Advertising Not Working? Try This ... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bernadette Doyle   
Friday, 01 August 2008 00:00
Bernadette Doyle
Bernadette Doyle

A reader writes:

'I am struggling to get new clients into my complementary therapy business. I have placed adverts in yellow pages, newspapers and I have started offering monthly discounts and special offers, but I only seem to get a trickle of people in the door and mostly past customers, not new ones. Where am I going wrong?'

Actually, I think you are on track, and what you need to do now is keep going and refining your approach. A successful marketing machine is a combination of several small pieces working together. Expecting one of those pieces to deliver all the results you need is like expecting a receptionist to handle sales, customer service, operations, finance and strategy. It's an unrealistic expectation.

Let me explain.

A very common mistake is over-dependence upon 1-2 sources of new client enquiries. No matter what business you are in, it is highly unlikely that any single source will deliver ALL the enquiries you need. Eg it's much easier to find 100 methods that will bring in 1 client each than it is to find one jackpot source that delivers 100 new clients.

Take a close look at any established, successful business and I promise you they have multiple sources of incoming leads.

What you are telling me is that your existing advertising isn't  delivering the quantity of new clients you want and need, so  you are going to need to up your efforts. Before you say 'I can't afford that' we need to take a closer look at the results your ads are already producing. It may be time to drop or

change some of the ads you are running.

The first thing I want to talk to you about is your expectations. Over and over I see people making the mistake of investing their last bean in an ad in the hope that it will solve all of their  marketing problems, and bring in all the business they need.

The fact is, it just isn't as straightforward as that. For example, if you run an ad and you aren't satisfied with the results produced, it may be that you were in the right publication to reach your target audience, but that your ad was a dud. Or it could be that the publication did not reach in your target audience, so even an ad written by the world's best copywriter would fail.

So the tricky part about evaluating your ad is that we need to establish whether you have:

1. The wrong message, reaching the right audience

2. The right message, reaching the wrong audience

3. The wrong message, reaching the wrong audience.

And of course, our ultimate goal is:

4. The right message, reaching the right audience.

Whilst you may strike lucky and hit the jackpot first time out, for the majority it DOES take time to get this right.  Even experienced marketers have to tweak and adjust what's in their ads and where they are running to produce outstanding results. The difference is that they keep going whereas the majority just give up.

So let's talk about WHERE you are advertising first. For example, you have mentioned Yellow Pages and local newspapers and those are methods of reaching the general population. The trouble is, with both those media, you are paying a premium for their high circulation, even though a high percentage of their readers may never consider using complementary therapies.

Brainstorm other opportunities to reach your target audience. There is a good chance that there is a perfect opportunity right under your nose. Few people will invest the time to identify new media opportunities like this, but they are so vital for the success of your business.

The fact that you have already taken SOME action and got some advertising out there already puts you way ahead of everybody else who is sitting round 'hoping' for business to show. Now build upon that by looking beyond the 'obvious' and identifying other places where your target audience is 'hanging out'.

© 2008 Bernadette Doyle

Bernadette Doyle publishes her weekly Client Magnets newsletter for trainers, coaches, consultants, complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, then get your free tips now at

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 October 2008 14:18