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.