13 Ways to Market Your Therapy Practice Without a Website
You’d like more clients, but technology isn’t your thing and you don’t want to go down the route of getting your own website. No problem. There are many ways to put yourself out there. Maybe you can find a couple that will work for you from the ideas below:
- Business Cards
Whether it’s handing them to referrals sources, or giving them to clients, business cards are an easy and cheap way of putting your contact details out into the world. Make sure they work for you, and don’t leave them gathering dust in a drawer. The more of them you hand out, the better the chance that they’ll be used. For more information on getting and using business cards, read my articles: Lots of Things to do With Business Cards and All About Business Cards
- Brochures and Flyers
A brochure outlining the services you provide gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself to a potential client or referral source. You can send as part of a direct mailshot, give them to doctors or other professionals, leave them in reception or at a local pharmacy or health food shop.
A flyer is a short document bringing the reader’s attention to your practice, or an event you are running. Keep it clean and clutter free, with the main message immediately obvious at a glance. You might also consider a post card.
For more ideas about this subject read my article: Creating Flyers or Brochures
- Direct Mail
Writing a letter is a good way of letting people know about a new service you are providing, or a special offer (such as a free consultation.) It is also a way of introducing yourself to a possible referral source (such as a doctor or other professional) who is not known to you personally, as a prelude to asking to meet them. To be effective, a mailshot needs to be relevant to those who are receiving it, so choose your target audience well, and write only when you have something specific to say.
- Press Release
A good way of announcing a new practice start up, especially in rural areas is to write a press release, attach some photos and send it off to local papers or magazines. You don’t need to hold a press conference. Keep the content short and sharp, and try to make it relevant to the readers that you hope to attract as clients.
Local papers and advertising magazines are often glad to receive submissions from local professionals. Writing an article on a topic of interest to the general public may get you some attention. Make sure the article is about a common problem or issue (such as teenage suicide, work-related stress or bereavement) rather than about you. Ring around local publications with your idea before investing your time though. Better to write what they’ll print, rather than what they won’t.
- Lecturing / Tutoring
If you have an expertise in a particular subject, the therapy training schools may be interested in you lecturing their students. They create their programs in advance, so contact them with your ideas long before the academic year starts. This helps you to establish a reputation, and make your name known to other therapists (who may be also sources of referrals in the future.)
A newsletter to possible referral sources is a good way to keep in regular contact. Make the content useful and relevant to them, rather than about you (a little bit of that is okay!) You could include details of new approaches, tips and pointers for handling certain issues or links to initiatives being made by you or others.
A poster is a good way of attracting attention to your practice and the services you offer. You can ask local businesses and community services to display it, such as pharmacies, health food stores, supermarkets and convenience stores, libraries. Many will be willing to do so. The best posters are eye-catching, colourful and with a clear message.
You could invite members of the public, or referral sources, to a presentation about your practice and the services you provide, or about a topic of interest. Keep the information relatively light, with lots of time to answer questions where you can flesh out the details more. This could be for a fee or for free, whichever suits the occasion best.
Take the opportunity to meet with possible referral sources: Family, friends, colleagues, trainers, other professionals. Be specific about the type of work you do, so that they will know you’re the right person for the job. Check out Meet Up groups in your area. Don’t discount the benefits of formal networking opportunities too, such as getting involved in the Lions Club or Rotary, or paid networking groups such as Business Network International. See my articles about networking and having an elevator pitch.
- Voluntary Work
Not the most obvious channel for promoting your practice, but if you have a desire to contribute to the community, this can be a way of getting to know possible referral sources. Don’t go into it though, purely for what you will get back, as that sort of mindset tends to backfire! Choose something that you feel passionate about, and is congruent with the work you do in your practice.
I’ve left this one to the end of the list as it tends to be expensive, and can give disappointing returns unless you think it out carefully in advance. If you’re going to invest your money in advertising, make sure you’re clear about your target audience, and monitor your results closely. Before committing your money, check out readership figures (in the case of print media) or other usage statistics to make sure it can deliver for you.
Sponsorship can work well in a small local community. Be clear about what you’re getting for your money, though. You need to be sure your name and contact details will be visible.
There are many ways to get yourself known. Try one or two that appeal to you and keep at it for a while. Don’t try to do more than that, you won’t be able to sustain it!
Finally, if you’re reading this and thinking, I’ve tried but it just isn’t working, maybe there are some internal blocks getting in your way. Ask yourself what the downside of getting more clients might be. Perhaps you’re afraid you’ll be overwhelmed, or you’ll have to give up your free time. Your fears may become a reality, or they may not. Only you can decide what’s most important to you, and whether you can have it! As Henry Ford is reputed to have said, “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right!”
If you would like to talk about ways you can best market your practice, I’d be glad to help. Contact me here for your free 20 minute consultation or to make an appointment.