The Before And After Of Your Therapy Practice

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Can we look at the potential before and after of your therapy business for a minute?

We’re enrolling people through Thursday for The Superpower Method For Therapists® Program.

The therapists in the Superpower community are a special sort. They’re ethical, dedicated, skeptical, warm-hearted, and smart. They don’t like flashy programs that promise you’ll make six figures if you follow a blueprint. They can spot fake pretty easily. My people!

This program isn’t a blueprint. So what is it?

What’s the before and after story of this program?

This is you BEFORE the program (February 2018):

  • You’ve got a practice that is sort of working. You’ve got a good reputation with people who know you. You’ve got some ideas about where you’d like your business to go, but you get overwhelmed trying to make changes and maintain your practice at the same time.

  • You get some referrals, but not enough to keep your practice full of clients who are a great fit.

  • There’s something about the way you’ve set up your business that is holding you back. (You may not know what it is, but that’s ok because I’ll be able to spot it very quickly.)

  • Working harder isn’t leading you to what you want. You’re not taking the right steps so no matter how hard you work this way, you’re not getting there.

  • You might be on insurance panels and you’d like to get off of them, but you’re scared to start that process.

  • You might feel stuck in a particular niche you don’t love, or feel stuck without any niche at all.

  • You have a lot of community and guidance around your clinical work, but when you talk to colleagues about your business, the advice and support is hit or miss.

This is you AFTER the program (May 2018):

  • You’ve got a plan that you love for your business. You’re clear on exactly who you want to fill your practice with and how to reach out to them. You’ve already taken some of the key steps to bring those clients into your practice.

  • You’ve changed your business model. You didn’t throw out what was working, but you analyzed your business model with a coach and smart group of therapists who saw possibilities and opportunities you didn’t see. Your business model is now designed to help you make a profit, do more of what you love, and do less of what you suck at. (There’s no blueprint, because they don’t work. We’ll explore over 10 possible additional services and discover which ones will fit into your ideal business model.)

  • You have a solid marketing plan, and you’re following it because it’s set up to leverage your strengths. You created this plan with help from a coach who helped you connect the dots between what you do well and what your right-fit clients know they need.

  • You have a business community! You’re part of The Superpower Method For Therapists Alumni Program. It’s free for you now that you’ve completed the program. You worked through the 14-week program with a small community of therapists, and now you’ve joined a larger community of like-minded therapists who continue to give you feedback and want the best for you and your business.

  • You have Annie’s guidance. You’ve got access through a private facebook group to Annie’s feedback every day. You’ve got a Q&A community call every month where you get coaching from a business coach who already knows you and your business.

If you know that “after” is the one you’re ready for, register right now so we can get started.

**Click here to register.

Enrollment is open until the end of the day tomorrow, February 8th, although the last spaces may fill before that.

Maybe there’s a part of you that thinks you’re not ready for this “after.” If you’ve read this far, there’s a big part of you that knows this is the time to enroll.

Do this for yourself and your practice so that you stop wasting time and start taking the right steps.

I would love to work with you and the Superpower community would love to welcome you in.

Let's Bust A Misconception You Probably Have About Making Money

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The Superpower Method For Therapists® Program is designed to help you make some big changes in your business. Here's one of my favorites:

Transform your business so that you make plenty of money without working too many hours.

If you believe you have to settle for working too much or not making enough money, I want you to toss that.

That's not fair and it’s not true.

The first step to making more money without working more is to identify a better way to set up your business and then to insist on it moving towards that new way. Maybe that will mean raising your fees, getting off of insurance panels, or adding a new service to your business. Maybe it will mean something else.

There is no blueprint to make this happen because each therapist has a different set of strengths, preferences, and right-fit clients.You are unique. Your business is unique.

This 14-week program is an in-depth process to envision and then create YOUR ideal business.

Each therapist comes out with a different business at the end of the 14-week process.

From the very first week, you’re getting clear on your income needs, what parts of your work bring you energy, and what parts drain you. This is not just about getting to 6 figures and beyond. It’s about creating a business that supports the life you want and fits the person you are.

What will YOUR business look like?

--> Register now.

If you'd like to hear what several other graduates of the program have to say, check out what Tom, Ellie, Bianca, Annie (not me), and Albert have to say right here. They'll tell you where they were before they signed up and what happened as a result of their work in the program.

Thursday, February 8th is the very last day to register, and this isn’t offered again until the fall.

With love and respect,

Annie

P.S. I'm having a few Q&A calls on Wednesday and Thursday this week. Reserve your spot and we'll talk about your business, your goals, and whether or not the program is a good fit for you.

Your Great Questions Answered

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Registration for The Superpower Method For Therapists® Program is open until next Thursday, February 8th. Think it might be right for you? First, let me answer some common questions to help you get clear.

1. Can I afford this?

The investment of the program is $1650. A payment plan of $335 per month is available. If you’re feeling scarcity about money in your business right now, that might feel like a scary number. Because it is a lot of money!  If you’re ready to invest time and energy into your business, you will use this program to increase your income by much more than $1650. You’ll apply yourself to the homework assignments and use the group calls as well as your individual session to create a business that brings you profit. Yes, I said profit. 

Let’s do a little math. If you add one client to your practice for a few months, you will have recouped your financial investment. I hope you intend to do much more than that! Most participants make changes that add thousands of dollars to their businesses each and every year going forward. Don’t do this program unless you want to increase your income significantly.

2. Will I get any personal attention?

Lots of therapists I’ve worked with have participated in some sort of practice building program or conference or have gone through a workbook before. Many of you got some value there. If you’re the kind of therapist who will benefit from The Superpower Method For Therapists® Program, you also need a more individualized process to take your business to the next level. In this program, you'll get individual attention and opportunities to connect directly with me throughout the process. You'll get a chance to work on an individualized strategy in your 1:1 session that’s included in the program. You'll also be matched with an accountability buddy unless you opt out of that opportunity. Many of these buddy relationships last well beyond the 14 weeks of the program. 

3. Can I really turn my business around in 3 months?

This program is designed to give you a structure that you can use intensely during the 14 weeks of the program, and then that you can use over and over again throughout the life of your business. You CAN shift your mindset, get clear on your vision, and create a strategy for your unique business in this 14-week process. You’ll also receive bonus challenges in each of the 7 chapters. If you are ambitious, you can complete every bonus challenge. In that case, you’ll have overhauled the most important pages on your website, started implementing a strategic networking plan, and launched a new aspect of your business model before the program is over.

4. I want to add something besides 1:1 therapy sessions to my business. Will this program help me do that?

Many participants of the Superpower Method For Therapists® Program go on to launch new offerings outside of in-person therapy sessions. If you’re considering adding coaching, a group program, taking part of your business online, or hiring an additional therapist for your practice, this program can help you create a new business model and take the first steps to make it happen.

5. After the program is over, what if I still need help?

I created the Superpower Method For Therapists® Alumni Program so that you can keep the momentum, support and accountability going. After you complete the 14-week program, you’re eligible for this free follow-up program. The Alumni Program includes monthly group video calls and a secret Facebook group where you can get feedback and support from me and your peers every day.

6. How can I get more questions answered?

Sign up for one of my small group Q&A sessions where I’ll answer questions about the program. Reserve your spot, show up by video or phone (easy, I promise), and ask me anything about the program. We can talk about your business and see if this program is the right fit.

This program is filling up. I’m against scare tactics and pushing scarcity buttons. I just want you to know the program is filling so you don’t miss your chance if it’s right for you.

The program runs only 2 times per year, and space is, of course, limited.

Find out more and register.

Where Will Your Practice Be In 6 Months?

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You're thinking this is the right time to grow your practice into something more profitable and more fulfilling. It's time to become an empowered entrepreneur. That's what The Superpower Method For Therapists® Program has helped many therapists like you do. I’d love to help you do it too.

To decide whether it's the right time for you to invest in this program, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Where will my business be in 6 months if I don't do this program?

  2. Where will my business be in 6 months if I do this program?

To help you answer those questions, I'll tell you what this program is all about.

This program is about taking action for 14 weeks.

This program is designed for you to get important stuff done in your business. The entire program is action oriented. You’ve got homework with deadlines, and each assignment will bring you closer to the practice you want. I also give you a bonus challenge for every lesson so that you can take your business even further.

Register now.

This program is about accountability.

You’ll be on weekly video calls and a secret Facebook group with an experienced business consultant and a group of your peers who are also dedicating 14 weeks to turning their practices around. Watching other therapists make changes and take risks is inspiring. It makes you want to do more.

Register now.

This program is about making changes.

For 14 weeks, you’ll be guided through a process to identify the weak spots in your business and address them. You’ll be encouraged to shift your business to take full advantage of your unique strengths. Therapists in this group usually make at least one of these big moves:

  • Changing their business from a general practice to one with a clear specialty

  • Adding one or more clinicians to their practice

  • Adding a new service to their practice that leverages their time

  • Starting (or completing) an overhaul of their website

  • Getting off of insurance panels

  • Raising their fees

  • Establishing new cancellation policies

Register now.

Registration closes on Thursday, February 8th. This program typically fills up.

Hear what one of our recent graduates has to say:

 

bianca

Bianca Hughes had been in private practice for two years, working too much for not enough income. She had tons of great ideas but felt unclear about where to start.

“Before I signed up for the program I realized I had to start doing things differently and have a different mindset about business.”

During the 3 months of the program, she made these changes:

  • Raised her fees by 50%
  • Overhauled her website
  • Got clear on her niche
  • Embraced video rather than writing as her preferred mode
  • Created several videos to reach out to her right-fit clients

Bianca says The Superpower Method For Therapists® Program is for you “if you’re ready to dig in, and you need feedback and support.”

Watch short videos of Bianca and 4 of her fellow Superheroes talking about how they changed their businesses and became empowered entrepreneurs. 

Have You Hit A Plateau In Building Your Practice?

If you’ve hit a plateau in building your private practice, you need 2 different kinds of support to get to the next level.

The first thing you need is a solid plan to bring more income into your private practice. Your plan will involve both some in-person activities like networking and public speaking, and some online activities like improving your website and creating great content.

The next thing you need is help with mindset issues. When you start working on your plan, your mindset issues will show up and slow you down. You’ll start hearing “who are you to…?” or “this isn’t going to work…” or other messages that are just as unhelpful.

The Superpower Method For Therapists® Group Program is designed to help you create a plan AND work through your mindset issues so that you don’t stop.

I offer this program 2 times a year. Registration opens on January 29th and won’t open again until the fall.

So what’s covered in the program?

The Superpower Method For Therapists® Program will teach you to:

  • Identify your right-fit clients in specific ways that help you reach out to them successfully
  • Connect the dots between what you're great at and what those clients need
  • Overhaul or update your website so that it attracts your potential right-fit clients and converts them into actual clients.
  • Create a marketing plan completely tailored to who you are.
  • Grow a referral network with the people who will refer your right-fit clients to you over and over again.
  • Create a business model that brings you monthly profit rather than just paying the bills.
  • Identify the one big goal you need to put first in your business and then create a plan to accomplish it.
  • Set up your financial systems so that you feel empowered about the money in your business.

As the ideal participant you are:

  • Passionate about providing excellent services to your clients.
  • Committed to making your private practice a significant source of income.
  • Insistent that your marketing and messaging must be authentic and ethical.
  • Ready to participate fully and take action to get results.
  • Open to giving and receiving feedback from me and a small group of like-minded therapists.

Here's how we'll do this:

  • Weekly 90-minute group video calls each week (14 calls total)
  • Video lessons and homework assignments two times per month (7 lessons total)
  • Community access between the calls through a secret Facebook group
  • One 30-minute individual session with me by phone or video

What you'll need:

  • A computer to use for the video calls and to access the lessons and homework
  • A Facebook account to access the secret group
  • Time and energy to work through the program (this is the most important one!)

This program runs for 14 weeks.

The investment is $1650.

A monthly payment plan for $335 per month is available.

Want to know what’s in the 7 lessons?

The Seven Lessons: our step-by-step process

Lesson 1: Assess where your business is now

You'll assess where you are in all aspects of your business, including finances, energy and mindset. You'll get crystal clear about where you're starting from with no shame or judgment. You'll also set up a system to track what's working and what's not working as you build your practice and bring in clients.

Bonus challenge: Start a networking challenge to begin bringing in more referrals (day-by-day challenge provided).

Lesson 2: Set up solid financial systems

with guest teacher Andi Smiles, bookkeeper and small business consultant

Andi wants you to develop a transparent and loving relationship with your finances. Proper bookkeeping does more than just relieve stress at tax-time. It also serves as a powerful ally in growth and expansion. Her lesson will help you set up your bookkeeping system. You'll learn foundational concepts like how to claim business expenses and pay yourself as a business owner. She'll also be on a Q&A call so that you can get your bookkeeping questions answered.

Bonus challenge: Begin setting up or overhauling your bookkeeping.

Lesson 3: Your right-fit clients

You'll identify your right-fit clients and access valuable information about them. This will help you authentically reach out to them using language that speaks directly to them. This approach allows them to recognize you as their therapist. Don't expect a typical "ideal client exercise."

Bonus challenge: Create or overhaul your home page (lesson and worksheet provided).

Lesson 4: Your Superpowers

Your Superpowers are those qualities that set you apart from other people. You can also call them your differentiator, onliness, uniqueness, or specialness. When you build your business around your Superpowers, you move from your strengths and embrace who you are. You set up everything in your business in a way that leans on your strengths. When you don't build your business around your Superpowers, you're always trying hard and feeling ineffective.

Bonus challenge: Create or overhaul your about me page (lesson and worksheet provided).

Lesson 5: Business Model Overhaul

Your business model is simply the combination of services you offer. You'll walk out of this lesson with a business model that provides more income and fits your strengths. You'll examine at least 8 different kinds of services you can consider for your business model. More than half of participants expand their business models by offering new services as a result of this lesson.

Bonus challenge: Create a new service for your business and a description of it for your site.

Lesson 6: Identify your ONE BIG GOAL and design your marketing plan

You'll choose one big goal to focus on first. Narrowing your focus to one big goal allows you to accomplish more, not less. With that focus, you don't get overwhelmed or lost in the weeds. You're able to choose what to act on from all the information you're absorbing. You'll learn about a number of marketing tools and create a plan that accomplishes your big goal, fits your Superpowers, and attracts your right-fit clients.

Bonus challenge: Take new action with one or more marketing tools and get feedback.

Lesson 7: Look at your business as a whole

You'll be guided through a process to review all you've learned in the program and bring it all together.

Bonus challenge: Get started with The Superpower Method For Therapists® Alumni Program!

After the last lesson ....(drumroll)...you get ongoing support

When you complete the program, you're invited to become a member FOR FREE of our Superpower Method For Therapists® Alumni Program.

You'll join therapists who have been through the program for monthly group calls facilitated by me and daily access to support through a secret Facebook group. We offer all this ongoing support because building your business is not a one and done process.

Get on the waitlist now.

Is Your About Page Helping People Hire You? Or Are They Clicking Away? FREE TRAINING

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A well-written website can profoundly change your business. When the writing is working, you’re receiving inquiries from clients who say “As soon as I read your site, I knew I needed to see you.”

What do I mean by “a well-written website”?

Great copy (words on your website pages) is different from the great writing you might have done in grad school or in articles you’ve written since.

Website copy works differently from other kinds of writing. We read quickly online. Rather than taking in every word patiently, we tend to scan and judge. Your website copy needs to communicate some important things to your potential clients in just a few seconds.

What pages on your site matter most?

Your Home page and your About page are often the first two pages your potential clients will visit.

A visitor lands on your Home page, and if they like what they see, they click over to your About page. What they find there will help them decide what to do next.

Is your About page helping your ideal clients decide to call you? Or are they clicking away to another site?

I’ve created a brand-new free training for you to help you make it better and more effective.

Grab my video and worksheet for step-by-step instructions. I’ll teach you how to use your Superpowers (the things that set you apart from other therapists) to make your About Page more effective.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create effective language that reaches your potential clients.
  • Decide what to include and what to leave out of your bio.
  • Articulate why you’re the right therapist for your ideal client.
  • Edit out some common mistakes.

Grab it below and let me know how it goes.

Click here to subscribe

Got A Goal To Grow Your Practice This Year? Let's Get Real.

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I want to get real with you. Because I want you to succeed.

This is the year to embrace your role as an entrepreneur and grow your business into a unique and profitable machine.

That means looking at your business in a totally new way.

Are you ready?

Here’s an area you need to prioritize: Write killer copy for your website that doesn't blend into what everyone else has on their websites.

Most therapists write website copy that does a mediocre job of converting visitors into clients. If you improve your conversion rate even just a tiny bit, it will make a big difference in filling your practice. When you turn more visitors into clients, you increase your income substantially, even before you increase traffic to your site.

We’ll start with your About page. It’s probably the hardest page on your site to write, and it’s one of the very most important.

Next week I’ll share my new free training on how to create a better About page. I’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to write and edit your About page in a way that helps your right-fit clients decide to hire you. 

My definition of success has changed. What's yours?

What does success in your therapy practice and life mean to you?

My definition of success continues to evolve. I used to see success as having a full practice. I wanted to see 20 clients a week and to have a steady flow of referrals. I figured once I'd achieved that, I’d have arrived.

I worked really hard and learned everything I needed to know about building a therapy practice. I filled my practice and had a nice income. But I had a schedule that didn’t work well for me or my family and I was heading for burnout. I hadn’t created my business around my life, so I had lots of evening appointments and was seeing people in my office every day. I thought I had no choice about those things.

I know...smallest violin in the world, right? Stop complaining and feel grateful for your success. That’s what I used to think.

Then I realized that by creating a business I love more, I can help my clients more.

Now, aside from seeing the impact of my work and making a good income, here are some markers of success for me:

  • Long chats with my best friends and my sister
  • Time with my kids and wife
  • Daytime walks
  • Riding my kick-scooter to the office
  • Working from home several days a week

What does success look like to you right now? More clients? More income?

Those things are totally possible, and I’m here to help you get them. But I also want you to create a private practice that allows you to have more of what you REALLY want. Freedom. Love. Fun. Meaning.

Life is so short. We’re lucky to do meaningful work. We sometimes even get to save lives. And yet…you can burn yourself out if you don’t take enough time for self-care or time with the people you love.

Your business should be in service of your life, not the other way around.

What do you want your business to make possible for you?

Do you ever say: “When my practice is successful I will finally…”

For example:

“When my practice is successful, I’ll only work 4 days a week.”

“When my practice is successful, I’ll start exercising more.”

What are you looking forward to changing once your practice is successful?

What would it take to do those things now? Could you pull it off if you raised your fees a little bit? Would it be possible if you cut back on a couple of expenses?

How could you create more freedom or happiness for yourself right now?

Here are some moves that might bring you more joy and freedom right away:

Schedule a morning walk every week with a friend.

Start your work-day a couple of hours later once a week.

Stop working a couple of hours earlier once a week.

Schedule a week off a couple of months from now and start planning your vacation or staycation.

If your practice won’t allow you to do those things, let’s work on fixing that right away. Like I said, life is too freaking short for that.

The Superpower Method For Therapists® Group Program begins in February. Registration opens on Monday, January 29th.

During the program, I work with a group of passionate, warm-hearted therapists to transform their businesses and bring in more money while also embracing more fun, meaning and freedom.

It’s a 14-week program with lots of interaction and (honesty time!) lots of homework too.

I love running this program because the therapists always blow me away with the changes they make in their businesses.

Get on the waitlist now.

Ask Yourself These 3 Questions Before 2018

As you get ready to set your business goals for 2018, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What worked this year?
  2. What have you started doing that will likely show results in 2018?
  3. What have you been doing that needs a small tweak in order to show results?

If you’re just starting out, read this to help you create your plan for NEXT year.

The Pareto principle states that 80% of your success will come from 20% of your efforts. Let’s apply this principle to your business. Identify the marketing activities that have contributed the most to bringing in clients, do more of those things, and you’ll fill your practice.

Are you drawn to trying new things? I get it. Me too. As you set goals for 2018, it’s tempting to add new marketing activities. That MIGHT be a good idea. After carefully considering these 3 questions, you’ll be in a good position to choose the RIGHT new activities. It might be the year for you to start a blog, add a workshop to your offerings, or launch a podcast. Just wait until you’ve figured out what’s already working. This process is like going through the clothes in your closet before you head to the store.

You may think doing a little bit of every marketing activity will be the best way to build your practice. That’s exactly wrong.

Doing a very small number of activities well and consistently is more likely to bring you the practice you want.

Wondering how it can hurt to do a bit of everything?

You’ve got limited time. If you spend 2 hours a week on marketing you’ve only got 100 hours to dedicate all year. Spending those hours wisely is one key to your success.

When you spend time on one marketing activity, you’re taking time away from another one. That’s opportunity cost. Doubling or tripling the time and energy you spend on the most effective activities will bring you more clients. You can’t increase the most effective activities unless you cut back on the activities that have been taking up the other 80% of your marketing time. Something’s gotta go.

If you were a larger business, opportunity cost would be less of a big deal. For example, you could afford to send a team off to work on social media and then measure the results of that experiment. You’re one person. When you experiment with social media, you spend less time writing articles, talking to your colleagues, or finding public speaking gigs. You must make room for change and innovation, but you also must be careful with how much of your time you spend in different areas.

WHAT WORKED THIS YEAR?

How did your clients find you in 2017? It might be difficult to identify which of your marketing activities led to new clients. Sometimes you don’t know exactly where your clients found you because they don’t remember when you ask them. That’s ok. Just do your best to figure out where your clients came from this year.

Two tools that will help you gather this information are an inquiry tracking system and Google analytics. If you aren’t familiar with Google analytics…Google it.

If you’ve been using an inquiry tracking system, you have a wealth of information to examine. If you don’t have one, start one now! At a minimum, track this information for each person who inquires about services: date, name, where they found you, and whether they come in for a session.

To figure out what’s happening with your website, use Google analytics. Install it now if you haven’t already. Google analytics will start gathering information from the moment you install it, but it can’t gather past data. Start looking at how many people visit your site each month, where they come from, and which pages on your site are most popular. Don’t go down a wormhole and spend too much time on Google analytics. As all online tools, it can be a helpful assistant or a time suck.

If you have no tracking system and you don’t have analytics installed, do your best to remember where your last 10 clients came from.

Now get ready to do more of what worked. Here are two examples.

If you discover that many of your clients found you through your profile on an online directory, put even MORE energy into that profile. Get a better photo, update your specialties, and edit your statement so that it speaks directly to your right-fit client in the very moment that they need you. Then consider joining a second directory.

If you notice that one or two colleagues sent you many of your clients, nurture those relationships. Invite those colleagues to attend a training with you, or set up a lunch date. Then think about what makes these referral partners such a good fit and look for a few more colleagues just like them. Nurture those relationships.

WHAT HAVE YOU STARTED DOING THAT WILL LIKELY SHOW RESULTS IN 2018?

Maybe you’ve planted seeds with some of your marketing activities and they haven’t had a chance to grow yet. Don’t abandon your activities before they have a chance to work.

For example, if you’ve started relationships with colleagues who have told you “I’ve sent you a few referrals,” but those people never seem to call, don’t give up. It sometimes takes months for the necessary chain of events to happen: Your colleague gets to know you and understands what you do well, they talk to a person who is looking for a therapist just like you, they give that person your name, the potential client looks you up, and then the potential client takes the first step of contacting you. If you’re planting networking seeds with several colleagues, those seeds will bloom. You just can’t control when.

In my experience and the experiences of the many therapists I’ve worked with, these are the activities most likely to start working after a number of months of persistent activity:

  • Networking 1:1 with colleagues
  • Giving talks to groups of people that include your right-fit clients
  • Creating good, niched profiles in directories with high traffic
  • Creating great copy on the most popular pages on your website
  • Creating great content such as articles or a podcast and including that content on your website

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THAT NEEDS A SMALL TWEAK IN ORDER TO SHOW RESULTS?

Maybe you’re doing some of the right things, but you need to make small changes to HOW you’re doing those things.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Example 1: Your Website writing needs help

You study Google analytics and discover that your website isn’t turning visitors into clients often enough. You’ve got hundreds of visitors to your site each month, but you only get one or two phone calls. Just about every visitor looks at your homepage, so work to make the copy better. Every word should speak directly to your right-fit client. Need some help with this process? Here you go.

Example 2: Your networking needs help

You’ve gone to an organization’s networking event every month all year, and not a single client has been referred from the colleagues you met there. If no one you’ve met there appeals to you, jump ship now and don’t look back. If, on the other hand, you feel like you’ve made some good connections with colleagues who you like and respect, make a tweak to your process. Go to the event every other month, and invite one or two of those colleagues to coffee one on one in between. Go here for more help with networking.

Example 3: Your public speaking strategy needs some help

You’ve done 3 public speaking gigs this year, and only one client has resulted. Ask yourself a few questions to identify what small changes you need to make. Did you give your audience members an easy path to sign up for a free consultation right after the talks? Did you keep the topic of your talks narrow enough that you could cover that topic well? Did you give opportunities for the participants to interact with you and the other participants? For more tips on public speaking, go here.

Before you go on to the next stage of goal setting, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself on what worked this year.

Ready to create the practice you want and deserve? My next Superpower Method For Therapists® Group Program begins soon. This program will help you ask the right questions and take the right actions to create that practice. Get on the waitlist now so you're the first to know when registration opens.

How To Start A Private Practice On The Cheap (And Eventually Quit Your Day Job)

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So you don’t have a lot of money to invest, but you really want to start your private practice NOW? Or maybe yesterday?

 

I’ll show you how to bootstrap it.

 

When you bootstrap, you pay for the expenses of your practice with the money your practice earns, and you invest more as your business makes more. 

 

I’ll walk you through 3 phases of launching and growing your private practice to the point where it can support you.

 

Phase 1: Getting started

 

I'm assuming you’ve already got some decent clothes to wear, a computer, a phone, and another way to pay your living expenses as you get started.  Maybe you've got a part-time job or a spouse with some income. 

 

Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable to spend SOME money before your practice starts paying for itself. You’ll want about $500 to $1000 saved before you start, and I’ll show you why.

 

Don’t have that $500 or $1000? How badly do you want to do this? Get ready to do an inexpensive vacation, brown-bag your lunch or shop at thrift stores until you’ve got it. If private practice is your dream, you can do it.

 

Here are the steps to get started, starting with the ones that won’t cost you any of your seed money.

 

Do some networking: 

Even before you launch, you will can start networking. Implement my challenge 30 Days To A Strong Referral Network for a free and effective way to bring in your first clients. The only cost is the lunch or coffee you might buy for a colleague.

 

Set up a phone system:

Some therapists use their cell phones with a professional greeting.  Others use google voice or another .

Note: If you’re concerned about HIPAA compliance with your phone or other private practice technology, do a little research. First find out whether or not your particular practice needs to be HIPAA compliant. If you have questions about HIPAA and technology, check out tameyourpractice.com. Rob Reinhardt has tons of free resources there about technology and private practice. If you want to pay for some of his advice, he can save you hours of research time. I paid for his advice myself when expanded my practice.

 

Set up a video system:

You can offer video sessions for free if that’s something you’re trained to do by signing up for a  free video platform. New platforms are showing up every month so stay up-to-date here. 

 

Set up a bank account:

Open a separate bank account for your practice, and make sure it’s free. If your business is a sole proprietorship? That's the default when you're the only owner of a business that's not incorporated. Then you don't have to open a special account that the bank labels a business checking account. Just don't mix your practice account with your personal accounts. 

 

Set up credit card processing:

Get set up to accept credit cards. Create an account with a service like stripe or square, where you can store your clients’ credit cards safely. They’ll take about 3% of the charges, but there’s no fee to set up. It hurts a bit to give up those processing fees, but the convenience makes up for it. Who carries checks anymore?

 

Set up email:

Set up a separate email account for your business. 

 

Get some free business training:

Start here for hours of training for absolutely free. 

 

If you like listening instead, start with my podcast. 

 

Create your Google Business page:

Set up a profile for free. This is a really important step. Don’t skip it.

 

Sign up with a therapist directory using a free trial:

Choose a directory that shows up close to the top of the first page of google when your right-fit potential client is searching for a therapist like you. See if you can get a free trial through your professional organization. Before you’ve got a website, directories are the main way you’ll get people searching online to call you.

 

Get a photo taken:

Have a friend with a good eye take a warm and professional photo. You’ll need this for your directories. I will strongly advise you to get a professional photo taken as soon as possible. For now, please make sure there are no shadows on your face, and look at the camera as if it is one of your favorite people in the world. 

 

Get a Tax ID #:

This is free, and you should get one now if you don’t already have one. You’ll want this for tax purposes and it allows you to NOT use your social security number on the receipts you give clients.

 

Set up tracking systems:

You’ll set up tracking for the most important things in your business so you always know what’s going on. Here’s my article on tracking.  

 

Set up financial record keeping systems:

Set up a few simple systems now, and you’ll kiss yourself next April. Here’s my article about prepping for taxes year round. 

 

Hey, you haven't spent any money yet, and look how much you've accomplished!

OK, here are the things that cost some money: 

 

Sublet an office one day or one half-day a week:

If you’ve got a colleague who will rent you some space by the hour in the beginning, that will save you even more. One day a week will cost you about $300 per month or less, depending on where you live. If you don’t live in an expensive place like San Francisco or New York City, give yourself a high five right now!

 

Create a DIY website: 

Unless you are very tech savvy, start with a DIY platform. I recommend Squarespace because they are better than other DIY platforms at keeping up with changes and their customer support is excellent. A Squarespace site will cost you $16 per month. When you've got a bit of savings, I'll recommend that you consider working with a designer and perhaps using Wordpress instead. For now, just create a simple and professional-looking site with just the basic pages (Home, About, Services (or Specialities), Contact/Fees).

OK, so the website sounds simple! Here’s the catch: writing the copy (words) for your website isn’t that easy. It will take you some serious work and patience to make the copy good enough to attract your right-fit clients. Start writing during phase one using advice from my blog, and you’ll be in great shape.

Here are instructions about how to write ridiculously effective copy. 

Here’s my free training on how to create an excellent about me page. 

 

Link your directories to your website:

Now that you’ve got your site, you want all of your potential clients who find you online to go to your website. That’s the best place for them to learn more about you and then decide to call you.

 

Get your business license:

Depending on where you live, this will cost you around $100 or less.

 

Purchase liability insurance:

It will cost you somewhere around $150 or up to have decent protection. Get a quote for free.

 

Order business cards:

It will cost you less than $50 to get some simple business cards printed. Don’t get too many because your address and other information will probably change soon.

 

Ok so here's your seed money broken down:

 

Rent: 300

Website: 48 (for 3 months)

Business license: 100

Liability Insurance: 150

Business cards: 50

 

So far you’ve only spent about $648. Most of that is rent, so if you find a better deal on that, your number can go WAY lower.

 

To make back your seed money you’ll need somewhere between 3 and 7 sessions in that first month. If you’re highly motivated and put time into the networking or you’ve already got some clients ready to start, that can totally happen. If you’re limited on practice building time or energy and have no clients to start with, set aside an additional month’s rent and other expenses. That’s why I gave you the range of $500 to $1000.

 

Once you’ve recovered your seed money and you’re exceeding your monthly business expenses, start saving up for some key things to build your business. Usually you can start saving when you have four or five sessions per week.

 

Phase 2: Growing your practice until it supports you

 

Here are the things you should spend your money on during this next phase. If you do all of them, you’re looking at under $4000.

 

Get your professional photo taken.

You may want to budget $500 so that you can choose the best photographer. If you find a photographer you LOVE who charges less, you can get this done sooner.

 

Create a better website:

By now you'll know whether you're rocking that DIY website and making it great OR you could use some help. Consider working with a designer who understands the particular needs of therapists. Empathy sites is one great option. 

 

Rent more office space:

If you’re getting full with the office space you have now, sublet an additional day, even if it’s at a different location.

 

Create a profile on an additional directory:

Having a profile on one more directory will increase the odds that your right-fit potential clients will find you online.

 

Take awesome trainings:

Look for the kinds of clinical trainings that inspire you the very most and can give you the skills you and your clients value. Invest in reputable and life changing training, even if it costs a bit more.

 

Take a therapy practice building course:

Speed up your journey by taking a course that teaches you marketing and business management skills and pushes you to actually USE those skills right away. Do this as soon as you can afford it so that it doesn’t take you years to make a good living.

When I run my Superpower Method For Therapists® Program, the beginners often find that they avoid a lot of mistakes and gain clarity about their businesses quickly. Participants who have been in private practice for several years often say they wish they’d taken the course earlier.

 

Do some speaking engagements:

Pitch yourself to the organizations where your right-fit clients hang out. Did you just throw up a little? Ok, just consider it.

 

Sign up for a practice management system:

As your practice grows this will help you stay organized and keep your time and energy focused on the right stuff. There are tons of systems to choose from. Find reviews of almost all of them at tameyourpractice.com.

 

If you’ve been networking strategically and steadily and your website is attracting the right clients, your business bank account should start growing.  You’re on track to quit your day job and start paying yourself from the income of your private practice. This usually happens when you’ve got between 10 and 15 sessions per week.  

 

Phase 3: Making a GOOD living. Phew! 

 

Ready to take your practice to the next level and invest some more?

 

Here’s what you might want to do, in addition to maintaining everything you already set up in phase one and two:

 

Expand your business model:

Consider finding other ways to serve your right-fit clients. Consult with a business coach as you identify your ideal business model. Maybe you'll begin offering group or online services if you aren't already. Maybe you'll bring additional clinicians into your practice. 

 

So that’s bootstrapping a private practice all the way from scratch to making a good living.  

 

Ready to make some serious progress towards growing your practice in the next 30 days? Networking is the fastest way. Sign up for this free challenge and you'll receive 30 days of do-able tasks. 

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