I'm writing this to invite other practitioners to share tips for what has helped to make their BodyTalk practice a success. Like many other practitioners I was working in a different field when BodyTalk came into my life, and the significance of how the work could help others became too great to ignore. After certifying I wondered – could I really make a living practicing just BodyTalk?
Success can be measured in a number of ways – how many clients am I seeing? What kind of income am I earning? What kind of results am I witnessing? It's been six years since I've left the corporate world and I have made a consistent sustainable income since year two. I've witnessed clients who were labeled with chronic debilitating diseases be freed from that identity. By receiving BodyTalk sessions, clients who are struggling have gained greater perspective to see conflict as a path to greater self-awareness and joy. Personally, being a BodyTalk practitioner has afforded me a lifestyle that promotes better health, better relationships and allows more time for learning and travel.
So what's my clinic's formula for success and will it work for you? If you listen closely it will – because my number one key to success is that I do what I love, and when I'm not loving it – I change what I'm doing to get the love flowing again. Remember whatever your definition of success is today will change as YOU grow and change. But once you've learned what it feels like to be driving your own career, tweaking or changing direction to bring it up to full speed again is just part of the fun.
The first step is to get specific about what your heart wants now. How many clients do you want to see each week? How much money do you want to earn per hour? Will that provide you with enough income for the year? Allow for days off, days at seminars, and no-show clients – do the simple math. Do the numbers work for this year? Do you have a formula that makes your heart sing? Do you have a simple plan that is worth the work to make it a reality? Is this a plan you can put on your mirror, your appointment book, or another place you see daily to renew your commitment to make it happen? When the head and heart are aligned moving forward happens much more efficiently.
Sample formulas for success:
3 clients/day * 5 days/wk * 40 weeks/yr * $75/client = $45,000/yr
5 clients/day * 4 days/wk * 46 weeks/yr * $85/client = $78,200/yr
6 clients/day * 3 days/wk * 48 weeks/yr * $100/client = $86,400/yr
Now that you have a plan, you can flush out the details. For instance, how do you fill the appointment slots with clients that you want to work with?
#1. It's important to have a vision. Who are these clients? Remember, it's about honing in on what makes your heart sing. I advertise as a family practitioner because I love working with kids, grandparents, couples and siblings. When I want to grow my client list it often comes as expanding work within a family or friends of the family. If you're just trying to fill slots and don't have a vision for who – you might subconsciously be sabotaging your plans for fear of having clients you don't want to work with.
#2. Referrals have been the number one way to increase clients, so be sure that your current clients understand the results they are getting, know the extent of what BodyTalk can cover, and know what kind of clients you are looking for so that they can help refer them to you. Don't be afraid to ask your clients for referrals and be sure to let them know how much you appreciate it when they recommend you. When I'm re-booking a client at the end of their session I'll offer an appointment reminder card in addition to the email confirmation they receive – most people decline saying they don't want to waste the paper, which is a great opportunity for me to say, well take one and you can give it to a friend who would benefit from BodyTalk. After a quick consideration, they'll often tell me about a friend or two that they could refer. People have busy lives but enjoy helping others, if you create the space for them to consider who else this work might benefit, you're allowing connections to be made that might not have happened without your attention.
#3. Take care of existing clients. Needless to say, it's important to keep client intakes and assessments to track change. One of the most effective ways to demonstrate results to clients is to do simple before and after assessments that you can learn in Orthopedic Evaluation. When you demonstrate the physical changes in their body, clients gain a better felt sense of the shifts that are happening in the session and don't feel like it's "hocus-pocus". With these visual and oral history reminders they are much more willing to risk their credibility by recommending friends.
#4. A key component of building a client base is by giving introductory talks. Whether they're held at your clinic, in homes of friends or clients, at hospitals, or community events – giving talks is a way to introduce the astonishing effectiveness of BodyTalk to others. Share your story about what captivated you, show the protocol chart, explain how things often have more than one cause. People love looking at the protocol chart and learning how a treatment that allows you to work at the physical, emotional and mental levels in one session can accelerate healing. Then give a demonstration of a session. However your first and second talks go, your third will be easier, and just like in sessions, the efforting will pass into an ease as you trust the right words will be there when you need them.
#5. Maintaining a consistent client base almost always requires a web presence. Make sure your IBA bio has your photo, a description of why you love what you do, and illustrates how clients have been helped. People want to choose a practitioner that they resonate with. The clearer you are with what you want, the more your clients will know to come to you. Be sure to return emails and calls to prospective clients in a timely, professional manner. It is best to have as an outgoing message and policy that you will get back to them in 24 business hours. Keep a list of prospective clients and continue to contact them 2-3x over one or two months to see if they still have an interest in BodyTalk. They will often thank you for not giving up on them. Remember they have reached out because they need help and often are overwhelmed. The easier you can make it for them to get a session, the better.
These tips are not only for building a practice, but maintaining one. Having a healthy stream of clients means allowing for turnover, so it's always good to have 10-20% of new clients flowing in at any time. At different stages in your career you'll want to change your formula to more or less clients, changes in your rates and/or the number of sessions per week. Knowing what you want and that it feels right to you, is often the permission you need to allow your plan to come true.
The road to success in your clinic may have been a rough one so far, but by applying these proven strategies for success, you can absolutely reach your goals. So focus inward on what makes your heart happy and what you're really here to do. Then make a financial plan, take action, and enjoy the ride! Your heart will be happy you did, and your clients will be so grateful to find you!
The IBA wants to help practitioners to have successful practices. If you have tips or strategies that have worked for you, please share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll work with the IBA to continue to bring this information to you. At Healing 4 Life Together, we are committed to working together to bring this transformational work to individuals worldwide.