Marketing does not need to be done every day. . . but therein lies the trouble. We cannot ignore daily chores like scheduling, doing therapy, billing, and collecting. We know they are important and urgent (hence the need to be managed each day). But marketing does not have that same sense of urgency. . . until it does.
Once the practice is off the ground and we have a steady flow of clients, we can fool ourselves into thinking that we can skimp on marketing activities and not see a difference. That may be true for a while, but the lack of effort here will have consequences down the road that can be quite painful. Success and stability can lull us into complacency. The linkage between any particular marketing effort and any particular referral is harder to see.
It is my view that we should at least thinking about marketing every day. And then on some days we actually make plans to schedule time with referral people, set up presentations, and follow through on whatever marketing plans you have developed.
I am reminded of a quote from a classic text on managing professional service organizations (David Maister (1993). Managing the professional service firm. Free Press Paperbacks: New York. Pg. 241):
“What a group does with its billable time determines its income for the year. What it does with its non-billable time determines its future.”
Marketing as our salvation
Marketing is the ultimate “non-billable time”. And yet the marketing we do will determine whether you have a business in the future or not. We must maintain the urgency of getting out into the community and meeting new potential referral person.
Without consistent ways to pursue new contacts and connections, growth will eventually flatten. And our impact in our communities will diminish. In other documents I have laid out the methods we have used to keep the marketing demands in front of us, so I will not restate those ideas here. Let me just say that marketing remains one of the most important and critical business demands. And because it does not present with as much urgency, it can be the sleeper issue that can trip us up more than any other.
For more specifics as to how we did our marketing see “A community-based marketing method: Community connection plans.”
For more on how to build a referral network, see the post “Creating demand for your services.”
Also look at the Daily/Weekly Demand series: