|March 30, 2016||
The Most Effective Client Marketing: Be as Helpful as Possible
Guest Post Courtesy Glenn Sabin, FON Consulting
WHY I WRITE, AND WHY YOU SHOULD TOO
I’ve written more in the last five years than the previous two decades combined. This body of work, for FON, exceeds 100 posts on this blog, scores of articles for other outlets, three e-books, and one forthcoming book.
In my previous career—publisher of a consumer magazine—I contributed a whopping two articles over 25 years; and they needed a lot of cleaning up. But that was okay, I didn’t fancy myself a writer. I remained comfortable on the operations side, focusing on business writing.
When I launched FON, in early 2011, the site debuted with a single white paper on growing hospital-based integrative medicine programs, and a video introducing the company—no other content aside from the typically static messaging found on most sites: about us, services, et al.
It would take a year or so to realize that the very best ‘marketing’ and ‘selling’ approach to landing clients was to be as helpful as possible; to give as much as I could muster to as many different people and organizations as possible: practitioners and businesses, small and large.
Over time, I gained a better understanding of the major pain points shared by many within the integrative health and medicine field. I began to write consistently with a problem/solution approach; that practice continues today.
As I’ve continued to write and be of service, my subscriber list has grown to several thousand individuals representing a variety of integrative practices and businesses around the world. Not bad for a niche B2B (business-to-business) consultancy.
Though most of my personal writing has focused on the business and marketing side of the industry, I have, from time to time, written about policy issues and other matters for which I have interest, and through which FON’s readers find value.
As FON continues to grow, content development is unfolding with partners such as healthcare attorney Michael H. Cohen, who recently created a 7-part legal telemedicine series, for FON, which will debut shortly.
Why all this focus on content?
Fact: Practically every client in FON’s history became a client as a result of finding and engaging with content on this blog or because they connected with FON’s messages in other places the content appeared.
My company is a B2B—we ‘sell’ advisory services to businesses within the field of integrative health and medicine. However, almost all FON’s clients are B2C—businesses that sell directly to consumers; certainly true for our practitioner and hospital and health system clients.
Those of you who have followed my work know I’m a serious advocate of building businesses—the consistent, sustainable selling of services and/or products—with qualitative, engaging, and consistently delivered content. I have written more on this subject than any other.
Regardless of whom you are looking to influence to support your business or practice—or in what form that desired support ideally takes shape—telling your story and taking a problem/solution approach to your target customer’s needs is the most powerful way to engage.
People don’t want or like ads. Ads interrupt. They essentially intrude with “look at me, look at me” as consumers leaf through magazines, get caught up in the plots of television programs, or listen to radio shows.
Integrative medicine is a story, not an advertisement. Conventional advertising channels, like those mentioned above, do not foster an environment for much teaching or problem solving to take place.
You could buy ‘advertorial’ print space, radio, or television time—think ‘infomercial’—and there exist native advertising and sponsored content opportunities, but you simply don’t ‘own’ the media environment in which those advertorials and advertising appear.
You do own a website, I hope. And if it’s current, incorporating the best practices in design and communication—the solid foundation for success—a content creation and promotion strategy may well be the missing ingredient to catapult your business to the next level.
Write. Write. Write. And if that’s not your strength, think about creating 90 second explainer videos, or start a podcast, or do more local talks. Create and deliver content in the form you most enjoy.
The benefit of high quality content is that it allows you to build trust around your brand and reach more people than you would by engaging one-on-one. Ask your current patients, clients, and prospects how they prefer to consume their media. Deliver it in that form. And do it in a qualitative and consistent way.
Here’s the bottom line: Whatever you or your organization is selling—products, services, courses, influence, thought leadership—there is no better way to go about it than sharing your wisdom and experience by being helpful.
What’s holding you back? Start helping. Start creating. Let the consistent practice (written, or video, or podcast) begin. And, over time, watch your influence spread and your business flourish.
FON is a leading business development and consulting firm delivering customized solutions to integrative health organizations—focused on growing patient volume, program and product sales—driven by innovative marketing, messaging and branded storytelling, all rooted in fiscally viable business models that work.
Contact us today to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your career strategy or business development needs.