As we all know, there is more than our degrees that are needed for starting a psychology practice from the ground up. There’s a plethora of business know-how necessary to hit the ground running and set up a practice for success.
But one of the most important components of a psychological practice is the psychologist themselves. Whether there is one of us or ten of us, all of us bring something different to the table.
I often tell my clients when we meet, that the first session is not only to get an overview of why they are here, but also to make sure that they are comfortable with me. That all of us psychologists have different training, special interests and of course, personalities. That therapeutic fit is a very important part of the process, and if the client feels that I am not the right person to work with them, that they should go back to their GP and request a referral to someone who is a better fit.
We all recognise the importance of the therapeutic fit in determining what they gain from the therapy with us. But how do clients know this before they walk in our door, and what do our main referring GPs know about us before they type up a referral for their patients?
Usually it takes a fair amount of time before we can mould a practice that attracts the right clients, which also fits with our specialities and interests. Unless we have outstanding personal branding, this all usually comes after years of feedback from our clients to their GPs, as well as word of mouth in the community.
There is a delicate balancing act amongst psychologists when it comes to marketing ourselves. On one hand, we want our marketing to be unique and stand out, but at the same time, we don’t want to claim any professional superiority.
But if we don’t become more overt about our qualifications, our experience, our continued professional training and development, as well as our interests, how are we going to attract the right client as well as give the best outcomes to those we are trained to work with the best.
Individual psychologists need to be more transparent about their point of differences, and be more direct about what is unique and relevant about who they are.
What can you do today to attract the right client for you?