You’ve been through the training. You’ve made sure that you’re accredited and fully qualified. You’ve created a space in which your clients can feel safe and comfortable. Now that you’ve set up your counselling business, it’s time to look at how to grow a client base.
The chances are that you’re going to be busy. After the events of the last two years, demand is high for talking therapies and other forms of counselling. According to BACP’s ‘Mindometer’ survey of the impact of the pandemic, anxiety (87%) and stress (82%) were the top mental health concerns affecting respondents.
With so many people in need of support, you could find that you’re inundated with appointments. However, as you’re just starting out, you’ll need to make it known that your services are available. Here’s how you can do just that.
Market your business
As with any new business, marketing is a useful tool to spread the word about what you do. First, look at setting up a website. This will be a key source of information for both existing and prospective clients, so it should include details about you, including your qualifications, along with the services that you offer and contact information.
Once your site is set up, you can organise social media channels. Linking posts back to relevant pages on your website is a great way to pick up new clients who have seen your social presence.
Here, you can share insights, introductory offers, and other information, such as notes on your accreditations and the services you provide. If you have a form of therapists’ insurance, it could be worth mentioning that in your messaging too. This type of cover can help clients to feel safer in your care, and you’ll be better protected if something doesn’t go to plan.
Do some networking
If there are any health-related networking events, breakfast meetings or business networking groups in your area, it’s worth attending. This can get your name out there and build up connections and new relationships in places to which you might not usually have access.
Where possible, keep to local groups as you’re more likely to pick up clients who are in your area. However, if there are some larger-scale events that seem interesting, don’t rule these out as you could build up your reputation on a wider platform by connecting outside of your target region.
Expand your offering
If there are new techniques in the world of therapy that you don’t offer just yet or if you’re planning on growing your services in the coming years, then now, in this early stage of your business, is a great time to train up and build on what you currently do.
Make sure that you thoroughly research any new services that you’re considering. This will help you to tap into offering something that other counsellors in your area might not yet be able to do.
You’re most likely to be recommended by your current clients if you’re consistent and reliable in what you do. Your role is to offer a safe space where clients can come to you for your support and insights. If you consistently offer high levels of counselling, you’re more likely to build a reputation for being great at what you do.