A network is one of the most critical resources to grow your business as a therapist.
The famous concept of ‘word-of-mouth!’ This "most underrated" ingredient has the power to make all the difference in your activity as a therapist. Indeed, there is nothing like the recommendation of friends, family or colleagues to convince and influence our choices regarding products and services.
Let me tell you a story:
My wife, Catherine, wants to monitor her sleep and her activity to improve her wellbeing. She starts using some apps on her phone; unfortunately, the app prefers to monitor my sleep (and... my snoring) than Cat’s.
She wants something easy, yet accurate and doesn't want to spend time learning new techy stuff. So, I suggested an Apple Watch. But no, she wasn't interested.
Last week during a dinner with one of her best friends, she noticed that her friend was wearing an Apple Watch; I was watching the whole conversation with interest…. She asked 2 or 3 questions about how her friend used it, and if she was satisfied with it. Her friend was very enthusiastic and in 3 minutes Cat was convinced!
I can tell you that this situation happens every day, with everything. Product, services, people etc...
It is, therefore, only natural that you should exploit this growth lever to the full.
However, in our situation, word of mouth does not happen by magic, it can only happen on one condition, and in turn this determines the success of your business: the strength of your network.
If the sole trader profession is synonymous with independence, it should not be synonymous with solitude and isolation, quite the contrary!
Whether you are just starting or have been practicing for several years, your network has a crucial role to play in various aspects of your work.
In this article, we will cover six good reasons to ensure the sustainability of your business by building a solid network.
1. Get more clients!
When you are looking for a service provider, whether a restaurant owner, a hairdresser or a fitness coach, how do you go about finding the person who will best meet your needs?
Internet search engines may be the first thing that comes to mind. However, even if reviews made by people about your product or service add some credibility, they certainly don't have the power of influence that your family, friends, or acquaintances may have.
The web has undoubtedly its place in ‘being visible’, although there is a good chance that a large proportion of your customers turn to you following a direct recommendation.
To stimulate the referral dynamic, the people around you must know about your work. It can be friends, family and other professionals that may connect with your work.
Then the more you talk about it, the more likely these people will talk and so on... The ripple effect is taking place.
Top Tip: ask all of your family, friends and business associates to follow your facebook or LinkedIN page – they’ll be happy to help and your ripples will begin!
This applies when you are just starting out as well as if you have been working for some time, especially if you have moved from a physical building to now working online. Once you have begun, when you offer a new service, the network will effectively relay the information. The trust you build up with your network can then echo to a broader audience later on.
2. Share with your peers and enrich your business
As a sole practitioner, your business is constantly being enriched over the years and through encounters. Meeting new professionals, discussing ideas, sharing your thoughts with other people bring you answers to the questions you ask yourself. To access new knowledge and open horizons, your network is a fundamental tool.
In the search for solutions to feed your business, your peers are your best allies, and it would be a pity to close the doors to significant support.
TOP TIP: invite peers to connect with you on Social Media
3. Open new opportunities
Sponsorship, training courses, meetings, internships, Facebook or Linkedin groups... many initiatives can take place to increase your network.
To make sure you never miss an event, your network can be your opportunity radar. It will keep you informed of all the initiatives in your field so you can take full advantage of them.
Top Tip: Create a Google Alert to be automatically notified of any news, software, group, good practice etc... that could create new opportunities.
4. Overcome loneliness
The profession you are in involves wearing many hats: "your profession", of course, but also a business owner and, to a certain extent, salesperson. With so many responsibilities, it can be challenging to manage everything alone. In this context, your network once again becomes precious support in your daily life.
Surrounding yourself with other professionals who share your dynamic helps to motivate you and boost your momentum. Not to mention that contact with your peers provides invaluable moral support to keep you going even in the most challenging periods of your activity.
Top Tip: Consider a local and a wider digital network or group that focuses on Business
5. Bring new projects to life
I'm sure you have plenty of good ideas you might implement for your business.
Your network is an excellent engine (potentially the best) for creating prolific synergies:
It can give you constructive feedback on your goals.
Great opportunities can emerge from exchanges with other professionals, allowing you to go even further together and merge your resources for multiplied results.
As you may have realised by now, your network is not an optional element in your activity - it is a fundamental pillar of your position as an accomplished professional.
Please feel free to send us a message or an email if you have any questions about this article.