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The Top 10 Ways to
Market your Business or Professional Practice
While focused, strategic networking is usually the most efficient way to build your
professional practice, there are many other ways to market your business. Personal
networking may not be appropriate in some areas, or for certain types of services, and
some people simply don't like to do it. The following are the Top 10 methods my
clients have used to increase sales and grow their practices without networking:
- Newsletters. There are many inexpensive ways to distribute your
newsletter, from buying a "packaged" service, to photocopying and mailing, to
use of Internet technology. Newsletters keep your name in front of potential
clients, and let you share the information you feel is important in a timely way.
Remember to publish frequently, and be dependable over the long term.
- Writing articles and columns. Every organization has a newsletter, and
there are many newspapers and journals that need material on personal growth, health,
wellness, communication, relationships and every other aspect of human life. If you
enjoy writing, editors are eager for your material, and writing a column brings instant
credibility and positive exposure.
- Have a Website. Increasingly, customers are expecting to find information
about professional services on the Internet. A clean, professional website may cost
less than $1000 and work for you 24-hours a day, everyday.
- Teach classes. Community colleges, city parks and recreation departments,
churches and many other organizations are looking for instructors to teach classes. Often they will do the marketing and provide all your support services, and even pay you!
Teaching is a great way to become known and give the community a taste of your
- Volunteer. Whatever your specialty, organizations need your time, your
skills and your help. You can volunteer to sit on Boards, answer phones, do their
newsletter, or be a consultant - volunteering gets you known, and it can open doors for
- Work with Sponsors. From insurance reimbursement for medical services to a
philanthropist sponsoring an art exhibit, anytime someone else is paying the bill, you can
expand your services and reach more people. Employers, educational groups,
non-profits, foundations and government agencies can all be sponsors.
- Do research. By designing and conducting appropriate research you
accomplish several things for your business: You become an expert, you attract
people who are interested in your research, you attract volunteers who want to
participate, and when you publish the results you gain credibility and again attract
attention as an expert.
- Groups and Alliances. By combining your skills with a group of other
professionals, all of you gain exposure, there are appropriate referrals to others within
the group, and over-head costs can be reduced. Often groups are profitable simply
by being able to share the cost of renting a large, visible office in a prime location.
- Bid for Contract Services. Government agencies, corporations and
non-profits all contract for services. These are usually announced in local
newspapers, and are called an "RFP" or Request for Proposals. One small
contract can open the door to others, and keep you and your practice very busy!
- Advertise. Using the Yellow Pages or placing an ad in the local paper or
even on the radio (less traditional, but why not?) will bring you business. I place
this last because my experience suggests that for most professionals it's an expensive way
to go, but it does work. Remember, placement and consistency (being seen over and
over) will be important, so run your advertising for at least a year.
Phil, Mary, and the Staff at
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© Copyright 2003 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights Reserved.
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