Advertising Your Private Practice: 6 Tips for Maximizing Your Results-Part 2
As discussed in part 1 of this article, "Your Private Practice: Beware of the Problems," I usually don't recommend advertising as a main method of marketing a practice for new coaches, counselors and healing professionals. There are often more cost-effective ways to get the word out and attract clients.
However, if you are convinced you need to advertise or have a reason to believe that your ads will be effective as a method of marketing your practice, here are 6 tips that will help you maximize the results you will get from your financial investment.
1.When placing an ad, make the decision up front that you will commit to run it for 6 months to a year so that people get used to seeing it repeatedly.
You can't expect to get results from an ad that you have only placed for a short period of time. Repetition is key here.
2.Your ad will be more effective if you gear it towards a specific target market.
Directing your ad towards a general audience is not as effective as directing it towards those who are experiencing a particular problem (e. g. loss of relationship, problem with alcohol or drugs, people experiencing back pain, etc.). People want to see someone who has expertise with their specific problem. In addition, when they see an ad that speaks to their problem directly, they are more likely to respond to it.
3. Advertising works best when you place your ad in a well targeted publication.
Think of the type of client you want to attract and their problem(s), find out what they read, and place your ad in these publications. For example, if you work with parents of young children, you might want to place your ad in a parenting magazine.
4. Make the client's concerns the focus of your ad, not yourself or your services.
Open the ad by addressing the core problem(s) your clients are experiencing, so that when they read it, they say to themselves, "Yes, that's me. This is exactly the problem I'm having." In the end, not only will you get more clients this way, but your clients will be better served as they will be more suitable for your particular services. In addition, be sure to mention a few key benefits people can expect to experience if they work with you.
5. Find places where you can advertise your private practice for free.
Some publications will allow this, especially if you offer free presentations to the public.
6. Don't rely solely on advertising to market your practice.
Advertising works best when used as part of an integrated strategy. Again, because of the 5-7 contacts principle, the more ways you market your practice, the more potential clients and referral sources will be exposed to you and your practice.
Unless you have a large expense budget, follow the guidelines above, or have reason to believe your ads will be successful, you are probably better off finding alternative means for marketing your practice. After you have an established practice, some well-placed ads can be helpful if used as part of an overall marketing strategy.
© Juliet Austin, 2004
Bio of Author
Juliet assists helping and healing professionals (coaches, therapists, counselors, massage therapists, chiropractors, etc.) who are struggling to market their practices. She helps her clients overcome resistances to marketing, learn and implement no or low-cost marketing strategies, create compelling promotional materials, and write effective website copy.
The author grants reprint permisson as long as the article and by-line remain intact and the links are made live.