I’m a summer slacker.
I take 4 weeks off during the months of June through August.
And I often work shorter days during those months.
Sure I notice a drop in my income, but it’s more important that I enjoy the sun and nature here in beautiful British Columbia.
Our summers are short in Vancouver and it rains A LOT during the winter months. So I plan my work around my preferred lifestyle. I’d rather work harder in the winter and slack off in the summer. I prepare for and accept the consequences of working fewer hours in the summer.
BUT, this wasn’t the case for my client, Karen.
I did a coaching call with Karen, a long term client of mine. We’ve worked together for several years on and off. She has had a full counseling practice for at least 3 years now.
She is very organized and has an active marketing plan in place.
Karen has worked hard to build her therapy practice and has had to overcome a lot of fears about attracting enough clients.
She had been feeling very confident about her private practice and took time off from her practice and marketing it this past summer.
But, she wasn’t prepared for what happened…
Her caseload dropped down by half as much in just two months.
Her old fears returned.
She was scared that this meant she wasn’t going to be able to fill her therapy practice again.
Karen and I talked about her fears, why her caseload dropped and what she needed to do to get it back up again.
Here’s what happened on our coaching call that allowed Karen to easily get back on track:
I reminded her that she took a lot of time off in the summer and didn’t market her practice at all–In other words, there was a reason her caseload dropped off. When you know the reason for something going off kilter, it’s a lot easier to find the solution.
I reassured her that if she built her practice up once, she can do it again.
I reminded her that she had a very effective marketing plan in place, she just needed to pick it up where she left off and get back on it again.
We then clarified her goals, her marketing activities and prioritized what she was going to do.
By the end of the call, Karen was feeling much better.
She realized that she was so surprised by her drop in caseload that she panicked and forgot many of the things she knew –she forget she had a marketing plan that worked!
Fortunately, because Karen already had a marketing plan, she just needed some encouragement and to get back on track with it.
Her problem wasn’t so bad after all…
Her marketing plan was key in helping her attracting clients before, and it will be key in helping her attract clients again.
Had Karen not had a marketing plan in place it would have been a different story.
Karen would have to start from scratch and figure out what she was going to do and how she was going to do it.
It would have taken more time and more energy.
Of course, the moral of the story is that as a therapist or healing professional, it helps a lot to have a marketing plan.
A marketing plan makes things much easier and can help you attract clients much faster.
It helps you make decisions, curbs marketing avoidance behaviours and helps you hold yourself accountable.
A marketing plan not only helps you build your practice, it helps keep it going for the long term. It is the foundation of a success private practice.