In the 1970s, a band called Dr Hook (some of my more mature readers will have heard of them) sang a chart topping song called ‘Cover of the Rolling Stone’ and they sang;
“Wanna see my picture on the cover
Wanna buy five copies for my mother…
Wanna see my smilin’ face
On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone…”
That’s what all us hypnotherapists want too, isn’t it? Big time media coverage. Because if we do, our therapy rooms will bulge at the seams, overflowing with clients and we’ll have credibility and be considered a hot-shot superstar hypnotherapist… And our Mums will proudly leave a copy of the newspaper article lying around for when the ladies of the WI pop round for a coffee morning and can be impressed.
Where am I going with this? Well let me explain…
At the end of last week, I was mentioned in an article in the Sun news paper. It was a great success story. A client I had worked with back in 2009, a lovely man by the name of Adam Broomfield-Strawn, was featured and was telling his story about how overcame a debilitating phobia and fear of the childbirth experience to be present at the birth of his son. I was really proud to share the story on all our media channels. I featured only briefly in it because when I was interviewed, the journalist said I used too many big words that would not suit the Sun newspaper readers. You can read the article here:
It is a really lovely story, with a happy ending and I think it is great to see these types of stories find their way into the public to demonstrate what hypnotherapy is capable of. That is not my main point here today though. Several of the graduates of my college and hypnotherapy peers asked me how I managed to get that article organised and the truth is that I did not organise it. In fact I openly told them all that I do not make any effort at all to get this type of media attention. If the client wishes to share his or her story and has the opportunity or connections, then it is lovely, as was the case with this Sun article last week, but I do not actively seek this kind of thing anymore. The journalist and media group have asked to do more pieces with me and I have not taken them up on it.
Because it does not build a hypnotherapy business. In fact, I think it makes very little contribution in reality to the number of clients a hypnotherapist sees in his or her hypnotherapy consulting rooms.
A major article may get you a small amount of kudos among a small number of peers. This might be useful for somebody like myself for whom it is important to develop kudos among professionals as I run a training college offering training and CPD to fellow hypnotherapy professionals. Though I think it is minimal use even for that end. However, if you are purely a hypnotherapist, do you need kudos among your peers? Not really. Maybe ff you are seeking referrals from professional peers? I think you can make those connections in far simpler ways. Like meeting up, like networking, like forum discussions and also by being good at what you do and building a quality reputation based upon results and professionalism.
Some might argue that a major article featuring you may help you be perceived as credible by prospective clients. Again, there are better ways of developing the same perception. Again, getting good quality results for your clients and being professional in your business is a great starting point for this.
If you sat down and analysed it, I suspect very, very few hypnotherapists indeed actually derive any properly beneficial impact to their business as a result of these types of articles, and certainly any impact will not be sustained for long.
You see, every week, I see a handful of pretty poor quality provincial newspaper advertisements of newly qualified hypnotherapists who want to tell a local journalist that they are open for shop and what they can help with. Or provincial newspapers that are offering an interview with a local seasoned hypnotherapist who is offering a generic spiel about what they do and how they help people. These types of articles might make you feel good for a few moments, they might put a momentary smile on the face on anyone who knows you already who sees it, they might make your Mum proud, but do they really cause droves of people to start booking hypnotherapy sessions with you?
If not, why do so many hypnotherapists persist with this avenue?
Or there are bigger mainstream media newspapers with success stories about someone who has eaten nothing but cotton wool for a century and overcame it with hypnotherapy, or an individual who reduced 50 stone and no longer needs to wear the clown trousers each day, or an individual who spent 25 years unable to leave the garden shed for fear of treading on a piece of stray lego, but a hypnotherapist helped and now they are free and roaming the streets again.
Do these articles lead to droves and droves of clients? Not really. Lets be honest an article featuring anyone outside of London is unlikely to attract people to travel great distances for hypnotherapy. You are more likely to spur on interest in the field of hypnotherapy and help hypnotherapists get more enquiries (which is great, thanks) but is not going to be that long-lived an impact.
Again then I ask the question, why do so many hypnotherapists persist with this and consider it important?
Is it ego?
Is someone telling them all to do it?
Is it simply a way of burning up some extra energised enthusiasm that they don’t want to spend doing something productive thank you very much?!
If the story was a direct endorsement and contained direct links, it can be different. We had some of our CD products endorsed by a Doctor in a national newspaper a few years ago and we sold loads of products that weekend. But a feature about you as a hypnotherapist, is less likely to result in the same sort of impact.
The media also tend to bend stories in a way that suits them best. They want impressive headlines that will cause people to read their newspaper. They are not interested in educating the public accurately about hypnosis and hypnotherapy. I’m not really keen to fuel that for the sake of some cheap publicity. Heck though, that is a debate and discussion for another day.
My work has featured on primetime BBC1, on ITV, on Children’s BBC (I know, impressive, eh?!), radio two, radio five, as well as in almost every one of the major national UK newspapers, numerous glossy magazines, every running magazine known to man, as well as more specialist press, and they have all been temporarily very good for my ego, they have helped with book sales on occasion, but it was not these things that had people wanting to come and see me as a hypnotherapist.
Chasing media exposure should not be your main idea for how to grow your hypnotherapy practice. Anyone telling you to do so is misleading you. The media works well for a very, very small number of elite individuals that have regular TV appearances, or their own TV shows and there are not realistically many hypnotherapists who are going to be able to do that.
Media stories are great for our field, they create a certain degree of healthy publicity about the possibilities that exist for anyone looking for health solutions. Media stories often portray hypnosis as being powerful and beneficial and we can educate the public and our clients in ways to correct any misconceptions and misinformation the media spreads. However, the same media exposure does not build a thriving hypnotherapy practice, don’t be fooled into thinking it does.
Seek out more effective ways and means of developing your business. Heck, if you really want to learn how to build an effective, thriving hypnotherapy business, come and join my online hypnotherapist business academy or talk to me about my mentoring.
In the meantime though, I will leave you with Dr Hook. This song will take up less than 4 minutes of your day, and it’ll put a smile on your face, so sit back and enjoy it.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.