01 September 2009

7 Ideas for When You Don't Have Time to Market

When you think you don't have time to market, that's a problem. Your practice may have enough clients right now, but do you have all the things in place that you need to ensure that there are always people coming into the pipeline to replace those who "graduate" from your services?

Ideally, to get a private practice in the healing arts off the ground successfully, conventional wisdom says you'll need to be engaged in marketing tasks 4 hours a day 6 days a week for 6 months to a year.

I can hear a lot of you groaning about spending that much time.

About half of my business coaching clients aren't new at their work, just changing status from agency or clinic or corporate employment to private practice. Some are moving away from taking insurance to being completely cash-based. Your practices have been successful for a while, and you don't want to feel and act like a beginner, putting that much time in.

Okay, here's what I'd recommend when you're in transition or have very limited time. Missed and cancelled appointments are perfect times for accomplishing any of these marketing upkeep tasks.

What you'll need: a laptop and internet access in your office.
What to do: pick just one of the tasks below to fill your available time.
Assumes: you already have a website, are on some locator directories, maybe do some blogging.

1. Review and refresh your website. Make sure has strong, emotionally compelling messages on the home page. Ensure that the target niches are current. Check all the links to make sure they still work and eliminate the ones that send people off your site. Time expense: 2 hours to half a day now, and once every year).

2. Add visitor capture widgets -- some way and reason for people to provide you their email address in exchange for something they can implement immediately, like a tip sheet or a quiz. Time expense: 30 minutes or less, once.

3. Add articles you've already written. Recycle old blog posts, ezine topics, publication articles you've submitted to update references, statistics, etc. Time expense: 30 minutes or less for adding to website, 2-3 hours or less for revising each article, one per week or month.

4. Review and refresh all locator directory profiles. Make sure they are consistent with your refreshed website, and are speaking to your current target niche market. Time expense: 1 hour or less per profile, once a week until done.

5. If all updating is complete, brainstorm a list of questions your clients ask you. If you have a blog already established, and if you can post in draft mode (unpublished), start a new blog draft with each question. This forms a ready prompt for later. Time expense: 30 minutes - 1 hour.

6. Pick one blog draft prompt question, and off the top of your head start writing a conversational answer. Voila, you have a blog post. Edit for spelling and grammar, and publish. Time expense: 20-40 minutes.

7. After publishing new blog post, go to your Twitter account and Tweet it, thus driving traffic to your blog. Time expense: assuming you already have your professional Twitter account established, 5 minutes or less.

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