6 Signs Your Wellness Business Needs a Check-up

Running a wellness business requires wearing multiple hats. The stuff that got you inspired to start the business, like creating the right 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 check-up for your business.

1. Overwhelm

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’re Struggling to Communicate 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 you need a business wellness check-up.

3. The 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. 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 effectively while staying compliant, it’s important to have the correct information.

5. “What are your fees?” is the Constant Question

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. Digital Paralysis

In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is crucial, even for brick and mortar businesses that require 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? Is it time for you to get some help?

Discover our Wellness Market Mastery Suite.

  • Attract quality, long-term clients, bringing you security and peace of mind.
  • Charge the prices that will sustain your business, leading to deep satisfaction with the way you can serve your clients.
  • Reduce the sales cycle, making it an easy “yes” for new clients so that you can focus on your client work.

Book a free consultation for a no-strings-attached Business Wellness Check up!

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.

4 Reasons Your Marketing Isn’t Working

4 Reasons Your Marketing Isn’t Working

4 Reasons Your Marketing Isn’t Working

4 Steps to Better Branding

Images © 2021 Lindy Bostrom

SO YOU WANT TO GET YOUR WEBSITE OFF THE GROUND, get going with some social media activity and start networking more. You know you need to do these things to bring in more business, but you find yourself floundering every time you try to start.

What should you say?

Where should you post?

How much text is too much on your home page?

How do you reach out to people without seeming like a slimy salesperson?

If you find any of this familiar, you’re not alone. Many businesses are flying by the seat of their pajama bottoms when it comes to marketing. They post regularly to social media, send out monthly emails, throw all kinds of info on their websites, but they’re not seeing any real interest.

WHY? Should they post more often? Start making cold calls? Hire an expensive lead generation company? Start learning SEO?

Well, if you ask me, that’s putting the cart before the horse.

If you’re getting out there on a regular basis and your marketing isn’t working, chances are it’s not because you’re not doing enough of it. It’s because you really don’t have a brand. There, I said it. It’s BRANDING.

Before I offer a breakdown on the meaning of this ubiquitous word, let me share with you what a brand is not, despite rampant consensus otherwise:

A Brand is Not:
• A logo
• A set of company typefaces or fonts
• A color palette
• A folder of photos shot by a pro
• A collection of templates
• A tagline or mission statement

After more than 20 years working with clients on promotional materials, I have come up with an easy-to-follow, 4-step formula for getting a handle on your brand (and marketing!)

4-Steps-Branding

4 Steps to Better Branding:

  1. WHO: Know Who You’re Talking to
  2. WHAT: Know What You’ve Got That Others Don’t
  3. WHY: Give them a reason; Tell a Story That’s About Them, Not You
  4. HOW: Make a Clear, Specific Offer

Here’s the juice:

A Brand is an experience.

When someone has an exceptional experience, they remember it. They talk about it. They return for more.

Yes, it’s that simple. But as a beloved mentor once told me, “Simple is not easy. Don’t confuse the two!” The question is, how do you create an experience that your prospects and customers are going to talk about?

Here are the 4 steps in more detail:

Step_01_WHO

1. Know Who You’re Talking to

Known as your “Target Audience,” the ideal customer for your business is not going to be everyone. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you could lose business if you zone in on a specific type of customer, thus losing potential customers that don’t fit the profile. As Seth Godin says: “Trying to please everyone is a race to the bottom.” Gone is the time when businesses catered to everybody. Even “one size fits most” has become a lie. We have Google. We want exactly what we want, not something kind of like it! Find your Niche! And if you need some help with that, check out my Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun’s Pick a Niche Kit. It’ll help you focus in on your ideal customers.

BUYER PERSONAS
Once you start evaluating who your #1 target is, then you can start to imagine you’re talking to them in a live conversation. That’s when the words will start to flow. Creating Buyer Personas is a great way to create messaging that prompts your readers to take action. You can get a free download of my Buyer Persona Workbook just for opting in to my mailing list.

Step_02_WHAT

2. Know What You’ve Got That Others Don’t

What sets you apart from others that are also doing what you do? This is what I call your “Unique Value Proposition.” The important thing here is not to get clever. Most people instinctively know what is unique about their offering. And the truth is, even if you tried to be just like someone else, you couldn’t. You and your business are unique. You just need to uncover what it is.

Step_03_WHY

3. Tell a Story That’s About Them, Not You

How many websites have you visited that go on & on about what they do, their experience, the details of their products or services, their history, bla bla bla bla bla…NEXT! My eyes are getting that glazed-over Google-search fatigue just thinking about it.

What if you got to a website that was about YOU? Where you said to yourself: “That’s ME!” That’s what I’m looking for/need/want…or the exact problem I’m trying to solve!” Now you’re interested & engaged, right?

The story starts with the problem your prospective customer (your Target Audience) has. Then you swoop in with a solution. The story ends with a satisfied customer – and an offer to join the club.

Step_04_HOW

4. Make a Clear, Specific Offer

Don’t underestimate the offer! Nothing is more frustrating than deciding that you want to buy and not being able to find the opt-in button or what to do next to get to the offer. You could get them right to the finish line and lose them—it happens all the time!

Make sure you’re crystal clear with your “Call To Action” – spell it out so a 2-year-old would know what to do.

So that, my friend, is branding in a nutshell. The 4 steps come first. Once you have that, the colors, fonts, logo and messaging fall into place and reflect what you’ve built as the foundation.

Want to take a deeper dive into setting that foundation? If you are a small business in health & wellness struggling with too little return on your marketing efforts, this is for you. I offer customized Branding Program Packages, depending on where you’re at in the game. Take a look, then give me a holler & we can get started. Your marketing strategy will be happy you did.

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.

5 Ways to Plant Your Virtual Seeds

5 Ways to Plant Your Virtual Seeds

5 Ways to Plant Your Virtual Seeds

DIGITAL ACTIVITY HAS GROWN at an unprecedented rate during this time. Since early March, online shopping tripled — from 12% to 36% of consumers who once shopped in physical stores for non-grocery items. In general, the digital growth, and the decline in physical shopping, will likely be permanent. (source)

Historically, businesses that have chosen to refocus spending during a recession have outperformed businesses that tightened their budgets, according to studies that analyzed recent recessions. (source)

How about planting some virtual seeds to grow your business?

Consider your current digital presence. In the absence of in-person networking and events, how much effort are you putting into being noticed online? Check out the list of 5 things to look at when evaluating your digital presence that I recently put together.


1. Find Your Target Audience

From Facebook to YouTube, The New York Times to Ted Talks, where are your customers frequently found online?

2. Keyword Your Messaging

Aside from working on addressing the top-most concerns of your audience, it would benefit you to do some research on the best keywords to use in those messages so that they’ll be found.

3. Social Media

How are your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram pages? Did you slap something up there 2 years ago because you thought you should? If your social media pages have content that is over a week old, get a plan in place! And look around – there are a lot of opportunities to interact and network on social media – without pushing any hard sell.

4. Video

More than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands … more than any other type of content (source). Do you have any video content? It’s easier than ever these days to create a short video with a Zoom recording and your computer’s camera. Try searching for DIY video marketing and explore!

5. Virtual Meetings

Suggest having a Zoom meeting with a prospect or client. Nothing takes the place of an in-person meeting, but seeing a person’s facial expressions and body language creates a far superior experience than voice or text only. Not only can you read them better, you can create a stronger connection with them through your own personal presentation.

Of course this list is just a way to get your wheels turning. Remember, doing one thing with commitment is better than trying to do 10 with none. Start small and work your way to more.

What other ways are you approaching your digital presence? Share with me in the comments below.

Find Your Voice

Find Your Voice

Find Your Voice

EVERYONE IS HUMAN…and yet every single one of us is unique. We form groups based on a unique quality that all in the group share. Even when sharing certain interests, there is still a distinct individual quality that every human being possesses — without even trying. In fact, trying to be like anyone else is an exercise in futility. In the end, you can only be you. But since being you is not a completely conscious act, understanding what makes you you can be elusive.

COMPETITION
Businesses are like people in a way. Even two businesses with the same offerings have their own unique qualities, distinct from one another. The mistake that I’ve seen so many businesses (and people) make is trying to be like another (or a competitor.) Inevitably, when businesses become over-homogenized — steeped in imitation — they drown out their own unique voice. Then the only competitive edge they are left with is price. It becomes a race to the bottom where no one wins, not even the customer, because the product or service has had to cut so many corners to lower the price, that it becomes sub-standard.

If a business has the capital to distribute their lowest-price products to a wide enough audience (read: the loss of any unique or special qualities,) then they might survive.

For the rest, the key is in finding your audience that shares an interest in your unique, very special offerings and personality. Rather than trying to be “everything to everybody,” (which, by the way, only leads to being nothing to everybody — an expendable commodity that will be replaced without a second thought by the next lowest bidder,) find your unique voice.

WHAT SETS YOU APART?

This is a common question, but it can be as elusive as trying to explain what makes you you. How do you explain it in a way that reaches the others that share your unique values?

A Brand Strategy answers this question by probing more deeply into the inner workings of your business, processes and motivations. A successful Brand Strategy is not a logo, name or tagline. A successful Brand Strategy leaves you with a well-defined company culture with a clear set of values, goals and vision. A solid brand will inform all of your promotional efforts, effectively reaching your unique target audience and prompting sales from a place of integrity and honest value.

STEPS TO TAKE

1. Define your Target Audience (those that share your unique values.)

2. Define your unique Value Proposition (what sets you apart.)

3. Research: imagining and creating sales tools like social media ads, emails and landing pages are only half the battle. Research and testing are necessary parts of the process in finding out if your audience is who you think it is, and that your values do resonate with them.

4. Messaging: Developing a consistent voice, meaning what you say and the way you say it, is essential to implementing effective communication with your Target Audience.

5. Naming & Visuals: We know that your company name, logo and tagline are not your brand. What is? Your brand is essentially the experience your provide your prospects and customers with.

The content – copy and visuals – you use are like a microphone. Content is used in service to your voice. As the mic will only amplify a voice, good or bad, the communication of the voice of your brand is amplified by your text and visuals. Very important components, indeed, but without the prior steps, they will lack meaning.

In the same way that you have different levels of friendships as well as people who don’t even fall under the category of “friend,” you know when you’ve met a true friend because of the way you feel with them. When you have the ability to create a satisfying experience with your Target Audience, then you know you have an effective brand and a voice that will be sought after.

Lindy Bostrom is a Brand Expert and the founder of Bostrom Graphics.