Mistakes I Find When Chatting To Therapists
This blog has come about because of a discussion that was made in the ATA Hub today. I just thought it would be really good to follow this up on here and just to explain a few things and a few pointers, things that I find.
What I’m finding when I’m chatting to them, is that a lot of them haven’t done the groundwork. Great training at college or at schools, anywhere like that, with the therapies. They come away really gifted with what they can do. Whether it’s massage, reflexology, hypnotherapy, whatever. It actually comes down then to setting up and running the business. This is where they can falter. It’s the groundwork, it’s the core and the foundations are not built and put in place.
Who’s your ideal client? Who’s the person that you want to work with?” I get the obvious answer, and I used to say exactly the same thing, that I want to work with everyone and I can work with everyone. This is exactly what we were taught for, was to help people. This is perfect in our industry. I’ve been a therapist for 16 years and I should think for about the first six years with that I was marketing to anyone and everyone, because I wanted to help anyone. It’s this thing that you have to realise that you cannot be there for everyone, you cannot work with everyone, that it’s better if you can specialise. Don’t be like every other therapist that’s out there.
Also, the other things that you’re looking for is to be building that database. I ask therapists “Have you got your therapy list in place? Have you got your database? Are you in contact with the names? Have you got in contact with your clients?” I get a blank look. Even if you haven’t got any clients you still put that system in place, you still have that system ready, so that when you can put names in there, even if you’re just putting your friends and family in there to start, you can start working and building that relationship by sending newsletters, by sending helpful hints and tips. It’s showing them your knowledge and your expertise. It’s putting that word out there and having these systems in place so that when you are busy with your clients, you’re not trying to set up newsletters, you’re not trying to set up your database. It’s already there in place. This is one of those important ones.
Secondly, you get what you work for. It’s our industry, we love to work hands on, we love to work with our clients. We love what we do with a passion. It’s not always working ‘in’ the business and working with the clients. The thing is, if you don’t put the work ‘on’, you haven’t got a business. It’s that, yes, it’s self employed, I’m my own boss, I can sit back, this is nice and comfortable, but you’ve got to put the work in.
Especially when just launching, it’s hard graft, it is hard work, and it is not as easy as we are led to believe. I don’t want to paint a picture of doom and gloom, but I just really want you to be aware that it’s not as easy as we think. It does take hard work. The easy bit is working with our clients. The hard bit is the working ‘on’ the business. It’s doing the social media, the bookkeeping, the accounts, it’s end of tax year, the marketing, the newsletters, the promotions, the offers, it’s all these things you’ve got working on behind the scenes.
Some of these things you can outsource. What you’ve got to do and you’ve got to think of is that you’ve got the bookkeeping, there’s the accounts, end of year accounts; outsource it, give it to somebody else to do. Because, just think, you’re doing therapies, you’re spending time working that and earning money. If you’re like me that don’t like playing with numbers and I never trust myself, I give that straightaway to a bookkeeper. I used to spend two or three days towards the end of my tax year pulling my accounts together for my accountant to have the 24 hours. I’ve numbered the receipts, I’ve put everything in columns in the red book. I’ve done it all properly. My accountant’s had them for 24 hours, has done all my accounts and then has charged me over £200 for it. What I do now is I work with a bookkeeper and she sorts it for me every month. End of the year it’s all done. I’m working with my clients, doing the job I love, instead of chewing the end of a pencil trying to sort all my figures out. Let me ask you. How would you feel if you found an accountant went and done a weekend course and was now offering massage to friends and family instead of …? Can you see that if you switch it back round, that we’re all saying that we’re learning, we’re doing our bookkeeping, we can do our own books because it saves us money. We wouldn’t like it if they were doing our job. They’ve got a passion and a love for doing figures. I’ve got a passion for doing massage.
Also, we’re looking at thirdly, is that it’s hobby versus work. Again, it’s another one that I talk to therapists about. I’m saying to them, “You’re running a business.” They go, “Oh no, I’m just seeing my friends and family. If you take that payment for that treatment, you are running a business. Minute you start taking money you are running a business. I know therapists that work full time, have got a full time job, and then they still run a therapy business and take it very seriously and run that hard as well.
Another one that I’m often seeing and I’m hearing is that they set up, they launch therapies, they build beautiful business cards, leaflets. They set up either in a treatment room or they’ve converted a room in their own home, and they’re all beautifully set up and they’re ready and, that’s it. There’s nothing. They expect to able to open and that they exist. They think clients will find them. They think the public will find them and come to them……. Sorry, that doesn’t happen. If it does to you, please tell me your tips. I’d love to know that! You’ve got to let people know that you exist. You’ve got to be visible. You’ve got to let people know that you’re there and that you exist.
It’s all about keeping in touch, because you can’t expect people just to turn up and book with you, especially if they see your social media posts or they may see your website. They’ve got to feel and build a trust with you and build a relationship with you. This is where you’re sharing your hints and tips on Facebook or any type of social media, that you’re blogging. Hopefully you’ve got a blog onto your website. Again, that you’re sharing bits and pieces in there. Again, helping people. Also, then it’s all this evidence that you’ve got that you show your expertise.
You’ve gone through all that training and will know more than them. Share these little bits of hints and tips and advice. Show that you care, people will then start come in and looking and learning from you and building a trust and relationship with you. When that happens, that’s when they book, because they feel they get to know you, that’s when they book up with you.
Underestimating money and time. Now, I discussed this on Tea and Business with the Academy members on Monday morning. The big one with this is, knowing your numbers. You should really track your numbers. If you do it right from the start, again, with a system, then you can carry that through, it will become a habit, you will end up doing this no problem when then you’re busy. In your own time, in your own diary, in your own business planner, in your marketing planner, you can keep a track of your numbers. It’s your social media numbers, it’s your database numbers, it’s your client numbers, it’s your income, it’s your expenses.
All these things that you keep an account of, that you’re keeping a note of every month, so you can keep a track on your goals, your targets, and whether you’re actually earning enough money to cover the expenses you’re having to pay out. It’s no good waiting to the end of the year or just monitoring your bank account to see how much money you’ve got, because you suddenly might find that you haven’t got enough to cover the room rent or something. It might be that you suddenly find that your diary is looking a bit empty towards the end of the month, so then you can put things in place to get more bookings in. It is, it’s knowing your numbers. These things help a business and it helps towards success, is to know and to track the numbers.
Another point is customer service and care. In our industry it’s so much easier because we do care about our clients, we do look after our clients, we give them the time, because it’s quite emotional for them. Again, you have to take this into consideration because it’s your time. You’ve got to remember to book that in, to put that into your pricing. Where we’ve been on about before, about how to consider your prices, thinking about how much it’s going to cost, what you’re training’s cost you, what things you need to cover, also remember the time.
Another one I see, and again, I’m guilty for this when I first started, was I’d loved the passion with my therapies and I was adding more and more and more therapies to my list. I’ve got a lovely toolbox of therapies now that I can offer, but when I was first doing that and I was getting qualified in that I didn’t know how to sell the therapies, I didn’t know how to attract the clients through my door to perform the therapies with. I had a bright, lovely, shiny new therapy and no clients to work with it. Again, I’m seeing that more and more therapists are getting more and more therapies added to their lists, but they don’t know how to market, they don’t know how to sell their therapy. This is why I built the Academy in place, is to help therapists give them that business knowledge, give them that confidence and the hand-holding to get them through those stages.
Running your own therapy business takes consistency – with the social media, consistency with the blogs, consistency with any of the marketing and in many marketing pillars. It’s not just social media and it’s not just a website. There’s many marketing pillars that you have to do for your ideal client, your ideal customer, whatever you want to do. It’s got to be perfect and in point there, so you’ve got to many marketing pillars.
These are just some of the common mistakes that are being made when I chat to therapists when we are reviewing their business. Do you do any of these?
Have a chat with me to see if I can help you Ali’s Therapy Academy