Clients…getting them and taking good care of them is central to being in private practice. This topic is so big, I decided to address it in several parts, starting with what I believe is THE most important part of the entire process: Your Marketing Mindset! (Click here to read the introduction to this series.)
Without the right mindset, you will struggle with confidently putting yourself out there in the way that is necessary to build your practice.
Consider for a moment how comfortable you are with being seen.
Do you feel ready to embrace being viewed as an expert?
Can you receive compliments from others or give them to yourself for that matter?
Your stance on these kinds of questions will color the tone of your marketing message. Being able to speak about yourself in a positive way is a necessary baseline skill when it comes to aligning your marketing voice. So start now with thinking about all the benefits that you have to offer clients as they come in to your practice.
Becoming more comfortable with being seen starts with feeling like you have something valuable to offer (and you do!). Embrace that idea and know that telling others about what you have to offer is neither vain nor braggadocios, but generous and helpful.
See yourself as a resource and be well on your way to aligning your marketing voice with your practice goals.
Once you have your marketing voice in order, it is time to use it!
The first stage in the “Full Client Experience” is the introduction before coming through the door.
How will clients learn you or your practice exist?
Will it be word-of-mouth?
Will they read something online?
There has to be something out there in the world that directs your clients to you, whether it be information on Facebook or something in a community newsletter. For now, let’s explore your local reach.
Let your brand speak volumes. Your local reach largely involves your reputation in the community, your marketing materials, and your networking efforts. To establish your reputation, be sure to put some real thought and intention into building a brand for your practice. You are the face of your practice, and your “personal brand” speaks volumes to potential clients about whether or not you will be a good fit for them.
Reputation in the community. Think about all of the people who come into contact with your practice and are able to share with others that you exist. Previous clients, colleagues from former workplaces, supervisors, neighbors, family…I could go on. All of these people are potential referral sources that are aware of what you do and can lead clients directly to your door with just a simple utterance in casual conversation. For this reason, it is so important that the people you interact with are able to speak well of you and your practice. Are you showing up well in your community? Remember… if members of the community sing your praises, new clients will do the same in no time.
Marketing Materials. We live in such a digital world, having printed business cards doesn’t always seem like a necessity. Even still, being able to hand someone a business card that beautifully represents your practice is of immeasurable value. All business cards are not created equal. Spend time developing the look and feel of your card so that it aligns with who you are. When you hand someone your card, they should be able to get a clear idea of who you are and what you represent.
Networking. Once you have marketing materials you feel proud of, the next step is to get those marketing materials into the hands of others who can share them with potential clients. Local networking groups that meet consistently in your area are a wonderful way to increase your visibility. It is also possible to serve on boards or in associations where others can get to know you and become acquainted with your work ethic. Let people get to know you, tell them what you do and let them see how well you do it. Be open to creating new connections with others. You never know where it may lead.
Speaking. Public speaking is an excellent way to increase visibility. Developing a signature talk that you can give in schools, medical offices, churches, or wherever you think your ideal client will be is a great way to gain exposure. Choose topics that really showcase your expertise and you can establish yourself as an expert resource.
Putting yourself out there is crucial in making yourself known to your future clients. In-person engagement within the community is key to the success of your business. Get started and be consistent and you will begin to see results. Feel free to share a few of your successes. I would love to hear what is working for you.
While you are busy working on in-person engagement, I don’t want you to ignore the power that a solid online presence has to help you grow your practice. Come back next week to learn what you need to know about establishing connections via the world-wide-web.