Developing Clients and Students for Your Reiki Business Part 1
CREATING AND NURTURING a meaningful relation- ship with the people who come to us for Reiki sessions and classes is key to the ongoing success of a profession- al Reiki practice. Emails, newsletters, and social media are 21st century methods of doing this. In this article, Karen and Colleen talk about the concept of business relationships and the technol- ogy available to help you share the positive benefits of Reiki with your clients and students that extends beyond your session space and classroom.
In addition to building a one-on-one relationship with their clients and students in sessions and classes, Colleen and Karen have found that the additional methods they use to increase com- munication creates a Reiki community; it unites people, and gives them a welcome sense of belonging. Reiki clients and stu- dents are a diverse group of people who share the common goal of creating wellness in the world. Uniting into a community pro- vides a wonderful benefit for them by creating a greater sense of fulfillment and meaning to the work they do. In addition, it allows people to fulfill an important human need by providing a method of expressing the love each has for the others in their group. “We also love thinking about new ways to stay in touch with everyone. And we love that technology gives us the ability to do this efficiently.”
Why Communicate and How to Communicate
It is important that you continually communicate the ways in which you meet the needs of your clients and students from their first encounter with you and throughout your association with them as this will increase their appreciation of the service you provide for them. Like the recipients of any other type of busi- ness, a Reiki client or student will go through stages of relation- ship with you: the prospect, the first time client or student, the repeat client or student and finally the advocate. Effective com- munication will encourage the prospective client or student to become not only an ongoing client or student but eventually also your advocate with other prospective clients and students.
Methods of communication include your website, emails, newsletters, social media, Reiki circles, videos and more. For instance, Colleen develops prospects and stays in touch with her
clients and students through her podcast ReikiChat.TM1 “I include a monthly teleconference where people from all over the US and other countries call in at the same time, and we talk about Reiki.” Be creative. It is fun to consider and create new ways to stay in touch and develop and engage your Reiki community. “If necessary, we also hire people with more knowledge and ideas than we have to teach us how to use the technology available in today’s world.”
Your style of communication is also important. Be authentic, honest, transparent, consistent and informative in the content you write for your website, social media, newsletters, etc. Practice what the industry calls “Inbound Marketing.” Traditional “Out- bound Marketing” focuses on going where clients live and inter- rupting their day to show them products and services. When you practice inbound marketing, clients come to you. It is commonly known as ‘“pull-marketing” as opposed to “push-marketing.” This can be achieved by creating really valuable content that solves your client’s real-world problems.2 It keeps the conversation going by giving clients useful content as opposed to sales-oriented con- tent. For example, people want to know about Reiki and how Reiki can help them in their lives—how Reiki will meet their needs as well as how to use Reiki and how to develop their Reiki practices. When your communications address these kinds of questions, people are more interested in your services and what you offer. They will more likely return to your website or Face- book page when you provide them with valuable information.
Effective Communication Methods
We are fortunate to have technology to help us create efficient methods of communicating with our Reiki students and clients. Email service providers (ESP) such as MailChimp and Constant Contact give us the ability to send emails to large number of clients at once to provide them with useful information. The email services provide list management to keep track of contacts in specialized lists, customized professional templates, the ability to schedule the time the email is sent automatically and the abil- ity to track the success of emails through the provider’s analytics.
Colleen uses MailChimp and Karen uses Constant Con- tact. Colleen uses her email service provider to separate her email lists into specific categories for the various points of information she wants to communicate. She has created tem- plates for each purpose so that she only has to create them once and then simply tweak them for an individual situation. She has email templates that she sends before each class with the information the students need, such as time, location, parking, confirmation of their attendance, the name they want on their Reiki certificate and whether they need Con- tact Hours for the class. She also asks them to bring their lunch and to come to the class perfume free. In a follow-up email, she sends the class roster and music lists and links her Reiki resources as well as links to other things discussed in class such as the World Peace Grid meditation, articles, the NW Reiki Association, the ICRT, etc. Each of these is already created as a template so she only has to change a few things, and then there they are, ready to send.
Colleen and Karen have created a PowerPoint presentation which gives examples of what they have described here. You can see it on YouTube.com. Type Colleen Benelli Reiki Lifestyle or Karen Harrison Reiki on www.YouTube.com to see the PowerPoint. It will show you how easy the technology can be to use.
Karen has used Constant Contact for years for her Reiki cir- cle and newsletters. They have great customer support, even designing a mobile-friendly template for her based on the images from her website to keep her brand consistent. The program is easy to use, and they also have tutorials and classes in places all around the US. After sending an email, there is an option to post the information directly to social media, which is a nice time-saving feature.
Karen has custom templates that she uses for various purposes and can modify as needed. Her email lists are divided by the states in which she teaches so that potential students only receive class information for their state. In her monthly newsletter, she shares an article she has written, a video she has made or ques- tions and answers from students followed by a list of all her class- es at the bottom. On her signup list, there is an option to only receive the monthly newsletter for students who have already had all the levels of classes. Similarly to Colleen, Karen sends out a welcome email for her classes and a follow-up email with the class roster, class pictures and information about the student Facebook page as well as how to sign up for it. In the student Facebook page, students can ask for Reiki, share experiences, ask questions and get answers from multiple people.
Karen also uses Constant Contact’s event registration pro- gram, called EventSpot, which seamlessly integrates her email and online class registration. When students sign up for a class online, they have the option to join her email list. EventSpot’s registration can be customized so that vital information is cap- tured such as the name desired on the certificate, CEs needed, a need to use a payment plan or whether students have a massage table that they can bring to class, which is useful information for Karen when she is teaching in other cities.
Colleen also uses MailChimp for her newsletters, a communi- cation tool that she feels is one of the best ways to develop and stay in touch with her students, clients and others in her Reiki commu- nity. Colleen and Karen wrote about the marketing benefits of newsletters in their article “Reiki Business Practices” in the Sep- tember 2015 issue of Reiki News Magazine.3 In this article they out- lined the value of newsletters for maintaining contact and relation- ships with their Reiki community. When creating your emails and newsletters, consider them as a way to provide resources and infor- mation rather than as a way to increase “sales” of your services. They are not focused on sales. The marketing benefit comes from the ongoing relationship you create with your students and clients.
Sometimes, though, the purpose of an email is to inform pre- vious students of future classes. These would be considered sales- oriented emails and it is fine to send them (students do want to be informed of class dates and opportunities). In this case, you want to make sure that your subject line for the email is clear. Overall, just remember that the main purpose of your client/stu- dent correspondence is to create a meaningful relationship. So be mindful of the balance of communication between sales-directed and relationship building emailings with the far greater emphasis on relationship building ones.
To summarize, in online correspondence, think about how you can support your Reiki community, provide resources and offer relevant information on a regular basis.
When creating a subject line, make sure it is clear and to the point so the recipient immediately knows the purpose of the communication. In addition, whenever you are creating content, it is important to make sure that the content you send delivers the promise of the subject line. Remember, you are building rela- tionships online and people need to trust you in order to be will- ing to open what you send.
Colleen originally started her ReikiChatTM when she discov- ered that many people could be on the phone at the same time through teleconferencing.4 It is free for her and free for the callers (as long as they have free long distance). She thought it would be a great way to create an online Reiki Circle that could accommo- date her students who live far away—to stay in touch and answer questions. It has turned into much more than she imagined! Peo- ple join the call from all over the US and other countries in the world. They talk about all things Reiki, and she has guests who share their information. Over 4,500 people are registered for her ReikiChatTM. She ended up turning it into a podcast on iTunes, and they are archived on her website. She is currently working with her daughter, Robyn Benelli, to offer more podcasts. Robyn is an example of someone she hired because Robyn is tech savvy, knows the current trends and is a Holy Fire II Reiki Master who has grown up with Reiki. She has all of the skills Colleen needs to provide the information she wants to share with her readers, listeners and viewers.
- Set up the conference at www.freeconferencing.com
- Establish an email list for those who want to participate
- Create an email template to send a request for Reiki questions
- Create an email template to send follow-up informationafter the call
- Set the dates and times
- Send an email with the information about the call andrequest questions
- Start the call on the scheduled date
- Record the call
- Send a follow-up email including the recording and linksto the information coveredColleen says, that ReikiChatTM truly warms my heart every time I use it. I love this ability to connect with the Reiki community. I often have people tell me that it is the only way they can be together with other Reiki people. I offer a meditation/invoca- tion at the beginning of every call in order to unite our circle and then we talk about Reiki! I often have guest speakers on who have unique information to provide for us all. Other times we just have Q & A sessions and people ask questions and offer solutions and suggestions.I encourage you to try this with your students. You can offer it to your students alone or allow anyone to join. I allow anyone who
wants to join to do so and encourage it. It is so much fun when we introduce ourselves at the beginning of the call and see where everyone is from. Find a unique name for your teleconferences that suits you and that distinguishes yours from anyone else’s to avoid confusion. The teleconference call is very rewarding and an excellent way to build relationships with your students and other Reiki practitioners.
You can create your own teleconference calls that enable you to talk with groups of your clients at once. You may choose to use this technology for your clients and students or you may do as Colleen did and open it up to the public and anyone who wants to join. Again, Karen and Colleen have created a PowerPoint that describes in detail how to use the technology available so you can create your own teleconference calls with your Reiki clients.
Where to From Here?
We hope that we have given you many ideas that will help you establish or increase your efforts to create better and even more meaningful communication opportunities with your Reiki clients and students through the use of emails, newslet- ters and online conversations. In Part 2, we will expand these possibilities with a discussion of how to make use of social media applications such as YouTube. Look for Part 2 in the Winter 2016 issue of Reiki News Magazine. 1
Part II: Facebook and YouTube Marketing will appear in the winter issue.