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.