1. Like therapy (and life), marketing is about relationships. You are good at relationships or at least have the skills to be. You can build relationships in so many different ways- online or in person or even through audio or video content that shows your potential client that you understand where s/he’s coming from and that you can help.
2. Networking is just conversations. You have conversations all the time. You have probably had at least 10 so far today. Sitting down and talking with another human being is what you do for a living. You aren’t there to pitch your practice, so take a deep breath. You’re there to hear about the other person’s practice, his or her needs, what they love about what they do.
You’ll need people to refer to and here’s a great way to find just the right person for a client who may need a type of therapy you don’t offer or a presenting concern with which you don’t work. Yes, talk about what you’re looking for in your practice, but please don’t make it all about you. Does that take some pressure off?
3. Marketing doesn’t have to be sales-y. In fact, sales-y marketing is going to hurt you. The way you present your practice doesn’t have to include tag lines or hooks to get people in with limited time offers. Just love what you do and talk about it. If you don’t love what you do because you’re burned out, increase your self care and get some help to find that love again.
4. You don’t have to speak publicly, but if you do, remember that most people in the audience are rooting for you. If you’re visibly anxious, the audience will notice and relate to it. Make sure your content is solid so you can cognitively fall back on the fact that you know what you’re talking about.
Use that nervous energy as proof that you’re alive and full of vitality. Notice that it’s there without judging it and it’ll probably fade the longer you speak. Eventually, you’ll have enough exposure to public speaking that it won’t be a big deal. But again, public speaking isn’t necessary to building a successful practice.
5. Failure is all in your head. The big secret is that private practice isn’t difficult. Having patience as it builds is difficult. Setting and holding firm to boundaries is difficult. But maintaining a practice with solid systems is a breeze. And, marketing can actually be fun once you let it be about relationship building.
Man offering a business card photo available from Shutterstock