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3 More Myths About Building a Successful Independent Advocacy Practice
We began last week with this series of myths about starting, building, and growing an independent patient advocacy or care management practice. As a reminder, these myths are based on the comments I’ve heard from advocates who just couldn’t get a practice going – who (sad to say) failed – not because they don’t know how to be good advocates (they do!) but because they tried to get started despite their misconceptions about what it would be like to do so. This week we have three more of those myths for you to consider, in hopes these misconceptions aren’t yours. Or, if they are, helping you to get past them. Myth #4: As soon as I tell people I’m going to be an advocate, my phone will begin to ring. So many new advocates decide to go into business, get excited feedback from family and friends at the prospect, then expect the phone will begin to ring. Honestly, of all the myths in our list, this is the one that surprises – and appalls me – the most. If any new advocates have started out with phones ringing that quickly, I don’t know about it. What I’ve heard instead is that the new advocate can’t believe phones haven’t begun to ring. They are surprised and, of course, upset. There are several reasons why phones don’t begin to ring, each of which stands on its own, but all of which, if combined with others, may mean the advocate’s phone will never ring. For one thing, who do they think is going to call? The only people who know are family and friends; do they expect those family and friends are going to pay? I can’t imagine they do. What an awkward conversation that would be. It’s more likely they expect their friends and family to tell others – to refer them. But they don’t ask for that. They just assume it will happen. While word of mouth is the most powerful of marketing tactics, it has to be intentional. A mention to family and friends is just a start. To make…