Marketing seems to be the boogeyman in the closet for many behavior consultants. I spend a lot of time wondering why my “sexy” courses are so popular and my business courses get short shrift. I’ll get a ton of enrollments when the topic is aggression, but almost nothing for a marketing course. Most of us have had a ton of exposure to theory, behavior mod, and aggression, and what we need is help in growing our business; yet we still sign up for the sexy courses and ignore the practical ones!
Of course, we LOVE behavior – after all, that’s what we do and for most of us it’s a passion. So that’s one reason we sign up for those courses – we enjoy them. I think that marketing is a mystery to most consultants. We know we should do it, but we don’t really know how. When we do market, we often see lackadaisical results and that discourages us from future marketing endeavors.
Unlike advertising, marketing can be very inexpensive; but, it’s a process and often takes time to come to fruition. You shouldn’t expect immediate results with most of your marketing efforts. Your results will be an accumulation of consistent marketing – sometimes over years!
Think of your goals and how marketing can help attain them. What are your short-term goals? What are your long-term goals? Will simply dropping business cards at the vet’s office help with those goals, or do you need something a bit more involved? Marketing should be a win-win – don’t think of it as selling yourself, but as mutually beneficial. If you look at it as providing a service for someone else, perhaps you’ll be more comfortable than if you are simply trying to get the local veterinarian to refer to you. Finally, there’s always something you can do that’s within your comfort zone!