How to Market: A Beginner’s Guide

Step-by-step guide on how to market

Ever wonder how to market? You might be thinking:

  • “Everyone else does it so well.”
  • “I don’t know how to market.”
  • “How will I get more clients if I don’t know how to market!?”

In 2009 I was in your same boat. I was asking the question, “How do I market my counseling private practice?” My wife and I were on a road trip out west for six weeks. I was between jobs, and I started to run some numbers.

If I wanted to make $100,000 in one year, I could do a few things:

  • If I worked 48 weeks per year and saw clients at the rate of $125 per session, I’d need 17 clients.
  • If I saw 10 clients at $125 per year I could make $60,000. What if I took 50% of what other clinicians brought in? If I had three people that each saw three clients at $125 and worked 48 weeks, that would be $27,000 extra I could make, thus making almost $100,000 (minus expenses).
  • If I knew how to market, I could easily hit that $100,000 goal (see my month income reports to see how I’m doing).

Here are the basics of how to market your business.

Acquisition and Conversation

There are only two things you need to know in business: acquisition and conversation.

  1. Acquisition: How people find you
  2. Conversation: How people decide to give you money

When you know how to market, you know how to build acquisition. Marketing is just letting people know why you exist, what problems you solve, and how it helps them.

Here’s the formula:

I started ___[insert your business]____ because I wanted to help _____________ solve their problems with ________.

When you know that, you know how to market.

Learning How to Market is All About Trust

When people first view your social media, website, or marketing materials, they go through three phases:

  1. Is this website for me? Initially people will scan a blog post and website just to decide if it is worth their time to read. People are so overwhelmed with marketing, writing, and content, that they unconsciously scan before reading.
  2. Do they have the expertise to help me? When you show you can solve the problems through blogging, website copy, and social media marketing, you demonstrate that you can help.
  3. Am I willing to pay their rate? You may be the best, but are you within our budget? If you have effectively done the first two steps, people will often pay 2-3x what they initially expected because they know that you will help solve the problem. For example, if a counselor is the exact fit for a family and can help within a specialty, the family is more likely to come to counseling and pay a higher rate.

Then they take action. They will make a phone call or send an email. So it’s super important that this is easy to do. Put your phone or contact us in multiple and easy-to-find places.

When you know how to market you know how to win

Marketing is all about relationships. Do they know you exist, trust you, and want to partner with you? Make sure all of your marketing goes back to why you exist, what problem you solve, and who you solve it for! 

consultant headshot JoeJoseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is a private practice consultant and social media marketing expert. He helps small businesses get to $100,000 and beyond.

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