How can Therapists Build a Solid Client Base
When you start a private practice, therapy will only be a fraction of the work you do. The most crucial question to consider would be, "How can I get more clients?"
The business aspect of your private therapy practice is to build a solid client base and have a packed schedule. In private practice, the most worrying part is to make sure you have enough clients to generate a good income.
Here are some tips on how to gain clientele for your therapy practice.
Define a niche
Every therapist would want to see anyone and everyone willing to pay. Even though it makes sense to do so at the very beginning of the practice, it is not a good idea in the long run.
Narrow your niche to take in only those clients you enjoy to help. Focus on a specific area of interest. It would make more sense for your potential clients with that particular problem to seek your services.
Defining a niche will distinguish you as a specialist in the area of your expertise. It will make you stand out, and your prospective clients would recognize you more.
Clients usually search for therapists based on location and who is closest to their locality. However, there would be hundreds of therapists in that location, specializing in different areas of interest. So, they would want to narrow it down according to the therapist's niche.
Determining what problems you can help with will allow you to build a client base you would prefer treating.
Identify who your ideal clients are.
Would you want to start your private practice without figuring out who you want to serve?
To identify your ideal client, you could consider the following questions:
- Where does my expertise lie?
- Who am I trained to help?
- What kind of clients am I looking for?
Figure out who your ideal clients are. Defining your client base allows you to promote your private practice that attracts these clients.
You could review data on your current clients. Compile a list and look for patterns. For example, if you notice that 4 out of 10 clients had affairs, 8 out of 10 clients were men, and 6 out of 10 clients were married, then you get an idea of the type of clients you see.
Aiming your marketing efforts specifically at your ideal clients will help you in developing a sizeable client base.
Identify where your ideal clients hang out.
Based on your niche, imagine yourself as the ideal client. Think about where you might be hanging out. Now consider, would you discover your clients in-person or online? If so, then where could you find them?
For example, If your niche is helping clients with chronic pain, then you may find them at the offices of physical therapists. If you specialize in ADHD in children, you could discover their parents at schools and support groups.
If you think you could find your ideal clients on social media and other online forums, then which ones could it be?
Do some research to figure out where your ideal clients might be. Target your marketing strategies accordingly.
Is your Website user friendly?
Make your website less about you and more about your prospective client. Do tell a bit about yourself and your services, but the main focus should be on the client.
Make your website scannable. Your clients should come across all the information they need to make an appointment with you, without having to scroll a lot. People spend as little as 3-5 seconds looking for the information they want. If they don't get what they are looking for, they leave the website immediately.
Some basic information to include:
- Contact Information
- Cost of Services
- Insurance Rates
- Office Location
Include suitable keywords, focus on SEO, use videos and images, display your blogs, and other content. When clients like your website and appreciate its ease of use, they would consider seeing you and spread the word.
Online directories are a great way to build a client base. When therapists are starting their private practice, consider becoming a member of some therapist directories such as:
Even if these sources bring you a couple of clients at a time, it is still a great return on investment. You could consider a Google Business Listing as well. These are some of the best places to find your potential clients and build your client base over time.
Networking and Referrals
Consider joining therapist groups, therapist networking events, or offer giving talks at support groups. You could even choose to write for local newspapers, guest blogs, online directories, and online discussion forums relevant to your area of expertise.
Build your network with colleagues, supervisors, doctors, counselors at local hospitals, student and college bodies, and other therapists with an established private practice. It will allow you to learn and possibly get more clients through referrals.
Creating a referral network of healthcare professionals, trusted colleagues, teachers, and religious leaders would add to your credibility.
Consider joining an Insurance Panel.
Potential clients looking for therapy will often choose from their insurance company's providers list. So, by joining an insurance panel, you increase the chances of clients landing at your doorstep. It ensures that your name and contact information are readily available to your clients.
However, you have to put in efforts to track and manage claims. But, once you get a hold of it, you get to reap the benefits. Your ideal clients will have access to you and your practice through the insurance companies.
Ultimately, building a client base is all about marketing your private practice, making sure you are easy to find, and distinguishing yourself as an expert in your area of interest.