A 2011 marketing tip for private counselors

If you're a new private counselor hoping to get the word out and grow your business, here's what I'd do in 2011.

1. Pick a subject on which to become the local expert.

Sure, good counselors have to keep learning about all-things college admissions.  But there's always a need for expertise.  What if you made it your goal to become the local expert on great colleges for "B" and "C" students?  Or the best ways for student-athletes to get noticed by colleges?  Or which colleges offer generous financial aid, great services for kids with learning disabilities, or excellent drama programs?  Pick a subject that interests you and learn as much as you can about it.  Become the local expert.

2.  Share your newfound expertise.

A lot of business owners are scared to death to share what they know.  They're worried that someone else will steal their knowledge and become a competitor.  But business just doesn't work that way.  So once you've got your expertise, share it.  Write a blog.  Start a newsletter.  Do a free presentation at the local library.  Even better, propose a session at your NACAC affiliate.  The best way to convince people of your expertise is to share it with them. 

Once you do, they'll come back over and over again.