When you have a private practice, marketing and networking is key, whether in-person or through social media. Either way, you are looking to get more involved and connected with the local community. Maybe you happen to be shy, or do not have a lot of local connections. No worries because, now-a-days, social media can be another option to get connected! I’m going to share some ways that you can be successful in using Facebook as an online and offline networking tool!
Edit Your Profile
Maybe you are used to using Facebook for personal means and have set your profile on private. Now that you are looking to connect with more people, it is important to set your profile to public. This may be a scary thought because you’ve wanted to maintain some privacy, but how many times have you checked out someone’s profile to see what they are about? It’s the same with the people you are trying to connect with. They need to know that they can trust you. If you want to keep some privacy because you’re still seeing clients, I get it. Even if you’re profile is “private,” you can still set specific posts, information or media to “public.”
In addition to making your profile public, make sure that you are providing a link to your Facebook groups, blog, website, or other social media platforms!
If you’re first starting out, begin by joining five to ten groups so that you can start to see who is out there. At this time, you won’t necessarily be fully participating.
- Introduce yourself! Now that you have taken time to join different groups, introduce yourself so that others in the group know who you are. Make sure you take some time to read over the group guidelines before making your introduction. Sometimes, groups will not allow you to share links, while other groups will not mind. If you made your profile public, people will be able to find you on your different platforms if your introduction peaks their interest enough to learn more about you and your practice!
- Take note of the group activity and who the moderators are, as well as the rules of the group. This will sometimes be found in a pinned post at the top or can also be found in the group files. Also, make a note if group members are allowed to add files as well. When you first join the group, an inclination may be to start friending everyone, but this may seem a little pushy to other members.
- You can make your presence known in the group by adding to the discussions and showing your expertise. If you show that you are an expert in something, people will come to you and want to know more about you and what you do. When members in the group ask something that you know the answer to, jump right in and help them out! Think of yourself as being a resource to others. By being a known resource, you will become known when people know you can help solve a problem before moving to the next step to pay for your services or connect you with others who will be paying for your services.
Choose one group to fully focus on. Once you’ve been in several groups, you will start to notice a couple that may stand out to you. Pick the one that you feel most connected to so that you can get more involved personally. At this point, you can choose to unsubscribe to some of the other groups that may not be as relevant, or ones that you are not active in.
Cross-Over to In-Person Events
Once you have chosen the group you want to get more involved in, keep you eyes open for in-person events that they may be having. Choose an event to go to, and when you go, talk to everyone! Introduce yourself and your practice to the leaders of the group. If that group holds regular meetings, by the 3rd or 4th one, start offering to do things and volunteering so it gives you and the other members some time to get to know each other and so that you can become more deeply connected and build a sense of trust.
Whether online or in-person, when you freely show your expertise, you are going to, more than likely, build good relationships with group members. Keep in mind that through it all, you want to give more than you take, and build relationships! If you’re a therapist, I’m sure this will come easy, after all, we are in the helping field! Just keep showing others that you care, and when they need something, they will eventually come to you. They might even recommend you to others!
Melissa J. McLean is a Licensed Counselor and Certified Professional Coach who is the owner of Morning Joy Counseling, a successful group practice that primarily helps individuals dealing with anxiety and depression, as well as couples who want to rebuild or strengthen their relationships. In addition, Melissa helps other professionals move beyond the gap between visualizing their dreams and making it a reality by mapping out their next right steps towards having a successful and fulfilling business!
Download her FREE 90-Day Goal Planner and learn the power of setting goals to increase success in your business HERE!