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October, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 10

The 7-Step Protocol That Gets New CranioSacral Clients Calling You

By Sharon Desjarlais, CC

One of the big myths passed down to CranioSacral therapists by well-meaning mentors is this: "You don't need to market your practice. Just do good work and new clients will find you." That may have been sage advice long before technology put thousands of therapists at virtually everyone's fingertips. But today, doing even great work isn't enough to ensure a thriving practice.

The solution? Use a high-tech and high-touch 7-step protocol that naturally attracts new clients. It takes a bit of effort to put each part in place. But once you do, you'll have an effective client-attraction system that takes the pain out of marketing your practice.

Step 1: Your Perfect Client

As a therapist in the "school of service," you might think it's your responsibility to make your hands available to anyone who needs them. But if you're willing to get real, you'll also admit there are certain types of people who bring out your best work. And others who consistently leave you frustrated and drained.

Just like touch therapy isn't for everyone, you're not the perfect match for every potential client. When you get crystal clear on the characteristics of the people who do make perfect clients, you can figure out where to find them and recognize them when you do.

CranioSacral Clients - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Start by calling to mind those clients you most enjoyed over the last few years. People you had a deep connection with. People who left you with more energy at the end of every session. Then jot down all the characteristics those clients had in common. Maybe they were in the same age range. Maybe they were mainly men, women or children. Or maybe they enjoyed the same sports. Continue noting every common link you can find. Then, put them all together and you'll have a profile of your ideal client.

A few years ago I had lunch with a practitioner who had just completed a CranioSacral course for pediatrics. "How did you like it?" I asked. "It was great," she said. "Now I know for sure that I never want to put my hands on a child again!" Turns out that toddlers aren't her perfect clients. So she happily refers them to another practitioner in town, who repays the favor by referring other clients in return.

Step 2: Draft Your Message

If you think marketing means telling people all about you, think again. Fundamentally, it's about making a heartfelt connection that leads to a client relationship. And that relationship, even in the prospect stage, is all about your client.

So, what's the transformation your perfect clients want from your work? What's their big before-and-after? To begin drafting your transformational marketing message, look back at your perfect clients. Then notice, what are the top three symptoms, conditions and challenges that motivate them to call you? What specific issues are they struggling with that your hands-on care can help resolve? And what are the biggest benefits they get out of working with you?

When you create a marketing message that paints a picture of what's possible on the other side of your client's healing journey, they'll be inspired to picture themselves in the scene. And they'll see you taking them there.

Step 3: Create a Web Page

Once you've sketched out your transformational marketing message, one of the most powerful places you can feature it is on the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners (IAHP) website at

The IAHP is affiliated with The Upledger Institute (UI), a company that's invested millions in educating the public about the value of CranioSacral therapy. That's why people all over the planet contact them looking for therapists.

If your profile is featured on the IAHP website, your name pops up whenever someone searches for a CranioSacral Therapist in your zip code. And that's good news for you, because the people searching there don't need to be convinced to have a cranial session. They've either had one before, know someone who has, or they've learned about it in the news. Which means you're getting calls from pre-qualified candidates. Without having to do any of the extra work to get them there.

Step 4: Your Message Down in a Sound Bite

Where the transformational marketing message is the whole enchilada, a sound bite should be just enough to give someone a taste of what you do in 30 seconds or less. You'll use it to answer that age-old question, "What do you do?"

To make your sound bite extra appealing, include who you help, what they are struggling with, and what they get out of working with you. For instance, "I help people recovering from car accidents or injuries get out of pain faster and back on their feet in less time than with traditional methods alone." This way, anyone listening can instantly tell if they are a potential client for you, or if they know someone else who is.

Step 5: Meeting Your Perfect Clients

In the cranial world, we say you should always "meet your clients where they're at." That same principle is at play when you're networking to attract new clients. You only want to go to those places your perfect client is already hanging out. Otherwise, it doesn't matter how much networking you do. You'll still end up with no new clients. Or worse, someone who's a bad match for you.

How do you find out where to go? Check in with your current clients. (But only the ones you love, please!) Ask them what clubs they belong to, what type of community events they enjoy. Where they like to hang out on the weekends. Even where they like to shop. One therapist I know has met more than one perfect client at Whole Foods between the salt and the chocolate.

Step 6: Lead Them to Your Web Page

Once you connect with a potential client in person, it may seem counter intuitive to follow up with them through the mail. When someone's standing right there, it's easier to schedule a phone call, right?

When you meet someone who tries to get you into a phone call or worse, coffee or lunch, how do you feel? Probably put on the spot. That's not the sentiment you want potential clients to associate with you. Instead, you want to leave them with a sense of ease and optimism.

So, when you meet someone genuinely interested in your work, offer to pop some information in the mail. That puts all the opportunity into your hands. Because when they receive your note of appreciation with a brochure or article about your work, they're either at home or their office. Where they can sit right down at their computer and find your web page fast.

Step 7: Reassure Them

Now that your perfect client is on your web page learning more about you, the next step is to get them onto your table, right? No, it's still too soon. Like any touch therapy, cranial work is an intimate experience to many people. By inviting them to a complimentary phone consult before you offer your services, you're giving them the gift of hearing your voice, feeling your energy and reassuring them that you're the perfect CranioSacral therapist for them.

Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.


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