Clients can be fickle — they’re looking to save money just as much as we’re looking to make money. The two are almost mutually exclusive, so we’re always looking for that edge — that balance that will make us as profitable as possible, keep our current clients happy, and get lots of new clients.
If you’re losing clients, or just afraid you’re going to lose them, there are a few things you can do to tighten that bond with your client and figure out exactly what they’re looking for so that you may be able to meet their needs even better than you have been so far.
#1 — Conduct an email campaign with a discount or coupon included
I’m not big on filling out surveys — the only ones I usually like are the ones I conduct on my own. But the few that I do get involved in that really draw me in are the ones that offer me something in return like a discount or coupon on a future purchase. I did this for the first 2-3 years of my business (I even wrote about it in my book “Creating a Prosperous Practice“) and you can gain some insight about your client and what they like and don’t like, while keeping them coming back for more because you just gave them something to use next time they need services like yours.
#2 — Contact your long-term clients directly by phone
To make sure that you maintain that close personal relationship with your best clients, reach out to them by phone periodically. Talk to them about what you offer or are doing that they like, and what they would like to see changed. Ask them to be candid and let them know that you’re seriously interested in their honest feedback.
#3 — Analyze clients purchase trends
This is something you probably should be doing all along, but with smaller businesses run by one or two very busy people, it can be extremely difficult to set aside the time to do it right. What you need to do is select a time period — maybe it’s the past six months, maybe a full year — and see who your best customers are, where they’re coming from, what services they are getting, how much they’re spending, etc.
Below are 4 proven secrets to help you succeed.
1. Stay In Touch
Stay in contact with clients on a regular basis. Offer them a free newsletter subscription. Ask clients if they want to be updated by e-mail when you make changes to your website.
2. Have a Friendly Website
Make it easy for your clients to navigate on your website. Have a “FAQ” page on your website to explain anything that might confuse your customers.
3. Easy Communication
Make it easy and for your customers to contact you. Offer as many contact methods as possible.
4. Impress Your Client
Give your clients more than they expect. Send thank you gifts to your very best clients (remember Pareto principle – 80% of our income is coming from 20% of your clients — know who they are and reward them). E-mail them online greeting cards on holidays or birthdays.
Have you heard of Fabienne Fredrickson, the Client Attraction Mentor? I was introduced to her through Sally Toth Galloway, one of the massage therapists who worked for me when I first started my massage practice back in 2000.
Fabienne started ClientAttraction.com over ten years ago to help solo-preneuers around the world attract more clients,
make more money and have more time off to enjoy it all.
I was reintroduced to Fabienne as she one of the visiting instructors for Institute for Integrative Nutrition where I just received my Holistic Health Coach Certificate in March 2013 (she went to IIN as well).
Fabienne has a generous offer (well, free offer) that I think you’ll really enjoy. Fabienne has a FREE audio CD entitled “How to Attract All the Clients You Need”. It retails for $24.95 and she is giving this away for FREE.
In this FREE audio CD Fabienne reveals her secrets for attracting clients consistently and having your business work for you, as opposed to you always working for the business. She developed a step by step system for attracting clients to your small business – incorporating all the essential elements needed to ensure you have clients attracted to you. Fabienne is known for helping solo-preneuers around the world attract more clients, make more money and have more time off to enjoy it all. Fabienne has a FREE audio CD entitled “How to Attract All the Clients You Need.” It retails for $24.95 and she is giving this away for FREE. Thousands of people have listened to it and have had dramatic results in their business as a result.
After you’ve listened to the CD, be sure to come back here and post one thing that you learned in the comments.
My hubby and I are on a massive de-cluttering spree. In my efforts of cleaning and purging, I happened upon a box of the first edition of my book Creating a Prosperous Practice. Although this book has been revised and is in its 2nd edition, this book still has valuable information on how I took my business from paying 10s of thousands of dollars in advertising to spending practically nothing all while tripling my business.
I have decided to give them away for free, you just pay Shipping and Handling. There is a limited number of these ~ about 40 or so ~ so it is on a first come, first served basis.
If you want to read what’s included in the book or see what other people are saying about the book, you can go here.
Click here to get your own copy today. These books will go priority mail so that I don’t have to mess with finding boxes or mailing envelopes. Go now!
Sorry all of the copies have been sold. Thank your for you interest.
I’ve created a series of videos for you to use for free on your website, Facebook Page/Profile or on Twitter.
Here are what some people are saying about the videos:
Hi Linda, thanks for the fantastic videos, I have been using them on my facebook page. I also do reiki and craniosacral therapy. If you’re looking for ideas for future videos, I would like to see some for other body work modalities in addition to the great massage ones that you have already posted. Thanks again, this is a wonderful idea. –Christine Baker, LMT
I did not know this existed. Wonderful idea! Well done. Thanks again –Suzanne Nichols
Great site and helpful videos! –Sandy Haynes
Hello~thank you for your effort in making these educational videos for our use! –Premo’s Barbar Spa
Linda! I don’t know how I missed this page before now – these videos are great – thanks! –Cindy Iwlew
Excellent page! –Tammy L Regis
Thanks for sharing the I Massage videos. Very well done indeed. –Jean Walker-Wiley
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this week we’re giving thanks on social media!
Something that makes social media distinct from other forms of communication is that it is quite public. This public element is a great way to build relationships by giving people public recognition.
Who do you want to say thank you to? It could be a vendor, a client, or a colleague. Tell them you appreciate them by leaving a comment on their Facebook Page or writing a message on twitter.
Guest Post by Renee Randall
If I could start my massage career over today, knowing what I know now, I would do these things differently.
Go to a cadaver lab. I have been told you learn so much more about how the muscles attach and where they are.
I would ask to learn more self care. Such as stretches and the like. I have had to learn on my own for the most part and am paying for it now!
I would take more specialty classes before I got so busy it is hard to take off now and I don’t have any close by.
August is back to school month. For your website, that is.
Earlier this year, I sent out a questionnaire asking you guys to tell me about your websites. I received a flood of responses describing in lurid detail how, essentially, most of you just want to kick your website in the shins.
So I’m officially declaring August “Send Your Website Back to School” month, and we’ll tackle a series of common, client-repelling, shin-kick-inducing website (or blogsite) problems.
Let’s get started with three fabulous and essential website tweaks you can finish this weekend. Ask yourself the following three questions. If the answer is “yes,” then gold star to you! If the answer is “no,” then I’ve got a little weekend-ready action plan for you (which you will want to complete…keep reading):
1) Do I have a photo of myself somewhere on my website?
If I show you a photo of a person, your eyes will almost always go right to the face. Specifically, to the eyes. Not a surprise – eyes give us information that we use daily. If you and I were chatting in our favorite cafe, and suddenly I flicked my eyes away and stared over your shoulder, you’d probably turn around and follow my eye gaze to see what you were missing out on. Faces and expressions give us a wordless wealth of information about events, emotion, personality, and relationships.
It’s no surprise that people prefer having a photo of a face to go along with a name online.
We are used to using faces as a reference to gather information, and sometimes become uneasy when we can’t see who we’re engaging with. Having a photo of yourself on your business website helps people feel more connected with you and with what you have to say. (Note: Photos of children or pets are cute, and may absolutely have a place on your site, but they are not substitutes for visually introducing yourself.)
“I haven’t gotten around to it yet” is not a brand decision, and neither is “I don’t have any good photos of myself.” Those are excuses, my dear, and both are easily overcome. If you are going to go all Lemony Snicket on us and not put a photo up, be sure you spend some time thinking through why you made that choice, and whether it is congruent with the rest of your current brand.
Did you answer “NO” to this question? Take action this weekend (for all but the Lemony Snickets in the audience):
Call a professional photographer friend tonight and arrange a 30-minute photo date this weekend. You might even make it an exchange, you know professional photos for a massage. Dress up in a brand-appropriate outfit, chat about what you are looking for. All you need is one good shot to start, and you should be able to easily knock that out in under 30 minutes.
If you really reeeeaaaalllly don’t have a professional photographer friend in the area, start simply and have a trusted friend or spouse come along while you set up the shot you want (lighting and all), then hand over the camera….or check to see if one of the on-line social buying platforms is having a sale…that’s how I got mine done.
No excuses. Start somewhere.
2) Do I clearly name what cities I serve on my website?
If you were to ask me “Hey Linda, what is the #1 complaint you get from people about massage therapist’s websites?” you might think the answer would be “lateness,” or “not doing what I ask,” or heck, even “overcharging.”
The answer is “D, None of the above.”
The one issue I get an earful about most often is when someone finds a massage therapist they’re mildly interested in, but can’t see what city that massage therapist lives in. This drives otherwise-normal people bonkers. This relatively minor inconvenience never fails to get people hopping mad. I’ve actually heard people say “If you can’t be bothered to tell me where you are, I can’t be bothered to hire you.” Yowch.
Yes, there are solid SEO reasons why you should list on your site where you’re from. But even if you’re not actively pursuing an SEO strategy, you will at least want to avoid incurring the irritation of visitors.
Did you answer “NO” to this question? Take action this weekend:
Take 60 seconds to make sure your website lists what city or cities you serve and the state where you are located. I believe this information should be above the fold (meaning that it should be visible on someone’s computer screen without them having to scroll down), preferably in the header. But if your city isn’t on the home page, it shouldn’t take more than one click to find the information. Even if you serve out-of-town clients, it’s still worth putting in where your home base is – “Loving life in Colorado, proudly serving families throughout the Rockies.”
3) Is it crystal clear both HOW and WHY people should contact me?
The “how” should be straightforward – an email address, a contact page (so they don’t have to close your website to talk to you), or – best of all – a phone number. All in plain sight. Easy peasy, right? Most of you have this down pat. If not, it should be Priority One this weekend.
But wait – are you giving people a clear answer to WHY they should contact you?
Simply having a contact page is not enough. People will only take the time to contact you if they have a specific reason for doing so. They will definitely email when they have their own reasons (“hey, I loved your last blog post”, but these reasons won’t always align with the ones you’d hope for (getting them to schedule a massage).
If you’ve ever been afraid to raise your hand in class, you understand that before people will speak in front of strangers, they typically need to know 1) what the other person is expecting to hear, and 2) what they’ll get back in return.
Do you often email strangers to say “Uh, hey, just looking at your website here and trying to figure out if I want to hire you or not…umm….email me back?” No. We contact people to book someone, or to seek a piece of missing information.
That means we need to tell people exactly when it’s appropriate to email you, and what kind of information they’ll get back:
“Want to learn more about what it’s like to work with Alexandria Massage Therapy? Shoot me an email right here and I’ll send you an e-book with all the juicy details!”
It also means giving them an “out” if they’re not ready to book yet, but letting them know that you still value hearing from them:
“Ready to book a session? Click here and I’ll whisk you over to the contact page and we’ll get started! Still undecided? Call me at 555-555-5555 and I’ll be happy to listen to your thoughts and help you figure out whether we’re a good fit for each other.”
And sometimes people just want more information without fear that they’ll end up on the receiving end of a hard sales pitch:
“Want to have a no-pressure chat about whether or not massage therapy is right for you? Call me at 555-555-5555.”
Did you answer “NO” to this question? Take action this weekend:
First, make sure your web presence gives people have a clear way to get in touch. If they have to hunt long to find an email address, they probably won’t bother at all.
Second, examine your website content. Do you tell them exactly what to do next when they’re ready to book? Do you give people a reason to feel that their message will be welcomed, even if they’re not ready to be a client yet? Do you explicitly tell them what to do if they just want more information? Add a few lines at the end of your most-trafficked pages, letting people know that you stand ready to help!
Don’t let them be afraid to raise their hand.
Are you missing one of these three essentials? Get going, and when you’re done, leave me a comment!
If you make one of these three changes to your website this weekend, leave me a comment and tell me what you did!
I’ll draw randomly from the comments on August 14th, and the lucky winner will receive a 30-minute Skype date with me. We can chat about websites and go over whatever sticking points might remain, one-on-one!
If you have all three of these essentials already in place, then think: What change have you been meaning to make to your site, but haven’t yet? Taking down an outdated piece of information? Rewriting your bio? Adding a blog? Get on it this weekend, and leave me a comment! It still counts!
Have fun! Can’t wait to hear from you.
When we think of marketing, we often think of the headlines, the advertising, the offers – the Big Campaigns. But marketing isn’t always about the Big Campaign but all the little opportunities to promote your massage practice and share your message.
One marketing opportunity you’ve likely overlooked is your LinkedIn website listings. Most people leave them as “My Website” or “My Blog”. By customizing them, you can give a quick overview of what your website(s) have to offer every time someone views your LinkedIn profile.
I made you a five-minute video explaining how to customize your LinkedIn websites, add your Twitter handle and customize your Linkedin profile, watch it here.
In case you havenʼt heard about Twitter or donʼt know much about it yet, Twitter is a microblogging site that allows you to send short messages of 140 characters to less out to everyone who follows you.
On Twitter, you follow people of interest to you and they follow you. If you are going to use Twitter to gain business, I suggest you follow people in your area — start with clients but then move on from there to other local businesses.
Think of Twitter as a party. You donʼt show up at a party and only talk about yourself or your business, right? No, you engage in conversation. Ask leading questions to find out what people are doing. You also give information – a book your read or are reading, an article, a blog post your wrote or read, etc. that can help the person you are talking to with their problem. Same thing with Twitter.
Then mixed in with that line of conversation, you promote your business: post last minute cancelations, promotions/specials, blog posts, classes, etc.
Just to give you an example on how I have used Twitter — one week, I had several openings, so on Monday morning I posted this: “Openings this week: Tues at 5, Wed at 2 & Thurs at 10, need a massage call 703-851-6922, email or DM me.” I did all that in 103 characters and I was completely booked by the end of Monday.
So get tweetinʼ! If you havenʼt started a Twitter account yet, this video walks you through the steps.
Last week we talking about going local by getting a Google Places. This week we want to continue our on-line presence by adding your business to Yelp.com
Almost everyone is heading online to solve their problems these days, whether they need a massage therapist or a florist! Making your business stand out in local search results can have an instant impact on your bottom line, especially if your competitors are not reading this blog post!
One popular website for business reviews is yelp.com. Adding your business (or updating an existing listing) to yelp is easy and free. Just go to https://biz.yelp.com/support/unlocking and follow their step-by-step process to get started. The more information you can add about your business the better!
After your business is listed its time to get reviews – contact a few happy clients who you have a great personal relationship with and ask if they might consider writing you a review. One review is often enough to get the ball rolling and lead to many more.
You might want to take proactive approach about this one and add your business. Anyone can add any business and write a review on them. You will want to monitor it too for comments especially if they are not positive.