Three Steps for Acquiring New Clients
Having a massage therapy business has taught me a lot regarding entrepreneurship. I’ve found over time that what I’ve learned as a small business owner can also be applied to small businesses in other fields.
Tasks like marketing, client acquisition, and lead generation are very similar whether you’ve got a massage business, a barbershop, a Pilates studio, a Yoga studio, or a dance studio.
I’ve recently been asked about client acquisition by another small business, so I’m going to cover this going forward but I can tell you, there are really three really easy but very powerful steps you can take to acquire new clients.
Get your first clients - Nope this is not a joke, just get your friends, your family, or a friend of a friend to come in and patronize your business. Don’t offer steep discounts, don’t do a huge marketing campaign, just let everyone YOU KNOW that you’re open for business and that you would really appreciate them coming in. This can be as easy as sending out an email. After about a couple of weeks you will have a small but select group of people who want to help you and now have direct experience of what your business is all about. Make a list of these people, they are more precious than gold at this point!
Now that you have your list of first clients, you can start to grow your clientele. Here’s what you do: Write to your client and let them know, in so many words, that your business runs on referrals and that you would really appreciate them referring someone to you. Let them know you’d love a referral to someone who they think would be a good fit (this is important because you don’t want just anyone, you want someone who would be a GOOD FIT). Let your client know that they would be helping you out tremendously if they did this. This approach sets up the type of referrals that you absolutely want. You want a new client who would appreciate your work, and who better to talk about your work than your present client? Your present client in essence becomes an agent for you! There are so many nuances to this approach but this, in a nutshell, is it.
This last step is as important as the others. When you get a new client, find out who referred them to you. Once you do that, take the time to write to that person thanking them for the referral. You don’t need to offer a future discount or give a gift, a simple heartfelt thanks will suffice.
There you have it, a very simple, yet extremely effective way to start growing your clientele without the need for steep discounts, huge marketing campaigns, or ads. This is how I’ve been able to grow and maintain my practice all these years. I hope this information helps you, the small business owner, achieve success in your field!