Archives

Marketing

Version 0.1

version 0.1 seeds

Hello, beautiful people! My intention for most of my next blog posts is to share questions and ideas that come up in conversations with my clients and allies. The one I’ve heard most often over the last couple of weeks is “Where to start?”

Think version 0.1

Maybe you want to create a marketing plan, or establish your niche, or launch a new product or service. It’s exciting, but also daunting, and you’re not sure where to begin.

In that case, I often suggest “think version 0.1.” What is the smallest workable version of your project that you can create right now? I mean now as in today, this afternoon, without making any big investments, or cancelling all other plans.

Examples

For example, let’s say you are a nutrition consultant toying with the idea of specializing in nutrition for stress management. Right now, you can write a blog post on the topic, or make it the theme of your new newsletter, or add a line about it to your Services page.

Or maybe you want to finally set up a website. You can start with a clean and simple single page that introduces you and your services and gives people a way to get in touch with you.

The benefits of version 0.1

In a nutshell, version 0.1 is the antidote to overwhelm. Here is why:

1. It gets you out of analysis paralysis and into action.
2. You can start getting real feedback on your idea.
3. It gives you the opportunity to test and learn what works.
4. Your full version will likely turn out better than if you jumped right into it.

If you are intrigued and would like some help figuring out what your version 0.1 could look like, feel free to connect with me anytime.

{Photo by CIMMYT on Flickr.}

Abundance.


Here’s an obvious truth that sometimes gets obscured:

There are more people out there needing and wanting help with restoring, maintaining, and enjoying their health and wellbeing than you alone could ever serve. There is also more knowledge out there than you alone can absorb in a lifetime.

In one word, there’s abundance. Below are five ways to let that idea of abundance shape your marketing strategy (and make it more authentic, too):

Give some love to your competitors.
Remind yourself how awesome it is to have competitors with different talents, styles, personalities, and specializations that you can refer to, share the work with, learn from, and be inspired and motivated by. Show them some love from time to time, for example by complimenting them on their successes.

From “best” to “right for you.”
There’s no need to compare yourself to others and make yourself look better on all counts. It just feels weird to me to claim that I am the best at something. There are seven billion people on this planet, chances are, someone else is doing it better. It also doesn’t feel good to talk negatively about others in your field (more in that in a bit). So, let’s just not do any of that.

It’s a lot more helpful if you can give your people the information they need to figure out if what you have to offer is right for them, at this time in their life.

Let your people graze elsewhere.
When you see one of your students, patients, or clients seek support, inspiration, or fun somewhere else, that’s OK. No need to question yourself, or resent anyone else. We sometimes get possessive of our people, but there’s more out there for them to learn, practice, and enjoy. If they go for it, maybe it’s because you sparked a real interest and dedication in them.

Share.
If you help others in your field become more successful and look good, you’ll elevate your whole guild. If your marketing materials suggest that your competitors may be lazy, overpriced, or incompetent, it reflects on your whole profession.

Receive.
There is no cap on how much success you or anyone else can have. Have a blast with yours, even more when you know that you are not taking away from anyone else.

{Photo by Flatbush Gardener on Flickr.}

“But I don’t think I want a niche!”


Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of giving a workshop to twenty brilliant, lovely, generous, and enthusiastic alumni of the East West College of the Healing Arts. They had a ton of great questions and ideas, and the piece that promoted most of both was the concept of choosing a niche. One of the alumni told me “I don’t think I want a niche!” And, you know, that’s totally OK.

Niches are one of my favorite things in marketing, but I would never tell you that you absolutely have to have a niche. That would be ridiculous – first of all, it’s your business and you get to decide how you want to run it, and second, I’m sure there are plenty of massage therapists and other healing arts professionals out there who don’t have a niche (or at least not one they are aware of) and are still doing well.

But I do want to offer you that idea again for your consideration, because I have seen about a thousand examples of how much easier and more organic marketing becomes when you do have a niche.

So, the question I’d ask is why you wouldn’t want a niche. Here are some answers I have heard from other people in the field, and some thoughts about them:

“I need variety!”

Your wish shall be granted. Having a niche doesn’t mean you only get to offer one modality, or that you have to stick with the same one forever. Because you are dealing with real human beings and not lemmings, there is already some built-in variety.

Your niche will also likely change and evolve, and of course you are allowed and able to move to a different one in the future.

“I don’t want to exclude anyone.”

And you don’t have to. Of course you can welcome all kinds of clients – you may actually notice that people from way outside your niche are attracted to your practice because of your niche.

You don’t ever have to state “I exclusively work with …” – it’s clear and appealing enough if you say something along the lines of “I especially love working with …” or “We’re a great fit if you …”

“I have several niches I am super interested in and they have nothing to do with each other!”

Really? Maybe there is some overlap after all, and if so, that would be an awesome little niche to go for.

For exmaple, one of the LMTs in my workshop loves working with pregnant women, and she into Shiatsu – which is not recommended during pregnancy. But then another participant had the insight that Shiatsu is actually a great modality for the postpartum period (“I would have loved to have someone step on my hips after I had my baby!”), so there is a lovely option for bringing those two passions together.

If you can’t see any overlap right now, you can either try out settling into two niches (just not more than two or it can get confusing), or start with one, see how it fits you, and how things develop for you.

I will follow up soon with a post on how choosing a niche actually makes marketing for natural health practitioners easier and more fun, so stay tuned – or, if you can’t wait, contact me and we can set up a little spot consultation.