How to promote your practice with blogging
There is no one-size-fits-all formula for how to promote your practice with blogging. The way you blog is as unique as you and your practice. If you want a successful practice without getting overwhelmed by the online world, you’ll need to make a plan.
The key to working out your plan for promotion is a combination of:
1. Visualising how you want your practice and your life to be in five-to-ten years time.
2. Understanding what your niche is. This will be a combination of your specific talents, interests and skills.
3. Pinpointing who you are writing for, what their problems are and how you can solve them.
What do you want?
The first step is to visualise where you would like to be in five-to-ten years time. Book yourself some time in your diary to dream.
Get yourself really comfy, turn off your phone and focus on your breath for a couple of minutes to settle yourself. Then start to dream about your perfect practice, see it played out in front of you as though you were watching a movie. Here are some questions to ponder on.
• How many days do you work and where?
• What sort of patients do you have?
• What sort of rhythm do your days have?
• What sort of conditions do you treat?
• Do you run groups?
• Are you a hot of high-end clinic or working in a low-cost clinic or both?
• Do you teach?
• Do you give lectures or workshops?
• Would you like to be a leader in your area?
• How does your work fit in with your interests?
• With your family life?
• With any caring responsibilities?
When you have got a real feel for what your perfect practice looks like, note down, draw or record the important points.
Get out your diary and book yourself half an hour in the next two days to dream up your perfect life.
Define Your Niche
Your niche is a combination of your innate talents, skills and special interests. For example you might be talented in having all or any of these:
• A super-sharp intellect.
• Dogged curiosity so you are determined to understand and drill down to the roots of a client’s health issues.
• Your kindness or compassion.
• Your open-hearted acceptance.
These are the sorts of things your patients will love and that people in your life will compliment you on. If you’re not sure, just ask someone who loves you what they especially value about your way of being.
Your professional skills are the areas of interest that you have specialized in and absorbed in your training. But before we get into CV mode, it’s vital to think about what you enjoy doing most. What really gets you juicy? There is often a gap between what we think we should specialize in and what we actually love to do; be honest with yourself!
In a list of three or four areas that get you excited, you should then consider which one of these will people actually pay for? For example, you may really enjoy writing super-neat notes on your clients, but it is unlikely that you are you will be highly paid for it!
In the complimentary therapy world, therapists often specialise in an area where they have experienced the most healing themselves. They take their own major life issues that they’ve been working on and become an expert in that field.
Write down a list of your:
• Talents and skills
• Special interests
• Focus in your healing journey.
Use the information to build a picture of the niche that you can inhabit which gets you really joyful and that people will pay for.
Who are you Writing For?
You will probably write blogs directed at your patients, but it is crucial that you are able to define clearly who they are, so you can address their concerns in a language they understand. Big corporations spend thousands of person-hours building a picture of their ideal customer and this is just as important for homeopaths.
Who is Your Ideal Patient?
In building this picture, you can draw upon past successes and experience.
• The problem she has that you can solve
• Where she lives
• Where she shops
• Where she goes out
• What social media she uses
• What interests are
• What she values
• What she’s afraid of
• What has stopped her taking action before
• Why she needs your help this time
Having a solid idea of who your ideal patient is will help you speak directly to her, in her language and address her problems in your blogging.
Drawing on existing clients you have worked with, build up a picture of your ideal patient using the points above.
Writing for Professionals
If you are interested in raising your status and become an expert in your field, you can write blogs aimed more at a professional reader. Writing blogs for other professionals will show what sort of client they should refer to you and when. It’s just as important to understand:
• Who they are
• What is important to them
• What they need to know about your work
Writing for this sort of reader will need a different tone and language. So for example you might want to address your blog to:
• Leaders in your field
• Medical professionals
• Other complementary therapists
• Other people who you hope will send you referrals
All of who require different language and tone.
Make a list of the professionals that you would like to read your blog. Jot down notes on who they are and what sort of tone and information they would need to know in order to refer clients to you.
An Example of Formulating a Plan
Here’s an example of a homeopath, we’ll call her Sally, and how creating a 3D picture of her ideal patient can help to guide her blogging activities.
Sally lives in Woking and she wants to have a Harley Street practice in five years time for high-end patients. She also wants to create an accessible online program for clients who can’t afford her enormous fees.
Her ideal patient is ‘Claire’, aged 38 and has a stressful job in a big corporation. She shops in Harvey Nichols and is obsessed with Instagram. Claire’s cycle has always been irregular and that now that she wants to conceive a child her cycle is not behaving at all. She worries that peri-menopause she is entering peri-menopause and will be unable to have the baby she longs for.
Sally’s key skills are her expertise in natural fertility awareness and using homeopathy, combined with her own experience of her fertility journey, her gentle manner draws in a particular clientele who have learnt to mask and compensate for their vulnerabilities.
Sally’s plan is to build her reputation by writing a series of pieces aimed at fertility professionals which show-off her expertise and how homeopathy works with different types of assisted conception.
These are going to be dovetailed with a series of articles for her patient group, which might include subjects like:
• Encouraging self-care
• Reflecting on natural cycles and how homeopathy helps
• The effects of stress on the reproductive system
Sally plans to use dazzling images to promote her blog posts that will work well on her instagram profile, where she plans to promote her website.
You can see how the combination of:
• Skills and talents
• Being clear about your audience
Creates a plan for your blogging.
Start to make a blogging plan for the six months which outlines
Who your blogs are aimed at
What sort of conversations you want to have
Ideas for topics