Branding is not just for corporations. Branding is a way to direct your career and attract the kind of clients you want to work with. It is how you will be perceived in the marketplace, and just like as everything else, it is important to re-evaluate your branding every once in a while. For over a year I have talked about wellness becoming a focus of my practice. I am currently fine tuning my brand to reflect this. For example my business name has evolved from Time Well Spent – Therapeutic Massage and Spa to Time Well Spent – Massage and Wellness Exchange.
One of the reasons for doing this is spa has become diluted by lots of businesses in my market calling themselves a spa. Most of them have no resemblance to my practice and I do not wish to be lumped with them. So what’s a girl to do after investing over 20 years in identifying with therapeutic spa as a primary modality? You adjust the brand while still staying authentic and keeping my beloved spa treatments.
Here are four generally recognized steps in developing a brand that can be used to re-evaluate:
1. Identify what makes you unique and what your strengths are. How do people identify you? How do clients describe you when referring people to you? I always advise that if someone else can pick up your brochure and plug their name into it, you’re not finished.
2. Identify your passions. Never stop learning and fine-tuning. Chart and execute a plan to move from novice to expert. Continuing education is not just about reportable hours. Be creative in your choices.
3. Be authentic in your style. Your values, persona, passions, and focus should be consistent but not set in stone. Over the years it will change as you mature and gain knowledge. My renewed focus on wellness allows me to maintain my love of therapeutic spa and indigenous traditions as well as my passion for teaching. But it requires that I take my knowledge to a new level and expand my understanding. It also challenges me to be more cognizant of the mind body connection in the treatment room.
4. Teach others, whether it’s the professional community, community at large or clients. I always tell my educators that teaching will never pay as much as practicing but it will make you a better therapist. At the very least you can use social media as a simple way to communicate and enlighten others.
Once you have decided on your brand it’s time to create a brand statement. Go back to step one and list at least 5 attributes that identify your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) or makes you stand out from the competition. What value do you provide? Who is your target client? Create one or two sentences that reflect your answers. Remember it should grab attention like a business card.
Here is my work in progress: Time Well Spent is dedicated to servicing clients who are serious about results and are seeking treatment sessions that are an investment in their quality of life. Every session is custom designed so that each minute spent with us has value, an esthetic component and answers directly to the client’s wellness goals. We integrate restorative massage, innovative techniques and indigenous modalities to deliver the therapeutic benefits of relaxation and rejuvenation.
As you can see I am still working on getting it down to two sentences. But you get the idea. I promise you it’s worth the effort.
Be well, Do good work, and write to us about your branding choices.