How I built my homeopathic practice in 6 months using Facebook-marketing
It was in June 2014 when I graduated as a homeopath after 6 years of study. Apart from the patients I saw during my internship, and some friends I was treating, I didn’t see any patients at all. I didn’t bother that much at that time for I still had a very good paying job as a self-employed secretary at an offshore company. It was my intention to gradually build my practice besides my job and then to quit the job in a year or 2.
However, faith decided differently. In October 2014 I lost my job due to internal reorganization in the company. So there I was, without any sort of income overnight! I had a little financial reserve which was just enough to survive for 3 months if the amount of patients would remain the same (hardly), so I decided to immediately start advertising and promoting my practice. I advertised 3 times in the local newspapers which cost me about 600 euro’s; and I designed some very fancy and glossy flyers, offering a discount at the first appointment. I had 5000 pieces printed and spent 4 days spreading them throughout the neighborhood. Then I started waiting for calls. But….the phone didn’t ring.
I got a little depressed. I wanted to work, I wanted to help people and see them getting happier. But I couldn’t do it as a homeopath without any patients. So I decided to start blogging, for I wanted to do something useful to fill my days with, and I happen to like writing. I blogged about my daily life, sometimes funny stories, sometimes a little sad stories. People reading my blog posts were very enthusiastic and I got quite some followers over the following weeks. It didn’t bring in any money but at least it raised my energy level and I didn’t feel depressed anymore.
Because I spent quite some time on social media I was notified that an English homeopath, called Alan Freestone, had started a Facebook group called ‘Homeopathic Practice Building’. I didn’t hesitate and joined the group the same evening he created it. That was on May 21st of 2015, I will never forget that date for it was a huge turning point in how I was building my practice.
Alan told his own success-story and encouraged us to do the same. Shortly he said: find a niche and change the text on your website. People are not searching for ‘homeopathy’ when they want a problem to be solved; they type in the name of the problem! Then, make a ‘hub-list’ of 100 ‘hubs’ of your niche, for example, Facebook groups or forums. Then offer your services for free. Do a ‘free-trial’, and when your treatment is successful people will start referring to you.
And so I choose a niche. I like working with babies and so I choose: Crybabies. I became a member of several Facebook groups on this subject, and was just one of the members, not the homeopath. I showed my empathy, participated in discussions, and sometimes told a little about my own experience as a mum of a crybaby.
Meanwhile I had renewed my whole website and my Facebook page, and I still was blogging. Not about my personal life anymore, but about homeopathy. I shared success-stories and promoted those blog posts on Facebook, using Facebook Ads. I also promoted my page in order to get more likes. And this is how I started creating my own community.
People were starting to find me. At the end of June, I had the first week where I did 10 consultations!! That was more than I used to do in 3 months!!
Then I started to do a free trial. In my ‘Crybaby-groups’ I asked mothers to help me refining my skills in treating crybabies. I asked them to participate in a 3 week project in which I would try to help their baby. I got LOTS of responses, but ended up only treating 5 babies. However, all these 5 cases were successful! The babies changed into happy babies within 3 weeks! And the mums started talking about me in these groups!
That was back in August. I still get lots of enquiries and new patients because of that free trial!
Meanwhile I had changed my niche into treating Autism with homeopathy. Working with so many crybabies was pretty intense! But, as a matter of fact, choosing a niche is just a marketing trick!
I get lots of patients now, of all ages and with different complaints. I’m treating chronic fatigue, migraine, allergies, female problems, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. etc. And that is all because I am blogging about these subjects. People find me on Google and make appointments!
I keep working on growing my amount of ‘fans’ on Facebook. I have 1175 ‘quality-likes’ now which I partly generated by promoting my page and partly grew organically. When I advertise a new blog post I choose only the people who like my page and their friends as a target group. Imagine how many people see my posts then!
I also do mini-courses regularly. I do these at home. I teach people how to work with the first-aid kit using the reader I have created for that. These courses are very intimate. I have room for 5 people for I do them at my kitchen table. Last year I had 6 groups (so 30 participants in total) and afterwards they become a member of the Facebook group I created for this. They share their experiences there, upload ‘before and after’ pictures, ask for help and-or help each other. So this is another way of creating my own group of ‘fans’ and it is even more intimate for I have seen everybody personally. Lots of these people make appointments too or refer people to me. They share my blog posts and when they upload before and after pictures, I ask them if I can publish those on my page which is always okay for them. So that’s another way of marketing my practice, and the remarkable results homeopathy can have.
Growing my Facebook page and maintaining it in a smart way (i.e. make sure I stay high up in the Facebook ranking so my posts will be seen by as many people possible) is something I learned from Amy Porterfield. I did her online course ‘Fire-start your business with Facebook’ and it has helped me a lot.
It’s a lot of work but it pays off! I just had a look at my agenda. A year ago I was kind of desperate and had 4 patients during the whole month of January. Now I have 24 appointments so far this month and it has only just begun! I’m very greatful to Alan Freestone who told me to get out of my comfort zone into Social Media! In 6 months I have accomplished what lots of homeopaths achieve in a few years!
About the author:
Saskia Praat: About 30 years ago, when I was a nurse in elderly-care, I used to be devastated by the amount of medication my patients were taking every single day. Every pill had side effects that were treated by another pill, and part of my job was sorting these pills out in little boxes, divided in time-sections over the day. This made it a little easier for these old people to not get confused and being at risk of taking too much, too little, or at the wrong time. These little boxes filled with pills in all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes looked like little candy-boxes. I was wondering if this was a proper way to get old.
At the same time, my son got lots of antibiotics because of recurrent ear-infections. After his first vaccination he was ill a lot of the time. At that time I didn’t make the connection between the vaccination and his complaints. I did worry about all these antibiotics though. I thought: ‘This can’t be the way nature intended us to live; there must be another, healthier, more natural way to heal.’
Both my private and work circumstances forced me to look for other ways of healing. I took my son to a homeopath and was struck by the effects of this little sugar pill!!! My son never had to take any antibiotics again and besides that, he seemed to be so balanced and happy!
Besides my job as a nurse, I started to study several methods of natural healing like Reiki, Bach Flower remedies, Scenartherapy, and Shamanic healing. In fact, these were all surrogates for studying homeopathy. I always thought I wouldn’t be able to follow through such a long and intensive study. However, at the age of 47 I decided to start studying homeopathy anyway, for I didn’t want to regret not doing it when I would be at the end of my life.
It’s the best thing I ever did. I graduated in June 2014 and my practice is thriving. Being a homeopath is like finally having found my destination. I treat lots of people including my grandson who is a very healthy 3yr old boy now. He never needed antibiotics or any other harmful medication, for homeopathy has been able to help him through any kind of health issue he had to deal with in his yet short life.
The rest of my life, however long that will be, will be filled with practicing homeopathy and helping people to become the best they can be, even though the number of patients will decrease a little as I get older 🙂