When you’re a solo therapist, marketing is hard. We get caught up in the excitement of starting our own business and we neglect to create a plan. In all fairness there’s no way to plan for EVERYTHING. It’s impossible! But here’s what you can do to make the marketing side that much easier. You can follow these 5 steps EVERY TIME and I can assure you, your efforts will have better results.
UNDERSTAND YOUR BRAND
The worst thing you can do for yourself as a solo therapist is base your marketing efforts on what is or isn’t working for another therapist. I’m not saying that finding out what someone else is doing and trying it out is bad. What I am saying is understand YOUR brand identity. Your unique selling point. If you prefer to be known as a therapist who is a beast at trigger point and sports massage to weekend warriors, then why would you be taking marketing advice from someone who prefers to be known for energy work and spa treatments? What they’re doing may not work for you. So again, First get a good handle on your own brand identity before you start investing in marketing.
CREATE A BUDGET
Before you start throwing in money, you might want to consider how much you can afford. This is another reason why basing your marketing efforts on someone else’s can be pointless. It’s possible social media ads worked for someone else simply because they had more money to invest. Understand your OWN budget before your start shooting from the hip. When you come into planning your marketing strategy with a budget, it stops you from just throwing money away. It forces you to actually think about whether the effort you want to try will give you a return on investment.
RESPECT THE RESEARCH
You will discover that research will become your very best friend. By researching your area, you can find out things like income demographics, travel times, local events or places your target audience hangs out. Researching helps you find your market based on who you’re trying to attract with YOUR BRAND. It takes out a lot of the guesswork when deciding how and where to market your services.
TRACK AND MEASURE
Once you’ve determined your brand identity, budget and researched your area you can now throw yourself out there. You should be tracking your new (and existing) clients as they come in. A lot of time is spent creating intake forms that leave out one critical question:
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT US?
From a marketing standpoint this is the most important question your client can answer. If you don’t have a software that can track your marketing efforts, I highly recommend creating a basic system maybe in Excel and keep track of what is driving clients in the door.
After you’ve tracked them you should measure what is working. If you remember nothing else from this, please remember this…YOU CANNOT IMPROVE WHAT IS NOT MEASURED!
After you’ve tracked your efforts for a bit of time, now it’s time to do the easy part. See what worked. If social media ads aren’t working for you then stop! Invest a little more in something that is working. Maybe Google Ads worked for you. Maybe your client isn’t even online. Maybe most of your clients came from a local event. Maybe most of your clients came from seeing you wear your logo’d shirt and asked you to email them. But you can’t know that if you don’t track and measure. When you’ve reviewed YOUR results, shift your money to maximize the return on the efforts that are working for you. Why follow the trend of what everyone else is doing? While everyone else is milking the same cow, you could be enjoying an untapped cow all to yourself.
What’s the point? It’s too expensive to be guessing where your next client is coming from. There is no ONE way to market. But by taking these 5 steps you can certainly make better informed decisions and lessen the risk as you proceed with future efforts.
I realize this all sounds simple written neatly in an article. If you need help, I am a resource to you. Use the form below to get a free brand assessment.
Kamillya Hunter is the owner and founder of Spa Analytics. She encourages independent owners to focus on The Details That Matter when running a business. She’s a mom of two, an army wife, author and a self diagnosed “Spa Junkie” who lives, eats, breathes and sleeps the personal service industry.