They didn't teach us how to be business owners and self-marketers in graduate school. Consequently, many of us who go into a solo private practice after an internship experience professional anxiety. We worry about how to get clients and whether common marketing techniques are ethical.
My professional clients in private practice are:
marriage and family therapists
mental health counselors
life coaches & parenting coaches
homeopaths & naturopaths
psychic mediums & animal communicators
other independent healers, teachers, helpers
Roots of Professional Anxiety
Although the work and client needs of the professionals listed above may vary according to profession, the anxiety felt by solopreneurs is quite similar. There are common roots, including the facts that:
We aren't taught marketing in grad school
Internships shield newbies from marketing realities
We're over-focused on getting referrals from other professionals
The ACA may force all therapists to take insurance
Professional associations restrict creative marketing
You don't have much computer skill
Online tools are frustrating or scary
Gurus tell you what to do, but not how to do it
In my years of coaching many therapists, intuitives, healers and others, I've noticed that solopreneur worries tend to fall into 4 main types.
1. Anxiety Over Peer Disapproval
You don't want to do anything out of line, but it isn't entirely certain what that would be. So you think about emulating your supervisor whose 30-year old practice is full. But she doesn't have a website, isn't on locator directories, and isn't even really certain how clients find her beyond old clients referring new ones. Not much help there.
You are tempted to use practice builder gurus, but they suggest methods you think your colleagues would find unethical or cheesy. As a personal growth coach, a retired therapist, and a web presence semi-techie myself, I can guide you through the appropriate choices and the worry about what peers will think.
2. Distaste for Self Promotion
You don't want to seem too pushy, or narcissistic, You're not sure it's "professional" to talk about yourself, and you're been trained not to make personal disclosures. Maybe you're fresh out of school or internship, and you don't feel like an expert yet.
But you do want people to know you're out there and what you offer. I can help you figure out how to best promote your practice while staying within the professionalism that we all value.
3. Discomfort with Online Technologies
Computers intimidate, frustrate and baffle many people who don't need to use them much for their work. So solopreneurs often lack the techie skills needed to blog or ezine, create a rack card, build a website, produce an ebook, sell a how-to on Kindle, do social media, make an animated video, or hold a tele-group.
Maybe you think you don't want -- or don't have time -- to learn. It might be easier than you think, with just a little help. That's were I come in. I can help you get comfortable with simple marketing technology, and point you to techies who will do these things for you.
4. Inability to Maximize Web Presence
Web presence is more than where you are online -- it's who you are and how compelling and consistent your message is out there in cyber space. Optimizing this is like learning to speak a new language. Making a significant impact takes focus and effort.
There's a steep learning curve to this learning process for most private practitioners. I can teach you how to use your sparkling personality to make a good emotional impact in the right way with the client niche you want to reach.
No Hype WorryTamer Web Presence Coaching
Reducing professional anxiety about being a business owner who needs to consistently generate clients requires gaining skill in these basics:
Want to learn more? Let's set up a strategy and skills consult.
We'll briefly talk about how you've been trying to build your practice, what web presence foundations you already have in place, and where you feel stuck, and I'll see if I can show you a way to tame your worries.
Client attraction IS possible without selling your soul, or violating your profession's code of ethics.