Being in private practice has it’s ups and downs. One day you feel like you’re super productive, getting great feedback from clients, and everything is looking up. The next day, you might feel like nothing is working which fills you with doubt that you’re even cut out for this business stuff.
Signs You’d Benefit From A Coach
Although every business owner experiences ups and downs, there does come a point when it just makes sense to hire help. Some signs that you might benefit from a marketing or business coach for your private practice include:
- Feeling lost in terms of how to use your time most productively
- You have a ton of business ideas but not sure which makes the most sense for your goals
- You’re not sure what your priorities ought to be in your marketing
- You feel overwhelmed and fear it may be because you’re working all the time on things that aren’t productive
- You want to take your business to the next level – that could be getting your business off the ground, growing, or sustaining your business
- You want to do a totally new-to-you thing like hiring an assistant for the first time
- And more
While there is no one-size-fits-all suggestion here as to when it makes sense to hire a coach, feeling like you could use some help navigating the course is a good sign it may be a right for you.
How To Find A Private Practice Business And Marketing Coach
1. Start With Getting Clear On What You Need
What would it take to discover what it is you need? Everyone’s different on this but as I’ll detail later, for my own coach search, it was helpful to write out my own 90 day plan and look for gaps. What did I actually need help with?
For you, it could be as simple as doing a brain dump and seeing what comes out. Or journaling about your most desired goal and what you believe is holding you back from reaching that goal on your own.
Note that some coaches are more in the realm of consultants who offer hands-on implementation too. For example, they might interview you, write your marketing plan for you, and then help you along as you implement it offering the services of their team.
Getting clear on what you need and what would help you the most can help you differentiate the type of support to seek out: coach, consultant, and beyond.
2. And Get Clear On What Coaching Format Supports You Best
Coaching is available in many forms. From programs and memberships, to mastermind and group coaching, to one-on-one sessions with varying levels of support and services in between.
What might worked best for you? And what fits in your budget?
Typically 1-on-1 will be the highest investment level with programs, groups, and masterminds being a slightly less investment point.
Membership websites will be the least expensive of all.
But what’s the trade off? Well, that depends on you. What do you need help with and how do you learn and get motivated the best?
In your previous life experiences, what type of support was the most helpful to you? Do you need more accountability than a membership website? Do you feel like you learn well among peers?
Knowing answers to these sorts of questions will help you determine what type of coaching format would be the most supportive for you.
3. Next, Find Coaches
Using what you know about what you need and what format supports you best, start searching for coaching solutions that could be a good fit for you.
You can find coaches through all of the typical avenues: like google, social, and directory searches.
However, I also highly recommend asking colleagues for referrals. Asking colleagues means that you get a direct referral rather than doing your own internet research and relying on that alone.
4. Then Get To Know Them As Best You Can
Taking the time to get to know the coach before you reach out to them is also wise. If they offer any blog, video, or audio/podcast content, use that as an opportunity to understand what they’re about.
Do you know what they’re passionate about? How they seem to solve problems? Where they got their knowledge or experience from? What the scope of their knowledge is?
Will they be able to help you with a website design critique and with hiring in your group practice? Or are they more focused on business accounting and working your numbers? Many coaches have a few areas they really excel in. You’ll be wanting to find a coach that matches your needs.
Beyond the practical stuff, who are they as a person? What do they believe in? What do they care about?
Much like finding a good-fit therapist, some of finding a good-fit coach is a personality and beliefs match too. I know therapists who had terrible experiences with coaches who turned out to be racist, for example. If you are someone who is anti-oppression, you’d want to be sure to find a coach who is anti-oppression too.
5. Shop Around And Do A Few Free Calls
Most coaches will offer a free consultation call to explore if they’d be a good match for you. Take a few coaches up on their call. Ask them:
- What experience they have helping therapists in your position overcoming the same challenges you’re working on overcoming
- What resources will they provide you
- Ask for more information about their service package – how long is each session, is their support between sessions, etc
- What will happen during coaching sessions? How are they structured?
- What will progress look like? When will it be possible to see results?
During the call, you can also get a feel for things like how good of a listener they are, how they hold space, and what type of energy they bring.
I find that every coach will have their own style. It’s based on their experience, training, and simply how they are wired. Again here it’s super important to find a coach who compliments your need.
If you need more motivation, find a coach who is motivational. If you need more structure, find a coach who is very structured. Many therapists are drawn to working with me because I’m very calm and they need that level, rational approach to business. You get the idea…
Caution: Watch Out For This
Something to be aware of: there is no magic one-size-fits-all formula to build and grow a private practice so if someone is peddling that, run.
- Every therapist has different skills that can be used in their unique marketing
- Every therapist has unique clients that they want to attract
- Every therapist is located in a unique geography
- And more! You are a beautiful unique snowflake ?
Because there isn’t some magic formula, you can’t just copy-and-paste what worked for another therapist into your practice and expect it to work.
It may work, it may not.
If you are seeking business and marketing support for your therapist practice, beware of coaches that claim to have some magic formula that works for everyone. That doesn’t really exist.
Your coach should be dedicated to discovering what will work for you vs. teaching you a cookie cutter formula with no adjustments to fit who you are, who you help, or how you help them.
My Own Process To Finding A Coach
Way back in the day, many moons ago, I hired a marketing coach. The process I used to find and hire that coach really helped me so I thought I would share. Here’s what I did:
- I wrote a thorough business plan for the next 90 days including the usual stuff like where I was, where I wanted to be, timelines, goals, earning projections, and anticipated challenges.
- I combed through the plan and wrote out a list of things that I believed a coach could help me with. Some of the items were very specific questions and needs but others were pretty open.
- With my plan and list in-hand, I checked out what different coaches offered and saw if they would be a good match in terms of both the broad themes as well as the specifics in my list too.
I also knew that much like finding a good-fit therapist, some of it is a personality match too so I kept that in mind on my search.
How My Coach Was The Most Helpful To Me
What I discovered through my process is that I really needed help with the marketing piece. So for me, I was able to narrow things down from business coach to marketing coach.
From there, I found a marketing coach who was able to meet with me for 10 sessions over 2.5 months. Once a week or so.
When we’d meet, I would bring everything that I was working on and get her professional insights and guidance.
She was always there for me and was able to tell me when an idea was not so great and when an idea was awesome. We also agreed to some light accountability where I’d have “homework” of things I wanted to get done before the next time we met.
When I first reached out to her, I remember being in a place where I felt like I didn’t know where to start. I knew of all of types of things I *could* be doing but I didn’t know which directions to go. So she was a bit like a compass for me.
I also hired her for an hour to look over my website from a professional marketing perspective and give me written feedback. That was super helpful as well.
I think overall, consultants/coaches can be like accelerators. I could have figured it all out on my own but having a consultant helped with my indecision. I felt confident I was on a good path early on instead of feeling lost and at a constant point of figuring out what the next step needed to be.
Getting Help: The Short Cut To Success
People often say that short cuts don’t exist when it comes to business but I strongly disagree.
I believe that it’s possible to find support that can accellerate one’s path to a wildly successful business and life.
You won’t learn absolutely everything you need to know from any coaching option out there, but you will avoid a lot of the most common pitfalls and mistakes.
There is also the motivational aspect. If you struggle with accountability, coaching may help you identify what’s holding you back and start moving forward.
I hope this post helps you find your best-fit coach! Wishing you much business and marketing success so that you can live the life you desire. <3