A Guide to Your First Year of Private Practice

Starting a Private Practice Marketing Plan

After the website is going, you’ll want to create a marketing plan.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s better to work quickly and get things done, then to get hung up on creating the perfect website, marketing plan, or direction. Change as you go!

When you are first starting a private practice, tell everyone you know that you’re launching a private practice soon. Website building is just part of the process. You can always have “Coming Soon” with an e-mail opt-in form on your website. Here are some things to focus on as soon as the second week of private practice.

When I first was starting a private practice, marketing was not my main focus. I missed out on a ton of opportunity because of that. Think about this: I’m currently making around $13,000 per month (as of April 2015) through seeing 10 to 15 clients per week and my consulting work. If you haven’t checked out my Monthly Income Reports, I report how I make money, and how you can make more money.

If I could have done effective private practice marketing when I first started a private practice in 2006, I could be months ahead of where I’m at currently. This is actually something I discuss frequently with my private practice consulting clients. If I had worked with a private practice consultant, I could figure out my return on investment based on how much income I am making.

Every month that I am seeing more clients is added income. Thus, if I wasted six months on the front end, that really is now costing me $4,000 a month x 6 months = $24,000. What a huge waste of time and money!

Here are some tips on what you can do during the first month of private practice to make sure your marketing is working!

Why an Email List Matters

People want to be in the know. Even if your website isn’t finished, you should be collecting emails. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, principals, parents, therapists: they all want to know who to refer to. You can be at the top of their list right when you open your doors if you collect emails to keep people up-to-date. I use Aweber to automate this.

Here’s an article about what to send to your list: The best e-newsletter.

Private Practice Marketing with a Logo

To build a business reputation takes time, but a quick visual is so necessary! I used to think I could do it myself until I recently had someone join me. Holy cow! It has saved me so much time.

Honestly, I can now focus on the parts of my counseling private practice that I love, rather than all of the things that it takes to begin starting a private practice!

Here’s a podcast about How to Get More Done

The Hidden Story of Starting a Private Practice

When you are active in starting and growing a private practice, it’s really hard to take your time. I found its very frustrating when I would listen to a business podcast, read a book, or hear a speaker. I thought I had to implement it all at once. In fact, it is the person that thinks through decisions, then acts, then adjusts, then acts, that makes the most progress over time.

Here’s a quick video about how to start a private practice in a day for $200.


Take your time, do some website building, and begin with some marketing. This is only the beginning of your private practice birth…and let me know if you get stuck!

Photo courtesy of Rayner Media on flickr 

A Guide to Your First Year of Private Practice Joe also helps counselors with growing private practices through his website He also loves sailing and playing with his two daughters.


APA Reference
Sanok, J. (2015). A Guide to Your First Year of Private Practice. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 27, 2019, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 Apr 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Apr 2015
Published on All rights reserved.