The light globe must want to change first……
Maybe you have just graduated and are setting up your Hypnotherapy practice or maybe you have been doing it for a little while and would like to expand your client base…… either way, networking is a sound business activity.
There are three kinds of networking.
Networking within your profession, external networking and social media.
I see all of these as a form of conversation where you find out more about the other person. You can network purely to gain leads for more business or you can network to form longer term connections.
There are many networking organizations you can join, some are free, some cost. Belonging to a recognized Hypnotherapy association should be your first step. It’s not always all about you either. You may know just the right therapist for someone you are talking to – suggest that the person you are referring tells that therapist how they found out about them and follow up with an email or phone call to the therapist to let them know you are referring on.
As a therapist you can choose to be a generalist or a specialist. When you network amongst your peers, you need to set aside the notion that you are all competitors and gain the mindset of Universal Abundance. You might find that you have a particular skill with children, whilst a colleague wouldn’t dream of working with them and prefers to work on men’s issues.
When you network amongst peers, you find out who has the passion and expertise in Past Life Regression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, School based anxieties etc. For most Hypnotherapists, weight issues and smoking cessation are the “bread and butter” of their clinic, but in my own practice, I don’t attract very many smokers as I deal mostly with stress management or weight. There are some issues I prefer to refer to colleagues with whom I have regular conversations.
Part of belonging to your Hypnotherapy association will mean there is the opportunity to have peer support sessions. In these semi formal gatherings, where the novice and experienced hypnotherapist both contribute, you can pick up valuable tips on what works and what doesn’t.
The second type of networking is to join a networking group. Usually there is a fee to join and you make the commitment to attend on a regular basis. This could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. You can join one networking group or several – it all depends on how much time you are willing to commit.
Whilst I don’t endorse any of the following, you might want to check these out:
- BNI –weekly meetings,mixed gender, joining fee, referrals expected, only one profession per meeting allowed
- Heartlink – women’s networking group , weekly meetings, joining fee, referrals expected, only one profession per meeting allowed
- Bouncehub – Melbourne based, mixed gender, educational
And of course the third form of networking is social media. This post will appear on my Facebook Business page, LinkedIn and Twitter simultaneously once I push the “Publish” button.
- Facebook – create a business page and build that up so as to keep your personal life separate from business.
- LinkedIn – this will help you to build a profile that people can search and refer their business to you.
- Twitter – short snippets – you are confined to 100 characters including URL’s to your website.
- Pinterest –more of a visual site, but if you are artistic, you can create some lovely word pictures using photos and quotes that will appear on your other social media sites.
Where will I find the time for all of this?
I choose my networking events carefully. Maintaining a balance between peers, the wider public and social media. I rarely introduce myself as a Hypnotherapist at bigger events, choosing to ask more questions of the person I am talking to and only giving out my card if they ask for it.
With social media, there are a number of scheduling tools that you can use such as Buffer, Tweet Deck and Hoot Suite. Set aside a couple of hours to manage your social media and schedule posts for up to 10 days ahead. Mix them up – a quote here and there, a link to one of your website pages, a comment on someone else’s blog or sharing an interesting article.
And if you do find a lot of interesting Hypnotherapy articles, you can count the reading of them towards your Continuing Professional Education! Bonus!