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 day eight of a 10-day series of messages created just for you. Today, we’ll continue our journey from Point A (not enough referrals) to Point B (a strong referral network). Today — we’re going to talk about your “tribe”
Day 8: Serve your “tribe” and the rewards will take care of themselves
At the beginning of this series, we uncovered the importance of leading from your “purpose” when it comes to your work — even when it comes to prospecting and networking. As a therapist, a big part of your heart is about serving others. When you extend this mindset to your network (your referral sources) it re-frames your marketing efforts and helps you to acknowledge the benefit you provide when you are telling others about what you an do for them.
“Tribe” is a phrase that Seth Godin uses (if you don’t follow Seth, you might want to) when talking about your followers; the people you serve. For us, our tribe not only includes our clients, but it really also includes our networks.
Whenever you are serving your tribe you are developing relationships. With regard to the business aspect of those relationships, you are setting up situations where people are so satisfied with what you provide/offer/deliver that they want to do more business with you and they want to talk about you with others. In essence, they become your advocates; they promote you to people they know; they go out of their way to bring others into your tribe.
When you are providing value to others (giving a lot and then giving some more) you set up a spirit of reciprocity. If you are doing that pro bono info session about depression for your local physician group, they will likely think of you when it comes to their next referral for a patient with depression.
When you go out of your way to slide a fee or get someone in on an emergent basis for the local school counselor, s/he will remember you the next time there is a client to triage into the community. On the same token, when you are enjoying a great working relationship with a physician group in town and one of your clients is looking for a new primary doc, you are likely to include that physician group when offering names in the community.
When you organize an outreach event in the community and invite colleagues to participate to help them get noticed along with you, the will likely think of you when they’ve got a referral to share (especially if they know your niche). Those folks are also in your tribe.
I guess my mom said it well when I was a kid: One hand washes the other. Treat your tribe with respect; give them all you’ve got; nurture those partnerships — it will come back to you in abundance.