Now that you have read in Part 1 about finding a location and office, and in Part 2 about what state, local or county licenses you may need and where to find that information, let’s talk about some free and nifty tools that will help you get organized and begin branding your private practice.
Establish Your Online Presence
Do you know how easy it is to establish an online presence? Establishing an online presence does not have to cost you a cent. If you plan to do fee for service work (as opposed to managed care) you definitely need to establish an online presence. Let your friends and contacts do the marketing work for you in a viral way. If people like your services, believe in you and you demonstrate online that you have valuable things to say and to offer people, they will spread the word for you…it’s called viral marketing. Before the age of the internet and social media we called it word of mouth marketing.
Starting a professional Facebook page is the easiest way to establish an online presence. You can also connect your Facebook page to a free blogging platform like WordPress. Of course you can also upgrade to a paid WordPress blog for pennies a day. Of course there may be other costs like purchasing your own domain name. But again it’s all rather simple and very cost effective. Our ebook on how to get referrals explains all of this in an easy to read and well organized format.
Share What You Know Far and Wide
Facebook is a very powerful and free social media platform…use it. If you have a Facebook page, just add a “page” to your already existing personal profile. Then ask all your friends to like it. But don’t send out those invites to “like” until you have a plan for how you will use your professional page and you have propagated it with numerous posts so that when you do invite people to check out and like your page they will see an already established Facebook Page with lot’s of helpful and uplifting information.
You will also need a plan for posting: ie how often and what will you post. One of the items that people love to like and share (and BTW that is the goal of your page to get your audience to share and like your posts to spread and brand your business name) are memes – those pictures with cute, inspiring and thought provoking comments.
Sometimes you can share memes from other sites and FB pages (as long as they get the credit) or make your own. At some point you will want to make your own and it’s easy to do if you get familiar with free online software like Pixlr and grab pictures from FREEIMAGES. They even offer free Facebook headers: just do a search on FREEIMAGES for “facebook header”. For free WordPress headers go here.
Use An Online Scheduler
Also, get organized by using a free online scheduler like ClickBook. I’ve used it myself for years and can’t say enough good things about it. It is one of the most straightforward online schedulers and the interface for clients is very user friendly. A scheduler like this allows both you and your clients to schedule, cancel or reschedule appointments seamlessly. There are many added features as well…too many to describe here.
Plan The Work – Work The Plan
Having your own private practice means having initiative to learn some new skills, create a business and marketing plan, and diligently work it. This entire process can not only make you a more successful business person, having had to work through the process yourself can make you a much better therapist. Why? Because much like you expect your clients to work the plan…you must develop and work your private practice marketing plan to get the results you want!
Please take advantage of our ebook that goes into much greater depth about how to develop your business and marketing plan and get more referrals.