Updated: Jan 11
If I were to start all over again as a hypnotherapist, these are the questions I would ask myself before starting my holistic practice and business. I recommend every holistic practitioner do the same!
Jump to Question: What is my primary focus as a practitioner? Who is my favorite person to work with? What do I want my schedule to look like? What strategic partnerships might I want to build? How will I set up my systems? Conclusion
Question #1 - What is my primary focus as a practitioner?
You can answer this question by identifying your strengths, knowing what you do well or have done well for yourself, problems you have solved for yourself, problems you enjoy solving for other people, and what it is that you want to work with clients on. It could be habit replacement, getting focused, clarifying goals, anxiety or depression, or several specific things that you enjoy addressing with the clients that will help hone your marketing message and position yourself for creating strategic partnerships.
Question #2 - Who is my favorite person to work with?
You can answer this question by identifying personality types, demographics, or who you love working with. It could be sports athletes who want to play a better golf game or people going into retirement who want a new perspective on their lives. It could be empty-nesters, parents whose children have gone to college, and they’re trying to rediscover and reignite the flame in their partnership with their significant other. These could be women or men of a certain age. You could also work with children.
Who are your people? Are they open? Kind? Charismatic? Are they fun to be around? Do they naturally feel inspired and excited about life, and are you there to amp them up and take them to a new level? Are they people who have been struggling for a long time, and you noticed that they can easily get a sense of relief with you? What kind of payers are your people? Do they pay easily, on time, and recognize and know that your service and time are valuable?
Get clear on all of the things that you would like to see in that favorite person you’d like to work with because that will help bring you into more alignment with meeting more people like that. And then, when you talk during networking, you know what kind of person you are looking for, who you want to have in your practice and who you want to help inspire.
Question #3 - What do I want my schedule to look like?
This is important because you want to avoid burnout. Once you start gaining momentum and more clients are coming to you, you might notice that what was once very easy for you to do may become overwhelming without adding structure. Perhaps at first, you were seeing one or two clients a day, and you could easily work 7 days a week because you had a lot of flexibility and downtime. But once your schedule fills up and you’re seeing six clients a day, you might want to limit your client sessions to 3 or 4 days a week, and spend one or two of your remaining days your marketing and business development, and taking time off. Think about your schedule and notice that a good portion of it will go towards self-promotion and marketing, especially in your first year in business.
To have a thriving business, you need to be willing to say, “I am terrific at this (insert answer to question #1), and I love working with (insert answer to question #2). I love working with this primary focus; my favorite person to work with is this particular person. And I work three primary days a week in the office or virtually, and two of my other days I work on my business.”
There needs to be a time where you work on your business but not in it, whether you are improving your business systems, doing your taxes, or networking. You can take care of many other types of activities during the remaining weekdays to improve your business, make it more streamlined, and more time and cost-efficient.
Question #4 - What strategic partnerships might I want to build?
As a former clinical hypnotherapist (now I’m a hypnotherapy instructor who only trains and certifies clinical hypnotherapists at my school), a great strategic partner for me would be a chiropractor. A chiropractor may work with people who have been in car accidents, and they are noticing that their client is holding their trauma in their physical body, but it’s also being held in their emotional body. A great chiropractor can tell when somebody is holding onto the pain because of a mental block and may be re-traumatizing themselves.
A good referral partner and a good strategic partner for a clinical hypnotherapist would be a chiropractor because they could refer people who could have experienced trauma to you. Similarly, a hypnotherapist would be a good referral partner for a chiropractor because you can see or get a sense of the physical limitations that are not being adjusted only through the mental mindset piece, and sometimes, a physical adjustment is necessary. So you can work together in harmony.
Another strategic partnership could be a psychiatrist. If you feel that your client might have needs that go beyond hypnotherapy, you may want to work with a psychiatrist to help your client overcome those hurdles. A psychiatrist could also refer you clients who they may not need to see if their clients are basically just the ‘worried well’ and may only need to feel some peace, calm, relaxation, and connectivity to feel better, which hypnotherapy can offer.
Other types of strategic partners may be outside of the mental health field. You could look at people in more traditional industries like insurance or home security, for example, where their clients may have experienced some kind of trauma like a home invasion. People who suffer from PTSD may not want to go to a psychologist or a psychiatrist, but they may feel more comfortable going to a hypnotherapist.
Many different types of corporations or mid-sized companies either offer or want to offer a wellness program. You can offer a lot of value to their employees by negotiating flat rates or even long-term contracts with them. You can often find these strategic partners through networking, which also tend to yield long-term clients from doing group work at some of these larger companies.
A strategic partnership does not need to be in an industry connected to holistic to benefit from your service as a clinical hypnotherapist. I have given talks at insurance companies helping their people to get into a clearer mindset, which gives me the chance to experiment with some sales strategies and practice conversational hypnosis to enhance their wellness and help them understand the value of hypnotherapy. There are many ways to integrate hypnotherapy via strategic partnerships in a multitude of industries.
As a clinical hypnotherapist, you are never limited to working with only people who run in holistic circles. The world is your oyster, and often, the most unfamiliar industries with clinical hypnotherapy may benefit the most and provide the most opportunities. Networking groups are excellent for finding these opportunities for strategic partnerships. There are virtual networking groups where you do not need to leave your home to network. These virtual networking groups can help you start talking about your craft and the value you can offer. When people understand the value of hypnotherapy and can connect with you personally, they become much more likely to become your client.
Question #5 - How will I set up my systems?
This one is important because you only have one or two chances to sell someone on what you’re offering. Make sure that you have a clear system for getting people into your door and into your practice and helping them to recognize the value right away of continuing to work with you for several sessions. This could look like a package of many sessions to be used over weeks and months, or it could be something small where they are just getting a sense of the changes they can make in their life and mindset.
If you don’t have systems set up, it could result in having a revolving door business where people use you for symptom relief on their terms, coming and going as they please, not getting any lasting value or permanent transformation. If you’re not creating and using systems for asking for the sale, if you’re not following a strategy, if you’re not helping them to understand the value of hypnotherapy and the transformation it can help clients achieve, then clients can only resort to using you for symptom relief. Systems help you to target and resolve root causes to help your clients achieve permanent positive transformation. Having systems is super important because you want to provide the highest-quality service for the people who need you as early as possible and help them understand why it’s important to work with you long-term.
Systems are also important for monthly reconciliation expenses, making sure your taxes are on point, making sure you’re paying yourself properly and your employees (if you happen to have any), or if you’re opening up a bigger brick-and-mortar clinic or if you’re doing business online only, or teaching classes. Recognizing the need to have systems in place and working properly for all aspects of your business will only help you be more effective and successful as a holistic business owner.
These are the questions that I would definitely ask myself before going into business, if I were to start over. I feel that it’s something that all holistic practitioners need to ask themselves.
By the way, at Schaefer Institute of Hypnosis, we provide everything you need to set up all of these important systems when you enroll in our hypnotherapy certification program, which includes business and marketing training to set up your practice for success. Apply today!