Growing Your Wellness Practice With Holistic Marketing

Growing Your Wellness Practice With Holistic Marketing

More and more practitioners realize that in order to stay in business, marketing online is essential.

Holistic Marketing is more than just a hot trend.  As of this writing, it’s the summer of 2020 and things have changed a bit. Many brick-and-mortar clinic owners are future-proofing their wellness practices via telehealth, which is a good start towards diversifying income streams for acupuncturists, chiropractors, coaches, and any holistic entrepreneur.

Marketing online is a natural extension of this process.

Growing your holistic business with holistic marketing makes sense, and it’s what we have been doing all along!

Many holistic healers and creative entrepreneurs have a tendency to avoid it because it’s presented as something enigmatic and difficult to grasp for those who are not “technically gifted.”

I’m going to keep working on dispelling this myth by saying:

Marketing is about creating systems. Creating these systems is JUST as much of a creative process as a technical or logical one.

Marketing HAS to be, by nature, holistic and individualized in order to work. Just like holistic medicine!

In this blog I’ll talk about:

• What holistic marketing REALLY is
• How it is evolving quickly
• Why you need a holistic marketing plan
• How to get started (even from scratch, with Zero funds or knowledge)

What Holistic Marketing Really Is

Some of you that know me may know that I’m not a fan of the way the term “holistic” is used.

I like it just about as much as the term “alternative” to describe any form or modality of healthcare, music, or whatever.

It implies that something is always going to be “fringe,” for better or for worse.

It’s seldom a very accurate term. It doesn’t even come close to describing what I do or what you do.. or what anyone else with a small service based healing practice does.

As for holistic, its true meaning means “embracing the whole system”  As in: Looking at the big picture.  Honoring how the pieces fit together. Acknowledging the forest, not just a few trees. Putting puzzle pieces together.  The sum is greater than its parts. Synergy.

Holistic marketing isn’t just about making a pretty website for your health coaching, acupuncture practice, or herbal medicine shop. It’s not even about a checklist of “all the things” that should be in place on your site.

It’s about finding a plan that involves ALL the pieces and parts that will make sense for you and fit together seamlessly.

As early as 5-10 years ago, you could probably get by with some well-thought out SEO keywords, doing a few local talks, and building a basic website with an address, phone number, and ABOUT page.

For a boost, you could go to some networking meetings and hand out business cards with your URL.  If you were SUPER savvy, you would play the Google keyword game or find a “guru” who could help you magically climb the ranks of search engine pages.

This is still how some market today!

Today, SEO doesn’t stand on its own. Everything you do and create is connected to everything else.

The thought process is much like the interconnectedness that many of us are taught in school. You can’t simply isolate ONE thing (a branch) and ascribe magic to it. You have to look at the BIG picture. The roots. The forest. The weather. The entire ecosystem.

For example, say you are a a practitioner of acupuncture and herbal medicine (OM).  You have a solid grasp of nutrition and extra training in functional medicine.

How would you market your practice?

If you are simply relying on just a website and HOPING it will draw in traffic, you are missing out on the opportunities that will help with growing your holistic practice. (and no, I don’t have ONE Weird Trick for you, that’s not how it works!)

Suppose you are very visual. You can create pins for Pinterest and really get to know that platform well. You can play with recipes, pictures of your product, nutritional guidelines, and lifestyle tips in a visual format.

You might fall into a nice “groove” that feels enjoyable. You might “batch” your Pinterest posts and schedule them on a weekly or monthly basis. You might also outsource this task.

Your pins are also linked to or associated with your website, email marketing, and other social media channels. Almost everything is cross-linked and has a purpose and flow that can be mapped out.

Let’s say you prefer writing. Your blog doesn’t just sit in your website archives. It’s a living, evolving part of your SEO!  SEO functions because of WORDS.

Your blogs can also be shared on social media, in various groups. It can be used in your email marketing to prepare your audience for the next stage or event in your business.. or even a launch.

Blogs can also be re-purposed and used as “lead magnets” to capture leads, as Facebook live broadcasts, podcasts, webinars/trainings. paid courses, or live speaking events.

Let’s say that you specialize in sports medicine, and YouTube is your jam.

A holistic marketing plan wouldn’t involve simply JUST posting on YouTube, although it’s a great start! Your channel will also likely be linked to other social media channels, such as FB lives. (You can upload your live videos to YouTube after converting it)

You can use your videos as part of an email marketing campaign geared towards say, runners. This campaign can also branch out and link to local events, PR, media, getting links on other sites. You can use messenger funnels as well to help people prepare for race season.

These are just ideas I’m “riffing” on. As you can see, this isn’t necessarily about “scary tech things” but a very CREATIVE process as well.

This chart doesn’t even include paid ads, which is a good idea to introduce once you get some organic momentum built.

Another bonus: 

Once a content library is built, you have even MORE value to add to leads, patients, and clients. At this point you can create a paid Facebook group or membership area. The vision for a funnel will also start to form.

Why You Need a Holistic Marketing Plan

• People do their research before they buy. Especially in healthcare. This is a trend that is continuing to gain traction. Having a presence online just makes sense. You want to be the one that people find when searching for information!

• People also DO like to “binge” on information that “hits the spot” or resonates for them. There’s plenty of room out there and plenty of clients who will appreciate the unique things that you offer, and the way you present it.

• You can capitalize on the synergy of these systems. As you start to implement in an intentional manner, the momentum and energy increases.

In other words, for example, your blog will start to “feed” your SEO. Your blog will also be the creative basis for your podcast. Your podcast directs traffic to your website. This increased traffic leads to better SEO, which of course helps your blog. Your blog is loaded with calls to action (CTA’s) which leads to more phone calls, conversions, and sales.  Now we have created a nice circle of momentum!

• You can tailor your plan according to your unique communication style, preferences, and brand.

I happen to love podcasting, and have plans to make this one of my main marketing tools, but having a blog in place makes it much easier. I already have a library of ideas to draw from as well as new ones, and as my business grows my content will evolve and need updates.

You may LOVE video or have a genius for Instagram or Pinterest or teaching others via webinars/masterclasses.

• Diversification: If one component isn’t performing well, you have other channels to fall back on. This is one reason why I think it’s smart to have a solid email list and build a library of blogs and podcasts that you own and can use anywhere. If Facebook disappears tomorrow, everything you created there, including your contacts, will also disappear.

How to Start A Holistic Marketing Plan

I don’t want you to think that you must have ALL of these components in place at once!

It’s easy to look at the websites of colleagues that have been practicing for a while and feel inadequate.

Even though you can, and should implement your plan and your offerings quickly (successful people don’t take 6 months to write a lead magnet or define their target audience, they act quickly) having a stable and effective system in place still takes time.

Here’s where I recommend starting. I promise it doesn’t have to be painful or expensive or have you feeling defeated right out of the gate!

1. Check in with your mindset. First, in the spirit of creating a holistic system, I think that it is important to get your own mindset in a good place, and make sure that you are actually in “alignment” with your services and message.

This may sound like “coach speak” but it’s true. You can force yourself to implement an elaborate system, but if you have deep-seated and subconscious doubts that conflict with your plans, you will end up doing a lot of work for nothing. This can cause you to feel even more defeated.

Worse yet, you may never even begin due to subconscious mindset blocks.

I’m not going to go too deeply into alignment in this blog. I don’t want to leave you hanging, either, but I will be writing more about this in the near future.

In the meantime, there are some wonderful spaces on Facebook to get you started not only in finding support, but getting help if you need it when you feel as if all of this is just one big uphill battle.

In a nutshell, it will take more than just “motivation,” which as they say, is one of the most temporary substances on earth!  A holistic marketing plan is for the LONG haul.

2. Just blog.  You may not have any fancy ideas yet, but those blogs can be used in the future. They may be worth far more than you think. If you did step 1, you won’t run out of things to talk about for years! Hate to write? Record videos!  They can also be put to work.

3. Start Learning. Get acquainted with some of the basics so that it seems less daunting. Set aside a certain amount of time each week and study the basics of websites, SEO, and email marketing. I like Neil Patel for all things SEO.

I have a lot of free, low cost and personalized options for learning about WordPress and email marketing.

Note: It’s SUPER easy to get “into the weeds” with SEO. Take your time. I may create a list of good articles to start with.

3. Sign up. Start learning and experimenting and “poking around.” All you need is some time, no money is usually required.

Get started with email by signing up for a free service. I recommend Mailerlite rather than the “monkey” service, as it is easier to use, is set up better for automations, and has a better deliverability rate.

Take time to learn about the basics of email marketing by exploring this app. Set up a few mock automations. Create some test gmail accounts and practice writing great marketing emails and subject lines.

Other email services are somewhat similar. Before long, you will be a pro at it! Remember, you don’t need to learn it all in a day.

You can do the same with ManyChat or Chatfuel for chatbots. The concept is similar to email marketing.

This step will also help you begin to get a sense of what your first sales funnel may look like.

Note: I don’t recommend investing in most of the expensive SEO platforms until you have the other areas in place. However, I DO recommend checking out some free 30 day trials. I like Moz and SEOProfiler. Ahrefs is powerful but not beginner-friendly.

4. Familarize yourself with marketing terms. The online space has plenty of sites that speak in marketing jargon, which can be annoying even for those who are familiar with digital marketing. Many resources are geared towards large companies or e-commerce. It’s best to stick with what is relevant to your small, service-based business so that you don’t waste your time and get overwhelmed.

4. Do something FUN. Buy a $120 microphone (I like Blue Yeti) and start recording and learning about podcasting. There are plenty of great resources available for getting started with podcasting, and soon, I hope to one one of them!

..Or start learning how to use Canva and start creating your own pins. Create a slide deck using PowerPoint, KeyNote, or GoogleSlides for your next talk and master public presentations, and then take your talks online with webinars and trainings!

If video sounds the most interesting to you, you can experiment with basic editing with Camtasia (a one time fee of about $200) ScreenFlow, or Audacity, which is free. If you are REALLY into it, Final Cut Pro is also a great choice.

You can also dive into the world of WordPress for a small monthly investment: Usually from $5 -10 per month plus a domain name purchase, (typically around $15) I personally use and am happy with SiteGround, which has great customer service, no matter what level you are at.

This is a good way to learn in a controlled environment until you are ready to take your business site live. You might find that you actually enjoy building websites!

This is only a start.. there are SO many creative ways to create your message and communicate it to your audience.

If not, or you have other things to do with your time, knowing a bit about WordPress will still help you when you decide to outsource to a designer/developer.

You will also get an idea of how and why a site built on this platform is the most powerful, flexible, and not-so-difficult “home base” for a solid holistic marketing system.

A caveat: Don’t spend TOO much time with small things and let it eat up time that could be spent doing more “high leveraging” activities. Don’t think that you MUST do all these things. Pick one to start. If however, you have just as much fun playing with video editing software or building websites as you do watching movies, then go for it!

Which brings us to the last point:

5. Prioritize. If your business is at a certain stage where you are starting to build momentum, it’s not going to make sense for you to be playing with Canva to do a $8 an hour job when you will be better off acting as the CEO of your business ($100 or $1000 an hour jobs)

You will also need to build a real system if you want to grow a real business. It’s easy to get started with these techniques, but spending too much time in one area isn’t a great business strategy. Nor is spending too much time in the “passive zone” and not producing anything.

Know when it makes sense to outsource.

Need help with growing your holistic business with holistic marketing?   I would be glad to help. You can click on the burgundy button below for a free 30 min consultation.  I have also introduced coaching plans.. as of this writing, I have a 6 week one-on-one coaching option.

In the near future, I’ll be adding on group coaching and courses!

Visual learner? Here you go:

A Year End Review to Make 2021 a Success

A Year End Review to Make 2021 a Success

Every year, I have one ritual. This year is no exception. I would like to share it with you. 

You can read this blog for inspiration in creating your own year-end ritual.. or you can skim and follow what I wrote in burgundy to get a quick start. 

Here we go: 

I start by slowing down, taking time to clear my mind. I’ll then sit down with a cup of coffee that leads to another walk or similar relaxing activity that lets clarity and creativity bubble up.  I get in the “zone.” I light a candle and pour a glass of wine.. and thoroughly enjoy this process.

I take time to write down all my accomplishments. I also write down things I had intended to do, but didn’t. I then determine whether to put those things back on my list, or demote them to the “back burner” or take them off the list entirely. This is just a start.

Some surprising things come up from this exercise.

I find that not only do I have a pretty good list of accomplishments, but I’ve “leveled up” in most years. (more…)

How Your Acupuncture Blog Can Help Your SEO

How Your Acupuncture Blog Can Help Your SEO

SEO for health and wellness professionals  is more important than ever, because the majority of your patients will be doing their research before booking an appointment with you.

Let’s talk about how your acupuncture blog is actually critical for SEO.

 

Or more specifically.. Why your  blog is such a valuable asset, how blogging actually works, and how it can actually save you time and yes, make you money.  For more advanced and specific information on what’s happening in the world of SEO for wellness professionals, check out this blog.

Blogging is one of those tasks that business owners say they will “get around to” but seldom do, at least not on a regular basis. (more…)

5 Reasons Why Wellness Professionals Need to Blog Consistently

5 Reasons Why Wellness Professionals Need to Blog Consistently

Content Marketing is very important for wellness professionals. Blogging is one of the easiest ways to help your ideal patient or client find you when they do their research. (And they will!)

But if you are still not convinced…

This article is mostly about what’s in it for YOU as a wellness practitioner and expert in your niche when you take the time to blog consistently.

Acupuncturists, chiropractors, naturopaths, health coaches, fitness professionals.. all need to create content consistently. They need  active and dynamic websites in order to compete in today’s market.. both locally and online. 

This means that the content of your site, (and social media channels) needs to stay current, educational, useful, interesting, and relevant. Adding fresh content on a regular basis is key. For many, this is done via blogging.  Your blog is a powerful tool for getting not just more traffic, but more of the RIGHT patients for YOU. (more…)

How to Start A Blog For Your Wellness Business

How to Start A Blog For Your Wellness Business

It isn’t enough in the 2020’s to simply have a website.

You want your wellness website to function like one of your best employees. A blog is much like your first line of customer service and a potential patient’s first encounter with you.

 

This blog is for you if:

• You don’t have a website, or don’t have a great website just yet

• You haven’t updated your “online brochure” website since 2012 or before

• You are not familiar with SEO or the concept of content marketing, or why you may want to have a blog (Hint: Not because “everyone else has one”)

• You hired an “SEO guy” (or gal) in the past who used “tricks and hacks” to get you quick rankings, but either got no results or their “black hat” techniques ended up tanking your rankings due to Google updates and penalties

• You are only beginning to understand the concept of digital marketing because you had to “go virtual” with at least a portion of your practice in 2020

• You don’t know where to start, and frankly, are kind of afraid to ask

• You are genuinely passionate about what you do and are willing to do further research, documentation, exploration, and writing about your chosen area of expertise to share with the world

Go grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine) and let’s get you started!

You’ve probably heard about SEO, and have a basic understanding about Google searches. You may also be aware that a large majority of your patients are probably doing some kind of research online before they book an appointment with you. (80 percent, according to a recent study!)

You may also be vaguely familiar with terms like keywords, backlinks, and meta descriptions, but don’t really want to dive into that rabbit hole right now. 

I actually DO recommend taking it slow when it comes to learning the basics of SEO, because it CAN be a rabbit hole!

Maybe you even thought about paying someone to magically “fix” your SEO or “make” your page skyrocket to the top of Google rankings.

Today, the approach of “quick fixes” and “gaming the system” don’t work. That’s the bad news.

I don’t recommend hiring anyone that makes promises about quick gains when it comes to Google rankings and traffic, as this will backfire.

Today, what makes a wellness practice successful is something called content marketing. Now for the GOOD news.. Most of SEO and content marketing really boils down to just creating high-quality content that is useful to your potential patients and clients. 

The days of the non-functional, “glorified brochure” websites are over. 

This means that you can no longer put up a website with just a brief description of what you do with a few specific keywords, put your phone number at the top, link to a booking or consultation, and call it a day.

This is still done certain industries, like plumbing and construction. Since these businesses are generally more or less commodities, playing the keyword ranking game and getting backlinks was enough for Joe’s plumbing service in Anytown, NE, to be seen in the first page of Google listings for a particular search.

This is basically using Google as nothing more than glorified Yellow pages, which is fine if you are say, a cab company.

As a matter of fact, this IS how it was done in almost every industry about 10 years ago, but even for commodities, it’s harder to compete in the online space without adopting to modern marketing.

This means that your message,  your content, your brand, how you tell your story, and how you solve a specific problem for a specific type of patient or client is crucial.

Hoping that people visit our websites that have a handful of blogs and rely on old-school “tricks and hacks” SEO (or no SEO) no longer works well for highly personalized experiences like acupuncture, chiropractic, or coaching.

“Old School” SEO doesn’t work anymore

A blog that sounds like it’s written more for a Google bot than a regular person is not only annoying, but is now being penalized by Google. (and has been for a while now)

I’m still shocked by how many chiropractic sites I see that are written like this. Don’t write for a machine. Write for real people.

People want to interact with real people, find helpful information, and feel as if they found a person, place, or service that really “resonates” with them.   They are seeking a a good vibe, and a site with a lot of good, relevant information, which is organized in a clean, uncluttered way.

What’s one of the bests way to do this? Blogging.

Here’s why:

1. You don’t want to clutter up your homepage with too much information. This is confusing to a reader. Readers want to know briefly what your business is about, and what makes YOU or your place unique. This is why clean, elegant sites are so popular.

Your potential patient or client will use the blog to dive a little deeper on something more specific. Almost everyone knows what a blog is and what it’s used for nowadays, and if they are intrigued, they will go there to find more info.

Note: Having a blog page with a search function or “latest or relevant posts” on your website will greatly increase the odds that those that navigate to your home page first, will check out your blog.

It also helps to “see at a glance” that your site is a wealth of information, or even “binge-worthy.”

2. If your business is online with a global audience, you obviously can’t rely on Joe the plumber’s technique. People simply don’t type “How I can live my best life”  or “Business coach” into a Google search. They have specific questions that begin with “Why, How, What, When, Who, and Where, or  Can..such as:

“How can I get rid of my acne?”

“Why is my dog so anxious lately?”

“What are some good recipes for a Paleo breakfast?

“When should I use ice to treat an injury?”

“Can acupuncture help me with my sugar addiction?”

The right keywords may also lead potential clients to read blogs about how they can improve their lives:

“Why motivation won’t work for long-term success”

“How to make sure you are heard when nobody seems to be listening”

You get the idea.

What questions and what problems is YOUR ideal client looking to solve with a Google search?

Your blog will help guide your ideal clients to you by using keywords that strike a chord with them.. and have them coming back for more.

For example, if your focus is on working with gifted and creative people…(which is still a pretty broad focus) you can really niche this down further via blogging and sharing info about the unique challenges your ideal client has, and how to solve THEIR specific problems, which you will define in your blogs.

Blogging also integrates beautifully with social media, which is probably going to be your primary method of attracting an audience and generating leads if you deliver services only online to a global market.

3. You will be a resource they will come back to again and again by providing honestly helpful information on a regular basis. For example, you could blog about how you treat shoulder pain or how to have glowing skin after 50.

You can then optimize each blog with keywords that people will be searching for. (more about how to do this in this blog)

What’s cool is that next time when they are looking for information about how you treat back pain or natural treatments for reducing the appearance of cellulite, they are likely to come back to your site because now they perceive you as an expert in your niche.

If you impressed them this first time, why would they go elsewhere, or to a “flimsy” site that only has a phone number and says basically the same thing as everyone else’s?

4. Here’s the reason why you actually have an ADVANTAGE: Because you are not a cab company, an airline, a breakfast cereal, or just another plumber.

What you have, even in a saturated or competitive market, is something nobody else has or will ever have. You are not a commodity.

You get to express yourself.

I don’t know about you, but I think it kind of sucks to have to compete as a commodity. When you are a commodity, you are forced to focus on discount pricing or feel pressure to do what everyone else is doing.

Blogging is like someone  handing you a mike and giving you a stage to tell your audience what you are really all about, without having to sound like a cheesy commercial.

Content marketing will do that for you. Really! I got my favorite patients that were a joy to work with, because of my blog and all the info I offered.

5. It will help you attract the right people for you, and yes, repel those you don’t want to work with. In other words, it will SAVE you time and energy in the long run.

But I was told that “nobody wants to read anything anymore, it’s too much work, so why should I write?”

This simply isn’t true. If you want to attract patients who can’t be bothered to do a little research and be genuinely interested in being proactive about their health.. it’s not beneficial for anyone.. you, the client or patient, and your industry as a whole.

Note: If you are MUCH better at video than with blogging.. go for it! Statistics show that more people watch videos than read blogs.. especially on mobile devices. But many are still a bit shy about videos, and blogging isnt’ going away any time soon.

For now, we’ll focus on blogging.

You will be in a better position to serve

What about those who are not ready for your 1:1 services?  The temptation is to lower your prices, which I think is a big mistake. Your time and the strategic solutions you offer should be priced appropriately.

Blogs are a great way to provide more people with access to your expertise. It’s the gateway to entry point to offering solutions for those who are just beginning to learn about how they can benefit from your services but aren’t ready for the next step.

From there you can continue to offer solutions that help them at the next level, if they choose, such as group programs, courses, or webinars.

How to start blogging

1. If you don’t already have a WordPress website, I highly recommend it. Another reason I love WordPress so much is that blogging is built right in to the site from the start. Other platforms like Kartra, which I also love, are a good choice for online businesses with more advanced needs, but they are not great platforms for building a blog. I won’t get into that right now.

WordPress manages all your content easily.. including images, blog posts, and pages. All you need to do is add a post, a title, a description, and a featured image and you are basically set.

As you go, you will find optimal ways of formatting, using images, and refining SEO. Just start, and feel that sense of satisfaction when your library starts to build.

You are now on your way to becoming the go-to person in your industry!

Note: Finding a niche and defining your target audience is also key. If you are writing to the wrong audience, you will be writing for your own entertainment only. 

Do NOT try to “make sure that anyone and everyone” is going to be interested. When you do this, NOBODY will be interested, (meh) and you are now basically a commodity.

Those with online coaching businesses need to be even MORE specific about their audience.

I can help you define and refine if you are stuck. This is not uncommon when it comes to “putting yourself out there” and wanting to attract everyone, which is a mistake.

2. Don’t worry if you only have 2 blogs (or NO blogs!) right now, or allow it to overwhelm you. This is about consistent and inspired action. What’s the perfect number? To get some momentum going, I recommend at least a few times per month. After a while, you can update and refresh your old posts, which is what I do to keep getting more traffic to my website.

You will find a rhythm that works for you and keeps you competitive in the SEO game. This will take some observation and tweaking.

When you think of a blog idea, write it down. These ideas often come up in conversations, or at random moments.

You can also ask your patients or guests what their burning questions are and answer them.

3. Don’t just blog. Pair your efforts with metrics. You want to get into the habit of measuring how well the blog is performing via driving more traffic to your site or some other goal or metric, such as online bookings, opt-ins, viewings of your pricing page, how long visitors stick around on your site, how “trustworthy” your site is, insights about links.. and more.

Start by setting up a Google Analytics and Google Console account. It’s easier than ever to get started. (Granted, it will take you some time to master Google Analytics) These are the 2 standard tools SEO’s use to measure the performance of a website. (And your blog will play a HUGE role in its performance)

With these tools, you will find a gold mine of info that will help direct you on what to blog about, how to optimize your blogs for SEO, or how to best integrate them with social media.

4. Have someone do it for you. If you TRULY don’t have time because you are busy with your business.. congratulations! Your business is growing, and it may be time to outsource.

For some, it may make MUCH more sense to hire someone who knows their business to do their blogging, posting, and analysis.

Remember, the GOOD NEWS is that blogging isn’t dead. Not even close. It’s just a statement that circulates from time to time that makes for good clickbait.

High quality information is being rewarded by Google.. because clearly, this is what people WANT.

So think of it as fun, not a chore. Let it be a way to inspire you and your business, and get others jazzed about what your unique offering is.  For more advanced info about blogging and SEO in 2021 and beyond, this is a must read. 

Need help with your content marketing?

Whether you are a newbie, DIYer, or even seasoned marketer.. sometimes we all need a little help so that we can focus on what really matters and get the results we want from our digital marketing efforts.

For you DIYers.. I have some brand new courses that take you through the entire process step-by-step.

No time?  The “Done for you” SEO and content marketing packages may be perfect for you. (They go together!)

I also offer 1:1 coaching for those who need some guidance.  Got questions? Just click on the burgundy button below for a free 30 minute consultation.