5 Business Beliefs That Keep Us Stuck

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Our beliefs are an integral part of who we are. We make all of our decisions based on them, whether or not those beliefs truly support our growth as people and business owners. Most of our beliefs go unchanged and unchallenged because we aren’t consciously aware of them. That’s how they continue to hold us back.

But once we’re aware of our beliefs, we can examine them objectively and determine if they are contributing to manifesting a life that we want. As we identify those that limit our potential, we can begin to form new ones that create possibilities and opportunities we couldn’t have imagined with our old belief system. Where they came from isn’t really important. What allows us to free ourselves from limiting beliefs is simply knowing what they are and being brave enough to try something else.

This is a list of limiting beliefs I know well. They have kept me from taking risks, following my truth and controlling my destiny throughout my life. But as I seek to fulfill my purpose, I’ve realized I have to let go of them. It’s scary to leave the familiar behind because we associate what we know with being safe, which is one of the most basic needs for survival. And yet, the safety we strive for exists in the unknown, too. We just haven’t experienced it.

Belief #1: Resistance to Change

Change is hard. We are wired to repeat behaviors that result in reward and avoid those that don’t. But just because something is comfortable doesn’t make it rewarding.

When I opened my current practice in late 2013, I decided to specialize in deep tissue massage. I had read that choosing a niche would be more effective than trying to appeal to everyone. I thought I was doing that, but I wasn’t all in. My desire to be liked, guilt about not helping everyone I could and fear of there not being enough clients who wanted Ashiatsu caused me to offer traditional injury massage as well. I knew I was really good at that but doubted my ability to have a thriving Ashiatsu practice because I had so little experience.

Most of my clients did book Ashiatsu because that’s what I promoted but I kept injury work on my service menu so I would be more legitimate to health care professionals and insurance companies. What I found was that my injury clients would get curious about Ashiatsu and try it. Once they did, they didn’t book another hands-on session again.

This wasn’t a reflection of my skills, just a testament to the effectiveness of Ashiatsu. After two years in business, I decided to not only take traditional injury massage off the menu but to change my business name to highlight my exclusively barefoot services. This has made me a more confident provider and tells potential clients exactly what I do so there’s no confusion. I have now stepped into who I was meant to be as a healer at this point in my career.

Belief #2: Unwillingness to Invest

Saving money is smart. Or is it? Generally, a reliable car costs more because we pay for routine maintenance on it instead of saving that money (or spending it somewhere else). Sounds like an analogy for getting regular massage, too!

There’s a difference between operating conservatively and being cheap. Sure, all those little expenses add up but when we deny ourselves the chance to make more money because we aren’t willing to invest in our business, we end up stunting our growth. Considerations such as location, cell phone performance, online scheduling and the massage products we choose should be carefully evaluated. What seems like a great deal may actually be costing us big time by giving clients a compromised experience, making rebookings and referrals less frequent.

When I started my first practice in 1999, I shared space with a truly wonderful person and therapist. As I got busier, it got harder to accommodate clients with my limited schedule. Another space opened up in the tanning salon, and I decided to stop sharing space and have my own. This more than doubled my rent but also let me concentrate on earning a living exclusively from massage and leave my part-time job behind.

Belief #3: Projecting Expectations

In order to validate our beliefs, we often project them onto others. One of these is how much our clients have or are willing to spend. Most business owners are on a tight budget when we start out (I know I was). That doesn’t mean our potential clients are, too.

I’ve held the belief that keeping my prices on the low side is important for keeping clients. This belief came from feeling I didn’t have the discretionary income to spend on massage. The truth is I still keep my prices lower but only in exchange for frequent visits. Although each individual session may cost less, overall spending might be quite high.

Early in my practice, I stumbled upon the power of the discounted package. They were easy to sell and kept clients coming in regularly. The problem was, I couldn’t get a handle on my cash flow getting paid sporadically in large chunks rather than daily. After almost three years of constantly being behind, I changed to a pay-as-you-go membership. I was worried about how my clients would react but knew I wouldn’t be able to stay in business if I didn’t try something different. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made! Now I’m making enough money to stop relying on trades and pay for the bodywork I need to take care of myself.

Belief #4: Lack of Action

Fear is a powerful motivator for keeping us stuck. We often don’t try another approach even when our plan isn’t working because we’re afraid of making a mistake. There are few things you can do that will destroy your business unless you don’t stop them soon enough. Heed the red flags early on because what we fear most is more likely to happen if we don’t switch gears than if we do.

Another common reason we don’t take action is a lack of knowledge. If you feel you need more business and marketing skills, learn them! There are so many resources available. Yes, some cost money. If you’ll make that money back (and more), then they are an investment. I’m a firm believer that any program will yield results if it is done consistently. Don’t get hung up on which one you should try. Find something that fits your budget and has the features and benefits you’re looking for. Then commit, make a plan to implement it and follow through.

After a year of writing the blog, I wasn’t getting the traction I wanted to get my message out there in a big enough way. I happened upon a coach on Twitter who helped me get focused. She turned me on to techniques and resources I either didn’t know about or wasn’t using for maximum impact. If you heard about me for the first time recently, it’s probably from something I learned from her. Now I have a direction and the fire is burning brighter than ever!

Belief #5: Impatience

There is a universal Law of Gestation that states that what we ask for takes time to manifest. If what we want is quite different than what we’ve settled for thus far, the time required to line things up will be longer. This means we must continue taking action for a while even if the results we intend don’t happen right away.

I’ve been guilty of deciding something doesn’t work after only one try. Now that I know about this universal law, I give new ideas three months of consistent action before I evaluate them. If nothing has changed by then, I give it up and try another angle. More often than not though, I see progress by then and keep going.

I tried a boosted post on Facebook once. It reached 10,000 people but no one booked from it, so I decided boosting on Facebook doesn’t work. What I’ve learned since then is that the audience you choose is vital to getting the response you want. Stay tuned for more in-depth success strategies for that. 🙂

We are often our own biggest obstacle to success. Developing an awareness of the beliefs that lead to our actions (or inactions) can be transformative if we’re willing to dig deep and step outside what’s comfortable for us. It’s ok to start small. As we gain clarity, we experience more abundance and become more willing to take chances. For me, that’s the most crucial element of having a practice that I love!

What business beliefs are holding you back? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment/comments link to share. Thank you!

Did you know I have a series of Massage Mindset Minute videos on my YouTube channel? They’re packed with easy to use techniques that dismantle limiting beliefs that keep us stuck. I invite you to check them out!

Posted in Business Practices, Marketing, Mindset, Money, Start Up | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

8 Ways to Provide an Exceptional Client Experience

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Getting and keeping clients is by far the greatest challenge massage therapists express about their practices. Seeing clients only once will not create a thriving, sustainable business. We have to bring them back often to make our livelihood stable and truly make a difference in their lives. I’ve written several posts about how to provide an exceptional client experience, but you deserve more than my perception alone. So I reached out to other massage therapists, educators and bloggers to get their take on it. Once again, their insights are spectacular!

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Elefteria Mantzorou, Flow Wellness & Training

There are two key words for providing exceptional services to clients: intention and experience. Once you have the intention to truly offer quality services, you are halfway there. Many therapists merely want to finish their work quickly and get paid. If you love being a therapist, this will be reflected in your touch and your manipulations.

Of course, experience is always important. As you gain more experience, you know how to make clients feel that they receive something really special. Also, your touch becomes more refined and you know how deeply you should press and how slowly you should move. Clients (especially those who have received many massages) understand this at once. Start from intention, and build it with experience!

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Cindy Iwlew, LMT, Co-founder Bodywork Buddy

I think it’s really important to follow the client’s lead as far as talking during their session. If they ask questions, keep your answers short. If they are silent, respect that and stay quiet. Let the client sink into their relaxation without any expectations that they need to chat through their session.

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Savanna Bell, LMT, My Massage World

The key to providing an amazing experience is to think about what your clients want. It may seem simple and obvious, but it’s often not taken as seriously as it needs to be. You need to design the entire experience into something that will wow them at every step. From the way you speak to them on the phone, to what extra amenities you offer, and the ways you say thank you – each stage of their experience with you needs to make them stop and think, “WOW, that’s amazing!”

The way to do that is to give them 100% of your attention in every moment and do everything you can to make them feel like the center of the universe. It’s not about what’s the easiest and cheapest for you. When you design a client experience strategy around what will make your client say, “WOW!”, they’re guaranteed to become a loyal client.

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Felicia Brown, Spalutions

One of my core philosophies to provide amazing client experiences is to target your ideal clients in all your promotions and marketing efforts. This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen many professionals struggle to succeed when they did not apply this mindset.

Start by writing a list or description of the type of client you most enjoy working with, who you best serve, and who will fit your hours, location, pricing, and so on. Once you have a clear picture of your ideal client, reach out to those who fit the description in your current client list and ask for referrals of more clients like them, often their friends and family. If one of their key qualities somehow relates to work or personal activities, ask for their help in finding places where you can meet others with those qualities. For example, if your ideal client is a runner, ask them if they belong to running clubs or groups, work with a running coach, or participate in any specific running events or races where you can make similar connections.

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Jamie Johnston, The Massage Therapist Development Center

I honestly just think it’s all about building relationships, but as far as an exceptional experience…just try to make them feel better than when they came in. Make it so when people think of you or your clinic, it’s an emotional reaction that makes them want to be there.

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Tim Cooper, Wellness Business Breakthrough

Sometimes how to create an exceptional client experience isn’t obvious. When it comes to spa based services, the experience is generally centered on a welcoming, warm environment, peaceful music and soothing strokes.

I come from a remedial massage background where the setting is usually cold and clinical, and the treatments often have an element of discomfort. For many years I believed the client experience was dependent on a good outcome: Relieving people’s pain and helping them cope with injuries.

In the later part of my time in private practice, I came to realize that results only played a small part. We are in fact in the “relationship” business. Welcoming people, making them feel important, being empathetic and demonstrating that you truly understand what the client is going through has in my experience, created a wonderful client experience in my field of practice. After all, everyone wants to be understood and made to feel important.

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Rajam Roose, Grow Your Massage Business

Providing an exceptional client experience can help us stand out from our competitors and keep clients wanting to come back. One of the most powerful ways I found that helped me really stand out was focusing each session completely on the client. It’s harder work than you might think!

No matter what my day was like or how I was feeling, I put that aside to give the client my undivided attention. During our intake, I repeated their words back to them to make sure I understood what they were saying. In the massage session, I kept my attention focused on the client’s breathing, how their body was responding to my touch, how their tissues felt, and so on. It was almost meditative in a sense but enabled me to give each client an individual experience.

Additionally, I was consistent in how I greeted my clients and how I talked about the whole process: getting ready for the massage, moving around on the table, getting dressed, and checkout. People knew exactly what to expect which contributes to feeling safe. People can feel when you are paying attention and even more so during a massage session. Again, it is not as easy as it sounds but helped me keep a 90% re-booking rate with new clients.

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Cath Cox, cathcox.com

Do what clients ask you to. It’s disappointing to spend time and money on a massage that doesn’t address their primary concerns, and leaves them feeling confused, unheard and hopeless. Ask if their priority is a full body massage or more specific work, and then honor their response. Set realistic expectations and explain why you may not reach the desired outcome in just one session. Check in with open-ended questions to verify their needs are being met. As service providers, we are obligated to create an experience that our clients want, not what we think is best.

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Building a practice you love can only be accomplished with satisfied clients who not only choose to visit regularly, but refer others. When we strive to give nothing less than an exceptional client experience from the beginning to the end of each visit, this dynamic is inevitable. Thank you to the dedicated contributors to this post for describing so many different ways to do that!

How do you give your clients an exceptional experience? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment/comments link to share. Thank you!

Booked and Busy subscribers have exclusive access to the Booked and Busy Bonus Room on Facebook. This free group provides resources (including a “5 Steps to Turn New Clients into Regulars” guide) to get and keep more clients so you can make more money while helping more people!

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Second Year Success Stories

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In this past year of writing the blog, my practice has risen to new levels. The cash flow and tax payment inconsistencies that have plagued me from the beginning are over! Most of my triumphs came from going against traditional wisdom and standard massage therapy business advice. What I’ve discovered is that when my intention is clear, the answers show up (usually from within). I’m sharing the stories that best represent how I’ve gotten past these obstacles so that my experience can ease the growing pains in your business.

Flexibility is the Best Policy

It had become obvious I needed to update my cancellation policy. I was conflicted about making it too rigid, not because I don’t value my time but because life happens and I wanted to accommodate that without being taken advantage of. The solution I came up with has virtually eliminated lost income from short-notice cancellations and strengthened my client relationships.

Getting Clients to Come Back Sooner

I had offered discounted packages as an incentive to visit frequently since January 2014. Most of my regular clients purchased them. Sadly, I just couldn’t get a handle on my cash flow using that system, and I was doubting my ability to make my practice work for me while meeting clients where they are. Switching to a pay-as-you-go membership has made me more money and eliminated my cash flow problems without sacrificing client satisfaction. Sweet!

Where Are Your Clients Coming From?

Knowing what marketing activities are actually bringing in clients is what makes a marketing plan effective. This simple process keeps me from wasting time and money on things that aren’t working. This post is also the debut of the blogcast (for those who would rather listen than read). It’s a little passion project that I anticipate will be sweeping the blogging community any day now. 🙂

Achieving Estimated Tax Payment Mastery

So many truths about my business were reflected in my tax management (or lack thereof). This has been my greatest challenge by far since 2015 when my income from my practice really took off. Now, I have a system in place that will keep me caught up and worry-free going forward.

How To Get and Keep More Clients

On the email sign up forms to subscribe to the blog, I asked what your biggest marketing/business challenge is. The overwhelmingly most popular answer is getting and keeping clients. No matter how much marketing we do outside of our treatment rooms, it’s what happens while clients are with us that builds our businesses.

The road to get where I am has been a wonderful adventure. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m grateful that you’re sharing the journey with me and truly humbled by your support as I continue to grow a practice that I love!

Which post(s) from the last year have inspired you or brought you success? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment/comments link to share. Thank you!

I’ve unveiled a whole new Booked and Busy in 90 Days™ program to better serve different kinds of business owners who want fill their practices faster!

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Posted in Boundaries, Business Practices, Client Experience, Marketing, Money, Pricing, Taxes | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Get and Keep More Clients

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Getting and keeping clients isn’t rocket science. It’s really more of a social science because it’s like hosting a party (or several short parties per day). So what makes a party so exceptional that people will remember it, tell others about it, and want to attend again and again?

There are many elements that go into a memorable party. Since we (most likely) won’t provide food, cocktails, clowns or piñatas, I’ve chosen these five because no matter the occasion, they hit the mark. Integrating them into your practice routine will keep clients coming back and asking for your business card to pass along.

A personal invitation is your marketing message. It should speak to those clients you prefer working with and help most. This is your guest list. By being more specific on your website, within your professional network and at the events you attend to showcase your practice, you’re setting yourself up to retain more new clients. When we try appealing to everyone, we make it harder for those who are looking for us to find us (who would invite anyone and everyone to a party?). Describing the results they’ll get from your work tells them how you can solve their problem and improve their life.

Make them feel welcome and at ease with a smile and a handshake. Once they arrive, give them your full attention and offer them something to drink (just like you would if they came to your home). Clarify their expectations by giving them options and sharing your treatment plan. Ask if they have any questions before leaving the room while they get on the table.

Atmosphere matters. Keeping your massage environment clean and tidy gives a good impression (you’d clean your house before a party, right?). Your decor, lighting, music, room temperature and table comfort also influence your client’s perception. This doesn’t require spending tons of money. The best way to experience what your clients do is to ask a friend to trade in your space. Ask for their feedback about these items and notice them yourself while you receive. Then ask each client about them to accommodate individual preferences.

Stand out from the ordinary with thoughtful details (a great host makes sure everyone has a good time). Use their name when you check in about pressure or time spent on problem areas. Refer back to what they told you during the intake to give them a customized treatment that shows you listened and care about their input. Unless they request total silence, most people want to have a say in what they’re paying for. If the massage is going to run longer than the scheduled end time, let them know ten minutes before then so you can make adjustments should they need to be done on time.

Have you EVER been to a party where the host wanted you to leave (if so, I bet it’s a crazy story)? Not being rushed after their massage gives clients permission to savor the effects of our time together and shows our appreciation for them choosing us. If you find yourself getting anxious to finish up with one client so you can prepare for the next, or you’re consistently running behind, experiment with having more time in between (some or all) of your appointments. It’s much easier to rebook happy clients or give clear self-care instructions when you have plenty of time.

A friend of mine called the clients where we worked together “guests” (from her background in Las Vegas spas). When we treat our clients as a guest who we want to enjoy themselves, they feel special. Combine that with a tempting incentive to return (such as a discounted package or other loyalty program) and they’ll gladly become a regular client. Striving to create the best experience I can for every client, every time they visit keeps me celebrating the growth of the practice that I love!

What other elements do you use so clients feel special? What have you experienced during a massage that made you feel special? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!

Booked and Busy subscribers have exclusive access to the Booked and Busy Bonus Room on Facebook. This free group provides resources (including a “5 Steps to Turn New Clients into Regulars” guide) to get and keep more clients so you can make more money while helping more people!

 

Posted in Business Practices, Client Experience, Marketing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

3 Things to Say That Get More Rebookings

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One of the most challenging parts about having my own practice has been learning how to talk to clients. Specifically, I’ve struggled with what to say to encourage rebooking and continuing visits. I never wanted to be pushy or sound like a massage salesperson, and I was afraid I would say the wrong thing and sound like an idiot. After all these years in practice, I’ve discovered it’s not what I’m saying. It’s who I’m saying it to.

If your massage training was like mine, you didn’t get any formal education about sales. This is sad, because without knowing what to do or say to get clients to come back, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to build a sustainable business. But guess what? Overcoming our fear of being judged or disliked is harder than mastering this skill.

I’ve found that asking a question and giving two options creates a phrasing that works for me. That way, the client is simply making a choice instead of accepting or rejecting me. After all, it’s not our responsibility to decide what our clients want, need or value. Our only responsibility here is to be consistent so those who are interested can say yes.

After every session with a new client or a client who doesn’t have a standing appointment, I ask:

Would you like to book another appointment while you’re here or do you need to check your schedule?

This tells them I want them to return without being manipulative. It also gives them an easy out if they have no intention of returning or are unsure of their ability to commit. They may need to discuss it with someone else or have a variable schedule. Regardless, they aren’t saying no.

The key is to come up with something that feels good to you, and then say it to EVERY client. Try on a few different phrases (or use mine if it suits you), then practice it. My favorite rehearsal venues are in the shower, in the car and while I’m waiting for the client to get dressed after a session. It may take a while to find just the right wording, but don’t let the fear of saying the wrong thing keep you from doing it. Just start asking. You’ll get more comfortable with this process once you do it consistently (I promise).

It’s impossible to please everyone, especially in a profession that is so personal. Sometimes we don’t give the kind of massage someone prefers or our office isn’t convenient. We can only be who we are and do what we do. That’s not to say we shouldn’t honor reasonable client requests, but let’s be real. There’s a limit to how far outside of our unique skill set we can go without feeling resentful or unqualified.

I always follow up with new clients to see how they’ve been feeling since their massage. I choose not to use this as an opportunity to ask if they’d like to rebook (if they haven’t already), but you may want to. I know there are massage therapists who use this strategy very successfully (I may decide to incorporate it at some point). Again, practice first, then do it consistently until it’s second nature.

If a client has been in a few times but we don’t have a standing appointment, I ask:

Are you interested in a standing appointment or is your schedule too unpredictable?

I love standing appointments because they make my schedule easier to manage and my income more predictable. Often, clients are unaware that this option is available. It may take a few weeks to get into the groove, but once established ensures they can get in on a regular basis. Then they can schedule their life around their massages (talk about having your priorities straight). If they prefer to wing it, that’s their choice.

Some people honestly don’t know the benefit of receiving massage frequently. To explain it, I say:

Massage is like exercise. The more often you get it, the more you build on what you’ve already gained rather than starting over from scratch.

Everyone gets this analogy. It’s easy to understand and doesn’t use any complicated scientific jargon. The more we meet clients where they are, the more we gain their trust.

Saying the right thing becomes easy when we say it to every client, every day. This doesn’t make us lazy or generic. It makes us confident communicators who know that using the same effective methods repeatedly is a recipe for success. Getting clear on this has been one of my most rewarding insights while building the practice that I love!

What do you say to clients to rebook them? Are there other professional situations that you encounter often when you don’t know what to say? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!

Booked and Busy subscribers have exclusive access to the Booked and Busy Bonus Room on Facebook. This free group provides checklists, templates, guides and videos to get and keep more clients so you can make more money while helping more people!

Posted in Business Practices, Communication, Marketing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Bucking the Email Marketing Trend

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Although I rock at following up with new clients, I choose not to pursue those who fall off the schedule. I know, we’re supposed to stay in touch with email marketing or a monthly newsletter. This keeps us top-of-mind for those clients who get busy and forget to book. I’m sure there are statistics that show this strategy is effective, but I don’t use it for several reasons.

First of all, self-care has to come from self-motivation. Anyone who’s ever tried to stick with a fitness program or meditation schedule can vouch for this. Commitment doesn’t come from emails; it comes from a desire to change or valuing the benefit of a consistent behavior. Those friendly reminders can backfire and cause feelings of guilt or unworthiness, definitely not the vibe I want associated with my practice.

Also, we make time for and spend money on the things that are important to us. Period. Every client who has told me they can’t afford massage is spending that money on something else. I’ve been on a tight budget for many years but when I really want or need something, I find a way to get it. If there truly is financial hardship, I certainly don’t want to be pressuring people to spend their gas and grocery money on a massage.

When we find someone we really like that gives us the experience we want, we remember it. We don’t need to be reminded who gives us the best haircut or makes the best pizza. We may choose to settle for something else because our favorite is inconvenient or costs more. Those choices don’t necessarily reflect our preferences, just what we’re able to do with the other demands we’re juggling.

And then, there are those clients who have left because they were dissatisfied. I can always tell by the pat on the back I get as we hug or their vagueness as we discuss rescheduling that I’ll never see them again. If I’m not a good fit for them, they shouldn’t come back. Trying to convince them otherwise reminds me of chasing my ninth grade boyfriend down the street after he broke up with me (even though I knew I shouldn’t).

There are times when I have important information to share with clients via email. If the only other emails they receive are appointment confirmations and reminders, they are more likely to notice, open and read emails about policy updates or price increases. Not doing regular email marketing prevents these messages from being overlooked.

I do reach out occasionally to those clients I felt a bond with that haven’t been in for a while to let them know I miss them and hope they’re doing well. This is not an automated, impersonal communication. It’s an authentic connection that I wish to maintain regardless of the amount of money it may or may not bring in.

As I said in the first paragraph, I’m sure email marketing has the statistics to prove it generates sales. If it feels good to you and you’re getting positive feedback from your clients, by all means use it. As a consumer, it simply doesn’t resonate with me unless it provides outstanding value. As a business owner, it feels imposing and repetitive. Being true to myself in my marketing activities is a cornerstone in building and maintaining a practice that I love!

What email marketing do you do and what have your results been? If you don’t use it, why not? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!

Booked and Busy subscribers have exclusive access to the Booked and Busy Bonus Room on Facebook. This free group provides checklists, templates, guides and videos to get and keep more clients so you can make more money while helping more people!

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Best Facebook Features for Your Practice

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By the time you read this, it may be obsolete. That’s because I’m writing about Facebook. Just when you think you have it figured out, they change something. Regardless, the expectation to have a Facebook presence for your business creates a dilemma: Are business/fan pages or groups best? The answer depends on what you want to accomplish.

To me, there are three features we want from a Facebook account for our practice: visibility, marketing and building community. What you hope to achieve depends on where you are now in your practice and where you’re going. Knowing what results you want is the first step to any marketing venture.

Business/fan pages are the same thing (it depends on what you’re reading or who you’re talking to). Since their inception, major changes have been made that make getting your page content seen on the timelines of your followers more challenging. Post photos and videos for more visibility (Facebook’s algorithm prefers them), especially if your post contains a link.

As of now, a business page is the only option with the ability to boost posts or promote your page. I’ve been told boosting doesn’t work and yet that has not been my experience (sounds like another blog post or maybe a webinar). The more targeted your boost or promotion is, the better.

Business pages also have an Insights tab (at the top) that keeps data on when your audience is on Facebook. Along with the capability to schedule posts ahead of time*, you can strategically post at times when the most followers are likely to see your content. You can also learn what kinds of posts get the most engagement to make your efforts more effective.

The most powerful marketing features a business page has that a group doesn’t are specific places for reviews, hours, pricing, contact information and a description of your practice. This information helps those who are just checking you out decide if you are a good fit for their needs. The power of reviews cannot be overstated and I find new clients are eager to leave them.

Due to the algorithm, building community can be tough if your posts aren’t being seen by your followers. You can build a bigger following by inviting your Facebook friends to like your page (there’s a link in the Community box on the right) and asking your followers to invite their friends. More likes gives the impression of an exceptional practice that prospects will want to be a part of.

Facebook groups are another way to connect with your audience. As long as group members have their notifications set to “All Posts, they’ll receive a notification every time a post is added to your group. It’s a good idea to include that stipulation in a follow up message thanking them for joining.

One marketing feature a group has over a business page is Facebook Live* video. This may be an advantage depending on what type of content you provide and how much your audience is on Facebook. Since there aren’t dedicated areas on the group page for your business information, having a link to your website in a pinned post (a post that stays at the top) is essential.

Building community in a group is a little different than on a business page. Instead of an Invite to Like, you Add Members (also on the right). To make your group visible to those who aren’t members, have the privacy settings on public (anyone can see the group, its members and their posts). You’ll also have to decide if you want all members to be able to post (these could be reviews) or if you’ll be the only one posting.

I see pros and cons to both types of Facebook pages. Personally, having a business page to reach new and current clients makes the most sense because of the business information features and review options. I have both a business page and a group. The group is to let members know about same-day, discounted openings. It’s been the best way to communicate those that I’ve used so far.

The cool part of all of this (and anything else in your business) is that you can experiment and see what works best for you. Finding new ways to connect with clients is part of the treasure hunt of marketing the practice that I love!

How do you use a Facebook business page or group for your practice? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!

Booked and Busy subscribers have exclusive access to the Booked and Busy Bonus Room on Facebook. This free group provides helpful links to create a strong social media strategy to get and keep more clients so you can make more money while helping more people!

*As of late September 2017, both Facebook fan pages and groups feature Facebook Live and the ability to schedule posts.

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