Recentlying marking has taken over my life a little. It has been something that psychologists are rubbish at and I totally agree with them, we are absolutely rubbish at selling ourselves.
After a little discussion with a Sport Therapy student about her marketing assignment this week my marketing department has been working over time this weekend.
By marketing department of course I mean myself, as an independant practioner and business owner I have the task of doing all of my own marketing. Unlike my sports therapist friend we were never taught or expected to learn anything about marketing or selling myself, it may have been mentioned a few times on my masters degree but not in depth and I never really thought about (we had to many other assignments to think about). So as you can imagine its been a mamouth task to learn how to do this.
I am not going to pretend that I know anything official about marketing as I don’t. I have no real skills and no formal training in marketing. Everything I have done until now has been trial and error. Some has worked and some hasn’t. What follows is a list and some reflections on the effectiveness of what I have done so far.
Business cards - These were the first thing I ever developed and have had 3 versions since starting as a sport psychologist, each getting more and more professional looking and beneficial. Intially I used make your own business cards which were a little tatty but now I use professional made and designed cards from Vista Print. Of course I just used a template and added in my own information and these are given to everyone in the sporting community that I meet. Ever useful and always with me. Cost £10 -£15
Website - This was the second marketing tool that I developed. It has actually made me the most money and more than pays for itself. This has gone through more versions than I can shake a stick at and I have had feedback from friends, professionals and clients that have all been taken into account and developed from nothing. I’m not the arty type nor am I the technical type so this has taken a lot of time to get where it is now and still gets developed every other week or so. Cost - £14 every 3 months.
Mailshots - The most effective thing I ever did was to email every sports club in the local and wider area that I live in. This took a little time and also took a lot of effort to find email addresses for the respective clubs. However I got a lot of replies and some are still even contacting me now. A good rule to remember is that clients tend to read now and act later. So months down the line and people are still contacting me. Cost £0 just time and effort.
Flyers - I have mainly used flyers to recruit participants for research. Again they weren’t designed completely by me as I don’t have a creative bone in my body. However templates and Vista Print again did help. Cost £10 - £30. Unsure wether they are worth the money.
Social Media (facebook and twitter) - I have yet to receive a custome from using facebook or twitter however it definately does get my name out there. They do take a lot of time to keep up but look good and almost every business worth its salt has a presence on facebook or twitter or both. It is useful to create a brand image and helps to have a logo that can be seen everywhere. Cost £0 just time an effort.
Logo - For me this has been a real pain. I havn’t been able to develop my own logo, I haven’t the skills to know but my mates have had some input and I have come up with a few ideas. I am currently trialing them out and have been looking for something that looks good and tells a story unfortunately I am yet to find anything. Cost £0 provided you are crafty and know how to screen print.
Uniform - I was once asked the question ‘how do I be more professional?’ I fully beleive that this is the key to portraying and professional image. It doesnt have to be expensive but does need to be done. For me I just have a black T-shirt with ‘Sport Psychology Kent’ on it with an old logo. Gives a great image and can sometimes offer some advertising when wearing in a public place. Cost £20 - £30. A must have I say.
Like I said I am discovering marketing and public relations every day. I have enlisted friends, colleagues and I ask clients what they think on a regular basis. I also occasionally look at the research literature to get some ideas of what works. In answer to the question ‘how do I gain clients?’ my answer is nearly always with good, targeted and cost effective marketing.
Building a high performance environment.
January 14, 2015
May 1, 2013
Sport Psychologists: An interesting bunch but what do we actually do.