Fall is by far the best season to start or grow an existing therapy practice.

Clients are returning from vacations, people start to get the work blues, students need support, seasonal affective disorders can kick in, basically, clients will seek out your help in greater numbers than any other time of year.

So, how do you leverage this time of year to fill your practice with new clients and have a waitlist.

Here are 9 steps to leverage the fall rush so you can focus on what you love…working with clients and making money at it:

  1. Make a Plan: I learned this one the hard way too many times. If you don’t have a solid plan, you are much less likely to succeed. Create a plan with goals, action steps, a calendar, metrics, and an evaluation process.
  2. Prioritize Your Tasks: Since action steps are a part of your plan you will need to prioritize them in order of what will deliver the most results. Using your calendar choose a handful of actions each day that you are going to act on that will bring you closer to your goals. Prioritize them so you complete the action that has the most likelihood of helping you succeed. That way if you don’t complete your task list, and need to finish it another day, you are still operating in the most effective and efficient way possible.
  3. Use Technology: I love using technology to keep me on task and on track. Remember, you are a solo-entrepreneur. No one’s going to do this for you. There is no organization tracking your progress. I use the app Asana in my business. It’s a great way to prioritize tasks, mark them as complete, and look at the overall progress of your actions.
  4. Take Action Everyday: Most people get stuck thinking about building their practice and don’t focus on the most important activity you could do. Take action over and over. Never underestimate this one. The more actions you take that are effective, the more likely you will fill your practice in a quick time frame.
  5. Leverage Your Niche: So it’s the fall rush. There are many reasons why therapy practices are usually fuller during this period. If you understand your niche and why they would seek out therapy in the fall then you can figure out how to find these prospective clients. For instance, if you work with college students it’s time to hit the pavement and go to your local university, flyer in strategic areas, engage in social media where the students hang out, make some new contacts at the schools, re-engage with old contacts, etc.
  6. Increase Your Ad Spend: Paid advertising is useful. However, there is actually no reason to pump a bunch of money into ads during seasons where clients are not wanting therapy such as August. I usually suggest lowering ad spends in August to save your money, because even the clients who call in August usually don’t start until September. However, September is a great month to increase ad spends. Large companies adjust their ad spends based on demand. And there’s no reason you won’t benefit from the same practice. Once September hits, pump some more money into ads that have worked for you. They will likely work even better.
  7. Create a New Lead Magnet: A lead magnet is a free piece of content that you offer your website visitors in order to get their email address and start a relationship with them. Many prospective clients are fishing for a therapist for weeks or months before they actually make the first call. By having their email address, you can send them blogs that help them, which, in turn, will allow you to build a relationship with them. Make a lead magnet that addresses the type of problems people in your niche face in the fall.
  8. Post a New Video: Video is by far one of the most engaging forms of media online. Similar to creating a new lead magnet, record a new video that addresses the problem and solutions prospective clients are facing as the fall approaches. Place your video on your website, in social media, and send it to your list.
  9. Get on the Phone: Yeah, I know, not many people like picking up the phone these days. It’s so much easier to txt, vox, snapchat, and whatever else. A good old fashion phone call goes a long way. During the next couple of months make one phone call a day to outreach old and new referral sources. Imagine the possibilities if you really followed through on this.

Make a plan. Take action. Leverage the upcoming fall rush. And you will reach your goals faster than you think.

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Keith Kurlander

Keith Kurlander is the founder of Higher Practice, a company dedicated to helping therapists achieve their highest potential in private practice. He has two decades of combined experience in business administration, group facilitation, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, yoga instruction and as a licensed professional counselor in private practice.