1. Word of mouth
Without doubt the most powerful medium for promoting floatation and raising awareness and is interestingly also the cheapest to administer. Two-thirds of your referrals should come from word of mouth. Here are a couple of books which we believe make essential reading:
- The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
- Talk is Cheap: Promoting Your Business Through Word of Mouth Advertising
2. Facebook / Social Networking
Again another wonderful device for promoting your floatation centre, and unless you enter in to pay per click advertising on Facebook it’s a free service. Set up a fans page and make sure you write something relevant to stress relief, pain control, relaxation etc., or perhaps run competitions for free sessions. Encourage your fans / followers to “like” your posts and watch your following grow. Encourage your customers to join in and get people talking / interacting.
3. Business to Business promotions
There are lots of businesses in your area – such a gyms / hotels / estate agents etc., who have their own customers – speak to these businesses and offer their customers a discount at your floatation centre and you might find in turn that they will offer your customers a discount too. A win win situation for both companies. Invite people from the local area: (for free) people who connect / talk with people – such as hairdressers / bar men / post office delivery guys – they talk to the local community, if they like it they’ll tell their friends, colleagues and customers.
4. Write letters to Radio / TV and Newspaper journalists:
The cost is only a stamp and an envelope (cheap) do this every month and try a find a new angle each time – write down every health editor and journalist address that you can gather from all the publications you can find. Keep the letter to one page and always include a picture. Journalists are usually lazy and look for something unique and interesting to write about… floatation ticks all the boxes – Invite them in for a freebie and if you supply them with relevant information in a concise and clear manner then chances are they’ll do a story.
There are literally millions of people who write commentaries on their lives, descriptions of events, reviews on health, wellness and local activities. These blogs often have thousands of followers. Invite the writers of these blogs in for a complimentary session. If they like what you do they’ll write a review and more importantly recommend what you do to thousands of people.
6. Youtube / Vimeo
Make a video post in on YouTube and other video sharing websites – and then drive people through to look at it – include links on your website and all your emails. Once posted online a video will stay there for ever making for another free advert for your business.
7. Pick up the phone
Speak to human resources departments at large local companies and invite them in for free session. Lots of firms have staff off on long term sick leave whom they have to pay and also cover their positions with temporary staff. Promise them that you will get their staff well again make them a no win no fee offer – you can afford to do that because as you probably know and empty tank costs just as much to run as one with someone in it.
8. Have an open day
In fact have many open days .. Invite different groups of people from your local area. Do all the people in your street know who you are? If not invite them down now. Think groups – business people / sports people / meditation practitioners / therapists / doctors etc.
Pay as much as you can afford for your website, use lots of good pictures and positive comments from the press and your customers. Update the information on your website on a regular basis as the search engine love this.
A relatively cost-effective way to get lots of information across to your customers, again use good pictures, good feedback and press quotes. Print 10 of thousands and get them distributed everywhere: through doors, on windshields, outside train stations – just get them everywhere you can. When The Floatworks first started out with 2 tanks and we used to print between 75,000 to 100,000 on each print run, distributing the leaflets by hand!
11. Advertising (Don’t do it)
We don’t recommend advertising as it’s expensive and also it’s difficult to monitor just how effective each campaign is. Advertising in our opinion is a sure fire way of losing a lot of money without too much to show for it.
12. Groupon, Living Social, etc.
A great form of getting the word out there, good for cash flow and good for getting people to talk about your business. Don’t do it too often as you can end up undervaluing what you do and you can also become too reliant on that revenue stream. You might find it difficult converting these bargain hunters in to regular customers, but remember they will talk to other about the wonders of floatation.
13. Google Maps
Make sure your business gets listed. It not only helps people find you but increases your search engine ranking as well.
Be brave and set a high hourly rate, at the top end of what you think your prospective customers can afford, the higher the hourly rate the greater the room you have to offer discounts for bulk purchases and memberships.
It takes at least a year of very hard work to build your floatation business, once you have passed the first 12 months you’ll find the word of mouth really starts to kick in – you really should get at least 65% of all new customers via word of mouth.
16. And last but not least … Float!!!
The more you float the more creative you will become and the more relaxed and energized you will be, your customers will notice this and will want to be just like you. If you employ staff then you should encourage them to float at least once a week too. New customers sometimes tend to be a little nervous and apprehensive and if they’re shown the tank by someone who loves the floatation experience then they’ll buy in to the idea and concept much more quickly.
© Floatworks / i-sopod. Reprinted with permission.