We’ve talked about marketing as a service and the importance of having a niche for attracting potential clients and networking with other providers, which is all great, but you likely still need to know HOW to reach your niche. Because, as humans, we tend to learn through example, we often turn to our colleagues to see how they’ve done it. That makes sense on a lot of levels, but from an outcomes perspective, it can leave a lot to be desired.
Maybe a colleague got full by spending about $1,000 a month on Google AdWords, but you’re barely making rent. Maybe another got full by blogging, but you’d rather deep-clean a rest area bathroom than write regularly.
The truth is, there are easily over a hundred ways to market your practice, which means you’re bound to like at least a few of them. Marketing doesn’t have to be a slog. Sure, there may be some sloggy parts in there, but it’s not a long-term slog like tending to a social media account when you hate social media. (There are 2 marketing strategies in particular I recommend for everyone. We’ll talk more about those two must-do’s and some other high-success options next time.)
Another reason your colleagues’ marketing strategies may not work for you is that different niches and ideal clients appreciate different approaches to marketing. For instance, there’s a professional practice-builder who has a very successful business using high pressure sales calls and no free help. His ideal clients are cool with that. They like the confidence it communicates, and many of them want to be pushed into what they know will likely be a good investment.
Conversely, my ideal clients are turned off by that and prefer my style of letting people know what’s available, often through service. They find confidence in my services through the free content that helps them, the many success stories from my clients, and the great word-of-mouth Abundance has. I can do high pressure sales—I was actually trained for it before I realized it’s just totally not me. Just like you can vlog, but it might be misaligned for you and thus either done poorly or put on the list for next week instead of knocked out now.
If you’ve spent the last few years in agencies or grad school, the idea that you don’t have to absolutely hate part of your day can be discombobulating. Since we all still have to do paperwork, we may as well market in ways that are fun, right?
A word of caution that you probably don’t need but I’m going to share anyway: sometimes instead of being inspired by colleagues' work, we think it’s OK to copy and paste some of it. This is shockingly common given that we had to be so careful about plagiarism in school. I search for some of the more popular sentences from my website on Google occasionally and usually find 3-6 people each time that have ripped off full paragraphs of my copy. Don’t do that. It makes it awkward for everyone. If you see copy you like, create an 'Ideas' folder and write down why you like it so you don’t get confused about whether you wrote it or you just copied it.* The content of this post is intended to serve as general advice and information. It is not to be taken as legal advice and may not account for all rules and regulations in every jurisdiction. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.