Now that we are talking about marketing (see my blog posted June 4) your private practice… I’m sure the question “So where do I start?” comes to mind.
You could do what most people do and take everything you’ve got, throw it up against the wall, and see what sticks. It’s very popular (and somewhat in line with some marketing theories), but with regard to efficiency – not so much.
However, when I talk about market research with my private practice coaching clients, I can usually hear their heads shake through the phone. Sounds like a daunting task, right? It doesn’t have to be.
Here’s a quick way to do some market research that will give you the inside scoop – an inside view of what people say, feel, want, dread, hope for – in your market. (Hopefully by now you’ve identified your target market and some niche services and/or products for that market)
Go to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo Groups, etc. Find open forums for your target market. Sign up and get all the information you’ll require to make you aware of the needs of your market.
What are they talking about? What have they tried (what works, what doesn’t)? What do they need? Where do they hang out? What do they read? What are they searching for but can’t find?
Get the answer to these questions and you’ll know: where to advertise (if you choose to do so), what to promote, how to reach them, what issues are not already being addressed in the market, what topics are important to them, and how you might best help.
This method is just one example of what you can do to get the insight you need to set you ahead of the crowd in your practice. I venture to guess that if you had this kind of inside info on your target market you could really make a difference for them and for your practice.
What other kinds of market research methods do you think might work?
Deborah Legge is a counselor, an assistant professor, specializes in coaching counselors in private practice, and is the founder of InfluentialTherapist.com