Last year, I was able to make six figures in private practice and one of the biggest lessons I learned was the importance of marketing and networking. I’ve decided to put down a list of the top ten ways I marketed my practice. If I’ve missed any, please feel free to comment and tell us what methods you use in order to build a practice.
1. Psychology Today
a. Hands down the best way to get clients is through Psychology Today. I’ve wrote and rewrote my profile many times. I’ve changed my pictures and added ones of my office. This is probably going to be the #1 referral source for your practice, or at the very least, the place you get the most amount of calls from.
a. In the beginning, I spent a lot of time creating a halfway decent website through Go Daddy. I have since learned the error of my ways and now have a website through Brighter Vision. Not only does my site look great, it is search engine optimized, cost effective, contains my blog and can be updated whenever I want free of charge.
3. Facebook page
a. I post on my Facebook page, AmandaPattersonLMHC, on a daily basis. On my page, there are inspirational quotes, my blogposts, other people’s blogposts, articles from sites like The Huffington Post, funny memes about therapy, events, etc. The list goes on and on. I’ve made it a habit to post every day and to engage on other therapist’s Facebook pages and Facebook groups.
a. If your clientele is under 40 then being on Instagram is a must. Most of my clients in their teens and 20’s don’t even really use Facebook. They post and post and post on Instagram. It’s where social media is trending and therefore being a part of the trend may be in your best interest, especially if you ideal client is on there.
5. Word of mouth
a. My friends and family send me a lot of referrals. I’m their go to therapist and it makes a difference. Ethically there are some people I won’t see, like the mother of a friend; however many times my friends and family have referrals, such as their bosses’ child or their hairdresser. I’m certainly not shy about telling my friends and family what I do and how much I appreciate their support.
6. Personal Development Groups
a. There are a ton of personal development courses out there. I decided to take one called The Living Course in 2012. Since then I received numerous referrals from that course.
7. Substance abuse centers
a. Many local treatment centers work specifically with local therapists to provide after-care services to their clients leaving a higher level of care. If you are qualified and interested in treating substance abuse disorders, call up your local treatment centers and schedule a tour. Bring business cards and get to know the therapists there.
8. Referrals from other clients
a. This is the greatest form of flattery, in my opinion. Having clients refer their friends, family, coworkers, etc. has helped me to build up my private practice. I always have business cards easily accessible to clients in case they want to grab some. I never solicit clients from current clients; however I let them know I appreciate it when they do send referrals my way.
9. Referrals from other therapists
a. Not every therapist is going to be qualified to treat everything. If you have a niche, find other therapists who do not do what you do and create a relationship. You will receive referrals from other therapists if you are vocal about what you do, especially if you have a specific niche. Supervision groups can be another source of referrals from other therapists.
10. Referrals from people you go to
a. Do you know who refers me a lot of clients? My hairdresser. She is fabulous and a wonderful referral source for me. My acupuncturist has sent me clients. I tell the ladies at the nail salon what I do. I hand out business cards at all of my doctor’s appointments.
Building up a private practice is both exciting and daunting. The more referral sources you have, the more likely you are going to stay full. Get out there and let people know you exist and that you are amazing at what you do. Before you know it you will have yourself the private practice of your dreams.
Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.