Marketing Self-Sabotage

Originally published under the title: 

Desire for Instant Gratification Sabotages Marketing

© 2012 Deah Curry PhD | All Rights Reserved


It’s sometimes said that therapists go into the psychological occupations to heal themselves.  If true, then from observing the mindset many counselors have about marketing, perhaps what’s getting treated is the driving need to have some desired something NOW — called, in diagnostic terms, instant gratification attachment.


Unfortunately, marketing doesn’t work like this.  When this instant results mindset frames your approach to promoting your business, it’s a prescription for private practice sabotage.


Therapist-turned-coach Casey Truffo, and others, have pointed out that marketing is like dating, or building a good friendship.  It takes time, energy, and an investment in attracting with your best qualities forward.


Clinging to the expectation of instant return on your marketing efforts leads many practitioners to giving up on good strategies too soon.  



….Referral building campaigns fail because  — when you get no response from sending out 100 postcards —  you never make another contact with that mailing list.


….Social media use fails because —  when you don’t get new clients from posting great quotes once a week for a month  — you get discouraged and don’t look into how else Facebook could be used.


….Locator directory and website marketing fail because  — when your recitation (in professional jargon) of credentials doesn’t generate new cases —  you don’t re-examine and revise your core message to stimulate a compelling emotional connection with a clearly defined type of client with a specifically noted problem.


Solopreneurs in all the healing and helping arts must get clear on these points:


  • Marketing is NOT about getting your name out there

  • It’s NOT about getting known in your community

  • It’s NOT about telling people what you do

  • It’s NOT about explaining the benefits of your process

  • It’s especially not saying you (like everyone else) have a warm, safe, confidential environment


Just like you shouldn’t expect to fall in love and get married by the end of a first date, good client generating marketing almost never produces instant results.  It’s a fluke when it does.


But just like courting, marketing is a relationship cultivating process that needs to be nurtured with repeated contact that brings something interesting of value to the table.


In other words, marketing requires:


  • patient, strategic action steps and follow through

  • focus on what your potential client population is suffering from

  • giving generously of your attention, knowledge, and help BEFORE getting the client

  • repeated reminders of how interacting with you feels good and helps, so your niche wants more of you


To combat instant gratification attachment as a business owner, I recommend doing 3 simple things:


1. Have a niche so you know who you’re trying to have a relationship with


2. Find the most comfortable ways for you to be a resource for them — for example:


  • blog, write articles, sell ebooks

  • network on social media and in person

  • give workshops and signature talks

  • meet colleagues over coffee and develop professional friendships


3. Commit to 2 ways to be that resource for not less than 6 months


Where can your marketing stand more patience, or more repetition?  How, specifically, is the desire for instant results sabotaging your efforts?


If you need help in answering those questions, or overcoming marketing self-sbotage, I'd recommend starting with a strategy consult.



© 2015--2019 by Deah Curry  |  All Rights Reserved  |  Design by  De*WriteSites

​I ​​do two basic things when I work with people:

I bring 40 years of experience and training​ to bear on the projects or situations at hand, and

I strive to problem solve with the best of my expertise in order to satisfy the client's needs.

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