Sovereign Standard, Issue 32
What is your goal when you sit in a room with a client?
To guide, to partner, to support. Perhaps to educate and inspire.
What about “convince” or “persuade”? Um, ick.
The role of the healer
As an energy healer with my own small practice, I cringe at the thought of “convincing” a vulnerable client of anything while she lies on my table. Though I am not bound by the codified ethics of a mental health or other licensed medical practitioner, I am bound by my own personal ethics and by the basic “job description” that my teacher and mentor Eleanora Amendolara gave me:
To be a healer is to facilitate another’s awakening.
To facilitate and hold space for another person’s unfolding is a privilege and an honor I don’t take lightly – and as a clinician or holistic professional, I know you also feel the precious weight of such a responsibility too.
In session, deep work takes place. Huge blocks get cleared. A great deal of pain and resistance might emerge in the process. As a healer, you are the witness and the source of safety.
You don’t force or convince anyone of anything that isn’t theirs. The healing wisdom each individual needs is already within. You’re there to help unlock those hard-to-find internal doors and windows.
The healer’s experience as a marketer
How do you get those beautiful people in need into your office so you can perform your magic and offer up your healing medicine?
You market yourself.
At least that’s the mainstream way to talk about it.
You use ads and in-person networking and social media and you create a website that converts. You develop just the right copy and just the right elevator speech that speaks to the pain points and shows that you’ve got just the solution.
Some of this marketing stuff feels fine, some a little suspect, and some advice simply doesn’t apply to you. You do what you have to do to spread your message and introduce your work to your perfectly imperfect people.
Walking in both worlds: the private practice and the public marketplace
As you know, I am steeped in this marketing process.
I moonlight as an energy healer – quite literally, in the sense that my healing abilities get charged up thanks to a sighting of the moon. She reminds me that there’s a great big universe out there that puts all our human stories in perspective.
But my “real” job is as a writing coach who helps you produce meaningful content so you can be an effective player in the online marketing game.
I walk in both worlds. And, as a healing professional who is building a business, you do too.
We perceive the dissonance between the persuade, convert, sell approach and the gentle, connected process of actually helping people.
But we agree that “marketing” isn’t a dirty word, right?
“Marketing is a bad word” is so 2010.
Saying “I don’t do marketing” with a vaguely superior shudder just doesn’t cut it anymore. You probably don’t even know many practitioners like that since you’ve set out to connect with colleagues who share your growth mindset!
So, yes, we have accepted – and embraced! – the dynamic, creative process that is content marketing. We use blog posts, articles, and social platforms to tell stories that draw readers and clients.
But, still, there’s dissonance between the mainstream messages about how to lure clients and the experience you create for the clients you have.
If “persuade them to take action” is the foundation of marketing, do you have to be one person in your treatment space and someone else when you’re trying to attract clients online?
In a word: no.
You can walk in both worlds, stay true to yourself, and build business.
The secret to authentic, integrated marketing for therapists and healers
As you’d expect from a writer, I’ll tell you the secret to authenticity is in the words you choose.
As you’d expect from a healer, I’ll tell you the secret to integrity is in the energy you put into your communication.
Simply shift “persuade” or “convince” into invite.
The end of the call to action
For years, I’ve happily offered up one of the most elementary acronyms in the copywriter’s arsenal: CTA.
A “call to action” is what every web page and every piece of sales collateral needs to include. (Or so “they” always say…)
It’s time to adjust the wording to reflect an energetic shift in how we look at transforming curious web surfers and readers into committed clients.
Let’s call it the Invitation to Action.
It’s a minor shift, especially since there is nothing particularly objectionable in the word “call” itself. But, as clinicians and holistic service providers who hold rather than force, isn’t it time to step away from phrases that are synonymous with “tell ‘em what to do”?
How can the “Invitation to Action” change everything about your approach to marketing?
“Invitation to action” is not an invitation to forget everything you have learned about marketing.
It doesn’t allow you to escape the risky business of self promotion and it doesn’t permit you to pull back into yourself.
It’s not an excuse to write “nice,” vague copy that hints at “maybe you want to call me someday.”
Instead, “Invitation to action” is an energetic pivot that takes you out of pushing and into holding.
The “ITA” is still effective. It’s all the more effective because it’s in alignment with who you really are.
Begin to get comfortable with this phrase by using it as the headline on an invitation you’re writing for yourself.
You are invited to compose your next sales page, blog post, or social media update as a fully integrated marketer-writer-healer.
Use your website to create a safe, welcoming space. Use your words to offer ideas and options and well-intentioned suggestions. Use your expertise – and trust your expertise – to show prospective clients that you’ve got the medicine they need.
Learn a new way to invite clients into your practice – discover the Story Triangle. Sign up for the next free class coming up on May 11!