When you’re busy taking care of your patients and running your business, marketing is probably the last thing you want to do—plus, who has time to research which marketing techniques work and which don’t? The whole topic can be exhausting.
Because marketing is essential to growing your business, this is one area that you should familiarize yourself with at least somewhat. In an effort to save you time (and energy), here are some of the most effective marketing techniques that you can start to work on today for a bigger and stronger business tomorrow:
1. Develop a website
Because people are doing a lot of their research online, if you don’t have a website, you are going to be harder (if not impossible) to find. While hiring someone to do your website for you may be your best option, you can also create your own free site fairly easily using platforms such as WordPress or Wix.
2. Create an email list (and use it)
Keeping in touch with your clients via email is a great way to always stay in forefront of their minds. You can create a list of email contacts by putting a prompt on your website, or you can even collect them when your patients update their charts. This is a great way to let them know of any deals that you are having or to share tips and tricks so they get to know, like, and trust you (the three keys to marketing success).
3. Ask for referrals
Nothing beats word of mouth when it comes to advertising your business. People live on social proof, so when someone they know and trust vouches for you, it can do wonders for your bottom line. The one thing to remember, though, is that you may not get your customers to do a referral unless you specifically ask for it. You can even offer free or reduced-priced products or services to entice your customers to bring a friend or two to your door.
4. Create social media accounts
According to the Pew Research Center, almost three-quarters of all Internet users are involved with at least one social networking site. Facebook tops the charts at 71 percent, followed by LinkedIn and Pinterest (both at 28 percent).1 So, if your business doesn’t currently have a page set up on one of these platforms, you are missing a great opportunity to engage with your target market.
5. Publish something
When you publish content online (like in a blog on your website), in a magazine, or even a book, you establish yourself as an expert in your field. This draws people to you because they like to do business with people who have proven that they know what they are talking about. In a Forbes article titled “Top Tips: 16 Must-Try Marketing Techniques,” they call it “Be a Guru” and use Barbara Corcoran as a prime example of how you can potentially go from almost broke to being a billionaire simply by following this one little tip.2
6. Donate to local charities
People like to do business with companies that are willing to donate for the good of others. Therefore, giving where you can may just bring in people who wouldn’t ordinarily think of doing business with you otherwise. It doesn’t have to be a lot either, as just a few bucks is enough to get you noticed as a caring and compassionate person.
Research conducted by Constant Contact found that in-person interactions are among the most effective marketing strategies for small businesses.3 This means meeting new people face-to-face is a great way to grow your business. Attend local meetings or join organizations. Get people used to seeing you and they are more likely to use your services.
1 Pew Research Center. “Social Networking Fact Sheet.” PewInternet.org. http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/. Updated January 2014. Accessed February 2015.
2 Farrell M. “Top Tips: 16 Must-Try Marketing Techniques.” Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/28/small-business-marketing-entrepreneurs-sales-marketing-techniques_slide.html. Published September 2009. Accessed February 2015.
3 Constant Contact. “Constant Contact Small Business Pulse: The Health and Wellness of Small Businesses.” ConstantContact.com. http://img.constantcontact.com/docs/pdf/Small_Business_Pulse_Preliminary_Results.pdf. Published May 2012. Accessed February 2015.