This is the last in a series of blog posts: The Top 10 Questions Therapists Ask Me.
#10: Why aren't my practice building efforts working?!
You’re putting in a lot of time trying to build your practice. Why isn’t it working? Here are the four main reasons your efforts may not be increasing your income:
You’re trying to do too many things, not doing anything consistently.
Every worthwhile practice building method requires consistent effort over time. For example, I’ve talked to therapists who claimed that networking doesn’t work because they had some coffee dates with colleagues and didn’t get referrals from those people within a few months. Networking successfully is about building real relationships over time with referral partners. It takes time and it takes follow through.
If you find yourself trying one approach, getting fed up and trying another, you’re slowing down your success. Pick a few solid approaches, and stick with them consistently. Don’t switch your approaches before they start working!
You aren’t giving people a clear sense of what is unique about you.
If you aren’t clear about what sets you apart from every other therapist out there, all of your practice building efforts will have a much smaller impact. When you know what is unique about you as a therapist and you communicate it clearly, your practice building efforts have a powerful motor. Everything you do, from networking to improving your website to public speaking is all working to easily draw your most ideal clients into your practice.
You aren’t comfortable with making money.
If there is part of you that feels uncomfortable with making a good living as a therapist, you probably won’t. Your money set point is the maximum amount of money you feel comfortable earning. It comes from many conscious and unconscious sources, including your family history around money and your political views. If your money set point is lower than your conscious goal, you’ll sabotage your success. Even when success is within reach, you’ll get in your own way.
Your efforts are working, but you don’t realize it yet.
Let’s say you’ve been working consistently on practice building for several months, you’re not having any of the above problems, but your practice isn’t making you a good living. Take a look at what is happening in your practice right below the surface. Are you getting more calls than you were a few months ago? Are there more visitors to your website? Are more of your colleagues aware of your unique work? If any of these things are true, your practice may be right on the verge of a big increase. Stay with it!
If you get stuck in your practice building efforts, don’t make the mistake of trying to do it alone. If this is the work you’re called to do, and you know you want to work for yourself, don’t give up and don’t let anyone talk you out of it. I’m here to help.