Building Your Client Base as a Complementary Therapist

Authored by Laura Quartly.
5 min read
Whatever industry you’re in, networking is important for making contacts and winning new customers. So, if you’re running your own complementary therapy business, here’s some advice on how to build your client base.

The demand for complementary therapy is strong – but don’t underestimate the risks

According to forecasts by Grand View Research (external link), the alternative and complementary medicine market is predicted to be worth nearly $200 billion by 2025. This is expected to be driven by therapies such as reflexology, hypnotherapy and meditation, with Europe and the Asia Pacific as the market hotspots.

That’s great news for complementary therapists, but anyone working in the health and beauty sector will recognise that there are risks associated with these types of products and services. Plus, almost 90% of complementary therapist are self-employed (external link), which means they don’t have a guaranteed income and are not eligible for employee benefits such as paid annual leave and sickness pay.

So, before you build your client base, it’s wise to get complementary therapy insurance to protect your business from an expensive claim.

When figuring out how to get clients for a new business, define your target market

When you’re learning how to get clients, the first thing you should do is determine who your ideal customer is. So, think carefully about how you’ll reach out to this market online and offline.

Who needs alternative treatments from complementary therapists?

Here are some examples of market sectors that complementary therapists may reach out to:

  • People with serious illnesses (may find complementary therapies ease their symptoms)
  • Builders (these workers are at greater risk of injury)
  • Athletes (also have a greater risk of injury)
  • People with disabilities (may find these therapies ease their symptoms)
  • Office workers (back pain is a common problem due to poor posture or sitting for too long)

Get a free local business listing on Google

This will make it easier for people to find you on Google Search and Google Maps. It will also show them that you’re a legitimate business.

Start networking on LinkedIn if you aren’t already

With hundreds of millions of users, LinkedIn is one of the best networking resources available for professionals in the health and beauty sector. Creating a profile is quick and easy, and you can connect with up to 30,000 people. Make sure you include all relevant work history and qualifications in your profile so people can get a good idea of your experience and education.

Once your account is live, start connecting with other people in the industry. Contribute to relevant discussions or start your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice on how to get clients for a new business. Everyone starts from somewhere, and other complementary therapists may be happy to share their insights.

Set up a website for your complementary therapy business

Today, website hosting is very affordable, and the options are endless. Here are some points to bear in mind:

  • Choose a template that’s appropriate for your market. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and provides a full breakdown of the treatments you provide
  • Write a weekly blog so you can talk about relevant health-related topics and drive more traffic to your website
  • Use a business e-mail address so you come across professionally. An unprofessional e-mail address can be off-putting to prospective clients
  • Include suitable keywords in your content so search engines will know what your website is about. This can help you rank higher in search results when people type in words or phrases associated with your services, like ‘hypnotherapy near me’ or ‘health supplements’
  • Make sure your content doesn’t mislead the client or give them unrealistic expectations. However, if you do make a mistake or accidentally give incorrect advice, complementary therapy insurance could protect you from an expensive claim
  • Link your website to social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to attract more visitors

Earn people’s trust before they start working with you

When developing a strategy on how to get clients for a new business, don’t underestimate the importance of good feedback. For example, with Facebook and Google reviews, you’ll get an overall rating score out of five, so your prospective clients can get a snapshot of how your customers rate you. The better your feedback, the more likely prospective clients are to trust you.

Keep your customers in the loop

To retain a strong customer base, respond to your reviews and thank people for their custom. Pay special attention to negative reviews, as this is your chance to explain yourself and solve a problem. At worst, the customer will remain unsatisfied or ignore your response. At best, you may win them back.

Reflect on all your feedback. Find out what your clients are happy with and what they think you could do better. Having complementary therapy insurance will also show your customers that you are professional and take their health seriously.

How to get clients with offline marketing

In an FHT study (external link), over 80% of complementary therapists said word-of-mouth advertising was their most powerful marketing tool for making new clients. When you deliver a consistently good service, you increase your chances of being referred to new clients by your existing ones. This can save you time and money.

Other ways to promote your complementary therapy business offline:

  • Post ads in your local newspaper or post office
  • Partner up with a local health/beauty/wellness centre
  • Incentivise your customers to refer you to others by offering a discount or deal
  • Find out if you could get your business featured in a magazine article

At Hiscox, we want to help your small business thrive. Our blog has many articles you may find relevant and useful as your business grows. But these articles aren’t professional advice. So, to find out more on a subject we cover here, please seek professional assistance.

Laura Quartly

Laura is an underwriter in the Medical Malpractice team, sitting within the Specialty Division of Hiscox UK. She joined Hiscox in 2012, initially working in the Customer Relations team before moving into Hiscox Broker channel and underwriting in London. Laura is primarily responsible for providing insurance solutions for clients across the malpractice sector, and has specialist knowledge in areas ranging from health and beauty therapies to medical practitioners and dentistry.