Tips To Help Grow Your Therapy Practice

Useful tips to grow your therapy practice.

The above is a video I recorded previously but I have added to the tips below.

1 - Have a Clear Message

Be clear about your message e.g. “I help women who want to improve their self-confidence” or “I work with men who want to overcome their fear of public speaking”.

Many therapists starting out on their business journey may feel this is going to limit their client numbers. The opposite is actually true. When you say you can work with "anyone" just think for a moment, how many people do you know called "anyone"?

If you have a niche you are passionate about you are much more likely to be seen as an expert in that subject. This doesn't mean that as your experience grows you can't also grow your expertise into other areas.

2 - Prioritise Your Website

 You're a therapist and the only way to do what you do best is to be found and get in front of people. Whether you do it yourself or you engage a web designer, make sure your website is properly set up with the most relevant and high-ranking keywords for your ideal client.

By using these terms within the text on your site you will help your site be found on search engines. This is where it can get a bit techy so you or your website designer needs to be familiar with SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This does exactly what it says on the tin. It optimises your site to help it be found which is exactly what we want.

One of the best ways to keep your site current is to write regular blog posts. It, therefore, goes without saying your site should also have a blog area. Writing may not be your thing. You don't have to be another Margaret Atwood or J. K. Rowling. If you can string a few paragraphs together about a current, relevant topic perhaps once a week or even once a month until you get the hang of it, it will significantly improve your site's SEO.

You should also consider adding new pages. Or giving away some free "stuff". Providing links to other, appropriate, sites will also help keep your site relevant to the search engines and therefore visible to those looking for you.

3 - Have A Video Of You  

 Have a short video on your website. Or an audio on your ‘About’ page so prospective clients can see/hear you. I'm sure, like me, you have an initial chat with a client before working with them. A video will help a prospective client's perspective, feel they know you before they speak to you.

Remember, "you" are your business so be proud and confident of how you present yourself. This will positively impact on your potential client and their attitude towards engaging with you.

4 – Not Planning Your Day to Day/Weekly/Monthly Activity and Becoming Overwhelmed.

 You may think “I don’t need to plan, I have clients 5 days a week and everything else fits around that”.

Yes, you do have days where you have regular appointments. How often, though, do you put in time in those 5 days for your admin, bookkeeping, marketing or CPD?

Do you put in time for you and your family and friends? When we are passionate about something our work doesn’t feel like work because we enjoy it. We can forget about the ‘rest’ of our life.

Put in your diary personal time, ‘date’ nights, friend time. If you don’t you will book something else in or find yourself heading towards burnout.

5 – Underestimating How Long It Could Take to Become Established as a Therapist.

 Many established therapists I speak to say they underestimated how long it would take to be generating enough income to meet their needs. I know I did.

This is due to many factors including marketing and finances. Realistically it can take a couple of years to be in a position to feel confident that you have a regular flow of clients and income to allow you to feel relaxed in your business.

Many therapists start to see clients whilst still working full-time in paid employment and then decreasing to part-time paid employment to finally taking that big step into being fully self-employed.

6 - Make Time to Network

 There are so many books written about networking but the important thing is to find the way that works for you. You may already have your own "natural" networks such as friends, relatives, organisations you've worked with or groups you are part of.

How to best use these connections could be the subject of yet another book. Most therapists have an inbuilt skill they simply have to put into use to get their networking started. They use "talking therapies". So guess what, start talking to people and get your message out there.

Networking is simply about building connections, finding people who could be a good source of potential business referrals for you. Not necessarily themselves but people they may know.

It is important to remember networking works in two principal ways. Not only are you hoping to receive referrals but you should be looking to give referrals as well.

For instance, you may be working with a client who is also looking for a massage therapist. In your network you may have someone you've used personally or know. You might pass on their details to your client. If you and the massage therapist have each other's details, business cards or similar, you can cross refer to each other. You can also let the massage therapist know that you've passed on their details and ask the client to mention who recommended the massage therapist.

Karma connections, what goes around, comes around!

7 - Get Yourself Known

 Advertising comes in many forms these days. Social media is probably foremost in many people's thinking, however, it is worth considering your options.

If you are confident in public speaking, many local groups would welcome you as a speaker to enlighten their members. Local newspapers or magazines would also welcome "free" copy if you could provide an article for them on an interesting topic.

You are more than likely to be a member of your professional organisation and they may be looking for speakers at their annual conference or event. You could look into the possibility of being a guest for a podcast interview.

There is, of course, paid advertising but be very clear on the budget you will use, the purpose of the ad campaign and the return you want from your advertising e.g number of clicks or web page visits. Then track any people that become paying clients. Facebook and Google ads can be effective but that brings us back to social media in general. Within all the various platforms there is huge potential to get your name known with no cost at all.

8 - Be The Best Version of You

 Remember, therapy is a people business, whether you call them clients or customers, they are the people who can make or break your business.

Be mindful of the small stuff, whether that's having the correct information on your stationery or getting your client reminders out timeously. It all matters. Quality not quantity should be your mantra.

Your image, how you portray and present yourself will all help towards building your reputation and generating referrals from happy, satisfied clients. Possibly most important of all the above is to enjoy your business. You've done all the hard work getting trained, now is the time to start enjoying it. Your enthusiasm will also be infectious and your clients will also benefit from it.

The above tips are just a starting point on your journey. There are many, many websites out there offering other tips and ideas to help grow your business.

Apart from those resources, many therapists choose to work with a coach to help keep them focused and on track as they grow their practice. Some coaches are, like me, are still practicing therapists who have been there, made the mistakes, found solutions and have the T-shirt!

I have another blog post about 5 mistakes new therapists make you might also find interesting and helpful.

Or have a look at my website and see where I am now on my journey.

I'd be interested to learn what you've found helpful - let me know.

Remember to connect with me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Categories: Private Practice, self-employment