Have you ever wondered how many different ways there are to grow your psychotherapy practice?
When I’ve asked this question to my consulting and coaching clients, I typically receive either perplexed answers of “I have no idea!” or wild guesses, such as “100,” “200,” or even “500” or more.
Heck, we even offer a free guide on “52 Ways to Market and Grow Your Practice.”
But, I have good news for you…
As Jay Abraham pointed out in his book, Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got – and as you may have guessed from the title of this post – there are, in fact, ONLY THREE ways you can grow your practice, or any business:
- Increase the number of clients you serve;
- Increase the average transaction size or amount per client; and
- Increase the number of times clients return and buy again.
That’s it… Just three!
To really see the power of these three simple keys to growing your practice, let’s take a look at a quick example (yes, a little math is involved but, as you’ll see, it’s more than worth the effort!) …
First, calculate the number of clients you’ve seen in the last year.
Next, figure out the average amount they spend on each transaction or session.
Finally, determine how often they purchase from you or how many sessions they attended.
For example, let’s say you saw a total of 50 clients last year. Each client averaged 20 sessions at $100.00 per session:
Now, look what happens if we increase each of these numbers by just 10%…
A slight 10 percent increase across the board expands your income by 33.1 percent… And, as you can see in the following example, a 25 percent increase across the board would practically double your income!
Consistently focusing on and coming back to this simple formula can make creating the abundant practice you desire a whole lot easier.
After all, only three things need your attention. And just a slight increase in any of them can lead to dramatic results.
Let’s take a look at each…
Increasing the Number of Clients You Serve
While there are numerous ways to bring more clients into your proverbial door that we cover each and every month inside the Therapy Marketing Institute, we don’t always refer to the formula above when discussing the different marketing media and methods available. However, you do NEED to know:
- What the average new client is worth to your practice in terms of how much they spend on each transaction or session;
- How many times that “average” client comes to sessions or purchases from you each year; and
- How many years an average client will purchase from you
We’ve covered this topic in greater detail in “What’s a Client Worth to You?”, but it bears repeating…
Using the example above, let’s say an average client spends $100 on each session with you. If that average client sees you for 20 sessions that year, then a new client, on average, means $2,000 of additional income for your practice – and this doesn’t take into consideration the possibility that that client will return for future sessions or refer other new clients to you.
Unfortunately, most therapists never take the time to do this simple equation and find out how much a new client is worth to their practice. But YOU should. Its significance is not to be overlooked!
What do I mean?
Simply that most therapists – in fact, most business owners in general – spend far too much time trying to save money on their marketing instead of seeing it as THE business critical investment that it is.
If each new client means an average $2,000 increase to your practice’s income, does it make sense to fret about spending an extra $20 or $50 per month on a specific marketing media or method?
If each new client is worth $2,000 to your practice’s income, shouldn’t you be willing to spend $100, $200, even $500 on getting them?
After all, spending $500 to make $2,000 (a $1,500 net profit and a 400% return on your investment) is far better than spending $100 or $200 and getting no results!
To be clear, I’m in no way suggesting you can simply spend your way to success… You’re likely to go bankrupt much faster.
The point is to make sure you understand that your marketing IS an investment
In fact, your marketing is THE investment in the growth and future success of your business.
While you need to always be testing different marketing media and methods, tracking your results, and looking to maximize your returns, you also need to know that operating from a poverty mindset and being “cheap” when it comes to acquiring new clients is a sure road to mediocrity and ultimate failure.
I apologize if that seems harsh… But it’s true.
Now, let’s look at the second way to grow your practice…
Increasing the Transaction Size or Amount per Client
Since we’re not talking about running a restaurant or car dealership, I’ll refrain from discussing “upsells” and add-on items such as offering appetizers, the wine list, the dessert tray, leather-bucket seats, or a warranty package.
However, just because you practice psychotherapy doesn’t mean you’re running a non-profit charity!
As Casey Truffo has stated, “You’re called to be a therapist. Are you also called to poverty?”
The easiest ways to increase how much clients spend on each transaction is simply to raise your fees.
I’ve already devoted an entire article to this topic, so I won’t go into great detail here (see “Setting Fees: What Most Therapists Don’t Know About Price”).
Suffice it to say, if you increase your fees by 10%, you do likewise to your income.
If you make $75,000 per year and increase your rates by 10 percent, even without seeing one extra client you’ll increase your income to $82,500. Could you use an extra $7,500?
Additionally, I know therapists in the same city with the same size practices charging $100 and $200 per session respectively. It’s possible one therapist is 100% better than the other… but I doubt it.
The value of the psychotherapy services you provide are almost beyond compare. How are you presenting that value? Are you getting paid what you’re worth?
Do you raise your hourly rate each year? At least enough to keep up with inflation? If not, why not?
Ask yourself these questions with an open mind and re-examine every belief you have about the fees and prices you charge. If you want to create the abundant practice and lifestyle you desire, today must be a new day, not a stubborn re-living of the past. 🙂
Increasing the Number of Sales per Client
Psychotherapy IS a unique profession.
Unfortunately, this is all too often used as an excuse leading therapists to conclude that they simply don’t have as many avenues open to them when it comes to marketing and growing their practices. But this belief – and it is a belief – is anything but true.
Since you obviously can’t encourage clients to attend more sessions than they need, you need to get more CREATIVE about the other types of products and services you offer.
Start brainstorming… From coaching services to providing online and offline workshops, from consulting to offering psychotherapy groups, from writing and publishing books to creating online video courses and downloadable worksheets, there is no shortage of additional income streams you can create using your expertise as a therapist that can help you increase your income as well as reach and help more people!
Most therapists market and promote their services in pretty much the same way. But, as I’ve said before, you can’t do things the same way as everyone else and expect above average results. You have to do things differently.
This means you should always be looking outside your profession for creative ways to market and grow your practice. And the Therapy Marketing Institute is here to help you do precisely this… If you’re not already a member, join us today!
Are you tracking how much a new client is worth to your practice? Are you charging what you’re worth and raising your rates annually? Are you offering other products and services? If so, how are these things working for you? Which aren’t you doing? Why not? Let us know your thoughts and questions below. We look forward to hearing from you!