Pacing Yourself

It’s so easy to go full throttle when you get excited about something. I’m the last one to tell you to dampen your enthusiasm… if you’ve know me at all you know my excitability and passion are not the most easily containable. But here’s the deal: we only have so much time and energy. There are 1 million different ways to market your private practice but that doesn’t mean you have to do all of them. I’d so much rather you go deep on a few activities than to spread yourself, and your message, too thin. Do you know what I mean about spreading it all too thin? I’m pretty sure you get it emotionally (and high five for that!) but from a marketing perspective, if you do ALL the things you’re “supposed” to do it’s not going to go well. Unless you have someone managing it for you, you can’t have a bangin’ presence in all the social media platforms, for instance.  A bangin’ presence does not include repeating the content across platforms, FYI. A bangin’ presence means you have a clear understanding of what potential clients are wanting on each platform. It means you aren’t putting your followers in the weird “I already liked this on Instagram; do I like it on Facebook, too?” conundrum. It means you respond to people who engage with you on all platforms in a sincere way. If you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Alignable, Twitter, Reddit, Google+, Youtube, and whatever came out since I started typing this sentence, you’ve just earned yourself a solid part time job just managing it all. Being everywhere isn’t helpful if potential clients aren’t there, too. Remember, Return on Investment is not just about money; it’s about time, too.  Here’s the part where someone usually says, “But I’m slow right now. Doesn’t it make sense to go ahead and build that stuff out so I don’t have to later.” Nope! It makes way more sense to invest your time elsewhere and create one or two awesome, engaged social media platforms. This doesn’t just play out in marketing. It’s also apparent in service/product development. As you do more research about building your practice, you start hearing about “multiple streams of income” and “passive income” and it’s easy to get googly eyed. I have a bit of a rant about that here. Ultimately, focusing on building one business at a time (i.e. your private practice) means you can spend more time, more energy, more money on getting clients in the door. Yes, an ecourse, a book, a membership site will ALL drive clients to you, but there are much more efficient, inexpensive ways to get clients. Use those hours you would be creating content for that book/ecourse/membership site to market your practice. My advice: build your private practice first, then build your empire. The lessons you learn building your practice will be invaluable to your next offering. I want you to be strategic about the way you approach building. That means knowing what you’re doing when. You’ll have to add some flexibility; this will have to evolve as you get busier. I recently spend three(!) hours trying to wrangle my schedule into something that makes sense since upleveling. I also laid out my work priorities for the next 4 quarters with a strict “no adding anything” rule because I know I’ll get excited about something and want to get in action. I do have a running list of exciting ideas that can get some facetime April 2018. If I chase those now, the things I decided were most important are going to suffer. Does that frustrate me? Absolutely! For those of us who are both big idea people and action people it’s exceedingly annoying that there aren’t 48 hours in every day. But here’s how I calm myself down. I remind myself that career-wise, I’m a baby. I have so many years left to devote to the work I love. The idea bank in my head won’t run dry, and even if it did I’ve stockpiled enough ideas for 3 lifetimes already. I also have a family I love. And friends I love. And with the stupid clock turning over every 24 hours, I won’t be able to do everything. So I prioritize. That’s the beauty of private practice: you can let your priorities be your priorities. Are you focusing your energy in too many places? Let us know in the comments!