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The importance of a call to action

This blog has been written by Richard Daniel Curtis, The Root Of It.

I see thousands of pieces of marketing literature, from websites, leaflets, emails, posters and social media posts. Most of them perform badly and fail to attract new business because of one simple reason. But I’m not going to tell you what it is yet, you’ll have to read on.

Over the years, I have become more and more interested in the psychology of marketing, advertising and (dare I say the word?) sales.  Professionally, I am a teacher and I specialise in behaviour and social and emotional development.  Five years ago, I left my local authority job to set up a multidisciplinary service, known as The Root of It. I even developed a measure of someone’s social and emotional development, known as the Curtis Scale. But, whilst my practitioner knowledge was amazing, I had no idea how to attract clients.

I spent thousands on marketing courses. Whilst there were many things on these courses that would not work in our sector, I found that with some creative twists I could apply most of them to attract new clients. Thankfully it worked and in the first 13 months, we experienced 20,000% growth in the number of monthly hours worked.

It was a different time when I started The Root of It in terms of providing psychological support for people.  My focus was primarily schools. They’d just been given responsibility from the local authorities for their budgets.  As a result, one of my most successful courses was a course for head teachers on how to book independent professionals through my business. This meant people would look for us and find us without the need to market our services.

Today the situation is very different.  Funding streams that existed are drying up. Schools that would block book days for therapeutic services, will now only book sessions with individual young people.  This has a huge impact on my business and now I think differently about how to attract clients.

Now, I focus my work on supporting independent professionals to attract more clients. This could be through our free online directory, our networking meetings or marketing training sessions. My purpose is to help independent professionals reach more people, so they can help more people.

All those marketing lessons are starting to pay off.  Whether it is getting the right content on your website or making sure that you’re dropping your leaflets off at local schools, family centres or libraries.  Some of us are even ticking the social media boxes by having Facebook or Twitter pages (and even occasionally remembering to post on them).

So, let’s get back to that one simple thing that’s missing from most people’s marketing. The call to action. If you don’t tell people what to do next, how can you expect anyone to act?

A call to action is an instruction for your potential client on what to do next.  It may be clicking a link, using your phone number to call you, a link to your contact page or an online enquiry form.  Your call to action will be tailored to the piece of marketing you are doing. But it’s important to check that you have a call to action on every page on your website, on any leaflets and even on the footer of your emails. This will mean that all potential clients have a direction to move further forward in their journey come closer to becoming your client.

Richard runs The Root Of It. They run the online database for the Register of Independent Professionals to allow potential clients, schools and families to source vetted professionals. He also runs sessions on marketing and a community for independent professionals.

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