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How Does Your Practice Grow?

September 14, 2017

I swung into private practice as a social worker back in 1990. I was confident in my skills as a social worker and thought that by telling a few potential referral sources about my availability, I would be busy in no time. I sent out some 75 cards to local family doctors and sat back.

I waited and waited.

In my first year of practice I did about $6,000 worth of business. Without the support of my wife we wouldn’t have survived.

I waited and waited.

In the second year of practice I did about $12,000 worth of business. Thank goodness my wife had her job.

My wife was working for an employer who didn’t treat their employees respectfully. I was filling my time as house-husband. Push was coming to shove. She was growing more distressed with her workplace. I was growing more perturbed for a lack of referrals.

I broke my silence and spoke to a few people about my lack of business. Several told me the same thing:

People only refer to people they have already met. People need to see that you don’t have 4 eyes and 6 ears. Given that people are sending you their clients, friends or family, they have to have confidence in your service as your service will be a reflection on them.

Wow, I was awakened.

I got out of my office in so many ways.

  • I volunteered on community groups;
  • I met directly with family doctors;
  • I provided workshops;
  • I courted the media – radio, print and television;
  • I found ways of differentiating what I do;
  • I found ways of making it known to others;
  • I closed the loop by letting my referral sources know how things were going.
  • I found the power of the Internet and hit the web with everything I had.

I realized that if I wanted a successful practice, it would take more than my social work skills. I needed to develop my marketing skills.

By my third year of practice my wife was able to leave her job. We haven’t looked back since.

Sine those days and increasingly over time, I have been sought out to help others develop their practice. I have long since held the view that I shouldn’t worry about my competition, but be a resource to anyone seeking my support. This too has helped develop my practice.

Now I am presenting more and more at provincial and international conferences, less about social work and more about helping others develop their practice.

If you work in a helping profession, if you are trying to help others get along better and resolve their differences and you want to grow your practice, I would be delighted to be of service.

This is becoming my next calling and business endeavor – helping other peacemaking professionals grow their practice.

You don’t have to wait years to learn as I did. You can learn now.

I love what I do and do what I love.

You should too.

Build, Brand, Market, Close: Building Your Successful Peacemaking or Counseling Practice  – November 10 2017

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.


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