Nikki Collinson-Phenix is a registered chiropractor, Western medical acupuncturist and massage therapist who has been in private practice for more than 20 years. She is also a business coach and mentor for therapists. In the second of a short series of blogs to help you get back to work with a spring in your step and a renewed sense of purpose, Nikki talks about the importance of being visible and consistent in order to connect with your dream clients…
As a professional therapist with so much to offer, it’s important to get yourself out there and be seen, and particularly now, as we ease our way out of lockdown and start seeing clients in person again.
One of the things I noticed during the lockdown was that some therapists really retreated, while others stepped up and embraced the fact that they had to go online if they wanted to stay visible. The downside for those who took a step back was that some of their clients, even their most loyal ones, started to look to their competition for support, because other therapists kept showing up online, giving tips and advice, and reaching out to their clients.
Going forward, what I’d really like you to do is start getting yourself noticed and to do that, I need you to think about where you would find your dream clients. Where do the people you want to attract to your business hang out? Once you’ve worked that out, you then need to start showing up in these places and make yourself visible. If you’re happy connecting with people online, you could explore different forums or social media groups. Offline, you could maybe tap into different clubs, societies, social groups or businesses they’re connected to and have an interest in. Could you then give a talk or treatment demonstration, online or in person? Can you give them useful links, tips, a checklist, short videos or taster treatments? What can you do that will help to get your face recognized by these people?
Another option is to try and get a feature in your local newspaper, magazine or radio show. Or perhaps you could write a guest post for someone else’s blog, whose readers are your dream clients. Or you could collaborate with someone – maybe even another therapist – to create a great initiative that will help to get you both noticed. The important thing is that, even if it feels like it’s not really working, you keep going. Eventually, people will keep seeing your name and think, ‘Who is this person? I need to learn more about them, because they’re everywhere at the moment!’ That’s when they’ll start to searching for you online and on social media. Get yourself visible – it’s so powerful.
The next thing is to be consistent. If you only show up when you want to promote a new treatment or special offer and then you disappear for weeks on end, that doesn’t look very good from a business perspective. You need to do whatever it is that you are doing on a regular basis, wherever it is that your dream clients are hanging out. It might be posting incredible content or offering top tips on Facebook once or twice a week, or sending out a monthly e-newsletter to clients, that they can pass on to others. Just stick with it and remember that running a business is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you’re new to social media, don’t be disappointed if you don’t see any engagement straight away. A lot of people are slow burners – they want to observe you for a while, to get a feel for who you are and what you have to offer. I call these people the ‘silent lurkers’, but in the nicest sense! They are the people that I bump into who suddenly reel off everything I’ve being doing for the past few months and yet they have never liked one of my posts, commented on a post, or messaged me. They have just been quietly sitting back and observing. When you show up consistently for people, that speaks volumes about your integrity as a business owner and that you’re happy to share information and advice all of the time, and not just when you’re trying to sell something.
And don’t be tempted into what I would call ‘shiny object syndrome’, where you start posting on Facebook for a couple of weeks, then think, ‘Oh, this is rubbish – no one is engaging with me’, so you move onto Twitter and do the same, and then LinkedIn, then Instagram and then TikTok… It’s all about having a consistent method and consistent message.
With so many social media platforms available, it can be really overwhelming, trying to skate across all of them. Pick the one you think your dream clients are most likely to use. It might be Facebook, or if they are more corporate and business minded, LinkedIn might be more appropriate. If they’re more visual and creative, it could be Instagram. Pick the one that you feel is most relevant, build up your confidence and get really good at it, and then when that’s going well, look to branch out onto another platform. You can use social media schedulers, so that you can plan out different posts on different platforms, but if you’re not quite there yet, as I say, it’s better to be the master of one rather than the master of none. Good luck and enjoy!
In Nikki’s next blog, she’ll talk about why it’s more important to promote treatment benefits rather than the treatment itself
For more information about Nikki, visit nikkicp.com or learn more top tips by watching a special video she produced for FHT members, called Spring back into business.