that you use. There are products that you’re using, there’s couch roll. You might be using a mobile phone so there’s phone rent. Maybe if you do it from home you’re going to have the costs be taken it off from your home. You might be looking at all of your organisations you’re part of. You’re part of a national organisation, FHT or the Federations of Small Businesses, or Beauty Group. You might also be part of a local business group. Again, like I said earlier you have FSB, or Chamber. You’re looking at those fees as well. You need to break down and write down what your expenses are going to be every month. What is that going to cost you to run your business? Where might you have fees of, say like £125, for being a member of the Federation of Small Businesses, how much is that a week or how much is that a month? You add that then to your expenses, you take so much of account to put money back on your tax bill.

So you got to look at all these points of what money you need to earn. The thing is you might look at it and go, “Oh my god it’s going to cost me a fortune in expenses”. You might also then if you’re looking at it for the first time that you’ve been running your business for a couple of years, this might actually get you to look at it to see whether there’s any way you can save money. You might find that you’re spending more out, and you can get a better deal on your phone or on your tablet data. You might find that you can get a better fibre deal for your internet. You might find that you might then want to ring around and find cheaper car insurance, or you might want to have a look around to see what organisational memberships- You’ll be able to find out whether you can cut back on your bills to make fewer expenses. You might not necessarily need a lot of the organisations now that you use. You might not need a lot of the stuff. How many magazine subscriptions are you with? Have a look at stuff like that. You look at all that to see whether you can cut down on your expenses to save you some money. You might then want to start looking at actually mentoring. Do you need business help? Do you need business advice? There’s plenty out there that’s for free, but you might need someone to one coaching or mentor from somebody and you add that to your business expenses. To help you to improve to grow your business to be able to earn more money. How much is it costing you for your website, for your website host? Or if your web developer is charging you for updating or for backing up your website. How much is that costing you?  It’s also your training. You can actively be looking for more CPD points. Are you paying for more training? Is it online courses? Is it learning more therapy skills? Are you learning some different business skills? All this the training can cost you, and again you take that into account as part of your expenses.

You then look at how many hours that you’re actually going to work per month. It’s actually how much you want to work, how many hours you want to work, how many clients you want to see or how many clients do you need. To cover your costs, to cover your expenses, to pay you, and to make a profit. You might not always make a profit, but you have to pay you, ’cause you’re not going to work for free are you? You’re not going to do all your gifts and help other people for nothing. Yes I know we love our job, I know we love what we do, we love it with a passion. But we still got to keep a roof over our head. We’ve still got to contribute towards the family home or we’ve still got to pay for what we want. We’ve still got to look at our business as that it is earning money because we want to pay ourselves. Have you got a marketing budget? That’s the scary one when you start thinking, “Do I need a marketing budget”. Well, you need to have some funds there. Maybe you want to pay for your advertising. Pay for your leaflets, pay for your business cards. Maybe to pay for a Facebook Ad. These are the different things that you need to look at. It’s not just a case of somebody’s going to pay me 25 pounds for a half hour back, neck, and shoulder massage. Or someone’s going to pay me 45 pounds for a back massage. I want to earn £10 an hour so 10 pounds of it is mine and the rest of it all went to the business. You’ve got to see what it is you need. So then you’re not looking at your diary going, “I haven’t got enough clients. My diary is empty”. Your bank account, knowing your numbers might be better. You might be better off than you thought. It’s knowing your numbers.

If you know your numbers, you know how much you’re earning, your business is earning. You know how many clients you’re seeing. You know if you’re anywhere near your target. You know if you need to bring any extra work in, and you know how much that you’re paying yourself. These are all the things that you need to look at. A lot of this then also comes down to, as I said, the mindset of are you an expensive hobby or are you a business? It’s having the mindset but it’s also the belief in yourself. You’re not just doing this for fun. You have paid a lot for training. You have spent countless hours, weeks, and months learning your gifts, going through your training. Remember all the case studies you’ve done, remember all the assignments you’ve done, remember all the studying you’ve done for all the muscles and all the different techniques, the hours you fretted over your files learning. You know, that’s not just something you can rock up and do. That takes time and that’s why we’re paid what we’re worth, we value what we do. Clients need to value what we do. If they don’t value you they’re not worth your time. You’ve got to value yourself, you’ve got to believe in yourself, and your clients will value you. You’re not looking for people that want a discount. You’re not looking for people that won’t show. You’re not looking for people that are going to be a late cancellation. You want people that value, that love you and believe that you’re an expert. So they will turn up on time, they will turn up whenever you’re needed they will think of you and they will be in touch.

Lastly, is accountability and support. There’s therapists groups out there, support groups, and also with the Federation of Holistic Therapists have got hopefully local support group in your area. There might be therapists that run their own groups that maybe there might be nothing of influence. They’ve created their own groups. Maybe your clinic where you go to run a therapy room. Maybe they run a group as part of the clinic. Maybe they- Chat with the owners. See if they can organise a monthly meeting with all the therapists can get together to talk and to share. Have a look at Facebook Groups. There are lots of Groups on Facebook whether it’s for aromatherapy. Whether it’s for Indian head massage. Whether it’s just holistic therapist support. There’s therapist group support there within my own academy. I’ve got the page where I can be in support and give advice like this bite-sized learning and more, within that. Within that, I’ve got my own Groups. There’s two Facebook Groups I run. It’s the ATA Hub, which is there for therapists that have worked with the academy. So they’re present and past members, there’s those that have been involved with Webinars, there’s those that bought online courses, there’s those that might do coaching or mentoring with me, there’s those that have and have had their business reviews. All things like that. Those that have worked within the academy, they become part of the Hub. I’ve also got then the Mastermind Group, which is for the academy members.

That’s my bite-sized learning today. It’s knowing your numbers. When you want to earn the amount of money you want it comes down to knowing your numbers. What your expenses are, what you’re paying for, how much you actually want to earn, how much you want the business to earn, what profit you’d want it to make, what things you want to do within the business. It’s breaking all that down and knowing your numbers so that you can make sure you’re getting it right. You’re working the hours you want to work, you’re working the weeks you want to work, and you’re seeing the number of clients you want to see and that you’re getting them into your diary.


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How not to sound desperate when looking for bookings in your diary

How not to sound desperate when looking for bookings in your diary

A busy live online workshop this morning “Adding Value Not Discount For Your Clients” where we discussed why discounting is not good for your therapy practice.
Your diary is looking very empty – you are going through a quiet period, you are not making enough money to cover your room rent, you are not meeting your targets and you just don’t have enough clients!
You’re frantically trying to sell stuff to make ends meet – you want the business. ANY business – you’re putting yourself out there to anyone.
You’re dropping prices left, right and centre, creating offers, discounting…….
People can smell it a mile off – the smell of desperation.
There is nothing more off-putting to prospective customers than a therapist who is clearly desperate for business.
In their mind, they’re thinking ‘why is she so desperate?’, ‘is she so bad that no-one is booking off her?’, ‘she’s trying TOO hard for this, it feels a bit uncomfortable’.
You’re giving off all the wrong vibes.
Who would you rather buy from?
A) A therapist who is confident and sure of herself, who clearly knows her stuff, is an expert in their field and who isn’t by any means the cheapest out there but who has great testimonials and obviously offers a great service. OR
B) A nervous, desperate person who clearly needs your business and is willing to do ANYTHING to get it. Offering to help with all sorts of ailments, but nothing specific, speaking to everyone but not saying really anything, they can just help.
Now, some people will be attracted to therapist B – but they are going to be people who want CHEAP. People who want therapists that don’t really value themselves, won’t value them either because they can cancel last minute or not even show up.
The people who are attracted to therapist A want a professional therapist, someone who is very clear about what they offer and who is confident in their ability to do an excellent job. They meet specific training and standards and are particular about customer care. A client will even pay a bit extra to work with this therapist because she’s clearly worth it.
Which type of client would you prefer to attract? The client who value you or the discounters, who only want wants on offer?
So how do you ditch the desperation but still need the bookings?
Well, first of all, you stop selling discounts. You stop telling yourself that people can’t afford you.
Instead, you tell the outside world how wonderful you are and why they must book you, educate them, help them, share your expertise. Add value to your therapies, make them sound special with what you are giving them.
Do you see the difference in the vibes?
You may be running around like a headless chicken but to everyone else, you are a calm, confident therapist who they aspire to be.
You need to keep telling yourself that you are amazing value.
You are an expert.
You are awesome
Tell it to yourself until you believe it because you ARE.
Don’t drop your prices. Don’t go after any old rubbish clients. Target your ideal clients.
Change the energy around you.
Change the vibes you’re giving off.
Find positivity in the smallest things.
Start to appreciate what you have.
I made all those discounts, ½ price offers, giving stuff away and I worked so hard that not only did I not make enough money, but I also suffered from burnout and had to review my therapy business.
I had to put my prices up, stop discounting and value myself. Yes, I lost some clients but not those that valued me or loved what I did. The clients that valued me are still with me now, some of them ongoing for 15 years!
And if I can do it, so can you.
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My Soul Week 2017

My Big Adventure To Glastonbury

Last year I took a week off in October just to have time for me and do things I wanted to do – not work-related, not housework, no chores, just things that I wanted to do for me.  In that week I achieved creating lots of paintings, colouring in, making cards, reading, walking and even a day trip to the Champneys Spa in Forest Mere.

The more I took time out for myself that week, the more I enjoyed,  I  called it my Soul Week as I did anything that fed my soul.  It was a wonderful, selfish week and I thoroughly benefited from it that I promised myself that I would pencil one in my diary every year from then on.

This year was pencilled in for October again and I was scanning the offers for Champneys for another spa day.  This year though an idea was sparked.  I have been wanting to go to Glastonbury the last few years to visit some famous spots and hoped to go camping there.  Husband was not too keen though (many excuses made, no good campsites etc) so a lightbulb moment came to me while chatting with a friend, of why not go on my own for 2 days with an overnight stay?

Google was searched and my room was booked for the night and all put into my diary.

The night before I was very nervous in going as anxiety kicked in and negative mind monkeys played games.  I shared my thoughts on FB and a lovely therapist left me a comment to say that I should think of it as an adventure – wonderful and that is exactly what it became.

My trip there was beautiful and I was lucky with 2 glorious days of sunshine with stunning scenery.  I found it easily and excitedly walked my way to the town from my hotel car park.  I eagerly searched the bookshops and immersed myself in all things spiritual and holistic.  I wandered around and in, many of the shops and took in the architecture and people around.  I didn’t feel out of place or worried about being on my own.

After finally checking into my room (which was huge by the way and I would highly recommend) I  on my walking boots and walked to The Tor.  It was a steep walk up with many steps but still a glorious evening with sunshine.  As I got to the top everybody disappeared and I had the area to myself. Gosh, it was breathtaking, what views, what energy.  Plenty of time to soak it all in and meditate and say my thanks.  I was there for over an hour watching the sunset with not a soul in sight.  Peace and quiet with just the birds singing.

I left before it got too late and as the sun was setting and people arrived as I walked back down the hill and made my way back to my room.  I had taken my journals with me as I wanted to write down my learnings from the 2 days, but I have to say I wrote more like 6 pages of learnings about my self and some realisations that were incredible.

After checking out the next morning, I walked to The Chalice Gardens and Well which is situated below The Tor and spent a glorious couple of hours wandering around the gardens in Autumn.  Many seats are set up for quiet reflection and to drink the spring water. I had the company of a robin with me who sat quietly with me on one seat for 10 minutes.  He/she was lovely company.

The Chalice Well is breathtaking and peaceful and really pulls you to sit and be.  For having such a busy mind, this was one place where I sat mindfully with no problem (pity I cannot be here every day).

I made my way back through the town for one last time and then back to the car.  Many purchases were made of Oracle Decks and books – “Rise Sister Rise” by Rebecca Campbell (who I am seeing on Sunday – lucky me) and “F**k it the ultimate spiritual way” by John C Parkin.  Both became clear why these were bought on reading the description.

I have always been told that the Universe will let you know and that it will point you in the right direction or show signs.  I have to say after those 2 days in Glastonbury I totally believe, because of things that were discovered and fell into place all made sense by the end of the week.  A lot of these things are personal discoveries to me so I will not share in here but just to say it left me amazed.

Has this fed my soul?  Oh definitely yes.  Would I visit again?  Yes for the day at least?

Definitely an adventure and now planning more for me next year.  Where should I visit next?


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Part 2 – How and what to blog

Blogging – What Do I Do Now?

Let’s recap from the previous blog, why blogging is important as a marketing tool.

There are main four things that you can use blogging for:

  1. It drives to the website
  2. It shows your expertise
  3. It builds up a relationship
  4. It builds up for clients to book

There are many ways that you can blog. Whether it’s sitting there typing something up, whether it’s creating a video and then getting that transcribed and using that as a blog. You can actually set up a strategy for the whole year so that you’re using national celebrations, national awareness, to blog on. You might want to blog little bits on your own experience that’s been happening to you. But it’s an online world now. More and more people are using social media. It’s not something that we can avoid.

I hear a lot of people saying though “Oh, yeah, but blogging, oh, you know, it’s something I’ve got to do but haven’t got time for.”  Maybe you haven’t got a website, and you just think, “Oh, that’s it, I can’t blog then.” You can now create long posts on Facebook and use that as a blog. Or actually, use what they call ‘notes’. If you look on your Facebook page, there is a section when you’re going to put a status update, it asks you, do you want to add a photo, a Facebook live, put an offer on, etc. One of them will create a note. That gives you a lovely header and a nice big long page that you can write on. Or short, if you want to create a short one. On the left-hand side where all the categories are and the tabs are, there’s a special one for notes and they all go in there. So again, it’s somewhere there that you can lead them to your notes, where you’ve got all your blogs and they don’t get lost in your timeline as posts can.


People won’t just book straightaway from a website. Not normally. They’ll normally check out your website to see what you do and how much you offer your treatment. They want to find out if it’s what they’re looking for if you can help them with their problem. So that’s where the blogs come in, again, to share your knowledge, to show you know what you’re doing.

There are many things that you can use within that blog. This is what I’ve thought about before when I’ve talked about using Facebook Live. It’s repurposing. So, you’ve written that blog. Or you don’t want to sit at that screen and you get a blank screen. Why not look at Google Docs and under their tab of tools on a document, there’s voice recognition? So, you can talk it out. Again, you can do this, you can talk it out, get Audacity or something to record what you’re saying, and then get someone like or somebody you know with VA or someone, to transcribe that audio for you. But again, you can use Google Docs. Talk it through, talk out loud your blog, and then Google Docs will type it up. So, you’ve got the blog done for you. You can then just copy and paste that into your website.

To help me, I created a blog post dump sheet so that I can create the titles, date it’s going to publish, a category that it’s going to be in and more. This just helps me when I get an idea to store that idea somewhere and at a later time really break it down what I want to include – images, web links, call to action etc.

So, blogs are really powerful things. They can really share and help people get to know you and to build trust and to see what you’re doing. So, this is why I always recommend, that you just get started.  Don’t wait to be perfect, practice helps you get better.  My first ones, like my newsletters, were awful as I did not quite understand the tech either so images were a bit misplaced, but as I worked with it more and learned more than, the better they became.  You could just do a small post on Facebook and then build up to creating your blog post.

The more you do, the more you practise, and I don’t mean practice sitting at home writing it up and then binning it. Practice putting it on, start your blog.

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