To safeguard our employees and visitors, the NHPC office itself is closed and staff are working remotely. See our COVID-19 Q & A for pandemic-specific information.

Articles

Friday, August 30, 2019, 10:24 AM
 

As business owner or self-employed practitioner, marketing your business is essential to gaining new clients, getting referrals, and developing brand recognition. Successful marketing can support financial stability and business growth.

Despite the benefits of marketing, many practitioners and business owners are extremely busy and do not have time to research marketing strategies. There are also ethical guidelines to consider when advertising. Here are some ideas to help you ethically and successfully market your holistic health practice.

Laptop and monitor showing a website.

Have a Website

Having a website that is visually appealing and easy to navigate is important for any business looking to expand. For holistic practitioners, a simple site is often best. The following are some important elements to include:

  • a simple landing page showcasing what you offer
  • a page where you can host therapist bios and recognized therapies
  • a page dedicated to describing each therapy you offer (consider linking to the Holistic Health Guide to offer clients research based information)
  • a way for clients to book treatments online, such as MINDBODY, SOAP Vault, or Jane App
  • contact information, including email, phone, location, and hours
  • links to your social media platforms
  • a privacy policy, which is considered standard practice and help with Google rankings

To ensure your website complies with NHPC Code of Ethics and advertising standards, you must not claim your treatments can do something they can't. This includes promising to cure things like insomnia, depression, or other diseases.

All claims must be supported by research and proven results, and you cannot say treatments will have specific results. For example, you can say massage therapy may help reduce stress and improve sleep, but you cannot say that massage therapy will reduce stress and improve sleep.

To reduce the chance of insurance fraud, you should not post therapist' NHPC member numbers anywhere on the website.

Be Social 

Having professional social media platforms is a good way to market your business. Many holistic practitioners are successful using Facebook and Instagram. All social media sites should link to your website.

To market your business, try sharing the following on your social media platforms:

  • information about the therapies you offer
  • therapist bios
  • interesting facts related to holistic health
  • relevant third-party articles, such as NHPC blogs or content from your favourite holistic websites
  • photos of your work — consider hiring a professional photographer
  • branded content — you can use simple design websites like Canva to create your own social media posts that include your logo and brand colours
 
Over-the-shoulder view of a person using Instagram on their smartphone.

To grow your social media following, follow like-minded business. Like and comment on (commenting is most effective) as many relevant posts as possible. On Instagram you can search by hashtags, which is a good way to find relevant content. Include those hashtags in your posts to grow your following.

When posting on social media, ask questions to encourage engagement and conversation from your followers. Reply to all comments you receive on your posts.

If you want to be really strategic, you can research the best times to post on social media and use content schedulers to plan your content in advance.

If you have an Instagram business account, use the analytics tool to see when your followers are most active and engaging in your posts. Advance scheduling means you can focus on your business while your social content is posted automatically.

To maintain ethical boundaries, keep your personal and business pages separate. Refrain from posting about political or religious views on your business pages, and do not engage in arguments. Again, never post your member number on social media.

Have a Google Business Profile

Connect your website and social media pages to a Google Business page to boost visibility. Your Google Profile allows clients who search for you to easily see your hours, location, and contact information. It's important to keep this page up to date, especially when holiday hours or closures are in effect.

A Google Business page is a great place for your clients to review your services and rate your business. High ratings attract new clients.

A laptop showing Google search page.

Ask for Reviews

Positive reviews are important for any business looking to expand. Research shows that 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Further, 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked.

Often, clients simply need a friendly reminder to review your business on Google or Facebook. If that doesn't work, you can try offering clients and incentive to encourage them to write a review. This strategy can be especially effective for new businesses that do not yet have an established clientele.

Negative reviews happen, but they can be dealt with in a positive way. If you receive a bad review, acknowledge it publically. Recognize that the customer was unhappy and invite them to contact you directly in order to discuss the incident and find a solution together.

Responding to negative reviews positively and respectfully shows other potential clients that care and are open to feedback and growth.

Experiment with Advertising

Deciding to advertise can be a daunting thought. Luckily, social media platforms ­— like Facebook and Instagram — and Google allow you to experiment with ads while staying within even the tightest budget.

To start out, try making one of your more popular posts into an ad and set a small budget for it. Make sure you set the target audience and location you want your ad delivered to.

Pay Attention to Analytics

Facebook and Instagram offer insights that show you how your posts and ads are performing, and who your audience is. This information can help you better curate your social media content to connect with your audience and increase engagement.

Google Business also offers comprehensive analytics that show you the type of customers who view your website and how they use it. This information can help you optimize your site and ensure it is providing clients with the information they need.

Join your Community

Meeting people is a fantastic way to market yourself and one that is often forgotten in the online era. Some ways you can get involved in your community are:

  • take a position with your local community league
  • volunteer to coach a sports team
  • offer treatment gift certificates as part of fundraisers
  • provide free treatments at local non-profits or charities, such as the Ronald McDonald House

You can take your community involvement online by sharing your activities on social media.

A group of volunteers in matching shirts.

Developing a marketing strategy can seem overwhelming, but it is important for the growth of your business. With a few simple tools, strong branding, and a little creativity your business can stand out from the competition.