Word of Mouth Marketing for Your Health & Wellness Business
If you want a marketing strategy that requires little budget but is incredibly powerful, word of mouth marketing is for you! Also known as referral marketing, this is one of the oldest marketing strategies and still one of the most effective.
Marketing your complementary practice by word of mouth will help you to a build strong foundation of trust around you and your services.
Consider the last time you visited a new restaurant or café recommended by a friend, this is a perfect example of referral marketing in practice. You decided to check out the eatery based on your trust of the person doing the recommending. People naturally trust the opinion of family and friends when they are looking for something new.
Working in health and wellness, you already have a relationship with your clients. You’re already close to them because of the nature of your work. It’s this relationship which you’re nurturing with referral marketing to help attract more clients to your door.
Benefits of word of mouth marketing
- By the time a person comes to work with you, they already trust you. As they’ve been recommended, they’ll know about the services you offer and will trust in the results they can achieve.
- Your marketing is super targeted to those who need your products and services. Your existing clients know exactly how you can help others and will recommend you to the people they know who can benefit too.
- The potential to reach much larger audiences than just family and friends, using social media and online reviews. How often do you see people asking for recommendations on Facebook to solve a problem they have? How often do you look at customer reviews before you buy something on websites? This gives you the potential to reach other people outside of the immediate networks of your clients.
- You don’t need a big budget to build your business using a word of mouth strategy.
How to build your word of mouth marketing strategy
Create amazing experiences
Focus on providing your clients with the best possible experience during all their interactions with you. The aim is for them to become a champion of your services and share their amazing results with their peers.
The good news of their experience will travel fast and help build your reputation as an expert in your niche.
Be aware this will backfire if you’re not providing a great experience, so even more reason to go the extra mile and create happy clients.
Where appropriate exceed your client’s expectations by making life easier for them and showing you care. This could be by providing extra information to support them, checking in by email for an update, giving them a free sample, or sending a handwritten card.
Make the effort to create personal relationships with your clients and make them feel special. Show them that you care and that you are interested in them as a person. This personal touch goes a long way to building trust with your clients.
Address issues immediately
The speed and reach of online marketing mean you can’t stick your head in the sand and hope something will go away. You need to address any issues as soon as they are raised to avoid any damaging, bad reviews from happening wherever possible. You’re never going to please everyone, especially if you get trolled, but if you demonstrate respect and fairness, people will see through the situation and forgive a lesser review if you handled it well.
When a happy client has completed their sessions with you, ask for a testimonial. Whether this is an online review on Google or Facebook or an inspirational client story to share on your website, they are absolute gold for your practice.
In my experience, happy clients are generally willing to help you. Make sure you use the testimonials you collect on your website and other marketing to reinforce why you are a great choice for new clients.
Ask for referrals
Depending on your discipline and professional register, you may have specific rules around actively asking for referrals. If you’re permitted to ask for referrals, include this request in your client follow up process and let clients know you are looking for others just like them who you can help.
Keep yourself on your client’s radar and remind them of how helpful you are. I send my clinical clients a monthly newsletter (with their permission) with news, interesting articles and the opportunity to contact me if they need support. This reminds them I’m there and I often get referrals off the back of it.
Create a simple system that helps people refer to you. Make it easy for people to find and contact you and provide information in different formats that can be easily passed on.
You have to stand out and be visible in order for people to find you. Make sure you have a good presence online, on your website and in social media, as well as in your local area where you practice in person. Spend time creating content and cultivating relationships helping people to understand who you help and how you help them. This will reinforce your expertise and make you accessible to those who want to employ your services.
I’m in the lucky position where a huge chunk of my clinical clients come from referrals. This has made a world of difference to my practice and helps me avoid the feast and famine cycles so many complementary practitioners face. By the time people see me, they already know me and trust I’m the best person to work with them. I’ve built up my reputation over the years, but I also put a lot of work into providing helpful information and make it easy for people to find me.
If you want to build word of mouth into your marketing strategy, contact me to find out how I can help you.