People ask me all of the time about what are the most “time-worthy” and important areas of focus with regard to marketing a private practice. Depending on the situation and the person and their market/niche, my answers may vary a bit. However, one thing ALWAYS makes my top three…
You NEED a list. That is: you need a list if you want to draw in and keep your clients; you need a list if you want to have an easy and economical way to communicate with your clients/potential clients about what’s new in your practice; you need a list if you want to build your practice to more than what you can do in the “dollars for hours” model; you need a list if you’d like to be able to retire one day and still have an income!
Essentially, the purpose of your list is to educate/inform/support your readers. The benefit of doing so, is that you increase your value to others, and amplify the success of your practice.
Let’s start at the beginning…
What is a “list”?
A “list” is (preferably) a compilation of email addresses for those who might be interested in what you have to say and/or do. It is a means by which to inform, educate, and update people who want to know more about you and what you know/have to offer them.
Where do I get my “list”?
A “list” is not something you generally get. A “list” is something you build over time. You might start with your current clients (perhaps they would like you to mail them your monthly newsletter and let them know about upcoming events/offerings in your practice – tip: don’t just add them to your list — make sure to get their permission). This is something you can offer new clients as part of the intake paperwork.
You can invite others to join your “list” by offering that free subscription to your newsletter, a free report or e-book about a topic of interest to them, or something else of value. They provide their name and email address (“opt-in”), and you follow through with what you’ve promised.
Finding others for your list might seem daunting, but there are ways to determine, given your target market and niche services, where you can find folks who might likely be very interested and grateful for the information.
If you want to start your “list” just to bring in more clients to your practice, your search for others will be local. If you want to broaden your practice to provide products, programs, and/or teletherapy options, the world is your oyster. Be creative and you’ll find plenty of people who you can serve.
Once I have email addresses – what next?
Find an autoresponder marketing program (like AWeber or ConstantContact) and use that to organize your “lists” and start communicating via email campaigns, or via broadcast messages as needed.
Make sure those who “opt-in” on your “list” know that they must confirm that they asked to be put on your list. This will help to protect their email privacy. To further respect those on your list, ALWAYS give the option to unsubscribe at the bottom of all of your communications .
What can I do with my list?
As I said, you can maintain communication with your referral sources, clients, or prospective clients. In addition, you can let your readers know about any new clinical services or programs you have for sale. You can promote adjunct services – niche marketing services, coaching, etc.
Now that you know the basics…
Start thinking about how having a list can broaden your scope and increase your chances for success in your Private Practice. It is essential part of marketing your practice.
Marketing is necessary, if you want to build your private practice. Marketing is the way you get exposure, and how you open the door for others to do business with you in the future. Learning more about marketing with “lists” is worth your time, effort, and money. Let me know (DrLegge@InfluentialTherapist.com) if I can help you with some Marketing-Specific Coaching — I’m glad to help!