I'm always telling therapists that the fastest way to build a private practice is to build a strong referral network. I notice that some therapists make a lot of mistakes while they’re trying to make this happen. I’ve made a lot of mistakes myself. Believe me. One mistake a lot of therapists make is focusing on the wrong potential referral partners. A referral partner is a person who you are likely to refer clients to and who is likely to refer clients to you.
You've got limited time and energy. Maybe you're an introvert, which means you've got limited social energy too. That means you've got to be strategic about who you reach out to. I'm not advocating that you get snobby or exclusive. I'm advocating that you think carefully about who fits both of these criteria:
1. A person who comes into contact with your ideal clients.
Do a little bit of mind mapping of your ideal client. When she’s ready to look for a therapist, who is she likely to talk to? There is no one right answer to that question, so open up your mind, and let it wander a bit.
2. A person who is likely to make a referral for a therapist.
Again, do a little mind mapping, this time, from the perspective of the person who might make the referral. If she would refer the client to a therapist she likes and trusts, consider becoming that therapist.
I’m just scratching the surface of the steps it takes to create a strong referral network.
Next week I’m going to tell you more about a free program called “30 Days To A Strong Referral Network.”
Participants will be given daily assignments through email (except on weekends) starting on June 1st. If you already know you want to participate, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you on the participant list.