THIS POST INCLUDES:
1. Reasons for no clients
2. Don’t panic
3. Create a strategy to find clients
4. Develop other income sources
5. Free Download Income as a Therapist
REASONS FOR NO CLIENTS
Every new business struggles to find their initial stable stream of incoming clients. Furthermore, every ongoing business realises that over time there are peaks and valleys to client work.
When business is slow as a therapist, stress can start to build which can affect our mindset on the reasons why we believe clients are not walking into our practice. It can become easy to start assuming the problem is with our skill set and the ability to attract clients. After all, our business is “us” and it may feel clients aren’t interested in us as therapists if the phone isn’t ringing to make bookings.
Some of the common reasons why clients may not be calling to book an appointment include:
- Your business is brand new and needs to be promoted to both the public and networking referrals
- Your business is not visible online or offline (create a website, social media presence, and make your details available in directories)
- Your contact details may not be easily accessible (make them available on every page)
- Clients may feel a barrier exists to making contact with you (have many options available to call, email, message or even book an appointment directly on your website)
- Your pricing and availability may not be suitable for your location (compare to your competitors in the same region)
- Potential clients may not understand how you can help them (is your messaging clear about how you can help)
- You may not be following up on potential clients by returning calls or responding to emails. This includes following up on new and existing clients.
- Seasonal impact when people are away on (school) holidays or the Christmas/New Year when everyone is busy and spending their time and money on events and gifts
If you find yourself with no clients booked for appointments, don’t panic! This is the time to regroup and create a strategy that get you through the slow period. By creating a strategy this will help you immediately as well as help develop some protection for your business income in the future when direct client work slows down again…and it will!
When client work is slow, this is a perfect time to generate diversified income. This is the time to become a bear and store up for the winter so that you have products and potential other income sources generating income when your client work slows down.
Have a plan in place to review and reduce expenses. Read more in our previous blog post Strategies to Increase Profit For Your Therapy Practice
This may not help you immediately if clients aren’t booking, however, once clients start booking it’s a good idea to create a savings account where you save 5-10% of your client income to use for future periods when client work slows down.
From a tax perspective, you can assess any tax that you have withheld previously to determine if you can withdraw some money to use during this quiet time. For example, if you previously were setting money aside for a 30% tax withheld budget then having a period of client reduction could mean your annual tax bill reduces and therefore you won’t need to use all of your tax withheld money. You can always add to it later when client work improves.
If you’re not confident with making this kind of decision on your own, ask your accountant to help you assess your tax position. Your accountant may also have other cash flow suggestions for you based on their insight into your business activities.
CREATE A STRATEGY TO FIND CLIENTS
A lack of booked clients can feel stressful and when we’re stressed we often lose clarity on how to take purposeful and useful action to resolve our problems.
By creating a strategy to find clients, we can have a plan in place to take action without getting derailed by stressful emotions.
- Analyze how you found your current and previous clients. Did they find you through referrals, advertising, offline, or through your online presence? Do more of what works!
- Do you have a simple way for clients to book an appointment?
- Do you have multiple methods of contact – website, phone, email, social media messaging
- Can you expand your availability and access – weekend work, after hours, online sessions
- Create blog content on your website to help boost your visibility in Google. You can use our Blogging Package in the store to help you establish and maintain a blog on your website: BLOGGING PACKAGE
- Start an email list. Create a free offer of content on your website in exchange for an email address. Stay connected with your email list and communicate via email. Staying connected with your email list will help develop familiarity with you and your therapy practice.
- Contact professional networks for referrals
- Be active in the community by giving education sessions on mental health topics
- Connect with community events and social causes
- Make yourself visible in the media eg. TV, newspapers, radio, podcasts
- Contact corporate businesses to offer educational sessions to employees eg. Mindfulness, meditation, art activity, self-care, stress management
- Let colleagues know you are available for contract work
- Let schools know you are available for contract work
- Contact other allied health networks such as speech therapists, rehabilitation, physiotherapists, palliative care
- Contact other ancillary services that connect with personal services such as solicitors
- Advertise offline and online
- Increase your social media activity and direct all traffic back to your website
Every therapist should create a strategy that suits their own time and financial constraints. No matter what strategy you create, you should aim to do something every day that works toward making your therapy practice visible to your prospective clients.
DEVELOP OTHER INCOME SOURCES
As a therapist with a private practice, your income can be generated from a number of different sources outside of direct client sessions.
In our blog post 10 Ways to Increase Your Therapist Income you can read at least 10 ways to diversify your income aside from direct client sessions.
Some common ways to increase your therapist income include:
- Writing for online publications
- Public speaking
- Contract work for other practices (eg. Maternity leave)
- Online counseling
- Audio files
You can also read the below blog posts to read more about developing ecourses, physical products, and art therapy groups.
- Ecourses – How Do I Create an Ecourse for my Therapy Practice
- Physical products – How to Create Art Index Cards for Your Therapy Business
- Organise an art therapy group – How To Organise an Art Therapy Group
Some of these additional income ideas involve one to one time spent on deriving income. This includes supervision, consulting, training, online counseling, and contract work. Other income streams are more passive in nature whereby you can spend time on creating a product once, and then generating income multiple times from that one-time creation. This includes products such as ebooks, ecourses, and audio files for example.
It takes time to initially create these products, however, once they are created and available to the public, you can earn income from these products any time of the day or night and without your direct involvement. Having these types of products available in your income generating stream can help boost your income when client work is slower. Additionally, having these passive income earning products in place means you can still earn income if you have time off on holidays.
OTHER BLOG POSTS TO READ:
We’ve got an excellent backlog of previous posts to help you stay motivated and productive when you have no clients booked in your therapy practice.
The list below is divided into categories to help you work on specific areas in your practice:
UNDERTAKE BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND IMPROVE PROFITS
- 10 Steps to Set Up Your Art Therapy Practice
- 10 Ways to Increase Your Therapist Income
- How to Set Up Your Art Therapy Room
- Useful Therapy Resource Websites for Forms, Templates and Tools
- Practice Management Software to Use as an Art Therapist
- Strategies to Increase Profit For Your Therapy Practice
DEVELOP PROFESSIONAL SKILLS
IMPLEMENT MARKETING STRATEGIES
- 10 SEO Tools to Improve Your Website Functionality
- Design a Simple Layout for Your Art Therapy Website Design
- How to Build an Email List for your Therapy Practice
- How to Create a Free Offer to Build Your Email List
- How to Create an Annual Social Media Plan in 60 mins
- How to Get Started With Google Analytics in 5 Easy Steps
- How to Plan Your Marketing Strategies
- Image Resources to Use For Your Art Therapy Blog
- Online Marketing Courses to Improve Your Marketing Skills
- The Best Marketing Methods for Art Therapists
- Understand the Marketing Cycle of Your Art Therapy Practice
- What are Brand Image Assets and Why Do I Need Them?
- Where to find Clients for your Art Therapy Practice
DEVELOPING PROFESSIONAL NETWORKS
- 10 Art Therapy Associations and Organisations
- How to Establish Your Business Network
- Professional Networking for An Art Therapist
STAYING PRODUCTIVE IN YOUR THERAPY PRACTICE
- 10 Useful Tips to Use Evernote for Blogging
- 10 Tools to Help Boost Your Productivity
- 10 Useful Planning Tools for Your Business
- 10 Blogging Tools to Boost Your Content Writing Productivity
- Podcasts about Productivity and Getting Things Done (GTD)
- Planning Template for Your Art Therapy Practice
- Task Management Software For Art Therapy Planning
DEVELOPING PRODUCTS FOR YOUR THERAPY PRACTICE
- How To Organise an Art Therapy Group
- How Do I Create an Ecourse for my Therapy Practice
- How to Create Art Index Cards for Your Therapy Business
SELF-CARE AS YOU WORK ON YOUR THERAPY PRACTICE
FREE DOWNLOAD: Income as a Therapist
BUILD YOUR ART THERAPY REFERENCE MATERIALS:
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