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Recently, I’ve been spending a good deal of time designing websites for businesses, so when I came across this article in my reader today, it really struck a chord. Go read it, I’ll wait.

Referrals- Why They’re Killing Your Biz and What You Can Do About It (Word.)

And, you’re back.

What I’ve found is that too many of us are letting our marketing materials get stale and out of date because we’re doing so well based on referrals.

The referral engine you’ve built may be an illusion

Ask most massage therapists what their biggest source of new clients is and they will answer “Referrals”. So they neglect all of their other marketing materials and resources since none of these is as good as word of mouth.

But maybe, it’s that your current website sucks so badly that it will never generate any new clients.

Maybe your business card that uses the same template as everyone else doesn’t set you apart.

Maybe your brochures haven’t been updated or use cheesy clipart.

None of these things is a favorable reflection of you or the quality of your service

So no wonder they don’t generate any new clients. They look like crap, they don’t have any “What’s In It For Me” take aways for potential clients, and they may even be turning people off and away.

And that’s why all of your new business is coming from referrals.

Maybe if we updated some of our materials, made them more client-centric, and put some serious polish on them, we’ll get more clients from our marketing materials.

For the next few posts, I’m going to walk us through updating our reflections so that they match the quality of what we have to offer.

Take a look at your website, business cards, and brochures and ask yourself “What isn’t working well?”. Leave a comment below of what materials you need to have updated. We’ll do this together because the world needs our services and we have to get the word out.

* photo: nvbr11

10 Responses to Mirror Mirror

  1. This is so true. I’ve seen so many therapists who have outdated, poorly designed websites because they don’t think they get any new clients online. These day most people use online resources when looking for a service in their area. Many therapists don’t seem to understand that they may not be getting new clients from their website because their website looks so bad.

    • Heather – you are exactly right. Over 70% of people aged 18 to 95 use the internet to find products and services. 40% of them are using smartphones. We can’t afford to have bad websites anymore.

  2. Actually just ordered new brochures, as we were celebrating an anniversary of the business, and my new and improved website should be rolled out any day. You can’t beat word of mouth advertising, but you need to stay with the times, definitely.

    • Oooh, a shiny, new website! I know this won’t come as news to you. Laura, but a shiny new website is an opportunity to get in touch with your clients without sounding “sales-y”. Send an announcement about the new website and email sign up list and ask for feedback. You can sometimes hide a secret page that contains a coupon code that encourages people to go digging through the site. You can delete the secret page after a couple of weeks. Easy peasy and you’ve gotten folks to go through the whole website.

  3. Well said, Kelli! I’m most certainly a perpetrator of this from time to time. I rely heavily on WOM and my website for exposure to prospective new clients. While I think I’ve done pretty well in designing/maintaining it, I find that I can get lazy and make it my sole tactic for marketing. I know if I worked harder and diversified my efforts my practice could expand exponentially. Hmmm…wonder if that’s what I’m araid of……

    • Allen, the fear of unlimited growth can be a real doozy. I, too, tend to rely a little too much on the website to bring me new clients. It works, but I don’t want a change in Google’s search algorythm to crater my business, so I need to remind myself that there are other means to new clients.

  4. I find that most massage therapists are still not tech savvy, although that is changing with the times. As a teacher, I love to read confirmations of what I’m sharing in the classroom. Good websites and marketing materials are vital to business!

    • Diane, It’s good that you are teaching this to massage students. Most of them are aware of the technology but not really sure how it can and should be used. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I just had a heated talk with a massage school director who was telling a new therapist to not bother with building a site !!!!! Claiming this newly minted therapist is better off spending their time marketing in other places. GRRRR.

    My website brings me new clients every week. It is my bread and butter for keeping my phone ringing and my doors open (-:

    • Jessica – sadly, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard that. Most of the teachers and therapists who keep rejecting the idea of websites are either stuck in marketing models of the past (print ads! yellow book ads!), or they believe that word of mouth will be enough.

      I, too, get more new clients from my website than all of my other advertising combined. It pretty much equals what I get from word of mouth. I’m glad to see yours is performing as well!

      Thanks for commenting. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

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