Being Seen

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” Jerry Seinfeld

This quote from Jerry Seinfeld beautifully captures the ambivalence that many therapists feel about anything to do with promoting their practice. I don’t know how many of you would prefer to be dead than speak about your businesses, but it is no understatement to say that it evokes anxiety and fear in the hearts of many. It can leave people feeling exposed and vulnerable. So, inevitably, we avoid it, or we find reasons not to do it, or become really busy with other things so growing our business gets pushed to the end of the queue. Read more

5 Common Mistakes Therapists Make in Marketing Their Practices

So you want to promote your practice but aren’t sure how to go about it? Or you’ve taken some action but it hasn’t given you the results you’d like? In this article I will show you some of the common mistakes that therapists make, and how you can avoid them.

The first and most common mistake is NOT THINKING IT THROUGH BEFORE TAKING ACTION, or its close relative, NOT TAKING ANY ACTION. In other words, not having a strategy and a plan, or not putting that plan into action. In order for your marketing to be effective, you need to know the following:sat nav

  • What services are you offering?
  • Who are you offering them to?
  • How much time, money and effort are you willing to invest?
  • How are you going to go about it?

Read more

A Business Mind Set

In his classic series of E-Myth books, Michael Gerber speaks of the entrepreneur mind set, and in particular the distinction that he sees between those who succeed in business and those who don’t.

The E-Myth of the title, is the entrepreneur myth, that anyone who starts a business is an entrepreneur. He then goes on to debunk this myth. Everyone who is in business spends time working in the business. In the case of therapists, we spend time working with clients. However, that time is not spent attending to the needs of the therapist, or of the therapist’s business. And there lies the distinction that Gerber draws between those who succeed in business and those that don’t.

Those who succeed spend time, not just IN the business, ie attending to the needs and affairs of the clients, but also spending time working ON and thinking ABOUT the business, ie attending to the needs of the therapy business.

So what does working ON the business of therapy look like? Read more

Marketing Your Practice on a Shoestring?

Starting out and in the early years, most people don’t have either the financial resources or the confidence to commit a large amount of money to marketing their practice. Some investment is needed, because even though you might feel the whole world is looking at what you do, in practice, there’s so much information out there, and so many services vying for attention, that you have to shout quite hard to be heard over the noise.Photo no (48)

So you want to start promoting your services, but you have very little money. So what do you do? Read more

Can Social Media Help to Promote a Therapy Practice?

Have you thought about social media as a means of promoting your practice but you don’t know where to start? It can be a bit overwhelming, there are so many choices available. And there can be so many questions about what is right for you and your practice.

With the ever increasing popularity and reach of social media, it makes sense to think about the internet as a means of promoting your practice. There are a number of ways in which you can do this, and what you choose will depend on a number of factors:Photo no (23)

  • The size and scale of practice you want to create
  • How comfortable you feel about putting yourself out there
  • How comfortable you are in engaging with technology
  • How much money you have available to invest
  • How much time you are willing to devote to it

Bear these factors in mind as we look further at the options below. Read more

How is What We Do Different From a Chat with a Friend?

“How is therapy different from a chat with a friend?” This was the question posed by Dr Genevieve Becker at a one of our workshops for therapists wanting to start their own practices.

We all know there is a difference, but how do we explain it? The challenge is to put words on chat 1something which is often far from clear. Often we define our work by reference to what it is not: It is not a chat with a friend, it is not giving advice or having a solution to their problems.

So what is it that we do?

The question is an important one because it goes to the heart of how we promote our services. In order to invite people to avail of our services, and pay us to provide them, we need to have a clear idea about what we do and what they can reasonably expect.

Read more

Assertive Skills to Make Your Practice More Profitable

Assertive behaviour can help to create a more profitable therapy practice. Often confused with aggressiveness, which is concerned with winning, Assertiveness is stating clearly and directly what you want or how you feel about a situation. It is a both/and position rather than an either/or, and is based in mutuality of respect for ourselves and the other person.

In any given situation, behaving assertively helps ensure the needs of both parties are met, helps you to stay firm in negotiation, and helps recognise the position of the other without necessarily giving ground.

Why is assertiveness important for profitability? Without having to defend a position in order to win, any negotiations can be conducted easily and quickly.chat 1

Situations in which Assertiveness supports profitability in a practice include: Read more

What is Your Message? Creating Promotional Material

So you’re creating a piece of promotional material for your therapy practice, or getting someone to create it for you. Maybe it’s a flyer or a brochure, maybe it’s a website. Maybe it’s a presentation you’ll be giving. Where do you start?

One of the differences between promotional material that works, and that doesn’t work, is the thought and preparation that went into its production. Whether it’s a paper product, or the text for a website, this is your opportunity to get your DSCN8260message across to your readers.

What is that message?

Before putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, you might spend a bit of time finding out what your message is. Have a look at brochures, flyers etc of other therapy practices, and of other professionals. See what you like and what you don’t.

Then try asking yourself some questions to clarify what it is you want to say. The following ideas might be of help:

  1. If I were looking for a therapist, what factors might I consider before making a choice? What would help me to choose in favour? And what would lead me to choose against?
  2. What words would capture the ATMOSPHERE I’d like to convey? (For example: Professional, approachable, soulful, peaceful etc)
  3. What colours do I like? What images might convey the essence of my message? (Even if I don’t use the specific images in my material, this question is a good one, as it helps to capture what you’re reaching for!)
  4. What promotional medium am I trying to create? (Flyer, brochure, presentation, website, letter, etc) Ideally, your message will be the same across all media, although it may be presented in a different way, depending on the space and shape you’re trying to fill. With a website, for example, although there is potential for far more information to be displayed, visitors tend to move on within seconds unless their interest is immediately stirred. With a paper product, although the space limited to the size of paper chosen, it’s more likely that someone will pick it up and put it in their pocket or handbag, to be referred to again later.
  5. file000321909801Who am I aiming it towards? (GPs, other health professionals, other potential referrers, potential clients etc) What you say and how you say it will differ according to your target audience.
  6. What result am I hoping for from this? (New client, client referrals, information, raising awareness, introduction) Is it easy for them to find out how to contact me? Have I given them the information they need in order to take the next step? Have I invited them to take that step?
  7. If I am hoping to attract new clients by this, ideally what are the characteristics of the clients I’m trying to attract?
    1. Presenting Issue
    2. Gender
    3. Age
    4. Attitude
    5. Ability to pay
    6. Other
  8. Is the language I use, and the media I have chosen, appropriate for this group? Are my ideal clients likely to be attracted to me as a result of this?
  9. Does this stand alone or will there be some other contact with the reader / receiver? If there is more to say, or more information to get, have I told the reader this? Have I told them how they might get that additional information?
  10. What questions might they have that I need to answer? For example:
    1. What do you do?
    2. How can you help me?
    3. How long will it take?
    4. What is your approach (and what does that mean to layman!)
    5. How does this process work (frequency, duration etc)
    6. What is the difference between your approach and ….
  11. What information do I want them to have about me or my practice (but which they may not know they want/need)? Is there something about me as a person that might help them to connect easily with me, that I am willing to disclose?

If this is really difficult for you, consider using a professional to prepare something for you. It doesn’t have to be hugely costly, especially if you have some ideas about what you like or don’t like.

If I can help you at all with any aspect of running your practice, please make contact. Email me here to make an appointment or to avail of a free 20 minute consultation.


How Do I Break Even in my Therapy Practice

How Many Clients Do I Need Or How Much Do I Need To Charge

In Order To Breakeven

Your total income from your practice is affected by 2 main factors: the price you charge, and the number of hours you work for which you get paid. A change in one factor leads to a higher or lower total income. If you increase your price, and work the same number of hours, your total income over a period (say a year) goes up. If you work fewer hours but keep the price the same, your income goes down.

“Breakeven” is the point at which your income equals your expenses. If I earn more than the breakeven I make a profit, Wallet and some money on a wooden tableor net income. If I earn €100 in fees, and it costs me €80 in expenses, the difference (100-80=20) is profit or money I can spend. If I earn less than breakeven I make a loss, or net expenses. If I earn €100 in fees, and it costs me €120 in expenses, I need to find the difference from somewhere, in order to ensure all my expenses are paid.

Why is breakeven important? Breakeven gives a benchmark for the minimum you need to earn in order to cover your costs.

Read more

Creating Flyers or Brochures

A common way to promote your practice is to have a flyer or brochure which you can leave in places where potential clients can find them, or which you can give to other professionals who might refer clients to you.

Hopefully, whatever you decide on will serve you for a number of years before needing to be revised, so before committing to the costs of designing and printing, it’s worth giving some thought to the following questions:

  1. Who is your target audience? Who is likely to read it? Who do you hope will read it?brochures
  2. What message are you trying to get across? What information do you want to convey? What do you want them to do as a result of reading it?
  3. How are you planning to use it? Where are you going to leave it or distribute it?

Read more