If you’re looking to attract new counselling clients, you know that you need to regularly spend time on your marketing.
But what if you're in the middle of a pandemic and struggling to get motivated to work on your private practice?
Here are a few ideas to help get you going when you're just not feeling it.
To say these last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster just wouldn't begin to describe how I've felt - and I think it's the same for everyone.
I've been offering extra support in the Grow Your Private Practice membership community by doing extra Facebook lives and weekly group Zoom calls, and members are generally feeling the same, just at different times.
I think for me it's calmed down a lot more now as I watch VERY little news coverage, as I found it made me angry and upset, feel helpless, hopeless and all the other things.
I've noticed my behaviour. I've thrown myself into work as a distraction, sat on the sofa all weekend and all levels in between.
What I've found (and other members have too) is that too much time doing too little can be bad for us. For me certainly, the days where I binged watched Netflix and binge ate chocolate left me feeling lethargic, bored, more lonely and sad and made my body feel creaky (though that might just be my age!).
So I have settled on a middle ground of working shorter hours so I still get that sense of achievement, but I'm not on some crazy hamster wheel of busyness.
And if I'm having a bad day, then I am gentle with myself.
So if you are feeling unmotivated and lethargic, here are 7 super simple ways to get motivated to work on your private practice, even in a global pandemic.
1. Lift your energy.
Just not in the mood? Use the power of music.
When I need a little energy boost, I put my ‘70’s disco playlist on and it never fails to lift me.
Or a classic like ‘You’re just too good to be true’. I mean, come on, how can you NOT feel better after THIS
2. Wake your body up.
Move, stretch, take some big, deep breaths.
Just a couple of minutes of stretching, windmilling your arms about and doing squats will get that blood pumping and wake you up.
I’ve started doing a few simple exercises every time I boil the kettle. Trust me, the amount of coffee I drink, that really adds up.
3. Reconnect with your why
Sometimes, doing marketing activities can feel like just another job to tick off your to-do list. And let’s face it, no one got into counselling because they wanted to spend their time marketing.
So why did you start counselling? What drove you to embark on the huge commitment of time, money and effort to train to be a counsellor?
Why is this important to you?
How does counselling make you feel?
Why do you want to be in private practice? Maybe it’s the choice you have, the freedom, the opportunity to work in a way that feels right for you?
What would being successful in private practice mean to you? More money? Helping more people? Feeling pride about what you do? A sense of achievement?
Re-connect with your why and it will remind you that you aren't doing markjeting for the fun of it, but because the marketing you are doing is helping you to achieve what you want.
4. Write down 3 things you want to achieve today.
Make them realistic but enough to stretch you a little.
So ‘re-write my homepage’ is good.
‘Re-write my website’ isn’t.
And check out the Productivity Power Hour to get focussed.
5. Do the hardest thing first
Is there something that stays on your to-do list for ages? Then do that first.
Chances are it's not as bad as you thought, and doesn't take as long as you imagined.
Doing it first means you’ll have more energy to tackle it, and once you’ve finished you’ll get a huge sense of achievement.
Check out the book ‘Eat that frog!: Get more of the important things done today’.
6. Use the Pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro technique is a game-changer for me. Basically, you're setting time boundaries around the work you are doing.
Just set a timer for anything up to 25 minutes, turn off all your distractions and focus completely on the task at hand.
For me, it also becomes a mini-challenge to see how much I can accomplish. Read more about the Pomodoro technique HERE
7. Reward yourself
Rewards work. Whether it’s a star chart for a child, a meaty nibble for your dog or a bonus for an employee.
Being self-employed means you have to reward yourself, so give yourself something to look forward to after you’ve done your 3 things.
It could be you buy your fave magazine, or get a new nail polish or lippy. Maybe after a week of work you could have a manicure, massage or a nice meal out.
Whatever works for you. (Just try not to have a food reward all the time, that can quickly get out of hand.)
So there you have it, 7 really simple ways to get motivated so you can get on with your marketing activities and attract more counselling clients.
Because things WILL get back to normal, or a new version if it and one thing I do know is there will be many people looking for counselling to help with relationship issues, trauma, PTSD, loss, anxiety, depression as well as all the issues they had before lockdown. Don't wait until then to start your marketing as you might miss the boat.
And if you're ready to use any extra time you have really focussing on your practice, I've reduced the price of the Grow Your Private Practice membership community to help you at this time. Just click the button below for more details, or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org