Tag: practice promotion

Hidden Agendas

As we start a new year, and may be making some new year’s resolutions, it’s a good time to ask ourselves what do we want for our practices over the coming year.

It’s a straightforward question which can have a complicated answer because often we want many things, and some of the things we want conflict with each other.

Take the example of wanting more clients, or more income. I can answer the “What should I do to find more clients or earn more income?” question quite literally with a list of things to do, but I know from long experience there’s usually a better question.

When we know what we want, and we’re not getting it, quite simply there’s something else that we want that is getting in the way. Such as safety or security.

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We all know that we keep re-creating what we haven’t healed. If poverty or lack is familiar to us, we will keep creating it until we feel safe enough to create something different. If staying out of the limelight and keeping our heads below the parapet is familiar and comfortable for us, we will find a way to stay invisible until we feel safe enough to be seen. It’s not that we don’t know what to do, it’s that we have a hidden agenda. Sometimes the agenda is so well hidden we don’t even see it ourselves.

Recently I spoke to two groups of professionals about marketing their practices. The professions were very different, the issues were the same. Marketing can be over-simplified to a series of tasks, but it is not just a question of putting yourself out there. Of course, the action is important. But the action is not solely what will bring the clients to your door, or cause them to pass you by. There is always an inner component too.

I’m sure you know people who have struggled with their weight. I have done so in the past, and I know that there were times when I was eating the way I was supposed to be eating, and doing the appropriate exercise, but the weight would not budge.

It’s the same with marketing. Two people can appear to be marketing their practice in the same way, and one can get good results, the other not. The underlying reason for the differing results is the same for marketing and for weight loss, and just about anything else you like to think of. A hidden agenda will find a way to override the efficacy of any action you take.

What sort of hidden agenda might be getting in the way of you creating your practice?

Typically, our hidden agendas are driven by issues concerning safety or identity. So, I might unconsciously fear that

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if I get what I want for my practice, such as more income, this will change how I see myself, or how others see me. Earning more income might contravene some deeply held value, such as poverty is worthier than plenty. Or I may have invested in a view of myself as always struggling, or unsupported or undervalued, and a change in my circumstances might mean I have to change how I see myself.

I might encounter fears about who or what I might become. If I like to see myself as the caring empathic helper, I may fear that a greater focus on money will mean I no longer care about others. If I believe that entrepreneurs or business people are heartless or greedy, I may fear becoming like that.

And then there are the fears about what it might mean in my relationships if I become more successful in my practice. Someone I care about might feel threatened by a change in my circumstances, or I might fear that they will resent me. If it is important to me to preserve a relationship in its present form, or if I relate to certain people in a fixed way, the prospect of changing that may evoke anxiety.

And finally, there are the fears about what might happen if my practice were to take off. I might fear not being able to cope with the increased client load, or the increased income. I might fear that my freedom might be restricted, or that more might be expected of me.

Hidden agendas can be hard to spot, but we can find clues in how we feel and in how our practice performs. So, if you are struggling to earn enough, or you are feeling a lot of resistance to taking the actions you need to take to grow your practice, this is good information for you. You’ve probably found a clue that’s telling you there’s some other objective going on under the surface.

I’d be glad to help you with your hidden agendas. Contact me here for a free 20 minute consultation.

 

 

Marketing on a Shoestring?

This home cooked video is an example of how you can create online marketing materials for your practice with little technical know-how and virtually no cost. (It will take a little of your time!!)

How Can A Video Be Used to Market Your Practice?

The video can be posted on social media or on your website. Like standing up in front of a group, it offers potential clients (or referrers) an opportunity to learn a little about you and your work. The video speaks for you when you are not present. Video captures attention more easily than text or print. A potential client can hear your voice, or see your face and this gives them some support to take the next step, such as calling you or contacting you to make an appointment. Don’t forget to include your contact details so they know how to find you.

How the video was created:

Catherine Turgeon is an EFT practitioner in New Hampshire, USA. Her favourite clients to work with are those who are or have been caring for an elderly or vulnerable relative. Catherine and I had a conversation (which we recorded on FreeConferenceCall.com) in which I asked Catherine some questions about her favourite issue. The recording was edited using Audacity, a free software. (Note: this software is quite straightforward to use, but if this seems beyond your technical skills, you can hire someone to do this for you, at a relatively small cost.)

The questions and Catherine’s answers were incorporated into a simple slide show presentation in Microsoft Power Point. The slides were illustrated with photos most of which are available free on the internet.

The audio was added to the slides in PowerPoint, and the whole slide show was converted to a video, using the export function.

Support From Others

This is a good example too of how collaboration with others could make a daunting task easier. By combining your individual strengths into a group project to produce a video for each of you, you can support each other. One can write the text, another source the photos, a third could grapple with the technology.

If you find marketing your practice a challenge, maybe I can help you? Please contact me here for a free 20 minute consultation.

Promoting Your Practice? 4 Important Questions

The Merits of Working for Nothing

Working for free is fine, and a valid marketing strategy, as long as we feel it’s our choice. However, it can breed expectation, so don’t take yourself for granted, or you’ll find others will too.

The marketing environment has changed hugely over the past few decades. Providing information, samples and services for free is now a major marketing strategy in many fields of business. I believe it was Helena Rubenstein in the 60s who first capitalised on the concept of the free sample, giving away a small sample of cosmetics to loyal customers, to introduce them to a new or different product. The practice is still used to great effect within that industry. The purpose of the free sample is to allow the customer a risk-free way of experiencing what is for sale, by allowing them to experience the merits of the product directly. It is seen as a valid expense of the business, a marketing cost. With the advent of the digital age with informational, music and movie products, free sampling has become the norm rather than the exception. The environment has changed. A lot is given for free.

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That’s A Great Question!

I’ve been doing some workshops recently, and have been asked a couple of great questions:

What happens to my clients and my files when I die?

This is something you need to think about. Obviously, we’d all like to think that we will have some warning of the end of our practising life, and most of us will. However, it’s a good idea to think about the unthinkable, and something put in place, which, like insurance, you hope you’ll never need. Read more

Knowing Your Practice: Who Am I In My Work?

Identity is an issue that is often present in therapy work. The quest to “know our true selves,” or to “be myself,” is a common theme in the therapy room. As therapists, we model being ourselves through our authenticity or congruence, and in this way allow clients the freedom to do likewise.

Identity is equally important when we are considering our practices. In the second pillar of a successful therapy practice, what I call “Knowing Your Practice,” I talk about creating an identity for your practice. I’m not necessarily talking about the branding or the issues you might work with, although these may be part of it. Knowing your practice is more subtle than that. It’s the essence of who you are and what you stand for in the work. It’s the qualities of you that you bring to the service of your clients. It’s an inner knowing of what is right for you and what is not, an ethical framework perhaps? Read more

Are We There Yet? (How Long Does it Take?)

How long does it take to establish a therapy practice?

This a regular question asked at workshops and in meetings with therapists. The answer varies hugely and depends on many factors.

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The short answer is, you can do the basics in a few weeks. However, if you are starting from scratch and aiming for a practice that will replace the salary you are currently earning in a full or part time position, the answer is likely to be closer to years than weeks or months. It’s possible to get there quicker, but most people don’t. Think of it this way, you didn’t become a therapist overnight, and you won’t become self-employed overnight either. Read more

Marketing Dilemmas

To practice our therapy skills, there must be someone who has a problem, or a question, or a wondering that we can help. We need clients to practice with.
There are basically two ways in which to find clients:

  1. Someone hires us to see clients that they have available, or
  2. We find them ourselves.

I am aware from talking with practitioners, that marketing is something they find really difficult. And I find it curious that we want to do the work, but don’t want to do the work of finding the work. (There is a simple solution to this by the way – choose option 1, and let someone else find the clients for you!)
Shying away from marketing we demonise one side of a pair, the work is good, but the finding of it, or the looking for it, or the asking for it is bad. Read more

What Sort of Practice Do You Want To Create?

What Is Your Intention For Your Practice?

I wrote recently about taking ourselves seriously as business owners when we have a self-employed therapy practice. In that article, I wrote about investing our time, money and energy in our practice, if we are taking ourselves seriously. The question then arises, “Well, how much time, money and energy do I need to invest?”

It’s a question that has no right answer, and maybe there’s a better question.

Soccer Players
Soccer Players

I find myself thinking about sports. There are many levels at which we can engage in sports. I’m not a great sporty fan, so I don’t invest much of myself in it, either at a participant or watcher level. But most of my family are keen, and their interest level reflects their engagement. So, some are interested in watching but not participating. They watch the tennis or the rugby on TV, they attend important matches, they talk about the important news stories of their chosen sport, the goals, the misses, the changes of manager, the “What ifs,” of the relative league positioning and so on. Read more

What Do You Want For and From Your Practice?

What is your desire for your practice, for your clients, and for yourself? It’s an interesting question, and I wonder how much time you have given to it.

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How much detail can you create about your desire before you interrupt yourself with something. It might be, “I never get what I want,” or, “It will be too difficult,” or, “I have to settle for what I can get.” Or it might be any one of a myriad of other obstacles that we put in the way of expressing what our desire is. Read more