One of the biggest challenges of owning a cryotherapy location is the ability to rely only on people who live or work in close proximity and the need to have them come back again and again to see the results that cryotherapy can provide.
One treatment is just 3 minutes long. For a result, at least 10 consecutive treatments are required. In combination with the very niche nature of the business, generally low awareness of cryotherapy benefits and an out-of-pocket expense, sustaining and growing the business becomes a challenge.
Unless... you turn it into a destination for the community by tapping into people's need for a sense of belonging and the growing trend of supporting local businesses.
This article offers 5 ideas to turn a cryotherapy location into a go-to place. Why not for pain management, provided the proven cryotherapy's ability to reduce inflammation?
Photo by Vonecia Carswell, Unsplash
A few weeks ago, I read a Facebook post claiming that marketing cryotherapy wasn’t even necessary as it was selling itself. Knowing how hard it is to succeed in this business, I must admit, the statement made me angry. NO, it is not selling itself. Very few services, if any, “sell themselves”, and marketing is a lifeblood of any thriving cryotherapy business.
It also needs to be admitted that the photos with celebrities in cryosaunas or cryochambers do not help much. They may increase general awareness of cryotherapy a bit, but they also often create a wrong perception of what whole body cryotherapy is about. Still, just one out of 10-20 people say that they have heard of it, and even fewer have an actual idea of what it does and, more importantly, what it could do FOR THEM.
A sign with a word “cryo” or “cryotherapy” in it is not enough to make people want to come in, but there is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY to change it:
Let's discuss some PRINCIPLES TO FOLLOW in order to become a community-centered go-to business, based on experiences of some people who have successfully done it.
There are a few steps to take to make it happen, like:
Have YOUR STORY written down and ready to tell. We ALL have them, but it takes a little effort to make the story short, clear, relevant, attention catching and personable. It’s great to have 3 versions ready: one for 60-90 seconds in case of a very brief encounter, one for about 3 minutes of a quick conversation, and one for 6-9 minutes if you have a little more time to explain what you do. Ideally, the story should involve an experience or event and how it made you become who you are now. See it as your “elevator pitch” and HAVE IT READY.
In services, people ALWAYS buy from people. It is a special feeling to return to the local bakery or café where the owner knows you and you know him/her. It does not even have to be particularly beautifully designed and polished – personal touches speak to people much more.
Make people recognize you as the owner of the business. Too many cryotherapy business owners hide behind stock photos and general statements to protect their privacy. This approach may work in running an online business where “face time” with the client never happens, but it DOES NOT WORK for local businesses. To appeal to people around you, put your name and your face on the website and, maybe, one a poster in the window or on a wall of your location. Dentists often do that – you see them, their children and their pets in their brochures and all over their practice. “I am one of you” is the impression you need to create.
Let people know who you are and why you chose their neighborhood. Articulate what you like about it. Reveal if you have family nearby. Make them relate.
Communicate clearly WHY you started the cryotherapy business. Many cryotherapy business owners have personal recovery stories behind it. Show your passion and knowledge.
Identify a few groups or events in the community where its socially active people come together and make a commitment to go there. Participate and, if possible, contribute – make your name and face recognized and associated with your brand. Likability, trust, and reciprocity are powerful mental triggers. In my own experience, hanging out with “regular” community members is much more rewarding than attending Chamber of Commerce meetings where everybody tries to sell you something.
They may or may not be in your field of expertise. It could be a doctor, a chiropractor or a physical therapist in your area, but it could also be the neighborhood bakery or coffee shop. The main idea here is to support each other, and the most common mistake is approaching people to ask for a favor (like referrals) rather than to offer them something. The best approach to receive is to give first.
Here are some examples of doing things together:
Offering your visitors a drink, a snack, or a sample from a local supplier, like a coffee roasting company, tea/coffee shop, a cold pressed juice vendor, or a bakery that makes awesome health bars. It does not matter if it’s all the time or at selected hours, like Saturday mornings. Things could be free at times and for sale the rest of the time but promote it and make your crowd see that you are supporting other local businesses (it ALWAYS works much better than offering something less personal from a big brand).
Doing cross-promotions like offering something extra to people who are also clients of the partnering business, giving out coupons for the other business, or having joint loyalty programs. This way, you become ambassadors of each other’s brand and grow your businesses together.
Introducing joint business hours when every client of yours gets something extra from the other business (like a product sample, a short self-massage or stretching exercise demonstration, a free 10-min consultation, a useful tip (like a recipe card), or anything else that makes sense for both of you). The key is to be consistent and clear with the message – every giveaway or extra benefit that you receive or give needs to support your values and to build your brand identity.
Organizing joint events, like educational seminars, demonstrations, or open houses where the business aspect intertwines with some socializing and fun. You can do little competitions or quizzes, offer prizes, have people earn participation points that they can then turn into something practical and of value. The growing popularity of “sip and paint” events is a great example from a different industry where artists pair up with wineries or wine bars to build community and offer socializing while boosting their awareness and sales at the same time.
Like in all previous examples, any free contribution of your time or charitable giving should align with the values you represent and the message that you want to be known for, but customer behavior studies show that GIVING has become an important aspect in choosing a product or service provider.
For example, you could put $5 of every treatment or $25 of every sold membership towards a free treatment for somebody from the community who is in need, like suffers from debilitating pain or prescription drug addiction. You could support a disabled veteran or anybody else whom your local audience knows well. This way, your acts of kindness help people, but they also strengthen your reputation and help grow your business.
A great case study from a different industry is the growing popularity of Bombas socks – for every pair they sell they donate a pair for homeless. It’s used in marketing, it has built awareness of a brand with strong values, and it has resulted in out-competing most any other sock manufacturer.
NOW, a FEW IDEAS how cryotherapy benefits for pain management could be used in the above context to help you build strong reputation among locals. It may include not only the people who live there, but also those who work nearby or regularly visit the neighborhood.
Athletic recovery and other cryotherapy benefits are essential, but they appeal to a relatively small audience, while most people are in REAL need for help with pain. If you do, their loyalty will be stronger than any other provided benefit can create, and your clients will naturally become your ambassadors in bringing in more clients.
The number of pain-affected people you could potentially serve is close to 1/5 of the local community. Just do NOT assume that people know it, you MUST TELL THEM. Very few truly understand how cryotherapy works, and many hesitate because they don’t like cold, the treatment is not FDA approved, or they think it’s expensive.
Every question hides an objection, and you need to actively address them in order to convert prospects into clients. This is where e-mail marketing should come in and the materials available through the 1M People Pain Free challenge resources library by CryoProsUnited could be handy (if you don't have access to it yet, claim it here: www.cryoprosunited.com/register-business).
So, adjust your message to clearly state cryotherapy benefits for pain and take active steps to have it heard.
If you already put inflammation and pain reduction in the center of your promise because it matters to your target audience, you could tweak your message just a bit to ensure your clients and prospects that you will have a stronger focus on helping them with their pains now.
If your positioning is centered around a different benefit of cryotherapy, like athletic recovery, you may want to present your commitment to pain reduction as a new, separate project that could benefit many. Create a separate page about it, a pop-up banner, create a special offer or even a separate membership category. This way, your central message would stay firm while another opportunity that’s important for many gets presented.
If you serve different audiences and have less busy hours, consider offering certain windows for your pain fighting clients at a better price. This way, you could have more time to get to know them and would not intimidate a person in pain by putting it next to a model-athlete.
Wear a “pain meter” not only in your office but also when going to your local coffee shop or attending a community event. It’s proven to be a POWERFUL CONVERSATION STARTER. People want to know what it is, and you can easily engage in conversations with strangers about cryotherapy and its benefits for pain.
These button pins can serve as your “business card” – just put a little sticker with your business name and number on the back side of it. A few months ago, I witnessed how a sex therapist used this approach to make himself known in no time at all among 2500 event participants.
We have these pins ready to order. Use them, it works!
Also, take advantage of the other professionally designed visuals, like these:
They can be ordered as full-size posters, table-top signs, or (soon) as digital downloads. With questions, e-mail [email protected].
Put a number in the white window of the first poster and keep growing it by week. In addition to attracting attention and inspiring questions, this approach will help you build credibility in the eyes of the visitors.
Build social proof - put up a “community board” inside your location. Display pictures of you with the people whom you can help, in line with simple “thank you” messages, in any form you like. Your community will appreciate seeing people they may know among your clients.
They could be providers of complementary products or services, products for general consumption (like coffee, tea or healthy snacks), people with expertise in nutrition, health, or any other aspect of wellness who could deliver a talk or a presentation, a yoga teacher or a fitness instructor who can provide simple advice on avoiding or lessening pain.
There are many opportunities for cooperation. Just make sure you build the local bond and demonstrate your values, in line with building your authority as a wellness expert.
People do not just seek treatments for health, most NEED A GUIDE and a trusted adviser. Become one, and retention rate will stop being your concern.
The biggest mistake that most businesses make is using every piece of marketing they put out to sell, while the proportion of providing value/ usable content vs asking for sale should be about 85% to 15%.
Marketing campaign should be a set of STRATEGIC ACTIVITIES to CREATE RELATIONSHIPS that eventually lead to engagement or sale.
The campaign could consist of several actions using different channels, such as e-mail to your list, social media, and direct mail.
In your e-mail, share some useful resources (like some articles or guides from our resources library for cryotherapy businesses) in line with informing people about what you can do for pain management. Spark anticipation by hinting what’s coming, but do not give up the details – this will make your audience look for the next e-mail from you.
On social media, create some buzz by incorporating engagement techniques like little surveys, polls, or quizzes that can be taken by just clicking on your post. Share the results and praise participation. Maybe, offer something little in exchange for doing what you are asking for.
In mail, send out invitations to the people in your direct vicinity. Instead of just advertising, send out “squeeze cards”, i.e. ask to bring it in to receive something or to go online and take action to unlock something special. Direct mail can be a powerful marketing method to a local community, as most advertisers are turning to online activities and the number of items in people’s mailboxes is decreasing. For example, you could ask people to bring in a friend or a colleague who suffers from pain and offer both 50% off a treatment when they do.
Another effective method to attract attention of the locals is to take part in a community event and to provide incentives for people to come and check out your location. I saw a local restaurant give out branded glasses at a tasting event and ask people to give the glass to the restaurant to receive a free drink with their meal. Telling people exactly what you want them to do is rarely used but extremely powerful.
It can be an open house, a kick-off of a “month against pain”, or a fundraiser to help a community member in need. Events are usually more likely to attract local media, especially if it’s for a worthy cause. Just make sure to invite them.
Depending on the program that you can pull together, you could even sell tickets to the event and donate the proceeds to the charitable cause that benefits your local community.
Also, scarcity is a powerful mental trigger. If something is offered for a limited time or in a limited number, people are less likely to postpone a decision or not to act.
At the event, have something that encourages people to take pictures and share them on social media with a hashtag that you want them to use, e.g. the name of your business. For example, a winery “Dawn’s Dream” in Carmel, CA, that’s female owned and has a logo of a woman in a bathtub drinking wine, has a special corner in their tasting room with a bathtub on a beautiful winery-related background. All guests are encouraged to take a picture in this tub and to share it on social media with a hashtag right there. Once done, they get to taste one more wine that’s not on their tasting menu.
To summarize, building a community around your brand is the most effective way to establish your business as a destination and to have your local crowd stand behind it.
There are 4 ELEMENTS to a thriving community:
Master these four, and your business will be up for recognition and growth.
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