This is part of a series of blog posts: The Top 10 Questions Therapists Ask Me.
#7: How Much Money Should I Spend On Marketing?
There's a cycle therapists get stuck in and therefore don’t build their practices. You want to spend what you can afford, so you plan to wait until you have more money before you spend anything on your practice building efforts. The problem is that if you don’t invest in a solid marketing strategy, you won’t make more money. That's not a pretty cycle.
This question needs to be rephrased. The real question is:
How Much Money Should I INVEST in Marketing?
Don’t look at this question from the feeling of fear or scarcity you are experiencing today. We don’t make good business decisions when we’re afraid. Imagine you are successful. You’re bringing in plenty of clients and are being paid well. You’re not just scraping by. You’re making good money. What business decisions would you make from there?
When you continue to not invest in your practice building, you lose out on clients. Let’s say you’re losing out on at least 400 dollars of income per week by NOT investing more in your practice building. (For most people the amount is higher.) You’re losing around 18,000 or 19,000 every year. Can you afford to lose out on that money?
How should you spend that practice building money?
You need to invest your practice building dollars in a way that follows a strategy. Don’t just throw some money at marketing here and there. Get clear on the practice you really want, and get support to create a strategy designed to get you that practice.
Rather than thinking about the cost, consider the likely return on investment for each practice building item. Do the math on how many new clients you’d need to bring in to pay for each item. If it fits your strategy and brings you closer to the practice you want, take the leap. Then take full advantage of the investments you make. Whether it is a directory listing, a google adwords campaign, improving your website, help from a business coach, or an email marketing service, make the investment and then make full use of that investment.
When should you cut back on how much you’re investing in marketing?
The only time to invest less in marketing is when your practice is full and you don’t have a desire to expand or leverage your expertise. When the economy is not doing well, or when your practice is on a downswing, that is the time to invest MORE. That’s the time when some other therapists may be cutting back, and you need to stay the course. It is a great time for you to look at your practice building strategy, figure out what’s been most effective and do MORE of that.
Next week I'll answer the question: What kind of website works to attract clients?