Smart Business and Personal Opinions
"Never let personal opinions screw up smart business" - Marcus Sheridan
A couple weeks ago I attended a one-day social marketing conference here in San Diego. Overall, it was an educational event. I learned some new things and was reminded of forgotten ideas. I also enjoyed meeting other business owners and learning how they are using social as a marketing tool.
Several presentation slides stood out but there was one in particular that inspired this blog post. The presentation was by Marcus Sheridan and one of his slides read:
The reason this slide jumped out at me is that this is one of the main problems I see with massage business owners, both in online discussions and with my consulting clients.
Problems Keeping A Full Appointment Book
Ironically enough, many who voice the following opinions also have complained about problems keeping a regularly filled appointment book:
~ "I give the kind of massage to my clients that I would want"
~ "I don't bother being online very often", "Having a (business) website would share too much personal info to the public", "My clients don't use the internet"
~ "I don't like getting emails", "I don't see the need to bother my clients", "No one reads emails anymore"
~ "I don't use Facebook (or Twitter)", "Social media is only for sharing with friends", "Only young teens bother with social media"
All of these business owners have one thing in common, they are allowing their personal opinions about marketing tools to screw up smart business practices.
Use Consumer Research
Consumer research is helpful because it shows us how our clients behave and what they expect when looking for services. We can use these tools to build foster relationships with our clients and other business owners.
> We give our clients the type of massage we want but have we asked them what they want? About 50% of my clients who left their regular massage therapist and become regular clients at my office told me they left because they didn't feel like the previous therapist listened to them.
> We may not be online much but consider that a recent study indicates that 97 percent of consumers go online to research products and services locally.
> We might not enjoy using social media platforms but 85% of U.S. consumers said they used social media and 95% of online adults aged 18-34 are most likely to follow a business via social networks!
> We may hate emails flooding our boxes but people spend a lot of time on their smartphones looking at emails and social media. Having an email list to share valuable content is a great way to nurture relationships with our clients.
Keep In Mind The Needs Of Our Clients
As business owners, it is crucial for us to keep in mind the needs of our clients. If we allow our opinions of what we want as a client to overshadow our business, we end up creating a circular effect where we are essentially running a business that serves us, not our clients.
Besides staying on top of consumer research, we can also use client surveys to find out what our clients expect from our business and get an idea of how they see our practice. Using tools appropriately, such as having a website or collecting emails, even if we have negative opinions about them, does not mean that we aren't being true to ourselves. These are normal tools to run a successful business.
It's not easy to step back and take a good look at how our massage business is viewed by our current and potential clients but without that kind of objective insight, it will be tough to keep a full appointment book.