What You Need to Succeed Next Year

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.

About The Author

Comments (8)

  • Sally

    Great post and inspiring! I loved the Jim Carey video and your wise wisdom. My mantra this year – follow through on goals! Looking forward to talking with you later.

    • Miriam

      Sounds like a great plan, Sally! Thanks for your comments.

  • Johanna


    Thank you for sharing this information. The thought did cross my mind recently regarding the outcome of your survey.

    How to effectively market is a challenge. I find it frustrating that there are so many people claiming to be “experts” in alternative medicine who’ve had no training (maybe a coaching program) and are skilled at marketing and putting information together in a way that’s attractive to people.

    It would be helpful to receive tips on how to effectively communicate the value my naturopathic medical training and clinical experience over the so-called “experts” on the web.

    I’m always appreciative of what you share.

    • Miriam

      Johanna, you are echoing the same sentiment I hear again and again from practitioners. There’s a lot behind what it takes to effectively communicate your value to your audience, but here’s the bottom line: in order to give people what they need (your services) you must first give them what they want (to be free of pain, misery, and fear). When you are able to demonstrate that you understand them and their circumstance first, you can get their attention – something that’s harder and harder to do these days – and they, in turn, will be more willing to learn about you and your services. You do this by first picking a niche, which allows you to deeply understand their unique issues. From there, it’s a matter of letting them know that you understand what they’re going through and that you can help. All of this is covered in my book and eCourse, so be sure to look into those if you need further understanding on this. And thanks for your comments – I’m appreciative of what YOU share, too!

  • janine henkel

    Just found your book and I am inspired after reading it. Looking forward for more inspiration in 2017 while I implement the PEACE process. It was just what I needed.

    • Miriam

      Fantastic, Janine! I’m so glad that the PEACE Process is giving you direction. Thanks for dropping a note and letting me know – it means the world to me.

  • Terri

    Miriam, Thank you for the way you share your information. What I notice and love about it is that you don’t sound sales-y at all. I’ve too many thousands of dollars with marketing training programs that I never followed through on because I had no idea how to implement them, they really didn’t resonate with me, and, I must admit, I was a bit scared.
    What I like about how you share is that its honest and authentic, cuts through the sales noise out there, has very practical tips and tools, and I feel I can do it!
    So, this month and next I’m devoting all my time to learn and put into practice how to market in a way that works for me.

    In appreciation,

    • Miriam

      Terri, thanks so much for your kind comments! I’m grateful that you are pushing ahead in the way that best works for you!

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