How do you find participants in the NDIS marketplace?

For any business to succeed, it’s crucial to market your products and services effectively to find new participants. That’s equally true if you operate in the NDIS marketplace, you’ll just need to tailor your approach to the various types of participants. 

A lot of marketing strategies these days are based on website content and social media campaigns. For these to be successful, you’ll need to consider your target participants and you may also want to consider what other types of media you can use.

The types of NDIS participants and marketing methods

When attempting to find clients, bear in mind that there are three types of NDIS participants and your approach should be different for each one:

  • Self-managed participants are those who have special needs, but are nevertheless capable of dealing with service providers and managing the funds that NDIS provides. In these cases, there is no third-party involvement and you will need to communicate directly with participants.

    While your website should have content that attracts this type of client, your main approach should be through social media. Many participants will be on NDIS-related Facebook groups and, for suitable ones, you should contact the administrator to assure them you’re not planning a hard sell and won’t be pestering group members. Instead, create posts that contain useful information for participants.

    Once you’ve built up relationships and gained interest from participants, you can seek to engage them as participants.
  • Plan-managed participants are those who appoint a third-party plan manager to handle their fund and deal with providers. For this market, you will deal with the plan managers and should aim to create partnerships with them, so you have access to their participants.

    Website content and social media usage are equally as important, especially since some participants will be unaware of the benefits of using a plan manager. You may be able to offer useful advice to those who can’t manage their own fund.
  • NDIA-managed participants have their plan managed by the agency, which will supply a list of registered providers to a participant so one can be chosen. To access these clients, you need to be on the list, which means you have to be a registered NDIS business. Once you are, you should communicate with the agency with a view to being included on future lists.

For self-managed participants, you can charge anything you want, but for others you’ll be governed by the NDIS price guide. However, the intention should always be to charge and treat participants fairly.

Gaining and keeping NDIS participants

All marketing campaigns need to have goals from the outset (such as the type and number of clients you wish to gain) and then record and review your results to see if you achieve your aims. You can manage all of this on a spreadsheet that sets out the details of the campaign and lists the outcomes.

Gaining new clients should not, however, be treated as an achievement in itself. Keeping clients is often the most difficult part. You should aim to build a good relationship by providing an excellent service and adhering strictly to every promise you make. If you do that, word will spread as your reputation grows and you’ll gain further clients through recommendations.

Gaining and keeping participants isn’t easy, but will be more straightforward if you’re fully aware of the NDIS regulations and how the scheme works. By being a PROVIDERplus member, you’ll be kept fully up-to-date with changing situations, will benefit from help and advice and will gain credibility as a professional organisation.