Getting clients in might be easy when you’re working in the student clinic. Or it might not be – as a lot of us have experienced! But when you get out into the real world, marketing as a new practitioner is a whole ‘nother ball game.
There’s no one to back you up, no one to tell you what you can and can’t say. And it seems like everyone else is spending thousands on 5+ marketing avenues! That’s why I’m here to help you through the basics of marketing your new business. These steps are not only budget-friendly, but they WORK.
Marketing As A New Practitioner – The Steps You Want To Take
Step 1 – Decide On A Niche
If you’re stepping into marketing as a new practitioner, you cannot skip this step. This is not negotiable. In the marketing world, we have a saying – if you try to talk to everyone, you’ll end up talking to no-one. I’ve talked more about this in a previous article about choosing a niche, but for now, I’m just going to tell you that you need a niche.
It doesn’t have to be the only niche you ever use, and you might change it after a few months. So just start with a niche of something that really interests you. Maybe it’s nervous system disorders, or maybe it’s exhausted mums, or maybe it’s a specific stage of hormonal health.
Some people find it’s easier to create an ideal client, down to their name, age, lifestyle and so on. If this means you know who you’re ‘talking to’ when it comes to your marketing – go for it.
Step 2 – Figure Out Where Your Ideal Client Is Hanging Out
Now that you know who you want to work with, it’s time to figure out where they are. There’s not much point in marketing with LinkedIn if you’re wanting to work with full-time mums. Likewise, CEOs don’t spend all that much time in start-up business groups.
People at the beginning of a weight-loss journey probably won’t see your flyers at the local ‘strength & conditioning’ gym that is packed with lifters who eschew any exercise that doesn’t use a barbell (yes, I have one of those around the corner from my house).
- Where and when they’re eating or drinking
- Where they go to relieve stress
- What form of exercise they’re engaging in (if any)
- Where they seek support
- Which form of social media they’re likely to prefer
This is now the list of places and media you’re going to use for your initial marketing. Scrap all of the others. If your ideal client is mums over 40, they’re probably not on Instagram, so you don’t need to open an account at this very minute! Focus on where the majority is found.
Step 3 – Find Out What Your Ideal Client Thinks Is The Problem
99% of the time, your client doesn’t know what their actual problem is – or at least, they don’t admit it to themselves. You probably know it, but they don’t understand what you do. They don’t know that their excessive caffeine or imbalanced diet is throwing out their gut, adrenals, nervous system, etc etc.
What they know is that they’re exhausted all the time. Or that they can’t shift the post-baby weight. Or that they can’t concentrate at work.
Those things are what your marketing should start with. Whether you’re writing up a flyer, a blog post or a Facebook tip, these things are what you want to show you have the answer for.
Step 4 – Go Out & Try Things!
Marketing as a new practitioner is not something you can be perfect at. Hell, I’ve been out of uni for over 4 years now and I’m still learning! But the only thing that is 100% wrong is not getting started. As they say, done is always better than perfect.
So go market yourself. Talk to people. Find ways to connect with your ideal clients. Get your name out there. Be visible, loud and proud about what you have to offer. The only thing holding you back is you!
This photoshoot was from my early days marketing as a new practitioner. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I had a ball doing it!
That covers the basics of marketing as a new practitioner – the things that are relevant to pretty much everyone. Now let’s go over some ideas that may or may not work for you, depending on your niche, location and biz set-up.
Run workshops in the local area
Is your clinic a physical location? Looking for ways to bring in a little $$, but also find warm leads? Suss out your local community centre or complementary spaces like a yoga studio. The use that space to run a cheap workshop on your client’s perceived problem.
I do say cheap, not free – people tend to sign up for free workshops, and then pull a no-show. Even charging $10 means people are more likely to show up, and are more likely to be committed. If they’re willing to pay $10 for a workshop, they’re not going to pay $100 for a session with you!
In this workshop, give actionable advice! You’re not a sleazy pyramid scheme that is trying to suck people into buying to find out the solution. Give them helpful strategies for reducing stress, or preparing meals that are balanced, or whatever it is they need. But then you can offer an introductory package to those who would like to take the next step on their health journey.
Collaborate with other practitioners
Got other practitioners around that have a similar niche? Now is the time to reach out to them, catch up over coffee, and find a way to work together. Maybe they can run a workshop with you, or maybe you can offer a joint package for their clients. The opportunities are endless! But make sure that whatever you do, it’s a win-win situation for both businesses.
Show up in Facebook groups
This is particularly true for people who work with entrepreneurs and small biz owners. There are some fantastic biz groups out there (I’m happy to link you to my faves if you’re interested) that allow you to connect with potential clients.
But for this to work, you can’t show up on promo day, drop your offer and disappear. Like any other form of marketing, you need to build relationships and establish yourself as a go-to person. That means sharing tips on tip day, putting up selfies every now and then, celebrating your wins with the group. And it definitely means interacting with other group members.
Hungry for more helpful tips and tricks for your new biz? I’ve got good news for you. This is just the first in a fortnightly series – I’ll keep sharing newbie-oriented content for the next couple of months!