The complementary therapy industry is rising in popularity in most countries. However, this also means that more practitioners are starting up and an ever greater number of therapies are on offer. Therefore, customers not only have more therapists to choose from but also an ever greater range of therapy options.
Increased competition has brought about a need to follow an effective marketing strategy. As our lives have become more digitised, marketing has shifted from traditional forms of advertising such as magazines to the internet.
The need for an effective marketing strategy
It can be argued that marketing is the most important aspect of any business. It is unfortunate that marketing is not taught in any great depth in some therapy courses. Without effective marketing, it is very difficult to attract new clients. A less skilled therapist with an effective marketing strategy will usually be more profitable than a higher skilled therapist with a poorer marketing strategy.
The need for a business name and an unique selling point
The first step is to establish a business name and a unique selling point to separate you from the other therapists in your locality. You needn't spend vast sums of money on a marketing agency. However, spend some serious consideration to choosing a name that says what you are about, is 'snappy' and easy to remember.
Additionally, along with the choice of a name, you need a domain name which reflects your business name. If you find your chosen domain name taken then you need to seek an alternative name or modify the domain name by adding an additional word.
Generally it's best to use the domain name suffixes.com,.net or your local country suffix. Other suffixes are less common and if used, run the risk of becoming confusing to clients, who may just type the.com in anyway.
Avoid using numerals, dashes and underscores in the domain name. Again this leads to confusion for clients who may miss them out or type them in wrong.
Consideration should also be given to your unique selling point - what makes you distinct and unique from your competitors. This should be clearly stated on your web site.
One of my early mistakes was to choose a very long and unmemorable business name. It was cumbersome to remember and to write down. I realised this after a year of practising and therefore had to change all my marketing literature and web site.
The need for an online presence.
The days of using paper phone books, catalogues and directories are disappearing fast. People search for information using PCs, tablet PCs and smart phones. To take advantage of this, you need an effective online presence.
An attractive web site.
Most people who click on to a web site make up their minds within 5 seconds whether to stay or click away. Your web site needn't look like a million dollars. However, if it looks amateurish, dull or badly laid out, people are going to click away and find someone else. Designing a poor web site is a false economy as you loose out on many potential clients who are attracted to seemingly more professional businesses.