Many of my clients have just finished school. They're newly credentialed, have found / made the perfect office space, told all their friends and family to send them clients.
And now the excitement of being in practice is starting to be replaced by the disappointment if not desperation of realizing they don't know how to sell their services. Uh oh.
Here are my top suggestions -- and the boiled down, borrowed, best advice of other marketing coaches as well.
In the First Phase (3-6 Months) Get Your Marketing Basics in Place
What are the basics? The basics are a static, rarely changing glimpse that "tells" your niche market how you can help them and "teases" them into feeling motivated to want to know more.
- Define your niche market, and ensure it's viable (have discretionary money in this economy)
- Craft a compelling marketing message, and use it consistently on a website, cards, brochures, everything!
- Set up online profiles in locator services where your prospective clients look for help
- Pay attention to how your local colleagues are marketing, and position yourself differently
What's outreach? It's making yourself available to provide information in various interactive ways. Outreach listens and responds to live people, develops the know you, like you, trust you factor, by providing help of value, as requested. Some ways to do this include:
- Signature talks as a speaker for various groups
- Signature self-hosted workshops
- Daily blogging, and social media interaction
- Weekly or Monthly call in hours
- Participation in relevant "lead generation" networking groups
- Schedule and commit to doing some kind of marketing task every single weekday
Most counselors, coaches, and NDs are primarily service providers. We think in terms of sitting with a client one on one, in private, somewhat expensive sessions. But we have a lot of self-help knowledge that prospective clients want. And we can reach more potential clients by packaging our knowledge into tangible, low price point products. Ideas for this phase include:
- cds or dvds on easy self-help solutions to a key problem your niche market suffers from
- special reports, pamphlets, booklets, ebooks, or paperbacks
- give tele-seminars every quarter
- hold large conferences and teach a particular skill or solution
- expand where you provide services (expand your geographical reach)