When you are first starting your private practice, the to-do lists are endless, and on top of that, it’s important to get out there and let people know you exist. The reason you need to get out there is that you will be able to fill up your practice and is one way to let people know you are there to help them. And of course, a great way to build your practice is to have good referral sources. These referral sources can be a doorway between you and your ideal client.
Relationships are key in networking!
I know I am not the first person to tell you the importance of developing and fostering relationships, but the reason you hear it so much is that it is so true! Some ways you can foster relationships with others are by helping them grow, being authentic to yourself and who you serve, and remembering that even your clients can be a potential referral source!
How are you helping other people grow?
I have found collaborations to be fun and a great investment of my time. It could be another therapist who specializes in something different than my practice or it could be an influencer who is in line with targeting the same group of people. For example, I have collaborated with a therapist who specializes in postpartum depression and works primarily with women. I primarily work with couples and together we have been able to discuss communication, adjustment to parenthood, and how to maintain intimacy during this transition in a workshop. I have also collaborated with an influencer who aspires to share positivity in her day to day life and we discussed what positivity can look like in a relationship. In both collaborations, we were able to cross-promote each other. Plus, it has been a great way to build relationships with people in the community in a more creative space.
Do other people know who your ideal client is?
While at the beginning of your practice, a referral may feel amazing, you also want to make sure that your referrals are sending you the right people. For example, if you work with couples and you consider networking to teachers or to a pediatrician, you want to make sure that you are very clear in how you work with couples. In this instance, it makes sense to share how you work with couples who may have issues with parenting. If you work with couples who are struggling with building trust and intimacy and who are maybe at the early stages of their relationship, networking with teachers and pediatricians, may not be your best referral. Now, this does not mean that you should stay away from them 100%, just be sure you are clear on what you specialize in and how you can offer your best.
Remember that your clients are the best people to be referral sources for you!
If you help them meet their needs and they feel they are treated well, chances are they will be more than happy to spread the word about your services to friends and family. Of course, the more clients you see the higher the chances are to get this type of referral, but always remember that they can in turn help your business grow.
Priscilla Rodriguez is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who owns a private practice, Modern Wellness Counseling, in San Antonio, TX. She works with couples and individuals who are wanting to enhance their relationships and connections with others. She offers online services and an online relationship class; which couples can learn a multitude of research-based relationship skills.