Running a retreat, a retreat program or health and wellbeing event, class or workshop is rewarding. Many retreat owners, wellness practitioners and spiritual workers have the best intentions wanting to help people. In person this is easy however becoming an experienced online marketer is a whole new ball game.
Many have enough on without worrying about advertising adding to more costs and 'things to do'. If you have a business you put your heart into, surely people will find you through word of mouth and a few general listings - or some text and logo with a well-known directory. Word of mouth works great and accounts for up to 20% of your customers however you need to do more in our digital age.
People are looking for better quality of life, to improve their mind, body, spirit, increase mood, health and take time out to feel better. They want quality information and of course have to find you amongst the growing plethora of websites and online advertising.
The health, wellbeing, spirituality and retreats industry is growing at lightning speed. Statistics show in 2005, the health and wellness industry was worth $200 billion dollars in sales. Towards 2011 we are hitting the $500 billion mark and is projected to continue growing and reach $1 trillion within the next five years.
Wellbeing, wellness and spiritual development was barely talked about 10 years ago yet we're expected to reach $1 trillion in the next five years. Amazing when you think about how we've catapulted so quickly. This proves the Internet plays a major role in marketing your retreat or A to Zen of events, classes and wellbeing workshops and an overall global acceptance of our industry.
As a website owner you have only a few seconds to gain your visitors attention and even if you do manage this, you'll only be able to hold it for a few more minutes. They need to know about you and what you can offer quickly without having to 'dig' for information. The clock is ticking! Google online viewing statistics reveal:
- Average continuous attention span of a literate adult: 8 seconds
- Continuous attention span for a literate adult: 30 seconds
- Average general attention span of a literate adult: 10 – 12 minutes
It's vital to not only know exactly what your potential (and existing) clients expect from your website and where they can find it – but to do so in a way that keeps them coming back for more. You'll increase communication and cut down on emails and phone calls having all the information people need in one place.
As a business owner, you should know the common things people look for when they make an enquiry about your retreat, event, class or health and wellbeing workshop. Ensure this information is easily accessible – add it to your homepage, or within one intuitive, easy-to-find click from your homepage.
- Incorporate a search feature on your site as well as a site-map.
- To ensure people are coming-back for more, keep your content fresh plus up-to-date.
- You can achieve this by keeping a regular blog, online newsletters or industry-specific articles.
- Your website site should look aesthetically pleasing with a ‘wow' factor.
Include resources to bring people to you.
If you can't do this make sure you advertise with someone who does! By doing both you'll go further, faster.
Do you know the power of social media? A Facebook Share is worth $14, Facebook Like $8, Twitter Tweet $5 and a Twitter Follow $2.
I've listed 15 top questions to ask when listing or advertising online to maximise your time, money and effort:
1. Will you receive posts about your retreat program, wellbeing event, class or workshop to their Facebook and Twitter connections?
2. Can you add, change and edit your listing easily?
3. Will you receive support?
4. Does their website look attractive? Is it easy to navigate and have search fields?
5. How will your information display? Have they researched what people need to know about you? All your information should be easily accessible in one place.
6. Images and videos tell a thousand words – will they be part of your listing and make you look good?
7. Do they advertise with other places to ensure your name and theirs gets out?
8. Are pages metatagged? Large metatagged websites will increase your SEO and Google rankings.
9. Are resources such as blogs, articles and tools available to bring people to the site?
10. Do they add articles to online submission sites to increase SEO and Google rankings?
11. What is their pricing in comparison to others?
12. Are outside advertisements swaying attention of visitors?
13. Look at the success of Trip Advisor. Reviews help spread the good word about you – this is a bonus when advertising with someone.
14. Google maps help people instantly find you – another plus when advertising your retreat, event, class or wellbeing workshop.
15. Does their website have a sitemap? Is it keyword and content rich?
If you're trying to target everybody then chances are you're targeting nobody. A niche website solely within your area will avert distractions and greatly increase your chances of being found and viewed.
Often people need to see your name a few times to develop trust – it's good business to advertise with a few places and with at least one or two good websites. Instead of having your ‘product' on one supermarket shelf in one place you'll reach more people with your ‘product' in a few. Advertising online is crucial part of business now. It's important to spend wisely and gain value for your dollar, pound, francs or rupiah.
If you've made it to the bottom of this article I am very happy to say I've captured your attention. I hope you find this article useful in deciding how to move forward and benefit from the wellness revolution in our digital age of Aquarius.
Even when times are slow remember ‘and this too shall pass', nothing stays the same life is fluid. Don't panic, think positive, follow tips, set goals, make a plan, communicate and move forward. You've only success to gain.