As 2009 draws to a close, it is time to start looking ahead to 2010. As you conduct your yearly review of your practice, formulate new ideas for attracting business, and evaluate your business development efforts, remember that your 2010 marketing efforts should be consistent and persistent.

New marketing tools are being developed at an ever-increasing rate, fueled by technology. It is easy to get caught up in the latest craze, but time is limited. Using a new marketing tool will probably mean sacrificing something else. Jumping from one “bright, shiny object” to another can lead to “random acts of marketing,” or one-time efforts that are unlikely to establish a relationship, build trust, or cement your message in the mind of your audience.

People do business with people they know, like, and trust. But establishing trust takes time. Plan to be in front of your target audience (potential clients, referral sources, etc.) on a number of occasions so that they can get to know who you are and what you can do for them. Provide valuable and repeated contributions to become an established member of their community, whether that community is an online network, Twitter, or a local business group.

If you want to experiment with a new marketing tool, create a plan to integrate that tool into and enhance your existing marketing activities. Determine whether the tool is appropriate for your target audience, commit the time to learn how to use the tool, and use it consistently and repeatedly to fill your practice with a steady stream of quality clients.

(photo: Sarah Parrott)