Monday, April 27, 2009
As a practitioner, whether your practice is thriving or you are just starting out, it's important you get out in your community and connect. Some of those ways include networking, speaking, volunteering, and teaching.
Most of us get involved in the health care community because of a passion to help others - we have a passion to heal. I fully and deeply believe that the key to a successful and happy life is by finding, and then more importantly, following your passion. It's also important to have the skills necessary to "live your passion". That means marketing your products and services. That means marketing yourself.
Meet and Greet
One of the easiest and most natural ways to market yourself is simply to get out and meet folks. It doesn't have to be getting up on stage and speaking to hundreds of people. It can be networking with a small group of people at a leads group such as BNI or your local chamber. In my area there is a group of women that get together for happy hour every Tuesday.
Informally they get to know each other, discuss projects they are working on, and share stories of clients. I know this informal group swaps leads and refer each other constantly. There is another group of women that get together and have coffee on Friday mornings. Again, very informally making friends and business contacts.
On another level, I believe you really connect with people when you physically meet them. Energetically you share something, positive or negative - it's there. People are able to connect with you on a much deeper and personal level than through a mailing or even a phone conversation.
Break down your barriers and find new interests
If you are a chiropractor it will be natural for you to congregate with other chiropractors. I challenge you to push yourself past that and find a group of people that are not in your field. Find a group of people that are diverse and possibly interested in anything else. This could be a group of parents from your child's school or a group of citizens involved in bringing art to the community – whatever interests you.
Don't stand in your office waiting for the patients to show up. Don't put all of your energy into costly direct mail pieces and expensive advertising. Just get out there, be yourself, and meet some people in your community. Businesses are built on relationships, not advertisements.
To your success!