26 July 2018
Fiona Hutchinson, a CNHC registered Massage Therapist and CNHC Local Champion, writes about what she learned after relocating her practice across the country...
In the summer of 2016 I relocated to Harrogate, Yorkshire from North London. This was not only a big move for my family, but for my practice as well - and I knew nobody there! Normally word of mouth is an excellent way of getting new clients, but it doesn’t work if you don’t know a single person in your town…so I quickly realised I had to get out there and market myself effectively.
I don’t have a marketing background, so I focused on learning tactics I could implement without much training. I tried various strategies and found that networking was an easy, low-cost way to build connections, get new clients, referrals and to even make friends! I recommend trying a few different groups to find the right one for you. There are various sites you can use to find local networking groups and events such as MeetUp and Eventbrite.
I also wanted to build up my online presence, so I had a go at trialing Facebook adverts. The adverts eventually did drive new clients, but before I really saw traction I needed to figure out my target audience / client base, so I could effectively target my ads.
Being active on social media is great for awareness, although it can take a lot of time. To have the most impact I suggest you pick one or two platforms you enjoy using, rather than diluting your efforts between many of them. There are also services you can use like Hootsuite to manage, follow and post across several social media platforms for free.
As I started to grow my client base, I wanted to make use of their positive testimonials, so I started asking them for reviews. Online reviews help drive traffic to your website and are now a standard part of the customer decision journey. Google reviews are great for helping with website visibility, plus they help improve organic SEO rankings.
Below are some resources I found particularly helpful:
- CNHC and Massage Training Institute for advice and support
- Canva for free graphics software
- Local business enterprise centres
I’m still learning about marketing, but it’s turned from a chore to an enjoyable part of my job. I hope you find these tips useful, especially if you are thinking about or are in the process of moving yourself.
Fiona presenting at a Women in Business networking event