The following guest post designed for brand new therapists is written by Jenny Hartill. Jenny is a qualified therapist running her own private practice called Cloud9 Therapy and a room rental service in Essex called Chelmsford Therapy Rooms.
Today I’m discussing another important aspect of your business – your brand image. You may be thinking “I’m a therapist, why do I need a brand?”…..that’s a very good question. Let me explain.
I worked in Advertising for 10 years, and in my experience the brand is very important. I have experience of dealing with all sorts of companies from “one man bands” to massive conglomerates and let me tell you, the most successful ones had a brand.
I remember in particular one mediator called Chris Makin. He built up an incredibly successful business, just using his own name, and this name became his brand. He has a fantastic website and whenever I spoke to him he was busy. You don’t have to be a massive company and have a company name if you don’t want to, although in order to start building your brand, you must have two things: a logo and a business address.
For those therapists with experience of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) you will be familiar with the concept of learning modalities. Let us imagine a potential client is looking for a therapist. Who are they going to remember – just a name or a name with a brightly coloured logo? Also remember that clients usually take a while to choose a therapist; they shop around, and those therapists that feel familiar they will choose. Companies have logos because they’re easier to remember and therefore familiarity is easier to build.
Your business address
Next, your business address. Some therapists do choose to work from home, but many are choosing to hire a therapy room or something similar. Whichever you choose, and I cannot stress this enough, you MUST have a business address. I’ve had therapists not sign up to use Chelmsford Therapy Rooms because “I’m waiting to get a client first”…….this creates two problems for new therapists:
1: When potential clients look for a therapist, location is a main factor. How will a client choose you if they don’t know exactly where you’re based?
2: Once a client has contacted you, where will you tell them to go unless you have already secured your business address?
Unless you have the keys and access to your place of work you do not have anywhere. If you get a client, and suddenly need to sign up to a therapy room or hire office space etc, what if the manager is on holiday or can’t meet you to give you a set of keys? You must take these things into account. Also, ask yourself this……why are you really avoiding signing up to serviced offices / a therapy room etc? Do you believe you’ll actually attract clients? Is this a confidence issue? At the end of the day if you definitely have a place of work, you definitely have somewhere for clients to go.
Next we have to work on attracting those clients, so we’ll look at websites.