How to Get Your First Clients in a Private Counseling or Therapy Practice

Wow!  How exciting to be starting a business and getting your first clients in your private practice.  Whether you are a Psychologist, a Counselor, or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), marketing your private practice is probably tops on your mind as you consider how to get your first clients in your private counseling or therapy practice.

Before you jump in and start a marketing campaign, make sure you’ve carefully considered the following questions.  This will help you avoid making mistakes or spending money for things that aren’t effective for getting new clients into your private practice.

  1. What are you envisioning for your practice when it is fully up and running and you have a full roster of clients?  What will your practice look like?
  2. With whom do you most want to work? Often referred to as your “ideal client”, how would you describe this person? What problems will you help them to resolve?
  3. What will be your marketing message?  What is it you want to convey to potential clients that are looking for someone with whom to work so they can resolve their issue?
  4. How will you reach these potential clients with your marketing message? What tools will you use to promote your services?
  5. And finally, what beliefs about business or being in business do you have that might hamper your success? Sometimes these are hidden beliefs that only become apparent when someone points them out to you or when you realize you are resisting some action out of fear or a hidden belief that goes against that action.

Getting your first clients in a private counseling or therapy practice can happen fast when you’ve thought things through ahead of time. Examine each of these questions closely and write down your responses.  Add to them as you go about your day reflecting on the questions.  These are not questions to be answered lightly or quickly.

They also do not have “pat” answers (superficial, canned or quick responses).

Do your research so that you understand the ramifications for each question, make your decisions and be prepared to course correct as you learn more about getting new clients and building a profitable private practice.  As a Psychologist, Social Worker or Counselor, you know that your services are needed.

Take the time now to set things up properly and soon your marketing message will be in front of your ideal clients and they’ll be calling you for an appointment.