AMY finishes with her Reiki client, Barbara, and she tidies up her studio.
It was a great session. Barbara’s been a regular client, every two weeks, for the past year and she raves how good Amy is.
She’s convinced Amy has magic hands and a special gift for wellness.
It’s just too bad the community doesn’t know how great Amy is.
Her work schedule is spotty, at best. She has to wait another three hours before she sees her second (and last) client for today.
If only she could have more raving clients like Barbara . . .
Amy worries, at this rate, she’ll have to look for some uninspiring job to pay the bills.
It’s not what she wants, but she can’t keep going like this.
She knows her savings will probably only last another two months and then the choice will be made for her.
Amy feels like she’s tried everything.
She’s done mail outs in her community.
She’s sat for hours at trade shows, as people walk past her booth.
She’s bought ads in the local paper and she’s even tried Groupon.
She was convinced if she deeply discounted her service, she would attract tons of new clients and she could then “wow” them with her service.
That didn’t happen . . .
All she got were people looking for a cheap wellness session.
They were so demanding and not a single person re-booked.
They didn’t even tip!
So discouraging . . .
Amy feels like there’s some invisible barrier that’s keeping her from having the wellness practice she really wants.
She longs for a full practice, with clients she would love to work with.
She knows she has so much to offer . . .
Amy is trained in a number of wellness modalities: reflexology, Reiki and aromatherapy.
Every day she looks at her empty schedule and feels more disheartened.
She decides she better get some advice from someone she trusts.
So she calls her girlfriend, Emma, and they arrange to meet for lunch the next day.
Emma is an esthetician and she works part time at a spa downtown.
She’s been one of Amy’s biggest supporters.
When Amy first told her that she was thinking of leaving her office job, to finally pursue her interest in wellness, Emma cheered her on.
She thought it was a great idea.
Emma helped Amy set up her studio in her home and buy all of her equipment.
Emma knew Amy wasn’t as busy as she wanted to be, so it was no surprise when Amy brought it up at lunch.
Amy told her how frustrated and disappointed she was feeling.
People either didn’t understand or they didn’t appreciate all the things she could do for them.
When she would tell new people what she did, they either looked at her with a blank stare, or a look of suspicion.
Emma could see how agitated Amy was becoming, so she made a suggestion.
Tomorrow, she would ask her co-workers at the spa if they could come up with any ideas for Amy.
The next evening, Emma called Amy and she was very excited.
As promised, she had talked to some her of co-workers on her break and told them about Amy’s situation.
One of them, Janice, had a friend named ERICA and she was a very successful wellness practitioner. So successful that she had a waiting list six weeks long!
Janice offered to call Erica and see if she would be open to talking with Amy.
She called and Erica said she would be happy to chat with Amy, but it would have to be this Sunday afternoon. She was completely booked till then.
All of this got relayed back to Emma, who then relayed Erica’s contact information to Amy.
All Amy had to do was text Erica and confirm that she could come to Erica’s studio at 4:00 pm this Sunday.
And that’s what she did . . .
That meeting with Erica that Sunday changed everything for Amy.
Erica was very friendly and relaxed and she gave off an air of quiet confidence.
Amy couldn’t put her finger on it, but she knew she wanted to be like Erica. She sensed an instant connection.
Amy was struggling with how to figure out how she could attract new clients and fill her work schedule.
Whereas, Erica had more clients than she could handle; and as a result, she had a long waiting list, with clients clamoring to work with her.
What really blew Amy away was when Erica told her she had once been in exactly the same position Amy is in now.
Amy was shocked!
Her first reaction, meeting Erica, was that she was one of the “lucky” people who never had to struggle and her wellness schedule had grown from day one.
This made Erica laugh, because her start in the wellness field had been anything but easy.
She had done all of her training, tried all sorts of marketing and still her wellness practice limped along for many months.
Erica told her that there were many moments when she questioned whether she should just pack it in and get a regular, boring job.
That’s when Erica gave the one piece of advice to Amy.
“Sometimes all it takes is one important change with how you’re engaging with your community and everything starts to fall into place.”
For Erica, that important change happened when she discovered the secret to increasing her visibility in her community and attracting the clients she was really meant to serve.
It saved her wellness business and the rest is history. Now Erica has a wellness practice that’s overflowing with clients.
Even before Erica started talking about the important change she made, Amy felt goosebumps up her spine. She knew that what Erica was about to tell her was going to be the missing piece she’d been looking for.
Then Erica said “if you really want to have the success that I’m now experiencing, you have to be willing to go through a transformation in your practice”
That was the key.
Let’s take a closer look at Amy, at Erica and what’s required to make the transformation.
But before I do . . .
The Call to Adventure (Prerequisite: Step 1)
We describe this process of transforming your wellness practice, choosing “your call to adventure”
It’s a choice.
Do it or don’t do it.
Certain people are destined to be successful in their wellness practice, because they are willing to let go of their pre-conceived ideas about how to attract clients and be open to a new way of increasing their community visibility.
It’s not a role for everyone.
For the wellness practitioners who are going through the same thing as Amy, the problem is not a lack of talent or skill. They are very good at what they do; and given the opportunity, they will make a profound difference in people’s lives.
Their problem is they are effectively “invisible” to the people they are really meant to serve .
In Amy’s case, these ideal clients are the ones that will naturally click with Amy’s personality and her way of working. They will become raving fans and given the opportunity, they will sing Amy’s praises to everyone they meet.
Right now, these “ideal clients” don’t know Amy exists.
Using a metaphor, she needs to change her marketing approach so that her service shines like a very bright “light bulb”. The brightness and frequency of this light bulb will “attract”, specifically, the people she’s meant to serve.
First step, you have to adopt a new marketing approach that will get you out in public and will let you shine your light – brightly. Do this right and you will attract your ideal clients, like fireflies to the flame.
You have to stop being invisible.
If you are truly committed to having a successful career in wellness, you must be willing to claim your “call to adventure”.
It’s challenging, but you accept this.
Lean into it.
For 15 years, at Integra College, we have trained, coached and guided hundreds of wellness practitioners, from all across Canada, to start and grow their wellness practices, in a fast, affordable and fun way.
We specifically chose to specialize in “one” wellness modality that we’ve found is the engine of growth for all other wellness modalities. Chair Massage.
We then supported our graduates with extensive, easily-actionable practice-building training to use chair massage as the vehicle to raise their visibility in their communities and to attract the specific clients they were meant to serve.
When done properly, chair massage is the foundation that leads to success in all other wellness modalities.
The best way to describe the process our students went through, to get to this place, is they went on their own version of the “Hero’s Journey”.
This is the phrase coined by Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces”.
The students who successfully incorporated chair massage, the way we teach it in our program, were able to build the kinds of trust relationships with new clients that led to them wanting more services from them.
In addition to being regular chair massage clients, they also became regular Reiki, reflexology, table massage and aromatherapy clients . . . and the list goes on.
We’ll talk more about the specifics of how they did this this further along.
This short video sums up the Hero’s Journey (start here):
The story I am going to relay below is about Amy and Erica. They are the two wellness practitioners we see most often in our work.
In order for Amy to become like Erica, she needs to go through her own version of the Hero’s Journey:
If this is you, it’s time to meet our first type of wellness practitioner, Amy.
Amy is likely to represent you right now; if not entirely, certainly a close enough match to make you feel uncomfortable as you read this.
Meet Amy (Wellness Practitioner #1)
Amy’s demographics (the outside facing characteristics like age and income and job title, etc.) aren’t important.
Demographics are too limiting.
Psychographics, the inside characteristics, like personality, dreams, fears, desires, etc. (the yellow color below), are what matters:
It was psychographics that motivated Amy to want a lifestyle like Erica had.
One thing that was holding Amy back from achieving the wellness practice she wanted was the belief that all she needed was word-of-mouth from her family and friends and new clients would come flocking to her.
Her problem was that too few people were talking about her and the referrals were almost non-existent.
She wasn’t recognizing that new clients, in most cases, have little appreciation or awareness about “energy types” of wellness services; and without having a strong relationship of trust and rapport with Amy, most wouldn’t be prepared to take the “leap of faith” to work with her.
What Amy was missing was a wellness service that new clients could easily understand, delivered in a setting that would be familiar and comfortable.
When she came to the realization that she could introduce herself to new clients, through a fun and familiar wellness service that they understood; and, in turn, would enable her to develop trust relationships with them, that’s when it hit her.
Meet Erica (archetype #2)
Erica operates entirely differently than Amy.
Erica has achieved the wellness practice she’s always wanted.
She’s well known in her in her community and she’s become the “go-to” wellness practitioner.
New clients are lining up to work with her.
Erica has her “private” wellness clients she works with in her studio, and she met most of them through her “public” chair massage work.
She met them in workplaces, retirement residences and public events, like festivals, farmer’s markets and trade shows, while performing chair massage.
Erica is the wellness practitioner her clients know and trust; and if you ask any of them what they think of Erica, they’ll tell you she has magic hands and a real gift for wellness.
Sound familiar? That’s how Amy’s client, Barbara, described her.
The difference is that Erica figured out how to harness the power of chair massage to be the engine of growth for her practice.
And that led to a steady flow of new clients.
That’s the main thing separating Erica from Amy.
Amy convinced herself that the only way she could attract more clients was by heavily discounting her services on Groupon, or hoping that word-of-mouth referrals would eventually kick in.
It didn’t work; and instead she was working with people who didn’t value her service or really value her. There also weren’t enough people who knew her and what she had to offer.
So word-of-mouth referrals were slim, at best.
Her work schedule didn’t fill up as she hoped and she was left trying unproductive marketing techniques to try and drum up business.
It wasn’t working and Amy was within two months of having to end her dream and settle for an uninspiring job to pay the bills.
It took meeting Erica, for Amy to realize that maybe there was something she could do, that would turn her situation around.
If Amy really wants to have a full wellness practice, filled with clients she loves, she needs to be willing to take the first step on her “call to adventure”.
She needs to be open to the fact that she needs to take the lead on offering a wellness service that will facilitate trust relationships with new clients. That’s not the clients’ job.
If she’s willing to do what it takes to increase her visibility in her community and build her reputation as the “go-to” wellness practitioner, she can have all the great clients she can handle.
She just needs to take the important first step to change her fortunes.
Erica made a choice.
She was not prepared to see her wellness practice fail and be forced to take on a meaningless job, just to pay the bills.
And neither was she prepared to work with people she didn’t like or couldn’t relate to.
She knew she was a talented wellness practitioner, well trained, with a natural gift to help people. She believed she had a special gift she could share with people. Not being a wellness practitioner would mean there were people not getting what they need.
When she discovered chair massage and its ability to get her out into her community, building her visibility and her reputation as a talented wellness practitioner, that’s when things changed for her.
It is the relationships she developed in her chair massage work that became her core following for her private studio. She knows that without it, it would have taken her many, many years to gain new clients by referral. Probably more years than her ability to survive in the business.
Now she’s in the enviable position of having new clients that have to work to get onto her schedule.
What a difference 🙂
There is no quick fix for people to have a full, successful wellness practice.
It doesn’t exist.
There’s only a determined way, fraught with hard work and inevitable challenges.
Lean into it, because it’s the only way to move through the invisible barrier that separates Amy from Erica.
If you’re like Amy and want to transform to be like Erica, we can help with that.
If we can’t help, we’ll tell you, and point you in the best direction. We don’t have all the answers. And what we have definitely isn’t for everyone, or even for many.
What we have here is for the committed few, who choose to enroll in the journey and do hard the work.
If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, let’s continue the conversation.
Click below and we’ll show you how we help people who are at the “Amy Stage” move to the “Erica Stage”. We’ll tell you all about the training process Erica went through and how she was able to incorporate chair massage to grow her practice.
We’ve trained, coached and guided 344 wellness practitioners on how to harness the power of chair massage to boost their wellness practice. It’s given them more income, greater peace of mind and a heightened ability to make a positive impact on more people in their communities.
If you’re ready to begin your “call to adventure” and become like Erica, we’ll show you how.
Bob Hanley & Kathy Bell – Integra College
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