Last week I jumped into the details of a quick “Expert Marketing” plan. As I re-read the blog I realized I may have given you too much to digest. I’m afraid I was motivated by the urgency of your comments in the business survey I posted.
Tell me what marketing challenges you’re facing and need help with! Let’s spend a little more time talking about Marketing before we get into this week’s “Meat & Potatoes.”
This marketing approach seeks to cultivate loyal, repeat customers. Jay Conrad Levinson, author of “Guerrilla Marketing” states, “Marketing is EVERYTHING you do to promote your business, from the moment you conceive it to the point at which customers buy your product or service and begin to patronize your business on a regular basis. The key words to remember here are everything and regular basis.” This approach seeks to grow a business by cultivating customer loyalty and by word-of-mouth advertising to help recruit new customers. Relationship marketing provides a low-cost, sustainable approach to marketing for small to mid-size businesses.
Relationship marketing is appealing because it conveys what a service business is about—building a loyal customer base. It implies that EVERYTHING you do and say from the time you finalize your idea to the time you have repeat customers IS marketing. These would include:
- Name and Image of your business
- What you are selling (yes, serving is selling!)
- Packaging…colors, size and shapes used in your practice
- Advertising and Public Relations
- Marketing Strategies
- Sales Presentations
- How you handle telephone calls
- How you present yourself
- Growth plan and the follow-up
Defining your Market
Simply saying ‘Acupuncture, Naturopath, Chiropractor or Healthcare’ is not defining your market. Marketing encompasses external and internal promotions. A market is a group of people who are willing and able to become and remain your customers. Identifying your customer base is one of the first elements of the marketing process. You must determine which people have the strongest likelihood of becoming and remaining your customers by identifying common characteristics within the group to which you will market. This will help you better define your approach. It will also make a difference in how and what methods you use to reach that market. Once you know this, you can take marketing a step further and analyze it for subgroups called market segments. These segments can be grouped by one or any combination of the following factors:
Answers to these questions will help you better understand what your potential customers or “target” audience wants. Having answers to these questions will help you determine your market niche. Once you have narrowed down your target market, I recommend doing additional research so you know the aches, pains, hopes, and dreams of that ‘niche.’ With this accomplished, NOW you’re ready to begin Expert Marketing.
Expert Marketing is the act of self-promotion by establishing yourself as an expert in a particular topic, field, specialty, event or activity. Humble, self-sacrificing people often have a hard time seeing themselves as the “Expert.” As they see it, they’re just doing their job and applying what they learned in school!
You ARE the Expert!
In order to overcome this internal limitation you simply need to remember that you went through years of education to learn what you know. You have also spent time applying what you learned, and that makes you an even more effective teacher! How are you different from the general population? Did you know that just:
- 74% of high school students graduate.
- 54% of high school graduates attend college.
- 27% of those students graduate with a Bachelors degree.
74% of the population sees you as the expert if you’ve completed a 4-year degree! A Graduate or Doctoral degree puts you in the upper echelons of society! So take a deep breath and accept that YOU are THE Expert in what you know. Now let’s get your income up to the Expert level!
Experts are in high demand. If you have insights into solving problems that have been plaguing others, they will want to know what you know! In the USA, people investigating alternative health care have typically exhausted all that Western Medicine has to offer…and they still aren’t better!
They are looking for a solution…and you’re just the person to give it to them! The table to the right shows the top ailments searched for on Google in the month of February.
Acupuncture is VERY effective at treating these ailments! With a creative list of topics and an entertaining presentation, you can schedule speaking opportunities all over your city! With practice, you will be able to teach at the same venue as often as they’d like (typically monthly)! Experts have to be able to “Self Promote” until they have the revenue to hire someone else to seek the speaking engagements and secure the opportunity. Self Promotion and how to make it happen is what I will be focusing on during the next 4 weeks.
Similarities in Events
You’ll find that only minor adjustments need to be made in order to deliver an excellent presentation to different audiences! You will get better with each presentation and be able to quickly adapt to any given situation! Remember to use “motion” to create “emotion.” Get people out of their seats and involved! Also, men love electronics…so WOW them with AcuGraph in screening mode and have your appointment book ready to “book ‘em!”
Hopefully, this gives you a little more to build from! Now here is last weeks list of the institutions you can call to set up speaking or health screening events! Have a great week!
You can follow my practice management posts on Twitter at #AcuPromoter. I’ll talk with you soon!