It’s common wisdom that all any service professional or consultants needs to be successful is "passion". Let it be known here that passion alone can be overrated. When you’re building a practice, you need more than passion. You need more than a high level of dedication and energy to succeed. You need a plan. A marketing plan with a marketing budget to be exact.
We’ve all seen this scenario played out in some form in your hometown. Typically, it begins as some starry-eyed owner rents retail space. The newly minted entrepreneur then spends his capital on cash registers, inventory and store signage.
When it’s time to open the doors to the shop, the owner is tapped out. The new business, struggling along on the thread bare path of "word of mouth" waits impatiently as bills mount and customers trickle in at a painfully slow pace. Within a matter of months, the newly opened store is finally spending some money on marketing, only it’s being spent advertising a "Going Out Of Business" sale.
To avoid the same fat, you need a marketing plan (a part of your overall business plan). Your marketing plan should begin with a thorough investigation into your target market.
* Who are your customers?
* Who is the competition?
* What problems do they have?
* What problems can you solve?
* Is someone willing and able to write a check to hire you to solve the above mentioned problems?
Once you’ve answered the questions above, you can successfully pick your "niche" market. The wonderful thing about niche markets is they are tightly targeted. That means your marketing dollars go further.
Marketing is merely a matter of bringing the solutions your target market is looking for to the attention of those who will benefit the most.
By defining those who will benefit most from your goods or services, you narrow your focus. Instead of "spraying and praying" with your marketing message, you’re speaking directly to your target audience. That cuts down considerably on your overall marketing expenses.
Finally, remember that marketing is not sales. Marketing is focused on the sales you’ll make next quarter and beyond. In sales, the focus is upon the sales to be made THIS quarter.