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The not-to-do list.

Last week, I led the last of three classes in a series on marketing for holistic nutritionists here in Portland and got this question in the final Q&A: What are some things to put on our not-to-do list? Pitfalls, mistakes, faux-pas, other actions or habits to avoid?

There are two that came to mind right away, just because I’ve seen them quite a bit:

1. Discounts galore!

Do not discount all the time, and/or without good reason. When you get into that mode, usually one or more of these things happen:

One, your clients will anticipate the next discount just around the corner – and wait for it, rather than ever pay your regular rate. Not because they’re evil, but just because they’ve come to expect the frequent discounts, and they probably assume that you’re happy to do the work at the discount rate.

And two, the discounts become a crutch for bringing in business – and while that works, it takes away your attention and energy from creating other, more sustainable strategies.

In the long run, those side effects can make you feel resentful about the way your work is being valued (by others and by yourself). So, use with caution – and clear intention.

2. Obscuring the offer.

By that I mean that you leave your – current or potential – clients to their own devices to figure out the next step in their relationship with you: to come to your class, sign up for the initial consultation, commit to the treatment plan, schedule the follow-up.

And I get it, for most of us, it doesn’t come naturally to ask for the sale.

But I want to suggest that it really is a service to guide people along to the next step and clearly outline the path ahead (when it’s a good fit, of course). Give them something they can say yes to, and show them how.

What would you add?

Are there any lessons you’ve learned on what not to do when it comes to marketing as a holistic practitioner? That’s what the comments are for – or you can email me directly what comes to mind.

Photo Credit: s_evenseth via Compfight cc

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