Smell Better Than Your Friends: 5 Sweet Tips For Marketing Aromatherapy
Have you ever wanted to go up to someone splashing themselves with pure sweet orange essential oil at the WholeFoods and say, "Doh, you're doing it wrong! You're gonna get a rash!"
Yes? Well, you must have some aromatherapy training then.
As frustrating as it is for therapists, your customers could give a crap about essential oil education at first glance -- until something unpleasant and unexpected happens.
The questions is, how do you command attention when it seems everything on the shelves today screams, "Buy me! I"m natural!"
1. Never rest your sales pitch on ingredients -- sock it to 'em with emotions.
Do you offer organic, ethically harvested and tested oils? Of course! But don't you dare rest your sales pitch on those factors.
The emotions we're talking about here are not "Golly, I'm a good person because I'm helping people in the 3rd world live a better life." That's nice, and we should be aware of such things but you should know that that's not a strong motivator for human behavior.
Sales are about standing out from the pack. Be memorable. Identify what is memorable and you have a winner.
2. Determine your hook
What are you doing for your client? Easing their physcial and psychological pain? Keeping them safe from synthetic chemicals, uneducated or unscrupulous essential oil dabblers? Solidifying their identity within a certain social group? Maybe patchouli toting hippies are your fans? or middle-class housewives? or gender-benders?
Your aromatherapy offerings should match your clients needs.
3. Include interesting photos of expressive (real) people
Rows upon rows of pretty flowers cannot compete with the human face. Niether can cheap stock photography - so get your craft on and take some compelling pictures or find them in our downloads section.
4. Play up the benefits
Please remember the following marketing rules.
1. Features and benefits are not the same thing.
2. All benefits are not created equal.
Potential aromatherapy features: dark glass bottles to keep out the light, custom blended formulas, organic, cruelty free testing, hand harvested
Potential aromatherapy benefits: Reassurance-- because you as a therapist take proper care with your preparations the client will not have to worry; she's safe. Your wonderful formula will remain fresh and effective -- it will not deteriorate in unpredictable and unfortunate ways.
attention + real benefits = sales
Remember embarrassment is a stronger benefit than "relieves a head ache." Sure, aromatherapy can do that -- but it has to do more.
5. Tell a story
Stories get clients to read. Stories with drama get clients hooked. Pain -- either physical or emotional is the lynchpin. Fear and embarrassment are powerfully motivating forces.
To work a benefit like safety and reassurance into your copy, you could write a classic, "Ooops... Don't Try This at Home" educational story.
Something like, It was wonderful until my wrist started itching...
Or, "Did I ever tell you about the time I smeared Spikenard all over my hands... Sure, it smells good at first but OMG... was I embarrassed!!! (I'm laughing now but this is a true story! I did this -- and I smelled like crap because of it. Spikenard is way too earthy for me.)
It's all about the benefits.The benefits in this story would be saving the client from embarrassment and/or physical scarring that could happen if they make a bad choice.
Ewwww... did you just cringe? I saw you -- don't deny it!
6. So, Let's talk ethics
Therapist's get uncomfortable when I talk about marketing -- especially when I get to the nitty gritty about embarrassment.
But look here, if you're on your own, you need to sell your services effectively or you will not have clients -- period.
So what is an ethical therapist to do?
Create your core values.
- If it's not true, don't say it.
- Do not reinforce existing oppressive stereotypes. This is where people who try for humor go horribly, horribly wrong. If you reveal a weakness make sure you are your own model.
- Find other ways for clients to interact with you without having to pay for it -- chit-chat on your blog, hang out on online forums. Not everyone has the dough to pay you for your services but they can still appreciate what you have to offer and you can enjoy their company.
And finally, lighten up -- people like stuff that smells nice. When you yawn on about the dangers of wormwood and wintergreen they get bored and tune you out. Be interesting, save up some funny stories and work the educational stuff in on the sly.
It's a challenge to stay classy and get attention. You can do it.