Free Therapy Services Requests – What Should You Do?

Free Therapy ServicesI felt I had to write about this topic after a sudden influx of requests from companies and PR people asking for free therapy services for their employees or to advertise/promote their products. If you haven’t received one of these emails or phone calls yet this is what you could expect (this is a genuine email!).

Good Afternoon
I wondered if you did info sessions for businesses – presentation on importance of sleep – useful tips/guidance etc
13 March World Sleep day so looking for something to promote this area around that week.
We are based in XXX city centre.
Thanks

Perfect I thought so I spent the next few days trying to contact the HR lady who had sent the email to discuss her requirements  and my costs. In the end I sent her an email and this is the response I got:

Sorry for the delay in responding. We don’t really have a budget for organisations to come in however in the past businesses have been in to promote their business and then further down the line we have organised more specific training etc if required.

In other words do some work for me for nothing and you never know we might decide to do something with you in the future but no promises. This was my response:

I am afraid free does not pay my bills or take into account my considerable experience and expertise. Perhaps your company needs to reconsider its approach to asking people to do something for nothing as it is rather insulting.

I do not feel bad about sending this note and neither should you if you were in my position! If you want more polite responses you can always check out this article in Forbes.

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Don’t Work for Companies for Nothing

The companies who have asked me for free  therapy services are cheap full stop. They are perfectly able to reconcile earning massive profits with thinking they are doing me a favour by asking me to work for them for nothing. In fact what they probably haven’t bothered to think about is that it would have actually cost me money to run the session they wanted.

  • I would have taken time out from my work in order to write the presentation they wanted.
  • In this case I would have had to drive a 30 mile round trip and pay for petrol.
  • As the talk was in the city centre I would have had to find a paid space to park.
  • I would have lost a half days client income by taking time out to do the talk.

This is the worst deal in the world! No professional occupation is going to get taken seriously when they do work for nothing. Can you imagine what a plumber would say if they had been asked to fit a toilet for the exposure.

Therapists Do the Same

I hate to say it but it isn’t just your clients and corporations who think this way but also therapists. I have had countless messages over the years from therapists who wanted my time to teach them how to set up their business but without any payment. Some of these would be in direct competition with me but still thought it would be ok for me to do all the work and for them to profit. Remember these are not people I have ever met and in many cases even talked to or been in touch with on Facebook. Their requests came out of the blue which is beyond cheeky. Don’t do the same to others and if people do that to you be happy to call them out for their poor behaviour.

Valuing Your Therapy Services and Products

I know from many years of experience that the only way to get success with your clients is by getting them to value what you offer. When they believe that your words are disposable, or not worth the money then why would they bother paying any attention to what you have to say. It doesn’t matter if I am talking about a corporate company or an individual the same applies. You will always get a poorer outcome with clients who haven’t bothered to pay.

In addition this company would never value me enough to pay me in the future which was the carrot the organisation was trying to dangle in front of me. Once someone has got something for nothing they will expect it in the future. I would never earn anything from them so why bother.

By the way I am not the only one who is experiencing this. On a hypnotherapy forum I moderate plenty of other therapists told me of their experiences of this freebie culture. I had to laugh when one of them said they had been approached by Apple to do a free talk. This is one of the most profitable companies in the world.

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When Should You Think of Doing Free Work

Now of course nothing is ever black and white there are some circumstances where you might consider working for nothing.

Fame and Glory

Imagine that tomorrow morning a TV company called you up and wanted you to appear on their segment about Hypnobirthing. Your name, expertise and company details will be broadcast to millions of people across the country. Then this is a prospect worth considering because of the potential for a real peak in client bookings. Plus you now have the chance to place this on your website and pitch yourself as a TV expert. This will earn you money over time.

Charity

If you have a favourite charity that you work with then I can totally understand that you might do some free therapy services. BUT from my experience some of these clients are less motivated to work with you because they are not paying for their services. Be clear on who you will and won’t work with it you do volunteer so that you get the best outcomes for your clients.

Free Therapy Services for New Experiences

Last year I did free work for a number of radio stations partly for publicity but also because it pushed me out of my comfort zone. Sometimes it is good to be pushed outside your daily limits as it keeps you on your toes and teaches you new skills.

Referrals

If you get together with other health and wellness professionals to do talks and cross refer products and services it may be worth your while doing the odd free talk. Just make sure that you are not the only one doing all the work whilst the other health professionals sit and do nothing. Cross referrals can be a nice money spinner when you have everything set up and working on auto pilot.

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Therapy Marketing to Make Money

If you market your wellness business correctly you should never have to offer free therapy services. I gave up doing most free work years ago and have never looked back or regretted calling out people who asked me to do something for nothing. Learning how to use paid advertising such as Google Adwords or Facebook can make a big difference. Setting up your website so it is a client magnet will earn you money. Learning to Blog for money will never make leave you broke. All of these things can be learned and my online courses in my shop will teach you how to walk away from these requests knowing that you are never going to need to hustle for business again. What are you waiting for?

You may also want to read:

The Ten Best Hypnotherapy Books on the Market

How to Write a Good Therapy Blog to Boost you Income

Therapy Marketing Strategies for 2020

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Hypnotherapy Marketing – Don’t Put all Your Eggs in One Basket

hypnotherapy marketing - don't put all your eggs in one basketI was inspired to write this post because of discussions that were taking place in a hypnotherapy forum that I am a member of on LinkedIn. Someone had posed a question about the Hypnotherapy Directory and whether it was a worthwhile source of referrals for the money. For those of you not in the UK the directory is a paid directory where you can add details about your hypnotherapy business and it appears relatively highly in the search engine rankings. Now this post is not about the directory itself but some of the answers that I saw in reply to this question. A number of therapists had answered yes that it was a good source of referrals and that many got most if not all of their business from it. This created a big red flag in my mind because if there is one rule of Hypnotherapy Marketing it is not to put all your eggs in one basket.

You see the people who are getting these referrals have not stopped for one minute to think what may happen to their business if things were to change. So lets imagine that Google decides to change its algorithm tomorrow and downgrades all directories so that they no longer appear on the first page of Google. Suddenly all these therapists who have used these referrals as their main source of income are going to find themselves on the breadline as the calls will just suddenly stop. Or perhaps five new therapists move into their local area and start advertising in this directory and suddenly their leads are massively diluted. Again their business tanks in a matter of months.

Using just one source of referrals for your Hypnotherapy Marketing is business suicide because the nature of the world is that things change. Things are constantly evolving which means that what may work for you today but not be so helpful tomorrow. This means that in order to survive you need to diversify and where possible be in charge of your destiny rather than leaving it to others to decide.

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Therapy Marketing Referrals

Don’t just take my word for it there are plenty of businesses that have gone under because they have experienced issues with their main source of referrals. There are tales of Ebay businesses who got some negative feedback and suddenly found that they were banned from the site and suddenly their business went bust. Others relied too heavily on Google Adwords and when they broke the rules they found that they were no longer allowed on the site. Oh and of course there are the infamous stories of people ranking well on Google but because they had bad backlinks suddenly found themselves plummeting down the rankings when the search engine changed their algorithm.

In order to be great at hypnotherapy marketing you need to make sure that you have a diversified pot of referral sources. That means that if one area goes bad you only lose a small percentage of your leads. You need to build strong and sturdy foundations and if possible conduct a risk assessment of your business. Now in the world of trading and business development where I used to work we would look at our portfolio of trades and every day someone would be looking at what would happen in the worst case scenario. You need to do the same with your business because that will help to ensure your survival. Think about where you are getting your customers from and what would happen if that source of income suddenly disappeared.

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Marketing a Hypnotherapy Business

Don’t take the lazy way out, you need to become a proactive marketer to really make your business succeed. In order to really take your business to the next level you need to build a business which is pulling in clients from every source available to you. So that means:

  • Organic Rankings
  • Paid Advertising
  • Blogging
  • Referral Programs
  • Directories
  • PR and Media
  • Networking
  • Social Media
  • Friends and Family
  • Local Events

The list is endless but if you are not doing all or at least half of the above then you are never really going to build a business that gives you the income that you deserve.

I know that as a therapist it can be difficult initially to understand or even take an interest in marketing but sadly the whole structure of a therapy business means that you need to attract people in through your door. With hypnotherapy marketing it is made even more difficult because the people that you are attracting tend to only stay with you for six to eight sessions at the very most. That means that your turnover of customers is huge and that puts more pressure on you to constantly get more people in to your business every day to replace the people who have finished successful therapy. This business model is very different to that of a hairdresser or beauty therapist because in those businesses you will always get a certain percentage of your clients coming back to you time and time again.

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Therapy Marketing & Coronavirus Update

Although I wrote the wrote this post way back in 2015 I thought it was so important to update it in light of Coronavirus and what is doing to therapy marketing. This post is more relevant than ever because although it is five years since I spoke about diversifying your business and marketing therapists have not listened and many chose to niche in one topic. If that is you currently you may be having a big problem. Not so much is you specialise in anxiety and stress but hell if you ware running weight loss sessions or help children in schools they you are seeing the bottom falling out of the market as we speak.

It is always so important to insulate your business by having a number of strings to your bow. This means on one website you may specialise in weight loss but in another it may be OCD. You don’t need thousands of different sites but having two or three in different areas could help you to mitigate your risks. Plus make sure you have a passive income strategy because that can help as well. Start thinking out of the box and create a proper marketing plan. Ask yourself what would I do if things changed with this tomorrow? How would I be able to react quickly to changing marketing conditions? How can I maintain a resilient business model?

If you don’t understand how to market well then you need to invest the time and the money in yourself and your business so that you get to grips with how you can make this happen. That is why I offer a large number of different marketing and mentoring sessions to fellow therapists to help them succeed in business. Don’t allow your hypnotherapy marketing to be a side thought. Make it a priority and when you do watch your client numbers and revenue soar.