Self-Funding Clients Vs. Referrals
Attracting self-funding clients who have researched you thoroughly and chosen to work with you is extremely rewarding. They’re often motivated, committed to starting therapy and keen to begin making positive changes.
However, when you’re starting out in private practice, it’s not uncommon to sign-up with referral agencies. Those who do often find themselves getting bogged down in paperwork and reports. When you decide you want to work with more self-funding clients, you need to start saying no to the referrals you want less of and create space for the referrals you do. You also need to adopt a marketing strategy you can follow and stick to, this is all part of effective business planning which you can find out more about here – Business Planning
Marketing Your Private Practice
Marketing your therapy practice is about trying to become as visible as possible. Focus on how people can get to know you and how you can be of service to them before they consider working with you. This will allow potential clients to become familiar with you and make an informed decision as to whether you’re the right therapist for them.
A marketing plan will help you stay on track. How are you going to connect with potential clients? What platforms are you going to use and how much time will you commit to marketing each week? It’s important to keep things simple and achievable so you can maintain consistency even as your practice gets busy.
Attracting Self-Funding Clients
Trying to stand out in the marketplace can feel daunting, but all it takes is some investment, time and consistency. Here are my top tips…
Should you niche? YES! – Understanding the type(s) of client you want to attract means you can tailor your content to them directly. Often, therapists focus on appealing to everyone but end up appealing to no one because their messaging is so confusing. You can read more about Niching here Should I Niche My Private Practice
You need a website – It doesn’t have to be all-singing, all-dancing, but a proper online home for your private practice is essential. Without one, it’s very difficult to build your visibility. Pockesite.co.uk offers cost-effective services for therapists to get started, but there are many platforms and providers to choose from.
As well as creating a website, you need to ensure it can be found through search engines such as Google. This is known as having good SEO (search engine optimisation). Without it, your website can be invisible, so I recommend downloading this free SEO guide. Make sure your contact details are also clearly listed on your website and repeated across all the platforms you use so it’s easy for potential clients to get in touch.
Clarity is key – Be really clear about what you offer to who and how. When people are looking for a therapist, they’re often stressed and overwhelmed, so less often more in terms of copy and content. Don’t forget clear consistent branding too, it doesn’t have to be expensive but the time spent in this area will be worthwhile and is often neglected. You can download a free branding guide here Pocketsite Branding Identity Guide
Make it personal – Choosing a therapist is a personal and individual decision. Including photos of yourself on your website and social media platforms can help people feel more connected. The About page on your website is often one of the most visited, so it’s a great opportunity to show up and share how you work and what your values are as a therapist.
Content is king – If you want to attract self-funding clients, you need to invest in creating content through which they can get to know you. Writing a blog, posting educational videos on YouTube or Instagram, starting a podcast or sending an email newsletter are all ways you can share your work and personality to build the ‘know, like, trust’ factor with your audience.
It’s vital your content is useful and relevant to your niche. Ask for feedback and encourage communication. The more you understand the needs of the people you are looking to work with, the better you can support them.
Social proof – Knowing other people are using your services can help sway potential clients and encourage them to get in touch. Testimonials are a great way to demonstrate your effectiveness as a therapist and attract new clients. You can share them on your website and on social media. Adding your private practice on Google My Business and keeping it up to date is another form of social proof.
Outreach – As well as showing up on your own website and social media channels, you can use other platforms to increase your visibility. In most communities, there are business directories you can register with for free. Paid advertising can be a great way to drive traffic to your website. Writing articles for magazines or providing guest blogs should have the same effect.