by Tina Shafer
Hello all and thank you Celeste for encouraging me to write this column! I hear about a lot of smaller community hypnotists struggling to make money in a hypnotism career. I’ve struggled too! But I also believe I’ve developed some marketing ideas that have carried me through the slow times, and helped keep my name in the public eye. My goal with this column is to share with you what I have done and continue to do to build a successful business living in small town with a population of less than 30,000. In fact, the WHOLE County has just over 100,000 people!
As the Holiday season quickly approaches, I’ve been reading on a few of the online hypnosis groups I belong to, a semi-unified grumbling of “It’s the holiday season, nothing we can do about it…” from other hypnotists of how slow this time of year is for most of them. I started wondering if they were doing everything they could to market to their community. Ok, granted, living in a small town I will agree that my office recliner is not the busiest between Thanksgiving and mid-January… but heck, I’m glad! This is the time of year that I hustle and bustle by:
Fine tuning my ads to entice January’s sure-to-fail resolutionaries (I think I just made up a new word) into believing that “until you try Hypnosis, you really haven’t tried everything”.
Contacting Community Colleges and Adult Ed Program Directors to offer Self-Hypnosis Workshops for their winter classes.
Deciding on my marketing plans for World Hypnotism Day.
Returning phone calls from clubs and organizations to book last minute talks for their groups during the holiday season, and what else? Oh yea…
Sending emails to all my past students and clients offering gift certificates for the holidays and a preview of my upcoming classes with a discount if they pre-register during December. PLUS…adding new content of upcoming products and workshops
WHEW! I’m busy. Why stay idle waiting for the holidays to end? You can still prep for a spectacular winter season. Depending upon your advertising funds you can place ads on radio, in newspapers, TV, etc. If you are like me and on a tight budget, place business cards and flyers of your workshops in doctors offices, beauty salons, spas, or anywhere else people have to sit and wait.
I used to think if I missed the deadline for fall workshops all was lost. Many colleges and community Ed programs welcome your ideas for January courses. DO THAT NOW! Right now is when they are working on a course catalog for Winter Programs. Hurry! Run!
World Hypnotism Day, come on, I know you know about this. Check with the NGH or Tom Nicoli. There is a whole global committee dedicated to the advancement of WHD and ideas of what you can do to promote it. Get involved. It will only help you professionally.
Do you offer talks to service clubs and community nonprofit organizations? Most of these clubs elect officers in the spring and someone is responsible for setting up the years programs. I send a letter usually in January offering to be a guest speaker for their next year’s program. Most of those groups won’t have a lot going on in mid December through mid January because the holidays and members being on vacation. Go through your contacts and call the person responsible for setting up programs and offer to speak, I’ve booked up to four last minute speaking engagements through the holidays, just another way to FREELY announce your upcoming winter programs.
If your January season has not been everything you want it to be, look at some alternative ways to entice clients and pre-register them in December. (You ARE teaching group workshops, aren’t you? Group Workshops = $$) Two things I have used and both worked to help fill my January workshops—-offering a discount to hold their seat in the winter workshops if they register before January 1st, or collecting a small pre-registration fee in December. Many people want to sign up and can’t afford the whole fee now but will have gift money to spend after the holidays.
Ok, so now I’m going back to making my list and checking it twice. Happy Holidays and here’s to Your Successful Winter Season!