CONSOLIDATING RESOURCES / SIMPLIFYING
I love my work as I am sure most of you do. No matter how much you love what you do you must, of course, be able to make a living at it if you want to do it as a profession. One way I have found to maximize my efforts is through a multipurpose brochure. With a brochure like the one I will describe, you can help both your clients and yourself . You can reduce your workload and decrease your chance of “Burn Out” from wearing the many hats that self employed professionals must often wear…(therapist, publicist, spokesperson, ad exec., etc.). You can focus more energy on your work. As well, your clients will be better prepared and more receptive to therapy.
DESIGNING A GREAT BROCHURE
The brochure I use is in a constant state of evolution. It keeps getting better as time goes by (with regular subtle changes). The basic concept I use is simple… Allow your brochure to accomplish these 3 functions:
Let prospective clients see who you are and what you do. The cover should include catch phrases and power words that will captivate their interest. Keep it simple. Large print that can be read from a distance is best for the cover page. The cover should only include enough information to peak the person’s curiosity. The purpose of the cover is to get them to open the brochure and read what is inside. A photo of yourself is great to include in the brochure too. With a photo, prospective clients are immediately associating a face with the information provided within, or with the voice on the telephone. You are now a visible, tangible person instead of a commodity, business, or thing.
- Educate and dispel fears:
After all these years, it is still surprising to me how many misconceptions there still are about hypnosis. Many people don’t pick up the phone and call for information simply because they already believe their skewed impressions about hypnosis (often resulting in unfounded fears) are true and accurate. I’m sure you all know what I am talking about. In my office, on the street, in my workshops, with friends, and in dealing with people in other areas of business, I am constantly reminded of the inaccurate perceptions people have of hypnosis. These inaccurate perceptions often prevent potential clients from even making the initial contact call. As a matter of curiosity, however, they will pick up and read a well written, informative, and eye-catching brochure.
This brochure can and should be friendly, it should calm fears, educate, and inspire. I include primarily basic information on how hypnosis works and an abundance of information designed specifically to dispel fears. As well, I provide some information about myself and about my professional philosophy. This creates a rapport with the prospective client even before we talk on the phone or meet face to face. To some extent, the prospective client already feels he or she knows me, and is comfortable with me… even at this early stage. This is a tremendous benefit in session and will increase your success rate.
- Provide a “Pre”-Pre-Talk (So that in effect, your office pre-talk reinforces the written pre-talk).
If compounding or reinforcement are important in establishing durable suggestions in hypnosis, why should we assume this principle to be less important when acquiring new clients. Your brochure should act as your “pre”-pre-talk. When this is done, your office pre-talk will reinforce, or compound the ideas and suggestions that your client has already read in your brochure. As well, printed material is very powerful. For example, look at how many people believe the outrageous stories in many tabloids (e.g. woman gives birth to child who is half giraffe.) . If people will believe ridiculous tabloid information, it is logical to assume that they are even more likely to believe the honest, rational, intelligent, and factual material that is presented in a professional manner within your brochure. By using your brochure as a Pre-Pre-Talk new clients are already prepared for hypnosis, to a significant degree, when they come into your office for the first time… Even prior to your intake and pre-talk.
Our profession is now emerging from the shadowy image (thanks to Count Dracula and other negative movie impressions) that it once had . We are finally gaining public acceptance. I remember thirty, twenty, even ten years ago, to some extent, many people thought that acupuncture and chiropractic were quackery. In the same way that acupuncture and chiropractic have emerged as wonderful and healthful tools, hypnosis is on the road to being accepted by the main stream public. We owe it to our profession and to our colleagues to represent our profession with dignity. Your brochure should be designed with that in mind. Here are some ways that you can accomplish that:
- Make your brochure factual, honest, and keep all promises/client expectations realistic. Making claims that hypnosis can remedy problems that it cannot or that it can remedy problems that should rightfully be handled by another type of practitioner will make you appear to be dishonest and a charlatan.
- Stay away from circus theatrics or implications of mystic powers. These claims will put the image of our profession back 100 years.
- Keep it simple. Use words that everyone can understand, not professional jargon. This will help give the reader a sense of comfort and confidence. This is not the time to show how smart you are, it is a time to help a potential client feel comfortable about approaching you.
HOW TO PUBLISH A GOOD BROCHURE INEXPENSIVELY
If you have a computer and a good publishing program you’re set. I use Microsoft Publisher but there are many good programs that are similar. One advantage of generating your brochure on your PC is that you can modify and update it when you get new ideas for a better brochure. I use the three fold brochure format/template in the program itself. The three fold brochures are easier to carry, place, mail and store. There are inexpensive plastic stands available at any good office supply outlet that are great for displaying your brochures neatly and professionally.
The next step is to take a high quality printout of your brochure to a local copy center. These centers are generally cheaper than conventional printers because of the volume of work they do. The copies are of a satisfactory quality for brochures. I go to the local Office Max, but there are many other such franchise chains that will do a good job for you. For one thousand, two sided, pre-folded brochures, with a photo, I pay around $70.00. My return on this investment has been substantial.
If you have all the free time in the world, you may feel that you don’t need a multipurpose brochure. You may feel that you have the time to wear the many hats often needed to run a practice. Then again, if you have all the time in the world, you probably are not working with too many clients and would therefore benefit greatly from such a marketing tool. If you are working with many clients, this might be a good way to economize your time. Either way… It’s something to consider. These brochures have served me very well.