Contents

Introduction

Even under benign economic conditions being great at what you do (physiotherapy, massage therapy, psychotherapy etc) is seldom going to be enough to create a viable and sustainable business.

Throw in a global pandemic and three months of lockdown and for many practitioners today’s environment is like starting up all over again.

With this in mind, effectively marketing your practice has NEVER been more important. 

If you’re wrestling with questions like:

  • How do I raise awareness of my practice in my local area?
  • How do I generate more online demand? 
  • How do I boost client numbers when there just aren’t enough enquiries coming in?
  • How can my existing clients help me spread the word about my practice?

Fear not! 

In this guide, I’m going to demystify all things marketing in a way that is jargon-free and actionable. I’ll show you that marketing your practice doesn’t have to be as scary and overwhelming as it might seem. 

And with the right amount of research and strategy, you’ll be able to take control of your own destiny and grow your practice regardless of the economic climate.

This cornerstone article is structured to give you an overview of what you’re going to need to know to start promoting your practice effectively. We’ll cover:

  • what private practice marketing is and what benefits it has for your practice
  • why you should always set the right foundation with proper research, strategy and goal setting
  • the different tactics you can or should focus on to reach your goals (online marketing, offline marketing, public relations, networking, etc.)
  • how you can start implementing your chosen tactics (depending on your resources, time and knowledge)

It’s quite a long read but I promise it will be well worth your time! Alternatively, if you’re short of time why not scroll to the end of the guide and download it as an eBook?

In subsequent articles we will drill into the specific tactics that you can employ to provide you with a comprehensive marketing toolkit to help you increase awareness of your practice and drive demand for your services.   

What is Healthcare Marketing For Private Practitioners?

Since “marketing” can mean different things to different people I feel it’s important to start off with a general definition of what healthcare or private practice marketing is.

In a healthcare setting, private practice marketing refers to any strategic and ethical communication (both external and internal as well as online and offline) intended to promote your private practice and attract new clients. 

The underlying idea being that you adopt a highly-personalised communication approach when speaking to your audience in order to enhance the relevance of your offer and ultimately increase your chances of converting prospects into clients. 

Why is Healthcare Marketing So Important?

There are a number of reasons that implementing some basic marketing strategies could be a game-changer for your practice. 

Maybe you simply wish to help as many people as possible by guiding them through the healthcare journey that you offer. Implementing successful marketing efforts would allow you to get your word out to larger audiences and therefore have a bigger impact in your community. 

Or, if you’re running your practice as a business, you might need to drive up income because you have bills to pay and salaries to cover. In order to do this responsibly over a long period of time, you would need to ensure that there is a steady flow of clients coming through your door regardless of external circumstances. 

To many of us, the current events related to COVID-19 and the imminent threat of a severe economic recession have proven to be a painful reminder that external circumstances can affect our sense of financial security in the blink of an eye. 

A properly executed marketing strategy can be one of the crucial puzzle pieces in trying to set up a system that continues to bring in clients when external circumstances are stacked against you.  

Aside from helping more people and driving up income, there are a number of other benefits you might start seeing after implementing just a few simple marketing strategies. Some might include:

  • A deeper understanding of who your clients are, what needs they have and what problems they expect you to be able to solve 
  • Increased demand and generated interest with less effort 
  • Improved competitive advantage over other providers in your target market
  • Stronger establishment as a presence and leader in your target market
  • Increased visibility and awareness among larger groups of people 
  • Increased authenticity and ease in creating relationships with your clients
  • Improved communication with your clients that keeps them engaged and supported throughout their health journey with you 
  • A better understanding of your clients’ satisfaction with the quality of their results and their experience with you 
  • A more solid and positive reputation among clients and your community
  • Improved loyalty and retention of clients for longer periods of time
  • Increased overall income as well as profit margins 

Not everyone will see improvement in these areas to the same degree and for many, it won’t be an immediate change either. Marketing shouldn’t be seen as an overnight solution but rather a long-term strategy that will set the foundation for your practice that will support you for years to come. 

So how do we get started? As with most things in life, the first step to success lies in preparing yourself with proper research.

How to Use This Guide

If you’re starting out you may wish to follow this guide sequentially but if you’re an established practice looking to up your marketing game then you may wish to “pick and mix” from the various strategies and approaches outlined in this guide. 

Step 1: Doing Your Research 

There is nothing less effective than going into your marketing activities blindly, starting a few different projects only because you think that’s what your clients want or because of what you heard from someone who knows someone who knows someone. 

The key to any successful marketing strategy lies in setting the right foundation for your individual situation and knowing WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. 

So your first step should always be to conduct proper research and analyses of your target audience and the corresponding target market. 

Audience Research 

Contrary to what most people associate with the idea of “marketing”, the most successful businesses in both healthcare and other industries spend the overwhelming majority of their time and effort focusing on the needs and wants of their target audience and hardly any time focusing on their own. 

This idea is generally referred to as “user-centered marketing” which simply means that the main focus of your marketing efforts should always be on your clients.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing your marketing as a tool to promote yourself, to tell people what you do and how you work to solve their problems. 

Instead, try approaching your marketing with the goal of aligning with your clients so everything you do and say serves them based on what it is that they want and need. 

This type of marketing really requires a skill that Seth Godin, a widely known thought-leader in the world of marketing, calls “practical empathy”. Above anything else, you need to be able to step into the shoes of your audience to understand who they are and why they have certain wants and needs. 

If you want to take a deep dive into this conceptualisation of marketing, I highly recommend taking a look at Seth’s book called This is Marketing to really grasp this idea that you can’t be seen unless you learn to see others first.  

In order to actually be able to put yourself in your audience’s shoes – you’re going to have to start with some basic research on who you’re targeting. 

If you’ve already been in practice for a while, you can start by looking at your current clients, but you just as well could also look at potential clients that you’d like to reach in the future.

Ask yourself some (or all!) of these questions: 

  • Who are my ideal clients? Who would I like to target? 
  • What age group do they usually fall into? 
  • Is there a predominant gender that they seem to represent?
  • Where do they live? What kind of jobs do they have? How much money do they make (roughly)? 
  • What kind of values and ideals do they have? 
  • Who influences their everyday lives?
  • What are their hopes and dreams?
  • What daily struggles and challenges do they face? 
  • Which of these specific issues could they need my help with?
  • What makes them need the type of service I offer? 
  • How do they find a practitioner to solve their problems? 
  • How are they paying for the service they need?
  • What issues come up in the process of interacting with me?
  • What questions do they have about this type of problem?

The more knowledge you have about who your target clients are, the more you will be able to draft a marketing strategy that truly resonates with them and makes you stand out from the crowd. 

The Client Journey 

Another really helpful tool to deepen your understanding of your client’s point of view can be mapping out your client journey (sometimes also called client funnel). 

You’ll want to map out the journey from the first moment they become aware they need help to the last moment where the situation is resolved and they move on with their life. 

This will help craft the optimal client experience in each individual step which will hopefully then lead to a better overall experience in the end.

The exact steps in their journey will ultimately depend on your discipline of course. However, a general client journey will usually look something like this: 

  1. Awareness Stage: The moment they become aware that there is something they need help with. 
  2. Consideration Stage: The moment they decide that they want to find a treatment and start evaluating different treatment options
  3. Decision-Making Stage: The moment they decide that you’re the best solution and buy your service/book an appointment
  4. First Visit/Treatment: The moment they first set foot in your practice and receive the first consultation/treatment for their problem 
  5. Retention Stage (if on-going): The moment they decide that they want to keep coming back to you (if continued treatment is needed)
  6. Resolution Stage (if possible): The moment they decide the situation is resolved and they no longer need your service (if the situation can be resolved)
  7. Advocacy Stage: The moment they decide to tell someone else about their experience with you or recommend you to someone who might need similar help

Regardless of the exact steps you decide to map out in your client journey, for each individual stage, you’ll want to consider some of the following questions: 

  • What needs does my client have in this stage? What are they feeling?
  • What are their concerns and fears? What are their hopes and dreams? 
  • What is the best possible experience they could have in this stage? 
  • What is the worst possible experience they could have in this stage? 
  • What would prevent them from moving on to the next stage? 
  • Who or what influences their decision to move on to the next stage?

Having a basic understanding of what is on your client’s mind in each individual stage and what it takes to create the best possible experience for them, will help you decide how, when, where and what to communicate to increase the chances of moving them into the next stage. 

Market Research

Once you have understood who your target audience is and what kind of needs they have, you’ll want to understand how those needs are already being met (or not being met) within the area you’d like to operate in. 

The term “market research” can sound awfully like something that involves people in fancy suits with fancy business degrees but in reality, thanks to the internet, conducting this type of research is actually quite simple.

Start off by putting yourself in your client’s shoes and imagine how they would go about finding a treatment solution (this is where the research you’ve done for your client journey can be incredibly helpful!).  

A simple Google search or a browse through some of the relevant online directories in your field or online review sites such as Yelp can provide information on who is already operating in your market. 

Next, you might want to turn to some of the connections you already have within the community you’re trying to serve. 

Speak to some of the local GP’s or other healthcare professionals you already have a relationship with and ask them about their experiences. Not only will this increase your chances of potentially securing informal referrals in the future but you’ll also be able to find out more about the needs and wants of your client population from people with practical experience.  

If you’re feeling particularly tech-savvy, you might also want to take a look at a tool called the Google Keyword Planner. It’s a free tool  that shows you how often certain words or phrases are searched for on Google. 

Simply look up some of the common phrases your clients might use to find providers in your area such as “therapist in colchester” or “therapist essex”. You can also predetermine the location you’d like to search and then include common phrases like “therapist near me”. 

Source: Google Keyword Planner, July 2020

The data that Google provides is never 100% accurate so it’s best not to take the actual numbers you’ll see too seriously. Rather, look at it from a bird’s eye perspective. 

Compare the search volume for all the different treatment options you offer or perhaps compare the search volume for your town and all the surrounding towns to get a better lay of the land. 

Step 2: Defining Your Strategy

Once you have uncovered all relevant information with your research, you’ll want to use it as the foundation for defining your overall strategy.

One of the most important things when it comes to your marketing efforts is coherency. If you think of your marketing as a story that you tell about yourself and your practice, it’s easy to understand that you need to have the basic story blocks clearly defined before you start telling your story. Otherwise it’ll lead to incoherent storytelling that lacks consistency and is difficult to follow for your audience. 

Some of the basics that you’ll want to map out here are:  

  • Purpose: Which problems do I offer to solve and why do I want to solve them?
  • Services: What exactly do I do to help solve clients’ problems? What does the process look like? 
  • People: Within my potential audience, who do I want to target? Who are my ideal clients that I want to serve? Are there different sub-groups within my ideal audience (Personas)? What needs, wants, problems, fears, hopes and dreams do they have? 
  • Pricing: How much do I charge for each of these services? Do I cater to insurance-based clients or cash-based clients? Do I offer price packages with discounts for those who want multiple related services at once? (For a detailed guide on how to price your services, check out one of our past articles here
  • Place: Where do I offer my services? Historically, this has very much been bound to geographical location but thanks to the internet, many practitioners could now consider going online and providing services to larger audiences. 
  • Positioning: What makes me different from other providers offering similar services? Why should someone come to me rather than one of my competitors? 
  • Touch Points: Where do I interact with my audience? Online (website, social media, email, ads, etc.) as well as offline (my office, print material, news coverage, local events, etc.)
  • Visual Design: What do the visual elements of my practice look like? This includes your logo, fonts, colors and any other visual design elements you use. 

If you’re just starting out, this step can be incredibly helpful to have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve. If you’ve been operating for a while, you might already have some or even most of these elements in place. 

In either case, I’d highly recommend spending some time to create a document that clearly maps out the answers to the above-mentioned questions. Once you get started with a variety of different marketing tactics, you’ll find that it will be a tremendously helpful resource to come back to when you’re unsure of what direction to go in.

Step 3: Setting Your Goals

The last critical step in preparing yourself for success (we’ll get to the nitty gritty marketing tactics in just a moment) is defining clear goals for yourself so you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish and can track your progress effectively. 

There are two main parts to drafting goals for yourself – looking at where you’re currently at and then looking at where you would like to go.

Let’s first take a look at how to understand where you’re currently at. 

Self-Analysis 

Once you have a solid understanding of your ideal client, their journey with you as well as the details of what it is you have to offer them, you can use that information to critically evaluate where you currently stand as a whole.

In the marketing world, this is called a SWOT analysis which (just like any other marketing term I’ve introduced so far) sounds way fancier and more complicated than it actually is.  

In essence, all it means is taking a look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and determining where you’re currently doing a good job already and where there is room for improvement. 

Ask yourself the following questions and jot down anything that comes up onto a piece of paper or a Word document: 

  1. What are we really good at? Where are we better than our competitors? What do our clients really like about our practice or service? Where are we delivering real value to our clients?
  2. What are we not so good at? Where are our competitors better than we are? Where do our clients usually have complaints about our practice? What factors are holding us back?
  3. What kind of regulatory changes could benefit us? Is there a gap in the market that we could grow into? What kind of opportunities have we not pursued yet? Are there any upcoming opportunities that may arise? 
  4. Who are our current competitors? Is the market for our service declining? Are there external forces that might interfere at any moment? Are our running cost going to increase anytime soon?

Goal-Setting

Based on the information you’ve identified in your SWOT analysis and depending on the type of growth you’re hoping to achieve, you should now be able to determine what kind of goals might be worth striving for. 

As always, these goals are going to be highly dependent on your situation and circumstances, but here are a few ideas of what might be considered relevant in a private practice setting: 

  • Total generated income
  • Total generated profit 
  • Number of new clients
  • Clients retention rate
  • Number of appointments booked
  • Number of clients per specific case type
  • Number of clients per specific treatment type
  • Number of practice visits per client
  • Number of referrals per referring physician 
  • Number of new referring physicians
  • Number of visitors to website (or blog or landing page)
  • Number of total (or new) email subscribers 
  • Number of total (or new) social media followers
  • Number of clients converted from online advertising 
  • Number of new client reviews (positive or negative)

When it comes to setting your goals, the sky’s the limit as to what you think are the most appropriate goals to set for yourself. There are however a few criteria that you should consider so that you give yourself the best possible chance of actually achieving them. 

The framework generally used for this (you might have heard of it before) is called SMART goals which stands for the following:

  • Specific: Set a goal that has enough detail so that you actually know what success looks like 
  • Measurable: Set a goal that you can easily track so you can measure your progress and determine when you have achieved it
  • Attainable: Set a goal that is realistic and achievable for everyone involved
  • Relevant: Set a goal that is linked to the type of growth you’re trying to achieve 
  • Time-Bound: Set a goal that has a clear deadline by which you want to achieve the goal 

It’s important to set enough goals so that you’re clear on what it is you want to achieve, yet not to overwhelm yourself with so many that you can’t give each the attention it deserves. Ideally, you would start off by setting about 3-5 quantifiable goals that you can track for the next 6 to 12 months to measure the progress you’re making. 

Based on these goals, you’ll then want to choose the kind of tactics to implement to achieve them.

Step 4: Choosing Your Marketing Tactics

After you’ve decided what goals you want to reach, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to reach them. 

Imagine, for a moment, you’re trying to put together a new piece of furniture you just bought. You walk into the shed/garage to find your toolkit and ask yourself “Which of these tools am I going to take back inside?”

Well, you probably wouldn’t waste your energy on carrying the entire toolkit back into the living room. Why? Because the majority of them won’t help you get any closer to your goal of putting together that nice new IKEA bookshelf. Instead, you’ll probably just grab a hammer, some screwdrivers and be done with it. 

Oddly enough, marketing kind of works the same way. 

If you look at all of the tools that are available in today’s  “toolkit” of marketing, you’ll find that there is a rather large assortment of tools to choose from. It’s incredibly easy to see all the different tactics and fall into the trap of thinking you have to do everything in order to be successful. 

In reality however, I find that in many cases the opposite is actually true. If you’re trying to do everything, you’ll usually end up accomplishing nothing. 

Instead try starting small (but smart). Pick a few select tactics that strategically align with the goals you’ve set for yourself and only focus on investing your time and energy in those. Once you’ve mastered them, you can then always go back and add more tools from the toolkit. 

For the easiest possible overview of all the different tactics available, we’ve grouped them into the following sections: online marketing, offline marketing, public relations, networking/referrals and internal marketing. 

1) Online Marketing

In today’s landscape, having an online presence has become just as crucial as having a nicely set up and clean facility or a good reputation among your community. The reality is that for most of your clients the Internet will play a role in their decision making process. So if you’re not present in this space, you’re going to miss out on valuable opportunities to get seen by your audience. 

I understand that the online marketing landscape can be overwhelming and confusing to say the least so in the following section, I’m going to do my best to give you a brief overview of the different fields within online marketing. 

This article is not meant to provide detailed how-to information for every field but rather help you understand what the goal of each of these tactics is and how they can all work together to form a solid online presence for your practice. 

Website 

Your website is the cornerstone of your entire online presence. In many cases, it’ll be the first thing potential clients see and almost all of your other marketing tactics will lead back to your website at some point in the client’s journey so it’s critical that your website is set up to make a good impression. 

In short, there are four steps to creating a solid website for your practice: 

  1. Choose a domain name and check if it’s available. You can check and buy domains from sources like GoDaddy.com or Google Domains.
  2. Choose a platform to host and build your website. You can choose to go with all-in-one services like Squarespace or Wix or go with options that offer more control like a Bluehost/WordPress.org integration.
  3. Create a layout and design for your website. All of the above mentioned services offer simple drag and drop functionality and templates.
  4. Add your content to your website. This includes compelling text, all necessary information, images and perhaps video. 

Generally said, having a website is better than having no website at all. However, once you do have a website set up, there are a few criteria that can help you optimise it so that you increase your chances of converting visitors to potential prospects. 

This type of work is called conversion rate optimisation and basically entails any and all changes you make to your website in order to increase the rate at which website visitors become paying clients. 

There are lots of different elements to consider when trying to optimise your website. We’ll cover this topic in-depth in an upcoming article but to give you a quick overview of what this type of work consists of, here are some of the elements that you might consider:

  • A layout and user experience that is easy to navigate and lets the user find the information they are looking for without any difficulty 
  • Defined goals for the specific action you want the user to take on each page (e.g. call, contact you for more information, book an appointment, sign up for a newsletter, etc.) and a corresponding “call to action” so the user clearly knows what you want them to do 
  • Compelling copy (the text on your website) that addresses the visitors motivations, explains your unique value, establishes credibility and addresses any questions or concerns the user might have
  • Improved contact forms with reduced number of input fields 

Another important question to consider in terms of your website is “How are people actually going to find my website?”. 

Your website itself will only do you so much good if it can’t easily be found by people who are searching for your type of service in search engines like Google or Bing.

In order to give yourself the best chances of showing up high in these rankings, you’ll want to optimise your website content and layout so that Google (or any other search engine) can easily understand it. 

This process is generally referred to as search engine optimisation.  

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

In essence, Google has little robots that scan your website so they can understand what it is about and show it to people looking up relevant search terms. 

The goal is therefore to make it as easy as possible for Google to understand who you are, where you are located, what you do, etc. so that they can accurately show your website when people are looking up things that you want to show up for. 

If you’re mainly trying to show up for local searches within your community, then focussing on Google’s local SEO option called Local Pack is going to be your best bet. 

The Local Pack is the section at the top of each search engine results page (also called SERP) that shows a group of businesses in the area that you are searching for. 

Source: Local Pack for “Therapist in Colchester”

The information that Google displays in this section is pulled from a variety of places but mainly from your Google My Business Account. So I’d highly recommend signing up for a free account and providing as much information for them as you can (if you haven’t already). 

For instructions on how to sign-up and get your business listen, check out this short guide by Google itself.

If you’re looking to reach an audience that is broader than just your local community (if you’re offering online treatment for example), you’ll also want to make sure you optimise your website so that it will organically rank for searches that don’t include local information. 

Ranking high in organic searches is an art in itself but the basic steps that will help you be successful are: 

  • Optimising your website layout and design (also called user experience) so that it’s easy for Google to understand who you are and what you do
  • Making sure your website is fast, secure and mobile-friendly (Google puts a lot of emphasis on this in determining whether a website is good enough to rank)
  • Determining which keywords/search terms you want each page to rank for and including those keywords/search terms in your content so that Google knows what the page is about 
  • Establishing yourself as an expert in your field (in Google’s eyes) by publishing a lot of content on your area of expertise (incl. blog, landing pages, press releases, etc.)
  • Establishing yourself as a trusted authority (in Google’s eyes) by having many other trusted websites in your industry link to yours

Content Marketing 

Content marketing generally refers to the process of creating high-quality, relevant content for your audience that you give away for free. It can have two major benefits for your practice.

As I just mentioned, it can help fuel your SEO strategy by positioning you as an authority in the eyes of Google which allows you to rank higher in search engines, thus bringing more visitors to your website. 

Aside from Google however, content marketing can also be an incredibly valuable tool in positioning yourself as a trusted authority in the eyes of your target audience. It can help you build a relationship with them and establish credibility before you ask anyone to buy anything at all. 

The simple truth here is that your audience uses the internet to look up health information and educate themselves on topics way before they decide they need to pay for a service or buy a product. 

By publishing relevant content that is both helpful, engaging and free, you can help people take the first steps in their healthcare journey and answer some of the first questions they might have. If down the road they then decide that they need treatment, they will already know who you are and perhaps trust your name just enough to pick you over that other practitioner in your area that they’ve never heard of before.

Some of the ways that you could publish content include: 

  • Blogging (on your own blog and as a guest blogger on other websites)
  • eBooks and other downloadable resources
  • Social Media 
  • Podcasts (your own or as a guest)
  • YouTube
  • Email Newsletters 

When it comes to developing ideas for your content, your initial audience research is going to be an incredibly helpful asset to you. The best content is content that addresses your client’s problems, challenges, gaps in their knowledge, advice they might be looking for. So when you’re stuck for ideas of what to create, you can always take a look at the information you collected and start from there.

And on a last note – don’t feel the need to be too polished here just because you’re “publishing online”. Of course, creating high quality content will make you look professional. But oftentimes, you’ll find that all your audience is looking for is simple and understandable information from a person that they can relate to. 

Especially in a healthcare setting where people can feel intimidated by healthcare professionals, creating content that makes you seem approachable and less intimidating can be of much higher value than creating fancy content with all the latest bells and whistles. Be genuine, personable and stay true to who you are in person, and you’ll create a great foundation for your content strategy.

If content marketing sounds like something you’d want to learn more about, you can check out our in-depth guide on how to take advantage of the power of content marketing for your practice here. The guide will take you through all the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started. 

https://www.writeupp.com/blog/grow-your-audience-using-the-power-of-content-marketing

Social Media 

Social Media has been around for long enough that most practitioners have probably been told something along the lines of “Oh you HAVE to create a Facebook profile for your practice. It’s the only way to reach people anymore” at least once in their career.

Most practitioners intuitively know that being active on social media is a good idea and many spend a decent amount of time actually doing it. The question I hear a lot of professionals ask however is – Why? Why am I doing this exactly? What am I trying to achieve? 

Many practitioners (and businesses alike) approach social media as a tool to push their information out  to as many people as possible and hope that just by increasing their followers or likes, they will automatically increase their number of interested prospects.

What I would like to show is that, aside from creating and sharing content to attract new clients, there are many other ways you could be using social media to make it a worthwhile tool for your practice. Some of the most important ones include:

  • Engaging with content from other users within your local community (local professionals, businesses, authorities, influencers, etc.) to build genuine relationships and gain name recognition 
  • Gathering client reviews and testimonials to increase credibility
  • Providing a behind-the-scenes look into your practice for prospective clients (coming from your website or a word-of-mouth recommendation) to learn more about you 
  • Providing engaging and relevant information for current clients to increase chances of client retention 
  • Responding and talking to people who are engaging with your content or asking you questions to build genuine relationships
  • Listening to what people in your community are talking about to really understand where their pain points are and what is on their mind (local or topic-based Facebook groups are an incredibly useful tool for this!)

If you do choose to use social media, one thing to keep in mind is that in many healthcare professions there will be some ethical guidelines to consider in regards to the privacy of your clients. In general, your clients’ privacy should always be your main priority. 

Share your social media profiles with clients but it goes without saying that you should never ask or demand they follow you online. Never share any private information about their sessions on social media. Keep your own personal information and relationships separate from your business account and don’t let clients access it unless you feel comfortable doing so. 

If you’re eager to start your social media journey, you can check out our full guide on how to get started with social media right here. In 5 simple steps, the article takes you through everything you’ll need to know to get started today.

Pay-per-Click (PPC) Advertising

If you have a good understanding of who your target audience is and a bit of budget to spare at the end of the month then pay-per-click advertising might be a great way for you to easily increase awareness and incoming leads. 

The two most common forms of online advertising are search ads and social media ads. 

Search ads are the short ads that you see at the very top of most searches and that are labeled “Ad”. Since these ads are paid for, they show up above any local pack listings and regular organic search rankings and are therefore ideal for driving traffic to your website. 

Source: Google Ads that show for “therapist in colchester”

If you’re looking to increase the number of clients for your practice, search ads can be a game-changer because you can easily and quickly get your practice in front of users in the exact moment that they are looking for a therapist.  

The sophisticated targeting capabilities that platforms like Google Ads have to offer, allow you to choose exactly which keywords and search phrases you would like your ads to show for and then narrow it down even more by determining what kind of people you want to target (age, gender, geo-location, etc.). This can be incredibly helpful in ensuring that the visitors coming to your website are a good fit for your practice and you’re not wasting your money. 

Social media ads on the other hand are (generally speaking) a better fit if you’re trying to increase awareness for your practice within your community. 

While social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn allow the same large variety of targeting options as Google does, the very nature of a social media ad differs from that of a search ad. 

When someone is looking up “therapist in Colchester” on Google, they are actively looking for a therapist and wanting to see that your option is available to them. On social media on the other hand, you are inherently interrupting someone who isn’t actively looking for anything while they are scrolling through their social media feed. 

As I mentioned, this type of exposure can still be incredibly effective in increasing awareness and name recognition for your services and even getting new clients to your website. But it’s important to understand the fundamental difference between this type of advertising and the direct response kind on Google or other search engines. 

In general, most ad networks (Google, Facebook and the like) operate on a bidding system. The popularity of the keywords or search terms you want to show for is what determines the price of the ad. 

Source: Google Keyword Planner

If you’re wondering whether you have the budget needed to successfully run some PPC ads, let me briefly explain how it works. 

The standard industry conversion rate for most ads is about 5%. This can vary greatly depending on many factors such as the quality of your ads, the quality of your landing page, your targeting options, etc. But for this example, let’s assume it’s 5%. 

At a conversion rate of 5%, you would need about 20 people to click on your ad for one of them to convert to a paying client. Depending on the cost-per-click (CPC) for the keyword you were wanting to rank for, this would determine how much budget you would need to get one conversion. 

Looking at the examples taken from Google Keyword Planner, you can see that the budget needed in London would be much higher (20 x £3.93 = £78,60) than the budget needed in Harlow (20 x £1.47 = £29,40). 

Whether or not this seems worth it to you, will completely depend on the value that a new client brings to your business and what percentage of that value you’re willing to give up to gain that client. 

If a new client is worth £1000 (10 visits at a £100 per visit), then spending £78,60 to acquire that client can definitely make a lot of sense. On the other hand, if a new client is only worth £80 because they come for two visits at £40 per visit, then spending £78,60 to acquire that user definitely wouldn’t make any sense. 

I know the in’s and out’s and calculations of PPC can seem rather intimidating and complicated and there’s definitely a certain amount of skill required to set up and manage effective PPC ads for your practice. If you want to go more in-depth on this topic and learn exactly what you need to know to get started, we have a complete guide on how to start Google Ads to help you grow your private practice available here. 

(I’ll also cover some basic implementation options if you don’t have the required skills to do this yourself at the end of the article!)

https://www.writeupp.com/blog/a-complete-guide-to-growing-your-practice-using-google-ads/

Email Marketing

Email marketing can be an effective tool to help you establish better relationships and build trust with your audience but it all depends on how you approach it.

Almost no one is going to engage with that mundane company newsletter they get once a month that sounds too professional and contains the same information that they could find with a 30 second Google search if they wanted to. 

Instead, look at your email marketing as a way to be personal and put a human face to your practice so your audience actually knows who is behind the scenes. 

Share some of your personal experiences that might be relevant to your audience. Pass on industry news that they might not have access to. Use your expertise to send out helpful information that will actually make a difference in your client’s life.

The key to successful email marketing is providing a variety of content that captures your audience’s interest because it is useful and interesting.

One of the biggest advantages of email marketing in this regard is the ability to segment your email lists into different sub-lists and tailor your email content accordingly. 

You might want to separate potential clients from existing ones and adapt your email content according to the problems you’ve identified for each stage in your audience research. Or maybe it would be interesting to group people by their condition so you can send relevant content to each group. 

The beauty here is that the choice is absolutely up to you and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Your email marketing strategy can be as general or as detailed as you see fit. 

There are countless tools available that can help you manage your email lists and create/send out email campaigns. Most of them cover roughly the same features and functionalities (at least the basic ones) and only vary in things like price and customer support. 

For a full overview and comparison of the best tools available for small business, check out this really helpful article here.

Reputation Management

Client reviews and testimonials are an incredibly powerful tool in influencing potential clients in their buying journey. Aside from checking popular review sites, more and more individuals are turning to Google and/or social media to read about other’s experiences before making a decision about a potential healthcare provider. 

According to a 2019 survey that asked over 800 individuals about their opinion on online reviews in a healthcare setting, 69.9% of respondents consider a positive online reputation to be very or extremely important when choosing a medical practitioner. 

Effectively managing your reviews (both positive and negative ones) can therefore have an enormous impact on your online reputation. Here are the top four strategies that will help you adapt your practice to receive better online reviews. 

  • Earn positive reviews by providing an excellent client experience. The best strategy for dealing with negative reviews is preventing them in the first place. Of course this is much easier said than done. In order to limit negative reviews, your practice will have to create a practice-wide commitment to putting the client experience first. Even when things go wrong (which they inevitably will), approach each situation from the client’s perspective and ask yourself what you can do to improve their experience and show that you care. 
  • Encourage clients to give feedback after every encounter they have with you. Many issues or concerns don’t have to lead to a negative review online if they are addressed directly and clients can feel like they are heard. In most cases however, you can’t rely on your clients to bring up an issue on their own because people tend to be non-confrontational. Instead, create an environment where you openly ask for feedback after every session and clients feel safe to be honest with you. 
  • Encourage happy clients to post a review online. If you’re regularly asking for in-person feedback from clients and you notice that someone is thoroughly happy with their experience, simply ask them if they would consider reviewing you online. There are a number of services (including WriteUpp) that allow you to request feedback via email or text after a successful session.
  • Always address negative reviews proactively and empathetically. No matter how committed you are to providing the perfect experience, you will inevitably get a negative review here or there. The above-mentioned study however showed that when client’s negative reviews were addressed by the practice, their satisfaction rate nearly doubled, increasing 99%. But not all replies are created equal. While it is natural to want to defend yourself by countering their negative review, this will only make you look defensive and uncaring. Instead, apologise for their inconvenience and ask if they can contact you privately so you can resolve the complaint together. If you do resolve it, you might want to ask if they would consider taking down the negative review. 

Online Directories 

Another great online tool to get seen by people who are actively trying to find a specialist are online directories. Signing up for these usually comes with a price tag that can vary from a yearly membership cost to a % fee on all sessions booked through the platform. Depending on your discipline, these might be more or less useful to you. 

From what I can see, it seems that in disciplines such as psychotherapy, almost all of the top rankings are taken by directories such as findatherapist.co.uk or counselling-directory.org.uk, whereas for others such as physiotherapy, there are hardly any at all. 

Source: Search results for “psychotherapy in colchester”

In general, I would recommend checking the search results that show up for relevant keywords within your discipline and area to see if there are any online directories that rank in the top positions.  

If there are, it might be worth seeing if you can set up an account for a free trial period to test if this would be something worth your investment.

2) Offline Marketing

Over the last few years, online marketing has somewhat taken over the stage in the business world. It’s easy to measure, fairly cheap in most cases and offers highly advanced targeting options to meet your audience where they spend a lot of their time: online. 

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a place for an effective offline marketing strategy to help grow your practice. In fact, the most successful businesses today know how to combine both online and offline marketing tactics to create a well-rounded approach that helps amplify their brand. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the offline tactics that can help you grow your practice – in the real world 😉  

Client Word-of-Mouth

If you think back all the way to the beginning of the article for a moment, you’ll hopefully remember that I talked all about mapping out your client journey into different stages. 

The idea of word-of-mouth marketing is basically to successfully get your client into the  advocacy stage, the stage where they decide to tell someone else about their experience with you or recommend you to someone with a similar problem. 

While you can see incredible results with the various online marketing techniques I’ve talked about so far, there is still nothing more powerful than a happy client that is so satisfied with your service that they go and tell all their friends and family about how amazing you are. 

Unfortunately, by virtue of the way word-of-mouth marketing works, there is hardly anything you can do to influence what and how much your clients say about you, other than making sure that you’re providing the best client experience possible.

The good news however is that pretty much everything you do has an impact on the client experience so there is absolutely no shortage of opportunities to turn your clients into happy supporters of your practice. 

This is where the time invested and information collected by researching each stage of the journey can pay off immensely if you use it correctly. 

Simply go through each stage (you can skip both the awareness stage and the advocacy stage since you don’t really have influence over either) and identify what it is that could have an impact on your client’s overall satisfaction.

Here are some questions that might help to get you started:

Consideration Stage

  • How easy was it to find your service as a solution? 
  • Is there enough information about you available (online or offline) to help them easily make an informed decision? 

Decision-Making Stage: 

  • How easy is your appointment booking process? 
  • Do you have online booking available? 
  • Is this process communicated understandably? 
  • Are you friendly on the phone when someone calls to book an appointment?
  • How long do you have to wait to get an appointment? 

First Visit/Treatment: 

  • What is their first impression of your office/practice? Is it well-maintained, clean, professional looking? 
  • Does your signage and decor match the online branding they’ve seen? 
  • Are you (or your staff) well dressed and wearing clothing that looks professional? 
  • Are you, your front desk reception or your staff friendly and supportive no matter what? 
  • How long do they have to wait to be called into their appointment? 
  • Are they satisfied with the quality of treatment and care they’re given? 
  • Do you offer a variety of payment options?

Retention Stage (if on-going): 

  • Can they expect consistent good-quality care over the course of their treatment? 
  • Is your communication consistent and trustworthy over the course of their treatment?
  • Do you send reminders via text or email before each appointment? 
  • What is your cancellation or rescheduling policy in case someone wants to move one of their appointments?
  • Do you offer any discount packages for clients who want to book several appointments at once?

Resolution Stage (if possible): 

  • What do you do when a client’s treatment is completed? 
  • If needed, do you offer any advice for continued at-home care/treatment? 
  • Do you provide enough time for the client to ask any remaining questions?

Each one of these questions on their own might seem like they won’t have a substantial impact on the overall satisfaction of your clients. And indeed, just because something goes wrong once (which it inevitably will anyway – none of us are 100% perfect all of the time) doesn’t mean you’ll jeopardise your chances of creating a happy client by any means.

What really matters is your attitude towards trying to provide the best possible service, no matter how big or small. Things can go wrong all the time but if you’re determined to try your genuine best with everything that you do, it will show and your clients will notice. They’ll see that you genuinely care about listening to them and helping them solve their problems and they’ll think to themselves “This is the kind of care that I need to tell everyone about!”. 

Employee Word-of-Mouth

Employee or staff word-of-mouth works in the exact same way as client word-of-mouth except this time it’s your employees that are being your cheerleaders. 

It really doesn’t matter if you’re a one-man (or one-woman) show, you have 2 other team members or you’re a 10 people practice – in the end you’re striving to make yourself and everyone else love their work and workplace so much that they can’t help but tell other people about it. 

Of course, it’s completely up to you how you decide to run your practice and what kind of work environment you want to create for your employees so I’ll keep what I have to say rather short.  

Here are a few things of the things that you might want to consider to increase employee satisfaction: 

  • positive and uplifting office culture 
  • great internal communication structures to keep everybody informed 
  • great onboarding process for new team members
  • after-work team events and informal socialising opportunities
  • employee training and professional development opportunities
  • rewards & other work benefits 
  • branded merch for office & home (t-shirts, jumpers, etc.) 

It’s important to remember however that everyone is different. What works for one employee might end up being a recipe for disaster for another and the best thing you can do for your employees is simply sit down with each one individually and ask them what would make them happy. 

Print

Last but not least, another simple yet effective way of getting your practice seen is by distributing a variety of printed marketing collateral. 

It might seem old-school but even today, distributing flyers and brochures in your community can be a very helpful tool to raise awareness for your practice among your audience. 

You might want to distribute them among any public places that your target audience spends time in, such as any local businesses, gyms, cafés, libraries, or hang them up on community boards in supermarkets or sports clubs. 

Another form of traditional advertising you could try is playing some ads in your local newspaper or magazine that are posted through the door in your local community. These are usually not very expensive and you can ensure that you reach a hyper-local audience. 

If historically you’ve shied away from any type of work that requires design skills then let me suggest that you check out Canva, a free and incredibly simple online design tool. 

Canva lets you choose any type of item you’d like to design – from flyers and brochures, to invoices, letterheads, business cards, ads etc. (You can even use this for your online marketing designs as well!) 

From there, Canva gives you countless different templates which you can even filter down by different sub-topic. Just to give you an idea – here are some of the options they have available for medical brochures :

If you find a template that you like, you can then update colors, fonts, logos, etc. to make it align with your practice branding as well as add your own images and graphics or pick from hundreds of free images and graphics in their design library. Then simply add your own text and download it before you can take it off to be printed. 

3) Public Relations

Public relations differ from regular marketing strategies (both online and offline) in that they aren’t concerned with directly attracting new clients but rather with creating a positive image and good reputation of your practice among your community. 

There are many ways you can try to positively influence your public image, almost all of them will cost you nothing and they can be a great way to make a positive impact within your community. 

Media & News Coverage 

One of the best ways to spread the word about your practice is to get covered by local media or news outlets. Make yourself available for interviews or appearances on any form of local media. This may include:

  • Local newspapers 
  • Local television channels
  • Local radio stations
  • Local podcasts 
  • Local publications (both printed and online) 
  • Local influencers (online bloggers, YouTubers, etc.) 

You can reach out to the people working at these outlets and suggest topics you could talk about that would be valuable to their audiences. 

But even more important is building friendly relationships with people and establishing yourself as the local expert on whatever your discipline may be. Follow them on social media, engage with their posts, read and comment on their blogs or invite them out to lunch or coffee (or a virtual chat). That way the next time they need input from someone in your field, they’ll know who to turn to.

Community Events & Talks

Public speaking within your community is another great way to spread awareness for your practice.  

One of the best ways to find local speaking opportunities is checking with local businesses and business owners and offering to speak to their employees about topics that bridge your expertise with their needs. Most business owners are interested in improving their employees’ lives and contributing to their education so more than likely, they’ll be happy to invite you to come speak about something you’re passionate about.

Aside from business, there are many other options for places you might want to go and speak. These could include universities and schools, community centers, churches, youth groups and other youth organisations. Any organisation within your community that might find value in what you offer would be worth reaching out to.

*Sidenote: Due to the current circumstances regarding COVID-19, most in-person speaking opportunities will be inappropriate for the time being but you can always offer to give a free online presentation combined with a Q&A session on a relevant topic. 

Local/Industry Awards 

This category doesn’t need much explanation. A great way to be recognised by fellow businesses and community members is by applying for both local and industry-specific business awards. The goal of these awards is to celebrate and promote businesses and individuals that do great work so it’s a perfect opportunity for you to be recognised. 

If you aren’t aware of any relevant awards you might apply for, a simple Google search for “your location or profession + awards” should reveal a number of different options available. 

Most award shows have different categories for you to apply to so you can choose to apply to those most relevant to you. Additionally, most (although not all) applications are free of charge so there isn’t much too lose by just giving it a shot. All the application usually requires is some basic information about your business and a short summary on why you should be considered for the award. 

Sponsorships

If you’re looking to increase awareness within your community and have a bit of budget to spare, sponsorships can be another great tool to get your name in front of new people. 

Local events that are looking for sponsorship usually include concerts, local sports teams and sporting events, business awards, charity drives and organizations or local county fairs.

The most common form of sponsorship is indeed through monetary donations. But depending on the organisation or cause, you could always consider volunteering your time or providing your services for free. 

While sponsorships can be a great way to get involved and recognised by your community, you’ll want to make sure that you carefully select which types of sponsorships you agree to. 

Generally speaking, the values of the event or organisation you’re sponsoring should closely align with the values of your business. Not only does this increase the chances of being seen by people who might be similar to your target audience but it also reduces the risk of harming your reputation by sponsoring something that goes against what you stand for.  

4) Networking for Referrals

There are probably few other ways of acquiring new clients that require as little effort on your behalf as a referral from an external source that is willing to extend a good word for you.

The problem with this of course is that because it’s such an easy way to gain new clients, everybody wants to be referred to and so you have to be able to stand out from the crowd. People need to be able to trust that they should recommend you over anybody else who might be competing for your audience. 

And how do you get to build relationships with people that are strong enough for that kind of trust? 

Simple. By networking. The only unfortunate thing is that if done right, networking does require a lot of time and effort. 

I know networking can seem intimidating and overwhelming to many so in the following section, I’ll briefly cover some easy networking opportunities, both online and offline. 

Online Networking

Thanks to social media, you can start your networking efforts without ever having to leave your house (or keep them going while we’re stuck at home and dealing with a global pandemic).

One of the best tools for professional networking is LinkedIn. If you aren’t using it or don’t know what it is, in short LinkedIn is the professional equivalent to Facebook. 

It allows you to set up a profile solely based on your professional experience, connect with other professionals within your community or industry and share regular updates from yourself or your practice. 

A mistake I see many professionals across industries make is using LinkedIn the same way you would Facebook – by only adding and connecting with people you already know. Instead, try to think of Linkedin as one big networking event. The goal is to reestablish relationships with people you already know but you also want to spend a considerable amount of time getting to know new people.

Don’t be afraid to just go on LinkedIn, find people within your community or industry and, even if you don’t know them, drop them a message explaining who you are and why you would love to connect with them. This type of outreach can feel awkward at first but I assure you that it’s common practice and you’d be surprised as to how many people will be willing to connect with you. 

Another great tool for connecting with relevant professionals is Facebook groups. You’ll find that there are more private practice, industry-specific and local business Facebook groups that you can probably imagine. 

Join the ones that seem relevant and active to you, perhaps introduce yourself and what you do when you join and then continue to be an active member with the focus on contributing value to the group. Most groups don’t allow self-promotion so you’d really want to use this as a tool to help other members and build genuine relationships.

Offline Networking

As far as in-person networking is concerned, you’ll want to focus your efforts on two distinct groups of people. 

  • Healthcare professionals who can refer their clients via official referral 
  • Any other individuals who can recommend you if they see the need 

For official referrals, your first step should always be to check the official regulations of your industry or country that you’ll need to abide by in order to receive referrals from GPs or other types of health services. In many cases, you will need to acquire a registration with an official institution such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in order to receive official referrals on a contractual basis. 

Once you’re legally registered to accept referrals from these sources, you can start networking with local GPs and/or other practitioners within the industry. Make a list of all medical professionals that might be interesting to you. This could include: 

  • any medical professionals that you’d like to connect with in your local area
  • any medical professionals that you have personally used in the past (or are still using) 
  • any medical professionals that you have worked with or referred to in the past (even if it was a different setting) 
  • any medical professionals that your clients are already using and can recommend you to

A great tool to have when reaching out to new practitioners to introduce yourself is a referral pack. This can take the form of a few printed pages or even a brief online document that you make available on your website. It should include relevant information about who you are, your qualifications, experience, the services you offer and fees you charge.  

Don’t forget to also include any specifications on the types of clients you see, the methods you use and the types of payments you accept. The more specific you can be in advance, the better your chances of receiving referrals that actually meet your requirements. 

When it comes to referrals from non-healthcare sources, you might be surprised by how many people you could reach out to in order to grow your network.  

Think about all the people you already know who work in professions that come into contact with a lot of people: business owners and HR professionals in local businesses, lawyers, professors or teachers in local schools and universities, gym owners, hair stylists, beauticians, church or other community leaders, leaders in sports clubs, the barista at your favorite coffee shop or owner of your favorite restaurant. 

The goal here isn’t to approach all of these people and ask them to sell your services for you. On the contrary, you probably don’t want to ask anything of them at all. 

Instead, simply focus on getting to know people in your community and letting them get to know you. Just by knowing who you are and what value you bring to people, they’ll automatically be inclined to recommend you if they find themselves in a conversation with someone who could benefit from your service. 

As I said before, focus on doing the best work you can, sharing what you’re passionate about and building genuine and authentic relationships with people and after some time, you’ll see that people will start talking about your practice without you having to do anything at all. 

Step 5: Implementing Your Chosen Marketing Tactics

Alright, so we’ve covered all the tactics you have available in your marketing toolkit. Now let’s take a look at how you can actually execute on any of these tactics. 

When it comes to the implementation of your marketing efforts, you basically have two simple options – doing the work yourself and outsourcing it. I’ll briefly cover the pros and cons of both and give you a few ideas of how to get started if you choose to go with one of the two approaches.  

Do It Yourself 

Although marketing can seem scary and overwhelming to many of us, if you’ve read this entire guide carefully and were able to follow along without getting too lost – then chances are good that you’d have no problem implementing your own marketing efforts for your practice. 

Once you’ve done your research, set your goals and chosen which tactics you want to implement to achieve those goals, then the next step is simply learning how to do it. 

For many of the mentioned tactics, this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem – networking with fellow GPs or giving a talk at your local school should be quite straightforward and not require much effort (in terms of specific marketing skills at least). 

For most of the online marketing tactics however, you will probably need to spend some considerable time figuring out how to actually do this. Not surprisingly, when it comes to learning online marketing, the internet will be your best friend.  

There are many, many different online resources that will teach you anything you need to know to get started for free. A simple Google or Youtube search for “whatever you’re trying to learn” + private practice can also help you find some amazing guides to get you started. 

If you’re willing to invest a little bit of money into learning some new skills, you might want to check out Udemy or Coursera for a wide variety of different online courses. 

Many of these tactics will also require the use of visuals that should be designed in line with the visual branding you’ve set up for your practice. As I mentioned before, Canva is an amazing tool with templates for about anything you could wish for – so even the not-so-creative among us could put together something decent looking in a very short amount of time.   

Learning how to take the fate of your practice into your own hands and manage your marketing yourself can be an incredibly rewarding process. Many of these tactics can be done without having to invest much money into them and if you can get them up and running by yourself then you’ll be able to effectively market and grow your practice, even if you don’t have much of a budget available. 

There is one downside to doing all of this however which is that it’s going to be very time-consuming. And if you’ve just read this entire section thinking to yourself “Oh god – how am I EVER going to find the time to do all of that?!?” then perhaps outsourcing would be the better option for you.

Outsource It  

I get it, running a practice is a handful. There’s client sessions, appointments to schedule, billing to process, emails to answer, client records to file, the list could go on. 

For that exact reason, outsourcing your marketing to someone with a) existing knowledge on how to do it and b) enough time can be an incredibly helpful step in taking some of the weight of growing your practice off your shoulders and freeing up some of your time. 

Depending on how comfortable you feel with the things we’ve discussed in this article – you have two ways of approaching the process of outsourcing.

You could either do your own research, set up a strategy and goals for yourself and then outsource each specific task to someone who specialises in it (e.g. one person who manages your social media, another who spends a few hours a month on your Google Ads, etc.). Or if you’re somewhat unsure of where to get started – you could find someone who is well-versed enough to help you with everything from research to execution. 

I know, the idea of outsourcing your marketing can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before and you don’t know how to find someone. 

To start off, I’d always recommend you ask around in your network (online and offline!) if anybody has had any experience with a local agency or could recommend a freelancer to you. This could save you valuable time on having to find someone on your own and also allow you to hear about someone else’s personal experience before deciding to hire them. 

If you can’t find anybody that way, a simple Google (or LinkedIn!) search for marketing agencies or freelancers both in your area or in your industry can also help you find options. 

Tools like Upwork and Fiverr are huge freelance platforms that can help you find talented and trustworthy freelancers that are familiar with your niche. All you have to do is publish a job posting with a detailed description of the kind of work you’re looking for and freelancers will send you their proposals. 

Regardless of where you find potential freelancers or agencies, the process of “vetting” them and trying to judge whether they know what they’re talking about can be just as daunting as trying to find someone in the first place. 

To make your life a little easier, I’ve compiled a list of 20 questions that you can ask anyone who you’re interviewing to get a feel for who they are and see if they know what they’re talking about: 

  • What types of marketing do you specialise in? 
  • What kind of experience do you have with marketing in these areas?
  • Where and why did you learn these skills? 
  • Do your different services fit together to support an underlying strategy? 
  • What kind of experience do you have with marketing in my specific industry?
  • Why is marketing in my specific industry different from regular marketing? 
  • Can you share some success stories from past projects you’ve worked on?
  • Can you share reviews/references from past employers? 
  • Would you be willing to share the contact information of past employers you’ve worked with so we can ask them about their experience with you directly? 
  • What makes you unique to other freelancers/agencies in our industry?
  • Why should we trust that you can do a good job at marketing our practice?
  • What kind of commitment do you wish to get from us?
  • Do you work in short-term or long-term projects? 
  • What kind of fees do you charge for your work?
  • Can you provide explanations for the work  you do (as you’re doing it) so we can understand what you’re doing?
  • What will you need from our side to make this relationship work smoothly?
  • How do you plan to communicate with us?
  • How and how often do you share your progress and results with us?
  • What kind of results can we expect in the first X amount of time? 
  • What happens if we aren’t happy with the work/results? 

When it comes to budgets, every agency and freelancer will charge different fees and work on different payment models. Some might charge by the hour or ask for a monthly retainer. Others will simply charge a one-time project fee.   

In most cases, agencies will probably come with a bigger price tag compared to freelancers and require longer-term contracts. But it really does depend on the agency/freelancer so I’d recommend reaching out to anyone you find, asking them for a proposal and assessing whether you’d be willing or able to pay what they’re asking.

While hiring someone to outsource your marketing efforts might cost you more and seem rather intimidating at first, it does come with one incredible advantage. 

Not only do you have someone else taking care of attracting new clients to your practice for you but because you’re not busy trying to do it all yourself, you actually have enough time to take on these new clients and focus on what you chose to do in the first place – providing the best client experience possible. 

Conclusion

How to summarise everything that I just shared with you? (I know it was a lot!) 

The main takeaway that I hope I was able to share with you today is that effectively marketing your practice doesn’t have to be as scary or overwhelming as you might think.  

I hope I was able to provide an actionable overview of why marketing your practice is so important, what options you have and what you’ll need to get started. 

Downloadable eBook

If you’d like to go through this article again in more detail or come back to it in the future, we’ve also made it available as a free PDF download that you can access here.

If you have any further questions on what I shared today, please feel free to ask them in the comments below and I’ll answer them as best I can.