The working / marketing trade-off

Massimo GaetaniThis post is about the trade-off between spending time delivering your services as a practitioner in private practice and marketing your business in a variety of ways.  If your practice attracts the right number of clients to keep you busy and support your expected lifestyle then you have been doing the right thing for a while.   Your existing clients are enough to generate sufficient demand for your business and refer you to their friends and family; this is probably the best way to maintain a busy and healthy private practice.

On the other hand, if the amount of clients you see on a typical week/month/year is substantially less than what you’d like, you need to spend more time/money/effort in marketing your business.  Depending on your circumstances you can choose what proportion of money vs. time you want to allocate to your marketing.

I spend a substantial amount of time managing and marketing our clinic and I know it pays off by the amazing growth we experienced in both customer enquiries and by the number of practitioners who join our clinic on a monthly basis: we reached 60 therapists earlier this year and we have in the pipeline about 10  who are due to join us by the end of 2016.

I devote a significant part of my work  helping practitioners working at Salus Wellness to grow their respective practice; I do that by spending some time one-to-one with them and organising workshops and networking events for them.   My baseline advice to anybody running a private practice would be to spend on marketing all the time not spent delivering their therapy.  That means allocating a working week into their own calendar as if they were going to the office/shop/factory and working, regularly and consistently, 4-5 days per week 6-8 hours per day.  The illusion of making a decent income working 10-15 hours per week and doing nothing else is merely, as mentioned above, an illusion.

Congratulations Dr Michelle Nyangereka

MichelleNyangereka201510This week at Salus Wellness Clinics, we are celebrating Michelle being awarded her Doctorate in Counselling Psychology – Congratulations Dr Nyangereka!

Michelle has also been appointed Lead Psychologist at Sheridan School in Thetford. As part of the Priory group, Sheridan is an Independent residential school for pupils aged 8 to 19 with complex needs including: social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome or other specific learning difficulties.

As the head of the therapeutic team, Michelle will provide one-to-one psychological therapy to the students, support their families and be responsible for supervising and training staff at the school.

Michelle will also continue to be a practitioner at Salus Wellness Clinics so if you would like to know more about having one-to-one or couple’s therapy with Michelle then please contact her on 07989 974498 or at

Being found on the Internet

Massimo during his presentationIn this post I will discuss some of the different ways people might be searching for you/your business on the Internet and in a few cases, with an increasing level of difficulty to be found.

There was a time when people would go on your website just when they knew you exist, perhaps after meeting you and they knew the URL of your website.  Then the search engines came along and we all got lazy.  Lazy because it’s no point anymore to look for the correct URL of a website; we search them using Google or other search engines of choice.  But how do we search for people, or a business?  We type a few words, a phrase into the search engine and check the results.  Most people will not bother to check beyond the first page of results so your aim should be to be on the first page of search results for all phrases you care about.

In order to make this example meaningful let’s assume you are called Joe Bloggs and you are a Massage Therapist in Cambridge. Here is the list of search terms in increasing order of difficulty to achieve:

Your name, service you offer and location

This should be your first goal to be found and the simplest way for people to find you on the Internet.   You should check now whether a search will work with one of the following sentences.  Obviously replace Joe Bloggs with your name, massage with your therapy and Cambridge with your location:

  • Joe Bloggs Massage Therapist in Cambridge
  • Joe Bloggs Therapist Cambridge
  • Joe Bloggs Massage Cambridge

If your website doesn’t appear on the first page of google then you should either speak to your web designer or someone who understands the most basic principles of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Your name and therapy – e.g. Joe Bloggs Massage

This should also be relatively easy to achieve in the hope there is not another therapist with your name who offers the same therapy as you do.

Your name and location – e.g. Joe Bloggs Cambridge

This might be a bit more complicated and is very dependent on how common your name is.  If there is a famous person who has a name like yours and lives in your  town it will be very difficult for you to be found on the first page of a search.

Your therapy and location – e.g. Massage Cambridge

This is the most difficult to achieve, particularly if you are new in this business or in your location; depending on the therapy you are offering there might be tens, hundreds or thousands of other practitioners offering  the same therapy in your area.  If that’s the case you might try to optimise your website for the so called long tail searches, e.g. not just the simple therapy and location but adding some extra information like the issue you are trying to address: e.g. massage backache Cambridge.

SEO  is about helping your web pages to be found by the relevant search terms.  A few tips to improve your search ranking and results would be:

  • Have a decent looking, well written and professionally designed website
  • Use WordPress as the content management system (CMS): WordPress has a structure which facilitates SEO.
  • Make sure that your WordPress installation has one of the relevant SEO plugins installed and properly configured
  • Keep your website fresh with new content (e.g. blogging) and add relevant articles about what you offer, how you offer it and so on

If you don’t know much, or anything at all, about SEO perhaps you should speak to an expert and see what he/she suggests.  Our affiliate marketing agency, Salus Marketing, is offering a broad range of marketing services including web design and SEO so you can get in touch and find out more about how we can help you.

Content marketing: writing and sharing

Massimo GaetaniIn a world where any company in any sector should consider themselves a media company it’s becoming more and more relevant the need for constant and consistent production of good content. During the last few years we have been seeing an increase in agencies and freelancers specialising in copy writing and content marketing.

Here at Salus Wellness we advise the majority of our practitioners about how to create an online presence which starts from having a website and an account of various social media platforms and then it continues with a regular production of content. Content can indeed be in written format, such as blog posts.However in 2016 most people have in their pocket a smart phone which is powerful enough to create and upload photos and videos on the go so the type of content to produce and publish should not be limited to written words and it can indeed be a combination of several media.

The question that comes often is: what shall I write/take pictures/shoot video about?  Before answering this question let’s briefly analyse why it’s important to produce content.

Creation of content puts you in the position of being visible as an expert of your sector.  Search engines love fresh (and good) content so they are likely to serve a search request with websites which contain good, relevant and fresh content rather than pages which were not updated in years.

So if you are constantly producing relevant and good content which is published on your website then the average punter will have to decide, usually deciding within a few seconds, whether your website with good content is more relevant than your competition  who haven’t bothered to update their website in years. Guess what the result is likely to be.

Are you already busy and finding new clients is not your main priority? Perhaps all of your business comes from word of mouth; even in this case you should not ignore the importance of producing new content and think again. If your name gets recommended from one of your clients’ to their friends or colleagues there is a high probability they will do a web search on you. This will be in the form of Google search (or other search engines) using just your name and what you offer, maybe adding the City you are in: e.g. “joe blogs physiotherapy”.  If they easily find you and your website then you’ll be one step closer to an enquiry which may result in a new client.

Within a relatively short time your website will become an authority within your sector and gain visibility, depending on how often you are publishing new content; minimum should be once per week on average, better if every day. Sometimes it can become difficult to keep producing content as often as required. The good news is that nowadays much content could be found readily from other authors and it can be simply republished with permission, as long as the content is kept intact and the author’s copyright is acknowledged.

Some of you might ask: what’s the point of sharing and re-posting other people’s content?  Well it’s pretty simple. If you are a physiotherapist and write about physiotherapy you could look for more content about physiotherapy and related subjects, e.g. lifestyle changes which reduce the need for physiotherapy and so on. If you are good at collecting and republishing other authors’ content then your readers will appreciate your work of finding relevant articles which of course they could find by themselves but you are saving them the work as you are doing it for them.

Content marketing has been the buzzword for many businesses over the last few years; whether you publish just your content or republish others’ or a mix of the two you will provide relevant content for a particular audience.  The question is: when are you going to start?