Starting a Private Practice: The Fastest Way to Get Therapy Clients When You’re Starting Out

I was so proud of myself on my very first day of starting a private practice. I had gorgeous leather furniture, the perfect hypnotherapy chair, and business cards I had agonized over. I just sat there in my office and took it all in. My dream had come true. I couldn’t wait to start working with clients, and helping them improve their lives.

I was so eager to have my practice, that in all my preparation, I had neglected one essential element: Marketing when Starting a Private Practice.

I know how silly that sounds today, but at the time, I had NO idea just how important it was going to be for me to get good at marketing. Nor did I have any idea just how BAD I was going to be at practice-building in the beginning. Yep! I was an awful marketer my first few years in practice. I struggled to get clients, and made $21,000 my first year.

Definitely NOT the practice of my dreams.

Things didn’t change for me until I made the decision that I WAS going to figure it out. I WAS going to have a 6-figure practice, and I WAS going to have the practice of my dreams. No matter what.

Now, at the time I made this decision, I had no idea how I would get there, but I committed to myself that I would.

It took me about 18 months of failures and mistakes, but I DID figure it out. I filled my practice. I broke the 6-figure mark. I was able to charge what I was worth and trust that clients would call me. I even brought in additional therapists to help me with the overflow of my clients.

Starting a Private PracticeTo me, that’s the ultimate in financial freedom: knowing that I could take care of myself and create financial security. Once I learned that marketing creates financial freedom, I was hooked. I saw it as a puzzle I wanted to solve. I wanted to get better and better.

In fact, I became so passionate about marketing that I turned it into my mission to help other therapists. I want to help those of you who are starting a private practice, learn marketing so you don’t have to struggle the way I struggled. The way I’ve seen so many therapists struggle.

Starting a private practice IS hard work, but you can make it so much easier on yourself when you see yourself as a business owner. As a business owner, marketing and practice-building are essential skills that you MUST develop in order to be successful.

Chances are you’re starting from scratch, as we all do. It can feel daunting when you’ve got 3 Likes on your Facebook Page, and 6 visitors to your website in the last month.

But don’t let that discourage you.

You won’t get clients overnight, when you’re first starting a private practice. But you CAN learn from what’s already working for others, to market your practice more effectively.

To understand what does work when you’re starting a private practice, you must first understand what most therapists do when they first start a private practice, and why it doesn’t work.

Creating Your Website

You already know you need a website, right? When you’re starting a private practice, a website is a MUST. It’s just part of being in business these days. It should be one of the first things you do, even BEFORE you launch your private practice.

No matter how clients find you, they will inevitably “check you out” online before they call you. This means a visit to your website. Think of your psychotherapy website as the step clients take right before they call you.

Your website needs to let potential clients know whether or not they are in the right place. Are you the right therapist for them? Clients need to answer that question before they call you, and that’s your website’s job.

Most of you already know this. You’ve got a website, but you’re STILL not getting enough new client calls. What’s the problem?

Why Your Psychotherapy Website Isn’t Working

So if your website’s so important, why isn’t it working? Why aren’t you getting more client calls? Because just having a website isn’t marketing. It’s simply one step in the marketing process.

Here’s what we see far too often: a therapist pours her heart and soul into creating the perfect website. After much consideration, plenty of edits, and maybe a few tears, she’s finally worked up the courage to put it out in the world. It’s official. She’s in business. She waits by the phone, expecting the new client calls to come.

But they don’t.

She’s heartbroken and discouraged. What has she done wrong? Is something wrong with her website? Does she need to re-write it? Why isn’t anyone calling her?

Chances are she hasn’t done anything wrong. Chances are her website is fine. So why isn’t anyone calling her?

The Fastest Way to Get Clients When Starting a Private Practice

The truth is that when you’re starting out, no one even knows that you exist. The fastest way to get clients is to get more visitors to your website.

It’s better to have a mediocre website that gets seen by your ideal clients than a fantastic website that nobody visits.

(Want to know all 9 of my secrets to a psychotherapy website that gets your phone ringing? I’ve created a freebie Cheat Sheet for you with these “9 Secrets of a Client-Attracting Website for Psychotherapists.” You can download it here.)

      Click Here to Download Your          ‘9 SECRETS OF A CLIENT ATTRACTING WEBSITE CHEAT SHEET!

Launching your website is simply the first step in marketing. If you build a great website, but stop there, you’re not going to get enough new client calls.

I was working with a therapist recently who wasn’t getting enough new client calls and wanted me to help her re-write her website. We get lots of these requests, so maybe you can relate. 

Starting a Private Practice

The first question I asked her was “how many website visitors are you getting per week?” Her answer, “Plenty. Getting visitors is not my problem. I’ve had 7 visitors in just the last week.”

Reality check: 7 website visitors per week is NOT going to get you enough new clients to build your practice.

You need more than 7 visitors per DAY when you’re starting a private practice.

Because she didn’t understand this, she didn’t realize what her problem was. She thought the problem was with her website itself, but it wasn’t. The problem was that nobody was visiting her website.

So, what’s the fastest way to get clients when you’re starting a private 

practice? Get more website visitors. Expect that about 3% of your website visitors will call you. This means that you need about 30 website visitors in order to get one new client call.

So instead of agonizing about the design, language, or colors of your website, focus your time and attention on increasing your website traffic.

That’s the fastest way to get more clients when you’re starting a private practice.