A Year in Review: Top Blog Posts of 2017As the end of the year quickly approaches, we thought it would be a good time to reflect on what’s been happening on the TheraNest blog over the past year. 2017 has been a very exciting and busy year for us, we’ve published over 30 articles ranging in subject from SEO for your therapy website to figuring out how to take a vacation with your busy schedule. Not only that, but we’ve also launched a guest posting series that we’re excited to keep building on in 2018. Before the rush of the new year takes over (and before you can’t find a spot in the gym), we thought we’d offer you a round-up of our most popular blog posts in 2017 so you can go into the new year feeling well-read and well-versed in all private practice* matters (*not the show, but we’ve gone ahead and added a link at the bottom that’ll have you well versed in all matters regarding the show as well). The world of medical billing is a confusing one. Superbills, clearinghouses, insurance panels–there are always so many different moving parts to keep track of. This blog post serves as a good starting point for understanding not only what an insurance panel is, but how you can get on one to start building your private practice revenue. In the post, we navigate through the steps you need to take to get credentialed with insurance companies, while also highlighting the pros and cons of doing so. We want to give you the information you need so you know you are making an informed decision. Though therapy is the bread and butter of your private practice, you won’t make it far without having a solid marketing strategy in place. Private practices, more often than not, fail because they do not have a marketing strategy in place. Focusing on your clients is important, but if you do not learn to market your practice you won’t have any clients to focus on. Nonetheless, we also know that most small and solo practices don’t have a lot of money to invest in marketing–that’s why we came up with this list of seven free and effective marketing strategies. The strategies outlined in this post only require the investment of time (not an investment of your hard-earned dollars). Private practice financials can be a finicky thing. Not only do you have to worry about paying your bills, but you also have to take into account what your clients can afford to pay you. Set your fees too high and you’ll be closing up shop because no clients can afford to pay, set your fees too low and you’ll be shutting down because you can’t keep up with your expenses. That’s where sliding scales come in. In this blog post, we discuss what sliding scales are and how they may (or may not) be useful for your practice. We know sliding scales are a polarizing topic, that’s why we don’t take a hard stance for them or against them here. Rather we’re giving you the pros and cons and then letting you determine whether you think this system is the right option for you, your clients, and your practice. It would seem that seven is our lucky marketing number. Not only does our list include seven free marketing strategies to implement, but we’ve also got a blog post talking about the seven marketing mistakes you want to avoid. Just as a good marketing strategy can make your private practice, a bad marketing strategy can break it. We know you’ve trained to be a clinician and not a marketer, but to build a profitable private practice, you have to be both. But don’t worry, that’s where this blog post comes in handy. We do a deep dive into the most common marketing mistakes well-meaning therapists (like yourself) can make and how you can avoid them. We also provide some helpful “good” marketing strategies to implement along the way. You’re in the business of caring for others, this makes it hard sometimes to remember to take care of yourself. Self-care is not only a part of living a healthy, balanced life, but it is also a big part of being a good therapist. Burning out because you’re working too much does neither you nor your clients any good. Check out this post if you need some help figuring out why self-care is so important and how you can start engaging in it. Being a therapist is hard work, taking time for yourself not only improves your quality of life, but it also makes you a better therapist. We think the new year is a great time to incorporate some of these tips into your schedule (the new year is all about making those often longed for lifestyle changes, right?). The administrative tasks that are often involved in running a private practice can often be overwhelming. Though the tasks may initially seem small and inconsequential, they are anything but. Having your administrative responsibilities in a disarray can leave your patients feeling confused and disengaged–reducing the likelihood that they will be coming back. Creating a standardized welcome package for all of your clients helps cut down on the administrative responsibilities that bring you down, while also helping to engage and establish open lines of communication with your clients. This blog post outlines why you need a welcome package (if you’re still not convinced) and provides advice (and note templates) on the items you should include. Check it out to not only make your life easier but to help make your clients happier. As a private practice owner, you’re juggling a lot–administrative responsibility, billing, therapy sessions, and a whole lot more. It can seem impossible to take a vacation, sometimes the idea of even having a quiet moment to yourself in the middle of the workweek can seem impossible. If the thought of a vacation sounds wonderful, but unrealistic to you–this blog post is for you. In this post, we talk about how taking a vacation is not only doable but also good for you and the health of your private practice. Read on and learn the steps you can take to start planning your getaway sooner rather than later. The number one question a therapy practice should ask itself is the question this blog post opens with: is your private practice private? As HIPAA has mandated it and as every mental health professionals code of ethics demands, patients information should always be well protected. In this blog post, we get into the nitty-gritty of what you can be doing as a private practice owner to protect your clients’ confidentiality. We provide the tips you need to improve privacy for all of your clients. We think this is an especially useful article to read (and implement) as we enter into the new year. Given the recent passing of the new tax code now, now maybe more than ever may be a good time to hire an accountant for your private practice. Reconciling business financials can strike fear in the hearts of anyone who is not a number-loving, tax code expert. And let’s face it: you’re a therapist and not an accountant. Bookkeeping is not only important, but it is absolutely necessary for a small business (and that’s what your private practice is–a small business!). If you don’t have a system to handle your bookkeeping and taxes, managing your private practice can become impossible and can lead to your business closing. Hiring a professional is usually a good idea when it comes to matters of finance. Check out this post if you need a little help deciding if this would be the right move for you. Don’t worry we go into both the pros and cons of hiring an accountant so you can make an informed decision that works for you. It’s no surprise that this article was on our list of the top ten most popular articles on our blog this year. In this day and age, a website is a requirement for any successful business. A website offers both your established clients and your potential clients a look into your private practice and gives them the information that they need quickly and easily. In fact, for many of the clients you’ll see in your private practice, their first introduction to you was through your website. That means your website is your first impression on a countless amount of potential clients–you have to make sure that impression counts. In this blog post, we go into all the details about how you can create content that turns first-time visitors into dedicated clients!
As promised: become well-versed in all things related to the TV show Private Practice here. Happy reading!