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how to make 2021 your best marketing year yet

Updated: May 10, 2021

New year, new you, new marketing strategy!

To prepare for the new year, I'm really excited to share with you guys this really simple marketing evaluation. I have had a lot of conversations recently with people who say things like, “I've been set up for a couple months, six months, two years - and I have not gotten any clients. And I really need help with my marketing because I really want to make this business work.

If you're feeling like you are completely stuck, or you're floundering, or like the weight of the world is on your shoulders because you don't know what to do or what to even start with, I think that this simple marketing evaluation will be really helpful for you. And so, if this sounds like you, keep reading!

As I’ve learned more about it, the more I’ve realized that there's a ton of stuff that goes into marketing. Marketing is a whole big animal - there are a lot of different types within it, and there are also different factors, like creating a good offer, having really good sales skills, and being able to communicate really clearly about what you're doing. These things affect how good your marketing is in general, because you could be great on social media, but your offer could not be super clear which makes it a lot harder to bring clients on. And that's what I think a lot of us are hoping for when we say we need to get better at marketing. We want clients. That's the end goal.

So I’m going to go through here what I typically go through with my clients.

First we talk about options.

What do you have going on right now? And what options do you have for marketing? Below are just a few…

  • Website

  • Paid ads

  • Social media

  • Flyers

  • Podcast


  • Email

  • Networking

  • Word of mouth

  • Online community

  • Referrals

There are SO many different options when it comes to marketing that a lot of us get into it, and we decide, “I need to do all of these and my business won't complete until I have done all of these 100%.” And the reality is, that is not true. You don't have to do all of them. Especially as a solo practitioner, you might have different elements of different ones, you might have ones that you do a lot more than others, but you definitely don't need to be doing all of these all the time because that's where overwhelm comes in.

I wanted to put this list in here to give you guys a bird's eye view of what kind of marketing there is, what the different like aspects of it are and the different tools you can use. There's a bunch of things. Having a really good website is one, and lots of people use ads but ads are not for everybody. (I'll tell you, up until this point, I really haven't used any ads at all. For my business I might, but I don't really have to). Having a lead magnet is another thing, like doing email marketing, posting flyers in community centers or gyms, having a podcast, doing newspaper or magazine ads in print, doing a lot of SEO and/or search engine marketing for your website, social media marketing, hosting webinars or workshops and seminars, networking with other professionals, reaching out to clients or potential clients in your audience either online or in-person, writing guest posts or articles, being a guest on other podcasts or videos, referrals blogging, direct mail - there are A TON of different things that you can be doing, but you don't need to be doing all of them.

And that's my #1 piece of advice for you: do not feel like you have to do all of these.

Next what we go over is a simple marketing evaluation.

So, for those of you who already have a business and you've had a couple of sales but you just feel like you’re either really overwhelmed or stuck, what we need to focus on is: where have you gotten clients from so far? I think it's really common to have, say, two clients because of an email you sent out, and then you're like, “But I need to be doing social media, so let me try this other thing.” But we should instead be focusing on what has already brought you clients. Your audience might respond really well to emails - that's what's gotten you the clients you have right now. So for this evaluation, I want you to list out where your clients came from, how you know them, how they came into your world.

If you haven't gotten any clients so far we might have to go back to: is your messaging clear? Is your offer clear? Are your services clear? We might have to go back and address that, but I also want you to think about and write out where your ideal clients actually are. You could be screaming into the abyss on Facebook, but all of your clients are at the community center and don't go on Facebook. So that's something to think about: where is your ideal audience, actually.

For those of you who have had a couple of sales: where have you gotten those clients so far? And what did you do to find those clients? Did you network? Did you go out into the community? Did you create a group on Facebook? Did you post it on your Instagram? Think about what has really worked, and also think about what hasn’t worked. Just because something's not working, doesn't mean it's a bad thing - that tells you what you need to do and informs your actions going forward, which is a really great thing. So think about which of your efforts is working really well and what isn’t working.

So if you go back and look at the list above - if you're doing half of these things, which of those things has actually brought you leads? Of the people who have actually contacted you, which of these has yielded sales? Which of your leads converted to a sale? Which haven’t? And like I mentioned, is your offer actually clear? Can you tell somebody in five seconds what it is that you do? For example, do you have a six week program where you take people through a weight loss program or do you work with women who are aged 45 and over? Is it very very clear, or are you still saying, “I offer _____ therapy services.” If that's it, it's not really clear who you work with, what you do, and how you help them. So thinking about that offer is really important.

Lastly we assess your sales skills.

If you're getting 100 leads a week but you still don't have any clients, you need to figure out where in that pipeline things are going wrong, readjust it, and move forward. There are a couple of people I've talked to who say they've gotten a bunch of leads, but they're not able to convert people very well. And sales is a totally different topic, but we want to think about sitting down and observing, “Ok, the five leads that I had last week: three of them turned into discovery calls and I closed one of them. Why did I close that one person and not the other two people?” Reflecting on that can be really really helpful in getting a perspective on what you're doing moving forward.

So finally, I want to give an example of what I've been working on with one of my clients.

We first listed out the different strategies he's been using: Facebook ads, in-person workshops, a webinar, referrals from other professionals and networking with other clinicians, word of mouth, and just kind of meeting people randomly being out in the community.

Then we evaluated total dollars spent so we could see how much money he's actually putting into this effort, and then evaluate what we get back - was it actually financially worth it to spend money on those marketing efforts? So we looked at the total discovery visits that he got out of it, then how many discovery visits converted to patients. Then we looked at total revenue resulting from everything that's been going on and then his net revenue.

So what we saw is that his biggest driver has been word of mouth and friends, so he's obviously creating a really good service and people are talking about it. So his efforts with his clients were working really well. As far as the other efforts go, him being out in the community was working really well, his webinar did not work at all, and the Facebook ads were yielding a profit. So there's some interesting and really helpful stuff to look at with this data.

If all of this is really overwhelming and you want help going through it, please get in touch! We can talk and I’ll try to help you figure this stuff out. Or if you go through this process, I'd love to hear what you guys come up with, because different things are going to work for different people.

So remember: think about what you've done so far and think about where your audience is, and that'll help you create a really good marketing strategy that actually yields results.

Make 2021 your best marketing year yet!

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