26 January 2009

Let's Get Real

Solid client attraction marketing is not a quick fix. The field of dreams website mindset -- if you build it, they will come -- is a myth. Despite the hype from many internet gurus, there is no magic wand to wave that will turn a lack of clients into a prosperous abundance overnight.

Let's get real -- Marketing is a continual process. There are many steps to success, many pieces that must be well crafted and put into (the right) place, before most self-employed service providers have not only a full client load but also a waiting list.

And then, you have to keep marketing to keep that stream flowing. Marketing isn't something you can do for a few months, and then sit back and wait for something to happen. Or worse, it isn't something you can stop when clients start ringing your phone off the hook.

Attracting clients requires daily effort. It requires focused purpose, clear strategy, compelling language. In other words, it requires some planning, and a lot of follow through. And then it requires some evaluation, and re-planning.

What's your marketing plan? What marketing efforts have you accomplished today? How's it working for you? What will you change, based on the results you're currently getting?

23 January 2009

Desperation Tactics are Counterproductive

A lot of coaches, counselors and independent NDs are feeling pretty desperate for clients these days. Some have already closed their practices, or have taken part time jobs outside their professional field. Others are scrambling around to find creative new ways to offer their services.

Desperation tactics such as drastically lowering or sliding your fees below your bottom line costs, or cutting your marketing expenses are counterproductive to attracting clients in this economic climate.

Instead, this is the time to reconsider your ideal client concept:
  • is it a viable market right now?
  • how have their problems or suffering shifted?
  • what are they desperate to eliminate and willing to pay you to help them get rid of?

How do you need to change your marketing message to connect with those clients right now?

People just don't hire helpers who project a vibe of being as desperate as the client. Are you aware of the emotional energy you are sending out in your marketing and networking efforts? Does it exude compassion and confidence?

If not, it's time to look for what you CAN feel 100% confident about, in terms of promoting your services. Some strategic thinking about varying the ways in which you offer services, and having different price points -- including giving away more information for free -- can give you a well diversified client attraction plan that will work better than shutting down out of fear.

03 January 2009

Tip #3 -- Eat and Sleep Marketing

How does one EAT marketing?

Well, what I mean is, borrow from the corporate world and do some marketing outreach over coffee or a meal. Here are some possibilities:

  • join a business networking group -- they usually meet at a meal time
  • ask a potential referral source to lunch or coffee
  • take an afternoon snack in to referral source's place of business
  • offer a brown bag workshop at someone's workplace
  • host a happy hour support group with appetizers

Okay, but how do you SLEEP marketing?

Ideally, when we sleep, we dream. (not all of us do, of course, but hang in here with me in this metaphor) In the broad sense, dreams are just conversations with your subconscious mind. In daytime you can access your subconscious by:

  • engaging in meditation
  • doing a guided visualization
  • drawing a tarot or angel card
  • allowing your own intuition to bubble up into consciousness

Bonus coaching questions: What 2 ways of eating marketing will you do for yourself this month? Which way of sleeping marketing will you incorporate into your daily habits this month?

As always, trust your mindbodyspirit to resonate with what's right for you.

02 January 2009

No Hype Tip #2 for Marketing Your Practice in 2009

Tip #2 -- Diversify Your Delivery

What I mean is: Start thinking outside the box. You have a rich skill set. How many different ways can you use it?

For example for those of you who are therapists -- your skills in diagnosis lend to more than just assigning a DSM code to a superbill. With knowledge of diagnoses, you can:
  • write a tip sheet to give to a referral source to help their clients contact you
  • write a 2 page special report to offer free in exchange for email addresses
  • write a self-help ebook to sell on your website
  • develop an audio to post on your website
  • organize a support group around a specific diagnosis
  • develop a signature talk to offer to groups
Your knowledge of diagnoses can be delivered in at least these 6 ways.

For those of you who are naturopathic doctors or coaches -- what skills do you have that you can package and deliver in a different way than one on one work with patients / clients?

Bonus coaching suggestion: List your skill set. Then pick one topic from it and brainstorm as many ideas as possible to diversify the delivery of your knowledge.

As always, trust your mindbodyspirit to resonate with what's right for you.

No Hype Tip #1 for Marketing Your Practice in 2009

Tip #1 -- Do What Fits Your Personality

A lot of marketing advice takes a shotgun / shoehorn approach. That is, it pretends that you have to manically do everything even when many things don't fit your personality.

Don't do that.

Instead, take the time today to brainstorm a list of marketing activities that you'd have fun doing, that fuel your creativity and feed your spirit. If your true personality shines through in these ideas, your ideal clients will feel that energy and be attracted to it.
  • So, are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  • Are you a morning person or more of a lunch / afternoon individual?
  • Do you express yourself best in writing or speaking? Take these features and more into account when you brainstorm your list.
Bonus coaching tip: Think you don't have time to do this exercise today? Try this:
Brainstorm only while drinking a cup of tea or coffee.
Or, brainstorm only for 10 minutes.

That's enough. Really. Trust your mindbodyspirit to resonate with what's right for you.

01 January 2009

What We Need To Keep in Mind to Survive the Recession

I'm having these thoughts this New Year morning:

~ Being in private practice is being in business. If we don't attend to the business aspects like business people, we won't survive.

~ Being in business as a one person show is actually being in two businesses: the business of conducting counseling or coaching or medicine, and the business of having a business.

~ Any sole proprietor is working more than double a full time job if we are being successful. Marketing alone is a full time job.

~ The conventional wisdom that most small businesses (including one person shows) fail in the first 3-5 years is true for therapists, coaches, and NDs especially because as a profession we don't put enough attention on the business aspects, don't adopt a business mindset, and above all, don't do smart marketing.

~ Any profit at all is good. Some loss may be a tax advantage, depending on your filing status.

~ Some keys to business survival in a recession are:

  • diversifying your income streams
  • diversifying your modes of service delivery
  • innovating new business models
  • really listening to what your clients want, and providing as much as you can
  • outsource the business tasks that suck your life-force dry
  • use that time to create new streams, modes, & models
  • prioritize your own self-care

  • Need more? Get free tips at The No Hype Marketing Mentor, and look for low cost self-paced self-help products and teleclasses.