Private Practice: From Opening Your Door To Paid Clients Within 7 Days
Getting clients in therapy is the key to success in helping people and in making money. To do this you need to wear your business hat rather than a therapists mindset, and these two things are very different.
When you first swing open the doors and begin growing a private practice, marketing — in other words, reaching and attracting clients — needs to be top of mind.
How can you get clients in therapy quickly… Say, within the next (7/15/30) days?
That’s what this post is all about.
Find Your Tribe And Niche
In the therapy field, you need to maximize client trust to build rapport and results… and to get clients to eagerly walk through your door and commit to the therapy they need.
When a client knows you specialize in the exact problem they have, with their intimate concerns and maybe even what they consider embarrassing challenges, trust is immediately increased. The potential client’s attraction to your services, as opposed to a nearby competitor, is enhanced.
I know it may sound counterintuitive to exclude potential clients, but consider it this way.
You have a brain tumor. Do you want to see a generalist or a brain tumor specialist?
When you target a niche, you don’t automatically eliminate those who do not fall within it. However, you do strengthen your pulling power and your ability to quickly draw clients through your freshly painted practice doors.
Learn more about niching in our insightful interview with Dana McNeil and how this approach lifted her above her peers.
Target The Lowest Hanging Fruit
Marketing can seem scary and overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. In fact, when you first begin getting clients in therapy it is best to avoid additional stress wherever you can. You’ve got enough on your plate!
What are the easy steps you can take to spread the word about your services?
Think about where your niche hangs out. For example, if you specialize in eating disorders, which local relevant organizations, for example, schools, PTA’s, medical centers, could you contact?
Can you share your practice with your current networks? Friends, colleagues, personal social media?
Where can you place your business cards, brochures and other marketing material? If you’re a weight loss expert, think gyms, weight loss centers, primary care physicians, even your local pharmacy. Even better, ask if you can take the decision maker from those businesses out for coffee to begin building strong mutually beneficial business relationships.
Attend networking events. Visibility is key and one way to let potential clients know about your budding private practice is to regularly attend networking events. Everyone you meet is a possible referral source who may help to nurture your practice growth. Go into the experience with an open mind, get to know other people and how you can help them, and allow them to learn more about you too.
Contact The Media
Everyone loves a celebrity. Magazines, newspapers and the internet are full of these seemingly important people who draw in the crowds and capture our imaginations. And celebrity power acts fast.
While an appearance on Oprah commonly transformed a simple therapist into a million dollar, household name, there is much you can do locally to use this approach, without the hype.
Let’s take a look…
* Contact local newspapers regarding a topical issue you can offer professional comment on.
* Has a new study found that your therapy approach can give significant relief to a common health issue? Call your neighborhood radio station or news program and let them know you are the expert in this field and can bring important insight.
* Write a press release and email it to district journalists.
Tip: Find a current topical issue that you can speak to and always offer value.
In our article 5 Steps to Attract Private-Pay Clients, we share further details about how to become the celebrity and shortcut your journey to growing a private practice.
Speak, speak, speak. And I’ll say it again. Once you step onto the stage and share your knowledge, your reputation and reach grow markedly. You have a captive audience focused on you as the expert, interested in your topic, and you offer valuable steps and strategies the audience members can take home, implement and benefit from. Speaking is trust building on steroids!
There are many organizations looking for speakers and this is a great way to get exposure and credibility. How can you find them?
Brainstorm. Who are the people you most love to work and where do they hang out? Three examples might include Moms and dads of troubled teenagers… Elderly carers… High power executives suffering from stress. So… High schools and PTO’s… Hospitals and medical centers. Local and multi-national businesses. Now, how can you contact them and what can you offer?
Sign up for a free speaking gig tool like this one.
Approach local service clubs. Think Rotary, the Lions Club, even the Chamber of Commerce. If you know a member, ask them to make inquiries for you.
Ongoing training options. Therapists need to stay up-to-date with their education, and some professions have this as a requirement for registration. Find the person responsible for offering this training and see if you are eligible to speak. Becoming known in the field as the expert for a certain topic ensures referrals from the colleagues who either don’t specialize in your niche or would like a second opinion.
Google it! This search engine is so important its name has become a verb. Harness the power! Search terms such as: “Call for Speakers” and “Your topic” or similar. Then act.
Tip 2: When you are first getting clients in therapy, offer to speak for free. This will open more doors.
Tip 3: Always be warm, open, honest and professional.
Get Your Website Ready… ASAP!
You need a professional, search engine optimized (SEO) website.
While you may feel tech scared and be on a budget — after all, you are just opening your practice doors — you simply must have a website. In our digital age not having a professional online presence can mean business death for a fledgling practice.
A well-designed website is a powerful way to introduce yourself to prospects in a leveraged way and build trust and a virtual relationship. When “80 percent of Internet users, or about 93 million Americans, have searched for a health-related topic online” not having a strategic presence means these searchers will find your competition.
Tip 4: We have been helping therapists just like you to sit comfortably in the cyber world with a powerful, affordable web presence. We focus only on helping therapists, so we can be the best in this field (see we, too, are niched!) Plus, we’ve been doing this for years so we really are well placed to support you to achieve practice success.
On a similar note, it’s also important that your private practice has active social media accounts. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or other strategically chosen platforms, this is a great way to engage with clients both current and potential. You can post articles on your specific expertise, current topical issues, offers, quotes, and helpful steps or actions, even videos of you speaking about an issue (people seeing your face and hearing your voice is golden).
Advertise The Old Fashioned Way
This method may be considered “old school” but when you are first growing a private practice you need to get the word out, and fast. Place ads in the local newspaper, with the neighborhood radio station and even on the noticeboards of local stores, where available.
We may be in the digital age but people still read the newspaper, listen to the radio on their daily commute, and shop. And if your niche is older and less tech-savvy, this might be the perfect ongoing medium.
Get Involved In Your Community
We can’t emphasize this enough; a great way to get loyal clients is to make yourself visible and valued in your community.
There are many ways to get involved, but as your time is valuable, be strategic. Think back to your niche. Where could you connect with your ideal clients?
For example, if you are a family or child therapist, you may consider sponsoring and regularly supporting a local school baseball team. Having your practice name featured on the back of a team’s jerseys puts you in front of the right sets of eyes.
If your expertise caters to a certain issue which has an associated charity, you could donate your time and skills.
Tip 5: While you need to be strategic, always be authentic. Nothing will sink credibility and trust faster than falsehood.
Growing a private practice is exciting! Congratulations on beginning such an important journey which will transform many lives, including your own. Now it is time to focus on what matters to getting clients in therapy, and quickly.
The world needs your expertise so grab these six strategic approaches by the horns, implement, boost your bookings and profits, and we look forward to helping you to quickly grow your private practice.
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