One of the most common questions we receive is “How do I find clients?”
When starting a private practice, finding your first clients can be a challenge. Keep in mind, this is true of any new business both in and outside of the dietetic community.
There are many strategies you can employ to grow your clientele, but once you find your first 5 clients, you’ll be more likely to receive referrals in the future, which will help expand your business.
To get started, here are 5 tips to find your first 5 clients:
1. Start With Family and Friends
Start with what – or who – you know! As soon as you open the doors to your private practice, let your family and friends know. One of the most effective ways to spread the word is to send an email to those closest to you in your network announcing that you are open for business.
Your family and friends are the ones who are cheering for you to succeed, so you can count on them to spread the word about your new practice.
In your email, be sure to include your qualifications, your approach to care, and even a link to your website. Plus, don’t forget to add your contact info.
2. Reach Out to Local Physicians
Once you build a relationship with a few local physicians, they can be a great referral source for you. Go to local medical offices and meet with the physicians in your community. Be sure to bring business cards so they know what information to pass on.
One technique we’ve heard to be successful is supplying local physicians with a “referral pad.” Like their prescription pad, a referral pad includes all of the necessary information a physician needs to complete for a referral (especially if you accept insurance).
3. Hit The Gym
Introduce yourself to neighborhood gym managers as well as personal trainers. As we know, exercise and nutrition go hand in hand, although many people seeing personal trainers might not have considered seeing a nutritionist yet.
4. Offer Promotion Codes
Promotions or discounts are a great way to get your first few clients. Everyone loves a good deal, so offering 10% or 25% off your services to your first few clients can help drum up business. The right price might be the solution to attracting a cost-minded client.
5. Attend Community Events
Becoming a part of the community will help get your name out there and attract clients. Try to seek out food-focused events and see how you might be able to get involved. Setting up a table at the next farmer’s market might be just what you need to meet your first clients.
The first few clients are the hardest – but hard work, determination, and patience will do more than you think. If you have any questions or want some recommendations, please reach out to us, we love hearing from you!