Make Your Business Stand Out Clients notice you when you notice—and deliver—what they need. In Private Practice
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In Private Practice  |   May 01, 2015
Make Your Business Stand Out
Author Notes
  • Adele Cehrs is the CEO and founder of Epic PR Group and the author of “Spike Your Brand ROI: How to Maximize Reputation and Get Results.” For more information, visit www.epicprgroup.com. adele@epicprgroup.com
    Adele Cehrs is the CEO and founder of Epic PR Group and the author of “Spike Your Brand ROI: How to Maximize Reputation and Get Results.” For more information, visit www.epicprgroup.com. adele@epicprgroup.com×
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Fluency Disorders / Voice Disorders / Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / ASHA News & Member Stories / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / In Private Practice
In Private Practice   |   May 01, 2015
Make Your Business Stand Out
The ASHA Leader, May 2015, Vol. 20, 34-35. doi:10.1044/leader.IPP.20052015.34
The ASHA Leader, May 2015, Vol. 20, 34-35. doi:10.1044/leader.IPP.20052015.34
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – Steve Martin
This quote may be from a famous, irreverent comedian, but in fact, being good is the single most important thing you can do as a private practice owner. But what exactly should you choose to be good at? As a business owner, you have so many things to attend to, it is hard to have a single focus.
I believe, before anything else, you should choose to be good at understanding your customers.
Business people—especially business owners—often tend to be too insular when they think about their company, brand and practice. They create marketing campaigns and concepts that would appeal to their own demographic, but not necessarily to that of their clients. Moreover, they say the wrong thing at the wrong time at the wrong place.

Business people—especially business owners—often tend to be too insular when they think about their company, brand and practice. They create marketing campaigns and concepts that would appeal to their own demographic, but not necessarily that of their clients.

Want to find a way to say the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, to the right people? Follow these quick tips to help your business stand out from the rest.
First and foremost, determine your target audience. If your target audience is wrong, everything else will be wrong, too. It’s a domino effect. A great idea is truly great only if it appeals to your audience’s needs.
Think of your ideal clients. What do they all have in common? List every common trait: average age, income, gender, marital status, education level, industry, awards, certifications and qualifications. Once you understand what interests your customers, you can make a more tailored marketing campaign based on their likes, interests and desires.
Get inside their heads. Truly understand your audience. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Remember the three “Rs”: recognize, request and record. Recognize a satisfied client, request a success story and record it. It’s as easy as grabbing your smartphone and hitting the record button. This feedback will help you better understand what your practice is best known for and help you identify areas you can improve and promote. Understanding what clients want and what makes them happy is half the battle!
Strike a balance. Great marketing strikes a careful balance between saying the right thing, using the right channels and sending your message at the right time. The better you narrow your target audience, the easier this will be.
For instance, once you decide on your target market, providing as much detail as you can, include a projection of what you think their needs will be related to your practice. For instance, what will they need in the next 30 to 90 days? What will they need in the mid-range future—six to 12 months? And what will they need in two years or more? You can plan your marketing efforts to sync up with their projected needs. Remember, you don’t need to be everything to everyone, and you don’t need to put your marketing message out through every new social media channel, just because it exists. But most important, make sure you time your marketing right for your audience.
Make it repeatable. No matter what your strategy, your message must be concise, repeatable and memorable. An easy way to do this is to repeat, repeat and repeat your message, again and again. Throughout my career, I’ve always been astonished when I’ve read most marketing materials. They are difficult to remember, filled with jargon and—most important—they are not repeatable. If your client can’t remember what or how you do what you do, how can that person refer to your practice?
Whether it is for the launch of a new service or a standard way to talk about your practice, I almost always see the following mistakes:
  • Complicated sentence structure.

  • Too many messages.

  • Use of jargon and words people would never say in a conversation.

To see whether your organization’s messages pass the test, see how many people can repeat your messages aloud after you tell them what you do. Conduct an informal focus group and ask people to repeat what they learned about your practice when you recite your messages. See what sticks. If they can’t remember, go back to the drawing board.
Your message should be conversational and and shouldn’t communicate too many things at once. Your audience has a very short attention span. Make sure you’re saying something that will stick immediately.
The trick to making your business stand out is to understand your audience. Once you get to know your audience, you’ll be on the path to delivering what they want to hear, where and when they want it.
To be “so good they can’t ignore you”—be the best at understanding your customer.
Learn More at ASHA’s Health Care and Business Institute

“Make your business stand out” is one of dozens of sessions scheduled for ASHA’s 2015 Health Care and Business Institute, July 10–12 in Phoenix.

At the three-day institute, health care and private practice clinicians learn about the latest changes in health care, clinical approaches and business issues: business management and leadership, pediatric care, adult care, and swallowing.

The agenda includes sessions by leading experts in business and clinical issues on the power of social media, coding for reimbursement, planning for business success, decision-making in hospice care, dysphagia and dementia, stuttering treatment for children, voice banking, pediatric reflux, and dysarthria.

Click here for the full schedule and registration information.

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FROM THIS ISSUE
May 2015
Volume 20, Issue 5