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In this week’s blog/video, let’s talk a bit about the importance of marketing; how you can’t sell what you don’t market.

Straight out of the gate here, you have to sell…period. And to sell, you have to market. I’m not sure why there’s such a hold-up from so many therapists on the entire idea of selling and marketing, like they’re bad words, or it’s just a sleazy thing to do. It’s not. I mean, it’s business. You kind of have to sell something if you’re a business. Or you’re just a charity, and not even a good one at that, because not only are you not promoting, but you’re not even making enough to cover your overhead; and you’ll be shut down in no time because you’ll need a real job that pays real money so that you can pay your real bills. Damn reality! So, you have to sell, and maybe you don’t have a hold up about the need to sell; but are you really marketing? And I don’t mean, like, you’re going to a random event here and there and handing out your cards to the handful of clients you may have, asking them to refer their friends. I mean, that’s a nice start, but that’s not marketing. That’s a random attempt to get a client in the door.

You’re going to have to get serious about the strategy involved in marketing. Who you’re marketing to, where they are, how you can be in those places, and what they want to see and hear from you. A lot of people know they need to sell, but they don’t really know how. The idea of marketing is daunting so they just don’t do it. Maybe you’re one of them. Or maybe you try to do it here and there the way you think you’re “supposed to” but it just never works out well. Throwing out a random advertisement or grabbing at every possible advertising effort you see is not marketing. People paying you in exposure bucks, you know the kind that say come work your butt off for hours with no pay, but it’ll be a lot of exposure for your business…that’s not marketing. Especially if you’re not strategic about any of these things and seeing it for what it really is; weighing out the return on investment, understanding the real costs and potential return for that attempt. I mean, sometimes that exposure works great, but that’s only when you’re not there just for exposure, but instead have a strategy around that event. You can give the best massage in the world…I mean, it’s just incredible and anyone who has ever been on your table is a raving fan of the work you do. But how do you expect to get anyone on your table if they don’t know you exist? If you don’t earn their trust enough to make that appointment?

If you’re not speaking to the right people who will be raving fans and ensuring they feel strongly enough about what you promise, to come in? A lot of therapists open a business and think I give a great massage, people are going to be knocking down my door to get an appointment. You know, the ‘build it and they will come’ sort of thing. But that’s not reality. I mean I’m sure there’s a couple people in this vast world that just got ridiculously lucky and fell into that, but that’s not how it works for 99.9% of business owners.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You can’t sell what you don’t market. So sit down and work up a real strategy for your marketing. Figure out who exactly you need to market to, where those people are, and how you can be there. Learn what they want from you; how you need to express what you do and how it can help them. Then get to work implementing that strategy. Trial and error. Changing and tweaking. Evolving this strategy to move with the ever-changing world we live in as well as all the lessons you learn along the way.

Get serious about marketing or you’re going to be yet another therapist sitting in their office, twiddling their thumbs, just waiting for some mysterious person to come through the door who got a sign from God that you give an amazing massage and they should come in…because without marketing, it’s going to take some serious divine intervention to fill your books with clients.

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