I'm in a lot of groups online and offline for therapists who are in private practice. What I've seen consistently is that many therapists don't know how to be great networkers. Many vacillate between hiding in the shadows, or taking over the room. So how do you become a great psychotherapy networker? Here is your 10 step plan to getting great referrals from your networking activities.
Focus first on getting to know other people. Not just their name, not just grabbing their business card- make a connection. Ask probing questions- find out what they are really fired up about. Or, find out if this is someone you wouldn't want to refer to or network in the future! Notice how you feel around this person. Remember, you are great at connecting and assessing.
If you feel like you want to reach out, get to know them more, or spread the word. If you have a way to be a support- be your fabulous giving self (within reason).
Notice what happens after you get to know them. Do they reach out and reciprocate? Are they equally interested in you- or are they happy to have a one-sided relationship? Don't take it personally if that happens- but realize you just received great information!
When someone reaches out be ready to share authentically and articulate your passion. Be specific. Focus on sharing one thing that they will be able to remember and mentally file about what you do.
When there is a good connection- follow-up. Consider carving out time immediately after the event (maybe even in your car or at a nearby park) to reach out via email to each person you made a real connection with. It probably isn't more than a couple- remember- you are developing a relationship with them.
Look for ways to be of service to this other person, and see where things intersect. Maybe you can offer a relaxation training for a law office over the lunch hour. Or, come and speak to a group of pediatricians about how to easily assess for "blank" as part of a check-up.
Get outside the box- facebook, linkedin, twitter, and pinterest shouldn't be places to just sit and spin your wheels. Be intentional and learn how to use these platforms as a way to serve your community and serve your business!