Do you own a speech clinic? Or are you a speech-language pathologist that works solo? Perhaps you’re a new graduate and you’ve just registered with Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) to become a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP)? (Congratulations!)
Where to from here? If you:
- want to expand your SLP business, or;
- you’re looking to start one
You’re probably in the right place.
No, you’re definitely in the right place!
Growing your client list to ensure a steady stream of work is the single, most challenging thing to do when you’re just starting out. Even if you’ve been in business a while, you’ll have noticed how much more competitive it’s getting now that the internet has taken over the world and everyone has a website.
When you’ve invested in a clinic, home or mobile set-up; you want to get straight into practising your profession and not worry about where your next client will be coming from.
While it’s true that once you and a client “click” in those first few visits, you’ll usually end up working with them over months or years; but relying on word of mouth and references to replace them and fill in those open slots in your schedule can be a bit slow going.
You might have heard that having your own website will make it easier for people to find you.
Perhaps you have a vague idea about using social media to sell your services so people know what you offer.
It might even be that you know all about advertising and the importance of carving out an online presence, and using the power of social media to grow your business – but you want to focus your time on actually working with your clients, have competing interests pulling you in all directions (kids under 5 or stroppy teens anyone?), and just have too much on your plate.
If any of this sounds like you, it’s time to start thinking about investing in your own business.
What does this mean? Are you supposed to help me do that? Who are you anyway?
I’m Casey Jones. I’m kind of like an online marketer (which just means I market your services online), and I’m kind of not, because I also look at all aspects of your business and work with you personally to best understand your business practices, goals, needs, and the everyday challenges you face in trying to run it well.
I like to think of what I do as a holistic service that examines every aspect of your business so we (you and I) can improve it, wherever there’s room to do so.
See, I think having to juggle your profession, with telling everyone what it is you do, and getting their attention in the first place; can be a bit stressful. What I do is take that stress away from you by putting strategies in place to make your ideal clients discover you, so your business can grow on its own – while you concentrate on being the best SLP you can be.
It might help if you have a better idea of some of the more technical stuff I can do for your practice.
The easiest way to explain what working together might do for your clinic or practice is to meet a couple of my clients, Samantha and Jen.
Samantha has been working as an SLP for around 6 years before finally deciding to venture out on her own as a mobile SLP.Read Sam's Story
Jen was one of the first SLPs to open up shop in her area and is well-known in her field as a leader in voice modification.Read Jen's Story
Samantha has been working as an SLP for around 6 years before finally deciding to venture out on her own as a mobile SLP.
She works primarily with school-aged children who have been referred to her by word of mouth. Parents love her hands-on approach and how great she is with their kids and tell other parents about her.
Although excited and knowing she has a lot to offer these children, she’s nervous that she might not have enough regular clientele to float her own practice. She’d also like people to find her on their own as she doesn’t want to be accused of poaching!
As well, because she’s currently a one-man-band of sorts, she also finds that explaining her process over and over and answering the same questions again and again to new clients, takes up a lot of her day.
As if that wasn’t enough of a time-suck, she also needs to carve out some time to stay on top of her session notes, invoicing, keep her bookkeeping tidy for the taxman, and get her clients personal files organised.
This leaves her less time than she’d like to actually treat her clients!
Samantha’s case is one I’ve seen so many times.
There are always worries that the work will dry up.
She doesn’t have an online presence and even if she did, no one would know about it!
Her processes aren’t streamlined so she’s losing time trying to tackle admin.
What I did for Samantha was sit down with her for a chat over a cup of tea.
Samantha told me her worries about getting clients, her concerns about making enough so she can cover her expenses, and her need to free up a little more time in the day so after working, driving around, and doing admin, she gets a few hours a week for herself.
For Samantha, the goal is creation.
I designed and made Samantha a website, to showcase her services, unique talent working with school-aged children, and her personal style.
Samantha didn’t have pictures of her working, and she thought it was important that parents know her process. So, I did some professional photography to show off her work in its best light. A beautiful and visual way for potential clients to see her in action!
Samantha has a vibrant and warm personality, bursting with character. I wanted her website copy to reflect her approach, dedication, and enthusiastic spirit.
With her new home on the internet built, Samantha and I now had a place to tell people who she is, what she does, how she does it, what her costs are, and to answer all those other frequently asked questions that she’s been answering client by client, cutting down time spent on FAQs.
Samantha was very clear about wanting a “small and cozy” operation. She wanted to work alone, with a few select core clients while leaving a couple of slots available per week for drop-ins.
Therefore, paid advertising wasn’t necessary in her case. Instead, I rolled out a strategy for organic traffic by optimising Samantha’s website to rank on the 1st page of Google search and using social media to get those potential clients in the door.
Within the first two weeks of rolling out our plans for Samantha, she got her first 10 leads and I’m happy to report – now has a full schedule! So full in fact, that she’s considering taking on a partner to expand her mobile practice a little more (but still keeping it as cozy and personal as ever!)
This is Jen!
Jen was one of the first SLPs to open up shop in her area and is well-known in her field as a leader in voice modification.
While she works with clients of all ages over multiple issues, her passions are accent neutralisation, and voice therapy for individuals with gender dysphoria.
She’s always been very vocal about helping people belong, and loves the rewarding feeling of facilitating the immigrant and LGBT+ community feel included and at ease, through her talents and methodology.
Jen already has a reputable business and employs 3 other SLPS. Over the years however, she’s noticed that a lot of competition has popped up all over the country.
While business is running along comfortably, Jen realises that it’s not growing. Since she’s currently at the height of her career, Jen wants to bite the bullet and make her business boom as far and wide as it can go!
Jen calls me up one day, and gets straight to the point.
She wants to expand her business to 3 clinics within 5 years.
In order to make this happen, she needs a significant boost in clientele.
As well, she realises that the COVID19 pandemic has created massive opportunity for telehealth.
Apart from her brick and mortar clinics, she also wants to make a name for herself online and offer her services Australia-wide and to people in the UK and the USA – English speakers who are most badly affected logistically by the constant lockdowns and social distancing requirements.
Jen’s situation is the kind that really get me excited to roll up my sleeves!
She’s eager and willing to invest in her business and her expectations are what I do best – profit and publicity.
For Jen, the goal is transformation.
I get straight to work, doing a sweep of her website – redesigning sections to improve the user experience, updating her copy to engage clients and rank on major search engines; then linking it all up to various social media channels so her customers can reach her in whatever way is most convenient for them.
To really expand her business and boost her revenue, we break out the big guns of Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads. These are specifically targeted to her ideal clientele so I can ensure high conversion. I track every dollar spent on advertising so Jen has a clear idea of how much it costs to book each new client – a process that can be repeated again and again.
To make sure Jen’s potential clients know that her experience, skills, and methods are the perfect fit for their individual situations, I create search engine optimised landing pages to not only sell, but educate readers so they’re aware of what her mission, abilities, and processes are.
This way, we can keep Jen’s presence genuine, true to her cause of wanting make a significant difference in people’s lives through speech training, and allow people to make informed decisions through accurate content instead of hype.
I’m impatient to see the kind of change we can make to Jen’s life’s work, and roll out these changes within a month.
While I expected to see a substantial influx of queries and new clients almost immediately, I was not prepared to see how well Jen’s new website design, copy, and advertising would resonate with so many people all around the world!
Today, Jen’s clients come not only from Australia, UK, and the USA – but even China, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad, and places I’ve never even heard of before!
As it turns out, speech and language services rank particularly – no, exceptionally well throughout the world, especially in countries where English is spoken as a second language.
I am happy to report that Jen now has new problems on her hands – trying to find enough SLPs to hire to cope with the flood of new clients looking to book appointments with Australian SLPs!
Jen’s project has my personal favourite ending – my client is over the moon, and I, get to learn something new!
I know that sounds like a lot - but this is all really just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many ways to boost business, grow revenue, and become more profitable that I simply can’t cover them all here.
However, if you’re interested in learning more about any of these services, what they could potentially do for your business, I’ll have a better idea of what you need to grow – and at what rate and size – if we get together to have a chat about it.
If that sounds good to you, feel free to book a meeting with me at no cost, so we can discuss what your comprehensive plan might look like and how much you would have to budget for this investment.
If you have any questions at all, you can shoot me a message anytime, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Have a good one!