1. Training and Certification: The first thing an educated client will check in to is your level of qualification. It’s not enough to be inspired by your craft and naturally gifted. Achieving and maintaining the highest level of certification your profession has to offer is key. Upgrading your knowledge regularly with Continuing Education courses will keep you at the forefront of the most recent innovations and will deepen your understanding of your chosen vocation. There’s a reason your profession sets minimum requirements for CE credits; do more than the set minimum.
2. Hire a business coach: Don’t just hire any business coach. Check in to their qualifications too. The coaching profession has come a long way in designating certification. My recommendation is that you hire a Certified Executive Coach (CEC). The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the regulatory body for the coaching profession and grants the CEC designation following a rigorous training and development program. Your coach will keep you on track in fulfilling your purpose, helping you ‘get out of the way of yourself’. Often we are our own worst enemy, your coach will be the angel on your shoulder, helping you pave your own path to success. I consider that the single most important thing I did in starting out with my practice was to hire a good business coach. The cost pays for itself.
3. Network to Educate: Join business networking groups not to promote your business, but to help promote others’ businesses while educating them on yours. When you walk into a networking meeting thinking to sell first, you’re missing the point. Get to know the businesses of the other members and promote them to your other networks. This will build long-lasting relationships with them. The other members in your group are not necessarily your potential patients. You’re marketing yourself to the people in their other networks. Pick a networking group that works for you. There are several good ones out there and now the website meetup.com is a good place to start.
Social Media: It’s not going away! Get in to it! There are right and wrong ways to do it. If you don’t know how, hire an expert to teach you. Social media has revolutionized our ability to educate and network market en masse. And you’re inspired by your chosen vocation, right? People don’t know how awesome what you do is. Why? Because you haven’t told them! Write about it: Blog to educate.
4. Pick a niche market: When doing a Google search, a person looking for a homeopath to treat their insomnia comes across the listing of 2 different homeopaths. The first one boasts a list of the 20 conditions that they treat, one of them being insomnia. The second simply lists ‘Insomnia’. Which homeopath do you think the person will choose? Niche-ing your practice simply funnels people to you more efficiently. Not only that, but the extra training and development you acquire in becoming specialized in your niche will naturally make you better at treating it. AND, as you see more and more of the same condition, you become better at choosing the best, most specific treatments for each case, driving your effectiveness up. If you think that specializing in any particular condition defeats the purpose of ‘Holism’, think again. You’re still treating the whole person, you’re just treating many ‘whole’ persons with the same chief complaint, and getting really good at it.
Are you using Twitter yet to spread your message?
Get out there and hire a certified business coach!