How much time every day should you spend on marketing? If you’re struggling to get clients, I strongly recommend that you devote a minimum of four hours of marketing per day for 6-12 months. Many practitioners are shocked at that number, because they typically don’t even spend that much time on marketing in a week or even per month. Well… no wonder they don’t have enough clients!
The average practitioner claims that she doesn’t have four hours a day for marketing. But you don’t want to be average, right? Wouldn’t you rather be outstanding? If you’re surprised at the idea of spending that much time on marketing, answer this question honestly: If you don’t have enough clients and you’re not marketing, then what are you actually doing all day?
You may, like many entrepreneurs, be spending a good deal of your non-client time in non-business pursuits. Let’s take a close look at the non-essential things you do throughout the day and the week. These are the time-wasters in your schedule. When you look at them closely from a marketer’s perspective, you may see that, like many self-employed people, you regard non-client time as “spare time.” This perspective makes you waste valuable work hours on personal activities, such as housework, errands or social media.
You need to put your extra-curricular activities on hold while building your healthcare business. These time-wasters sabotage your progress and your success. They limit the number of clients who can benefit from your valuable service, undermining your purpose for being in healthcare. You can’t attain your goals to help lots of people and make a good living if you waste your work day on non-work. It’s actually a very simple premise: The more time you spend attracting clients, the more clients you will attract!
Just because you don’t have enough clients doesn’t mean you’re on vacation. However you spend your “spare time” during work hours, eliminate everything that is not directly working with clients or attracting clients. From now on, for the next 6-12 months, or until your client schedule is full, do non-business activities after-hours. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have anyone holding you accountable. It’s up to you to schedule your work hours and stay on track, in order to increase your client base and your income. You need a tough boss – that would be YOU!
It’s difficult, maybe even impossible, to get new clients consistently when you don’t market consistently. Having fun or doing non-biz activities while you wait for the phone to ring is not an effective marketing strategy! Same with sitting in your office hoping for walk-in clients – hope is not a strategy and it doesn’t pay the rent!
You need to spend your work day actually working. When you’re not working directly with clients, devote your time to activities that will bring them in – calling people, getting referrals, networking, writing a newsletter, giving talks, for example.
Exactly how you should you structure your time to get the maximum benefits for your business? Monday through Friday 9 AM – 5 PM (or whatever you decide are your regular work hours), you should be… doing what? Yes, now you’re catching on – working with clients and attracting clients! This, in turn, will produce benefits in your income and lifestyle as well.
Suppose your BFF calls and says, “Hey, let’s go shopping!” From now on, instead of jumping on board with that, you say, “Sorry, I can’t today – I’m working. But I can go this weekend. Or I can meet you after work.” Your friends may not like this, but when you get results in your business, you will realize you’re doing the right thing. (And maybe your success will motivate them!)
Here’s a system to organize your time. Make a written list of all the different activities you do each day – both business and non-business things – during your regular business hours. Every time you do something throughout the day, stop and write it down. Be totally accurate and honest with yourself about this, so you can make the changes necessary to expand your practice and your income. For one week, keep a running list of everything you do during business hours.
Next, go through your entire list and ask yourself these 2 questions for every item:
1. Does this activity involve working with clients?
2. Does this activity involve attracting clients?
If the answer is ‘no’ for any item on your list, cross it off the list. Cross off everything you do during business hours that distracts you from your two primary activities – working with your current clients and attracting new clients. Now commit to doing this on a regular, consistent basis.
Though this schedule may seem extreme, remember that it’s only a temporary jump start strategy. When you start getting consistent results, you can reduce your marketing time and start re-integrating other activities into your daily schedule. You will still need to schedule marketing on a consistent basis throughout your career – it should never become a once-in-a-while activity. But soon your marketing will be organized into a system that will reduce the amount of time that you spend on it per day. (However, don’t be surprised if you discover, as I did, that you enjoy marketing so much that it becomes your new hobby!)