Many therapists and healers spend hours producing marketing materials (websites, brochures, fliers, etc) that don’t bring about the results they expected. If this is your experience, you are not alone. Most of my therapist and healing clients come to me either not knowing where to begin developing promotional materials or with materials that may look professional, but are not effective in attracting clients.
If you are not getting the response you want from your promotional materials, it can be due to many factors. One of the most significant is that your materials may not be motivating potential clients to take action. Having effective materials to market your practice can make all the difference as to whether prospective clients take the next step to contact you or not.
Many coaches, counselors, therapists, and healing professionals develop at least some of their own marketing materials, especially when they are first getting started with their practice. There is nothing wrong with doing this and it can save a lot of money that would otherwise have to be spent on designers and copywriters.
The only problem with this is that most professionals do not have a marketing background and therefore don’t know anything about how to make their materials effective so that they do what they are intended to do–make people pick up the phone and call you.
If you want to get better results from your marketing materials, you will at least need to know some basic guidelines for creating materials that compel people to take action once they have read them. Below are 5 guidelines for developing compelling materials.
1. Have a Simple, Clean Design
Of course, you want your materials to look interesting and professional, but be careful that your graphics and the overall design do not distract prospective clients from your message. Be wary of designers who want to include graphics that can overwhelm people, and in the case of websites, fancy technology that frustrates and distracts visitors that come to your site.
Your writing should be easy to read. Black ink is usually the easiest on the eye. Be cautious about putting graphics behind your copy. This may look attractive, but can also make it very difficult to read. Remember, you want prospective clients to read your copy so that they discern whether or not you can help them with their problems. If they get frustrated trying to read your document, they may put it down and never return to it.
2. Have an Interesting Opening Headline
For all your marketing materials, start with a compelling headline that speaks directly to the kind of person you are trying to attract. This headline should focus on the potential client and what they are seeking. It should *not* be about you or your services. The purpose of an opening headline is to attract the attention of the reader. If your headline is interesting, they will likely keep reading, if it is boring or doesn’t speak directly to them, chances are, they won’t read any further.
Your headline should either be problem or benefit focused –I prefer the former, as I think it works better because people’s thoughts are usually dominated by their problems when they seek help.
Your headline should be catchy so that it attracts attention. If it doesn’t, people won’t continue to read your copy. One common method of writing a headline is to ask a question as this will invoke the curiosity of the reader. For example, if you are a counselor who works with couples in conflict, your headline might say something like,” Are you fed up with the endless arguments you have with your spouse?”
3. Focus Your Promotional Materials on Your Prospective Clients
One of the most common problems made by professionals unfamiliar with marketing is that they focus their marketing materials on themselves. How many websites, for example, have you seen where the home page opens and you immediately read about the professional–who they are, what their qualifications are, etc?
So, what is wrong with focusing your promotional materials on yourself? After all, your potential clients want to know about you and your services, don’t they? Yes, they do, but it’s typically not the first thing on their mind when they view your documents.
They are usually first concerned in knowing whether you understand them and the difficulties they are experiencing. In the marketing field this principle is often referred to as “WIFM” (What is in it for me?) People sit up and take notice when something addresses their desires directly.
So, how do you illustrate to potential clients that you understand their problems and know how to help them? You can do this by first writing about your clients’ problem(s) and the solution(s) they are seeking. If you have been convincing in showing them that you understand them and have what it takes to help them solve their problems, they will be more ready to take the next step and read about you and your services.
4. Focus on the Benefits of Your Therapy or Healing Services as Opposed to the Features
Many professionals confuse the “benefits” with the “features” of their services. “Features” are statements about your business that describe what your business is about, the types of services you offer, how you work with your clients, etc. Potential clients do like to know the features of your services, but this is not typically what entices them to hire you.
“Benefits”, on the other hand, focus on concrete things clients can expect to experience as a result of the features of your services. For example, communicate better, be pain-free, have more energy, reduce stress, etc.
In order to list the problems and benefits for your potential clients accurately, you will need to know your target market well and what it is they are seeking.
5. Describe How You or Your Services Are Unique.
What is unique about you and the services that you offer? What do your clients get from you that is different from what they get from other professionals?
Because there are numerous other professionals offering similar services to you, you will stand out if you can convey how you are unique from them. Some examples of uniqueness include how you offer your services, your pricing, the quality of your services, your training, how you work with your clients, the value you provide, the outcome you deliver, etc. Whatever it is, it should be different enough so as to be compelling in its uniqueness.
If you utilize the above guidelines in the documents you create for your marketing purposes, you will undoubtedly get much better results. It takes some time and experimentation to do this, but when your phone starts to ring more often, you will be glad you made the effort.