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The Best Way to Find New Clients
… Isn’t by osmosis. An email arrived this week – one that is representative of dozens, maybe hundreds of others just like it I’ve received in the past few years. It asks “why can’t I find any clients?” It represents others that have asked that same question, or similar, like “how can I market my business? or “how can I get my first client?” or “what am I doing wrong?” I receive these frustration emails 2, 3, 9, 10 times a month. Frustrated not-quite-advocates who want to start and grow a health advocacy practice… And so I reply by asking them, what have you already done to market your practice and your expertise? Their replies are often variations on the following: I joined APHA! I bought your books! I met with SCORE representatives! I talked to a friend of my nephew’s girlfriend’s brother who knows a guy who builds websites! So I ask, “What did you learn? And then, “Have you done anything with that you learned? Have you read the books then taken action on what you read? Did you follow the advice the SCORE representative gave you? Did you list yourself in the AdvoConnection Directory? Have you branded yourself, or developed a website using best practices, or collected email addresses and issued newsletters, or done any public speaking? IF I get a reply at all, it’s usually, “But I really hate the idea of public speaking.” And THAT proves to me that this person who has written to me expects to build a business by osmosis… as if they joined the Alliance, or bought a book, or met with a SCORE representative – that they somehow they expect the very activity of doing those things will make their phones ring. A bit of bubble bursting here – it doesn’t work that way!! Building a business isn’t about buying something or joining something, or even reading something… it’s about delving into the resources, embracing them, taking action as a result, correcting the things that go wrong, then finding more resources, delving into them… etc etc You can’t expect that…