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Starting Out or Starting Again

Starting out in practice – Starting again in practice

You know I’ve been in practice now for nearly 21 years and a lot of practitioners say to me well it’s alright for you you now have an established practice. Well I don’t actually. You see I’ve recently moved from Darwin Australia to Newcastle Australia and I am starting all over again. Why I hear you ask? Well to be honest I am a bit of a transient spirit and it was time to move again so I did!

Okay so I have a lot of experiences in building numerous practices over the years but there is no greater test than starting out all over again. One of my practitioner friends recently said to me ‘I don’t know if I could start all over again, it’s so hard’. Really? Is it? Of course it has its challenges but by the same token it has it’s exciting possibilities too.

So what am I going to do?

Well in the next while I am going to show you all of the things needed to get your practice up and running. Don’t get me wrong I still have the moments when no one is coming through the door and I think ‘this is hopeless’ but I also have the other voice that says ‘ok buddy you made this choice now are you going to sink or swim’. For me the second voice is my champion. It teaches me to keep on truckin’ by taking the next step.

So what have I done?

Well first I redesigned my website to a ‘responsive’ theme. As of April 2015 Google decided that if websites weren’t ‘responsive’ they would suffer with regards to rankings. So what’s a responsive them? It’s a platform that automatically adjusts your website to be able to be read easily on multiple devices including desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones.

Social media strategy

Next I set up a Facebook and Google+ page for my clinic. From my perspective Facebook is the best option for social media. If you are going to choose one then let it be Facebook.  Once I set up my Facebook page I was able to get likes to my Facebook business page to 174 in two weeks. How? I invited all of my friends to like the page and I did some Facebook advertising. By inviting my friends I am telling them what’s going on and it’s surprising how many of them know people in other parts of the country and they share my posts with their friends. I also told all of my clients in Darwin and from my previous clinic in Brisbane that I was moving. Result 3 new clients referred from interstate.

Next I mentioned to all of the practitioner groups I am a member of on social media that I was setting up in a new town. Result 1 new client.


Connecting with local practitioners and businesses in my book is the key to building your practice. So what have I done to date? I have been to all of the organic and health food stores and introduced myself. I have also contacted numerous practitioners in the area to organise a time to catch up. Some in person, some via email, some via ph. I meet with minimum 3 practitioners each week. Every practitioner or health food shop worker are offered a complimentary session with me in order to be able to show them how I work. Result 2 new clients. People will not refer to you just because you want them to. Showing them how you work and who you are is the best way to build a referral network hands down. I have done it multiple times in multiple locations and this ideal is one that will bring to you the clients you deserve.

I also find it really difficult not treating people in my open hours so I offer anyone who is even remotely interested a complimentary session. It means that rather than sitting around twiddling my thumbs I am actually helping people and that’s why I got into this industry in the first place. Eventually the momentum starts to build, the word gets out that you are a practitioner who genuinely wants to help people and then you start to get the clients who pay.

So how has It gone so far?

Week 1 was one client who is a practitioner and didn’t pay as it was a complimentary session but she was blown away by the result the treatment had on an old ankle injury. Week 2 was 6 clients of which 2 were practitioners and didn’t pay but again good results showed them what I can do. Week 3 was 12 clients all of whom were paying clients. Every client rebooked because I can’t solve problems in one session and I educate my clients to understand that so week 4 started out well.

Starting out or starting again it doesn’t really matter. What matters is your commitment to your practice. If something doesn’t work adapt it and keep trying and I guarantee you will get there.

Jeff Shearer is a Chinese medicine practitioner who has had multiple successful practices and now practices in Newcastle. Jeff also runs Ethical Practice an information based service to assist practitioner become all they can be

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