Make 2017 the year where your therapy business takes off and becomes the business of your dreams!
Here’s a rapid fire list of ideas for action in 2017… Get ready for the flood!
None of these things are difficult to do (providing you aren’t a technophobe).However they do require some learning and persistence. They require that you make decisions (what to write in a business directory profile) and get on with it – rather than avoiding those decisions.
The more decisions and actions you take every day the faster your therapy practice will grow.
When I started out as a therapist I trained with the UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy (then owned by Donald Robertson) – I only took that one training and applied it. In-depth and thoroughly. Deepening my knowledge by reading and studying. Building skills by applying it all to myself.
Within 18 months of completing my training I was supporting my family in London (on a single income) – and had replaced my £40,000/year salary. Shortly after that I hired my wife (Fabienne, now co-Director) as my secretary because I was so busy.
Don’t get sucked into the “I just need one more course to be ready”. That’s called avoidance. Get on and get cracking!
Probably my biggest mistake was constantly losing focus on my private practice and considering other projects (8 weeks lost to the concept of launching a yoga magazine!).
Focus, focus, focus.
Focus is genius.
Set goals and focus. Apply problem solving constantly.
If the goals are getting you stressed then loosen them up to broader goals (“I want to have a good practice, making reasonable money, helping people”) – specific goals are better but not if they stress you.
Ok – enough rambling. Here’s the list. There a lots more ideas but this is a good solid start.
Building your practice – how to succeed as a hypnotherapist in 2017
Some of the best and most realistic advice I got was from a hypnotherapist called David Botsford: he said that for the first few months he spent 8 hours marketing for every hour he spent doing hypnotherapy with clients. That’s tough news to hear at the beginning. But be prepared for that and you will succeed.
Always be marketing
Coca-cola has never stopped advertising. As a hypnotherapist you will always be marketing. You won’t be seeing the same client for 2 years (unlike a lot of counsellors or psychotherapists) – so you need to have a constant stream of new clients.
You want to be doing that because you help people change and fulfil their potential!
So why wouldn’t you be comfortable marketing and letting people know about your services?
Answer: shyness and failing to value what you offer.
Shyness is a key problem that must be overcome. Use what you know to address it strongly and repeatedly. Lifelong habits of shyness will take a while to change but they CAN be changed.
Remember what you offer is priceless in terms of how it can empower people and improve their quality of life. Never forget that.
These are all problems to be solved – and they are all solvable problems.
Be determined that you can and will solve these problems – any problems that arise. It’s not about your innate qualities – it is about acquirable skills and knowledge.
Do not compete on price. Compete on quality, professionalism and service.
Offer treatments at nominal rates to get started (a sort of “soft launch”). Message your entire network and tell them you have developed a new treatment approach and want some people to work with feedback – charge nominal rates until you are ready to charge full rates.
If you rent a room in a yoga or therapy centre then offer free tasters to all staff, therapists and teachers – and then ask for referrals.
Hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk is the most important
Setup your profiles in directories:
If you’ve signed up with directory – take time to setup a professional profile with photos, description and other information.
Sign up with several business directories.
Freeindex, Yell, 192.com, ThomsonLocal, Scoot
– make sure they have the correct business information (the same details as on the footer of your website)
Ensure they have the correct information and link to your website
Make sure you know how to change the content.
Invest in learning the technology (it will pay huge dividends)
Get a professional designer to do the design.
Hire a copy-writer to help with your copy (writing your own copy about yourself is worse than pulling out your fingernails)
I recorded all of the scripts from the course and then had a library of about 15 standard recordings that I can give clients to use between sessions or sell at workshops.
Put them on your website. Stop being embarrassed and just do it! This week!
Don’t use stock photos. No butterflies or piles of stones. No quick selfies. Invest £100 to get some great photos done.
It goes without saying that this needs to done in a relaxed, natural manner – not awkward and stiff!
Use your methods ON YOURSELF!!
- if you repeat the drop then there are no design costs so the 2nd and 3rd drops cost less
- a good, professional looking, attractive (AIDA) and informative mini-brochure may not get thrown out. It looks valuable and interesting.
- Or deliver it yourself (fees for having someone else do it are typically £30-£50 per thousand for a solo-drop – i.e. not putting 5 items through the door at the same time).
Then ask for testimonials and referrals.
Then review it and do it again.
And again. (I work on the ukhypnosis.com website every week for at least an hour when I’m not teaching).
Specialise – don’t be a generalist. It’s not that you will only see clients for that specialist issue – but it will give you a focused market, a special confidence and a reputation.
- Create a clear and helpful professional website with great content (and YOU in there)
- 5 pages dedicated to each of the main issues you help with (issues treated) + 5 pages dedicated to each local area/town you work in or people can commute from.
- Make sure your business address and contact details are on each page (in the footer).
- Citations – make sure all directories (therapist, business, local, national) have the SAME address and contact details.
- Register your location with Google Local (Google Business Pages)
- Optimised for natural search results in Google (it’s a whole topic – but make sure your page title tag and H1 and H2 tags contain the main phrase you want to rank for in Google e.g. “hypnotherapy in barnet”)
- Build links to the website (see section)
- Register with professional organisations and directories
- Email capture (free offer) and marketing (email newsletter)
- Social media activity (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) –
- Review all the above – constantly and tweak
- Invest in Google PPC ads while your website climbs up the ranks.
- Track website ranking in Google and website visits (analytics)
- Keep reviewing the above steps.
What words and phrases do you want to rank for? (Research using tools like Google Keyword Tracker)
Onsite optimisation – are your pages optimised for the keywords/phrases you want to rank for?
Offsite optimisation – do you have links to relevant pages from other websites (ideally trusted, authority websites)
Give talks on hypnosis, pain control, relaxation and stress, mindfulness and much much more.
- Form a peer group
- Meet online
- Get a great supervisor
- Go to interesting CPD.
- Call your colleagues and have a chat
- Invest in a coach or mentor
- Join a coaching or mentoring club or group.
Get more training?
If you trained with us you really shouldn’t need it – because you’ve learned a huge range of techniques AND how to think like a therapist. If you trained somewhere else then really consider if you have a sufficient range of techniques and approaches.
Here’s a link to our Hypno-CBT® Toolbox of 35 techniques you learn on our Diploma
Unfortunately many schools teach a just few techniques – and virtually NOTHING about how to a proper clinical assessment, agree treatment goals, develop a working model of the client’s problem and collaboratively agree a treatment plan. That’s called learning how to think like a therapist.
Too many schools teach either “paint by numbers therapy” (a script for this and a script for that) OR “power techniques therapy” – (‘if this powerful technique doesn’t work then try this one’).
That’s not really how to do good therapy. Your choice of interventions needs to be more considered. Of course if you only know 3-4 techniques then how can you choose?
So consider if you need to retrain and learn a bigger range of techniques AND how to really think like an expert therapist.
Get together with peers and colleagues and brainstorm your marketing
- Make a Marketing Plan
- Network Existing Contacts
- Build a great website
- Create a handout/flyer/leaflet
- Use social Media
- Give a Free talk or Demo
- Offer a free talk at local church
- Offer a free talk to GPs (which they can use as CPD)
- Give a talk in a well-being centre
- Rent a room in a well-being centre
- Give out referral vouchers
- Have an offer on Group On
- Get press coverage – write an article/issue a press release
- Approach local GP practices
- Approach specialist clinics
- Approach local dentists
- network with local mothers (school gates, mother-toddler groups, Women’s Institute, mums net)
- Work with Sports Clubs
- Volunteer your services to local charities (hospice, cancer care etc)
- Have a stand at a local Health Show (CAM show)
- Wedding Shows (confidence, weight loss, stop smoking, public speaking, fear of flying, habit change, fear of xyz!)
- Performers as a market (singers, dances, actors etc – websites? training schools? Offer talks, workshops, trainings as well as one-to-one)
- Flyer Distribution – Waitrose/M&S, local shops, beauty therapists, coffee shops, library, community centre
- Engage on discussion forums and answer questions
- Corporate work!
- Outreach and network with Dentists! Physios! Podiatrists!
- Target Students! (exam stress)
- Offer free talks and trainings to the local police
- that list took just 20 minutes… and there is lots more to add to that!
Get your Admin in place!
- Set or review your prices
- Get clear on the appointment booking and confirmation process
- Set and write your contract & cancellation policy
- Decide on phone and email address
- Prepare Intake Form (sent before appointment)
- Prepare Assessment Forms
- Prepare other Therapy Forms
- Gather Scripts in one easy location
- Buy a diary or use online diary
- Get a business bank account
- Learn some basic accounting processes (track income, track expanses)
- Register as self-employed with HMRC
- Make some basic recordings for clients
- Develop standard email responses to the 6 main enquiry types – save them (eg. in Gmail as Canned Responses) – always customise the response to each client.
- Get supervision sorted out. A good supervisor will also help with advise on building your practice.
PLANNING PLANNING PLANNING!
- Make a business plan (finances and number of clients per week)
- Make a marketing plan (how you will get the clients)
- Make a personal-professional development plan
- Make supervision a critical part of personal-professional development and a critical part of marketing support.
- Budget for regular supervision