5 Free Ways to Build your Private Practice
1. Volunteer for Speaking Events
One great way to begin building your professional identity is to volunteer to give talks or presentations on topics related to your clinical passions. Not only are these speaking events an awesome resource for the community they also provide you with a forum to discuss your practice with you community.
Consider reaching out to local community organizations such as churches, synagogs, the YMCA, schools, chamber of commerce groups, networking groups, parent/teacher associations, yoga studios, gyms, or any other places where your typical client would interact in the community.
A good friend once told me, "people have to hear your name or interact with you at least five times before you come to their mind for a referral." Speaking in the community is one great way for you to begin sharing with others what you are passionate about.
2. Create a Blog or webpage on a free platform
Creating a blog is easier than it looks! There are tons of programs that basically walk you through how to create your own webpage or blog. Many of these blog or website builders are free. For instance, I created this entire page myself using Squarespace. They offer a 30 day free trial to everyone who works with them. Creating a blog or a webpage builds upon your professional identity and creates a space for you to discuss your passions.
3. Volunteer at Networking Events
Attending professional events can be expensive, and sometimes it feels like you are spending money on events without seeing results. Often, networking events need volunteers to help with sign in, clean up, or set up. Inquire about whether the organization offers free admission to networking events for volunteers. Often volunteers have the most fun at networking events and working on a shared tasks helps to build lasting connections.
4. Phone Check-Ins
Many professionals are busy and don't necessarily have time to meet you for lunch or coffee. However, many people do have time for a quick phone call. I only suggest making phone calls to other professionals who you have an established relationship with, and the check-ins should based on a genuine interest in the lives and businesses of others around you. Every few months, take 10 minutes or so to make do a quick phone check-in with your referral sources. Perhaps share a few updates about your practice or projects you are working, but make sure to spend most of the conversation truly focusing on their life and what is new with them. Make sure to keep the phone call short and sweet.
5. Use Social Media
Create a professional Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter account. Make sure to keep these accounts in keeping with your professional practice. Use these accounts as methods for linking back to your website or blog, and make sure to put forward content that showcases your therapeutic niche. Do not make the mistake of acting unprofessionally simply because you are using social media. Remember that anything you post could be seen by other professionals, clients, or strangers so keep your posts related to your therapeutic practice.