Basic Marketing: What Will it Help You Do For Your Private Practice?

A basic grasp of marketing will help you both to articulate to others (potential clients, employers, etc.) what value your service has for them, and to understand something of the competitive landscape within which your own particular mental health service operates.

The First Benefit of Basic Marketing

The first thing an understanding of basic marketing will help you to do is to articulate to other groups of people — including potential clients and current or potential organizational employers — why they should care one iota about what you can do for them.

To put it a little more gently, basic marketing will help you to articulate to other groups of people the value your service has for meeting their needs. After all, without some understanding of the value you will provide, why should any employer or client pay for your services?

Articulating this value message requires:

  • understanding what someone else actually needs,
  • adapting where necessary so that you can meet those needs, and
  • communicating from their perspective what value your service has for meeting those needs.

That understanding and communicating stuff — it all sounds a bit like what mental health practitioners and others in the caring professions do pretty well anyway, doesn’t it? The good news: that’s right! The bad news: comparatively few practitioners apply their skills directly to the task of marketing.

This section of aims to provide a few of the tools and concepts you can use to apply skills you probably already have in each of the three areas above. I believe that by applying your skills to deliver the value message, you will be better prepared to:

  • enter private practice,
  • gain more clients for your existing private practice, or
  • finish your studies and find a place in the job market.

The Second Benefit of Basic Marketing

The second thing an understanding of basic marketing will help you to do is to understand the competitive landscape within your particular area of the mental health field and to position yourself or your business within that landscape appropriately. This is market strategy, and it is all about applying your basic understanding of marketing to enhance and target your ‘value proposition’ — i.e., your articulation of the value you provide — to a receptive audience prepared to pay for that value.

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