I felt I had to write this post because of the sheer volume of new therapists out there who are currently setting up their practices who have zero clue about business. In particular the hypnotherapy industry that I am part has a ton of training schools churning out would-be therapists. These therapists are ready and prepared to see clients but a good percentage have not thought through what happens next which is how to set up a therapy practice and make money. This is naive at best and completely insane in reality. Do not set up a therapy practice without reading this first!
It is not the job of the therapy courses to teach business and marketing (even though some touch on the subject). Why should they? It is the therapists responsibility to set themselves up for success by investing some time, energy and money into learning what happens next. Yet time and time again I come across therapists who forget this essential part of the process. They think they can create a website (or get someone else to do it for them) and their phone will be ringing off the hook – it won’t!
Therapy Marketing Essentials
So I thought I would write this post and detail some of the things you will have to know if you are running your own business particularly with regard to marketing. If you don’t know or understand what these are then you need to take a course, get a mentor, do some detailed research or alternatively have plenty of money behind you to pay for someone else to do you work for you.
Just remember that when you pay someone else to do stuff for you they don’t always understand your niche, charge for every change and some disappear completely. Also, these people are often only as good as the instructions you give them. So if you tell them you want purple unicorns on your website that is what they will give you. Most therapists have little idea on what converts browsers into buyers on a website so from a business perspective you are likely to make some expensive mistakes.
Understanding why you need things structured in a certain way is hugely important otherwise you are going to end up wasting a ton of time, energy and money. In fact, you may not even realise you have made a big mistake until months or even years later. Being a sole trader at the start of your self-employment means being a bit of a jack of all trades and that is especially so when you set up a therapy practice.
So what potentially would you need to know to make money?
Download Your Copy
Setting up a Therapy Website
Before you set up your website you need to choose a name for your business and buy a domain name. This domain name can be a .com or related to your country such as a .co.uk or even be a .org or .online and so on. Do you know what domain is best for your business model?
Next, you will need hosting in order to get your website onto the internet. Do you know what to buy and why? Does your web host offer backups? Do they have good uptime? Are they suitable for the size of your business?
Once you have your hosting your domain has to be linked to it. If the host and the domain name provider are different you will have to change the nameservers. Do you know how to do this?
Once the host and website are linked do you know how to set up a WordPress site in the control panel? If you aren’t using WordPress why not?
Once you have the WordPress dashboard can you upload and choose a theme for your site? Do you understand the implications for your business when you choose a specific theme? Does it have the functionality you need?
If you can’t do this can you afford a web developer to do this for you? Alternatively, if you buy a website template from a therapy marketing website provider are you happy paying money month after month? Does the website they build you allow you to change things easily, add plugins or grow with your business? Do they charge for every change they make? Can you afford this?
Are you aware that Google does not trust new websites and older ones are more likely to get more traffic? It can take months to get any organic traffic and more than a year or more to build it to something that will earn you money. Have you got plans to earn money whilst you are waiting?
Get the Download
Now you have the bare bones of a website do you know how to use WordPress? If not learn because you will need to know how to add content, change menus, upload pictures, host videos and so on.
Do you know the essential elements you need to add to your menu? Don’t copy everyone else because I can guarantee you that most of them are missing a trick.
Do you know what HTML is and when you might need to use it in your site?
Are you able to add sections to your site? Can you add new pages, buttons, change menus, add email capture forms and links?
Do you know what plugins are? What essential plugins will you need?
How are you keeping your website secure from hackers? What happens if your site does get hacked?
Therapy Website Content
Do you know what SEO /Search Engine Optimisation is? Do you know how to write content that will enable you to be found in the search engines?
Do you understand how to optimise your images and videos to be found across the internet?
Do you know how to create products to sell on your website? Are you able to set up a shop?
Do you understand VAT Moss? Do you understand what will happen after Brexit?
What is your business strategy when you create content?
How are you going to drive traffic to your website?
Are you able to create good quality graphics? If not what will you do? Pay someone or learn how to use software to create them for you?
Get the Calendar
How are you going to monitor who is visiting your website? What metrics do you need to pay attention to? What actions will you need to take after viewing those metrics?
What systems are you going to use to view your metrics? How are you going to add them to your website?
How often should you be looking at these metrics? What can you do if you see little traffic?
Ideal Therapy Clients
Who is your ideal client? How are you going to attract them? How will you make money from that client? How are you going to solve their problem?
How are you going to take money from them and what will your charge (hint it is not calculated by copying others)?
How can you ensure you don’t get cancellations or no shows?
What contractual arrangements do you have with that client? Do they meet the current regulations and laws in your country?
Where are you going to see them? How much will that cost you?
What are Your Costs?
Have you got a handle on all the costs in your business? Have those costs been factored into the price you are going to charge your client?
What are you going to do in quiet periods? Can you still cover your costs?
Will you have a pension?
How are you going to be able to afford holidays?
Are you able to cover all your outgoings as you set up your business?
How much money do you need to set aside for tax? How do your earnings look once you have taken out the tax and other associated costs? Will you be able to afford to live?
What system are you going to use to log all your incomings and outgoings?
Do you understand what costs can be offset against your tax bill?
Do you know how to do a self-assessment tax form? If not can you afford to hire an accountant?
Day to Day Therapy Marketing
What strategies are you going to use day to day to get clients into your business?
How much money are you prepared to allocate to your marketing efforts?
What marketing can you do for free?
What paid strategies are you prepared to try? Do you know what paid marketing works and which is a waste of money?
Do you know what backlinks are? Do you know how to use them?
Download the PDF
Social Media & Ads
Do you know how to set up business accounts on social media? Do you know how to engage people so that they become interested in your products and services?
What social media platforms are you going to concentrate on and why?
Are you going to use paid advertising? If so what courses and knowledge do you have before you post ads? – Remember most therapists waste hundreds of pounds or more because they don’t know what they are doing and dabble!
How much are you prepared to pay each week in paid advertising? How can you review the metrics on this advertising?
How much time and effort are you willing to spend tweaking your advertising? How will this work if you are seeing clients?
Passive Income for Therapists
Do you know what passive income is?
Are you intending to build passive income into your practice?
What products and services are you going to create to build this passive income? How are you going to sell these?
What platforms and software would you need to use to build these passive income products? How are these going to get to your customer automatically? How are you going to get paid for these?
How are your potential customers going to know your products and services exist?
How will you attract those customers?
Do you know what a funnel is? Do you know how to create one to sell your products and services?
So Setting up a Therapy Practice is Easy You Think!
This post is not intended to overwhelm you but to show you that setting up as a self-employed business is not as easy as those hypnotherapy training courses would have you believe. Running your own business takes significant time and effort and this post shows you some of the elements you are going to have to master if you want to earn a real living from the profession. Now ask yourself is it as easy as you think? Can you figure out this detail yourself? If so how long do you think it will take you and how much are you likely to earn whilst you are trying to work this out?
If you want help to set up a therapy practice I have a ton of free resources for you to download as well as products in my online store to help. For therapy, marketing mentoring just fill out the contact form and I will get back to you.
You may also like to read:
How to Write a Good Therapy Blog to Boost Your Income
The Ten Best Hypnotherapy Books on the Market
Therapy Marketing Strategies for 2020