When you're starting a psychiatry private practice, it is so easy to fall into the thinking of from the start, outsourcing as much as possible and paying for marketing. But what you really need to be doing is keeping your overhead low and building your community and professional networks. Building your community networks will not only strengthen your community but will help patients find your practice and help people get connected to care. And it feels good!
Start Building Relationships From the Beginning
When I first opened my practice, I experimented with spending $50 every few weeks for Google and Instagram ads, which brough
t in viewers but didn't bring in any additional patients. At the same time, I also began building connections and nurturing relationships with therapists, integrative medicine doctors, nurse practitioners, naturopaths, physical therapists, running coaches, dietitians, pastors, yoga teachers, and life/health coaches. And honestly, it's really fun getting to meet other healing professionals in the region and learn what they do, who they are, and how they help people. There is so much value in learning others' perspectives. As a result of these
connections, most of my patients are referred to me from these individuals and clinics.
How to Build a Referral Network
These types of relationships can be built in lots of different ways. I first sent a formal letter in the mail to several different clinics in the three states I am licensed in. Leaving my email, cell phone number, and mailing address, I didn't hear back from any of them. Instagram has been one of the best ways to meet others in the healing professions - it allows for easy communication and you can get a sense if they might be a good mutual referral option just by looking at their account.
Once you connect with one person, it often leads to that person telling other colleagues about you and your practice. It helps to be open and available to meet with any allied professional who'd like to meet - whether that be by phone, video, or in-person. It requires you to carve out some significant time in your calendar but it is worth it.
Getting involved in your local community where
your practice is based is also a great way to build a referral network and relationships. I was helping stacking firewood last month at the nearby state forest and got connected with a massage therapist who was also volunteering. And not only do you help your community but you bring a face and you - yourself as a human being! - to your clinic sign in town that the other volunteers may have driven by.
After meeting with someone, I try to send a handwritten custom thank you card in the mail and support their practices by sharing their posts on I
nstagram or sending appropriate referrals their way.
The best marketing is authentic, relationship-based, and cultivated! We can help you strengthen these skills and organize a networking plan. Get started here.