So many struggling holistic business owners. So many therapists like Nancy that have literally NO clients. They struggle to attract clients on a daily and weekly basis. Nancy is no different.
Why Are There So Many Struggling Holistic Businesses with No Clients?
Why are so many holistic therapy businesses like Nancy’s struggling to get any clients? So many holistic clinics, therapists, counselors, and healers find it difficult to survive.
Nancy went to college for a few years so she is fully qualified and skilled. She is a properly qualified holistic therapist, she went to college for 3 years, and most of her training is well-recognized in her field. She even got a certificate of excellence for some of her holistic therapies So it is not because of poor skills or lack of expertise, she didn’t do any fast-track training.
So many healers and therapists struggle to get clients into their holistic business. And the sad fact it is often not because they aren’t gifted or skilled enough. It is usually down to the simple fact that they don’t have enough business knowledge or marketing skills.
Or there is not enough demand for their service, this often happens in areas where therapists set up holistic clinics or holistic spas in areas where there is an over-saturation of therapists offering what appears to the consumer as too similar offerings.
Exploring This Struggling Holistic Business
I offered Nancy a short free exploration chat to get a feel for Nancy and her present business challenges. It became quickly apparent that Nancy’s lack of business and marketing expertise and bad advice from college had got her into serious debt. She explained to me that her therapist lecturers implied how easy it would be to set up and earn a healthy living. Sadly for Nancy, this was anything but the truth. One year on and she had only two paying clients, no clients for well over 9/6 months.
She gave me her website and Facebook page details and right away I got quite a bit of information on why her advertising wasn’t turning into clients. Here are some of the reason she and many of the holistic clients I have seen through the years have struggled to get clients into their holistic business.
Some Reasons Why She Had No Clients
Her website was extremely old-fashioned and basic now that’s fine but her website wasn’t fit for purpose, the colours, the layout, font, and even the content gave the wrong message. It looked extremely unprofessional and it did nothing to instill confidence and trust in what she offered, it did not market her message. Now many therapists also make the mistake of going for a website that is clearly free, whilst trying to charge high-end prices. Basically, you’re sending out a mixed message to your audience.
She failed to mention her expertise, her qualifications and years of study. With so many fast-track training schools popping up. So many clients and consumers want to know that the therapist or coach that is treating or supporting them is adequately skilled in what they are providing. It is important to use your marketing to instill confidence and trust in potential clients. Especially when you work in the health or well-being sector. Nancy should have a few testimonials, especially on Facebook.
Her Facebook and website content did not give clear enough information, it was hard to find her contact details and it wasn’t obvious what area she was located in, never mind what country she was based in.
She never promoted her website and she had no SEO on her site so it was very unlikely anyone would find her site through the search engines.
Her Facebook page had a few hundred followers made up of mostly friends and family. She assumed everyone on her page was her client audience this is often not the case especially when it’s mostly liked by your family.
She only posted on her Facebook page a few times a week and they were simply posts selling what she was offering, no engagement, no interesting posts, no shares, no value, just selling, selling, selling. This is a very common reason why therapists and healers end up with no clients.
She couldn’t understand why the two clients she had nearly a year ago didn’t come back for treatment every week. She said they both said they were pleased with the treatment. She assumed every client would be a regular client. On further questioning she admitted she never invested in regular treatments, never mind weekly treatments. So why did she assume her clients would? In fact, when I asked another holistic practitioner this same question she actually said she wouldn’t invest in therapy treatments as it was a luxury. This is a clear example of not aligning with, valuing, or believing in the products or services you offer.
- Also like many holistic businesses she genuinely thought she could get lots of clients without investing any money in marketing. She genuinely thought she couldn’t afford to advertise, but having no clients she came to realise she couldn’t afford not to invest. So we discussed how she could afford to start attracting new clients.
- Nancy also had no clients because she had no idea who her ideal clients were. Knowing your ideal clients is a must in your business.
Like many holistic business owners, she was trying to market to everyone and anyone and ended up with no clients. One of her training schools told her that her healing modalities and therapies could be used on almost any condition and ailment. So she naively believed her ideal client was everyone with pain or certain health conditions.
Growing any business takes time and money. If you are really serious about making your business work and have no other source of income sometimes you need to get a part-time job. When I started my business I had various disabilities and health conditions that made it challenging to get a job. But I was so passionate about my business I took the odd part-time job when I needed to help me make the right investments in my business.
Nancy isn’t the only naive therapist I have come across with no clients. I have met hundreds of naive therapists and coaches over the last 20 years. This has rapidly increased with the rapid growth of social media and online businesses. I meet many people who became healers or coaches because they actually thought it was an easy way to make a large income. Too many people arrive in the healing and coaching industry thinking they will get hundreds of regular paying clients without investment or effort.
Every business needs a solid foundation, a solid business, and a marketing plan. No matter how long you have been going in business it’s worth going back to basics.
Now, every single holistic business is different, some therapy business owners have it easier than others. Every type of therapist, area, location, product, service, and even your ideal client is unique. Which can play a huge part in what time, energy, and money you have to invest.
But if you are serious about running a successful business, that has healthy growth over the early years you should be prepared to invest. A healthy investment, an effective marketing strategy for the right audience.
Now, most traditional businesses will have an initial investment. Which is usually a loan, savings, or grant that is used for buying business resources, equipment, and marketing to get the business up. If you are simply not in that position, you have to be prepared to re-invest at least some of the money you get from your paying clients into attracting new clients. That is a necessary element of business growth. Now at the initial stages, this can be 50-100% of what you get in and as you become more established from 10% up.
In a saturated market like the holistic and wellness coaching sector that can be a lot more. If you are charging a premium price for your services your advertising can be a lot more.
This case study represents a typical client, a lot of what is mentioned is based on real clients I speak to regularly. But many specifics have been changed to protect clients’ details.
Unsure Who Your Ideal Client Audience Is
Those clients who want, need, and will buy your services.
If you aren’t getting enough clients, you probably don’t know who your ideal audience is