Marketing Psychiatry is Real Hard
June 20, 2011
Much of the work with my first consulting client has focused on helping her articulate her brand, establish her online presence, and promote her practice. These hours focusing on another clinician’s business has brought home a stark reality. Psychiatry is a hard sell. Did it really take me over twenty years to figure that out?
In my soon to be released ebook, a Primer on growing cash-based practices, I discuss this matter in some detail. I describe the evolution of my marketing style from a fear-driven desperation to a calmer confidence-based promotion of my work. Working on another clinician’s business allowed me to see this more clearly.
Andy Sernovitz, in his Word of Mouth Marketing, writes of highly satisfied customers “evangelizing” for products and services. We have a problem. People don’t talk freely about their psychiatric treatment. My satisfied customers are happy to get what they need from my practice then move on. I can’t remember one person in all my years of practice that became an “evangelist” for my business. I think it would strike me as odd if someone did.
Keith Morgan, of Buckledown-Interactive.com, and I will soon finish the website for CLPConsulting.org. Then I will promote the business very aggressively. I will be targeting a very well defined market – psychiatrists, psychologists, and other therapists that run businesses much like mine. Sounds like fun. But still after 25+ years I must say that the thought of pouring that kind of energy into targeting my customers directly gives me great pause. Why?
Do you have a similar reluctance to market to your customer base? Are our customers our target market? Or do we market chiefly to our referral sources? This is a bit confusing.
Please take a minute to leave a comment about your marketing practices. I would really enjoy hearing other perspectives.