This is part of a series of blog posts: The Top 10 Questions Therapists Ask Me.
#6: How Much Time Should I Spend On Marketing?
How badly do you want and need your private practice to succeed? Answer that question before you schedule your practice building time. Let’s say you want your practice to succeed very badly, and you want to build it quickly. If you want to have between 15 to 25 sessions per week, and you have less than 10 clients now, you should spend about 16 hours a week building your practice. If you don’t have that kind of time, you’ll have to reach that goal more slowly.
Let’s say your practice is near the level you want it to be, but you need a few more full fee clients. You may not need 16 hours a week. Commit to spending at least a few hours a week on practice building, and don’t let anything keep you from that commitment.
If you only have a few hours a week and you really need to build your practice quickly, here’s what I would advise: find more time.
What should you spend that time ON?
You need to spend this time on practice building activities. These activities include things like:
- Contacting colleagues to network
- Networking one on one
- Attending networking events
- Following up with colleagues you had contact with
- Improving website copy
- Writing articles for publications
- Contacting people about speaking to their groups
- Preparing for or doing public speaking
- Working on SEO
- Creating or managing paid advertising
- Participating on list serves and/or social media
- Creating and sending a newsletter
Don’t fool yourself by spending your practice building time only reading about marketing, making lists about marketing, and thinking about marketing. That may feel comfortable, but it doesn’t build your practice. You’ve got to actually do things.
You’ve got to be consistent.
One way to make your practice building time count is to schedule your time and use the same methods over and over again. Create a strategy and stick with it for at least 6 months. For example, don’t try public speaking once or twice and then decide it didn’t work and took too much time and effort. You can build a private practice using public speaking as your main method, but only when you follow through with a consistent strategy. This is true for every method of practice building.
Without the right mindset, most of that time will go to waste.
The other factor for making your time count is all about mindset. Use self care strategies, talk to people who help you feel good about yourself, talk to people who are entrepreneurial, listen to your favorite podcast, take a walk to clear your mind, do whatever you need to do in order to get into a positive mindset about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Don’t spend your practice building time feeling discouraged, frightened and desperate and expect anything positive to come out of it. Get clear on your vision of the practice you want and need, get clear on your value to your future clients, and go!
You don’t have to do this alone. I can help you create a strategy that will work, and I can help you stay accountable. I am completely committed to helping you follow through and create the practice you deserve.
Next week I'll answer this question: How much money should I spend on marketing?