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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Phyllis Wilson: The Wise Woman for Small Businesses

Feb 29, 2012 11:15AM ● By Kim Childs


Phyllis Wilson began her professional career as a tutor for high-school students. While earning her master’s degree in education, Wilson worked part time at a yoga studio, where she helped the owners with web design, marketing materials and client-management systems. Soon she was doing the same for a local acupuncturist, and a new career was born. Now Wilson is celebrating two years at the helm of Wise Woman Small Business Services, a business that grew organically from her natural skills and her passion for working with holistic health practitioners. Wilson told Natural Awakenings that she still feels like an educator.

What would you say that you’re teaching now?

I’m teaching people how to create a successful and happy business life. My specialty is working with individuals in private practice and small businesses with one or two practitioners. My clients are in this work because they want to heal and help people, and my job is to help them put all of the pieces together so they can smoothly sail down their path. That means helping them with good communications and client relations so that people’s access to them is easy and effortless and the practitioners can focus on doing the work they love. I’ve worked with acupuncturists, massage therapists, yoga teachers, life coaches and holistic physical therapists.

How do you help holistic practitioners distinguish themselves in the marketplace?

I help them design web sites and logos to create an effective image on the web and in print, or to refresh their existing brand or logo. I assist with the caretaking of their business and clientele, so word-of-mouth marketing is what I end up improving for them. I also help with things like email campaigns, social-media presence and the systems they have in place for keeping track of clients and booking appointments. I try to make sure their clients have easy access to the practitioners and use technology to do that.

How did you build your skills in these areas?

By being a longtime client in the holistic health world, really. I ask, “How do I want to interact with these practitioners? How do I want to receive information from them and how do I want to be treated when I call their office with a question?” I also use my knowledge of how these practitioners think and operate and what their capacities are. I’m not offering anyone a cookie-cutter solution. My strength lies in building relationships and my goal is to improve the relationships these practitioners have with their clients.

Can you cite a client success story?

I work with an acupuncturist who has a few events each month. He would just send out emails about them and never know who was going to show up. I set him up with an event marketing service that allows people to register and pay for his workshops online and in advance. This helps him to be more present for the clients who show up for his workshops. He’s organized and ready to step right into the role of teacher instead of having to run credit cards and wonder who’s coming.

How important is the use of social media among your clients?

It’s vitally important because of the word-of-mouth marketing that it provides. That being said, not every social media venue is right for everyone. For example, hardly any of the practitioners I work with right now are using Twitter because most of their clients are not on Twitter. Facebook works great for most of them, however, because so many of their clients are using it. Having a LinkedIn profile may or may not benefit my clients, but I do encourage them to get their own clients to post testimonials on places like Yelp, for instance.

Where does the name “Wise Woman” come from?

When I was asking myself what I really wanted to do with my life in terms of work, what came to me was that I wanted to be like the wise woman of the village. I’m one of those people who’s always getting asked for advice on a number of issues. So now I get to be a wise woman for the modern village, and I love my clients. They are so inspirational to me.

For more information, about Wise Woman Small Business Services, call Phyllis Wilson at 781-883-2282 or visit