Building a Full Caseload of Counseling Clients: Forty-Plus Quick Tips!
I’m often asked how to build a full caseload, frequently with an implicit skepticism, as in, “In this economic climate, it’s impossible!” Yet, some practices are still so full they have waiting lists. What follows are 40-plus quick tips for filling your client roster. They’re a mile wide and an inch deep, but the ideas are a good jumping off point.
- When someone asks what you do, don’t answer, “I’m a counselor.” Instead, focus on your target audience and outcomes. Say, “I help struggling parents build great relationships with their kids” or “I help ordinary people find extraordinary careers.” The latter will generate more interest, which will help word spread about your practice.
- Join your local chamber of commerce and Rotary Club.
- Volunteer to speak for free to any group of five or more people on a counseling topic of interest to them. Speak to older men about depression. Speak to teachers about compassion fatigue. This should be valuable information, not a sales pitch!
- Hand out business cards when you meet persons interested in what you do. Give out two at a time, and ask others to help spread the word.
- Let your clients know that word-of-mouth referrals are welcomed and appreciated and that you’re accepting new clients.
- Visit, in person, every massage therapy business in your area. Spend time to find out what value you can offer them. If indicated, start a cross-marketing campaign!
- Do it again, with chiropractors.
- Do it again, with acupuncturists.
- Do it again, with physicians in private practice.
- Do it again, with speech pathologists, physical therapists and others.
- Coffee, tea, water, soda and candy
- Free Wi-Fi in your waiting room
- The use of iPads in your waiting room
- More than a dozen magazine subscriptions
- A universal charger to recharge their cell phones
- Lots of instructional signs (oversignage reduces customer anxiety)
Marketing and advertising
- Buy print ads in a local publication. Negotiate fiercely on price. Advertise for a minimum of six months in a monthly publication or eight weeks in a weekly publication.
- Buy radio advertising at the smallest possible radio station.
- Try online advertising via Google, Bing/Yahoo or Facebook.
Character and integrity