Treatment Center Marketing: Building Your Brand And Your Identity

treatment center marketing

Who are you?

This is the ultimate question? Who are you and what are you all about? In other words, what makes you treatment center unique and special? While it is hard to stand out in the crowd, if you place the focus on your unique advantages, you will connect with your ideal clients. Treatment center marketing is a highly competitive field right now, so you must learn how to stand above the competition.

Treatment Center Marketing For Smart People.

Anyone can pay a marketing company to do the job for them. Unfortunately, if throwing money at the problem is your solution, you are competing with other centers who may have a lot more money to throw around. Also, many expensive marketing solutions are completely ineffective. Flushing the money down the toilet would be equally effective. Therefore, if you want to be successful on a budget, it takes intelligence and creativity. In fact, it is possible to outshine the competition who spends far more than you on marketing. One place to start is by looking at free marketing resources. For example, SAMHSA provides free listings for certain types of drug rehab programs.

Learning is the key to success.

There are many excellent courses on SEO, website management and social media marketing. Additionally, there are also some great coaches and mentors who can help you to learn and master the art and science of online marketing. You will find that the art is more important than the science. While there are many technical details to learn, in the end, balancing your content properly and doing creative research is of the utmost importance. Remember, you must provide unique, valuable information to build a following. Over time, members of your audience will convert to being your clients.

Treatment center marketing is not that hard.

While it is fine to hire an agency to help manage your campaign, you should also be educated about how things work. You should understand why your agency does what they do and you should be able to catch mistakes. An agency is your partner and helper, they should not be running your entire campaign. You are always the leader and you must understand what your agency does under your leadership. That being said, when you have gained experience in fields such as SEO, video and social media marketing, you will find that it is fun and rewarding. You are constantly building a library of content. You will always be learning new ways to provide value to your clients.

How To Get Patients: A Guide To Building A New Medical Practice

how to get patients

Overcoming First Month Stress

If you are starting a new medical practice, you know exactly what I mean. After putting in the work to get the doors open, there is that sinking feeling, day after day, when few if any patients walk through the doors. You wonder if your new business is going to make it. You start asking around about how to get patients to come in.

The Secret Is Online.

The future and present of medical marketing to get more patients is online. While there are traditional ways to market a medical practice, they are declining fast. For example, you can get some results by renting or owning a great physical location. However, truly great locations are often very expensive. You must consider the cost of a high visibility location to be a part of your marketing costs. Additionally, there are various options for print and radio marketing. Unfortunately, newspapers, magazines and radio spots are money pits for the new practice. It is unlikely that you can spend enough money for long enough to make these methods work.

How to get patients with social media.

Social media optimization can be one place to start. In the beginning, when you have more time to work on marketing because you have no patients, you can focus on social media. It takes a lot of work to manage the multiple accounts on different platforms that you will need to reach your audience. I recommend being careful about automation.  Excessive repetitive ads on social media will turn off potential new patients. In fact, you will want to provide useful and valuable information to gain new followers.

Search Engine Optimization

The holy grail of online marketing is optimizing search ranking. While you can pay per click to have your business come up above search results, it costs a lot of money. Besides being very expensive, many potential new patients will skip right past the ads to look for useful information to help them solve their own problems. This is where you need to be. If you can consistently provide value, the search engines will reward you by ranking your website higher in search results. This is because you are benefiting the search engine by being a solid source of useful information for their customers. Remember that the key to being successful is in providing value.  Helping people with your expert knowledge is how to get patients to come in to your new practice.

Rehab For Sale: Where Dinosaurs Go To Die

rehab for sale

The Meteor Has Already Struck

Impact. A cloud of dust, large enough to darken the entire planet, has been kicked up into the atmosphere. Large dinosaurs lumber about, dazed and confused. Small mammals scurry about, taking advantage of a new world where they can finally thrive. Rehab for sale signs are going up. Hence, the dinosaur carcasses are on the auction block.

So, why are things changing now? Why are we seeing rehab for sale everywhere?

We are at a turning point where a confluence of events have brought about massive change in a short time. First of all, traditional rehab has been selling a product that is mostly a failure. It works for a small percentage of patients, which is fine when there is no better solution. Now, in the midst of an opioid epidemic, we have real medical treatment that works and many rehabs still reject it. That is true insanity.

Embracing change.

Fortunately, some rehabs are adapting and now are including MAT programs. For this, we should applaud them. Others have resisted adding medical treatment programs that work. While they may believe they are doing the right thing, they may soon face serious liability issues.

Teaching a person to fish.

As they say, teach a person to fish and they will be fed for a lifetime. Unfortunately, many rehabs have a bad habit of only wanting to buy their fish. What this means is that this new world requires that businesses learn to own their marketing systems. Learning to build your brand is hard, but it is now an essential skill. Gone are the days when you can fully outsource your business’s marketing. No where is this more true than in the addiction treatment industry. Some say they are addicted to the old model of marketing as this article puts it.

The Dawning of a new era.

As large rehabs go out of business and put up the rehab for sale signs, we should not mourn their loss. In the midst of the falling of these old, stately dinosaurs, there is a groundswell of small and agile treatment programs that understand how adapt in this new world. They understand how to use evidence based treatments to get better results. Additionally, they know how to connect and to build a following that will keep them in business for many years to come.

Clean Needles And Heroin Testing At Safe Sites

clean needles

We Need Safe Injection Sites Everywhere

Incredibly, there are still people who do not believe that we need to provide clean needles to drug abusers. The fact is that Safe Injection Sites save lives. By giving out sterile needles and testing street heroin, we can help reduce the spread of disease and unnecessary drug overdoses.

What do clean needles have to do with Addiction Marketing?

While I think this should be obvious, let’s discuss how advertising for addiction treatment programs relates to providing safe injection sites. First, we should ask ourselves why we are in this business. If our primary goal is to help people to overcome addiction, then we should be prepared to help in any way possible. Furthermore, the most successful businesses go beyond worrying about profits. They have a mission to accomplish and the business is simply an expression of this mission. The most successful addiction programs will be those with a mission to help the addict to recover. Supporting community harm reduction programs is an important step to saving more lives.

Will Safe Injection Sites lead to more crime and drug use in the community?

If there is already a need for heroin testing and clean needles, then the crime and drug use is already happening. It may be hidden away in back alleys and dark parking lots, but there are already people using heroin and risking their lives with dirty needles and unsafe street drugs. When we help, we are not increasing crime rates. As reported here, clean needles save lives.

Where do our patients come from?

Do you think about what your patients have been through before walking through your door? Sometimes, we forget about their struggles. In fact, we often prefer not to think about the horrors of active addiction. Yet, we must always keep in mind that our patients have truly suffered and struggled to survive. We must be there for them even before they are ready to ask for help.

Scare Tactics From Those Who Would Take Away Your Freedom

scare tactics

Don’t allow yourself to be controlled with fear

Suddenly, in the addiction marketing space, there has been a flurry of scare tactics used to strike fear into the hearts of treatment programs. They write about how the world of addiction marketing is going down in flames. Treatment centers are failing, shutting down, selling for whatever they can get to cash out. There is no hope.

Driven by scare tactics.

The use of fear as a motivator is to drive you forward and right into their arms. They are the only ones who can keep you safe. It will all work out if you place your trust, and money, in their hands. When you act out of fear, you hand over control to someone else. You give up a piece of your personal and professional freedom.

You have the power.  Create your system. Own your marketing machine.

The fact is that you can do it. You don’t have to panic and run in fear to the fear mongers. What are they going to do for you anyways? Are they going to get you listed on trusted addiction resource media sites? That’s great. What do you think they do for all of their other clients? Join the herd. How are you going to get noticed that way? And, what happens if you decide to stop paying? Do they pull all of your listings? Will they turn off the spigot to make the phone calls stop? Do they attack you relentlessly with even more scare tactics.

It is time to take control and learn how to build your marketing machine.

There is nothing wrong with hiring an agency to work for you to handle the heavy lifting. But, be sure that you are running the show. Marketing is the core of your business. If there is anything that you should put your heart and soul into, it is how you market yourself. This is not simply sales. What I am talking about is putting your brand out there and letting your ideal audience know who you are and what you stand for. Tell your story. Let them know what makes you different from the others. Be creative. Try everything. Find out what works and what doesn’t.

We would be happy to help.

Our way of consulting with clients is to help them to learn to help themselves. We want you to learn how to create your own marketing system that will develop a life of its own and keep on working for you. While it is true that there are roadblocks in place, as noted in this article, that make it a little more difficult to advertise addiction treatment programs, think of these obstacles more as opportunities. They present ways to develop your creativity and find new, different and better ways to work around to reach your audience, including SEO and much, much more. Find as many ways as possible. Future proof your marketing system so no one platform owns you.

Freedom is not easy.

You want to be free. This is human nature to seek freedom. But, freedom never comes easy. This is the most important lesson to start with. You are going to have to be vigilant and persistent. No matter what, never give up. Make a decision now that you are going to commit to making this work. And, don’t be afraid. Ignore the scare tactics.

Next Level Addiction Marketing

next level addiction marketing

It is time for you to engage in Next Level Addiction Marketing

So, what is Next Level Addiction Marketing? How can it help to build your business quickly and effectively? And, what makes it different from traditional marketing?

First, what do we mean by traditional marketing?

You may think I am talking about print media, such as newspapers and magazines. Maybe you think I am talking about radio and television as well. In fact, by traditional marketing, I mean search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) marketing. For years now, we have seen the power of writing original content online based on the keywords that our costumers are searching for.

Welcome to Next Level Addiction Marketing.

The next level is multimedia. By this I mean audio and video. In particular, I want to discuss the power of podcasting. You may have overlooked this unique and incredibly powerful way to reach new customers and engage existing customers.

Why is podcasting better than other forms of multimedia?

Don’t get me wrong. Video on sites such as YouTube are excellent. It is important to do videos right if you choose this route. Production value is of the utmost importance. Sound quality is of primary importance. Also, you must consider good editing practices. After making the video, you have to write good copy for the video description. YouTube has one of the best search engines and, if you do a good job, you will be found by users worldwide. Yet, podcasting can be a better option. Especially an interview format podcast. Podcasting can be audio only. It is relatively easy to do an interview, process the audio, and put it up as a podcast. With a little extra work, you can feature experts in your field as guests to add credibility and useful content for your listeners beyond what you can provide alone.

What can you do if you choose not to get into the podcasting business?

While podcasting is relatively easy compared to other forms of next level addiction marketing formats, it is still not a trivial task. Audio quality must be good or you will quickly lose listeners. It takes time for a podcast to build an audience. Another option is to work with an existing podcast as a sponsor.

What are the benefits of sponsorship?

Sponsoring a good podcast in your field is a way to be part of the production without doing the hard work of finding guests and editing recordings. It is like being a movie producer. By making a financial commitment, you can have input into guest selection and your business will be advertised by the host during the podcast, or at the beginning, depending on your particular arrangement. There will also be promotion in show notes, the podcast website, social media and more. Sponsoring an addiction treatment podcast is an excellent way to leverage next level addiction marketing.

Blog: The ultimate way to help.

blog - helping with content

Frank’s dream was finally coming true.

He had worked for years to get to this place in his life. Looking up at the brand new sign above the entrance, Frank read the words to himself, “Treatment Heaven”. It was truly a dream come true. Frank was standing in front of his own addiction treatment center.

It was just five short years ago. Frank stumbled through the door of a 12-step meeting. He didn’t want to be there. The court gave him a paper to sign as part of his probation. All he wanted was the signature and he was going to leave. The chairperson of the meeting held the paper in her hand and examined it.

“Sorry, I don’t sign these until the end of the meeting. I need to see you sitting in your chair for the full hour.” Frank reluctantly took his paper back from the chairperson and walked to the back of the room. He found an empty seat and sat down. The room filled with people quickly and the meeting began.

This was the beginning of years of joyful recovery for Frank. That first meeting had an impact on him that he would never forget. He took every suggestion to heart and kept coming back. During these early years, Frank decided that he wanted to give something back and help as many people as he could. He wanted to open an addiction treatment center and put all of his time into helping addicts to get clean.

There was a problem after opening.

Frank had a lot of expenses to deal with. Fortunately, he had savings and he had a few dedicated investors. Through word of mouth, he was able to get a few patients coming in to the treatment program. Some money was coming in, but he still had a lot of empty beds.

Frank was making a difference in the lives of his patients. He had doctors, nurses, therapists and others working at the center. Frank made certain that his patients got only the best in addiction care. He personally followed the progress of his patients.

Unfortunately, Frank could not escape from the fact that an addiction treatment center is a business. A business has to make money to survive. To make money, a business needs enough customers. How could Frank fill those empty beds?

Frank turned to social media with hope for improved results.

He had heard that social media was the future of advertising. There were a lot of articles and advertisements talking about the power of marketing an addiction treatment center through social media.

He worked hard at it day and night. Frank was on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. He put his heart into it. Engaging with like-minded people in the addiction treatment world, Frank had many interesting discussions and debates. It opened his mind to the huge world of addiction treatment on social media. Frank was able to help many people with their problems and answer many questions during late nights, sitting in front of the computer.

One thing that bothered Frank was that he felt he was repeating himself too often. He would pour his heart into writing answers in comment threads that would sometimes be well over 100 words long. Then, later on, the same question would come up. Frank would search desperately for that answer he gave before, buried deep in a comment thread. Then, he would answer the question all over again. Sometimes, the research and careful writing would take hours of Frank’s valuable time.

What about a blog?

One night, Jack, a member of Frank’s circle of social media friends, asked Frank about his blog. Frank replied, “I don’t have a blog”. How in the world would Frank have time to maintain a blog? He already felt that his work in reaching out on social media was overwhelming. Also, Frank had no idea how to get a blog started.

Frank replied to Jack that he was just not going to have time to keep up with a blog. He was already thinking about cutting back on his social media work. It was not getting the results he had hoped for. He decided to have a meeting with his investors and talk to them about doing some traditional advertising. Maybe they could put up some billboards and bench signs around town. There were several reputable journals that ran ads for treatment centers.

The next day, the investors met at the treatment center. The group sat around the table and threw out various ideas for marketing. Frank mentioned Jack’s comment about a blog. “How in the world would that help, having a blog?”

Paul, one of the investors, sitting at the table looked up from his clipboard. “Frank. A blog is not a bad idea. I follow your social media posts. They are excellent and get a lot of attention. The problem is that you write hundreds of words in a post or even a comment. You are giving away your best work. You could answer people’s questions in the form of a blog post. When the topic comes up on social media, instead of giving a full answer, just direct people to your blog. That way, you maintain ownership of your writing work and you don’t have to repeat your efforts over and over again.”

Yes, a blog!

Frank thought it over. It made sense to him. The blog could be the home of his content. It also gave him an idea of how to get started in writing. Staring at a blank page was intimidating. If he used that blank page to write answers to the questions he found on social media, there would be no end to the ideas he could write about. The words would just flow endlessly from one post to the next.

The meeting ended on a positive note. Frank thanked Paul for helping him to see the value in starting a blog. Paul, who had some experience in the world of search engine optimization and content marketing, explained to Frank that the blog could also be used as a platform to reach new clients through search engines.

Quality blogging that provides people with useful information will get the attention of the major search engines. This is how a website with a blog can build it’s authority online. Search engines favor websites with blogs that provide real value to many people.

After about a year of regular blogging, Frank began to see the fruits of his labor. It did take a commitment, but it was worth it. The phone calls started coming in. People were noticing his excellent content. In the beginning, it wasn’t easy. Yet, with practice, Frank’s writing quality improved.

Frank never gave up on social media.

He didn’t do it just to market his business. And, he enjoyed engaging in interesting conversations. He like to help people to find the help they need. Often, the information people were looking for was already in Frank’s blog. After a year of writing posts several days a week, his blog was filled with useful information. He found that more and more, he was answering questions with a link to the blog.

The phone calls kept coming in. One day, Frank noted that all of the treatment center beds were filled. On the way to work one day, Frank looked up and noted that one of his local competitors had put up a billboard sign. He smiled. That was an expensive way to advertise. Frank knew because he had considered using billboards once.

Frank was grateful that he was able to keep his beds filled and help as many people as possible. In addition to the patients who came through his treatment center, he was able to help many more people all over the country, and even some around the world. The information he was able to provide helped people to get help in their own local area. Frank was happy. There was no better feeling than to know that he was serving so many people in helping them to overcome addiction.

EMR and EHR: Electronic Medical Records and Freedom

EMR Freedom

Discussing Electronic Medical Records and Electronic Health Records

It can be hard to talk with doctors about electronic medical records. The conversation immediately turns to brand names, monthly fees and flashy features. Discussing these items misses the point. The question is not how much it costs and what it can do, but what freedom are you sacrificing to another gatekeeper in your life?

Who owns your stethoscope?

Do you rent your stethoscope? Imagine having a stethoscope vendor. What would you do if, one month, they decided to change the earpieces and make them less comfortable? What would you do if you had a contract to only use their product? No doctor rents their stethoscope. We pick the one we like and stick with it. If we find a better one, we can change. An EMR is as intimate a part of your medical practice as your stethoscope. Why do you not own your EMR?

Ownership and freedom.

When a large corporation owns a tool which you intimately depend on every day of your life, they own a piece of you. This is especially true of your EMR. Your EMR software is an extension of your brain. It is where you express your thoughts and store your memories. It is a decision making tool. A good EMR can help you to practice better medicine. If you thought of your EMR as being just like your stethoscope, wouldn’t it make sense to not have an outside company controlling your use of an essential tool of your trade?

Open Source Software.

Many people do not understand open source. They shouldn’t feel bad. Bill Gates and Microsoft did not get it for years. Mr. Gates was worried about people getting something for free. He was concerned with getting paid. The rest of the tech world moved on and embraced open source. Now, open source software dominates Silicon Valley. Software tools that promise freedom have made the world we live in possible. It is not about the price of the software. It is about being free to own it, use it and modify it as you wish. Something that extends your brain should belong to you.

The Heroes of Freedom.

There was free software before the open source movement. The EMR of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VistA, was developed in the spirit of an open source project. Richard Stallman officially started the free software movement in 1983. He was a pioneer in the development of open source licensing, the contracts that promise freedom in the use of open software. Linus Torvalds created the open source Linux kernel. Most websites run on Linux servers. Most phones are based on Linux. Matt Mullenweg is a modern hero of open source. He is the creator of WordPress. He has dedicated his life to making free software more accessible, allowing more people to have a voice online and own their content.

Freedom is not always easy.

Of course, we all love convenience. This is the promise that draws us in to give up our freedom. When it comes to EMRs, this means connectivity features. E-prescribing, lab connections, radiology images and reports sent right to your desktop. While open source EMRs can be made to do all of these things, it isn’t easy. They don’t do it right out of the box. Also, those features depend on agreements with various vendors to make them work. This means signing contracts and giving up freedom.

The lab connection.

I recently had a problem with a major lab in getting access to patient reports. They repeatedly urged me to sign up for their online portal. If I signed with them, I would be able to see all of my reports as they came in. I could even connect the portal to my EMR if I had a compatible system. But, the fine print of the contract stated that I might have to pay for tests if the patient’s insurance would not cover them. I had no contract with this lab previously. Some of my patients went there due to insurance coverage. Why would I want to sign such a contract just for the “privilege” of using their portal? How many contracts do we sign during our career? Do we read the fine print? What freedoms do we give away with each signature?

Ownership is freedom.

In 2006, I discovered an open source EMR. It was clunky and hard to install. It didn’t have a lot of the conveniences of proprietary EMRs. But, it was mine. I was free to install it in any manner I chose. I could network it throughout my office to every computer. Or, I could just run it on one desktop or laptop. I was allowed to look at the source code and modify it to make improvements. If the project that created the EMR went in a direction that I didn’t agree with, I could start my own EMR project, starting with the version of the program that I liked best. No one owns an open source project. Anyone can take it and branch it out into a whole new project. It is the ultimate in freedom of choice.

Anyone can be free.

You don’t have to be a programmer to appreciate the power of ownership. If you want to customize your software, you can hire a programmer to do the job. It is less expensive than you think. When the work is done, you still own your system. Open source users don’t have to ask anyone for permission to make changes or hope for future updates to meet their needs. They don’t have to get other unhappy users to organize and petition an uncaring corporation.

If Open Source EMRs are so great, why have I not heard about them?

Freedom doesn’t advertise. You have to look for it. If you search, you will find many discussions, interviews and books on the subject of the power of the freedom that comes with using open source software. You will not see advertisements in your Facebook feed. You have to search for freedom. The marketplace is filled with vendors who want to control you and your money. They want to lock you in. That is not freedom. And, those vendors are the ones who’s ads you see everyday. Try to see past their empty promises.

It is the system, not the software.

When you use a software package in your business, you develop a system around how it is used. The system is more important than the software itself. This is what defines how your business runs. You spend a significant portion of your life working at your business. Imagine if you had complete control over the design of your company and how it worked? This creative power can not only make your work more pleasant, it can give you an edge over your competition. While they are chained to the rules of their software vendors, you have the freedom to fully create your work environment and provide better service to your patients.

Do not fear freedom.

In the world of medicine and health care providers, we are taught to fear freedom. They say that freedom means risking trouble. Doctors are encouraged to stay at the center of the herd, keep their heads down and not make any trouble. It is true that there may be some risk in running free, owning your own life and making your own decisions. Doctors are smart people and many smart people are also creative artists. If you are an artist, your happiness depends on your ability to express yourself. You must be free. While the medical system is good at squashing creative expression and keeping its members in line, you don’t have to give in. Look for any way that you can control your own destiny and create your life the way you want it to be.

Open source medical software is a start.

While an open source EMR may not be the answer to all of your life problems and the key to your happiness, it can be a start. It is a good idea to take a step back and look at the big picture. What changes could be made in your practice to make it work better for you? What decisions can you make to move in a direction of having more freedom in your life? For many of us, freedom and ownership of the design of our lives is the path to happiness.

Agency: Ownership and Freedom

Agency

The freedom to be happy.

Agency means that you have freedom to choose your actions and create your own destiny. This is the key to happiness. Happiness is not sitting in traffic at 9 AM, Monday morning, wondering if the torture of going back to work each week will ever end. And, it is not worrying if some gatekeeper in your life can take everything from you at any moment on a whim.

Reduce the gatekeepers.

The problem of people and organizations having power of your life in various gatekeeper positions is a difficult one. It may be impossible to fully eliminate all gatekeepers. Therefore, the best we can do is to reduce the number of gatekeepers that we allow into our lives. This is an ongoing effort.

Ownership is freedom.

Agency is possible through ownership. What does this mean? Think about where you put the majority of your efforts throughout the day, every day. Are you working on something that you own? Or, are you putting your precious time and hard work into an enterprise that belongs to someone else? I recommend that you always work towards being in a position of ownership. This should be a major theme in your life.

Why is ownership important?

It comes back to the issue of gatekeepers. If you are employed at a job, you have one or more gatekeepers in the form of employers. These people control many aspects of your life. When you wake up, when you get to return to your home, what you are allowed to do throughout the day are determined by your employer. If you rent your home or place of business, you have a gatekeeper in the form of a landlord. If you own your own company, but you pay an advertising company to get you customers, there is a gatekeeper that controls the success of your business. When you stop paying the marketer, your source of new business dries up instantly.

What if ownership is not possible?

You may be in a situation where you are in debt or you are in a contract with an employer that prevents you from starting a new company. The possibility of gaining freedom in this area may seem impossible. It is not impossible. Do not think about it in terms of quitting your job tomorrow. What you can do is to set a goal of leaving your job and starting a business. Then, make ownership the theme of your life. Any routine in your life that does not contribute towards your goal should be eliminated. Do not waste time. Make a little progress every day. It may be a year, five years, or ten years. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is to make progress.

How is it possible to own your marketing?

If you own a company, you should own your marketing efforts. Do not depend on paid marketers to send you new business. You can pay for assistance in setting up your marketing mechanism, but make sure that your money and effort are directed towards your ultimate ownership of the system. You can start this process before you even start your new company. This can involve building authority in the online world in your field of business. You can create a website, write blog posts, articles, books. You can create videos. Podcasts, audio recordings and more are all possible. Answer questions, provide assistance. There may be a large effort in the beginning and it will mostly be unpaid work. It doesn’t matter. You are building your authority in your field. This is something of real and lasting value. It will be worth it in the long run.

Agency is happiness.

Some may disagree with this conclusion that happiness comes from agency. I do agree that happiness also comes from providing selfless service to others. Yet, freedom in your life is just as important. In fact, freedom in all of your affairs can make it more possible to provide service to others.

I believe that you should put your creative efforts, time and money towards building entities of business, such as online reputation and authority and intellectual property contributing to a lasting marketing system. This will ensure the longevity and value of your business which will support your freedom and happiness for many years to come.

Own What You Build

build your own

The most important thing of all.

If there is one thing that you get out of this website, it is this: own what you build. By build, I mean anything that you spend money or time on to improve your business. It seems almost obvious. Why would you do anything else?

It happens all the time.

At all stages of work, career and building a business, it is common to throw away time and money that can never be recovered. Take stock of where you currently stand and make plans to move forward. For your future success, you need to put your time, effort and money into your own creations.

What to do if you are working a job.

If you are currently working at a job as an employee or contractor, think about what you are building that belongs to you. It is possible that you are in a contract where anything you create belongs to your employer. It may be hard to separate out what belongs to you. All is not lost if you are in this situation. You can learn from a job and develop skills and experience. You can work at home on ideas and intellectual property to be developed for the future, when you are free from employer and contract.

If you are building a business.

If you are a business owner, take inventory of the areas in which you spend money, time and effort. One area that can be difficult to resolve is real estate. You may not own your building and it may not be reasonable to do so. Put this aside for now, but even your work space ownership is something to strive for eventually. Next, consider you marketing strategy. How are you reaching customers? Are you paying money to various advertising agencies? Is social media a source of customer contacts?

Be careful where you spend your time, money and effort.

Building someone else’s business. Be careful how much time and effort you put into social media. Especially personal time. These sites are designed to draw you in and take up as much of your time and mental energy as possible. That is what fuels their success. If your time and effort converts to new customer contacts, it may be worth it as part of your marketing strategy. Just keep in mind that when you use social media, you are working on a platform that does not belong to you. You are giving away your materials for free to multi-billion dollar corporations to fuel their growth.

Build your own.

In developing a marketing strategy, the best plan is to build your own platform. This can start with a simple website. Then, you need to consider driving traffic to this site. Be creative. Look for ways to do it that cost little or no money. You will also want to start a blog and contribute to it regularly. Writing a book in your field of expertise is also a great idea. All it takes is a few hundred words each day. Before you know it, you will have a busy blog and a finished book, ready to publish. Make your own videos. You don’t need a production company. Are you a musician? Record your own music. Artist? Create your own art.

Practice makes perfect.

As long as you are the owner of your creations, they have the potential to evolve in new directions and lead to new sources of business and profit. You don’t have to be the best. With practice, you will get better. And, you will own your work. As you attract customers, followers and fans, start to build a community. Consider hosting a forum. Forums can be a source of income all by themselves. When your community gets large enough, you can offer different levels of access and services.

Brainstorming.

Never stop thinking of new ways to build and promote your business. Think of ways you can grow into new areas, starting from where you are now. The important thing is to always refer back to your compass and make sure you are going in the right direction. I am talking about the compass that tells you if you are going towards building things that you own as opposed to building things that belong to other people.