For clients in January, start planning Now! For a busy July, plan in May!
There are times in a year when we can safely predict that we will be more likely to be busy: In the Northern hemisphere two examples are March and September. In March, kids are in school so people have more time, without huge expensive holidays like Christmas on the horizon. In September people again have kids in school, are over the summer holiday expenses, and often will start thinking ‘what will I do this winter’?
Equally there are quiet times. And there are reasons for that.
In my area December is very slow for most people. Everyone seems to be in a state of near hysteria about Christmas. Time and money are harder to come by.
January is a time we so often expect to be busy with people looking to make new changes. However, I think we all know that the vast majority of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ are totally lacking any commitment. Many people are still recovering financially from Christmas and the party season, and thus January is mostly a huge disappointment for many therapists.
Here, June also sees a drop as high school kids are off, and then in July when all kids are off school things can again get very slow. The first half of the month of August continues that trend, then as people start thinking about September, it picks back up a bit.
That’s the pattern I used to see in my own practice: Struggling in January and February, busier in March, April and May, slowing in June, quiet in July and the start of August, then busier again in September and October. November seeing some drop and then December being very quiet.
I expect you see the same when you adjust the calendar for your seasons and school year etc. where ever you are around the world.
So, what do we do about it?
Advertise less in the naturally busy times and advertise more in the *Lead Up* to the quiet times. If we wait until the quiet times arrive it’s too late!
If you’re in a country where Christmas is a big deal, then start advertising around the end of November or the start of December.
Mentioning that you are opening a set number of places for new clients in January can make this much easier. When I was working all this marketing out, I discovered that if I said in December that I was taking January bookings – nothing happened in general.
However, when I said I was opening just 6 new client places in January, I suddenly had 6 new clients within 48 hours!
When people feel something is always available, they’re less likely to act.
I would have been happy with 4 new clients that January, but by giving a number, even one larger than I would have been happy with, I got success when previous efforts had yielded nothing.
In the weeks leading up to a quiet period I typically put out information talking about the problems I help with. I talk about anxiety and trauma. I post once a week. I don’t make sales pitches, I just make sure I have my contact info is available in whatever I put out. I spend slightly more on advertising in those weeks than in the busy ones.
It keeps me booked out all year round.
I no longer suffer the ups and downs I had in the early years.
The key is to act 3-6 weeks ahead of the quiet time. If people are already familiar with us, if they have seen something about us, if they understand how we can help them, and if they see our content over a number of different posts, we get far better results.
Stop holding back and waiting and hoping to be busy and get ahead of it. Start early and take control of your marketing.
People want our help when they can see what’s in it for them, are convinced we can help, and have hope. All this they can get from what we put out when we put them ahead of what we’d like to say. Remember, talk about their life, their problems; essentially what’s in it for them.
How we do that, is what we call marketing.
It’s not what we signed up for but it’s what determines if we get to use our skills or not.
All the time, effort and money I spent becoming a therapist was wasted until I had clients I could help. That was the missing link. I had to work that out myself.
Get your message out. Be proactive. Tell the world what you can do for those in need!
Hoping and waiting isn’t a plan. It certainly isn’t helping the person suffering who needs to hear about your help.
If you’ve any comments or questions, please drop them below in the comments area! Thanks.
Please keep sharing your help!
Have a great week, John
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John Prendergast is an award-winning Success Coach and and Psycho-Trauma Anxiety Therapist.
He is also the Founder of Therapy and Coaching Success that specialises in helping Therapists, Coaches and other Wellness Practitioners, connect with those in need, build their diaries and earn the income they need.
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