Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alternative health professionals share marketing favorites

I had a great evening at Lake House on Tuesday night, networking with a diverse group of alternative health professionals representing eight different specialties. Everyone had a marketing tip -- or two or three -- to share.

Now I'm sharing with you:

Use both sides of your business card -- the front for the basic contact information and the back to offer a coupon, free gift, special offer or even a silly joke.

Collaborate with other professionals to create new projects, programs and services. You can share your networks and the work doesn't feel as daunting.

Get the name of your Web site on search engines. Many search engines, including Google, have a business feature at the bottom of the page. Let's say I would do a search "Racine psychotherapy" to see what comes up and where the name of my business is located on the results list. When the results arrive, scroll to the bottom of the screen to find a link that says "add a result." This is where you add your business link. I might also do a second search for "Racine coaching" and do the same.

Put your name and the name of your business in Google "alerts" -- link here -- to learn how your name is being used online. You can also use the feature to keep tabs on trends and news in your profession.

Research Web sites where you can list your business information for free or very low cost in just minutes (this will be the topic of an upcoming blog post!)

Research Web making and Web hosting options thoroughly so you can make the decision that's best for your business needs.

Introduce yourself with the health benefits first, title second. For instance, rather than say, "I'm a yoga instructor," say, "I help people relieve stress, improve concentration and feel more energy." Add later that you're a yoga instructor -- people may have mistaken ideas about what a yoga instructor does.

Consider making a video or DVD for your client, your Web site or for posting on YouTube.

Be acquainted with the local and regional media where you may have the opportunity to get free publicity. Advertise in the venue where you are most likely to connect with your target client; The Guide To Health, Wellness & Creative Living is one example of a publication that has high readership for those interested in alternative health.

We agreed that not every idea works well for every professional and profession, but it was energizing to share on so many levels.

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