03 May 2009

Marketing Misconceptions

If I had to brainstorm a list of the most common misconceptions about marketing a private practice as a counselor, coach or naturopathic doctor, I'd name these ideas frequently voiced by my clients.

  1. mass market advertising is the best way to make people aware of your services
  2. all a professional website needs is a description of your services, including benefits, and your contact info
  3. joining a networking group is essential for getting new clients
  4. a postcard campaign to referral sources announcing the opening of your business will bring in enough referrals
  5. spend a week or so on marketing and then get down to business

There are likely many more misconceptions, and I may start keeping a list! But really, what's wrong with these ideas?

Each of these notions -- except #3 -- is rooted in the idea that there is a magic formula for attracting client that can be accomplished once, and never need ongoing tending. Most self-employed professionals don't realize that building a business is a fulltime job in itself, and that marketing is the most time and energy intensive activity we must continually do if we want to be successful.

Misconception #3 is usually wrong because we join general interest business groups, which is not usually where our clients are -- or because other networkers are intent on getting us as their clients.

Instead of these misconceptions, the marketing truths we need to accept are these:

  1. Marketing, like bookkeeping, is a necessary DAILY task -- make it an appointment with success!
  2. For solopreneurs in the healing arts, niche-based, client-centered marketing works. General, provider-centered marketing doesn't work.
  3. Marketing from your personality strengths is more client attracting than trying to copy what works for others.
  4. Market only to your ideal client, and don't waste time and resources on a general public.
  5. Potential referral sources need to know why sending us clients will solve a problem for them, or how it will increase client loyalty for them.
Need more how to info on marketing your practice? See www.TheNoHypeMentor.com

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