It’s something I hear at least once a week: “There are so many therapists qualifying these days. How will there ever be enough clients to go around?” I don’t know if there are lots of therapists coming into the system, perhaps there are or there aren’t, but maybe there’s a better way of looking at this issue?
There are some clients out there. How will they find you? What makes you special? Imagine you are looking for a therapist and there are dozens available to choose from. Why would a client choose to come to you? What is different about you? This is called your “Unique Selling Point” in business lingo.
These are the questions that will help you to focus your marketing and promotion, and attract your ideal clients to you. Think about the following points:
- Why should a client choose to come to therapy, rather than, say, Reiki or Massage or Coaching or Homeopathy? What is special about counselling? Think about what drew you to counselling and therapy, was it the relationship, the importance of being heard or understood, or getting another person’s reflection?
- Do you have some specialisation that would help a client know that you are right for them? A knowledge or experience of a particular issue or set of issues? Or a particular approach that might appeal to them? Perhaps you work with art materials, or in your garden, or with imagery?
- Do you have experience, skills or qualifications other than in therapy, that you use or will bring to your work? We always bring all of our previous experiences to the present moment in some shape. It may help a client to make a connection with you if they know, for example, that you previously worked as a social worker, or with addiction or as a nurse.
- Can you position yourself as a member of a particular tribe? Did you grow up on a farm, or in a different country, or in a foster home? Have you had a serious illness or lived with a disability, or with someone who has one?
- Is there something special about you that might appeal to a client? Something perhaps about your personality, or the style you bring to your work? Is there something special about the way you deliver your service? For example, clients often say that they feel safe talking to me, I can use the concept of safety in what I tell clients about how I work. “I create a safe and comfortable environment.”
- Is there something you could say about the place you work? Is it in the town or the country? Is it secluded or anonymous? In a particularly attractive setting? Is it a big bustling practice, or a small private one? Is it in a convenient location, for parking or for businesses? Perhaps you’re in the city centre and cater for office times, with pre and post office hours and lunchtime appointments?
- What might your clients have said about or commented to you in the past? What do they like about your practice, or about you?
If you find it hard to know what makes you unique, if you are struggling to find the words to describe who you are in your practice, perhaps I can help you? Contact me here to make an appointment for a free 20 minute consultation, or click here to browse my services.