6 Signs Your Wellness Business Needs a Check-up

6 Signs Your Wellness Business Needs a Check-up

Wellness Business 6 Signs

Running a wellness business requires wearing multiple hats. The stuff that got you inspired to start the business, like creating the most effective treatments for clients, can get overshadowed with tasks like handling billing, patient follow-up and promoting the business. It’s important to balance business needs with genuine care for clients. Here are 6 signs that suggest it’s time for a Wellness Business Check-up:

1. You’re Overwhelmed

You find yourself overwhelmed by the demands of marketing your business while also managing other aspects of your operation. DIY was great to get your business off the ground, but you’re a health expert, not a marketer. How would it feel if you had more time to focus on your clients and their personalized wellness programs because you have marketing support from someone you trust—someone who understands and aligns with your values?

2. You Struggle to Convey Your Unique Offerings

You may present a unique combination of modalities or offer original, customized products, but you struggle to effectively communicate about them to your audience. Since what you do is not the mainstream standard, you could use some materials that articulate these benefits in a compelling and understandable way. If you don’t feel your marketing materials reflect your particular capabilities and/or you’re embarrassed to present them, this is a sign your wellness business needs a check-up.

3. Crickets are Chirping

If your current marketing efforts aren’t reaching or resonating with the people that you are meant to serve, it’s probably time to look at what’s working and what’s not with your outreach and advertising to determine where the gaps are.

4. You’re Unsure About Compliance

The health and wellness industry is often subject to strict advertising regulations, especially regarding product or treatment claims. For example, Ayurvedic practitioners cannot call themselves ‘doctors’ in the United States, even if they have a valid Ayurvedic degree from India where it is natural to do so. Ayurvedic practitioners cannot make a diagnosis according to allopathic medicine unless they are also medical doctors.” source  If you’re unsure how to market your wellness business effectively while staying compliant, it’s important to have the correct information.

5. People Always Ask: “What are your fees?”

If you’re finding that the main question prospective clients ask is about cost, it’s going to be a race to the bottom. This is a sure sign that your business is struggling to differentiate itself from competitors. Whether or not you take insurance may be a factor, but if people see a unique benefit to working with you that they can’t get with anyone else, the questions—and decisions—will change.

6. You’ve Got Digital Paralysis

In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is crucial, even for a brick and mortar wellness business that requires in-person consultations. If it feels like trying to update your website, social media promotion, or online advertising is technical torture, it’s time to get help with your digital marketing strategies.

How many items did you check off the list? Are you thinking it might be time for you to get some help? 

And if you want to explore…

Discover our Wellness Market Mastery Suite

» Attract quality, long-term clients

» Charge the prices that will sustain your business

» Reduce the sales cycle, making it an easy “yes” for new clients

Book a Free Call for a no-strings-attached Check-up for your wellness business!

Writing for your Website: 7 Best Practices

Writing for your Website: 7 Best Practices

Writing for your Website: 7 Best Practices

writing for your website

WRITING FOR YOUR WEBSITE TAKES TIME, but with the proper considerations, you can get it done fairly quickly and effectively.

One of the most common obstacles I come across with clients is getting the final “copy,” or text, from them that will comprise a large part of the content on their site. Almost every time the schedule goes off-the-rails, it’s delayed because the client has underestimated the time it takes to come up with their content. 

No one knows & understands your business like you do, so even if you hire a professional copywriter, you’re still going to need to actively participate in the process. Also keep in mind that even the best writers are not necessarily versed in writing for the web, so if you do hire someone, make sure they have experience in this area.

Below are 7 best practices for writing for your website:

1. THE GOAL

Establish the ultimate goal of the website. Is it more sales? More clients? Higher paying clients? More visibility online? Always have the goal in mind as you write.

2. THE AUDIENCE

So much of the time, when you start writing for your website you want to talk about all of the great credentials and experience the company has. The truth is, visitors really want to know if you understand them — learning about you is secondary. Know your audience & their pain points. Pain points are areas of top concern for your customers. What problem are they trying to solve?

3. KEEP IT SHORT

Rarely does anyone jump in and read a page full of text word by word. This study shows that scannable text calls attention to key information, lightening your readers’ cognitive load. Draw your reader in with short snippets of information they can skim through. A website should never take the place of a live conversation or the experience they’ll have as a paying customer. Don’t try to explain every detail of everything on your site. Let them contact you or sign up for more.

4. MAKE AN OUTLINE

Create “sections” using a hierarchy of 3 tiers: Headlines, Sub-heads and Body copy, each explaining your point in more detail.

  • A Headline is a clear title. It should give the visitor confirmation that they’ve come to the page they intended. Don’t try to be clever or you’ll lose your readers to confusion.
  • Sub-heads should always define the headline more clearly.
  • Body copy goes into more detail—but it should still be concise.

5. BREAK IT UP

Photos or illustrations that support your content can be used to make the page more visually appealing, but a “visual” break can also be a few words from the article or a quote. Both would be designed as larger text that is set apart from your body copy. It should say something that will illuminate a strong point in your copy.
Another way to break up text and make it more skimmable is to use bulleted or numbered lists.

6. YOUR “VOICE”

It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. What’s your  brand’s personality? Is it casual? sophisticated? playful? Whatever emotions you want your audience to experience by interacting with your company should be characterized in the way you are writing for your website. For example, I can say “Contact Us” but I also might say “Give us a holler!” See the difference?

7. CALLS TO ACTION

A Call-to-Action is the one thing you want your visitors to do as a result of coming to that page. It could be the same for multiple pages — “Contact Us” or “Sign Up for Our Mailing List” or even “Book a Free Session.” Always have a main Call to Action for every page and be specific.

I hope this is a helpful guide to get started writing for your website — and if you follow these steps before venturing into the design phase, you’re much more likely to stay on schedule and launch on time.

Need help writing for your website? We offer Brand-Smart Web Design packages that include copywriting. We also help established businesses with refining their existing copy. Feel free to reach out and let’s explore the possibilities.

What’s Your Brand Building Strategy?

What’s Your Brand Building Strategy?

What’s Your Brand Building Strategy?

Pie chart representing brand divided

Can You Separate the Visuals From Your Brand?

A prospective client recently asked me to help them with a brand building strategy, but they didn’t think they needed a logo and weren’t particularly interested in the visuals. They needed to hone in on their messaging and target audience—what were they saying, and to whom? This way of thinking was refreshing to me, as so many business owners think of the logo as their brand, and it is hard to explain that there is a lot of strategic thinking that needs to go into an effective brand strategy.

Even so, at first I was thrown off. For many years I identified my profession principally as a designer, although I have always taken a very informed approach to a brand strategy framework — researching and formulating marketing objectives, helping to develop messaging and positioning. All of this research, however, has been in partnership with the visuals. I never considered isolating this part and leaving the visual development off, or really, leaving the visuals as they were prior to the brand development.

The question is: Can you approach a brand building strategy without visuals?

I thought it would be an interesting approach, so I dove in. As I formulated all of the questions and went to work seeking answers, researching the company’s history and objectives, and looking at the competition, I kept stumbling on visuals. At every turn, whether it was in the way a document was formatted with font choices and styling, or social media posts that included photos or memes, there was no getting away from the visual aspect of any communication.

Coming back to my design roots, I had to respect the fact that, while it is clear that words communicate, unless you’re only doing radio and podcasting, there is no way around addressing the visuals of your brand. Even if you choose not to use images, words — when not in audio format — are written, and therefore visual.

It reminded me of a lesson given by one of my first teachers at Parsons School of Design, Ray Hooper (Senior Designer for Abrams Books at the time.) He was a wonderful teacher who made learning fun, yet instilled in us very important lessons. The first day of class he told us to look around the simple, stark classroom and choose anything we saw inside the room to focus our attention on. Anything at all, whether it was a window frame, a light fixture, a white board, or a chair. He told us to look at it closely. Then he made the point that no matter what the object, someone, at some time, designed it. Design is all around us — all the time! Every physical thing we interact with that has been created by humans, has been designed by humans!

I am called to revisit this early lesson as I chuckle at being lead so far astray as to think I could create a brand without considering the visuals. It turns out, you can’t. If you don’t consider the visuals, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any, it only means you did not take them into consideration when you put all of your hard work into the other components of your brand building strategy; your target audience, positioning, marketing messaging and content development. 

Another point comes from Master Marketer, Seth Godin as he says in Debbie Millman’s breakthrough book, Brand Thinking:

“The reason we keep refreshing the way so many things look is because of our ceaseless race to leverage the feelings of safety and nostalgia this old thing imparts, while simultaneously injecting a sense of newness to seduce us into reengaging in the experience.”

– Seth Godin

In other words, even successful, longstanding brands need to revisit not only their messaging, but their visual representation from time to time. It’s a huge part of what human beings respond to.

But Where and How do the Visuals Come into Play?

1. YOUR LOGO
Acknowledging the fact that a logo is not a brand, it would be a mistake to deem it a useless investment. Since it will be seen and used everywhere from the header of your website to your printed materials, social media pages and advertising, your logo is the ultimate visual representation of your brand. The meaning held in the symbolism of the object or letterform(s), the color choice(s) and the shape will all say something about your business’ values and personality.

2. YOUR DIGITAL IMAGERY
Do your website pages, social media posts, newsletters, blog stories and promotional materials use visuals? Are they as consistent in their look & feel as your messaging? This is critical to brand recognition, and too often overlooked.

3. YOUR IN-PERSON PRESENCE
From conventions and trade shows to in-person networking events, real live encounters are now coming back into play in the business world. You will have printed materials to hand out, displays for your booth and/or presentation materials that must be consistent with your brand in order to ensure people will remember you.

In conclusion, your visuals are the microphone through which your brand speaks. If the “sound” isn’t clear; if it crackles and squeaks, or muffles your voice, it doesn’t matter what you have to say, you will lose a large portion of your audience. If, on the other hand, it does what it is supposed to, all that will be heard is the clear, sweet sound of your newly branded voice.

I offer a number of approaches to take the next step in developing your brand, depending on your needs. If you’re ready, schedule your free, no obligation consultation today.

Distraction and the Brain-Body Connection

Distraction and the Brain-Body Connection

Distraction and the Brain-Body Connection

Distracted computer mom

I wake up every morning with an agenda that starts with meditation, yoga and a brisk walk outside. Two hours later, when I finally get to my desk with a hot cup of tea and some morsel to hold me over until lunch, I feel I am always behind the 8-ball. The To-Do list is compartmentalized into scheduled time blocks throughout the day in an attempt to control and manage my output. Today, even before I started on the first block (completing this post,) an urgent email came through that I had to address. Then I realized I never really completed that invoice I had started last night, so I quickly got that done. Now ½ hour behind with a meeting scheduled in ½ hour, the day is rapidly cascading into evening with a domino effect that will leave at least one of my scheduled time blocks unchecked.

Picking up on my last post, 5 Tips to Stop Annoying Your Prospects, the subject of Attention has proven to be worthy of a deeper dive into the nuanced aspects of how this function of our psyches affects us on multiple levels. Originally planned as one post, as I have researched and read more about it, I have decided to break it up into several parts, this being Part 1.

The Psyche/Mind

With the phone and computer at our fingertips 24/7, we have allowed these devices to obscure our clear mental space—my consciousness. We live in a world dominated by technology. Even when we power down the computer and turn the mobile devices to silent, we often move to the television to “relax.” I’ve read that the most effective way to clear the mind is to curtail all “input” of information. Watching TV is still input, adding to the information already cluttering our minds. When does anyone ever sit in silence? If you ever find yourself or someone else in this state, the impulse is to ask, “What are you doing?” We have come to a collective mentality of constant “doing,” as if this is the overreaching virtue of humanity.

Why can’t I focus on one thing at a time and just methodically get it all done?

In my meditations, I often see more clearly how tenuous it is to maintain a thread of deliberate thought. Being meticulous about what is allowed to come into the forefront of our consciousness is a challenge we are facing as a culture. It’s why writers go to a remote cabin in the woods when working on a book. To maintain focus and escape distraction.

Environment & Technology

It’s easy to blame social media, our phones, flashing advertisements—all part of the sea of deliberate distractions in which we swim. But is that just a cop-out? Could it be that what’s happening with these “deliberate distractions” is that we have not addressed our own addictive, undisciplined behaviors associated with them? It’s not easy, and not only advertisers, but software designers and social media companies are becoming more and more sophisticated in their manipulations of our attention to their gain. Their products & services are designed to be addictive!

While emerging technology exists in service of creating a barrier to interruptive technology, our own brains are ultimately responsible, and they are overtaxed and faltering. The truth is, the neurological tools we have are ancient. Every time you check your phone you get a hit of “new information” dopamine, triggering addictive behavioir. When someone “steals” your attention, how do you get it back? Taking a good hard look at ourselves and how we respond to the world around us is part of it, but I think it’s going to take more than that.

The more intentional we are about communication and collaboration, the better it works with the human mind. Technology may have less to do with it than we think. It was supposed to make getting things done easier, but database-driven software telling us what to do actually DOESN’T WORK. The reality: work requires non-linear thinking & effort—it’s hard. But our brains are always looking for the quick fix – the shortcut. 

The Brain-Body Connection

“Multi-tasking” doesn’t exist—the human brain was not designed that way. It’s really “Switch-tasking,” says Cal Newport, author of Deep Work. Distraction has a large cognitive impact—every time you divert your attention to something else, even for a moment, it takes the brain 5-15 minutes to get back to the level of focus you had before diverting your attention. One study shows people check their email every 6 minutes. This leads to even more unproductivity.

The Breath

Shallow breathing makes us sluggish and tired. Rather than getting up and moving, it is common to go for another cup of coffee or other stimulants, which provide a temporary lift followed by a sharp drop in energy. I sometimes get up and dance around for 15 minutes instead of having caffeine in an afternoon slump, and have found that it is often even more helpful in elevating alertness than ingesting stimulants, if I can get myself to do it! Good music helps, and making it fun is key.

The more we move, the more deeply we breathe. Deep breathing can also be practiced without movement with many of the same benefits, as with the yogic practice of pranayama. Pulling more oxygen into the lungs increases blood flow and can open arteries, restoring the body and brain with fresh oxygenation.

There is a growing interest in clearing toxins from the body with diet and clean air that also affects brain function. Perhaps “toxic information” should be added to this “detox” approach, connecting mind and body. Eastern philosophies like yoga and martial arts have offered wisdom in this regard for centuries.

There’s so much more that can be explored with the brain-body connection regarding attention, but I’ll segue here to the context of this fascinating subject within marketing.

Marketing and Attention

In marketing, getting the attention of prospects is primary to any other steps that might make the sale. That said, as growth-oriented businesses, annoyance and anger is not the kind of attention we want to garner. Master marketer, Seth Godin, wrote the following about “The simple but difficult marketing flip:”

“From ‘Pay attention, I want you to buy what I made.’ To ‘I’ve been paying attention, and I think I can offer you what you want.’

The flip is to give your attention first rather than demanding the attention of others. It makes sense, but this is not how traditional marketing has done it. Examining how the human brain and psyche works is a great stepping stone to creating lasting relationships with your audience. There are no easy answers—it’s an ongoing conversation and I invite your comments.

Look for my next post on attention in the next month or so, and in the meantime, if you’d like a little 1:1 time to brainstorm on your company’s approach to giving your audience your attention, set up a call, or for new prospective clients, a free session with me.

5 Tips to Stop Annoying Your Prospects

5 Tips to Stop Annoying Your Prospects

5 Tips to Stop Annoying Your Prospects

Attention Overload

TODAY I RECEIVED A TEXT MESSAGE FROM A PROSPECTIVE CLIENT I spoke with a few days ago. I was in a meeting, but took a quick glance to find that it was an automated promotional message for her business.

Even though I know her and am interested in building a relationship with her, I found the automated text invasive and off-putting. I let her know that I prefer she email me with such messages and to leave texting for personal, direct communications. Thankfully she immediately apologized and removed me from that list.

Take my money, but don’t you dare ask for my attention.

Attention is the hottest commodity around today. It’s no longer about money. In fact, people pay, oftentimes lots of money, in order to block demands for attention so they can focus and clear their minds.

We live in a world where it’s not just the clinically diagnosed that have issues with “Attention Deficit.” The idea that it’s “just 5 minutes of your time” has nothing to do with it. The effort it takes to divert your attention for those 5 minutes, or even 1 minute, and the increased effort it takes to get back on track with what you were doing & thinking, is disabling and desperately counterproductive. We are starting to realize that “multitasking” is a fallacy. That in order to truly accomplish anything well, we must keep both eyes on the target, excluding all else. It’s hard enough to do this when our attention isn’t continuously being demanded upon.

As business owners, how do we reach people without invading their privacy or becoming an annoyance they just want to block? In comes that dirty word: “marketing.” It’s a word no one really wants to hear. I recently came across a website called “everyonehatesmarketers.” This is a truth.

That’s why this movement against traditional “marketing” really resonates with me. Mark Schaeffer calls it The Marketing Rebellion, which is the title of his book. We have gone to great lengths to block ads, stop unwanted callers and even pay money to watch programs without ads.

“FREE” is a Lie

We’ve learned that “Free” is a lie. Everything always comes at a cost. Whether it’s having a sign-up form or video ad thrown in your face, blocking the thing you came to watch or read—or even more invasively, seeing an incoming call from what appears to be a person in your local area, only to find a robotic message about something being sold that you have no interest in—the breach of privacy, trust and personal space is everywhere, like flies in a barnyard!

No One Really Cares How Great You Are

As business owners, we have worked hard to perfect what we have to offer, so naturally we want to expound on that. Reality check: no one really cares how great you are! (Sorry.) Your audience’s top-most concern must be understood if you want to truly reach them. Lead with identifying their problem.

5 Tips for Non-annoyance

Next time you think you just need to post more, push more advertisements through or sign-up for a sales funnel marketing plan, ask yourself these 5 questions first:

  1. Is it going to reach my ideal customer through the channels I’m using?
  2. Does it solve a problem my ideal customer is struggling with?
  3. Is it especially for my ideal customer? (Think about this: “It’s for everybody” actually means “It’s for nobody.”)
  4. Is my product or service really and truly the perfect solution to their need?
  5. Is my primary message about them? (Tempting as it is, beware of making it about you and your offerings.)

If you can answer YES to all 5 questions above, it’s less likley that you’ll annoy a bunch of people that have no interest in what you’re selling. And you won’t need to reach so many people either.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes. And if you’d like some help determining who your ideal customer is and what problem they’re trying to solve, sign up for a free 30-minute consultation (and I really mean FREE) with me.

Lindy Bostrom Photo

Lindy Bostrom

Lindy Bostrom officially launched Bostrom Graphics in 2003 in California after working for more than a decade as an Art Director and Graphic Designer in NYC. Bostrom Graphics develops branding and marketing strategies for small businesses. We have vital interests in working with businesses with humanitarian causes, health & wellness, and advocates for freedom of expression using mediums like filmmaking, writing and public speaking.

We take pride in maintaining the highest level of integrity and accountability in building trusting, growth-oriented relationships.

CONTACT US

3 + 15 =