3 Ways to Avoid the Biggest Mistakes Private Practitioners Make

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Excited to share a guest post from Kate & Katie of The Private Practice Startup who share the 3 ways to avoid the biggest mistakes that well-meaning therapists make in private practice. Give it a read, and comment below with your best advice for avoiding private practice mistakes! -Miranda

Want to avoid the common mistakes most clinicians make in private practice?  Wonder what those mistakes are?

When we first started in private practice over a decade ago, there weren’t a lot of practice building resources at the time.  We were forced to learn everything the hard way and made a ton of mistakes along our journey growing our private practices to 6 figures in less than 2 years. If we knew then, what we know now, we could have saved ourselves a lot of time, energy, money, and stress learning everything the hard way…

We’re passionate about what we do because we don’t want you to struggle the way we did.  We want you to be able to make your dream private practice a reality!  

I am sure you’re wondering what those biggest lessons are.  Here are 3 ways to avoid the biggest mistakes private practitioners make.

  1. DEVELOP A CLEAR AND AUTHENTIC BRAND: For those of you who have heard our podcast, you’ve heard the authenticity bell. We ring that bell whenever anyone uses the word “authenticity” since it’s a common theme when you are your brand. I’m sure you’re wondering, what does it mean to have an authentic brand and why is it so important?

Well, authenticity is being true to yourself both personally and professionally.  Being authentic helps you feel aligned with your business and your BRAND. 

As a private practitioner… YOU are your brand.

Your private practice brand is all-encompassing.  It’s more than just your logo, colors, and name.  Your brand is essentially the experience people have when they come in contact with you and your business.

It’s how your office is designed, how you answer the phones, how hospitable you are, how you communicate with potential clients, how you collaborate with other professionals, and how you carry yourself in your day to day life.

Having an authentic brand, helps you connect with your ideal client and helps your ideal client connect with you. 

One way to position yourself authentically is to share your “why”.  “Why” were you driven to become a therapist or specialize in a specific area? 

You have a mission and a message to share with the word.  You have a moral obligation to share your message with people so you can make a greater difference. 

That being said, it’s essential your digital and community marketing efforts reflect who you are and why you do what you do.  When you position your authentic brand so your ideal clients can find you, you are able to help more people.  And for most of us, that exactly is “why” we do what you do. 

2. CLARIFY YOUR VISION, MISSION, CULTURE & BRAND VALUES:  Most therapists don’t take the time to develop their brand with a clear vision, mission, and culture.  They jump right into naming their business, getting business cards, finding an office and hoping for the phones to ring.   Many therapists are disillusioned with what we call “the field of dreams mentality”.  We definitely were.  Just because you build it, doesn’t mean people will come. 

When you take the time to create a solid brand and get clear on your ideal clients, marketing efforts becomes a lot easier, and it sets you up for long-term success.

Your brand and marketing should mirror one another.  Think of big brands like Apple or Amazon.  Having a clear vision and authentic brand attracts your ideal clients. 

Here are four steps to help you create your brand:

●      Step one - identify your vision.  Essentially your vision is a succinct statement communicating “why” you do what you do.  It’s informed by your passion and purpose.

●      Step two - create your mission.  Your mission statement should convey “how” you fulfill your vision.  It should be a few sentences on what services or products you provide. 

●      Step three - create your culture.  This represents the essence of your brand.  If you don’t create your culture, clients will create it for you. 

●      Step Four - develop your core 3 brand values.  Download this Brand Values Assessment to identify your top 7 brand values and then highlight your top 3 core values.  These brand values will guide all business decisions in the future, help you work, collaborate, and partner with people who are aligned with your core values.  This makes business decisions a lot easier!

3. SET GOALS:  If you haven’t listed goals for yourself, then do so now.  Goals give you direction and without them you can find yourself chasing squirrels or shiny objects.  You want to keep the squirrels in the trees, not in your business.   

Be intentional about your personal and professional goals.  Write them down along with your Key Performance Indicators  (KPIs) so you know when you’re staying on track or veering away. 

Create long-term and short-term goals.  We suggest working backwards, think about what your annual goals are for a year from now, then what your next 90 day goals are, then what your monthly goals are, and then week by week for the current month.

Celebrate all your wins big and small.  Do something fun and meaningful.

This intentional process will get you closer to creating a lifestyle business.  A business that is working for you, not you working as a slave in your business.

To hear more about our Private Practice Ninja Tips, Tricks, and Hacks listen to our podcast episode Part 1 and Part 2.         

***Kate and Katie of The Private Practice Startup help ambitious mental health professionals around the globe brand themselves and grow their dream private practices.***