marketing target

Need More Clients? 3 Marketing Realities and Resources

“My directory listing doesn’t attract enough clients. What am I doing wrong?”

“I get calls, but we hang up the phone without a contract! What am I doing wrong?”

“I finished working with my client and don’t have anyone else to help. Now what?”

These are questions I am asked frequently and repeatedly. Maybe you have the same ones!

The answer to each one relates to marketing.

“My directory listing doesn’t attract enough clients. What am I doing wrong?”

I most often hear this from newbie advocates who have one common WRONG idea. That is – they think that once they are listed in the directory, then they don’t need to do any more promotion. They just wait for their phones to ring.

Nothing could be further from the truth! Successful marketing is a combination of things, never just one thing. Being listed in a directory is only one tactic. It can be a very useful one, and yes, will attract some people, but all advocates and care managers must also work diligently to create more general awareness. In total, creating that awareness is called “marketing.”

Marketing might be online or offline. It might be a website, or a listing in a directory. It might be getting quoted in the media, or it might be doing public speaking. It might be writing a blog, or running an ad in your local community newspaper. It might be a result of your own efforts, or someone else’s. It might be all of those – or it might be something else.

Smart business owners create a marketing plan which outlines their marketing goals, a marketing strategy, and the tactics needed to make them successful. It’s a step too many new advocates skip because they think it should be so simple. But you know what they say: “If it was that easy, everyone would do it!”

Do not believe for a moment that simply listing yourself in a directory will lead to a successful business. It will not. Build and implement a marketing plan – in effect a road map to a successful practice – and then your phone will begin to ring.

(Find resources to help you develop your marketing plan below.)


“I get calls, but we hang up the phone without a contract! What am I doing wrong?”

patient advocate talking on the phone

The answer to why these calls don’t result in a contract is probably a combination of things: letting the caller vent for too long, providing too much advice, offering a free assessment, or not asking for the business.

Don’t do those things!

What is truly required to make those calls fruitful (for both you and the caller) is much more than can be included in just this one post… so…

Our sister site, PracticeUP Online, recently launched a new course called, Client Acquisition: Converting Callers to Clients? It covers the DOs and, importantly, the DON’Ts for carrying on the conversation with potential new clients.

Many APHA members can take it for free. You can even earn a CE (for your BCPA) if you take it. So – take the course to help you figure out where you’re going wrong and how to make those calls work well to attract more clients.


“I finished working with my client and don’t have anyone else to help. Now what?”

Staying client-service busy will always be a reflection of your marketing efforts. The more marketing, the more clients.

And that is where many advocates go wrong: Marketing isn’t a “do it once and you’re done” kind of thing. As long as you own your practice, you will need to market your practice. Even when you reach the limit of the number of clients you can work with, you need to continue marketing because someday you won’t be working with them anymore. You complete their project, or they die…

Here’s an illustration to help you understand, where the top of the curves is when you are busy with clients, garnering income, and the bottom of the curves is when you aren’t busy; having run out, or almost run out of current clients… meaning you also have little or no income during those times.

marketing curve image

A few things to point out on this chart:

“Time” depends on your own efforts. As you get started, the heavier your marketing, the sooner you will have clients, and the sooner you will reach “busy.”

Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you stop marketing! You may not do the same heavy marketing you did when you were growing your client base, but you still must maintain your marketing efforts so the lowest, quiet part of the curve, doesn’t become a total lack of clients.

Over time, your curve will begin to flatten, so that you are doing very little heavy marketing, replaced instead by regular, maintenance marketing. Eventually, your pro-active marketing efforts will be mostly replaced my word-of-mouth marketing. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue being pro-active.

I mentioned the need for a marketing plan, above. And that’s the answer for this problem, too. Your plan should define your heavy marketing efforts vs your maintenance marketing efforts so you’ll know what you need (and want) to do – and when.

You, too, can find better results for all those questions!

How will you make YOUR marketing efforts more fruitful?

Marketing Planning resources for APHA Members:

Resources for Non-Members:


LEARN ABOUT APHA MEMBERSHIP | MASTER LIST OF PRACTICE RESOURCES | ONLINE COURSES TO LEARN ADVOCACY


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