In this episode, Gordon talks about what is needed to bring clients to your practice and the various “touch-points” and tipping points that make that possible. In many ways, this episode is about marketing but goes in a little deeper to discuss some of the concepts Gordon has learned from Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point; How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference.
Maven, Connector, and Persuader
According to The Tipping Point, there are three types of people: connectors, mavens, and persuaders. Connectors are people who can make connections with others. We are only separated from every other person on the earth by six degrees. Another type of person is a maven, someone who collects information and knows a lot about stuff. Lastly, a persuader is a person who has the gift of persuading others into things. Those of us who are therapists in many ways fit in the persuasion character. We are persuading our clients to find changes in themselves. Most of us have these three characteristics intrinsically by virtue because of the type of profession we are in. We have the ability to engage with people, we have the knowledge, and the persuasion. When we think about marketing our private practice, we should utilize these skills and make connections with the right people.
Get More Clients in Your Practice
We need clients to be sitting in front of us, so we can charge our fees and be paid for what we do. When Gordon first started in private practice, it seemed like the number of clients he was getting was hit or miss. He was doing all of this stuff, but he wasn’t getting any clients. Keep doing what you are doing, it takes time! At some point you will reach a sticking point, something will resonate with someone. People need to know that you are providing services. It is essential to get out and do things – like making sure your website has SEO and blogging to get content out there.
How Clients Find Therapy
1. There are people out there that recognize they need help, so they will search you out directly. It usually is because they have a particular problem they are dealing with. When these people search for you online, you need to have the right search terms embedded in your website. For example, if someone is depressed, they might search “I’m feeling depressed, how do I find help?” So you will want the word depressed to be linked to you in one way or another.
2. There are people out there that need help but do not realize they need the support yet. You can market to this. People may be experiencing anxiety or depression, but they don’t have the label for it. Clients will describe their life to Gordon. For example, “I don’t sleep well. I can’t turn my brain off.” Typically, Gordon will give it a label and the light bulb will go off in their head. Try and use this type of language in your social media so they can make the connection.
3. People who refer to you. In particular, relationships with doctors and other professionals who see people that are struggling but may not realize they need help. The professionals will give the referral for them to see you.
4. They are not experiencing any problems, but because they know about you, they remember who you are. They may not need help themselves, but they can recall you when something does come up.
There is no one foolproof way of getting clients through the door. You have to get your name out there and get yourself known. When you reach a certain critical mass in your practice, you will reach a tipping point of your practice. Keep doing all those things that you know are good marketing practices. There is no magic bullet with a particular method. You can do several different things. Be persistent and patient with the process. Gordon is consistently putting stuff out on the internet and persistently making a connection in the community. Many of Gordon’s clients refer his practice to a friend. Also, because he is active in the community, he gets many referrals from doctors and other professionals. If you keep it up, it will pay off!
More from Malcolm Gladwell…
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Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT
Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog.He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn and Pinterest “Like” us on Facebook