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Hitting 60

Today marks the 60th published article here at A SMART PRACTICE. When we launched in January of this year, we weren’t exactly sure how everything was going to shake out. Looking back over the past 6 months, and 60 articles, there’s been a lot of great content, resources, and community development here. Our goal here is to […]

Private Practice Resources

When we launched A SMART PRACTICE earlier this year, our goal was simple: To provide engaging content to help practicians build their practices. We are six months in and have published over 50 articles by almost a dozen contributors and engaged our readers with bi-monthly newsletters. This week we launched a new feature of our site: Private […]

Counseling 13th Most Stressful Job

I recently ran across this article in Business Insider that detailed the 14 most stressful jobs in America. I don’t think many of the jobs listed would be all that surprising: Air Traffic Controllers, Supervisors in the Police force, Doctors, and police/fire/911 Dispatchers. What was surprising was that Mental Health Counseling was included in this […]

8 Ideas to Generate More Referrals

– Guest-post on other blogs – Offer a support group for the parents of kids with crisis pregnancies. – Start a “new-professionals” group for goal setting, idea sharing, and accountability. – Host a workshop on secondary trauma for Police, 911, and emergency dispatchers. – Connect with other professionals on LinkedIn. Setup times to meet for […]

Try Failing

Like most new therapists, when I was beginning my practice I had no idea where my referrals would come from. Over the next several years, I developed some good referral sources but it wasn’t until around year 4 that I felt firmly established in my community. To get there I did a lot of experiments. […]

Thursday Tidbit: Accounting for Counselors

Recently, I sat down with my new bookkeeper for 2 hours and found myself exerting my brain and focus in ways that I can only describe as excruciating. It reminded me of when I sat in Greek class in graduate school. Not only was she using terms that I wasn’t exactly sure I understood, there […]

Thursday Tidbit: Building Your Brand

Building your brand is one of the quickest ways to generating referrals for your practice. A brand is created by setting expectations, and then delivering a product that measures up to those set expectations. As a private practician, you and your message are your brand. The specifics of how you build your brand are up to […]

Thursday Tidbit: People Remember How You Made Them Feel

I met this other therapist about 7 years ago. It was a brief meeting, and one I recall holding a bit of tension as we disagreed on several aspects of mental health. We haven’t spoken since, to no fault of either party. This past week I was asking a local referral network for some suggestions […]

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Thursday Tidbit: Answer the Phone!

We therapists are notorious for not being able (or perhaps we’re not willing?) to answer the phone. Often this is because of how our schedules work. I have traded voicemails with potential clients for many days due to not being able to connect at the right time. There are times at the end of a […]

Thursday Tidbit: Saving for No Shows

No shows are part of the business. Sometimes these no-shows don’t ever come back and pay. One way to mitigate that is to follow Caleb’s advice and take a credit card number to reserve each session. Another option is to save $5 from every session you complete, put it in a cash lockbox (I use this […]

Thursday Tidbit: Quality of Marketing Materials

In building a practice, the quality of your work will be your best marketing tool. But, we suggest matching the quality of your work with the quality of your public marketing materials. Business cards, website, blog, and social media profiles all work together to tell the story of what kind of business you are running. […]

Thursday Tidbit: Time Audit

Facebook can be a fantastic resource for community and even for marketing. Something I’ve noticed in my own usage of the site is that it’s easy to get distracted. I can intend to get on the site for business purposes, but can get sidetracked with other conversations that don’t really have anything to do with […]

Thursday Tidbit: Website Design Help

Everyone needs an online presence, that’s just a fact of business in the 21st century. But you don’t really know much about the web and design, so trying to do one yourself isn’t really an option. There are literally tens of thousands of options out there from fully customized to cookie-cutter styles. There is no […]

photo courtesy of Ian Sane via Flickr

Thursday Tidbit: Some Ideas on Speaking

In the last Tidbit I suggested that you get out and speak as a way to build your practice. I wanted to follow up on that with a few suggestions for where you can find speaking gigs. The reality is you will have to create these opportunities: – Call a beauty salon, offer to come train […]

Thursday Tidbit: Do What’s Difficult

There are no easy ways to build your practice. If it seems easy to do, it’s probably not worth spending all that much time doing or repeating. You’re not going to get more clients by hoping people find your website, Psychology Today profile, or see your Twitter feed. You probably hate public speaking (surprisingly, people […]