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Vol. 3 issue #357 June 3, 2012


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The Gateway To Long Term Income

Integrate Marketing Into Your Life

By Donna J Thomas  

"I don't have time for marketing" is a common complaint from self-employed holistic health practitioners. As a solo practitioner who wears all the hats in your business - the only one who serves the clients, manages the business, and handles marketing and sales - time becomes your most precious commodity. How can you find time for marketing with so many priorities vying for your attention?

There are many time management techniques you could use. You can defer or delegate certain jobs, break down projects into smaller steps, and create blocks of time in your schedule for client sessions, administrative work and marketing tasks.
But even with all those methods, you may still find yourself short of time to get it all done. In this situation, it is usually marketing that takes a back seat to other more pressing tasks.

It's important to remember, however, that marketing is the lifeblood of any business. It is what brings in the clients. Without this crucial activity, your client base, and therefore your income, will suffer. In fact, without marketing, your entire holistic health practice could completely dry up.

Since we all have the same 24 hours a day to get things done, maybe the answer is not to find more time for marketing, but to find ways to incorporate it into your other activities. Although I don't usually advocate multi-tasking, there are easy ways to combine marketing with things you're already doing, without compromising the effectiveness of either activity. Here are some examples:


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- Workshops, business meetings, networking and cultural events. Invite a colleague or business contact to join you. Many workshops and events allow you to bring a spouse or assistant for a small additional fee. Extending an invitation will contribute to building a stronger relationship between you and a colleague. If your contact accepts, you have an opportunity to get build the all-important business relationship in a more relaxed way than in a one-to-one meeting.

- Lunch or coffee with a prospect or colleague. If you are planning to meet with someone to promote your work or request referrals, invite another person or two to join you. With more people, it feels like a social event, but of course you still accomplish your business mission. Everyone invited has an opportunity to make new contacts themselves, you have more people to educate about your work, and you may find that conversation and ideas flow more easily in a group.

- Traveling to another area. On a business trip or vacation, arrange to meet for lunch or dinner with a client, prospect or colleague. On a business trip, this is usually more enjoyable than eating alone, and gives you a chance to discuss business in a more relaxed setting. As a tourist, a meal you would be eating anyway takes no time out of your vacation schedule, plus you may get local tips about where to go, while making a sale or acquiring a new referral source.


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- Exercise. I've gotten clients on my morning walk around the 'hood! Meetings with business associates don't have to take place in an office or coffee shop. Invite someone to join you for a walk around the block, a gym workout or a tennis match. Not all business takes place in business settings. Think of all the deals that have been struck on the golf course - or the 19th hole!

- Reading an article. When you read an interesting article, copy and send it to 3 people. Take a moment to write a quick "thought this would interest you" note and make a big impression on the recipients. While forwarding emails and links is increasingly popular, receiving postal mail really gets people's attention, because you took the time to show you care, which strengthens the crucial know-like-trust factor!

- Shopping, dining or running errands. Every time you leave your home or office, you see people. They are behind the counter in a store, in line at the bank, sitting at the next table, or shopping in the same aisle. Take the time to strike up a conversation with a casual comment, then introduce yourself by name and occupation. You'll be surprised how this can develop into a business connection. Have you ever, like me, gotten a client from the supermarket line?



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- Attending social events. Many business relationships begin socially. Carry business cards when you attend a wedding, a party, or your child's soccer game. Asking people what they do for a living is a common topic of conversation in social settings. After asking, "How do you know our hosts?" or "Which child is yours?" make your next question, "What do you do?" The person will probably ask you the same question, creating a perfect opportunity for a little casual promo of your practice.

- Driving. Of course, I don't advocate distracting yourself in busy traffic, but on longer drives, you can use this time to your advantage. If you commute to work, shuttle your kids around, or take a long drive to visit Grandma, this is an ideal time to listen to marketing CDs or podcasts. I live in a rural area, with a one-hour drive to major shopping or entertainment, so I always use my trip to Costco as an opportunity to listen to my marketing mentor's words of wisdom!

- Relaxing. You may have a long list of marketing projects that take time but not your full attention. Consider doubling up these mundane tasks with a fun activity or some pleasant company. Enter business card info into your contact database on your laptop at the coffee shop. Listen to a teleseminar while waiting for your kids to finish soccer practice. Make phone calls from the hot tub or a park bench. Review your prospect list while watching TV or listening to music. Stuff and address envelopes as a family activity. Take your project to a friend's house so you can work on marketing while you chat and sip tea!

As you can see, there are many ways to include marketing in your busy life. We can't add more hours to the day. So instead of wishing you had more time for marketing, combine it with other activities. How many ways can you think of to integrate marketing into your daily life?



Donna Thomas is a marketing mentor and coach with over 35 years experience as an health care entrepreneur. She offers simple, effective tools and techniques to help holistic health practitioners attract a full schedule of ideal clients and make more money in their businesses. She helps wellness professionals establish and maintain a successful private practice, with strategies for quick results and systems for long-term success. She integrates best marketing practices with technology and psychology, supported by ancient mindset and spiritual principles, to create an effective step-by-step system for business momentum and sustainability. Her clients call her their "secret weapon for success" in starting, developing and maintaining thriving health practices.

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