Reflexologist Looking for Tips
I'm a Reflexologist based in Sheffield and I am having trouble attracting new clients. I have tried different advertising techniques, I have flyers going around with a special offer on and I'm on Gumtree and Viva. Any tips?
Have you thought of an ad in the corner shops, putting flyers in peoples doors? I was lucky a couple of weeks ago to have a lovely young postman who noticed my tshirt with my business name on. He asked me what I did and was very interested - so - I gave him a leaflet he offered to put some in my neighbours doors:)) I'm always trying to think up new ways of advertising:))
I've been a Professional Reflexologist for 17 years and getting clients is neigh on impossible. You cannot get referrals from doctors unless you are a nurse first. Health shops can't help because of insurance (if they refer a customer to you and the customer comes back and complains the shop can be sued). Foundations, support groups and nursing homes won't refer unless you are a nurse. Advertising is frightfully expensive and does't work. Leaflet drops come under the title of "junk mail" and most households have a no junk mail sticker on their letter boxes. So that leaves you pretty much on your own.
You are your best advertisement, be a walking example of the work that you do. When you are out in company talk about your work. Do up leaflets and professional business cards and hand them out to everyone where ever you are. Leave them in the shops and from time to time put a poster up in newsagents, take aways etc. Do not do special offers THEY DO NOT WORK in the sense that the people will come to you for the duration of the specail deal but they don't usually turn into regular clients (you may get one every so often). Exhibitions get your name and face out there but again they are expensive and don't generally result in regular clients. Get on to your local newspaper and encourage them to do an article on you and your work. Send your leaflets to the radio and TV stations and encourage them to do a programme on you.
Your best bet is to be on the referral list of your governing body. This is where people turn because they perceive that any one on a professional body's referral list is already a bone fide therapist and therefore safe to attend, it also gives them comeback should a problem arise, it also protects you and gives you somewhere to turn in an hour of need. The Golden Pages is also a good place to have an add so are the health magazine
I am on the referral list of the Irish Reflexologists' Institute and one third of my business comes from them and these are the regular clients who are booked for life. One third comes from referrals from satisfied clients and these are also the ones who stay. One third comes from everywhere else and these are the "fly by nights" these come for a while then never return. I have, over the years, done all of the above and I still find it difficult to get and keep clients. Your best advertisement is the last person you treated. Give them a reason to come to you, and you only. While they are with you treat them like royalty, make them feel special and give them something that no other reflexologist gives. Most of all give them the assurance that they are not mad, that what they are experiencing is normal and that reflexology will help them to cope better with whatever life has thrown at them.
Most of all believe in yourself as a therapist, do not ever work for free not even as promotion, insist on some sort of payment even if it's only a few pence, a goodie bag is not a fee. Doctors dont work for free and neither should you. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional then ACT AS ONE and professionals charge for their services. Remember you have put a lot of time, effort and money into becoming a therapist now it's pay back time for you and the people who backed you in order to get you this far. Honour them for their belief in you, honour your therapy and most of all honour YOU. If people see that you believe in you, then they will come to believe in you too and that is your best advertisment.
Good luck, take care and keep in touch.
Thank you very much for your post, you're a real inspiration and you've made some really valid points to me. I appreciate your time. I shall certainly take on board what you have advised. I have applied to be on the NHS Directory but not heard back yet. I thought this would be useful to give clients confidence in me and allows me to advertise in surgeries where people are liable to take notice.
Thanks again for your post!