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Wellness Lunch and Learns: An Innovative Way to Market Yourself and Promote Your Small Business

Posted May 21 2010 10:13am

This past week I participated in a Yoga Lunch and Learn through one of my corporate clients here in Columbia. It took about two hours out of my day and just a little work beforehand and the result was nearly an hour of free marketing time to clients that wanted to be there. It’s a great opportunity to get the word out about both what you do and why you do it better than your competitors. Selling yourself becomes a lot easier when you truly believe in what you’re selling. For those of you looking to expand the wellness community in your neck of the woods, consider a Lunch and Learn.

Putting Together an Effective Lunch and Learn

1. Finding a Venue

Corporations and larger businesses are always looking for Lunch and Learn ideas and free help. The easiest way to get started is to contact the human resource department in medium to large businesses in your town or city. Your best bet is businesses where there in an emphasis on work/life wellness. I work a lot with our zoo, a large employer that works hard to retain employees. Also consider law firms, health insurance companies, government offices, hospitals, and other corporations. Get creative and you’ll be surprised how many people are interested. Have a plan of what you’re going to do when you talk to the human resource department and talk about how what you do would benefit their employees.

2. Planning the Lunch and Learn

You’ll usually get about 1 hour to speak during the Lunch and Learn. Realize that people will drop in and out throughout the hour depending on work obligations. It’s best to give late comers a chance to easily slip in while you’re getting started, so you’ll definitely want to start by talking for a bit. Whether you’re a massage therapist, acupuncturist, yoga teacher, trainer, nutritionist, or any other kind of wellness practitioner, the bare bones outline of a Lunch and Learn remains the same.

Lunch and Learn Outline

A. Introduce Yourself

Talk about yourself and your experience within your field. Give a short synopsis as to how you came to the field and what it has done for your life. Talk a bit about your business within the community and how you can help them. Discuss the health benefits of what you do and what particular ailments can be helped.

B. Hands On Portion

This is where you give participants a hands on idea of what you do. If you’re a yoga teacher you could do some chair yoga. Whatever your field, you’ll need to find a way to let the group experience it. Maybe provide five minute chair massages or bring in a few assistants and do a few people at a time. Get creative here and find ways to show off the most appealing parts of your business.

C. Relaxation Closing

A huge part of holistic wellness is the reduction of stress. No matter what you do, it’s important. If you want to send participants off on a good note, leave them feeling incredibly relaxed and wonderful. How you end a session is so important to gaining clients. Consider closing with a relaxation session. While the class is seated walk them through a guided meditation. I like to start from the feet and walk through relaxing every part of the body while following the breath and watching the thoughts. But make it your own.

3. Don’t Forget the Treats and Such

Draw participants into your class by providing treats. Consider making a healthy dessert or snack for students to enjoy. Usually you don’t have to provide the lunches for Lunch and Learns (though you should ask to make sure) but a treat is always welcomed. Make sure to bring price lists, business cards, schedules, coupons, and whatever other marketing brochures that you have to pass out.

More on Wellness Small Business:
Social Responsibility of Small Businesses
Don’t Advertise Like Big Business: Make Sure Your Wellness Business is Getting The Most Bang For Its Buck
Branding Your Wellness Business

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