Therapist at her desk wondering where to get clients from

I opened my private practice this week; so now what?? How do I get clients??

Oh boy, does this make me think back of my early years in coaching (I worked as a life coach before I integrated counselling into it). I did it all wrong… I was expecting clients to come knocking ‘because’ I was now ready to receive them.

Major wakeup-call. I had to learn I was now in business, and business needs to be created and/or found.

Here are 10 things you do to get ‘the ball rolling’:

  1. Network: Let your friends, family, and acquaintances know that you’re starting your counselling practice. They may be able to refer clients to you or spread the word to others who might benefit from your services.
  2. Join Professional Organisations: Join local ACA or PACFA chapter meetings or national counselling associations and attend their events and meetings. Networking with other professionals in the field can lead to referrals and collaborations. 
  3. Create a Professional Online Presence: Build a professional website that showcases your credentials, services, and approach to counselling. Consider creating profiles on counselling directories or platforms where potential clients search for therapists. 
  4. Offer Free or Low-Cost Services: In the beginning, you may need to offer free or low-cost counselling sessions to attract clients and build your reputation. You can offer these sessions to friends, family, or community members in need. 
  5. Collaborate with Other Professionals: Build relationships with professionals in related fields such as doctors, social workers, school counsellors, or clergy members. They may refer clients to you who need additional support or counselling services. 
  6. Market Yourself Locally: Distribute flyers, business cards, or brochures in local businesses, community centres, schools, and religious institutions. Consider advertising in local newspapers or community newsletters. 
  7. Offer Workshops or Seminars: Host workshops or seminars on topics related to mental health and wellness in your community. This can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field and attract potential clients. 
  8. Utilise Social Media: Use social media platforms to share valuable content, such as articles, tips, and resources related to mental health. Engage with your audience and encourage them to reach out if they need support. 
  9. Ask for Testimonials: Once you start working with clients, ask them for testimonials or reviews that you can feature on your website or marketing materials. Positive feedback from satisfied clients can help attract new clients. 
  10. Be Patient and Persistent: Building a client base takes time, so be patient and persistent in your efforts. Keep networking, marketing, and providing excellent service to your clients, and your practice WILL gradually grow (as has mine!).

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to ‘select’ your target market and how to tailor your service offerings to this market, let’s chat. I’ve got a pretty good handle on the steps to identify your target market and to match your services with this market’s needs and desires!



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