Practice Building Tips & Articles
SPEAKING: The #1 Way to Promote Your Practice
By: Jasmine Samrad "Coach Jaz"
Date Published: 10-17-2007
Speaking is THE best way for wellness providers to attract new clients. Find out why it works so well and how best to use talks for marketing your practice.
Ever heard someone speaking and just HAD to go up to them and introduce yourself afterwards? Pushed to the back of the room to pick up flyers and cards or buy their book? What if the speaker offers the audience a small number of free one-on-one telephone consultations? Wouldn't you be running for the sign-up sheet?
Well guess what... this speaker can be YOU! Yes, you. And you don't have to be a "superstar" speaker to get this kind of response from your audience.
Become An Automatic Expert
Simply standing up and speaking in front of an audience automatically puts you into an "expert" category.
Once you're there, just share some sage advice or simple tips on a particular problem - experience you've garnered in your personal and professional life - and you will leave your audience feeling inspired, grateful and wanting to have more contact with you.
It's just human nature to feel that way toward speakers who offer us valuable perspectives on an issue close to our hearts.
That's especially true if the speaker is also passionate, caring, and engaged - which most wellness professionals naturally are.
If you're like most wellness professionals, you already have this level of expertise to share with an audience!
Simply as a result of having specialized training, plus relevant life experience, plus whatever client work you've done, to draw on, you ARE a credible expert! Start thinking of yourself as one, TODAY.
For all these reasons, at Helping The Helper we continually recommend Speaking as one of the most, if not THE MOST, effective marketing strategies to get more wellness clients.
Fortunately, many wellness professionals gravitate toward Speaking as a "natural" Engine for their Marketing Train - probably because most wellness professionals enjoy the role of educating and inspiring the public to greater wellness.
The trick is to get wellness professionals to start seeing and delivering their talks as a marketing piece, not just an educational one.
For some reason people tend to see these marketing and education activities as mutually exclusive, but they are NOT.
Embrace Educational Marketing
In fact, the very best type of marketing, whether you're promoting your wellness services or a new pool-cleaning tool, is called "Educational Marketing"!
Educational Marketing principles are the foundation of the Helping The Helper PracticeBuilders system and are highly effective from a marketing standpoint. Here's why:
- They rely on information (not pressure) to win your clients to you.
- They can be performed with high integrity.
- They are highly consistent with your role as a helper and healer, because you educate your community about valuable wellness services AND help them get additional support by working with you 1-1.
- Audiences want to hear people like you (and people like you generally enjoy reaching out to audiences and sharing your amazing work)
In other words, educational marketing tools (you are reading one right now) are ideal for credentialed, passionate, people-oriented, service-oriented providers (like me and YOU!!)
With educational marketing, you get to think of marketing as an ongoing, integral PART of your helping services - not some separate "chore" you have to do until you get enough clients.
So how does Speaking fit with your other marketing pieces? How does it fit together with brochures, newsletters, cards, Intro Sessions, etc??
How Speaking Fits With Other Marketing
Speaking is one of the best Engine strategies for your long-term marketing system (what we call the "Marketing Train"). It powers the other parts of your train (website, cards, brochures, newsletter).
In other words, Speaking is one of the best ways to get your passive marketing (the "Cars") and follow-up marketing (the "Caboose") pieces into the hands of people who want and need what you can provide to them.
So Speaking is excellent at "fueling" your all-important long-term (Marketing Train) strategy. One single talk leads to multiple website visits and business card exchanges, plus newsletter sign-ups, which allows you to do even more educational marketing... and down the road you keep getting new clients from just that one talk.
Repeat these talks regularly, and you will have a stream of educated, motivated prospects coming to your door. That's what we mean by a long term, sustainable system.
But you don't always have to wait to get these benefits. Speaking is also unbeatable at getting more clients like, well, NOW!
Combine a well-executed Speaking strategy with the art of conducting a masterful Introductory Session, and you have a 1-2 marketing strategy for getting clients quickly that is unrivaled in its effectiveness!
The key word above is "well-executed". There are many factors that determine the "success" (in marketing terms) of a speaking engagement.
In our Tip Sheet, we address a few of the Critical Success Factors for effectively using speaking to secure Intro Sessions (and, if you do the Intros well, to get new clients!)
But before that, we'd like to share a couple of success stories demonstrating that this powerful marketing Engine really WORKS!
Speaking Success Story #1
Example 1: The Yogic Coach
One successful user of the HTH system on Speaking is GMK from Orange County, California. GMK teaches yoga in addition to doing wellness coaching.
When he first started using the HTH Marketing Train system, he chose speaking as his engine. When he started promoting his business, he did a talk for a group of 80 people who were considering becoming yoga instructors. Prior to the talk, he spent a coaching session reviewing how to best use the talk to secure new clients.
GMK's results were fantastic! At the talk, 18 people signed up for an Intro Session, which he conducted using the HTH procedure, and secured 5 new clients from those Intros. At his then-current income per client of about $250 per month, assuming an average duration of 6 months per client, GMK generated $7,500 in new business from a 1 hour "free" talk.
What's more, he is very confident that several of the other people will become clients in the future. He has created a system to stay in touch with them (his "Caboose") and will continue to provide value to them over time.
We recently spoke with GMK and he said, "The best part about this is if I can do it once, I can do it again. I know the system... It's all I gotta do!"
Is that awesome or what? CONGRATULATIONS GMK!
...This example should inspire you to start speaking! But more than that - to start marketing through speaking.
The idea here is not just to give a bunch of talks but to maximize the marketing results of your talks.
This happens when you incorporate your strategically developed marketing message (Who/What/How) and offers (like Intro Sessions and newsletters) - smoothly and naturally into your talk. Read on for another example of how this works.
Speaking Success Story #2
Example 2: The Acupuncturist Gives Meditation Training
Another user of the HTH system who gets lots of clients from speaking is AP, an acupuncturist in Napa, California focusing on "helping couples conceive who have been unsuccessful with western fertility treatments."
AP regularly runs "meditation for women" classes at her community center's adult education program. Because mindfulness practices like meditation are a big part of her HOW (i.e., how she helps couples conceive more successfully), these classes are already very congruent with her "marketing message".
During the class, people get to experience AP's amazing personal presence as a compassionate healer. When she introduces herself she always shares her passion for her field and especially the conscious conception program she has developed. She also loves to share the excellent results her clients have enjoyed.
In other words, she tells people her Who, What and How!
This message is relevant to her audience because (1) it helps them connect with her more personally and (2) it demonstrates the power and value of what she's teaching them (if mindfulness and meditation can help couples conceive, how much can it do for your stress level!) This is all woven into her teaching in an organic fashion.
In this way, her students learn about her work, experience her passion, her credentials, and enjoy the benefits of her wisdom, without any commitment to being an ongoing client.
They're already halfway thinking to continue their connection with her after the class. They are curious about her services and if it can help them.
Here's where the crucial Intro Session offer comes in for AP:
Critical Success Factor: The Intro Session Offer
At several points during the class, AP invites these students to reach out for more support by booking an Intro Session with her.
She doesn't call it an Intro Session. She just offers a "free 20 minute fertility consultation by phone." And guess what - they sign up in droves! Better yet, they pass her name around to their friends.
The best thing is, only about 30-40% of those who enter her practice are seeking help in conceiving. The rest just love her healer presence and want to continue the connection.
Plus, they figure that if she's so good at her work as to be specialized like this, then she must be able to help their back pain!
So AP is in no way limited by speaking exclusively about her Who/What. She continues to work on all kinds of patients. And, her targeted marketing message about fertility "miracles" and mindfulness in conception continues to bring her oodles of clients (of all stripes).
By the way, these are not extensive classes she gives - usually only a short evening seminar or a brief 4-week course at the adult community center, and the fee is quite low. However, they result is tens of thousands of dollars in new business for her.
AP sees these low-cost speaking gigs as community outreach and enjoys providing value during the classes.
The marketing she does during the class is very natural - she is simply sharing her passion and offering more support - but in a structured way that allows her to serve others AND grow her practice.
The structure and strategy of a talk are the key to making Speaking an effective, reliable source of new clients.
Strategize Your Talk For Maximum Results
These two Success Stories should show you how doable and effective Speaking can be for any wellness professional who wants to build a thriving business and reach more people.
But for the maximum results, you don't just want to get out there and run a class willy-nilly. (Although that is better than no speaking at all!)
Many things determine the effectiveness of using speaking to secure Intro Sessions and grow your practice.
Read our TIP SHEET for a few self-coaching tips on making Speaking a highly effective Engine Strategy that gets new clients "on board" like magic!
Jasmine Samrad (aka "Coach Jaz") is a former business attorney turned life coach, and is founder of Helping The Helper, a popular practice-building program for acupuncturists, chiropractors, coaches, and other professionals in the wellness and healing arts. You can read more of Coach Jaz's articles and sign up for the free HTH practice-building newsletter by visiting www.helpingthehelper.com