Here are some marketing questions I have received from Practice of the Practice folks
How did you get on Radio?
For me it was taking advantage of an opportunity. I was asked to speak on the radio about a program I had started to help with fundraising. During a break, I told the host, “If you ever want someone on your show to speak from a parenting perspective I would love to help, I have taught the Common Sense Parenting curriculum for three years.” They gave me a trial run and after one session they asked me to come on every other week. When working with those in media there are three things that I think are essential:
1. Make their job really easy. For example, I would send my main points ahead of time with potential follow-up questions and ideas of how to engage callers.
2. Have your points that you want to make. Have you ever noticed how politicians never answer questions, they go back to their talking points? If you’re talking about cutting, for example, go back to the main causes or ways to get help both in counseling and outside of counseling. Don’t over or under plug yourself.
3. People seem to like 3 steps, 5 ways, or 7 actions.
Did you pay for it? What did you mean when you said you wrote for paper? How were you able to get them publish your writing?
No, I have rarely paid for my primary advertising (I have some great resources, especially the book Guerrilla Marketing, check them out on my website: http://www.practiceofthepractice.com/resources/). The radio and newspaper were all things that I pitched. For the local newspaper, I wrote an article that I submitted to 4 local newspaper outlets. I wrote that it was an example of my work. I also listed potential future topics. Within one month I was a regular contributor. Here is the text from my pitch email:
To whom it may concern:
I wasn’t sure which email would be best for submission.
Thank you in advance for considering me for contributions to the Record Eagle. As a local counselor, I love to point my clients to the Record Eagle for resources, ideas, and inspiration.
I have been practicing family therapy for seven years, with 5 years prior in other psychology related fields including family, residential, foster care, CMH, and college counseling. I was a regular contributor on the “Mary in the Morning” show, I have a regular parenting e-newsletter, facebook, and twitter. As well, I am a parent. I have attached an article for your review. I look forward to talking about potential collaboration. Thank you.
Last but not least, you mentioned you had doctors referrals? Can you elaborate on that.
Sure, whenever you are working with referrals, you want to work on building trust with them. Especially with those in the medical field, they are usually very busy. So you want to start with relationships that you already have, your own doctor, pastor, or kid’s doctor. I have gone beyond just handing out my cards, I often ask clients if they want me to collaborate with their PCP. I will get their email and discuss my recommendations, while also giving them handouts to help their clients. It is a long process at times, but when you get your first referral from one, they usually will send you 10 more if you keep up with them, give them feedback (with client’s permission) and thank them.
Joseph R. Sanok is a licensed professional counselor and clinician at Mental Wellness Counseling in Traverse City, MI. As well, he blogs at www.practiceofthepractice.com where he hopes to help counselors in private practice to improve their business skills that were not learned in graduate school. Through doing this, he hopes to make counseling private practice more awesome.