Originally published on Nov. 3, 2019.
I am an NHS Speech and Language Therapist, and run my business on the side at the moment. When you work in the NHS, you don’t really need to worry about ‘finding your market’, because we all know that there is way too much work for our NHS Speech Therapists to do!
It’s a bit different when you are a private Therapist though, and you need to ‘find your people’ who are a good fit for your skills and knowledge. This is a bit of a learning curve for me.
One of the things you do to get yourself ‘out there’ is to put out free content and help people to find your social media and website pages. So with this in mind, I was writing a ‘freebie’ yesterday, about things you could do to support your child whilst you waited for a Speech Therapy appointment. I posted it in one of my online business groups, to see if the Parents in the group felt I had hit the mark. The feedback I got really got me thinking.
The feeling was that the information would be valuable but that in order to get people to read it, I would need to present it to a very niche group. So for example, ‘Things you can do to support your child who is a late talker whilst you wait for a Speech Therapy appointment', ‘Things you can do for your child with Down Syndrome whilst you wait for a Speech Therapy appointment'. The advice wouldn’t be any different, I would just be changing the front cover and title to attract the groups who needed the freebie.
This made me feel frustrated. I want to get my knowledge out in front of people who need it. If I was going to have to market this information to every individual group of people, it will take me all year just to get it to the families who would benefit. Now, there is a thought process, business-wise that says this is a good thing, because I can repackage the same information endlessly and sell it over and over again. I see this, business-wise. But I’m telling you, when you know families are desperate to be doing the right things for their children’s communication, and you know you have the information they need, this feels a bit depressing.
The internet is a wonderful place, full of information. But I have lost count of the conversations I have had with families who have been online and either failed to find the info they needed to support their child, or have been overwhelmed with information. People are often looking for information based on their child’s diagnosis, or their suspected diagnosis.
I’ll let you into a secret- children are all fundamentally the same. No matter what their diagnosis (or none), all children need the same underlying communication skills, and the same approaches will often benefit children with many different diagnoses. Your Speech Therapist doesn’t think all that much about your child in terms of their diagnosis (though that has a bearing), they think about them in terms of what skills they have and what skills they need.
If you are just looking for diagnosis-based information, you are probably missing out . Think about what skills your child needs instead:
- Attention skills?
- Speech clarity?
- Learning vocabulary?
- Social skills?
Try looking for these instead of a child’s diagnosis. Ignore the fact that the page says ‘Autism’, and just think about whether the information might suit your child.
So, the world being how it is, I’ll market to families of children with all types of diagnosis, and none, if that means families get the information they need. But I’m also sending the message that you can help your child, right now, if you get help to understand the skills they need to develop.
If you are looking for help filtering through all the information out there.....
If you are looking for simple things to do with your child that work.....
If you want to inform yourself and feel confident that you are doing the right things to support your child’s communcation..
Come over and see me on 'Find the Key Speech and Language Therapy' on Facebook, and sign up to my ‘Find the Key for Families’ group, where you can get information and support that works
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No hard sell, just the stuff you need to help your child!