The Opposite Of What You Are Doing

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A typical approach, when we have a new service to offer or an event to promote, looks like this.




We go into launch or blitzmode and frantically send out press releases and shout out to anyone who might listen. We spend time and money up-front with very little foundation beneath us.

Unfortunately, in today’s world of multi-media and infinite choice, your efforts to market to the masses will register little to no interest. You may feel good about yourself for making an effort but the true flowering of an idea takes the opposite of what you are doing right now.



It requires a gradual approach based on trust, relationships, conversation, and credibility. It requires an approach opposite to what we find familiar.

In the beginning, bringing awareness to an idea is not about how many people you can interrupt with your message or how many new clients you bring in the door. It’s more about doing what’s true to your work and connecting with the people who get that.

Do this and you’ll be amazed at the possibilities that come your way the next time you have something to launch.



  1. Tamara G. Suttle, M.Ed., LPC  February 20, 2013

    David, once again you are exactly right! It IS counter-intuitive – at least it was for me in the beginning – but what I learned along the way is that if you don’t have a solid relationship to start with, the foundation for those referrals, for that clinical work, or for those favors you may need down the road is shakey at best!

    What mental health professionals sometimes forget is that we are THE ONES that are formally trained in relationship-building and relationship-maintenance. It’s our CURRENCY! And, “marketing” is simply business-speak for building and maintaining strategic relationships. Nothing less. Nothing more.

    I smile every time your posts show up in my email box because I know . . . you are building and maintaining a relationship with me . . . . It’s real. It’s sincere. And, yes, it’s also marketing. Happy to count you as part of my online “team.” I’m in TX right now seeing a few clients and going to point them right back here to your wise words and good energy, too!

    Have a great week, David!

  2. Lisa Holland  February 21, 2013

    Hi Dave,

    Wow what timing! The past director of the counsling department at Palmetto Health Baptist (where I used to work) and I have been discussing various ideas with the folks at SC Oncology (where he workes now).

    Anyway, they wanted a program that would focus on emotional health for their patients and families.

    Their original idea was to create flyers, cards, and other promotions about the program. Anyway, we decided toget the info to the doctors and nurse practioneers, build this reelationshp and let them promote it to their patients.

    As of today, we’re almost full…not sure this would have happened if we had started with “paper communication.”

    Thanks for the article, Lisa

  3. David Diana  February 21, 2013


    I just love the way you capture and communicate ideas. Always have! Can I use it in some upcoming talks? Your thoughts on this really helped me gain clarity!

  4. David Diana  February 21, 2013

    So great to hear your story Lisa and glad to hear about your success!

  5. Susan  February 22, 2013

    Thanks for the reminder. Building a business based on relationships is the ideal way to proceed… unfortunately, sometimes our anxiety can hijack us and results in the blitz-attacks. Your post was a friendly reminder to stay the course. I am sharing this several clinicians that are struggling this issue.

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