Over the past few months I have been participating in forums and commenting about therapy marketing matters to a number of therapists. Interestingly in many of these communications I have noted that a large percentage of therapists seem to have a belief system that they will not make great money from their chosen profession. This partly appears to be because some people believe that there is not sufficient money to be made in the therapy industry and partly because they feel as caring professionals they should not be charging premium rates for their services. Wow I thought no wonder so many therapists go out of business within the first year of starting out and see so few clients per week. I thought I would address some of these myths and beliefs as they are clearly preventing the profession from becoming well regarded and highly paid.
1) How Therapists are Perpetuating Myths about Low Pay – One of the comments that I see time and time again is that therapy is not a great paying profession. Well speak for yourself I do very nicely from my chosen field of work and I believe that is because of my mindset. I didn’t start my job as a therapy professional but as a trader in the city. I used to earn a large salary and get great bonuses so when I chose to start a new career I did so with the expectation that I could earn good money again. As a self employed person I knew that with a little effort and great therapy marketing I could attract a sufficient number of clients to earn a great living wage and with passive income efforts there was no ceiling on what I could make.
Now think of the people you encounter in the therapy profession who perpetuate the myth of low pay. Have they taken the time and effort to learn new marketing skills to assist themselves in increasing their business? Are they happy to see just a small number of clients per week and spend the rest of the time pottering around? What do their websites look like? How are they Networking? What is their social media activity? Generally the very people perpetuating these myths are doing so because they haven’t made the effort to move from a small business to a thriving one. If you are looking at becoming a therapist I would say that there is no income ceiling and that it is perfectly possible to bring in over six figures with some creative marketing efforts.
2) Fear of Becoming Legitimate – When you charge a small fee then you are going to be thought of as disposable. The people who come to your therapy will be less committed and you will get more no shows and worse results. Being a hypnotherapist or any form of therapist is a hugely valuable profession because you can change someones life dramatically. That skill and talent is worth lots of money but because many therapists especially hypnotherapists are seen as new age alternative healers many charge very little.
Well I can tell you that my websites scream out professional! They are slick and informative instead of airy fairy and plastered with images that are more suited to hippy culture. The addresses where I choose to practice are up market and well regarded. When a client books with me they get a full contract and confirmation policy so they know exactly what is expected of them and of me. I dress professionally, conduct myself well and charge premium rates because of this. I would welcome stricter professional bodies and alliances with the medical profession as they legitimise our business. I frown on therapists who embrace the alternative side as they drag down the industry as a whole. Have you seen the websites I am talking about? The ones where the hypnotherapist offers hypnotherapy and crystal healing or magnet therapy! No wonder we are seen as quacks by so many people.
3) Worry about Charging our Customers too Much – Some therapists believe that when they attract clients they should not charge too much for their services in case those people can’t afford the therapy which could help them. Indeed this could be a legitimate worry if it wasn’t for the fact that most of the people who come and see me have made therapy a priority instead of:
- A huge flat screen TV
- Sky Sports
- The latest model of phone
- Going out all weekend to pubs and clubs
- Smoking 20 cigarettes a day
- Ipads and Computer Games
- A holiday abroad
I could go on and on. Yes there are always some people who may not be able to afford therapy but in many cases it is a lifestyle choice. The people wanting the cheap prices are the ones living with all the latest gadgets whilst they want the therapist to earn such a pittance that they are living hand to mouth. This was perfectly illustrated by a friend of mine who ran a Montesorri playgroup in an affluent area. She used to charge the parents only when their children came to a session instead of by term. On some weeks there would be a number of no shows and she would be worrying about money. In fact she couldn’t afford to heat her flat properly. As you can imagine I had something to say about her lifestyle and business sense.
This does not mean that we should be money grabbing parasites but we should look after our own needs before concentrating on those of others. I worked very happily for two years at a Cancer Centre one day a week for free. It gave me invaluable experience and was hugely rewarding. My business however was growing outside those hours and my prices high.
4) Worry about Abilities – I know that some therapists charge very little because they think that is all they are really worth. Again a former marketing student of mine wanted to charge £40 an hour in yummy mummy Muswell Hill! An area in London where everyone lives in multi million pound houses. Where they have a Planet Organic and chic little shops. His thought process was that he had only just qualified so it seemed like a fair price. Well if you want to go out of business this is a great way of doing it. By the way women are particularly great at making this error. See my previous blog on gender differentials in hypnotherapy earnings.
5) Unable to Market Well – I would say lack of therapy marketing knowledge is one of the biggest reasons why the profession is poorly paid. Most of the therapists have insufficient marketing or business knowledge and it shows. This is why the vast majority of hypnotherapists in the UK see a handful of clients per week. As with any entrepreneur if you have not got the requisite skills you will go bust and in hypnosis the vast majority of new trainees are out of business within a year of finishing their courses. You can save yourself a fortune and a lot of hard work if you spend the money and hire a hypnotherapy marketing and mentoring professional to show you how it is done.
So never again believe it when another therapist tells you that you will never become rich. Is simply means that they have chosen to remain poor or did not have the appropriate therapy marketing skills to grow their business. Remember the only ceiling placed on your earnings is the ones that you have placed there!