Stop giving referrals

What?! Stop giving referrals?!

Okay. Maybe that’s a strong statement, but in today’s newsletter I want to introduce you to a much more powerful way of giving referrals.

Maybe we’ll call it Referrals 2.0.

It’s a much more active powerful way to connect people compared to the way most people make referrals and it really doesn’t take that much more effort. Just a little awareness and a change in approach.

Referrals vs. Introductions

As a massage professional I’m sure you make referrals to other professionals in your community all the time, however…

…for even more impact add the power of a Personal Introduction.

A referral is not a personal introduction. A referral is typically a suggestion: “If you are doing that event, I would suggest that you call Nicki at City Flower Shoppe to help with the floral arrangements. Let her know I sent you.” Or, “I’d recommend you see Dr Karen, my chiropractor. She could really help with your neck problem. Let me give you her number.”

A personal introduction is much more than a suggestion:

  • A personal introduction connects people in a powerful way.
  • A personal introduction puts you clearly at the center of the dialogue.
  • A personal introduction demonstrates to both parties that you really care about your relationships with them.
  • A personal introduction creates a sense of reciprocity from the people you are introducing and greatly increases the chances of getting referrals in return.

You can make personal introductions any time you see the opportunity. You may make an introduction at a social event or a business event. But don’t wait passively for the opportunity to arise spontaneously. Be proactive and actively look for opportunities to help people in your network by making introductions.

Although introductions are much easier to do in person, getting the right people together in real life is seldom going to happen. So you need to initiate the dialogue.

Here’s how to do it…

  1. Send out an email and copy both parties. Send an email, even if you’ve already made a referral in person when your client was at your office.
  2. Be sure to talk about what they each do. Say something like, “Nicki, I wanted to drop you a note to introduce you to Dr Karen Green, the owner of Community Chiropractic. I’ve mentioned her name a couple times in the past. Karen has been my chiropractor for over 5 years now. Karen, Nicki owns City Flower Shoppe and she makes these amazing flower arrangements for all kinds of events.”
  3. Next, tell them why you think they might find value in knowing each other. “I thought I should introduce the two of you. Karen, you’ve always taken exceptional care of my existing clients and I thought you could help Nicki. I was mentioning to Nicki that she could benefit from a series of adjustments to compliment the work I’m doing with her right now.”
  4. Let them know it is up to them to move forward. Now that you’ve made the introduction and suggested how they might work together, your part is done. “Nicki, I’ll leave it in your hands to follow up with Karen. I know you’ll be in excellent hands.”

This approach can certainly extend beyond referring clients to other health care professionals. Maybe you want to connect Nicki, who does floral, with another client or friend who is a wedding planner to find out if there is some synergy and whether they may be able to joint venture. The key point to take away is that you are helping people by providing an opportunity for them to connect and possibly benefit from what each one has to offer.

And although I’ve used the example of sending a personal introduction email because it’s more real or powerful than simply giving a referral, never pass up any opportunity to connect people. For example, be sure to use personal introductions at any in-person event.

This is especially great if you can circulate the room with a friend who can provide personal introductions and toot your horn while you do the same for them.

It’s certainly a lot easier than going on and on about yourself and it’s a much more powerful way to make a lasting impression. You’ll find that people you introduce like this truly appreciate your efforts and are happy to reciprocate by sending referrals your way!

This Week’s Featured Resources:

1. How to Get Non-Stop Referrals….

You know that networking is a powerful practice building tool, but the truth is networking is just not a lot of fun. You have to attend all those business functions and do all that mingling with groups of strangers. Hours and hours of smiley-facing, hand shaking, and small talk is enough to make you want to crawl in a hole.

But networking is a highly effective way to generate streams of referrals. So how do you do it without all the time and social discomfort that’s involved?

Discover the Secret to Non-Stop Referrals

2. LinkedInfluence

The Non-Stop Referrals e-course from BodyworkBiz is highly effective method for putting yourself at the hub of a network. The same strategy can easily be easily implemented by using one of the  most untapped social media networks: LinkedIn.

I’d highly suggest registering for Lewis Howe’s new course: LinkedInfluence. It’s certainly changed the way I think about social networking and it comes highly recommended.

Get the LinkedInfluence Course

 

The top social networking sites

Here’s a comparison of the top social networking sites today and my recommendations on which ones to use in your marketing efforts for your massage business. This is an excerpt from a social media webinar hosted by Ben Benjamin. For more information on how to use social networking sites to grow your massage business go to http://www.bodyworkbiz.com/webmarketing.

Please share with your friends by clicking one of the buttons below.

Push Your Limits – Grow Your Practice

Welcome to a video edition of the BodyworkBiz Massage Marketing Tips newsletter. Watch the second half of the video to see how I push my limits. And please take a moment to click the “Like” button above.

If you’ve been reading my newsletters or my blog you may have seen videos or pictures of me doing rock climbing and some of the climbs seem a little extreme. However, the truth is clutching onto a little ledge on the middle of a rock face scares me out of my mind.

But here’s why I do it: I like to push my limits. I like to push the boundaries of what I think I’m capable of even if I’m completely terrified. Because once I do something that I don’t think is possible I’ve forever changed. I’ve grown. I’ve expanded myself. And once expanded I don’t go back. I have a whole new definition for who I am and what I’m capable off.

What I do in climbing is exactly what I do in business all the time. I push myself beyond my comfort zone on a continual ongoing basis. I purposely do things that make me feel uncomfortable in an attempt to see how far I can push my business forward.

I’d encourage you to do the same. Do something today that makes you feel uncomfortable…

  • Today, ask every client to rebook
  • Make a call to a dozen inactive clients, find out how they are doing and ask them to come back in for a massage
  • Give a call to a doctor or chiropractor in your neighbourhood and introduce yourself
  • Canvass your area and meet your neighbours
  • Decide to implement that price increase that you’ve been holding off doing for years

What activity do you know will help your practice, but you’ve been putting off because it makes you uncomfortable or fearful? Make a commitment to challenge yourself. Do that activity. Push past what you think you can do. Do it again and again. What you once thought was impossible becomes not only possible, but easy. Your practice will change dramatically. I guarantee it.

The video above shows me pushing my limits. Check it out.

If you enjoyed this video, please click the “Like” button below.

Friends with Benefits?

Here is the latest issue of the BodyworkBiz Marketing Tips newsletter with a subject line the ABMP wouldn’t  dare use when promoting my webinar…

Social media marketing is the business buzz word of 2010. And with good reason.

Facebook alone has over 500 million users. And most are active. Chances are that you have a Facebook account and are using it to connect with friends and family on a regular basis.

Socializing online far surpasses our real world social life. The average person communicates regularly with 42.8 online friends, but only 22.8 friends in the flesh.

The bottom line is that it creates a tremendous networking opportunity for you in a way that’s fun and that doesn’t seem like selling.
So this is Social Media Month at BodyworkBiz and I’m providing you with a range of resources to help you make the most out of using the social sites that you already know and love.

Here are three FREE resources for you:

1) ABMP’s Social Media Marketing Webinar:

I’ll be teaching a live online workshop on social media marketing next Wednesday, September 15 at 8pm EST. It will be a terrific overview of social media and will open your eyes to the enormous untapped potential that is sitting right in front of you.

I’ll be giving away an iPad to someone at the event so you can do social media with style. I’ll also be giving away BodyworkBiz courses and World Massage Conference registrations. Chances of winning are pretty high, but you’ve got to attend the live presentation.

Their webinar system can accommodate only 1,000 attendees. Bad news is that well over 1,000 people are already signed up. Good news for you is that many people don’t show up, so if you register now and login five or ten minutes before the webinar starts, the chances are you can still nab a seat.

Register for free right now as my guest:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/598600656

2) The BodyworkBiz Facebook Group:

Join other massage professionals and find out what really works when it comes to marketing your practice. I’ll be posting a free Facebook video series on that group within the next few days. So log into your Facebook account and click the “Join” button.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2770636137

3) Learn how to use Facebook to build your practice:

I’m starting a series of blog posts that will show you how to best use Facebook to build your business. I’d send these by email, but I hate to clog up your inbox.
This first post guides you through the process getting your profile page tuned up. The next post will focus on protecting your privacy on Facebook, while telling the world about your massage services. Read the first post here:

http://eric.bodyworkbiz.com/2010/09/create-an-outstanding-facebook-profile-page/

A little side note:
As I am writing you this email, I got a note that a Facebook friend of mine invited 2,056 of his friends to my ABMP Social Media Marketing webinar. It was completely unexpected. That’s the cool thing about social media: People in your network like to share things they love with their friends

Tools like Facebook make it easy for them to tell not just a friend they meet on the street, but literally thousands of people.

You never know when people in your online social network might do this for your practice, but you have to tap into the online social movement to benefit from this fantastic viral effect.

So take advantage of one (or all) of these free resources today.

Video Marketing Webinar Replay Available…

The webinar replay will be available for about a week. No cost. Get more info about the event and what you’ll learn here:

Free Video Marketing Webinar Replay

Here’s the first comment to come in after the broadcast…

Thank you so much for the Webinar on making videos. This was fantastic! I have been looking for another way to market my business. It seems that to stay ahead of the pack you must always look for something new. Tthis is it – making a video. Thank you for sharing. I am very excited about putting a video together. I guess I’ve been reluctant because I don’t look like a celebrity and wondered how the general public reacts to every day people. I guess we’ll try it and find out. Thank you again – much appreciated. That was one hour well spent.
Gail Russo, LMBT, Cary, North Carolina

Here are some links from sites I mentioned throughout the broadcast:

The Power of Video for Marketing Your Business

Thanks for attending the webinar. We looked at lots of great information for getting your business found online and getting new customers.

You saw how I was able to get videos at the top of Google search results for not just my businesses, but for any massage practice. I uploaded a video for a therapist two weeks ago and within 24 hours she got a page one result. It’s not that hard and I outline exactly how you can do it.

Here is the video that I produced for her. It took me about an hour using one of the web services mentioned below:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jSOn7TuG4w

Here you can see the video has a number 1 position in search results out of 639,000 competing pages and the video was uploaded less than two weeks before this screen shot was taken:



For more marketing info, be sure to sign up for the Marketing Tips newsletter at
http://www.bodyworkbiz.com

Also more info at my blog:
http://eric.bodyworkbiz.com

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/bodyworkbiz

Free website building video course:
http://www.spiffydiywebsites.com/

My son’s site. He was 10 years old when he built his site using the instructions in the video course:
http://www.seththechef.com

Free website creation tool used above. No catches or strings. Completely free and your website is hosted for free. Super easy to use:
http://www.bodyworkbiz.com/freewebsite

Flip Video is the camera that I normally use. It’s super easy: An on/off button and zoom button and that’s it. It plugs directly into your computer and the software is in the camera. And it’s very affordable:
http://www.theflip.com/

Edit in Windows MovieMaker, a free program that comes installed with Windows. It is simple to use and has a very short learning curve. (Mac users have iMovie.) Example of video edited with MovieMaker to get a sense of possibilities (World Massage Conference):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKiNG2G_pAc

Online video creation services:

Animoto for Business. Nice looking videos. Some stock images, video and music. $249 per year or $99 for 3 months:http://animoto.com/business

SpotMixer. 30 to 90 second commercials. Some stock images and video. $79 to download your completed video:http://www.spotmixer.com

This video was made with SpotMixer (I did a small edit in MovieMaker):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jSOn7TuG4w

Jing Pro: Does screen capture and combined webcam/screencapture. Can download MPEG files. $14.95 per year: http://www.jingproject.com/pro/

Have someone do it for you. Prices usually range from $500 to $5,000. Best and lowest cost service I’ve seen on the web is iFlashVideo. Professional 60 second videos for only $49 per month. Write the text for your commercial and they will put it together with images, video, music and voiceover. They open up for membership on an occasional basis and you have to lock in your subscription.

http://zi.ma/iflashvideo

Once you have your video produced you must upload to as many video sharing sites as possible. You can automate the process to a certain extent with distribution services.

Free distribution service: Tube Mogul distributes to a limited number of video sharing sites
http://www.tubemogul.com

Paid service: Traffic Geyser is the crème de la crème of video distribution services. I subscribe to this service. Will upload to about 20 sites and will upload audio to podcasting sites. At $99 it’s a little pricey, but if you are going to do video marketing in a bigger way it is certainly a worthwhile investment.
http://www.trafficgeyser.com

I will be developing some web marketing services and courses in the future and will eventually do an expanded version of this Video Marketing strategy. Be sure to sign up for the Marketing Tips newsletter to get updates on these:

http://bodyworkbiz.com/newsletter.php

5 Ways to Profit from Non-Profits

Massage Marketing Tips Newsletter, March 26, 2010

Working with charities can be a fantastic way to build your business quickly and is a true a win-win situation for everyone.

There are so many ways to work with charities. I’ve given five ideas below to stimulate your thinking.

If you have worked with charities to get new clients, I’d love to hear your story.

Go to the comments section below and tell me what’s worked for you.

Continue reading