One of the biggest mistakes coaches, counselors and other healing professionals make is to assume that they must advertise their private practice in order to get clients. These professionals often tell me they have spent a lot of money on advertising with minimal, if any, results. Many become discouraged with advertising, and some even give up on the idea of having a private practice assuming they have no other options for marketing their practice.
It is not surprising that this happens. Not knowing how else to market their private practice, advertising is usually the first method that comes to mind when thinking of promoting a practice. Advertising is one method of marketing that you see on a daily basis, so it’s only natural that you would think of using it.
The problem is that in most cases, advertising your private practice is one of the most costly and least effective ways for you, as a coach, counselor or healing professional, to attract clients. There are a variety of reasons for this.
For starters, on average it takes approximately 5-7 contacts with a person before they buy a product or service from you. This means that potential clients or referral sources would have to be exposed to your ad numerous times before they might take action, i. e. pick up the phone and call you. Many counselors and healing professionals never run their ads long enough to get this kind of exposure.
Furthermore, a larger problem with advertising is that people are more interested in seeing a coach, counselor or healing professional who they have had personal exposure to in some way, or a professional who has been referred to them by someone they know and trust.
Finally, advertising works best when you target your ads to a very specific population. Few counselors and healing professionals have a defined target market for their private practice, and even if they do, they don’t know how to write effective ads.
However, there can still be benefits to advertising your private practice. The important thing is that you know how to do it effectively. If you are convinced you need to advertise, read part 2 of this article, "Advertising Your Private Practice: 6 Tips for Maximizing Your Results. "
© 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.
Sign up for Juliet's free ezine, “Enlightened Marketing" at: http://www.julietaustin.com
Visit her Marketing a Practice blog and her Website Design and Promotion blog for socially responsible businesses that she co-authors with Web Designer, Nathaniel Richman, of nrichmedia (nrichmedia.com).
The author grants reprint permisson as long as the article and by-line remain intact.