Youtility – Why Free Help Is The New Marketing Currency

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Do you consider your practice to be helpful?

Before you answer that question, let us rephrase the question slightly to clarify what we mean… Excluding the service you provide to your veterinary clients, do you consider your practice to be helpful? In other words, are you are a help to the pet owners in your area who aren’t yet clients of your practice?

This month we read the New York Times Bestselling book ‘Youtility’. The premise of this book is that by offering free services and information to your prospective clients you are likely to turn a percentage of them into prequalified clients who are predetermined to doing business with you.

In the foreword to the book, Marcus Sheridan, gives a great example of what Youtility is all about. When his in-ground swimming pool construction business suddenly found itself without any customers as the recession hit in 2008, he had to rethink his marketing strategy. He decided to act like a swimming pool customer rather than a swimming pool installer.

He started brainstorming every question he’d ever received from a customer or prospect and quickly realized that he had a list of hundreds questions. So Marcus created a blog on his website and went to work each night adding the questions to the blog and then answering them as honestly as he could. The result was that his website went from being a simple poster site to being a fantastic information packed resource for anyone interested in having a swimming pool.

So much so that business started booming and Marcus’s company went from generating $4 million in sales from an advertising spend of $250,000 in 2007 to generating $4.5 million in sales from an advertising spend of just $20,000 (yes that’s twenty not two hundred) in 2011!  Why? Because, as a result of being so helpful, he had become the trusted expert on swimming pools and people were now predetermined to do business with him.

The question is what are you doing to help the pet owners in your area? If your practice can become the go-to resource for local pet owners then by default it will become the go-to veterinary practice to take their pet!

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