Here, at The Therapists' Business School, we recently conducted a survey of holistic therapists in the United Kingdom.
An interesting finding was that many of you are using leaflet advertising. However, for all of you who use leaflets, this was your least effective form of marketing. Leaflet advertising generally has a very poor ROI (return on investment) both in terms of the financial investment and the time investment required for leaflets.
There are several reasons that leaflets produce such a poor ROI. The first is that this form of marketing is not targeted. You are marketing to everyone in the local area, regardless of whether they are interested in having therapy or if they are your ideal customer. To market your business effectively, it is much more beneficial to invest only in those who are interested in your specific type of therapy. You can do this with more targeted forms of marketing such as Google AdWords and Facebook ads.
Secondly, therapy is a very personal experience. The client will be revealing themselves, whether that’s physically by taking of their clothes for a massage, or emotionally by talking about their issues in a counselling session. Of course, many people very anxious or vulnerable when doing this. Therefore, they do not choose a therapist hastily. A client will choose a therapist they trust and will only continue to see them, if they continue to trust the therapist. A leaflet builds no trust and therefore is a very inefficient form of marketing. A much better way to build trust is to use a marketing funnel. The marketing funnel will be explained in detail over the next few blog posts, (it’s quite meaty so we decided to split this technique across a few weeks).
Therapy is generally a reasonably expensive service. To be able to charge a good price for your services you must portray a professional, trustworthy, upmarket service. Sending leaflets puts your service in the same category as local takeaways. It’s not the impression you want for your business.
So, how can you build up a good level of trust in a cost-effective way, which will bring new clients into your business without a huge investment?
The best way is to use a marketing funnel. This style of marketing is known as permission marketing and is much more effective and less aggressive, than big brash marketing, which annoys people. The marketing funnel allows you to start a conversation with a potential client, to build trust. The client does not have to spend any money initially so there is no risk to them. The beauty of modern technology is that it is possible to build these conversations with a large group of potential clients for a very low cost.
A summary of the way the funnel works is as follows:
- There is an initial hook which encourages the potential client to give you their email address. This is the only part requiring a financial investment from you.
- You send an informative email campaign to the client, providing them with useful information and telling them about your business but without aggressively selling.
- Once a relationship of trust has been built up, you can sell more overtly and convert a portion of these conversations into sales.
- You constantly ask for feedback and assess how the different steps of the funnel are working.
In the next blog we will go through a step by step guide to creating the most effective initial hook.