- On standing out from the SLP crowd. You won’t last long if you market yourself like every other SLP. People are busy and distracted. They want someone who stands out – who is remarkable, and offers what they want. Take some risks with your marketing, but stay ethical. Being different will mean some people won’t like what you do. If you don’t cop any criticism, you should be worried! If you try to please everyone, you won’t please anyone! Read more: Seth Godin, Purple Cow.
- On using social media to build your practice. Most of your clients (like folk in general) are addicted to smart phones and social media. Find out which platforms they love and publish great content on them that answers their questions for free. If you’re marketing to stay-at-home parents, think about Facebook and Pinterest. If you’re marketing to busy professionals, think about LinkedIn. If you’re networking with SLP researchers, other professionals, and students, use Twitter. But write for the platform, and don’t ask for anything until you’ve provided lots of free value. Read more: Gary Vaynerchuk – Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
- On choosing the right suppliers quickly (then getting on with your life). When it comes to choosing suppliers, there are too many choices! You’re busy running a practice – you don’t have time to become an expert in silly sideshows like photocopiers, practice management and accounting systems, and insurers. Too many choices will paralyse you: lots of options reduces your satisfaction and makes you feel out of control. You’ll end up regretting whatever choice you (finally) make. So make fewer choices! For many things, good enough is good enough. For example, after a bit of research – and I mean a bit! – I opted for Guild for insurance, Camnet for my printer, Timely for my practice management system, Xero for my accounting system, and Officeworks for my stationery. Are they good enough? Yes! Are they the best in the world? Who cares! I want a great practice, not an advanced degree in researching micro-stuff. Check out Barry Schwartz – The Paradox of Choice.
Thursday afternoons are a drag. Spark them up with our “SLP Three-piece Thursdays”. Three business tips a week from leading thinkers, distilled and tailored by us for other speech pathologists in private practice.
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SLP Three-piece Thursday 1. On business planning, focus, and website design
- On business planning: Start with your “why” – the goal or purpose that gives your lives a deeper meaning. Only then move onto the the “how” and “what”. (Check out Simon Sinek)
- On Focus: Distractions are everywhere. But deep work requires intention. Take back control. Focus on one task at a time. Schedule your work and free time. (See Cal Newport). Related reading: Speech pathologists: how to get it all done, even when you’re off your game or feeling burnt out
- On websites and social media: Design for central and peripheral vision. Break your information into bite-sized chunks. Use stories and scaffolds. Give your fans lots of ways to interact with you and your practice. (Read Susan Weinschenk).
So what to do you think? Do any of these ideas inspire you to change the way you plan or run your private practice? Let us know! Send a tweet to @speechiesbiz or leave a comment.