One of the things I hear most from therapists and counsellors trying to grow their private practice is how much they dislike marketing and feeling like they have to sell themselves.

Stop the popularity contest
In the beginning, trying to market and fill your private practice can feel like a popularity contest.

You ask yourself: how do I stand out from the crowd? How do I convince people that I am the best at what I do? Thankfully, you don’t actually have to do that. As a matter of fact, trying to sell yourself is probably not going to get you very far anyway.

No one wants to feel like they have to convince people to work with them. Most of us aren’t very good at making a case for ourselves, trying to persuade others to like us, or purchase our services. As therapists, we’re trained to be good listeners and to act in the best interest of others, so marketing yourself can feel pretty counterintuitive.

The good news is that there’s a better, more effective way to get new clients and fill your private practice.

Being of service
It’s called being of service, and there are lots of ways to do it.

Being of service involves, is getting yourself out there, whether online or in public, and offering the things you love to offer.

Whether it’s psychoeducation, a talk on your favorite topic, a short workshop, a podcast, or an article, creating something that others can benefit from is a surefire way to build your reputation without knocking on doors or cold calling.

Think about the things you enjoy doing
Beginning right now, you can stop all of the marketing efforts you despise, and start thinking about how you would really enjoy being of service. Do you love public speaking? Facilitation? Writing?

Pick an outlet that you enjoy, and a topic that you’re skilled in, and create one of the following:

· Workshop or seminar
· Public talk or lecture
· Mini course
· Series of articles
· Podcast
· YouTube series
· E-book

The goal of any of the above is to start getting in front of people and getting your work in other people’s hands, so they can begin to get to know you.

Authenticity builds trust
When people already have a sense of who you are, they find the things you offer to be trustworthy, reliable, and consistent. When they genuinely like you and what you have to offer, they will be much more likely to contact you when the need arises. And you better bet that if they’re familiar with your work and they know someone who could benefit from what you offer, they will refer you (even if they haven’t met you yet)!

Being of service is a wonderful way to hone your skills, be of service to your community, build a positive reputation, and get new clients – without ever feeling like you have to sell yourself to anyone.

If you need help building your practice or deciding how you can best “be of service” in order to successfully grow your practice, feel free to book a free 20-minute Business Mentorship Consultation

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