Hey there, wellness entrepreneur!
Today, we’re going to be talking about Tips To Build Your Client Practice. That is, get more clients so you can help more people again and again and again.
Now these tips apply best to one-to-one. I will say this over and over again. You can create an online program. Anyone can create an online program, and that can be a group program, an on-demand program, a membership, a hybrid. There are so many options. But if you are trying to really grow your audience and book out your practice, then one-to-one is the simplest way to go, if you’re looking to help more people and create an abundant bank account.
Why One-To-One Is The Simplest Way To Grow An Audience
Now, this does not mean that you have to do one-to-one forever. In fact, these steps will help you to build a one-to-one practice easier and faster so that you have the freedom and flexibility to choose, “Oh, okay. I really love one-to-one. I just love the simplicity of it. I want to stick with this for years to come.” Or you can transition to an online or group-style program, but you have to start somewhere.
And I’ll tell you, the entrepreneurs, the wellness entrepreneurs that I see having great success with their group programs or on-demand programs or membership programs are the ones who come into entrepreneurship with a very established audience, as well as having a good grasp on their messaging and having marketing channels that they’re already consistently showing up and sharing value with, so then they just have to add in the selling portion and have an offer to support that audience so those loyal, gauged followers have a way to pay them.
And it’s a much different situation to come in and try to build all of that with a group program to start or an on-demand program to start. So, if you’re feeling frustrated, nothing has gone wrong. There’s no point in comparing yourself to other people who launch their online program or group program, and they seem to have success with ease, and it just seems magical. There’s nothing that you have done wrong. It’s comparing apples and oranges because, again, you just don’t know where they started.
The Four Steps On How You Can Build Your Client Practice and Help More People
So, let’s focus on you and how you can build your client practice to help more people and sign more clients. Let’s get to the four steps right now.
Now, these four steps are four of the six key pillars that I teach with my Awaken one-to-one and Mastermind members. The clients who I work with, who apply these core steps are in different phases of their business. Some of them are just starting out as a wellness entrepreneur, so they are just starting their business, and others are ones who want to become fully booked so they can transition to a group or an on-demand program or add that to their suite of offers.
Or some people just want to be booked out with a wait list so they can always have a full schedule and have ways to scale their one-to-one practice so they can continue to serve more people and grow their bank account.
This information applies to health and wellness coaches, yoga teachers, massage therapists, physical therapists, and healers.
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The First Step: Develop An Aligned Marketing Plan
The first step is to develop an aligned marketing plan. Now, I know you might already have heard this or know about this, so let’s get to the details and also clarify what it is that marketing gets you and why you want to do it even though it might feel uncomfortable.
What Is Marketing
So marketing gets your name and your business visible. Marketing introduces what you do, how you’re different, the different types of services you offer into the world, for example, to your audience.
Marketing also helps you to build that audience. Your audience will get to know you a bit more. They’ll understand your beliefs, your philosophies, different processes in your business, how you’re different than other people in a similar niche as you.
Also, through your marketing, when you show up consistently, you establish trust with that audience. You become their go-to expert, the person that your audience seeks out for information or when they have questions. All of this primes your audience and make sure that you do have an audience for when you’re ready to sell your offers, which is a future step.
So stick with me here. When it comes to marketing, notice that I didn’t say anything about your brand, especially your brand colors. Marketing does not mean sitting behind a computer, developing a logo, or perfecting your professional pictures to post on social media. Marketing can be social media, which we’ll get to in a moment.
But in its simplest form, marketing is communicating with people, whether it be one too many formats, such as a workshop or one-to-one, such as DMing and communicating or going to networking events and personally talking with people so that you can hear their struggles and exchange value so they understand how you can help them.
And if, during that process, a brand comes through, meaning you do have certain colors that you use over and over again or a vibe that you project through your social media, then that’s perfect. But you don’t need to spend any extra time cultivating that brand behind the scenes. It can just be part of your marketing process. The most important thing is that you are showing up consistently and that you are talking with people consistently.
The Mistake I See With Wellness Entrepreneurs When It Comes To Marketing
The mistake I see with a lot of wellness entrepreneurs when it comes to marketing is they don’t have an aligned marketing plan, meaning they force themselves to do certain marketing tactics that just don’t feel good to them or are not in alignment with their ethics and values. They use the word aligned against themselves. So many times they feel uncomfortable when they go to market, they switch their marketing tactic, or they don’t market at all. We want to find that sweet spot.
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What Is An Aligned Marketing
So, an aligned marketing plan means that you have two to three spokes in your marketing wheel where you show up consistently. Some examples of this are a newsletter, showing up on Instagram specifically, and workshops. Those can be three spokes in a marketing wheel where you just focus on those three things over and over again. And that could be enough to get you to six figures and beyond, just those three places.
What Is Consistency
So, let’s talk about the word “consistent.” This is another area where someone might force or should say, “I should show up every day,” or “I have to show up every day on social media,” or “I have to do one workshop a month.”
You want to find a pattern where, yes, you are showing up in a way that creates trust. So you are reliable to your audience. They know that they can turn to you at a certain point and either find an Instagram post or your newsletter is going to come out maybe this week, or you send a newsletter once a month, for example. It’s consistent. You get to establish that pattern of what “consistent” means to you, knowing that there’s always going to be fluid, dynamic movement within that pattern.
Sometimes life happens. Like your kids may be sick, or you do schedule a workshop that month, but then you and the yoga studio are finding that maybe you picked a date when a lot of people are going to be out of town because you didn’t realize it was a holiday, weekend, or you are trying out a new topic. And for whatever reason, that topic isn’t landing with your audience, and you and the yoga studio decide to put a pause or a pin in that workshop, revisit topic ideas and then try again the following months.
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So there might be months where you do not teach a workshop, even though it’s in your marketing plan. These things happen. It’s part of the process. Or maybe you’re shooting to post on Instagram five days a week, but you get sick, or your kids are homesick for school, and you end up only posting twice. That’s fine. As long as you get back into it the next week, then you will stay consistent.
How Does Being Uncomfortable With Marketing Show Up In What Your Doing
That is different than if you’re feeling uncomfortable with marketing, meaning you’re experiencing fear or judgment or criticism of what people might have to say about your workshop, or you’re experiencing your syndrome like who are you to host a workshop and be the expert and teach this information, or you’re having fear of not getting it exactly right.
So there’s an element of perfectionism. So you’re spending hours in Canva trying to perfect your graphics or your copy, and those posts are never seeing the light of day.
So what I teach my clients, whether they’re working with me one-to-one or in the Mastermind, is that you need the tactical strategy of deciding on those two to three spokes in your marketing wheel, and you need tactics and techniques to support yourself during this process when these uncomfortable emotions sew up, and you need to be aware of them in the first place.
And that’s what I really help them to do because that will be the fuel to any marketing strategy. When you’re able to become aware and acknowledge these uncomfortable emotions you’re feeling when you go to market, then you can create a plan to problem solve for that and support yourself during the process so that you do show up consistently and build that audience and get trust with that audience, so they’re primed when you’re ready to sell, and so you don’t waste time jumping from marketing strategy to marketing strategy.
This will look something like, “Okay, I’m going to try a newsletter for a few months, but I’m feeling uncomfortable with writing the copy,” or, “No one’s clicking or no one’s responding back to my emails, so now I’m going to jump over to Facebook, and I’m going to post there for a bit, but no one’s engaging with me either here. It’s crickets. And plus, I hate creating videos. So I’m going to try TikTok,” and then you jump over to TikTok, and you’re like, “Oh, I don’t like making these videos. I feel so vulnerable.”
And on and on and on and again it can go, and I teach this in the Path To Workshop. It’s like being dropped down at a trailhead where you have six different trails you can choose from to try to summit a mountain, and you keep starting down one trail, but then that’s uncomfortable because the sun’s too hot. There’s no shade. So you turn around, and you start down another trail that seems shady, but then you realize the reason why that trail is shaved is because it hasn’t been bushwhacked, and there’s roots, and that feels even worse. So you head back to the trailhead only to start again on a trail that you think is even better, but this one has a huge steep incline, and your glutes don’t feel strong enough for that. And now your knees are hurting so you head back down the hill to start over again, and you see what I mean?
You spend a lot of energy and time going down these different trails only to get nowhere. You’re not any closer to summoning that mountain because you’re right back where you started at the trailhead, starting over again.
And that’s what a lot of marketing plans look like when you’re jumping from one strategy to another. You want to pick three spokes or two spokes, whatever it is for you, and commit to them and dial in on them and become aware of the uncomfortable emotions you are feeling and deciding.
Yes, there is going to be trial and error. You might decide on and pick a marketing platform and get into it and realize, “Oh, okay, no, actually, this one does not work for me.” For example, a couple of my marketing tactics that did work in my Brick-and-Mortar business were teaching workshops, teaching yoga teacher trainings, and teaching yoga classes. It worked well. I got a ton of really, really great patients who I love to work with. Yet I found out over time that doing these marketing strategies is that teaching on the weekends, whether it be a yoga teacher training a workshop or a class or teaching any of those in the evening when my daughter was home from school, didn’t work for my family dynamic and didn’t allow me enough time to recover so that I could show up to my one to one patient sessions during the week with enough energy as well as just get through my day so I could make it through the day with enough energy. I didn’t have enough replenishment time, so I had to figure out another marketing strategy.
But the only way to know is to go all in and really commit to it for a certain amount of time and learn from that because I use the skills from leading those teacher trainings, filling those workshops, and having sold out workshops.
I applied them to when I switched my marketing tactics to delivering workshops online during the week. So whatever skills that you use in a marketing tactic, if that marketing tactic does not end up being aligned for you because you have very specific reasons as to why you can still use and transfer those skills to another marketing tactic, all is not lost as long as you go all in and commit for a certain amount of time.
The Second Step: Have A Process To Sell And Have A Process To Support Yourself
Okay, step number two is selling. I hinted at this when I was talking about developing an audience. Here’s the thing, you want to build an audience. It doesn’t have to be a large size, does not necessarily matter here. What matters is that you have an engaged audience that understands what you’re offering to them, what services you have, and how you can help them with their specific problems, so that a percentage of that audience will, when ready, take that next step to work with you.
The only way for them to take that next step to decide if they are a good candidate to actually pay you or not is to have a selling process. And that can look like selling your offers and your programs on Instagram stories. It can be selling your offers and your programs in your newsletter. It can be directed to a sales page, for example. It can be most commonly, I find most successful for one-to-one is a consult call or discovery session or any of these tasters. And again, the time, the length of time for a session like that does not matter. But it’s an opportunity for someone in your audience to get to know you better and understand more about your services.
Being Aware Of Unconscious Limiting Beliefs
And again, here, once you nail down the strategy that you want to implement to help transition a loyal follower, engaged audience member to a paying customer, you want to be aware of your unconscious limiting beliefs here such as fear of rejection.
For example, someone scheduling a consultation call and saying no, that they don’t want to work with you or they’re not ready yet, which is different than it’s too expensive. You also might not want to appear to be sales-y. So you don’t ever mention your offers or your programs or mention that people can work with you in your posts or in your Instagram stories, or maybe you feel like an imposter. So, in your workshops, you never make an offer to your audience that they can take the next step and work one-on-one with you. Or maybe you have an unconscious limiting belief that you feel that someone needs to be convinced or manipulated. And that’s the only reason why they’ll work with you. And that feels icky and slimy. So you don’t do any selling at all.
The Truth About Selling
Here’s the truth when it comes to selling. You’re going to hear NOs when you’re selling. People are going to tell you no on consultations. You might make an offer for someone to ask if they’re interested in a consultation. And you might hear a lot of NOs there in DMs or at networking events. You’re going to have posts where no one engages with your sales, with your offer, with your call to action to take that next step to book a consult. You’re going to have e-mails where no one clicks your link to buy or schedule a consult.
All that is normal. Nothing has gone wrong. You don’t need to switch your offer, your price, your niche. Again, that will just slow you down when building your practice. That’s taking 10 steps down 10 different trails. That trailhead analogy again applies here as well.
What Should You Do When You Get A Lot Of NOs
What you want to do is continue to refine your skills and your tactics when selling. Trying different language, trying different calls to action, trying different ways to say the call to action, trying different copy in your marketing to create more valuable content, to create more trust so that someone does want to take that next step.
They feel compelled, so you never have to convince. You never have to manipulate your audience. You want to have a process to support yourself in times of rejections because you will get NOs. It’s normal. Even the most amazing salesperson I know, coaches that teach selling, they get NOs. They get rejections all the time.
In fact, Brooke Castillo, a life coach who makes many millions a year, I don’t know her exact numbers these days, she even says the more offers you make, the more NOs you’ll get. So it’s normal to actually hear more NOs, the more yeses you get as well.
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How To Support Yourself When Someone Says No To Your Offer
However, that doesn’t mean that your nervous system feels that it’s easier to hear NOs. They still might have that sting in your heart. What are you going to do when you hear that? How will you support yourself? Or becoming aware of what you make it mean when someone says no or what you make it mean when you send an e-mail out, and there are no clicks for someone to sign up for your free consultation call? Do you beat yourself up? Because if you are beating yourself up, then for sure you’ll be less likely to show up and sell again, aka, post more stories selling your offer or selling your consult or in post or again in an email because it just feels awful.
Some ways to support yourself during this process is what I teach my Awaken members. Processes like tapping, coaching, uncovering those unconscious limiting beliefs so you’re aware of them in the first place, breath work to help process through, journaling to help process through, just to name a few.
Again, these don’t have to take a large amount of time, and they’re very specific in a moment to what you’re experiencing. And these aren’t just tasks that sound nice or luxurious only when you have the time.
These are techniques that are foundational that will keep your business going when things get tough because here’s the truth, that’s the difference between being an entrepreneur versus being an employee where you just get to show up and do the practitioner work. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to go through these other uncomfortable emotions behind the scenes to get the clients so that you can be able to do your practitioner work. That is the difference.
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So things will get tough, and you need processes to support yourself during that time. And it’s also key here to remember why you chose to become an entrepreneur in the first place. What is your passion? What are your dreams? What fills your heart? So, step number two, have a process to sell and have a process to support yourself during this time.
The Third Step: Getting Your Clients Their Results
Step number three is getting your clients their results. It’s delivering on the promise you made to them when they purchased your service.
Most clients that come to me, when they first come to me, they’re pretty confident in their practitioner skills. But this is really put to the test when they have to make an offer on a consult call, for example, for someone to pay them hundreds or thousands of dollars to work with them. That can sometimes chip away at the confidence ever so slightly because, yes, now you have to deliver on that promise.
So let’s say you do want to help someone get more flexible so that they feel that they can show up to yoga classes in their community consistently without worrying that they’re going to get hurt or don’t understand the flow or don’t understand terms like chaturanga and that sort of thing. They’re going to pay you for a package of 12 to help establish a safe foundational yoga practice so they can get out into the community more, for example.
Now, all of a sudden, you’re like, “Okay, do I have the skills to really deliver on that? Will they feel confident eventually to get out into the yoga community, or will they always be reliant on me? Or what if they do hurt themselves? What if I don’t teach them an alignment cue correctly? Or what if I teach them a flow where they do end up injured?”
First of all, it’s normal for all this doubt to come into play for the worries to come into play. Congratulations. That means you’re a compassionate, caring practitioner. You’re in the right place. You’re doing the right thing because you care about your people. You’re putting their needs first, and that is really what’s causing some of this doubt in the worry. So you are in alignment with your values and ethics. Congratulations! Now, we don’t want that to hold you back.
Some Strategies To Make Client Experience Wonderful
So, what are some strategies you can put in place to help make the experience wonderful for your clients so they feel like they got all that they paid for and more? Here are some questions to consider:
- Is it easy to pay you?
- Is it easy to schedule with you?
- Is it easy to reschedule with you?
- How do you help them show up consistently so they do get those results?
- How do you treat them if they’re late or miss a session unexpectedly?
- How do you track your progress?
- How do you track their progress?
- How do you help the client to see their progress?
- How do you help your client to celebrate small wins?
- How do you help your client to celebrate large wins?
- How do you help ensure that your client is on track to hit their goals?
- What’s the simplest steps you can take with your client so that they stay on track and continue to do the work outside of sessions?
Those are all questions you can ask yourself to help your clients hit their goals in a really wonderful way. So the all-around experience of a client working with you is such a delight, is easy for them. You’re not creating more work in their day-to-day or stressors in their day-to-day when they hired you to help decrease stress, for example.
I’ve worked with clients who I hired for many ways, sometimes in my personal life or in my business life, to help handle emotions, decrease stress, or make my life easier, for example. And I found that I’ve been really stressed out when working with them because it’s difficult to schedule. So I don’t know how many appointments I have. I don’t know how I can reschedule if my daughter’s home sick. I feel that I don’t know where I stand in my package, so I don’t know how many sessions I have left. I don’t know where I stand in my goals. I feel like I have to be the leader of my goals and be the one driving the ship when I really hired them for their expertise. I feel judged if I don’t do something exactly right or I show up late or miss a session by accident. There’s no grace or compassion I felt from that practitioner.
Or if I need to reschedule an appointment because life happens, it’s so complex, it’s so difficult, and it takes so much time, it’s really stressful. Or they’re always canceling on me, and then trying to reschedule with their cancels is really stressful and difficult. Those are all reasons why I won’t work with someone again, which leads me to step number four.
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The Fourth Step: Make It Easy For Your Current Clients To Renew Working With You
You might say, “Well, Alison, I only have three clients. I need more clients before I think about these three clients renewing and working with me again and again and again.”
Now, if you’re not practicing all of that with these three clients so that they want to work with you again and again, then you’ll have a harder time building more than three clients. So you need to give these three clients your all. Really think about them and make achieving their goals as simple and doable as process so that they do have an amazing experience.
Again, when they do have that experience, and they do achieve their goals, it’s just natural that they’ll want to work with you more and that they’ll want to tell their friends. In that way, you’ll begin to build your practice with more ease where you’re not 100% relying on marketing to continue to bring in those clients.
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So step number four is to make it easy for your current clients to renew working with you. If they do have a wonderful experience and are progressing towards their goals, they don’t always have to achieve their goals 100% in that first round because sometimes the timing of your package can be a bit arbitrary, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have past client experience to know how long things might take. Plus, it’s not always a one-size-cookie-fitter process.
For example, I tell my clients that they’re going to learn the process to hit six figures, which is 8K per month. I don’t guarantee 8K per month within one round or six months of working with me, especially if it’s someone that’s brand new. Even though I’ve had clients come in with a brand new business and start hitting 8K per month within those six months, I don’t guarantee that to everyone, but I can guarantee that I can teach them the process and how that process unfolds and looks like is different person to person. If they stick with me long enough, then for sure, they will hit those 8K per month.
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Just how I said that, you see how that lends to understanding that a seed is planted, “Well, it might take more than one round, so I might need to work with this person longer than I thought.” It’s already planting that seed, not that they have to, but it’s a possibility. Because here’s the thing, not all clients will want to work with you again and again and again. Some will be complete. That’s perfect. You want to celebrate those that do feel complete, and they’ve moved on. They’re evolving to the next phase. And you want to celebrate and make it easy for those that do to want to work with you again.
That process of renewing, have it be simple and easy for them to work with you again. And by doing that, you create a higher percentage of people who just naturally do want to work with you again.
So a common reservation I hear among wellness entrepreneurs about renewals is they tell me, “Well, you know, I’m a physical therapist, and now their pain is gone. So why would they want to work with me again?” Or, “I’m a health coach, and I help them lose the weight. So what do they do now?” Or, “Yeah, they got back into going to the yoga classes in their community consistently. They’re not getting injured. They love going to their public classes. So why would they want to work with me again?”
And it’s up to you to answer that question. Why would they want to work with you again? What could they achieve again? I already highlighted one area. Maybe they didn’t fully completely hit their goal in that first round. So you’re just going to keep going.
Here’s the thing for someone to renew to work with you: you definitely 100% do not need to create a brand-new program. I’ll say that again: for someone to work with you and renew, you do not need to create a new program. That’ll just slow you down and make your offers confusing. They can continue to work with you to continue to progress so that they can hit that original goal because nothing’s gone wrong if they hadn’t hit it that first round. Maybe the timing was off, or they had a lot of things to work through. It’s very common. Nothing has gone wrong as long as they’re progressing.
And again, that’s back to step number three where you’re showing them their wins, small wins, and steps where they are progressing so that they understand, “Okay, yeah, I’m just going at a slower pace than I thought, but I am progressing so I’m going to stick with it here.” Or if they did achieve their goal, you’re just going to create a new goal. It’s that simple.
And that’s the benefit of doing one-to-one. When one specific client has achieved their goal, such as their pain is gone, their weight is lost, or now they’re in public yoga classes, I am positive that you have a wealth of information, certification, skills, trainings, techniques, etc. to help them establish another goal.
So maybe they are showing up to their public yoga classes. Maybe they have a peak pose that they want to work towards, or maybe they want to get stronger. I’m 100% certain if they added private sessions along with their public classes, they’ll get to those goals faster.
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Or if someone has reduced their pain, they’re feeling great in their body, what can you work on next with them? Maybe you’re going to help them with a performance goal, like reducing their running time or getting that first marathon done, for example, or showing up to their first yoga class as a physical therapist. How can you use all your movement expertise to help them achieve those goals? Or holistic wellness. There’s so much that you can work on.
Truthfully, that’s how I’ve had patients and clients work with me for years in my brick-and-mortar side of the business, as well as having business coaching clients who just renew again and again and again with me because I help them always thinking about their goals, their needs, top of mind, and trying to make that process as simple and easy for them to implement into their day to day life, both tactically working with me and those home works that I give them outside of sessions to help them continue to evolve, whether it is in their business or with their health.
And you can, too. It doesn’t have to be crazy complex. And you can have loyal clients that want to work with you again and again and again. And I tell you, I love going to work in my business because I have the best patients and clients. I just love all the people that I’ve attracted into my world. I love helping making their lives easier. I love seeing their transformations and their growth. It’s such a joy to work with these people over many years and get to know their families. And it’s just such a pleasure and a joy. I couldn’t imagine it any other way. And I want that for you, too!
So get going with these four steps, and I’ll see you next week. Bye for now!
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