Post Updated [February 2, 2023]
Attracting a steady flow of clients into your practice is essential for future proofing your business. Whether you’re working exclusively with clients virtually, practicing in person. or both, online channels provide lots of opportunities to attract new clients who are keen to book your services. In fact, there are so many opportunities to find new clients virtually, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of choices available and wonder how to determine which acquisition strategy is right for your practice.
In this article we’ll cover some of the tried-and-true channels many small businesses use for acquisition marketing. We’ll also take a look at some of the newer social platforms you should have on your radar, with links to resources that can help you get off to a strong start on any of the platforms.
1. Facebook Groups
What is it? Anyone can create a group on the Facebook platform to connect multiple people with shared interests. People often use these groups to support personal interests, like book clubs or cottagers sharing the same lake, but they can be effective for business use too.
How can it help with new client acquisition? Facebook groups are a great opportunity to build your community. Providing value to existing clients in the group reinforces your value as their practitioner. Prospective clients will get a front-row seat to the type of supportive and engaging community you foster to help them stay accountable as they work toward their health and wellness goals. They’ll also be exposed to social proof by seeing existing clients share their own health and wellness transformations, which can help you with new client acquisition.
We at Practice Better host our own Facebook group for our paid customers called the Inner Circle, where health and wellness professionals support each other in building their businesses and sharing new ways to use Practice Better to achieve their growth goals. We think it’s worth the effort if you can spare the time.
Getting started: Facebook offers detailed guidance on managing the people and content in a group over on their help page.
What is it? Instagram is a free photo- and video-sharing social network. When you upload content to the platform your followers see it in their feed.
How can it help with new client acquisition? You can use your Instagram account to curate a variety of helpful content for your community. Posting helpful content that’s of interest to your ideal clients helps you reach new audiences and attract new clients to your practice.
There are a variety of formats you can use to share content and engage with your community on Instagram, including static photos, Stories (videos that last for 24 hours and are split into 15-second slides), and Reels (videos that can be up to 15 minutes in length). You can also start a live broadcast on Instagram to connect with your followers in real time. (Note that you need to have the app for Android or iPhone in order to use Instagram Live.) Finally, Instagram allows you to add a link in your bio at the top of your page. This is a good place to add a clickable URL that directs people to a page on your website where they can explore your services or take some kind of action, like subscribing to your emails.
Better Business Conversations
Learn how to leverage Instagram Reels to find new clients in this Business Building Conversation with Charlyn Ooi, practicing Dietitian and international Business Coach.
Getting started: Brainstorm what type of content will be most interesting to your audience. For example, a practitioner who treats perimenopausal women can create weekly Reels showcasing recipes and lifestyle changes to balance hormone and cortisol levels. Or a mindfulness coach can publish journaling tips to experience increased gratitude in everyday moments. Get more ideas on the different types of content to publish on Instagram over here.
What is it? Pinterest is a visual social media platform where users discover and share things that interest them, including home, recipes, fashion, lifestyle, and more.
How can it help with new client acquisition? 445 million people use Pinterest every month, and a majority of visitors claim they are always shopping. Pinterest offers a unique opportunity to meet an audience where they are actively looking to be inspired. You can attract new clients through beautiful or informative visuals and eye-catching titles and taglines. You can post video or photo content, idea pins that let you showcase more content in a single pin, and even curate similar themes together into boards. For example, a physiotherapist using Pinterest as a tool in their client acquisition strategy could curate a board sharing stretches for low back pain.
Note that Pinterest users treat the platform as a search engine to help surface results (or “pins”) related to their interests. This means the descriptions you write to accompany your posts should be highly relevant and descriptive. Once someone clicks on your visual, they are directed back to your website to fully access the full content. Navigating them back to your website via your content on Pinterest is a great way to funnel your audience to learn more about you and what you do, knowing they’ve expressed initial interest in what they’ve seen on Pinterest.
Getting started: Check out this Pinterest marketing guide for more ideas to get you started using the platform for client acquisition.
What is it? A podcast is like talk radio for the Internet. It’s a popular storytelling medium that people can access through streaming services, like Spotify, Wondery, and Apple Podcasts, and listen to whenever they choose.
How can it help with new client acquisition? If you’re looking for an accessible, convenient way to reach new clients, a podcast is a fantastic way to provide value your community can access on the go and on their own terms. Whether you start your own podcast or seek out opportunities to speak on someone else’s podcast, it’s a great way to reach new audiences by establishing a listener base that benefits from the helpful information you provide.
As a guest on someone else’s podcast, you gain exposure to a whole new community to whom you can provide value. You can also provide a plug for the other channels where you produce content (like a bi-weekly newsletter, for example) and encourage listeners to sign up by sharing a relevant URL.
Getting started: Watch this video to explore critical steps for setting up your own podcast.
5. Guest Write Blog Posts
What is it? Guest blogging is writing and publishing an article on someone else’s website.
How can it help with new client acquisition? Finding opportunities to provide written content for other people’s websites or blogs is a fantastic way to get in front of their audiences. Seek out professionals whose work complements your own as they will likely have an established community that will be interested in what you have to say. For example, a nutritionist could reach out to a doula in the community and offer to write about nutrient-rich meals and snacks that are quick to prepare during the busy postpartum period when nursing mothers need more calories and have less time for meal prep.
Getting started: Head over here to find tips for goal-setting, choosing and pitching topics, and making your bio work harder for you.
What is it? Meetup is a social media platform for finding and building local communities.
How can it help with new client acquisition? If you want to bring like-minded people together over a common topic or theme, Meetup may be worth considering. Meetup provides a means for people to gather in real life or virtually over common interests. When someone signs up for the platform, they are prompted to select their top topics so they can be notified of events in their area that align with their interests. As a Meetup host, you can determine the topic and other event details and connect with a group that is already vetted to be interested in what you do.
Getting started: Check out the Ultimate Guide to Starting a Group on Meetup
What is it? YouTube is a free video-sharing platform that allows anyone to upload and share videos for free. It’s the second-most visited website in the world, after Google, with 76.6B visits recorded in December 2022.
How can it help with new client acquisition? YouTube is a powerful tool for engaging a community given the high traffic and popularity of video as a content format. It can be an impactful place to provide a personal, informative touchpoint with your community that establishes you as a helpful thought leader. YouTube allows you to add plenty of links in the video description where you can provide the next step or call to action to funnel new clients into your business.
You can also use YouTube to curate videos you’ve created for other purposes. For example, a homeopathic medicine practitioner holding a live virtual webinar on micro-dosing natural substances to ease chronic pain could also record that session. After the session is complete, it can be sliced into smaller chunks and uploaded to a playlist on a branded YouTube channel dedicated to chronic pain management.
Getting started: Check out the Complete Guide to YouTube Marketing in 2023.
8. Google Business Profile
What is it? Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business or GMB) is a free tool that helps local businesses be more easily found.
How can it help with new client acquisition? Make creating a great first impression part of your acquisition strategy. Google Business Profile helps people using Google Search and Google Maps find you. By personalizing your profile with your business hours, reviews, and fresh content (like your blog content) you are more likely to surface in search when your prospective clients are looking for “x business [e.g fitness instructor] near me.”
- Ask your best clients to post reviews of your services (if your regulator allows you to do so).
- Ensure you update your business hours, including for holidays, on your profile.
- If you post blog content into your profile, please be aware that the postings are only live for 1 week. This means you should refresh the content often to be rewarded by Google.
- Check out this guide on how to build out your Google Business Profile..
What is it? Reddit is a network of communities where registered users can share news, start discussions, and ask questions in niche forums called “subreddits”. Users on Reddit vote content up when they feel it contributes to the conversation and down when it doesn’t. Upvoting and downvoting posts is the equivalent of someone signaling that they think other people should or shouldn’t see a post.
How can it help with new client acquisition? By getting involved in conversations on Reddit you can share knowledge and add value to the communities. Doing this repeatedly over time shows other folks on the platform that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy, which can help land new clients. One thing to be mindful of is not being overly promotional in your interactions as that behavior can get you shadowbanned from the platform, which means other users can’t view your posts and activities but you haven’t been notified of an official ban. Focus on being helpful and moving conversations forward to stay on the right side of Reddiquette.
Getting started: If you start by searching the community where you operate (for example, Georgia, USA), you can then search categories (e.g. health & wellness) where you might be able to contribute to conversations or add additional context.
You can also launch and moderate your own subreddits, but you have to wait until your account has been live for at least 30 days and you have “a minimum amount of positive karma.” Reddit keeps the specifics around that minimum amount top secret to prevent spamming, but they do claim it is within reach.
What is it? Nextdoor is an app for US-based neighborhoods. It’s intended to help people who live in the same area meet, organize events, exchange information, buy and sell goods, and give/get recommendations.
How can it help with new client acquisition? Nextdoor isn’t just for the citizens who live in a particular area. Businesses can also use Nextdoor to engage with their communities, share information, and offer deals to constituents. While other platforms are more global in nature, Nextdoor offers a viable option to connect with new clients who live in your geographical area. It’s pro-privacy and also includes a community events calendar where you could potentially add your own events to attract new business.
Getting started: First, you should check if Nextdoor is available in your market. If you’re interested in exploring more, Hootsuite has a comprehensive guide for businesses who want to join Nextdoor to connect with their communities.
What is it? TikTok is a video-sharing app that lets users create and upload short videos on any topic. It boasts 1 billion active monthly users and is particularly popular with Gen Z.
How can it help with new client acquisition? TikTok’s users are very active, spending an average of 95 minutes each day on the app. If you’re interested in exploring how creating informational videos could fit into your acquisition marketing, TikTok is custom-made for that approach. It’s worth mentioning that there is a lot of content on the platform from self-proclaimed health and wellness “experts” offering advice on everything from nutrition to weight loss to hormone management. This could offer you an opportunity to lean into a content tilt, such as myth-busting in your niche, but you should go in knowing it will take time to gain traction and break through the noise. Proceed with caution and a willingness to potentially live with low likes and views for a while.
Getting started: There’s a particular style of video that resonates best on TikTok. This means you can’t just reuse video from a virtual webinar – you’ll need to make videos that work natively in the platform. If you’re interested in exploring TikTok further, you can get advice directly from people who are using TikTok to grow their small business.
A final note on new client acquisition strategy
The great news is there are more online channels than ever you can leverage for new client acquisition. The sobering reality is that trying to be active on too many of these channels will quickly become overwhelming and burn you out. Creating a vibrant, active community online will never be set-it-and-forget-it. Before you launch on any platform you should take time to map out a profile of your ideal new clients and understand where they like to spend time online to help determine where to focus. Then make sure you have a strategy in place for keeping content fresh, moderating conversations, answering questions, and encouraging conversions.
Finally, don’t forget that your website is an extremely important channel when you’re considering how to get clients. Not only does it showcase who you are, what you do, and how you can serve clients, but you have full creative control over how your information is displayed. You can also add social proof in the form of testimonials from existing clients (Practice Better clients can collect via an automated form or by using a booking widget directly to your services in Practice Better–just make sure your profession allows it). No matter which online channels ultimately become a part of your acquisition marketing, make sure you’re always including links to funnel your audience back to your own website to convert more of your engaged audience into paying clients.
Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness professionals. Streamline your practice and begin your 14-day free trial today.
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