For a holistic practitioner, whether you specialize in massage, yoga, acupuncture, nutrition, or any other form of alternative wellness, the most difficult initial endeavor is generating clients. It takes hard work and commitment to your art to grow your small business and gain a following.
5 Tips for Building Your Holistic Small Business
1. Join Your Affiliated Professional Association
Professional associations are a great place to learn more about your trade. Becoming a member of your affiliated professional association allows you to network with other practitioners and learn how they’re building their business and where the majority of their clients are coming from. You can learn about the hottest new treatments and news within your field. It also helps to build your resume when you’re a part of your field’s professional association. It’s also very important to be certified within your industry and this is usually closely affiliated with your trade group.
Helpful Professional Associations within Your Field
The American Massage Therapy Association
The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
American Alternative Medicine Association
The American Dietetic Association
Nutritional Therapy Association
2. Network within Your Small Wellness Community
In order to be a viable part of the alternative wellness industry, it’s important to surround yourself with a community of faithful clients. For example, if you’re a massage therapist, acupuncturist, Reiki master, or other alternative medicine practitioner, consider building a relationship with a yoga or pilates studio. This way you can become the recommended treatment for a host of ailments. When a yoga student complains about their sacroiliac joints giving them pain, a yoga teacher could recommend your massage studio for pain alleviation. Generally speaking, many yoga teachers are massage therapists as well because the fields are so closely connected. It’s also a great way to get the word out about your business.
3. Consider Starting Part Time and Building Into Full Time Work
I wrote about this with regards to massage therapy but it’s also true of other practitioners. Start by working part time in spas, hospitals, physical therapy centers, hotels, yoga studios, and chiropractors. From there, you can refer business and build a clientele. If you charge less working independently and do a really good job, you’re sure to gain a following of clients that will become your repeat customers.
4. Separate Yourself From the Crowd
There are a lot of individuals trying to do exactly what you’re doing so you need to find your niche. What makes your work so effective? Why should I go to you rather than another Reiki specialist? Find a treatment that you do that others don’t. Be the best deep tissue massage therapist for sports injuries. Be the holistic pet specialist that cures anxiety- ridden adopted pets. You can choose any number of avenues but the important thing is that you find a niche and be the best at it in your field.
5. Become a Social Media Guru
about the use of social media especially with regards to yoga, but this also holds true for any form of alternative medicine. Word of mouth has always been the most valuable asset for a successful business, and now thanks to modern technologies, more specifically, social media, word of mouth has expanded to the click of a button. Twitter and Facebook can be truly effective tools for spreading positive words about your work if used correctly.