‘Thanks to Dr. Deb Legge for offering your expertise through this guest post. It is an honor to have you as a colleague and work together with you to help therapists grow their private practices.’
-Kelly and Miranda
The BIG Problem:
How are you going to get all of the clients and referrals you need to be successful in your private practice?
If that question makes you feel like a deer in the headlights, you’re not alone. I’ve coached thousands of private practitioners over the past 20 years, and almost every one of them shares your reaction to that question!
Just the thought of sales and marketing can feel intimidating; especially when you’re just starting your business. Unfortunately, without “sales” your private practice simply can’t survive.
The answer to this problem isn’t just any old marketing effort. In fact, marketing doesn’t get you clients– marketing gets you noticed. Getting noticed sets you apart from the crowd; it helps to build your credibility; and it makes you the go-to person in your target market. Getting noticed gets you clients, but you won’t get noticed unless you first build a solid foundation.
If you want a solution, you’ve got to start here:
There are 4 critical components of a foundation that can support a solid marketing system. (They’re part of my Book Yourself Solid® in Private Practice program, adapted from Michael Port’s proven marketing system for service professionals.) Build your foundation and you are sure to be noticed; as a result, you’ll attract all of the clients you need.
- Choose a target market. Determine whom you’ll best serve. It may seem counter-intuitive to narrow the field when you are looking to fill your appointment book, but you are far more likely to stand out from the crowd when people know your areas of expertise and specialty
- Get a clear picture of your “ideal client” within your target market. What are her urgent needs and compelling desires? What do you do, that addresses those core issues for your ideal clients?
- Explore why you do what you do. Find a way to put into words, your commitment; your drive; and your intentions
- Talk about what you do without being scared, boring, or bland. When someone asks you what you do, don’t simply state your profession. Be ready and able to have a conversation about it. Talk about those you serve; point out their needs and desires; and articulate how you help solve their problems
Once you’ve got your foundation in place, it’s time to reach out and get noticed… AKA do some marketing!
Now You’re Ready For A Paradigm Shift
Don’t let marketing scare you. Marketing doesn’t have to feel slimy; you don’t have to feel like you are putting your professionalism and ethics on the line every time you reach out to your target market and community. In fact, try to think of it from this perspective:
“If you believe that you are truly meant to serve certain people, then you have a RESPONSIBILITY to let the world know that you exist as a viable resource”
What good are you to others, if they don’t know who you are, what you do, and where to find you? Reframing your thoughts about sales and marketing might help you move out of the “overwhelm” and into “action”. Get your foundation in place, shift your attitude, and you’ll be well on your way to filling your book.
I’ve created a step-by-step action plan that will help get you going.
Dr. Deb Legge is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Private Practice Mentor. Deb helps mental health professionals make more money in private practice. Visit her website at www.InfluentialTherapist.com to find out how you can boost your bottom line!