Establishing a steady stream of referrals that brings you more clients than you can imagine is a goal for most mental health professionals in private practice. This series will take you on a road trip; the purpose of which is to give you a whole new perspective and purpose when it comes to marketing your practice. Each message builds on the last. Learn what it takes to build your business and feel good about how you do it.
This is the last day of a 10-day series of messages created just for you. Today, we’ll complete our journey from Point A (not enough referrals) to Point B (a strong referral network). Today — we’ll consider the benefit of nurturing your network and how that will make your job easier as time marches on…
Day 10: You’ve got to stay connected (Give a lot… and then give some more)
Throughout this series we’ve talked about your “network” — the folks who are sending you business. In our business, we really have 2 networks. Our network of referral sources is a group of folks that can often benefit by us bringing the group together in a variety of ways. Our network of clients is unique because there are many members, but they are anonymous to the group as a whole. However, they too can often benefit from things you can share with the entire group. Here are a few ideas for each of your networks.
Your Referral Network
- Hold a networking event in your community for other mental health professionals in your network. Invite people to meet up for a happy hour or (if it is large enough) your office. Encourage them to bring along their business cards and marketing materials so they can benefit from the meet & greet
- Make introductions within your network. You may know a school psychologist who could really benefit from knowing a child psychiatrist in your network. A pastor in your network might benefit from knowing one of the Christian counselors in your network
- Join forces with a few people in your network and do something together that serves your community. You, an OB/GYN, and a cardiologist in your network might want to do something special to educate the public around issues of women’s heart health
- Show your referral sources that you are thinking of them. If you find an article or other reference that might be interesting or helpful to someone in your network, send it to them. Include a sticky note that tells them that you thought of them and wanted to send it along
- Become a solid referral partner with those in your network. Share referrals freely and enjoy the collaborations
Your Client Network
- Write a monthly newsletter for your clients. Include a release in the intake paperwork allowing your clients to opt-in (or not) to have it emailed to them each month. You might keep some of those releases in the waiting room just in case a client changes his/her mind later on. Keep copies of the newsletter in the waiting room for clients to take home as well
- Keep a bulletin board in your waiting room where you can pin notices of local groups (including yours), discussions, new books, and other things that might be of interest to your clients
- If you are interested in generating some passive income, you might create some programs or products (audio or video) that you can sell to your clients (relaxation CDs, workbooks, etc.)
The point is to always be thinking about your network(s) and do what you can to serve. As I’ve said earlier — give a lot and then give some more. It’s not easy to deepen your relationships with your network(s), but once you do, you’ll see the momentum build, and find that you don’t have to work so hard at time moves on.
The most important take home message of this Road Trip…
You’ve got to do the work!
Believe me… it’s worth it!!