I’m not going to write about what you need to do to be successful in 2017. For starters, you can find plenty of info on this topic on the internet. Plus, I wrote a blog post about this last year. It reveals a whole new twist on how to plan for success so if you want to read something just a little bit different be sure to check it out.
Instead, I want to share the Big 3 A-Ha’s from the survey I sent out last month – what you told me you need – along with a few of my plans to address your needs.
Is Marketing a Big Pain?
To my question, “Are you currently frustrated with or confused by how to effectively market your practice?” here’s how you answered.
Over 92% of you responded with either “Yes” or “Somewhat”; answers were evenly split between these two responses. The takeaway? Very few of you are confident in how to maximize your outreach efforts.
This doesn’t surprise me. Even I am shocked and disheartened by what I see. Business-building ideas are ubiquitous these days; information is overwhelming and constantly changing, experts du jour proclaim to have THE program that teaches you to (painlessly) make 6 figures a year, and many of you have invested money on coaches that delivered little in return. No wonder you’re so frustrated!
Here’s the challenge: There isn’t one perfect marketing strategy that will work for everyone. You are each starting from a different spot (experience, comfort, time, money) and want to arrive at various destinations. Imagine devising one single flight plan that can take everyone in the US from where they live to the exact place that they want to go!
The PEACE Process marketing method was intended to guide your direction regardless of your starting and end points. But it’s evident that there’s more work to do here.
You have offered remarkable insights on your frustrations with marketing in the survey. Thanks to you, I have a solid idea of how to attack this issue in 2017.
How Much Money Should You Spend on Marketing?
I asked “What best describes your current marketing investment?” and mentioned that the rule of thumb is to spend about 10% of your revenue (or projected revenue) on promotional activities.
About 75% of you either spend a lot less than 10% or have no real idea how much you spend on marketing. The rest of you are spending 10% or more.
Let’s be clear: Although it’s a general rule, there is no guarantee that spending 10% of your monies on programs, classes, coaching or consulting will deliver success. In fact, there are more ways today to spend less and get greater return than ever before. The trick is figuring out which things to invest in.
You’re not the only one with this struggle. In fact, John Wanamaker, one of the marketing greats famously said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
Here’s what I suggest for you:
- Step 1: Devote at least one day in the next few weeks to set your goals for next year.
- Step 2: Prioritize these goals based on what you think should be done first, then second, and so on. There’s no right or wrong pick here – just go with your gut, make a choice, and run with it. Just so you know, this is where many people mess up. They think, “What if I make the wrong choice?” They become paralyzed by the number of possible options which stops them in their tracks. This is a major boo-boo. Remember, any step in a positive direction is better than doing nothing at all.
- Step 4: Using your top priority goal only, select 1-3 marketing tactics that you will use to get you to that goal. Focus on activities that are your strengths and that you enjoy doing; for example, speaking, writing, networking, blogging, teaching, email marketing, and so on. Don’t try to do it all: less is more.
- Now determine how much you are willing and able to spend on marketing. This comes down to how you will allocate two things: your time and your money.
If your goal is to double your patient or client base and you have money to invest, you may want to invest in Facebook ads or Google Adwords, or do a direct mail campaign.
If you do not have a lot of cash to spend, plan to spend more time on low to no-cost options like networking, public talks, creating a referral program or a patient reactivation campaign. Or you might choose to build and promote a blog or write your eBook.
Most of all, plan for success. I have never met a massively successful individual who didn’t have a marketing plan with specific steps to achieve their goals. Not once! I love the Yogi Berra saying, “if you don’t know where you’re going you’ll end up someplace else.”
And, frankly, you may not like it when you get there.
How (and What) You Want to Learn
This one has me scratching my head.
The types of materials I create and the methods by which you prefer to learn is split evenly across all media types: webinars, self-paced courses, blogs, coaching, and so on.
Your interest in my list of marketing topics all came in at a dead heat, too.
One of my objectives with this survey was to streamline and focus my work next year based on your survey answers. Suffice it say my direction isn’t quite as clear as I’d hoped!
Still, you validated the rest of the survey results: One size most certainly doesn’t fit all.
To address your diverse learning needs, I’ve been in discussions with several subject matter experts to teach you business development strategies that are outside of my skillset. This will allow me devote more time to simplifying and strengthening my materials while still giving you the information you want.
My Commitment to You
We’re in the middle of our 2017 planning right now and your feedback has played an important part in guiding our direction. My mission remains the same as always: to mobilize an army of successful holistic health entrepreneurs so they can thrive doing their life’s work.
The big shift for me next year is to do that in a way that works best for you.
Please let me know your thoughts on my approach in the comments section below.