Market on a Shoestring — 6 Ways for Less Than $50

[Image courtesy of k1991 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]

Regardless of the state of the economy, or your schedule book, you need to continue marketing. If you stop promoting your practice, there’s a good chance you’ll shoot yourself in the foot.

First, you gotta focus

You have to focus — or target — your marketing efforts. The more focused you are on a specific kind of client or condition, the farther your money is going to go. Sit down and think… Who and what do you really want to work with?

These six marketing ideas allow you to target your message for a price you can probably afford.

25 dollars or less — costs more time than money

  1. Would you like to bring in your neighbors? Focus on the people who live or work within walking distance of you. For less than $25, you can get colorful flyers made at your local copy center, and even divide the sheet by half or quarters. Leave them on the door of every business, home, or apartment within 2 blocks of your office. Even better, hand them out around the neighborhood, in order to meet people face to face. Don’t simply print your business name, address, phone number, and the kind of work you do. List the benefits of coming in to see you. Examples:
    • Your location is very convenient.
    • You have appointments after work and on weekends.
    • Your chair massage relieves stress quickly, effectively, and affordably.
  1. Say the focus of your practice is the treatment of injuries. That requires you to reach out to a wider community. Find a networking or “lead generating” group in your area. Many of these groups charge a small fee for attending a monthly meeting. But they give you something worth gold — a platform for explaining to a group of professionals how your work can help them or someone they know recover from injuries (in less time with reduced pain).
  2. Team up with a like-minded practitioner, for instance with a nearby acupuncturist or naturopath who serves similar clients. What could you do if you each invested $25? Begin by targeting your message. Are you both parents, who like the give and take with other moms and dads? What would it cost to place an ad in the high school annual or the program for the high school musical? Or sponsor a fund-raising car wash, where you could display signage with your contact information and hand out your business cards. Once again, state the benefits of your work on all your marketing materials.

50 dollars or less — still in the budget

  1. Set up a referral program. Thank people who refer to you with a beautiful postcard. If you want to go farther, host an event periodically for clients who refer new people. If you want to give referring clients discount coupons, check your state laws. Unfortunately, this is illegal in some states.
  2. Don’t forget that your established clients are your bread and butter. Get some postcards you really like, print or write focused messages to specific clients, and mail them.
  3. Place your own or share an ad in a small, local, targeted publication. Do you love dogs or horses, and find many of your clients share your passion? Some pet or farm stores have their own newsletter, which pays for itself with the sale of small ads. Do you specialize in pregnancy massage? It may be worth the investment for an ad in a local parenting magazine.

Even if your schedule is booked, you need to stay on the radar of your clients and potential clients. There’s no need, however, to blow your budget on expensive ads. Pick one of the ideas above and apply it to your practice. Let us know what happens — we would love to know what works for you!