When the pandemic started just over a year ago, I decided to send my practice newsletter weekly instead of fortnightly.
Lately I’ve been wondering whether to go back to fortnightly, or even monthly.
This would save me time, for sure.
But, I like writing my newsletter and it’s something I look forward to.
I like having people write back (which happens a lot!)
Plus, it’s a creative and joyful practice for me.
It makes a change from working directly with clients.
It’s also my best tool for keeping my practice busy.
Every tool in the book
I have tried pretty much every tool in the book to promote my practice, especially in the first few years after starting out.
Most of them involved me ‘putting myself out there’ in different ways.
You can’t get away from that while you’re growing a practice.
There is no ‘magic bullet’ and they all helped me grow the practice I have today.
- Advert in my local NCT quarterly magazine
- Workshops on Homeopathy for Childbirth
- Workshops on Homeopathy for the Family
- Talks about Homeopathy at my local Women’s Institute
- Talks on Hormonal Wisdom
- Stalls at summer fayres
- Consultations and kits donated for raffles and auctions
- Therapy swaps with other therapists
- Talks and treatments on retreats for carers
- Low Cost Clinic at my local Carers’ Centre
- Poster pinned on local noticeboards
- Fliers in local coffee shops, children’s centres etc.
- Networking group meetings
- Free ‘self-care’ email course
- Paid ‘decluttering’ email course
- Editorial in local listings magazine
- Online listing on Findahomeopath.com
- Online listing in Therapy Directory
- Online listing on the Hip List
- Facebook page (until 4 years ago)
- Instagram page
Two types of marketing
I started my practice newsletter around ten years ago, but it was very sporadic for the first few years.
Gradually I started to write it more often, but I used to find it quite hard to think of what to write about.
Then I attended an incredibly helpful workshop run by David Hieatt from the Do Lectures.
I learned there is one big difference between the list of things above and my practice newsletter.
They are/were designed to attract new clients.
My newsletter is designed to build relationships.
My newsletter strategy is now to keep people in touch with me.
This is why my newsletter strategy is to give value by sharing things I feel will be of interest.
I want my newsletter to make people feel warm, optimistic and inspired.
Sure, I include news from my practice and I might include information about products I’m promoting.
But I don’t focus on sales messaging.
There’s enough of that everywhere else.
After 14 years of practice I have seen hundreds and hundreds of people.
I still see clients who have been with me since the very first year I was in practice.
They don’t come back every month, or even every year, but they do come back when they need me.
These long-term relationships help make my work more enjoyable and feel more meaningful.
- Women who came to see me for UTI or candida ten years ago are back for support through pregnancy.
- Women who brought their kids to see me for eczema are back for support with perimenopause.
- Women who came to see me for hayfever during pregnancy are bringing their young teens to see me for anxiety about starting secondary school.
The thread that keeps them in touch with me is my newsletter.
Sure, some of them follow me on Instagram, where I share pictures of my walks in the park.
But for me, the newsletter is a place where I have a more personal connection.
Plus, when they write back to me with a question or a hello, or something else, they’re right in my in-box which is where I want them to be.
If you haven’t started a newsletter yet, why not give it a try?
Here are my tips to help you get started.
Tips to get started with newsletters
- Take some time to look at newsletters you enjoy receiving – try to figure out what you like about them and then use that as inspiration
- Sign up for a free trial with a few different newsletter tools: Mailchimp, Sendinblue, Mailerlite, Flodesk are four I recommend
- Ask your designer (if you have one) to create a template for you
- You can also have a go at designing your own
- Choose a date as a deadline to send your first one
- Allow a few weeks to draft, redraft and send a test before you press SEND for real!
- Ask current clients if they would like to subscribe
- Add a newsletter sign up on your website (if you have WordPress this is easy to do via a ‘plug-in’)
- Collate ideas for possible content
- Add images
- Have fun with it!
Everything gets easier with practice
As with anything new, and especially with anything new involving tech, there is a bit of a learning curve.
The tips I’ve given you make this sound easy, but I will be honest and say there is a time investment at the start.
It take some discipline, but the more often you do it, the easier it becomes.
I recommend a monthly newsletter initially because if you only send it quarterly there is a chance you’ll forget what you learned.
Monthly gives you a nice rhythm and, most importantly, a deadline.
Try to have one day in your week when you focus on marketing and put aside some of that time for working on your newsletters. [Related post: The secret to time management for a successful practice]
I’m sometimes asked if I run workshops on newsletters. I used to, but I don’t any more.
This is because learning how to write a regular newsletter is a process, not something you can easily learn by watching a webinar or through a workshop.
The Radiant Business Meaningful Marketing Membership is where I offer teaching and guidance in the process of learning about newsletters and blogs.
The community there gives us a space to learn and support each other on the journey.
This is open to anyone who has completed one of my Radiant Business School courses.
The Membership will be opening up to new members again this June.
If you’re wondering whether this is your time to join, please drop me a line.
Or, if you’ve got a newsletter already, but you’d like some input or fresh ideas, then a mentoring call might be a good option for you.
You can get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you found some inspiration here.
Good luck with your newsletter!