Vicki Matthews, ND
For a service industry, marketing can be thought of as any activity that creates awareness of you and tells what you have to offer. Basically, it is every contact you have in the outside world.
Who are you?
What do you have to offer?
How do you tell that?
How do you create awareness?
I. The Practitioner: Who are You?
It is important to let people know who you are as a practitioner. The goal is to state your background and qualifications in a way that lends credibility, yet does not overstate your credentials.
Let people know your background and why you are qualified to be doing this work. You have your EEM certification, but what else might you be bringing to the work? Are you an RN? Are you a massage therapist? Consider including information about any relevant additional training you have.
The overall goal is to create an image for yourself that inspires confidence and is interesting. Honesty is crucial, but it does not have to be boring.
What makes a great EEM practitioner?
Besides being qualified, there are other attributes that you can develop in yourself to assure that you are a great EEM practitioner. These include:
Cultivate confidence in yourself and your work.
Do you believe in yourself and your own abilities as a practitioner and a business person? If not, take steps to change that. These could include:
- trade sessions with other practitioners and ask for feedback
- ask clients for feedback and take to heart their comments regarding your strong and weak spots
- join a study group or arrange for mentoring
- attend the Practitioner’s Conference and Donna’s Advanced Classes to stay current in the work
- seek out books, magazines, or classes on areas you feel you need to improve.
Make sure you love your work. If not, change it or you.
If you are not excited about going to work most days, you have a problem. Find out what it is, and change what you can. We all know life isn’t perfect, and we have good and bad days, but if you don’t love your work, it will absolutely affect your work.
Have fun with your work and your life.
Cultivate a positive outlook on life. One of the smartest people who ever lived (Einstein) said:
"There are two ways to live your life - one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle."
Make sure you live a balanced life. Remember: "All work and no play . . ."
Eat well, engage in regular physical activity, get plenty of sleep, do your EEM exercises. Live the life you would tell your clients to live.
Establish a good rapport with clients. They are the reason you’re doing this.
Take time to listen to your clients. You will find they will tell you what you need to know. Make sure they can tell that you care.
Be courteous with your clients. A little courtesy can do wonders. Ralph Waldo Emerson said:
"Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."
Practice ethical behavior with your clients. Would you want to be your own client?
II. The Offering: Eden Energy Medicine
If you can’t describe it, you can’t market it.
What is Eden Energy Medicine?
What is energy medicine?
What is the purpose of EEM?
What do you tell people?
From the Innersource website:
Energy medicine is a new field with ancient roots. It builds not only on what is known in Western science and medicine, it also draws heavily from Eastern health practices and disciplines such as acupuncture, yoga, and qi gong.
Energy medicine is both a complement to other approaches to medical care and a complete system for self-care and self-help.
Energy medicine can address physical illness and emotional or mental disorders, and can also promote high-level wellness and peak performance. By learning simple energy techniques, you can improve your health, sharpen your mind, and increase your joy and vitality.
Energy medicine is also preventive: By recognizing energy disruptions before symptoms appear, the energy problem can be corrected rather than allowed to progress until it erupts into cancer, heart failure, or a nervous disorder.
Energy medicine shows you how to understand and work with your body’s reservoir of electromagnetic and more subtle energies to:
- increase your vitality
- identify and correct energy imbalances that keep you from
being at your best
- enhance your health and your state of mind.
The applications of energy medicine also extend beyond health and healing. You can maximize your performance in almost any endeavor if you get your energies into an optimal flow and harmony.
These descriptions of EM are from a website designed to give general information to a wide audience who have come to the website for information.
But, if you know who you are talking to, you can make the description more focused.
For example, if you are speaking to a group of massage therapists, you can focus on the fact that each muscle group is affected by specific subtle energy fields (meridians) and learning how to balance these fields can help to insure muscle health.
For your practice back home, how would you describe EEM and what you do to prospective clients?
Now, can you say it in seven words or less?
Why seven words or less?
The answer is CLARITY. If you are clear what you are offering, you will communicate that clarity to others. In marketing, you only have a brief period of time to interest someone. Clarity is important.
III. How You Tell People
We are finally getting to the topic of marketing. Many people confuse marketing with promotion. You will need to do both.
Promotion is making people aware of you.
Marketing is the message they hear; what you tell people affects what they think about you. What they think about you affects whether they seek you out.
Why do we need to do marketing?
Possible answers to this question could include:
- Finally, everything we do or say that relates to our business is marketing anyway, so we might as well do it with planning and conscious thought.
The Marketing Strategy: For Woods and Metals
The following questions outline the components of a general Marketing Strategy:
- What kind of business do you have and what are your business goals and objectives?
- What benefits do you as a practitioner of EEM (and possible other modalities) offer the world?
- What makes you uniquely qualified to offer these (called a competitive advantage or USP "unique selling point")?
- Who needs these benefits (this is your target market)?
- How can you reach them (marketing tools)?
- Your identity as a practitioner/business (what you will communicate to them in your message).
- Your marketing budget and plan (when and where you will promote, and how much you will spend).
The Marketing Strategy: For Everyone Else
First, what kind of business do you have, or want to have? Yes, it will be practicing EEM, but do you want to combine that with other modalities?
What can you do to help people? These are the benefits.
What do you bring to the party as a practitioner that makes you unique from others? This is your competitive advantage or USP.
Do you want to specialize in something like childhood diseases? Senior Issues? Sports performance or injuries? Maternity or menopause? The kind of business you want to have will determine your target market.
Your target market is the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to say and offer. For example, if you decide to specialize in menopausal issues, teenage boys will not care about what you have to say and you should not spend time or money trying to reach them with your message.
How can you reach your target market? This will affect your choice of marketing tools. More on this later.
What will you say to your target market? What is the message you have for them about you and the benefits you offer? This will directly affect what they think about you and your identity as a practitioner. Your message is who you are, in a business sense, and what you can offer them.
The best marketing messages communicate the benefit relative to a need of the target market. The deeper the need, the more compelling the message will be. For example:
- People do not buy locks; they buy safety.
- People do not buy shampoos; they buy clean and beautiful hair.
- People do not buy cars; they buy status, style, economy, performance, etc.
- Most people will seek out EEM not to have their energies balanced, but to be healthier and happier.
How often should you send a message to your target market? Are some promotional activities better than others? How much will this cost? All of this will directly relate to the marketing plan and marketing budget you develop.
IV. How You Create Awareness
So, you know exactly what you want, what you have to offer, who really needs it, and how you can benefit them. You know what you want to say. Now how do you reach your target market with your message? This is where marketing tools come in.
The following is a list of some of the marketing tools that you can use as an EEM practitioner, and how you might use them (promotional activities):
- Create a website and link to other websites.
- Send personal letters to people you know making them aware of your business and services.
- Call local businesses and people and offer your services.
- Develop a brochure (or use ours) for your office and send it to everyone you know, related local businesses, anyone who might be in touch with people you want to reach.
- Post flyers or simple signs on free bulletin boards announcing your business, classes you are teaching, etc.
- Run ads in newspapers (or other media).
- Buy a listing in the phone book.
- Send flyers or brochures through the mail.
- Develop an email list and send regular emails out to your clients.
- Develop a regular newsletter and distribute it all over.
- Offer your clients a bonus for every client they refer.
- Offer low price or free sessions while you get started.
- Teach classes anywhere anyone will let you.
- Participate in health fairs.
- Establish business relationships with other professionals and ask for/offer referrals.
- Volunteer at local community events where your target market is present.
- Join business/community groups.
- Have t-shirts made up with your name and give them away for free.
- Develop a weekly radio or cable program.
- Attend trade shows relevant to your target market.
What others can you add?
Important Points to Remember
Your Marketing Strategy can be very formal, very loose, or somewhere in between. But remember, everything you say and do in a business sense (and personally, too, really) is marketing. You might was well have it thought out.
Marketing takes time to develop and build. Sometimes, it takes lots of time. Just like energy medicine, persistence pays.
Some marketing tools will be duds for you, and others will be great. Track these well, drop the duds, and double the winners.
Never forget your message or stray from it. You want your identity to be clear and kept firmly in people’s minds.
Whatever marketing tools or promotional activities you use, make them creative, but to the point. Your marketing message must be clear.
Creative marketing takes all of this into account, and then comes up with a catchy or memorable logo, slogan, phrase, etc. that can be associated with you again and again. That is marketing that builds, and it is very cost effective.
Marketing for small businesses does not need to be expensive, just present and consistent. However, the US average among small business is to spend 5% or more of annual sales on marketing. So, if you bring in $4,000 per month, you would spend $200 per month on marketing.
Marketing is more than ads or brochures. It is knowing that everything communicates (that is why everything is marketing). Image communicates. Actions communicate. Choice of media communicates. Make sure all that you do is consistent with your message.
Because marketing needs repetition, it is wise to create a marketing calendar to determine when each of your marketing tools will be used over the course of a year. This helps your marketing activities to build on each other, as well.
Make sure you understand business basics, are sufficiently capitalized, and have really thought through what you want your business to be. This is because marketing works. It will either speed up your success, or hasten your demise.
© 2008, Victoria Matthews, ND