WIIFM? Marketing your Therapy Business – What’s in it for Me?

‘WIIFM?’ is an acronym for ‘What’s In It For Me?

“What’s in it for me?’ – is a question to keep reminding yourself as a complementary therapy business owner. Or in fact any business owner.

It is the question that is going through your potential patient’s (client’s) mind.

It is the motivation for them spending even 30 seconds minutes reading your advert, leaflet or website content. Instead of not crunching it up and tossing it away, or clicking away on that Facebook notification.

A potential patient is looking for an answer to a specific problem. It is a specific problem unique to them. And the questions running through their head is – can your particular therapy treat my particular disease? Do you know about my particular disease Have you treated it before?

And if they feel you have answered that question affirmatively, they will bridge the gap and contact you.

The disease or problem can be anything. You can’t answer every question or fix every problem. But you can selectively choose which question you can answer and which problem you can deal with.

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) adverts and text books, you often see long lists of conditions of what an acupuncture or herbal medicine can treat.

These lists are somewhat formulaic and generic and are not enough to convince a potential customer. But at least they’ve got the right idea. However, the potential customer wants something more convincing. They need to be sold a little more.

They want to know if you have treated that particular problem before. They would like to hear stories or even feedback. They will pay more attention if you specialise in that particular problem.  They would like to hear explanations of what causes this disease in the theoretical framework of your therapy.  Even if they don’t fully understand it, it will open up a new avenue of healing possibility for them to explore.

How do they know you are the person who has the potential solution to their problem? Easy – you tell them about it. You write about it. You give short, confidential examples of you treating that problem.

Of course, you are not allowed to say you can ‘cure’ any particular problem. Only the Scientific medical system is allowed to say that (even when they don’t). But you can share your experience or knowledge or specialisation for that particular problem.

Then a potential patient will pay attention, because you are answering that one question – WIIFM – What’s in it for me?

complementary therapy business

It easy to get caught up in the poetics of your therapy. Whatever your therapy is. For acupuncturists you may get hung up on writing about qi, or ki, or the seasons,  and the right foods you should eat, or your experiences in a clinic with a particular teacher. But who cares? Other than other acupuncturists. And even then, they probably still don’t care.

What you need to think about is what does your potential customers want to hear? What are they looking for? – What is their – ‘What’s in it for me? (WIIFM)’ question?

Always think about who your customers are? Who’s your target audience? And what are they are looking for? It is the basis for every successful business.

Don’t write about how tai chi is good for the flow of ki energy in your body. (Ki – what?) Or how regular massage helps you feel relaxed. (So too can cigarettes and alcohol, and sex). It means nothing to most people.

Instead write about how your Tai chi lessons helps improve arthritis and can be carried out by over 60s. Or how about how your massage sessions can help release frozen shoulder and severe neck pain. Or how your therapy can help regulate the emotions, reduce depression, heck even help them deal with narcissist parents (if it’s true). And give some examples or case studies. Also dig up some research on the topic to give it credence.

By doing so, clients with arthritis or frozen shoulder or neck pain will pay attention. They will see you as the guy or gal with the answer to their question.

That is one example of answering the – ‘What’s in it for Me? (WIIFM)’ question.

So when designing a leaflet, or flyer, article or website content, always think about this question from the potential patient/client/customers point of view: WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?

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Marketing or Skills: Which should you focus on for a Complementary Therapy Business?

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