After the last post on collaborating with your colleagues to help your practice, I thought I’d share the ad we put together. This is a full page newspaper ad that we were able to buy for very little cash since we split it five ways.

If you’re interested in giving your practice and profession a boost by doing something similar, here’s a little more behind-the-scenes info on how the process worked.

First of all, why the newspaper? Our community is reasonably small, so the local paper gets a decent amount of attention. We got a special rate on the full-page size, too, so in terms of value, it was a great way to start off our collaborative efforts. (If you can’t see the ad, you’ll find it here. ) In the end, it was a simple project that we could easily come together on.

The objective was to expand the slice of pie – to increase the percentage of the population actually using naturopathy. All our logos appear, but the ad is really about our profession, not us as individual practitioners. We started out with each practitioner submitting 35 words about what makes their practice unique, but I ended up scrapping the blurbs so we could focus on promoting the profession.

Some of the challenges in expanding the market that we tried to address:

  1. Helping people understand the level of training required for ND’s to be licensed in our jurisdiction. Naturopaths make a massive time and financial investment before they even open their doors, but as a rule, the general public isn’t really aware of the level of training and education required.
  2. Differentiating an ND in our area from other practitioners who are using the same title without proper licensing
  3. Dispelling the misconception that you can’t see both an MD and an ND at the same time. People believe it’s “not allowed,” or that the two professions can’t collaborate.
  4. Understanding one of the key differences of the profession, which is that ND’s are heavily focused on finding and treating the root cause of health concerns, not just palliating symptoms.

Working Together: Some Thoughts

I think our process was made easier by me doing the artwork (for better or for worse :) ). If you’re doing something similar, but working with a designer, I’d say your best bet would be to pick one practitioner to be the contact point for the designer. They’d bring the ideas to the designer, and have the authority to work with them to the point of 1-3 acceptable samples that everyone can comment on. Anything else would be chaotic and cost a lot more.

All told, though, it turns out we’re a surprisingly agreeable bunch. There were a few tweaks to the ad based on everyone’s input, but it was really quite easy to collaborate. The biggest challenge was getting everyone’s logo in the right format for consistency. Other than that, collaborating in this way turned out to be an amazing process. We highly recommend it!

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4 Responses to “Joint Advertising With Your Colleagues: An Example”

  1. Frank Prieto says:

    Nice job Dan.

    My favorite part is the risk free offer for the complimentary 75 minute consultation. In one of your recent posts you mentioned how 95% of your first time prospective patients stay for the treatment.

    An offer like that is very important because you’re actually selling in such a way it doesn’t come across as selling. CAM practitioners hate selling and this is a great way to do it without the stress of coming across as a barker.

    PS– Not too shabby a design either ;-)

  2. Dan says:

    Thanks, Frank! The text on the ad might be hard to read, but it’s actually only a 15-minute visit. We call it a “meet the doctor” visit, where people can have their questions answered, and decide if there’s a fit for them.

    It’s no-risk for clients, and a great way for us to get some time in front of people. A real win-win. (And actually, yesterday alone we did four of them, all of whom chose to become patients. It really is helpful for everyone.)

  3. […] Here’s the link to the full article. […]

  4. Hi Dan and Tara — Great post.

    Love the idea of promoting the profession versus services. A powerful distinction.

    Karin Witzig Rozell

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