Marketing your counseling practice is your next order of business now that you are officially done with school, but before you start marketing you have a few decisions to make. Will you practice as a general counselor? Will you have a specialty or two? Have you even decided yet?
Back when I first started my marketing practice as a virtual business coach, my mentor told me to practice as a generalist and market as a specialist. This advice worked well for me because I was not ready to choose one niche to focus on but I did have a few industries that I knew I would do well in.
So my advice is to figure out what appeals to you. Are you ready to choose or would you rather it unfold as you go? It’s up to you. For me, it was best to open up my doors and start marketing my services to businesses that I could relate my services to.
Either way you go, you will need to market yourself as a specialist. I used my marketing skill as my specialty versus claiming a niche market.
Assess your current marketing situation.
Do you have business cards? A website? A brochure? A positioning statement? Are you set up to market online? These are the things you need to answer. What will your primary marketing strategy be? What will your secondary marketing strategy be? What marketing skills do you currently have? Do you have any experience with putting yourself out there?
Do you need a website to start marketing your business?
Contrary to what most digital marketers will tell you, you do not. You can start getting customers without having a website. People were in business long before the internet came around. Having said that, I will say that a website is a business essential that you will eventually need. Still, not having one shouldn’t stop you from putting yourself out there for your ideal customers.
You should start thinking about and setting aside funds for your website-even if it’s a one-pager.
Understanding who your customers are, what services you will provide and how you will provide them will help the website-building process.
Do you value your services?
Ask anyone in sales and they will tell you that it is much easier to sell a service or product that they believe in as opposed to one they do not. Some will even say that they just can’t sell anything that they don’t have full confidence in. You want to make sure to anchor your belief in what you have to offer. Otherwise, you will not value it-and if you don’t value your services, that might be reflected in your income-earning potential.