Doctors and psychologists go through more than a decade of schooling and clinical training before they can start practicing on their own. But one thing they don’t teach during all those years of education is how to turn that hard earned degree into an actual business.
Psychologist Paola Bailey, who recently launched her own practice, is familiar with this problem. "I knew what I needed to do in my work but I was never taught how to turn that into a successful business for myself,” said Bailey. “I was wasting huge amounts of time, money, and energy trying to get referrals that take months to actually materialize. I felt like it was completely out of my control.”
Most professionals in her field resign themselves to the fact that it’s going to take years to build up a successful practice. But Paola was not willing to accept this reality so easily. “I’m not a passive person. Part of my initial attraction to NationBuilder was that I wanted to take control into my own hands and know that the outcome was going to be based on my effort.”
Paola, whose partner Jesse Haff co-founded the LA-based community organizing system, is using NationBuilder to promote her psychology business online and to manage her relationships with current and prospective patients. She says that the response she’s gotten since launching her NationBuilder website has been pretty remarkable. “I wouldn’t be anywhere near having the practice I have without it. The day I opened my doors I had four clients scheduled. That is practically unheard of in this industry.”
So, how did she do it? Here are three ways that NationBuilder can help you build your private practice.
Marketing your services online
It’s easy to promote your services online by setting up a NationBuilder website using one of our themes. Paola uses her website to differentiate herself from other psychologists and to connect with prospective clients coming to the site. The ability to easily update her website and blog has been a huge benefit. “It only took me a weekend to set up my site and create the content. And now I am updating it constantly. It feels fluid and alive rather than static and outdated.”
Being responsive without a support staff
Most independent professionals who are just starting out don’t have the resources to hire administrative support. One of the most valuable functions of NationBuilder is that it tracks all inquiries from your phone, email, and website in one place, streamlining those administrative tasks and allowing you to quickly and efficiently respond to clients.
“Working in the mental health field, you need to be responsive,” said Paola. “Not only in case of emergencies, but also because motivation and need for treatment waxes and wanes, so it's important to be readily available.” Many of her clients have said that her responsiveness made them feel important and set her apart from other doctors.
Tracking client contacts all in one place
When you are with clients or patients all day, it can be challenging to manage your calendar if you don’t have help from an admin. “I had a calendar, my email, a planner, and a notebook but everything felt scattered and I knew referrals and networking opportunities could potentially fall through the cracks,” said Bailey.
NationBuilder’s activity dashboard streamlines your practice by helping you keep track of all your interactions with your contacts. According to Paola, setting future follow-up dates is a great way to make sure nothing gets by you. “With NationBuilder it’s all right there in one place and I feel like I’m being much more comprehensive.”