Showing posts with label Marketing Plans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marketing Plans. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to Build a Sound Marketing Plan for Your Small Business is a great site to find marketing (and other ideas). Listed below is a great article on marketing...and I can't stress enough that you NEED to market! You can't just sit in your home office and think that people are going to "find" you on the Internet of that your favorite RE is going to send you all his clients. You need to do the work! Get started!


How to Build a Sound Marketing Plan for Your Small Business

Not unlike a business plan, a marketing plan can play an important role in the success of your small business. While the plan is primarily for your own purposes, it should include:

*Your products and/or services
*Your demographic audience
*Methods of selling
*Your budget
*Your geographic market
*Your competition and your competitive edge
*An overview of the marketing tools available: Media outlets, PR possibilities, community activities, conferences, potential speaking engagements, and so on.

The final objective of your marketing plan is to define who you are trying to reach, what you are selling, how you will reach this audience, and how much it will cost to do. You will then devise a means of communicating your message to your audience.

Just as you do in your business plan, you will need to pull the many pieces together to demonstrate how you will reach your target audience. For example, if your plan is to increase the sale of your brand of healthy popcorn to a teen market, you might show how you will distribute samples at school activities, sponsor a series of events for teens, and propose articles on the health benefits of your popcorn to teen-oriented magazines and Web sites.

Within your marketing plan show how you will use diverse methods to get your message across, including different forms of media, product samples, sponsorship and so on. Also, maintain a level of marketing at all times. During slower seasons you may just want to keep your brand in front of your audience, while in busier seasons you will need a more aggressive approach. Define such a strategy in your plan.

As a small business, you can make a big impact by seeking out media that appeal to your niche market. Keep in mind that marketing is a long-term effort and slow and steady typically wins the race — or in this case, the customers.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mental Marketing: It's All In Your Head!

I wrote this short article with Deborah Simmons for the Mental Health Professional Group's Spring/Summer Newsletter. It was so well received that I thought I would post it here! There is a part 2 coming and I will share that with you after it's printed! If you need help with marketing your practice then please visit my website LaMothe Services, LLC at


Mental Marketing It’s All in Your Head!
By: Sharon LaMothe and Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT

The world of marketing can be very confusing, especially when services and people, not products, are being sold. There are a number of components to marketing, including sales, advertising and branding. There are several venues in which to “sell” or promote services. Below you will find a few simple steps to help you conquer any concerns that you may have about marketing your unique mental health services on the Internet and elsewhere.

The very first thing to consider is who you would like to serve. By deciding on your desired clientele, you can focus on what is referred to as “niche marketing.” There are many good general therapists around but you have something special to offer. Own it and promote it. If you have several areas of expertise, you can use the same marketing techniques to reach potential clients as well as professional referral sources.

Along with knowing to whom you are marketing and what your expertise is, you need to know what your message is. Why should people come to you? What makes you special or memorable? Do you have unusual approaches, like EMDR, hypnosis, or special experience, or perhaps years working in a fertility clinic? Remember that your services and your “brand”--you-- make up your business and every business has competition. No one likes the idea of competing for clients but if you want to stay current, fresh, and focused in our new economic environment, you need to market yourself actively and differently then you might have been doing so in the past.

Now let’s look at positioning yourself on the Internet. While working with the Web can be daunting, it is increasingly your biggest and best tool. Not only will your personal web site reach other professionals, you will be connecting directly with actual patients or clients in a very personal way. Providing public access and information about you and your practice is one of the most important moves you can make. Google and websites have become invaluable search tools. They are often now the very first place where you “greet” your potential clients. Although it is great to ask other professionals to hand out your cards and refer clients to you, your website can offer so much more. Think of it as a living biography of who you are and what you do, as well as a form of web-based education and resources. You are offering the hope of solutions to people who need both, in your office and through linkages to other resources. With pages regarding your services, your biography (with a photo), your professional resources, events at which you will be available, books you have written or recommend, and a page regarding a personal statement about your practice and philosophy, a potential client can form enough of a connection to entice him or her to pick up the phone and make an appointment. Clients surveyed have mentioned that they were drawn to the photographs, philosophies, and the help that is offered on websites before they even consider making a phone call.

The Internet also offers an opportunity to ‘blog.’ Having a blog, especially if it is connected with your website, allows professionals, clients, and others to know more about you, how you think, and how you approach life. A news article or your comments on a current event allow people to connect with you on a level that normally wouldn’t be available.

Networking is a huge component to marketing your services. You already are doing that when you attend conferences, visit clinics, and join associations like the MHPG, ASRM, EDSPA, APA, AAMFT, or NASW. Networking in person builds trust with your peers and allows them to comfortably refer clients to you without hesitation. Go and meet fertility clinic nurses, doctors, and office managers. Do the same with OB-Gyn clinics. Clients deeply value personal referrals from people they trust. It certainly helps that you have provided several unique business cards to share with your website, blog and contact information boldly printed on them!

Let’s not forget the social networking sites available to anyone who owns a computer. Millions are using Face Book, LinkedIN, and Twitter to name a very few. There, on your “page,” you can list your biography, photo, website and import your blog. You can be easily accessible to potential clients. Take advantage of the professional groups available which will widen your professional net work. The book Ladies Who Launch and its accompanying website,, is for entrepreneurs and who want to connect with others, whether it is about business or new ideas.

It is time to move past introversion and fear of the unknown and to embrace new ways of spreading your own wisdom to a wider clientele. Remember that marketing ‘services’ is all about marketing your professionalism, your compassion, and your approachability—you! Thing big!