by Diana Khoury and Carol Ryan

Whether you’re in the early stages of building your practice, about to give up, or are ready to take your business to the next level, you are likely searching for new clients.

What’s the best way to attract new clients? Marketing.

At any stage, marketing is an investment in the long-term health of your business. And it must be persistent and consistent in order to pay off.

Here’s an example. You put colorful flower pots outside the entry to your office. Buying the pots, flowers and soil requires an initial investment, then a little work every day to keep them alive and thriving.

If you ignore the plants and expect them to take care of themselves, they’ll wither and die. Reviving them or starting over takes a lot more effort.

It’s the same with marketing. If you create a plan and invest a little time every day or week into making it happen, the seeds you plant will start to grow and attract new clients.

If you ignore marketing and expect it to take care of itself, nothing will happen and you’ll be stuck playing catch-up in the midst of scarcity.

Marketing must be persistent and consistent in order to pay off.

Just like with the flower pots, your marketing efforts must be consistent and persistent in order generate positive results. you have to invest your time, money or energy and most likely a combination of them all if you want long-term success.

If you don’t have time to water the plants or to do your own marketing, consider hiring it out. It’s true, time = money. If just the thought of marketing ties you up in knots, the time you’ll save by hiring it out is immeasurable.

If you want your client base to grow, you’ll either have to take charge of the marketing yourself or resolve to hire it out. Either way, regular effort must be dedicated to marketing your practice.

Believe it or not, marketing doesn’t have to be expensive.

Marketing requires a combination of time, energy and money in order to be effective. If you hire a specialist to help you, you’re buying yourself time. If you have a small budget, you’ll need to do more of the work yourself. 

When I started my business, I bootstrapped for a long time before I could afford to hire help. Some days it was exhausting keeping all the balls in the air, but it was what I had to do to build my business without going into debt.

I’ve always wanted to hire a personal chef. I like cooking, but I’m not one of those people who loves to spend all day in the kitchen. And with food allergies in my family, this makes it even more challenging. As a DIYer, it felt frivolous to hire some to cook for me.

But earlier this year I finally took the leap and hired a therapeutic chef. I am blown away by the results. In just a few hours, she stocked our freezer. The amount of freedom this has bought me is well beyond what I imagined.

I have more time and energy to dedicate to client work, feel much more relaxed around my family, and can enjoy amazing food cooked right in my home. This was an incredible investment and well worth it. We now have her come every month.

Similarly, doing the marketing yourself vs. hiring it out is a choice. If you’re doing it all yourself, be sure to allocate time every week (if not every day) to spend on marketing and lead-generating activities.

This should not be an afterthought. Make your marketing activities a priority and schedule them into your calendar in advance. Your marketing won’t take care of itself.

If marketing skills are not in your wheelhouse, hiring a specialist will save you time and frustration. Ask your network for referrals and interview several marketing people before deciding who to work with. We don’t all do the same thing.

Be clear on your budget – a $500 marketing program is much different than a $5000 program – so know what you want to spend and what you want to get out of it.

Investing money in marketing can save you time and energy – time and energy that can be focused on serving more clients. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with doing the work yourself – it’s just a tradeoff of how you direct your resources.

So whether you water your own flower pots or have someone do it for you, it must be done if you want the plants to thrive. Consistently and persistently. With focused effort over time, you’ll see the buds of your labor grow into a fruitful practice.

This is an original article from Alternative Health Marketing. If you’d like to republish this article on your blog or print publication, you may do so freely with the acknowledgement, “This article is republished with permission from Alternative Health Marketing,” and provide a link back to the original article. It would also be great if you could email us and let us know where it’s being published. 

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Alternative Health Marketing is committed to helping holistic practitioners and conscious business owners attract more ideal clients with clear and consistent brand messaging, a professionally designed website and marketing materials. Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation to learn how we can help you reach your practice goals. 

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