First, let's clarify that these are marketing strategies for getting private pay clients and not about client enrollment.
If this important distinction is new to you:
"Marketing" is communicating what you do for the purpose of generating prospects.
"Enrollment" is connecting with your prospects for the purpose of getting hired as their private pay coach or therapist.
It must be said that these strategies don't apply if your source of clients is an insurance company, employer, or other third-party payer; you wouldn't need to worry about marketing or enrollment, and you most likely wouldn't be reading this article.
Many newbies to a private pay practice assume that marketing is how you get clients, but I can tell you from personal experience that you can "market 'til the cows come home" and not get any clients! Getting clients is a two-part equation that starts with marketing and requires following up with enrollment strategies. The good news is that the most effective ways to market and enroll clients are easy to learn and free or low-cost.
Effective marketing assumes that you have a good foundation for your practice, including a clear, identifiable specialty (what you do) and target audience (your niche, who you do it for), otherwise, that's where you must start.
So, let's discuss the top five ways to market your coaching or therapy practice. This list is not in rank order.
Top Five Ways to Market Your Coaching or Therapy Practice
1. Website Prospect Generator
Otherwise known as your "opt in offer," this is a valuable piece of content (special report, e-book, audio, video, e-program, etc) targeted to your niche that struts your best stuff and converts website "visitors" into prospects.
Both in person and virtual (tele-seminars and webinars) targeted for your niche that address their biggest goal and solution to their biggest problem. Most important is your "signature presentation" which is high value and struts your best stuff, that you want to give anywhere, anytime at a moment's notice.
3. Joint Ventures and Fundraisers
Partner with complementary professionals, businesses, and organizations that target your niche to provide group programs (seminars, classes, workshops, etc) to help you reach large numbers of people you couldn't reach otherwise.
Fundraisers include schools, churches, and non-profits; you propose an event for their audience featuring you as guest speaker and they keep the proceeds or donations (e.g. "Suggested donation for this event- $15.00").
4. Private Events
Host a private seminar/semi-social event for your network (ask them to bring a friend) or ask a champion (supporter, referral source) to host one for their network (I call this the "Tupperware Party"). Meeting with small, targeted groups where the "know, like, trust" factor is high is very effective.
5. Build Your Referral System
Certainly, asking for referrals is something we must do (and many private practice professionals are shy about this), but building your referral "system" means that you put together a large network of referral sources, research, cultivate, and build your relationships those referral sources, and always seek to expand your referral sources.
It is a well researched fact that word-of-mouth referral is by far the most effective way that private practice professionals get clients. You don't need to wait by the phone hoping someone will make a referral or call- get out there and build your referral relationships!