I felt that I had to write a blog post to cover some basic hypnotherapy marketing for new hypnotherapists following an email I just received from my contact me page. As the email was received from one of my hypnotherapy websites and not my marketing site I assumed it was from a client and rang them up to ask them what they needed help with. The answer that they gave shocked me! It appears that they were about to finish their hypnotherapy training and wanted to know if I could tell them a clinic that they could practice in locally. Err what the hell? Yep a person was contacting their local competition and asking if they could help sort out a room for them to use to run their therapy practice from and they wanted this information for nothing!
This call almost rendered me speechless (and that never happens). I mean what hypnotherapy courses are preparing their clients to run a business by not giving them some basic direction as to what to do? But besides that if a person who is about to start a new career as a self employed person is incapable of searching for some therapy rooms to practice from what are they going to be like when they try and attract new clients into their business? I can already give you the answer they are going to end up back in their old day job fast. Prompted by this call and some threads I have recently seen on some forums here are some simple marketing basics.
Learn Therapy Marketing Skills
If you don’t know anything about marketing then spend some money and learn the basics. Hypnotherapy is a hard business because you are always marketing to find new clients. Unlike hairdressing where you are likely to have a solid client base that will return again and again with hypnosis you have hopefully resolved your clients problem in a few sessions meaning you will need to find more fast. This constant turnover of clients means that you have to be better at marketing than the average small business. No wonder most new hypnotherapists don’t last in business for very long.
To run a business you need to understand how to attract clients, how to run a website, how to use paid advertising, how to network, do accounts, how to budget and so on. If you have always worked as an employee with a salary in a job which didn’t make you think on your feet or have sales targets then you likely to underestimate the effort and skills it takes to get a business off the ground. Someone offering marketing mentoring can help you navigate this making your job just that little bit easier.
Don’t Expect Decent Information For Free
As a business my time is money. Unless I am doing pro bono work for charity expect to pay for my services. I charge for advice, my time with clients, my products and so on. Why? Because my experience is invaluable and that is what you are paying for. It means that when I am seeing a client I help them make positive change faster. When I work with a marketing client they will see profits sooner and so on. If I need expert help in an area where I am not a specialist I get out my wallet and spend some money. I don’t worry about this expenditure because I know it will help me get more rapid results or earn more money. You should do the same.
Learn How to Fend for Yourself
Running a business means that you have to find solutions for yourself. When I used to work in the corporate world I could call the IT helpdesk and get immediate help to fix my computer or software. If I wanted to some legal advice I would head to see our corporate lawyer. When you are self employed you simply don’t have that infastructure around you which means you have to learn to do things for yourself or pay someone else to do them for you.
It is amazing what you can learn when you set your mind to it. I am now proficient at creating websites, recording and selling products, search engine optimisation and much more. Did someone give me that information for free? Nope it took some hard work and dedication to acquire the skills. So remember hypnotherapy marketing for new hypnotherapists requires effort and time.
Understand Basic Accounting
A regular question I see on hypnosis boards is how much should I charge for my services? My answer is if you don’t know what to charge then you are not ready to run a business. Being self employed and turning a profit is all about the numbers. That means understanding some really basic details.
How much do you need to earn as a minimum per month to cover your general outgoings such as mortgage, food and bills?
What are the fixed costs in your business as a monthly number? That means rent, insurance, phone bill, travel costs, professional memberships, tax and so on.
So lets say you need to cover outgoings of £1000 per month or £12,000 per year.
In addition you have to cover £300 in costs related to your business meaning total outgoings of £1300 per month.
With some simple maths you can calculate that you need a minimum 13 client sessions per month at £100 per session to cover those fixed costs. Alternatively you can see 26 clients at £50 per session or 6.5 clients at £200 per month and so on.
Now have a look at what your most expensive local competition is charging to at least get a vague idea of the top of the market this will allow you to assess the level you should charge.
This is just simple arithmetic yet so many hypnotherapists don’t think like a business person but pluck a number out of thin air and hope for the best. Do the maths and get the real numbers.
Get Your Website Right
Whatever you do don’t throw together a basic website and hope for the best because it won’t work. Creating a website for a business is an art and it has to be structured correctly otherwise you will have no chance of getting any business. Don’t make a website that you like the look of, make a website that converst browsers into buyers. Also find a web designer that has experience in search engine optimisation as well as web design. If you don’t do that you will find that the expensive website that you paid a fortune for is likely to be a dud. This is why I designed an online video course for creating and marketing hypnotherapy websites to help new hypnotherapists.
The Law of Attraction Doesn’t Work
So many people believe that if they simply think about having a successful business the law of attraction will provide them with one. Well keep on dreaming because it actually takes time and effort to get a business off the ground. Hypnotherapy Marketing for New Hypnotherapists is initially a time consuming task. You need to add yourself to directories, create a website, write content and blogs and a myriad of other tasks. If you don’t do this you can’t be found and you will be waiting for the phone to ring. Sorry you just can’t sit there and hope that something will happen. Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding but in the early days it can also be lots of hard work. Get it right and you can watch the money flow into your bank accounts but get it wrong and you will be broke, depressed and back in your old career before you know it.
Should I Practice from my Home?
There is no reason why you can’t practice from your home to keep the overheads low when you are first starting out but only if you have a really professional set up. On a forum the other day someone talked about running their business from their utility room. Hardly the professional image that you want to give a client. You need a dedicated room in your house with a desk and therapy chair and your certificates proudly framed on the wall. When you are in that room you don’t wear your slippers and comfy home wear but a smart professional outfit. If you don’t have that set up then find a therapy room and pay for it.
Next if you do pay for a therapy room in a clinic make sure that you are the only therapist operating from the clinic. In addition make sure that they are not making or taking your bookings for you and that you haven’t used their number in your advertising. Keep control of your biggest assets which are you and your website. Never pay the clinic a portion of what you earn. Instead arrange a fixed fee per hour or per time slot and stick with it. Where possible try and have at least two places you practice from as if one has a problem or shuts down you have a base to work from. This is simple common sense.
Should I do Free Consultations?
I generally have a quick chat with a potential client on the phone before I book them. This is to make sure that I believe they are a suitable candidate for hypnosis and that they aren’t shall we say threatening or problematic. Where possible I keep this chat to a maximum of ten minutes after that I charge. Yet time and time again I hear of therapists arranging to meet potential clients first to have a discussion about the therapy. In one case I heard the other day a therapist had spent 3 hours unpaid with a client. This is a great way to end up broke.
Meeting clients take time and energy where you could be doing something else. You don’t only lose the time you are talking to them but the time around the appointment where you can’t book someone in case they is a slight overrun. So a one hour chat with a client can take nearly two hours out of your day. In addition because someone is not committing to pay you they might simply not be bothered to turn up. Meanwhile the intelligent hypnotherapists are getting in paying clients for that time and earning money.
In my old practice area a number of therapists I knew used to run free talks in the evening to try and attract new clients into their practice. For that evening they would be earning no money. I meanwhile usually had a full practice with four or five clients paying me a nice figure for every consultation. Live and learn.
Hopefully these pointers can help a few of you new starters to make a great living from a fantastic profession. Just remember that hypnotherapy marketing for new hypnotherapists is a skill just like any other and that it can be learned either slowly by working things out for yourself or more quickly by getting therapy marketing help. You are simply the person who chooses how quickly you want to grow and the time and commitment you put in to your business.