Exploring the Edges: Marketing Stories From The Field

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“Suppose for a moment that vital, expressive energy flows everywhere, that it is the medium for the existence of life, and that any block to participating in that vitality lies within ourselves.  Of course, our minds tell us a different story.  The world comes to us in sorted parts: people are distinct entities, shapes have edges, and apples and oranges cannot be compared.  Rarely do we come upon or experience this integrative energy, and sometimes only serendipitously, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole…Where is the electric socket for possibility, the access to the energy of transformation?…We can join it by finding the tempo and lean our bodies to the music; dare to let go of the edges of ourselves… participate!” – The Art of Possibility

This quote from authors Zander and Zander has been an inspiration to many.  It speaks to following your passion and opening the door to opportunity.  Today, I’d like to share with all of you two stories from therapists who are living in that realm of possibility and exploring the edges themselves.  In the process, they open up a world of opportunity in their practices.

These practitioners responded to my request for marketing success stories, and I would like to thank them for taking the time to share.  Although each of them has their own unique interests and professional training they are bound by a common thread – a willingness to try new things, to learn from their mistakes and to open themselves up to all kinds of possibilities.  Enjoy!

Cheryl Mansson, LPC – The Art of Opening Up to Possibility

Cheryl is a LPC who, after years as a counselor, chose to follow her passion as a healer where she offers individual sessions and a variety of interactive workshops.  She has a private practice in both Beaufort and Mt.Pleasant, SC.  The items below represent her marketing philosophy and offer some key marketing initiatives she uses to help build her practice.

  • Perhaps the most important piece to all of this is that I love what I do and it emits out.  As a result, people spontaneously approach me and ask for information.
  • I make sure to have fun.  This playfulness often leads to new ideas and is contagious.
  • I have learned to follow my intuition, do what it says to do, and ask for guidance if answers are not automatically arising.
  • Be sure to live what you do and walk your talk.
  • Do what will support others and you at the same time.  (Example: I like to give free talks at the Earth Fare Grocery Store)
  • Friends & colleagues are great referral sources.  Don’t forget to tell them what you do!
  • Listen to what people are telling you and try to offer up a solution.  Really show that you hear them.
  • Post your free events in newspaper calendars and offer your newspaper contact free tuition to one of your workshops.  Learn who the people are that submit the press releases and build a relationship with them.
  • Find people who are “connectors” in your community and engage them.  In addition, help them anyway you can!  They have the power to help spread your word and bring your service offering to the next level.
  • Engage in a true grass roots effort.  (i.e., Hang flyers on local bulletin boards at Organic Grocery Stores, Coffee Shops, Bookstores or wherever you believe your target audience congregates.)
  • Don’t be shy about what you do!  Spread the word and share your experiences.
  • It pays to be awake to possibility.  The opportunities are there.  I never know when the opportunity to share my work may arise, so along with being delighted to tell people, I carry my brochures. I find that when I’m truly open to possibility I am given all kinds of opportunity to share my work.

Martie Adams, CP, LISW – The Power of Public Speaking

Martie is a licensed clinical social worker and psychodrama expert with a private practice in Mt. Pleasant, SC.  She has been very effective at using public speaking as a vehicle for spreading the word and for uncovering new opportunities.  Below is some of the information she provided me when we spoke.

You asked if I used my public speaking as an opportunity to crystallize my message and services.  In reading the question, I realized that I don’t do that very well and easily could.  So far, I’ve simply gone and presented a lot of helpful/interesting information, but I have not quite taken advantage of my public speaking engagements to clearly present my services and myself.  In spite of these limitations, my efforts have still managed to bring in business. I’ve received direct referrals from my talks, and have even had people contact me simply because they saw that I was giving a talk for a local organization.  The simple fact of being on the “workshop agenda” for a community-based organization gave me enough credibility that someone sought my services without actually attending the training.

I am committed to scheduling ongoing public speaking opportunities and will be making a point to emphasize what I offer and how I can help.  I know that I present my material well and with enthusiasm and that I am well received.  A logical progression for me is to be more intentional about presenting myself as someone who can be of service to the people I speak to (or to their friends or family.)  The more comfortable I become with the material, the more conversational my talks are.  I started off with my talks all written out, but now I just use some basic notes.  I’m learning that one of the most effective presentation strategies is when you illustrate with a story.

After speaking at one event, the sponsors contacted me and asked to meet because they believed they knew many women who would benefit from my work.  It’s sort of been like that for me.  I build awareness, credibility and relationships through my presentations and my practice grows as a result.  As I write to you, I am reminded of the many ways that my public speaking efforts have been “bread on the water” for me.

If you have a marketing story, philosophy or technique that works for you please contact me at  I’d love to hear from you and perhaps I could share your wisdom with this community.

If you’d like to contact Cheryl or Martie, please email me and I will get you their contact information.  I did my best to capture the essence of what each gave me although it should be noted that they offered much more than I could accomodate in this post!  Thanks again to both of them.



  1. Carol A. Lawyer  September 1, 2009

    Hi David:

    I was wondering if you allow advertising on your website? I do see some boxes with ads.

    I am getting ready to start working in Murrells Inlet and would like to advertise my Intervention website.

    Can you please let me know if that is possible.

    Many thanks,
    Carol Lawyer

  2. Barbara Jordan  September 23, 2009

    Hello David,

    I like what you, Martie, and Cheryl had to say in the previous blog post. It seems to me that much of what we already do as counselors or coaches can be classified as marketing. We may just need to “tweak” what we already do so that it has that element of “purpose” or “intention”. For example, I have done hundreds of presentations. However, like Martie, I didn’t always “toot my own horn” as much as I could have. More recently, I have learned (thanks to David) that I must share more coaching successes and newspaper articles I’ve written with my audiences. I’ve attended several networking events. However, because I was unclear about my target audience, I didn’t always have a clear, targeted “elevator pitch”. Now, I have much more clarity regarding my target audience and how I can help them manage their stress and time and balance their busy work lives with their family and personal lives. I’ve always had a lot of passion and enthusiasm for the coaching and counseling services I provide because I strongly believe in it. My students assure me everyday of my compassion and excellence. So, if I just continue to “emit” (as Cheryl puts it) that compassion, and competency in my contacts with friends, business partners, customers, clients, church members, and family more enthusiastically, I will be even more successful at attracting more business.

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