Now that we have covered your fees and niche, let's talk about marketing. Today we will explore the foundation of your marketing plan in your private practice. Let's get started!Read More
Mass emails to clients in the form of monthly newsletters and occasional company updates are fashionable across all industries. While a one-size-fits-all approach to email communication works well in some cases—for instance, to parents of children attending a daycare or to fans of an entertainer—many businesses offering a product or service are realizing their audience needs more targeted messaging.
Private practices owners especially benefit from a better communication strategy—specifically, segmenting their email marketing strategy. Consider the following:Read More
In today's Q&A, Kathleen asks, "What is the best way to turn a potential client inquiry call into an appointment?" This is an important question because the answer is where your clinical process meets your business process. Find out more by taking a listen!Read More
Welcome to Lesson #4: Marketing 101 where we are going to explore the foundations of your marketing plan. Here's what you need to do today:
1) Watch the video
2) Assess your current marketing by asking these questions:
How many calls are you getting per month?
How are they finding you?
How many of them schedule?
What are your favorite clients typing into Google before or when they finally find you?
What words do they use to describe the issue they are trying to resolve during the first contact?
How many weeks on average do clients stay with you?
How many paying clients are you getting from each referral source?
Starting a small business can be difficult. In fact, 50% of small businesses fail (close) within the first 5 years. That is not to say that "staying open" is a litmus of success. I have worked with many therapists who have been open past the 5 year mark whose practice is operating well below the poverty level.
To be successful in private practice, you need a steady stream of clients. You can have the most beautiful office, an amazing website, a great location, and fabulous skills to help people- but if nobody is calling... you do not have a viable business.
We received this question and I think it beautifully sums out the question on a LOT of therapist's minds when they start a private practice: "What marketing strategies seem to have the very fastest results? Put another way, what would be your top three recommendations for a private practice, solo practitioner business to be able to find let's say 5 new clients a week for a month so that at the end of the month you would be pretty much full up? if that seems like too many too fast, then you could scale your answer down to just a couple of new clients weekly, but reliably! I really appreciate you considering answering but on the surface it seems like a pretty ridiculous question!"Read More
Straight from the podiatrist with a nice limp in my step, nursing such severe plantar fasciitis that I couldn’t manage it on my own any longer, I walked into a shoe store. Not just any foot store, but a fancy running shoe store that felt all together intimidating.
Here’s what you need to know about me. I wear a size 11 shoe and have since I was in 5th grade, so finding shoes is not really all that fun for me. I prefer to spend my money on travel and fun stuff with my family. So for me to go into an expert shoe store means I was in pain and needed help.
Here's the rest of the story and why it matters to YOU....Read More
When any new business opens up shop, they take stock and observe who is around them. By my office we have what is called, Furniture Row. Every single store for several blocks, sells furniture. You see this with car dealerships as well. So how do those businesses survive when they are all in close proximity?
Therapists are no different. There are some areas with buildings that are saturated with therapists. Whenever I hear “there is a lot of competition in my area” I get excited becauseRead More
There is a cake shop down the street that I love for any special occasion treat. The cake is so yummy and moist. And it is a franchise. So I was visiting my parents who were having a party, needed a cake and I suggested the franchise. There was one close by and what do you know - I still got that yummy cake that I love.
Franchising is great for many industries. In order to franchise a model, you have to prove that the model works. So it isn't like you can just open up a franchising business without some sort of numbers to back it up. I can really see the benefit of franchising from a customer stand point. I walk into a franchise and it should be consistent with the brand and the product.
But what about franchising therapy? I am really struggling with this one. Don't get me wrong...I am open to hearing opinions on this but I am a bit concerned about franchising your therapy practice. And here is why:
Their marketing to attract therapists is pretty fear based. I believe in speaking to the pain of your ideal client, but I don't believe in inflaming fear. I believe it takes a lifetime to grow as a business owner - not because the task is daunting but because we change, the needs of our clients change and our world changes - we have to be innovative to respond to the needs around us. It would be boring if that weren't the case. Just as I am constantly growing as a human being so am I growing as a business owner. I believe we are capable of learning what we need to grow a business.
The easy way isn't always easy. The idea of someone creating your business model and handing it over to you so you can just do your therapy thing may seem nice. But I got into my own business to have my own freedom and autonomy. I don't really want the structure from someone else. I can see the appeal to therapists. I think it would just be hard to conform to someone else's brand and not my own.
Which brings me to my next point, you can replicate the business structure but you cannot replicate the experience of therapy with a person. That is what makes our businesses so unique. Instead of being the cake shop that gets its batter from the same distributors as all the other franchisees...we all have our own special recipe.
There are no guarantees or get out of jail cards. As much as I would LOVE to say do xyz and always, everywhere, everyone will get the same result - business building just isn't that way. A franchise can get you the paperwork, do your billing and all that fun jazz but you still have to do work on managing the business. Don't think buying a franchise means you get an "out" of running the business. I am reminded of a friend that owned a franchise that hired me to help him with his marketing, because there was a limit to what the franchise provided. He still had to learn something new, even with his cutting edge franchise team.
Like I said, it will be interesting to see what happens. I believe there is room for all of us in this field to be wildly successful. Franchising is a new trend we are starting to see in our industry. So regardless of what you decide to do, I want you to remember....
Work is still work. You just get to choose how you do it.
You are more capable than you believe you are. (Just ask our business school bootcampers)
You will never stop learning and growing (I hope!).
Yesterday we launched our newest webinar. And I was freakin' ah-mazed at the people on the call. They even hung in there while we had sound issues towards the end. That was a major bummer because we didn't get a good recording of the call. But...we are offering it again on October 7th just click here.
On the call we were asked a ton of questions about diversification in private practice, because ya' know what? It's more than just seeing clients face to face. There are so many other things that therapists can do....
All of these things can create a win-win in your business. You just want to find the sweet spot where you meet a need in the community with your passion and expertise. You want to create a business that helps more people and gets you to your life goals.
Once you know that sweet spot the next step is getting your message out to the world. That is why I love helping people in their businessness. Because HOW you get your message out there, looks different for everyone. Some people go to events, give talks and get contacts that way. Others, have their websites, do webinars, and offer consults. You have to do what works for you and your ideal client - another win-win!
So we want to hear from you! What are you doing to create a win-win in your practice now?
I love playing hide and seek with my daughter. Oh we laugh and have fun! But then there is a point in the game where if she can't find me right away, she gets frustrated. I can hear it in her voice. The way she says "momma" and how it doesn't sound fun anymore.
This is what it is like for our potential clients. The idea of getting help is a mixed bag of emotions - excitement, fear, readiness - but then they start to look. And honestly, it is freakin' hard! Have you ever gone through all the Psychology Today profiles in your area? Have you ever tried finding websites? Especially if you have relational issues. Man...everyone in this field helps with that! How do you know who to choose?
They embark on a search and they become tired of it. I get calls from people saying "You are the first out of 15 people to answer your phone!" or "I have this long list from my insurance company and I don't even know how to pick a person."
We aren't making the choice easy for them. We aren't conveying why they need US. Part of putting your business out into the world is conveying your value. If you can justify why your $5 hamburger is better than the $1 hamburger...I am going to buy the $5 because I can see the value.
Imagine a world where your message is clear and it is out there! You aren't hiding. You aren't frustrating to find. NO! You are open, vulnerable and capable of helping them. The avoidance of marketing not only hurts your business, it is hurting those that need you. When you get over yourself and your fears and put yourself out there, it is a win-win.
So yeah, we decided for my birthday to do our webinar one more time. I am cooking up some new ideas for another webinar. But if you want to hear more about what it means to have a clear message, then you should sign up here. STOP hiding your businesses. START doing more of what you love!
Gonna be real with you for a minute. While it is fun to create a new way of doing practice, challenging others to do the same, and trying to start a revolution in your community...it is challenging. I want to be the first to admit. It would be easy to just go with the flow. However, I just can't. I can't sit by and let people be miserable in this field. Yes, I am scared too sometimes, but really, what many therapists are doing in their businesses isn't working. If it were, you wouldn't be reading this nor would I be writing this. And honestly, how can you be expected to know it all. You didn't go to school for this part.
Marketing your practice takes guts. Every time you put your message out there, you open yourself up to criticism AND you open yourself up to be heard by the people that need you most. I remind myself of this constantly as I speak to many therapists across the country. Some really do NOT like what we are doing. Call it a scam or making false promises...whatever...and then some LOVE it. Some implement things after a webinar and feel a shift in their energy and how they approach their businesses.
Do I like that not everybody likes us? Um..no. I would like to keep the peace. But you can't transform your business by passive means. It takes hard work and a lot of effort. I could sit and fret about the ones that don't care for us, but then that would stop me from getting to the people that will take what we teach and become even more successful. This is the same for your practice. You can worry about the client that only came in once, or you can focus your energies on finding the clients that value your work and will keep coming back because of the change they experience with you.
So yeah, this stuff is hard. The good news is, we are all in it together. You are not alone. Let us help you. Let others help you. Reach out, be vulnerable, and grow a practice that fits the life you want to live.