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The pep talk for when your practice isn’t full

Running a business or practice brings out all the insecurities we didn’t even know we still had. Ammiright?!

That’s because putting yourself out there by asking people to trust you enough to work with you can feel a little like middle school.

As much as I hate to bring up those years in my life where I wasn’t sure where to sit during lunch, what to wear to those awkward dances and how to just be…

That’s me on the right in all my big bangs, Bart Simpson shirt middle school glory 😬

…those same feelings come up for EVERYONE starting a business or practice, according to expert practice builder and Asheville therapist, Allison Puryear, who generously talked with me on Facebook live.

Allison is a pro at building practices from scratch (she’s done it 3x), and she’s guided thousands of other clinicians to do it as well.

We talk about everything from…

  1. Declaring your niche

  2. Getting referrals

  3. Using social media to grow your practice (and when to know not to!)

  4. Showing your personality in your content

Watch it here:

Here’s the TL;DW for you…

On how beginning a private practice can feel like middle school

There’s this part that’s going to suck so hard, and you’re going to feel like a loser and you’re failing. But you’re not! Every single one of us is going to have a moment (or months) of feeling like: I have put in all this work, and I really believed in myself there for a minute, and I was a fool. And that is a part of the process. I’ve helped thousands of therapists build, and I guarantee you that it’s part of everybody’s process.

So know that if you’re in that place, you’re in the right place. It’s not a sign you’re doing things wrong if you’re following best practices. If you’re listening to Wendy, you’ll be fine (thanks, Allison! 😊), you’re gonna get full. You’re just in this weird, awkward space for a little while. It’s like middle school those first few months of practice.

On declaring a niche

The very first thing people absolutely need to do is be niched, and this is for anybody. Niching is not just beneficial for filling your practice really quickly; it’s also extraordinarily beneficial for preventing burnout. So you take care of yourself and take care of your clients by seeing the ones you do great work with.

If you’re not niching, it’s so much harder to market your practice. And that’s where you end up with really bland boring social content. That’s usually because you’re not niched.

On networking for referrals:

There are ways to network using social platforms. If you’re getting to know people and developing relationships, that’s always going to help your business, period.

People hear networking, and they think it’s this gross, scuzzy thing. It’s literally developing relationships. If you’re a clinician, you’re great at developing relationships. So give that a shot where you’re just getting to know people. You’re not pitching. You’re not hard selling anything. You’re not even bragging. You’re really just getting to know another human.

On getting consistent on social media:

I think if somebody really doesn’t want to be on social media, they shouldn’t because they’re just going to screw it up and then they’re going to feel shame that what they’re doing isn’t working. So if you feel that way, but you do want to have a social audience, I would outsource it.

Social media can be such a powerful and amazing tool. It is a shovel and, if you would rather just use a trowel, use a trowel. The shovel might get you there faster.

You can follow Allison here at Abundance Practice Builders. You’ll learn a ton, plus you’ll see she’s gone in hard on Instagram Reels.

If you’re interested in getting started with Reels, you can join my 5-day Instagram Reels Challenge for Clinicians. No dancing required!

​Here’s to putting yourself out there and sticking with it until you’re full!

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