Making the most of your Therapy Centre
The marketing potential of working at a Therapy Centre
We both live in fairly rural areas, so we have both worked at three Therapy Centres simultaneously. Of course, Nic now runs her own clinic in Cirencester.
Over the years we’ve seen new therapists come and go and are always surprised at the number of missed opportunities for promoting themselves. The ones who succeed have a good understanding of the marketing potential of working at a Therapy Centre.
One of the first mistakes new therapists make is that they believe that by renting a room, new clients will flock to their door. Unless your Therapy Centre has a very high profile and a good marketing strategy this is unlikely to be the case.
Our advice is to think of Therapy Centres as simply a location where you practice and that you need to promote your business in the same way as if you were working from home or from your own premises. The chances are you WILL get referrals from the Centre, but if you act as if you are independent, any such referrals will be a bonus.
By all means support the Centre's marketing initiatives - just don't rely on them exclusively. Some Centres are better than others and may provide the option to sign up to joint marketing initiatives.
Here's how to make the most of renting a room at a Therapy Centre:
Find out up front what marketing support they offer and make sure you follow up on every opportunity.
If they offer you space on their website, make sure your details are accurate and up to date.
If they run Open Days, offer to help to organise them and promote them on your own website. This not only helps you to attract new clients, it also helps to strengthen your relationship with the Centre, which could in turn lead to referrals.
Many Centres offer display space at reception on a rota basis for their therapists - make sure you make the most of your turn - we both know therapists who have been struggling for new clients and yet have declined to display anything when it's their turn.
If space allows, run occasional workshops at the Centre. This will benefit you as the Centre should offer to promote your event and it will benefit them as they will be providing additional services to their client base.
Make sure your leaflets and business cards are well stocked up and in good condition.
Maintain a professional attitude at all times - quibbling over room rental or griping about a lack of clients will create a poor impression. If you are perceived as successful, people will want you to be part of their team and they can make referrals with confidence - both Nic and Debs have seen therapists shoot themselves in the foot by complaining rather than grasping the nettle and getting on with things!
Take good care of your clients at the Centre - this may seem obvious, but we've seen cases where clients have complained to Centre managers that therapists have had body odour, have been late for appointments or taken phone calls during a session (in one case a therapist answered her mobile phone three times!).
If you intend to mention the Centre by name in your own promotional material, make sure the Centre is aware. We've both been approached by Centres who want us to join them because they want our marketing to work for them.
If you don't rent a room at a Therapy Centre, see if you can tie in with a local Health Food Shop, Gym or Community Centre for mutual promotional opportunities.
Take Action to make the most of your Therapy Centre.
Nic and Debs