07 August 2009
Raise Your Hand if You Don't Have a Marketing Plan
Yep, that's what I thought. Most counselors, coaches, and solo-NDs don't.
When I ask my clients what their marketing plan is, I often hear answers like this: I'm looking into graphic designers, thinking about branding and planning to get a website soon. Or, I was thinking about taking brochures to doctor's offices. Or, I don't know, what do you think.
Well, what I think is that the idea of writing out a plan is intimidating to a lot of self-employed sole proprietors. We aren't really sure what's supposed to be in a plan, don't know the right way to make a plan, or the process is just too overwhelming.
The idea of a marketing plan triggers distaste for self-promotion, fear of being too visible in the public eye, insecurities about being on our own as business people, and sets off those feelings of being a fraud. Besides, if we'd wanted to do all these businessy things, we wouldn't have gone into the healing arts, right?
Some rugged individualists resist planning because we think it will pin us down, fence us in, inhibit our range of movement. Usually, these are the types who jump from one idea to another, without building a solid foundation or a clear, coherent, compelling message. (I've been guilty of that, so I can talk. LOL)
There are many benefits to having a marketing plan. It prevents going into panic when clients drop off and new intakes have dried up. It ensures you are connecting with the right prospective clients in ways they are likely to respond to. It keeps you from spending money foolishly on unnecessary advertising ploys pushed by unscrupulous hucksters.
So let me ask you this -- how healthy is your business right now? Is it thriving the way you want? Do you have a waiting list of clients, clamoring to get an appointment this month? Can you confidently project what your client load will be a year from now? No?
In other words, how's it working for ya to take the haphazard approach to marketing? I'd bet it's maybe giving you sporadic returns on investment, but not paving the road to sustainable success.
Starting to feel the need to get your marketing plan together? I'm here to help.