Networking…all businesses can benefit from positive networking and as practitioners, it is essential to meet with other practitioners and professionals that may help you with your growing business.
As a self-employed complementary therapist it was essential for me to network and meet other practitioners and professionals when I was first starting out. I would say that a lot of opportunities that have come my way have been as a direct result of networking, and being introduced to the right people at the right time. This has allowed me to expand my business in ways that I had not thought possible when I first started working.
As a practitioner, be clear who you are targeting your services/products towards, and then make contact with local centres and support groups within the target market for your business. I have a keen interest in supporting carers, so I made contact with my local carers centre and from there, I attended regular events and made my name known within the local carers community. I have since been approached to attend many local events and provide massage and reflexology referred to me by the local carers centre.
When & Where?
Not sure where to start? Then start small, begin with people you know and take the opportunity to be introduced to new people through them. There are lots of events and groups for practitioners to join. When I first started out as a therapist I joined the local support group for the Federation of Holistic Therapists and, as well as meeting other like-minded therapists and getting support, we meet to talk about the latest news in our industry, discuss any issues, and we have a local Facebook group to keep in contact between meetings. See what is available for practitioners in your area and go along!
Attend relevant conferences in your field of work. I am a regular attendee at camexpo and this is the perfect opportunity to network with other practitioners, suppliers and to make new contacts, to try out new products and also to meet other therapists on the workshops.
Tips to make a good first impression!
Always carry your business cards with you – you never know when you may meet someone that is interested in what you have to offer.
If you have a website then make sure it is up to date.
Return calls or emails promptly.
Be interesting – make people want to contact you!
Be interested in the person you are speaking to.
Leave a great lasting impression.
After any networking event note down who you met, follow up with an email if necessary. Follow your new contact via social media and keep in regular contact.
Finally – be passionate about what you do, network regularly and take opportunities as they come along!
About the Author
I’ve been qualified in complementary therapy since 2004. I wanted to make a difference to people’s lives and offer the space for my clients to have a relaxing massage or reflexology treatment to switch off from the day to day pressures of modern life, so I decided to start Rose Holistic Treatments. Everything I have set up for the business has been done with the client in mind and am looking forward to expanding my business within the Bath area in 2016 with a new clinic at The Nourish Centre and a clinic at The Well-being House which is a retreat for those experiencing mental health distress.
If you have any questions or want further advice, please contact me on Rose Holistic Treatments.