Massage & Bodywork

November | December 2014

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26 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k n o v e m b e r / d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 4 best practices Change is Good Look at Things Differently & Grow Your Practice By Les Sweeney, NCTM, and Kristin Coverly, LMT Stuck in a rut? Not feeling fulfilled? Expected more from your practice? Don't fire yourself—fire yourself up! In this issue, Kristin and Les tackle eight topics to inspire change. Mix it up, look at things a bit differently, and perhaps you'll find that a little change can do you good (thanks, Sheryl Crow). LES SWEENEY: Embrace diversity: If you took a picture of every client you have, would it look like one big family? Many therapists have practices that are comprised of similar types of individuals—is there too much sameness in your own clientele? Do you accidentally forget which PTA mom you're working on? Maybe it's time for you to conduct a diversity audit of your practice. Think about some of the ways people are different—age, gender, hair color, skin color, ethnic background, occupation, political views, physical ability, sexual orientation, religious belief—just to name a few. How diverse is your client base? Does your client list reflect your geographic location? Why does this matter? Should your waiting room look like the United Nations? Well, that depends. Are you seeing enough clients currently? If the answer is no, you've probably been asking yourself, "Where can I find new clients?" Thinking beyond your own circle might be a good place to start. Diversifying your client base may expand your perspective—and increase your income. KRISTIN COVERLY: Your marketing plan: A lot of therapists I know would absolutely love it if marketing was a once-and-done proposition. Effective marketing, though, is like a living thing—and just like a plant, a puppy, a baby, or you, it needs ongoing care and attention to flourish. Whether you're trying to build or maintain your practice, refresh your marketing plan often to attract new clients and keep the ones you have. Evaluate your marketing using the "invitation criteria": who, what, where, and when. Who do you direct your marketing efforts toward? Hone in and focus your efforts on the groups of clients you want to work with (migraine sufferers, pregnant woman, people who live within five miles of your office). Like Les said, if you've been working with the same types of clients for a long time, consider expanding your efforts to a new group. What types of things do you do to market your practice? Ideally, you'll have a blend of in-person marketing (events, networking, speaking to groups) and online marketing (website, Facebook). Evaluate your current strategy to BUSINESS SIDE determine what you need to change or add to create a successful mix. Where do you go to meet potential new clients? Get out in the community and let people know who you are and what you have to offer. Does this take time and effort to plan? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes! Add at least one new in-person marketing activity in the next three months. When do you take time to market your practice? Schedule time on your calendar each week to strategize and implement your marketing ideas. Research upcoming events in your community and do the groundwork to provide massage at an event, update your social media sites and website, and so on. There's plenty to do; schedule the time to put your ideas into action. LS: Your practice management: When I see a person with a large dog on a leash, one of my favorite dumb things to say (I say so many dumb things, I have some favorites) is, "Who's walking whom?"

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