Word of Mouth Marketing

There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde

Over the past episodes, I have been speaking with hypnotherapists from South Africa and from around the world. I have found it extremely interesting and enlightening, especially how they market themselves. It seems like word of mouth is the way to go.

I usually follow the same general set of questions. Sometimes I go off track as an interesting fact is highlighted. In this way, I have learned much about Past Life Regressions (PLR), an aspect I have not really explored in my practice. I have heard how some people use social media differently to the rest of us. I have also been learning about fields such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Understanding the business of hypnosis

One aspect that is of great interest to me, is the business side of hypnosis. It is not something covered to any degree in the training I underwent. Much of what I know I learned from a few books and through trial and error.

I used to depend a lot on Google AdWords. Great was my surprise to learn from Sharon Dill that Google no longer allows hypnotherapists to use this effective marketing technique. I used to get many clients by advertising my business this way. It was disheartening to learn that they are refusing ads from hypnosis practitioners.

The reason why Google is not accepting our ads is very odd. Apparently, we fall under “Addictions”, and they do not allow any advertising for addictions. How they got to the conclusion that hypnotherapy = addictions beats me. We will probably never know why they have decided this.

So how do my colleagues advertise themselves? All of them have websites, and a good website with enough content will organically rank highly. Even if it does not feature on page one of Google results, a person who is interested in hypnosis will keep on searching until they find a site that interests them. Google searches don’t seem to discriminate against us (yet.)

Word of Mouth

What I found most interesting is that every single person I have interviewed so far have told me that they are almost 100% dependent on word of mouth (WOM). Past clients who have achieved their goals using hypnosis have been talking to their friends and family about it. They have stopped smoking, reduced their weight, solved their phobias, released past traumas, or have achieved other kinds of progress using hypnosis. They are happy to share their progress. This is organic WOM and is the best kind, because it means people are happy enough with the service to recommend it.

(I got two referrals in the last month through clients that saw me more than five years ago!)

Up to 92% of people have a high level of trust when somebody they know talk about and recommend a service provider. Brands that make a big emotional impact on their customers have a three times higher chance of being recommended by WOM.

It is no surprise then that so many people who are in business, including hypnotherapists, are planning to spend more on both online and offline WOM awareness.

How to increase word of mouth

One way of increasing online WOM is through social media. It has become a staple of most people’s online media diet. Getting reviews is a great way of doing it, and some 88% of people will trust these. Another way of doing it is building campaigns that will amplify WOM. These include writing articles and posting videos. This is termed Amplified WOM.

We live in a world where most people no longer believe adverts but rather accept the opinions of family and friends. It is clear that WOM is the most valuable marketing any hypnotherapist can get. The only problem is what to do if you are just starting out and have nobody to talk about you yet?

Getting an article in a local paper or magazine might help kickstart your WOM. You might consider going on a radio program and talk about what you do. Podcasting is another great way of doing it.

The absolutely best way is to give your clients a “wow” experience, one that they will share with the people close to them. It might take some time, but as long as you keep providing an excellent service, the word will start spreading. Soon you won’t be able to keep up with all the clients!

Need some clever content to help kickstart your WOM campaign? Let Baird.Media help you. Contact them today.

To book a hypnosis session with me, visit my website.

Why I Started the Hypnosis Works! Podcast

How do you learn more about hypnosis when you haven’t been in practice for a few years? You talk to other hypnotherapists, of course!

I qualified as a non-medical hypnotherapist early in 2011 and started practicing in Pretoria. I soon saw many clients presenting with a great many problems and issues and I threw myself totally into helping them. I found that I really enjoyed helping people to stop smoking. I used to be a smoker myself and felt I understood what a person goes through when they want to stop smoking. I researched the topic and developed my own approach which seemed to work very well and I received many referrals from people who have successfully stopped smoking.

My practice was thriving, but then disaster struck. I had a myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack. Heart problems run in the family and my risk factor was increased by 20 years of smoking and not looking after my fitness and health. I spent almost six weeks in hospital and survived double bypass surgery.

It was a tough time, especially financially, as I was not earning while in hospital, and when I eventually came back home, I almost immediately had to start seeing clients again. Obviously, my energy levels were very low, as the recovery took a few weeks, but had no choice. It seemed that the clients were not coming in the numbers they had previously because I was not putting the same amount of effort into the practice.

Desperation is a great motivator, so I decided to explore my love of food by starting a food stall at the Neighborgoods Market. Catering to a vegetarian taste is not very profitable and this endeavor did not last very long.

Then I get involved in an online radio station and within a month of volunteering there, it took over my life. The radio station moved into the house I was renting and became a 24-hour commitment. It took over my life and hypnotherapy became a part-time concern, seeing clients as and when they came. I come from a Drama background, so radio was an interesting challenge. I soon realised I needed more knowledge and enrolled in a Master’s degree in Media and Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).

The course took two years to complete on a part-time basis, while working full time at the radio and still seeing hypnosis clients on the side. You can imagine how exhausting it was doing all of these things at the same time. At the end of 2018, when I was finishing off the degree, I decided to relocate to Cape Town with the ambition of establishing a presence for the radio station there.

Starting a business without substantial capital is never a good idea and working in online radio proved to be a great challenge, to the point where the business could not be sustained. Advertisers did not yet understand the medium and that directly impacted the income possibilities. I did my best to find a job and unfortunately found myself associated with a dishonest businessman, so by the end of 2019, I realized that my time in Cape Town was going to be cut short.

Through a good stroke of luck, I found a temporary opportunity back in Pretoria and during 2020 I managed to find my feet again. Of course, Covid-19 happened, which impacted our lives through the lockdown. This resulted in a time of deep introspection for me and I had to seriously think about what is really important for me, what my purpose, values, and goals are.

I realised that my passion was still with hypnosis and helping people, so decided to reopen the hypnotherapy practice. I have also had a lifelong ambition to use my writing skills on a more full-time basis and wanted to give expression through this medium too. And so I started 2021 with the ambition to restart the hypnotherapy business but felt that there was a lot I still needed to learn.

And what better way t learn than to chat with other people who have the same passion and skills as you do and who have valuable information o share? And so I started searching for hypnosis practitioners from around the world who would be willing to chat with m so hat I could deepen my understanding of the modality and how people work to help people.

Hypnotherapists usually work on their own and there is limited platforms where we can learn from on another. A podcast would be insightful for working hypnotherapists, so that was a second motivation for embarking on this project.

At the same time, I feel there are so many misconceptions that the general public has about hypnosis and thought that the content would be enlightening, serving an educational purpose.

And wow! How interesting is is turning out to be!

So far I have interviewed 21 people and am lining up more for the future. Episodes are published weekly and as you listen to what has been published so far and what is coming up over the next few months, you might be surprised by how many similarities there are between people who use hypnosis to help people, no matter where in the world they are working.

In next articles, I will delve more into what I am learning and what new information has come to me, whether it is about the business aspects of running a hypnosis practice, how to use social media, the processes that are used, and how Covid-10 has changed not only how hypnosis services are delivered, but also how it is affecting people.

Having a podcast channel is a lot of work in and of itself and I am learning a huge amount about the back-end processes, feeding into my recent Media and Journalism degree. It has also led to realising that there are many small businesses that work in niche markets and we are developing products to help such businesses based on what I have learned in the past few years.

I trust you will enjoy meeting the various hypnotherapists as much as I have and that you will find what they talk about as fascinating and insightful as I am. There is a new episode every Thursday, so make sure you subscribe.

I am still seeing clients, so if I can help you, please let me know.

You can also find a hypnotist closer to you.