We need to talk about nurturing. As a wellness professional, you encourage clients to nurture themselves in all the ways – prioritizing self-care, working toward fitness goals, being mindful of their physical and mental health and looking after themselves in either a physical or an aesthetic sense. Nurturing people is your business, it is what you do.
But nurturing is a wider concept of business and extends beyond the service you provide. In continuing to offer value, support and a voice of knowledge to clients long after the appointment or class is over, you can ensure they come back again, and when their friends are looking for a referral, your small business is top of mind.
Nurturing is not a linear, one-size-fits-all process; it comes from a place of your own authenticity, your business voice, and using your chosen platforms in order for it to resonate perfectly with your audience. It is also not an overnight process; nurturing is a slower, organic growth leading to long term success. It means taking care of the small stuff so that the big stuff follows suit. Let’s settle in and get ready to learn about some of the ways nurturing can help your business.
Nurture to Strengthen
So you have built your website, established your online presence and chosen some social media platforms. The next step is to build your reputation and start to become known for what you do. Easy, right? Maybe not. The first, most important factor is to communicate. This might seem obvious but consider this – do you leave your social media quiet for weeks at a time because you can’t think of content to share? Are you self-conscious about emailing your subscriber list in case someone unsubscribes?
It’s common that these tasks fall off your to-do list but the more you can communicate with those around us about your business, the more likely you are to be at the top of the recommendation pile when a friend or a client is looking for a service you provide. Here are some ways to create and maintain that presence:
- Send Engaging Emails
Email has grown to be a powerful force in connecting businesses to their audiences; it is a direct and personal channel that allows you to bring offers and advice straight to your clients, and if a client has already signed up to receive your emails then you’re off to a strong start.
Creating regular and engaging content might feel like an uphill battle. The key to getting your clients to engage with regular emails is pre-planning your content, scheduling in advance and noting down when you think of new content to use. Like a snowball effect; once you start to think about content in your email, it gets easier and easier to look around and find it in your everyday life.
2. Consider an Email Nurture Campaign
Setting up an email nurture campaign is a smart way to keep in touch with those clients that are newly signed up to hear from you. The purpose of this is really simple – on any given day the average user checks out many websites and maybe exchanges information with a couple; a nurture campaign is a set of gentle reminders from you, connecting the client to your services and your knowledge.
Most email providers have a way to schedule nurture emails in their basic package, and they are available as part of the OfferingTree email marketing too, so scheduling them is fairly simple.
Creating the content to include in the emails can be a little more time consuming but, as ever, using your authentic message is what works best. Connect with your clients on a level that feels right to you; what could be their major concerns right now, or what problem could you try to fix? Nurture email campaigns should be less of a ‘hard sell’ and more of a ‘this is what I can offer you’ approach.
3. Be Social Online
Social media is an incredible resource for communicating and connecting; it provides visibility, relevance, allowing clients to follow your business, leave feedback and also enables collaboration with other businesses online. Answering questions, sharing posts, and engaging with your followers and people on other pages – all of these are great ways to connect, be present and build trust in your name. When the time is right, and someone is looking for services such as yours, your name will be top of their minds.
Social media is also an instant customer service portal through which your clients can connect with you, check out your reviews, and even see how responsive you are to messages, so answering queries and responding to clients is important to keep the client feeling valued and heard, and contributes to the nurture experience.
4. Be Social In-person
Just as important as an online presence is your in-person presence! Be a feature in your local community, be ready to offer guidance if you can and consider hosting a free event for existing clients and new clients. This ensures you reach the people who are not online, and a face-to-face exchange is often more memorable than a quick online connection.
Taking part in local events or teaming up with other local wellness professionals to host free workshops can be a great way to get yourself and your business known. For example, a yoga teacher with a postnatal focus could team up with a local fitness professional or physiotherapist to offer their clients some advice on safe postnatal movement.
5. Put Clients Front and Center
Sharing case studies of your work is a great way to showcase skills, successes and strong client relationships, which not only shows that you are good at what you do but highlights that you are working with clients constantly and in demand. Doing a quick profile of a client on why you love working with them can be a great content idea. Also share feedback or your client reviews on your social media or websites, so that others can see them!
Network with your clients if you can – get to know them and what they do, and if they offer a service that compliments your business, maybe you can refer members of your community to them. Share their posts, promote their events, be connected.
6. Develop Giveaways and Special Offers
A great way to nurture your business is to reward your clients for their loyalty with discounts, gift cards or shout-outs on social media.
If you specialize in a certain field, you might offer a ‘bring a friend to a free training session/treatment’ or base your giveaways around big dates in the calendar (Black Friday/Boxing Day sale). When clients are rewarded they are much more likely to feel appreciated, be loyal and recommend you. And with exclusive offers that include their special people, you have a chance at attracting new clients too.
7. Consider a Membership
Having differing levels of access to your services can be a great way to connect with your clients in a more specialized way. If you have a choice of services, for example, dance classes for kids and adults, you can have members accessing specific content and you decide how (or if) the clients pay for that extra access.
A membership can be a library of your online work, and it’s a handy way to put that work to use. So if you have found yourself making videos in the past, adding them into your membership allows the clients to get extra content, potentially pay for that content, and your online work is not simply taking up space on your hard drive. It’s a win-win-win!
8. Use a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a way to build up your client base by offering a free exchange of information – you provide something for free such as an eBook or webinar – and the potential client swiftly exchanges their contact information for the freebie. As well as attracting new clients you are giving the audience a snippet of your knowledge to start building the relationship with them. Check out this article on lead magnets to learn more.
Ultimately, nurturing is about client retention – encouraging loyalty so that the client can return again and again, and hopefully tell their friends all about your business. And as you build your nurture approach – whether this is an actual paper-and-pen-plan or just an intuitive connection with the community around you – you will start to see your business grow, establish and flourish. Good luck!