10 Key things Every Holistic Service Provider Should Know
Chantal called me on the phone. A long time friend, she was in need of help. She had decided to start her own Reiki business and wanted some help getting new clients and to make more money.
She had told all her friends and family and many had come to her for Reiki and loved her sessions. The feedback was incredibly positive and it really helped Chantal feel that she was doing the right thing, that she was on the right path.
But after a couple of months, she was finding her business was very inconsistent. Her bookings were erratic, her income was all over the place, and she had no idea how to stabilise it. On top of all that, she felt a tremendous pressure to have a presence on social media and run a website – because it was what everyone else was doing. But she had no idea how to do it.
Chantal felt like she was drowning.
This is not a unique situation to Chantal only, many people who have a skill or a passion, decide to turn it into a business. They love the thought of working doing something they love all day (let’s face it, who doesn’t want to do that???) but then the reality of running a business kicks in.
Business is marketing, business is sales.
No matter what line of work you are in, no matter what your skills or hobbies, or passions are – if you don’t make sales, you don’t make money. With no money, you cannot pay your bills.
So how can you live your passion, and make money?
10 Key things Every Holistic Service Provider should Know
1 – A happy customer is a loyal customer
I worked in a beauty salon in a mall. It was pumping, it was busy, there was always lots to do. It was rare to not have a client during the day. But they were mostly new clients. People I had never seen before. There was a lot of pressure on therapists to sell products and it was not unusual for staff to go home crying after a team meeting because they had not met sales targets and were “on notice”.
Every client had products pushed relentlessly on them – from the second they stepped inside, until they left.
I remember I had a new client whose first words to me were
“I don’t want to be rude but I don’t want to buy product, please don’t push product on me, cause I’m telling you before we even start, I am not interested”
A couple of years later, I worked in a small, boutique salon. We were personal, paid attention to the small details and had a 85% return rate. Most of my clients came to me for years and felt like so much more to me than just a client.
The boutique salon hardly spent any money on marketing, the mall salon had to constantly market to get new clients. The boutique salon had clients spend more time in the salon and pay more money for both products and services. The mall salon was mostly quick services like eyebrow waxing.
Don’t underestimate the value in providing good service to clients – they will be loyal and spend more money with you.
2 – Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
There is a saying in property – location, location, location. In business, with so many businesses being able to work exclusively online – the modern motto is consistency, consistency, consistency.
Be consistent in your professionalism, be consistent in your marketing, be consistent in your brand, be consistent in your output and be consistent in your service.
In the beginning, when Chantal used to send out emails, it was sporadic and inconsistent. Her unsubscribe rates were high, her response rate was low. One of the questions she asked me was if it was even worth sending emails. The answer is a big fat YES – but you need to be consistent so that people remember who you are.
I know one email newsletter I subscribe to always include a joke section in their newsletters. I make sure to always open them just to read the jokes. And invariably I get hooked into reading the rest of the newsletter.
Also most, if not all social media platforms do better when you post consistently.
Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter if you manage a social media account as a job, or if you are a sole entrepreneur or side hustler, everyone and I mean everyone can benefit from a social scheduler.
I love using Pinterest and instagram as my main social profiles and I use tailwind to automate my posting schedule.
3 – Record keeping is tedious, but extremely important
Not to mention, it’s a legal requirement. As important as it is to keep up with your taxes, for me, paperwork also constitutes making the right notes about each treatment so you can professionally follow up with your clients. I also used to write little notes to myself with my clients children’s names, or something that they mentioned to me. When I brought it up on their next visit they were so touched that I remembered and asked them. You’d be amazed how this helps clients connect with you as a therapist.
4 – Being caring doesn’t mean being unprofessional
Have you ever been to a hairdresser that smells of cigarette smoke? If you are not a smoker, it’s pretty off-putting.
It’s important when providing face-to-face experiences with clients that you are professionally presented, follow strict hygiene standards, are friendly, smile a lot and know your stuff!
Sounds simple but you would be surprised how many therapists don’t do this.
I’ve been for Reiki treatments where the bed was in the middle of the kitchen (mmm ??????). I’ve been to day spas where the therapist told me her whole life story during my supposedly relaxing massage.
I’ve been to Reiki therapists who could not explain what reiki was????
How can you offer Reiki and not be able to explain it – and sorry people but “You just have to try it to understand” is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
Know your craft and be able to explain it to your customers!!
5 – Know your limits
Working professionals, managers, therapists, solo businesses owners, side hustlers – we are all prone to burnout if we don’t take care of ourselves.
Self care is crucial. Don’t be afraid to set limits, give yourself vacation time and always make sure balance is a part of your life. I could not imagine not doing Qigong or self Reiki to help keep me balanced and sane. (link to hara harmony)
6 – Create multiple income from multiple sources
I know when I was seeing clients, as soon as I was sick, or on leave there was no income. It’s crucial to have multiple income sources. If you have staff working for you, even if you are out for the day for whatever reason, your business is still earning money.
Not everyone is in a position to have staff, so how do you then still bring in an income?
Affiliate programs, selling products online through your website, writing and selling an ebook online are all different ways that you can grow your income through multiple sources.
If you’ve no idea on how to even begin setting up alternative sources of income through your website, I’d highly recommend
“Be Your Own Blog Boss Course Bundle” – it has everything in it (and probably a whole lot more) plus lots of amazing tips to help you get started.
7- Don’t stop learning
Learning is a path to continuous growth, expansion and enlightenment. Its lifelong, which means your formal study is simply the beginning. Your first Reiki workshop is simply the start of your journey. Deeper mediations lead to deeper insight. More practise leads to more insight.
Within each and every business there is scope to continually learn and update your skills and knowledge.
8- Say SORRY when you need to
People aren’t perfect but saying you are sorry goes a long way to fostering forgiveness and understanding. If you ignore an unhappy customer, chances are they will tell everyone they can how bad you are. If you apologise, they may not come back to you for more treatments, but chances are, they won’t bad mouth you at every opportunity they get.
9 – Take action
It’s great to have lots of ideas in business, but if you never implement them, nothing will ever happen. Action, action and action!!
10 – Competition – what competition???
Be yourself, enjoy what you do and make sure you are as good as you can possibly be, and you will always have customers. Despite there being lots of therapists out there, luckily there is only 1 of you. People will either connect with you, or they won’t. But if you are friendly, professional and good at what you do, you will never have to worry about competition.
Ever since Chantal started working on these points, her business not only stabilised, it thrived. The biggest learning curve she got out of it:
“I always was so scared to turn a paying client away, but I realise now that this was a scarcity mindset. I now allocate one full day to running my business. I update my website, I put together my weekly social campaigns and I send out a weekly email. My branding and messaging is clear, I am consistent in what I do. And it’s showing in my business. I am consistently booked out the remaining 4 days a week that I see clients. My business and bank account is now healthy, and I feel balanced and happy.”