Launch For Success With This 4-step Marketing Plan
Your marketing approach is the foundation that can launch your business into the forefront of your industry. When launching your very own practice, it pays to have sensible and realistic plans in place – we’re talking about business and marketing plans.
By definition, a marketing plan is a strategic roadmap designed to help your business be seen, heard and trusted. It reflects a clear picture of what you’re offering, who you’re serving, and how you can best connect with them across multiple touchpoints. To put it simply, it helps an entrepreneur turn business goals into reality with specific directions and actionable tactics.
At this point, you’re probably done writing your business plan, but in case you’re just getting started, you may want to check out this insightful podcast on the elements of a business plan.
4-Steps to Creating a Marketing Plan for Your Therapy Business
Step 1: Set SMART Goals
One of the most important parts of developing your marketing plan is laying down your goals and outlining how to achieve them. After all, we cannot achieve what we cannot define. Using the SMART method, you can specify short and long-term goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based.
Be specific about what you want to happen. Are you looking to build awareness by growing your Facebook page followers? Or are you looking to nurture leads and turn them into customers? Whether you’re targeting one or both goals, you should specify what you want to achieve.
Next, make them measurable. If you are looking to grow your Facebook page by 2,000 followers in one month, set targets or KPIs and provide a way to track your progress. Moreover, these objectives should be attainable with your resources, aligned with your end goal, and is something you can set deadlines for.
An example of a smart marketing objective would be:
- To increase awareness by growing my clinic’s Facebook page audience by gathering 200 followers every week for the next 6 months.
Step 2: Find your place in the market
Once you have a clear path on how to achieve your marketing goal, it’s time to get down and dirty with market analysis. This part will focus on you, your services, your target market, and your competition.
- Define your niche – It’s tempting to unleash all the services you can offer in one go. But if you want to stand out in this highly competitive market, focus on your speciality. Start with a lean menu of services that can position you as an industry expert. Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades who may be seen as trying to do everything all at once for the sake of business.
- Identify your market – Define who your ideal clients are by creating client personas. Get to know them by analyzing their demographics, profile, aspirations and potential pain points. Integrate what you have learned with your branding and incorporate trends once in a while to stay relevant.
- Mind your competition – Know who your top competitors are and analyze their current offerings, price structures, and promotional tactics. Deviate from usually known approaches in your field. Take points from the best practices and make them your own.
Step 3: Nail your Strategy
A good marketing plan goes beyond advertising. It also touches base on branding, product development, pricing structure, processes, and the overall experience of your customers.
Solidify your brand identity by creating your business name, logo, tagline, mission, vision, and key messages that represent your business in the private practice industry.
Product Menu & Pricing
Develop an attractive service menu with rates that align with the pricing strategy you’ve set in your business plan.
Process refers to the way you intend to deliver your products and services. Do you plan to see patients over at your clinic or through online platforms such as a mobile app or video conferencing platforms? Bear in mind that the method in which you intend to deliver your services will ultimately impact your cost and pricing.
The next on your list is creating promotional strategies that are eye-catching, disruptive, and value-adding but still work best with your budget. For private practices, marketing is about placement and networking.
Placement strategies are the most well-known approach to getting within the radar of your target customers. Maximize this approach by taking a tip or two from the strategies below:
- Develop a beautiful website that converts
- Invest in your social media presence by utilizing online ads
- Start a blog, vlog or podcast
- Network with others who serve the same group of clients that you do – think of physicians, schools, religious organizations, social service organizations, and others.
Nowadays, enterprises tend to promote their businesses through networking. Leveraging on unique and authentic connections, networking tactics turn prospects into patients. Here are some techniques to help you get started:
- Reconnect with past clients and nurture them
- Find speaking engagement opportunities where you can highlight your expertise in your chosen niche
- Ask for referrals from friends, family, and fellow clinicians
- Volunteer your services to non-profit organizations
- Offer occasional pro-bono services to private institutions
- Join professional organizations or attend networking events in your area
- Connect with fellow therapists with complementing target markets
- Connect with social media influencers who fit your brand’s persona and collaborate on promotional materials they can publish and you can boost ads online
People and culture play a vital role in your overall marketing and PR strategy. From a consumer perspective, customers tend to gravitate towards businesses that are relatable, exude their beliefs, and have been constantly proving that they are a partner in wellness. This includes you, your team, and each and every individual or organization you work with during the course of your practice.
The quality of people you have in your team and the way you do business affect service quality and brand optics.
Step 4: Take Action & Track
Realize your purpose and run with it. Starting a business can get overwhelming and it takes a lot of grit and hard work to make your vision come to life. In case you still aren’t sure where to start, you can seek to collaborate with an in-house team or support from professionals who can help you execute your vision.
And when your marketing plan is up and running, take action and consistently track progress to see what strategies are working in your favor and what tactics need more iterations along the way.
At the end of the day, a marketing plan is not set in stone. Expect it to evolve as time goes by and as circumstances change within your practice. So keep an open mind and keep persevering until you achieve your goals.
Setting up and executing your marketing plan can be daunting and exciting. Before you spread the word about your private practice, sit down and take the time to set attainable goals. Devise realistic marketing efforts that can effectively meet market demands, enhance value perception and achieve your personal and professional goals.
Remember, you have one shot at launching your brand and service to the world. It is best to be armed and loaded with knowledge on crafting an amazing marketing plan backed up by a team that believes and supports your vision.
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Hi! I’m Sarah.
I help counselors and therapists have a bigger impact on the world through better client connection. I do this by creating beautiful visuals and strategically designed websites.