OMG I know.
You’re a ‘lil busy therapist-ing and life-ing, and now I want you to create a freaking therapist email list?
Don’t think if it as an email list.
Think of it as your Magical-Client-Getting-Autopilot-Machine.
If you’d rather watch me explain this in video, I did a Facebook Live about it here.
So Wait, How Does This Work?
You’re gonna create a valuable PDF Freebie that someone who sends you referrals might want. To figure out what your Freebie should be, take yourself through a thought process like this one:
- I treat anxiety.
- I want clients who want help before they jump straight to medication, so where else might those people get help for anxiety?
- Hhhmmmm….naturopaths, acupuncturists, chiropractors, meditation classes, yoga studios….interesting.
- How could I help all the people I just named do their jobs more easily?
- I know! I can create a one-page PDF called, “Five Ways to Manage Your Anxiety Without Medication,” and let those people give it out to their clients!
- I’ll offer them the freebie, let them distribute it as they choose, and let them know that I’ll send a short email 2x a month with more helpful info!
And voila! Your email list is born.
Slow this Down, Where to Start?
- Figure out who might be good referral sources for you.
- Figure out what you can offer in a brief PDF that they can use behind-the-scenes or give out to their clients.
- Write your content (short and sweet is best).
- Design it yourself using free templates in Canva, or pay a few bucks to a designer online at Upwork or Fiverr (or similar) to make it look purdy. Either way, make sure your contact info and branding are clearly displayed.
- Sign up with an email service. Several are free to smaller mailing lists. Mailchimp or Mailerlite are probably all you need.
- PRO TIP: These things have a learning curve. Watch the tutorials and learn your way around a bit. Don’t make my mistake and assume you’ll figure it out, then waste a boatload of time fixing the six trillion mistakes you made.
- EXTRA PRO TIP: Look at your degree over there on the wall and take a breath: you can totally do this. And if you hate everything about tech with the burning passion of 1000 suns, get your 14yo nephew to set it up for you.
- Get out there! If you have emails already, circulate your Freebie and ask permission to add folks to your mailing list.
- If not, make a few appointments, show up with a copy or two of your Freebie and ask if they’d be interested in getting more tips from you via email that they can use with their clients.
Turn On the Referral Auto-Pilot:
- Make sure you send a Welcome Email with your PDF attached, and give suggestions of how they might use it.
- In that email, talk briefly about your practice and let them know you’re open for new clients.
- Send another email a week later, then another week after that. After these first two, you can spread out to two a month. (Remember, you can pre-write dozens of these if you’d like, and have them set up to auto-fire from your email system.)
- Keep your emails short, sweet, personable, and helpful. You’re not selling yourself here: you’re building a relationship and offering supportive ideas that your referral sources might be able to use with their clients.
- PRO TIP: If you’ve run out of ideas (because translating our deep work into Tips-N-Tricks! is HARD, I know) you can make your life easier by attaching links and brief descriptions of relevant articles about your speciality (such as a new study on anxiety or PTSD) that your list might be interested in.
- End each email reminding your referral sources of how to get in touch with you, and that you’re happy to take their referrals anytime.
This is a couple hours of effort on your part, yes, but to keep growing our practices we need to always be investing either time or money, and this is a little time that can net a lot of money.
I have one referral source who literally sends me 1-2 referrals a week. Even if only a quarter of those people become clients, it’s still more than enough work.
If you end up with an email list of only five people, and those five people send you 10 referrals each this year…think how easily you’ve just exploded your practice!
Building an email list specific to your referral sources is the best possible use of your marketing time as you’re starting out and trying to grow.
Building your list this way will help you:
- Offer value
- Stay top-of-mind for your referral sources
- Establish your authority
- Build relationships
- Become known for your speciality
- Take over the world (in your loving, helpful, empathic way)
- Book the month of August in the South of France with all the other successful, thriving therapists
Let’s get coffee there, shall we?
To your success!
PS: Canva is not as hard as you think. I did a little tutorial here.