So we are just over half way through the year which means that this is the perfect time to take stock and have a good look at what is working and what isn’t in your therapy business. Therapy marketing should never be static. You shouldn’t just put something in place and just forget about it. Instead you need to review the numbers and results of the marketing strategies that you are using and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. So here are just some of the questions that you need to be asking yourself if you are going to get the best out of your business.
As a therapist this is the biggie as without any customers you simply don’t have a business. Yet so few therapists actually sit down and drill into their numbers to make business decisions. To really get a handle on your business ask yourself the following?
How many clients are you currently seeing on average per week vs the number of time slots that you have available? So if for example you have a goal of 20/25 clients per week do you find yourself consistently finding problems attracting that number of people or are you over stretched? If you find that you are always seeing less clients than you need exactly how many new clients do you need to be attracting per week to make your business work for you? If you have too many clients exactly how many people per week?
Asking yourself these questions allows you to think strategically. A business with too few clients clearly has a problem especially if that shortfall is significant. It is a great signal to tell you that your current marketing methods are simply not working and that you need to try something different and quickly. Too many clients start to open you up to possibilities in your business. Perhaps you could do more group work to deal with the numbers. Alternatively, if you are so in demand can you hire an associate or put up your rates. Here you have choices meaning you need to really think about where you want to go next.
Where are Your Therapy Clients coming from?
Now drill down even further. Where exactly are your customers coming from? I know exactly where each of my customers comes from and I keep a spreadsheet where I note down which clients found me from each therapy marketing method I use. You need to understand exactly where your leads are hearing about you because this will tell you exactly what marketing methods are working and which are not. Have your clients found you from your website doing an SEO organic search? Did paid online advertising help? Did any arrive because of social media, referrals from friends, posters in a gym, networking and so on?
When you understand exactly where they are coming from you can now get a handle on the success of the marketing methods you are using and their costs. Always look at your return on investment. If you have a website yet nobody is hearing about you from that website then something is going badly wrong. If you are spending £100 per week on an advert in a local paper and over two months you haven’t had a call then it is time to stop the advert and think of something else.
When I used to work in North London I found that a large number of my competitors would spend one or two evenings a week doing talks around the local area to try and attract new clients. These talks would using take a couple of hours out of their precious evenings and were unpaid. Yes, they would get some new clients in because of their marketing but not enough that they still didn’t need to do more talks the following week and then the next. I however used pay per click advertising to reach targeted prospects. In a really short time, I was full every day and every evening and earning a great income. Yes, it cost money to put out the adverts but they paid for themselves over and over again meaning I never need to slog away just to attract clients and I was being paid a significant amount of money by those clients. This is a perfect example of working smarter and not harder.
Equally, at points in my early career, I invested in adverts in Yellow Pages, local directories or magazines. It soon became evident that many of these methods were simply not bringing in the revenue so I never renewed my subscriptions. Never keep on plugging away at something that doesn’t work. Look at the numbers and if they don’t add up then stop wasting your money.
What do your Therapy Business profits look like?
Now let’s have a look at your income and profit each month. If you have been a therapist for a while you should always look not only at how you are doing currently but how your profits are changing year on year. If you are not seeing an upward trajectory then you may have a problem.
You can also drill down further and find out which type of customer is more lucrative for your business. I will state the obvious. You will earn more money from clients who are enrolled in a program than seeing clients for one-off sessions. Spending advertising dollars trying to get customers in for nail-biting for example makes no sense. You are likely to see them for one or two sessions and that is it. Attract a customer who would like to enrol on a six-session stress management and mindfulness course is a different matter. Creating packages of products where ethically you can do so makes much more sense for your business and will bring greater returns.
If you have not heard about High Ticket Selling then it is worth noting that it is becoming a bigger thing in marketing circles. Basically, the concept is simple. Increasingly if you want to attract new customers or clients you are likely to need to spend money. If you attract the wrong kind of customers or don’t get enough of them you will never earn a great living and be living hand to mouth. High Ticket Selling is where you spend a significant amount of money on very targeted advertising but you attract customers willing to spend big to get your expertise to solve a problem. In the coaching sector where this concept is increasingly popular, it is not unusual for coaches using this system to charge $3000 upwards for one of their programs. Yes, they will have spent $300 on getting that client but they are still hugely in profit and they only need to attract a handful of clients to be making an exceptional income. Even if you don’t have the confidence yet to do this you can examine your profit per customer and see where you can find ways to increase that margin.
What is your Web and Social Media Presence?
If you don’t have a web presence or an amazing social media following then give up and go home. This is where the majority of new customers are coming from. People are on their mobile phones all day surfing the web or checking on their Facebook pages so you need to go where your customers are. Some simple questions to ask yourself about your website:
- How many people per day are visiting your website?
- What are the popular pages that you are being found for?
- Where is the position of your website in relation to that of your competitors?
I know exactly what each person who comes to my website does and how long they have been on it for. I know what pages they are looking at and how long for. I know their location and even the device they are using when they find me. Here is an example of just some of the statistics I got from one of the visitors to my website this morning as they browsed for nearly twelve minutes.
I also know the position of my website in Google not just in the location I am marketing in but also for every keyword that I am trying to attract customers for. Do you? This kind of information gives you valuable therapy marketing insights and enables you to take action in areas where you are weak.
What are your goals for the future of your business? If you just want to see clients then fair enough all you might care about is filling your weekly slots and that is it but for other therapists, business expansion is really important. So that means you need to think about how you could create passive or alternative income streams for your business. As an example teaching your form of therapy to others, creating online courses for customers, selling audios, or marketing yourself to corporates. Setting out future goals and creating plans to allow for this is important and stop you from being reliant on just one income source.
In addition are there any courses or skills that you need to acquire to help you and your business? I sell marketing solutions but I still go on courses by other marketers to continually improve my knowledge. I also have a few CPD courses that I am eyeing up that will hopefully enable me to up my success rate even more with clients. Whatever you decide to do make sure that your review covers future endeavours rather than just examing your current ones.
Taking a day or so out of your busy therapy business is so important as it can enable you to make significant improvements to the way that you work. Streamlining your business and getting rid of deadwood can help you to reap rewards well into the future leaving you with a robust, viable and very profitable therapy practice.