Author Archives: Lucy MacDonald

Making Time to Market Your Private Practice

Posted by: Lucy MacDonald on March 13, 2012 9:54 am

Time – there’s never enough – especially when it comes to marketing your private practice.  Here are five things you can do to find time for marketing that will help you build a successful private practice.

1. Start with a six-month plan. If you are not doing very much marketing or if you are unhappy with your marketing efforts, a six month marketing plan is a good place to start.  Schedule some time in your agenda to create a marketing plan. Anticipate marketing opportunities related to holidays or special events like mental health week or national depression screening day.

2. Set monthly and weekly marketing goals. Once you’ve developed a six month plan, the next step is to include marketing time in your monthly and weekly agenda. How much time is enough time? If you are seeing less than 10 clients per week a good guideline is to spend at least one day per week on marketing.

3. Create a marketing to-do list. Include a variety of marketing activities like distributing your brochure, presenting a free seminar at your local library, or writing a newsletter.  Create a weekly to-do list and use it!

4. Double-up your marketing efforts. Keep a good supply of brochures and business cards in your car and in your briefcase so that you can take advantage of impromptu marketing opportunities – drop off brochures at a doctor’s office that is next door to a networking event you are attending.

5. Take time to get your office organized. A messy office can and will distract you when you are working on marketing your private practice.

Lucy MacDonald, M.Ed.

Private Practice Advisor

[email protected]

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

The Transition into Private Practice: From Employee to Entrepreneur

Posted by: Lucy MacDonald on December 9, 2011 12:00 pm

Professionals enter private practice at different points in the career timeline. Making the transition to private practitioner is like any important transition in life; it requires reflection, the managing of any stress or anxiety, planning, and the ability to adapt to the unexpected.

When making the transition to private practice, most practitioners are moving from the position of employee to entrepreneur.  Many practitioners start their private practice while working as a full time employee. If possible, try to negotiate a four day work week with your employer – working your weekly hours over four days instead of five and using the fifth day as your day to see private clients. Another option is to use Saturday or Sunday as your day to see clients, or to see clients in the evenings if your work schedule allows. Working full time while starting your private practice is a viable option; however not one that you can maintain indefinitely due to the risk of overwork and burnout.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

If You Build A Private Practice The Clients Will Come (well…maybe)

Posted by: Lucy MacDonald on December 5, 2011 4:03 pm

In the movie “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner and Amy Madigan released in 1989, an Iowa farmer has a vision about building a baseball diamond in a cornfield.  Against all reason he proceeds, encouraged by the promise that if he builds a baseball diamond, the baseball greats of the past will come to play another game. “If you build it, they will come” became his mantra when faced with criticism and self-doubt. He did build it and they did come.

Unfortunately, “if you build it, they will come”, does not work in private practice. There is a mistaken notion in the counselling profession that if you want to help others, the clients will want your services. Wanting to help others is definitely a necessary component, but it does not follow that just because you set up a private practice the clients will be there.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA