Creating a ‘community’ has become a bit of a buzz word recently since Facebook changed the way it works, but what does it mean to our therapy businesses and how can it help us get more clients and fill our diaries?

When Facebook made some changes recently it spoke about wanting businesses to stop broadcasting and start building communities. In short this means that in order to get your stuff seen on Facebook you need to be having conversations and creating interactions but what does this really mean and how is it going to help you get clients booked in?

What is a community?

I’ve said it before and I will say it again….you can’t market and advertise to everyone in the world. If you try, no one will hear your message and you will get lost in the sea of therapists out there. So, you need to create a community or as I like to think of it – a pool of potential clients. This pool is full of people you want to work with, who you have reached through your marketing message and who are engaging with your business by reading your blogs or visiting your website. These people are starting to see you as the therapist they want to work and they see your posts and videos and feel like you understand what they’re going through and how their feeling.

Once these potential clients are in your pool, you can show them that you are the real deal (through your testimonials), you can continue to build your expertise (through your blogs, videos and your freebie), you can build and nurture your relationship with them, so that by the time they get in touch with you they are ready to work with you and won’t be telling you that you’re too expensive.

Building your pool is what your marketing is all about – without a pool/community then you won’t have any clients!

How is a community different for therapists?

In other businesses you will see them talk about fans, a crowd, a tribe – people who follow that business and buy from them time and time again because they love what they have to offer. In therapy it’s different. I like the idea of a pool because it’s fluid; people move into the pool, they work with us and we sort their stuff and then they move out of the pool, happy to live their life without their thing. We don’t tend to get a lot of repeat business – not because we aren’t amazing therapists, but because we have helped them get over their issue. It’s important that you bring new people to your pool because otherwise it grows stagnant and smelly and you’ll find those client numbers drying up.

How do we talk to our community?

In order to be a successful therapist and attract those clients we need to stop broadcasting. It’s hard because we are told in our training to tell everyone you can help with everything, to share all the training you do, all the techniques you offer and all the places you are accredited with.

Can I let you into a secret…..Clients don’t care about any of that stuff!!!

You’ll have seen the posts:

I offer hypnotherapy, EFT, Coaching, regression, pain release and I can help with anxiety, weight loss, pain, childbirth etc. etc.

That’s broadcasting and it will send potential clients running. They aren’t wowed by your list of training or things you can help with, all they care about is if you can help them. That’s why this marketing malarkey is so much easier when you know who you are talking to in your pool of potential clients about their ‘thing’ (you can find out more here).

Talk to them about their thing: how does it make them feel, what thoughts are whizzing around their head, how is it affecting their life, what is it stopping them doing, what are they most afraid of?

Then offer them help, advice and support: blogs, social media posts, meme, videos, FB lives, your freebie, your newsletter, your website, testimonials – all these things offer them snippets of your expertise at helping with their thing. It lets them get to know you and your business, it lets them see if they like what you have to say and offer and allows them to trust that you are the therapist for them.

Show them how you make things different: what will life look like if they invest in working with you, how will they feel, what will they be thinking, what will they be able to do that they can’t now?

Then they will book into your diary.

Yes, community is a buzz word at the moment but actually it’s building that community and having an honest conversation with them about how you can help that will transform your business. Shouting and broadcasting will send clients running elsewhere and you and your business deserve to have those clients booking in.

Give it a go and I’d love to hear how you get on.