One of the biggest complaints that I hear from private therapists is: “I hate marketing.” What if I told you that it was time to re-think your perspective on “marketing”? Marketing your private therapy practice is NOT the same as marketing a “regular” business.
Buy now! Here’s your 25% off coupon! “Like Us” on Facebook for a special deal! Upsize your meal for only $.99 cents! None of those traditional “marketing” methods are going to work for you, a private occupational, speech or physical therapist. What will work for you? Making connections with real people who you can help and can in turn help you. Phew.
“So you mean I only need to talk to family members and other clinicians to grow my practice?” Yes.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Make a list of 5 discharged clients you enjoyed working with
Think about what made them so good or easy to work with. Then, call each one of them. Check in and see how they are doing, if they have any questions or need any help. You’re not trying to re-establish a clinical relationship or sell them on returning.
- You stay on their radar.
- They are reminded of how great you are and will be more likely to refer people they know to you.
- You just jogged their memory if they’ve been meaning to call you.
2. Make a list of 3-5 colleagues who also treat private therapy patients
These could be colleagues with whom you work directly, friends from graduate school or people you know from the therapy community. Next, call at least two of them.
Discuss how therapy business is, share what you’ve been doing to find more patients for your therapy practice, trade good and bad experiences, tips you’ve learned, etc.
If you’re worried about competition, talk to someone with a completely different niche or discipline.
- Improves your network of supporters and referrers
- Get feedback on what’s working and not working
- Helps you brainstorm possible solutions for each of your practices
3. Make a list of 5 practice owners you don’t know, but admire (in your local area or beyond)
We all know of clinicians who have well-established practices and whom we’d love to be more like. Email at least one of them.
Although they may seem like they are extremely busy, most therapy professionals are nice people and are willing to take time out to talk to those just getting started.
LinkedIn is a great way to find private practice owners!
- Build relationships with practice owners.
- You may find yourself a mentor.
- The more people you connect with, the more opportunities come your way.
- You may learn some tricks of the trade from them.
4. Find one person who is at your level of experience in treating privately
No matter whether you haven’t started yet nor have a steady stream of clients, having a person with whom you share the same struggles, hurdles and successes is invaluable. Email them.
Perhaps you could meet for coffee. Ask them how their therapy business is going, share your experience, share information or resources with them, etc.
- Establishing supportive business relationships is key to growing your practice.
- Karma- putting out good energy will often result in greater opportunities for you.
- You may get referrals for you private therapy practice if you have different ideal clients, if they’re too busy or they think you’d be a better fit, etc.
About the Author: Jena H. Casbon, MS CCC-SLP spends her days treating adults with cognitive-communication disorders and her nights helping fellow speech, occupational and physical therapy providers start and grow their own private practices. Her company, The Independent Clinician, seeks to provide information, community and a confidence boost to those who want to get started treating privately but don’t know how.
Jena’s first book is available now: The Independent Clinician Guide to Private Patients. She is also finishing her second (yet untitled) book for SLP/OT/PT therapists on building a web presence (websites, social media and more) to grow their private practices.
Click here to read more about Jena Casbon, MS-CCC-SLP
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