The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is responsible for helping manage and finance over 500,000 disabled Australians across the country. And for most people, these services are managed by a third-party manager or agency. But, some people choose to self-manage their own funds. Thus giving them a greater sense of choice and control.
These self-managed NDIS clients personally:
- decide which of their goals are most in need of management
- handle the paperwork themselves
- pick which providers they want to work with.
This makes it an increasingly popular option for people with a disability.
However, these self-managed NDIS clients don’t go through the same channels as NDIS plan managers or agencies. Meaning that as an NDIS provider, you need to implement new marketing strategies to help them notice you when, compared to usual NDIS participants.
Understanding the Needs of Self-Managed Clients
Self-managed NDIS participants have a slew of unique needs and preferences that NDIS service providers should be aware of/should understand.
1. Keep it Simple
Compared to a plan or agency-managed participant, a self-managed client often has less knowledge within the NDIS field. So, it’s important to keep things simple.
Don’t overcomplicate your pages with jargon, and keep your information easily accessible through online means. If the client feels like they understand what you do, they’re more likely to choose you.
2. Wait for the Right Moment
It’s important that when working with NDIS self-managed participants, you understand that you’ll be communicating directly with the clients. This means having to appear genuine and approaching them through non-invasive methods.
If you make a good first impression, they’ll remember you and come back when they need your services. Don’t push your service on them but make yourself known.
3. Know their Needs
Make sure that you know their exact needs and how your service will be helping them. If you understand this aspect well, you’ll know how to present and sell your services to the self-managed participant.
Develop a Strong Online Presence
As part of any business, you must have a strong online presence to help you be discovered by people looking for your service. Here are three key online avenues you should employ to assist in helping self-managed NDIS participants find you.
Having a good website is vital to a strong continued presence in online spaces, but it’s not as simple as merely existing.
First, you need to consider search engine optimisation (SEO). Ranking high in the right online search rankings will help your online visibility so that you can be more easily discovered by those looking for your service.
The other vital metric is presentation. Presenting yourself in the best light is one way to ensure that those finding your page will stick by your page. This means having all of the following items.
- An address on Google Maps
- Answers to lots of questions
- Contact details
- Price Guides
- Nice photos
- Smooth user interfaces
- Clear NDIS certifications
2. Social Media
Having a good website will help passively get customers, but having a strong social media presence will help actively get your name out there. While it’s important not to be pushy, you should still self-promote.
Striking the right balance between authenticity and professionalism will help keep your name present in the online community. Making it so that when people are in need of you, they’ll remember to come back to you.
3. Online Directories
Once you’ve got a good website and social media account, it’s next most important that you put yourself out on all the online marketplaces and business listings. As NDIS providers, you’ll have access to a range of NDIS-specific directories such as Clickability.
Putting yourself out on these will help people searching broadly for professionals find you. These directories also better allow you to be compared directly to your competitors through online business reviews.
Leverage Networking and Community Involvement
This is perhaps one of the most important skills.
Networking and local community events can do wonders to help create strong relationships. If yours is a local business working within a set location, a large number of your NDIS participants will come from your local community.
To that end, you must keep your ear to the ground and find ways to participate in local events, this will get your name and your business cards out there.
Like getting your name out through social media, building relationships within the disability community will help them remember your name when they need you. Plus, if you do it well, then they’ll be more likely to be a source of referral for their friends and family, helping build a positive reputation.
People are far more likely to believe in the quality of services and support being offered by your business if it’s heard through word of mouth and direct referrals, as opposed to filtered online reviews.
Offer Personalised and High-Quality Services
While the direct connection might not seem like it’s there, offering high-quality care will result in securing more self-managed NDIS participants. If you’re in a market flush with competition, it’s important that you stand out from your competitors, and here are three ways to do so.
1. Personalised Services
One of the best ways to do this is through personalised services. While perhaps not feasible for a large nationwide business, for smaller local ones, showing that you’re attending to each customer as an individual instead of a number, will do wonders to help you stand out from your biggest competitors.
2. Maintaining Quality
You should not just strive to reach the NDIS standard quality, but to maintain quality and to surpass your previous benchmarks.
and improving the knowledge and skills of those on your team will keep you ahead of those complacent in their achievements. This will also ensure that your current clients continue to be your clients without straying too far.
3. Clear Customer Service
The last of these quality checks is the voice of the business. Clear communication between the business and the client, if done well, will ensure that they always leave on the right note.
The last thing you want is for them to leave with a bad attitude, as a negative voice in either an online or offline sphere will pollute the public’s perception of you and your business.
Utilise Targeted Marketing Strategies
When marketing to your target customers, it’s important that you understand all the different types available to you and which one to use for your ideal client base.
These strategies, if implemented well, will help you connect with potential clients and act as another way of getting your name out there
Chances are, you’ve been exposed to these marketing tactics all your life. So, feel free to also draw from your own experiences before blueprinting your strategy.
Four examples of these strategies include:
- Online Advertising
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Local Media Coverage.
When deciding on your target strategy, you should consider both your budget and the likeliness of your target audience being receptive to the strategy.
As an example, there’s no sense in investing heavily into an online campaign if your audience never spends time online. However, if they spend a lot of time watching television, then it might be significantly better to invest in a local media campaign instead.
Remembering that your first campaign need not be your only campaign. So, try and monitor your results as the campaign runs along. And if your findings come back with disappointing results, don’t be afraid to switch lanes.
Marketing to self-managed NDIS participants is a huge hurdle that requires multiple strategies. Each needs to be considered based on your business service, target audience, and local community.
The good news is…
If you balance everything right, and deliver consistent quality, the results will speak for themselves. And, as your business grows, so too will the possibilities. Remember, always keep your strategies flexible as you strive for success.