How to Get More Clients for Your Therapy Practice on Yelp!

Are you a newly-licensed therapist with a budding practice and you’re looking to bring on new patients? Maybe you’re an established therapist that’s looking for a new way to get patients through the door. Either way, this article is for you

For many years Yelp has been the go-to for service businesses to shine in the online space, displaying positive reviews and encouraging eager folks to book their services.

With the recent public criticism of Yelp, including a documentary called Billion Dollar Bully, don’t be fooled. As unfortunate as some of the claims that have been made against Yelp are, they are still the go to resource for many clients as it relates to assessing the online reputation of retail, restaurant, and service businesses. 

It would be a mistake to think that Yelp is no longer a viable source of new patients for your practice.

In fact, Yelp is still used by tens of millions of consumers to make wise decisions as far as which service business to give their hard-earned money to in exchange for top-notch services.

This does include therapy practices, so it makes sense to know the exact, practical steps you can take in order to make the most of your profile on the platform.

Not that you have a choice – businesses famously can’t opt out of their listing being displayed by Yelp.

It’s because of this that it is not a choice, but more of a necessity to put your best foot forward on Yelp. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can do just that with the least amount of pain and frustration possible.

Think of the upside – many businesses get the majority of their new clients from Yelp, and you can build your profile up to the point where the majority of your new patients will be finding your practice on Yelp as well!

Let’s walk through how exactly to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable feat…

Source: The Daily Beast

HOW TO DOMINATE YELP WITH YOUR THERAPY PRACTICE

There are a few key ingredients to an effective Yelp profile.

One is to build a steady stream of new 5-star reviews

Now you may be wondering, is there a way to cheat the system and either pay for or somehow manufacture fake 5-star reviews?

The answer to this is a flat out – no.

Yelp has famously punished businesses for attempting to defraud their review system, even going so far as to plaster a warning to consumers on your profile. 

If you flat-out offer discounts or extra perks in exchange for positive reviews, you may be hit with a Consumer Alert on your Yelp profile, such as the one pictured below.

Another way to get more patients for your therapy practice on Yelp is to encourage happy patients to review you.

“Sure, but how do I find and isolate the happy patients,” you cheerfully inquire, “if I don’t know which ones are actually happy with my practice?”

The simple answer is, of course, to ask them

Send out an automated email or text message (which is proven to have a higher response rate) after every therapy session (or at the very least, the first one) asking customers what they thought about your service.

For the patients that responded positively, send out a follow-up email asking those specific patients to leave an honest review on Yelp.

Provide a link to your Yelp profile in the email – you can even go a step further and find the link that directs them to write a review (just right-click on the ‘Write a review’ button on your profile and insert that link into the email).

In this way, you are pre-selecting the patients that are already happy with your service, and encouraging those folks to leave a review, which will inevitably results in more 5-star reviews on your profile.

Another technique includes calling the patients directly and soliciting their feedback and then asking the happy ones to leave a review.

Either way, you’re not technically violating any of Yelp’s terms since you’re not providing any kind of incentive for patients to leave a review – simply asking the right people

As a happy side-effect, you’ll also be able to deal with any qualms or frustrations that your patients have with your practice on the spot, before they’ve had a chance to run to online platforms such as Yelp and Google to voice their concerns.

As the mini cherry on top, you’ll also be privy to feedback that you can then use to change your practice for the better.

Another possible strategy would be to fight against the allegedly unfair algorithm that filters your positive reviews on Yelp.

You may even try intentionally asking for 1-star reviews, as a restaurant owner famously did in the Bay Area, which led him to receive overwhelming praise from business owners and a massive uptick in new business.

However, this strategy is reserved for those with thick skin and a determination to stick it to the man (or in this case, the platform)

Additionally, if you don’t reach critical mass to the point where publications like The Hustle are writing articles about you, this plan may backfire drastically and leave you with a downtrodden, 1-star review plagued Yelp listing.

Given this high risk / high reward, scenario, let’s talk about some techniques that don’t involve potentially flushing your Yelp listing down the toilet (and with that, the trust of thousands of potential new patients).

HOW TO RUN YOUR THERAPY PRACTICE BETTE

Being dependent on a single platform to spoon-feed you with clients is inherently dangerous.

What if Yelp changes their algorithm or decides to mark some of your positive reviews as ‘Not Recommended

Let’s delve into the nuances of how to grow your therapy practice without having to rely on Yelp to provide you with the majority of your new patients or patient leads.

BE VISIBLE ONLINE

As the internet gobbles up more and more brick-and-mortar businesses, you can ensure your small business is successful in the future by putting yourself everywhere a potential client might be looking.

I’ve said before that leads and sales are like oxygen for a business and without this your business will suffocate and eventually die.

So take heed and take some time to build a solid pipeline of new leads coming in.

MAKE SURE YOUR LEAD FUNNEL IS IN PLACE

The main reason you created a profile on Yelp is because you are looking for more patients for your therapy practice.

So without your own source of new clients, it can be tough to break free and build your small business from the ground up.

How do you build an evergreen pipeline of new clients, you ask

We’ve covered this before in our article on how to generate online leads for your service business, but let’s break it down specifically for your Therapy practice.

  • Build your online presence on sites like Google, Yelp, Thumbtack, and Online Directories
  • Advertise on the websites of local businesses
  • Ask your current clients for referrals
  • Run Google Ads (PocketSuite has a partnership with Google that allows you to easily market your business and send leads right to an online chat widget that you can receive messages from and respond to via text)
  • Create a partnerships with local clinics, private clinicians, attorneys, and accountants that are great trusted referral source

For more information on how PocketSuite can help you run your practice, check out our article on How to Run your Private Practice with PocketSuite.

From business messaging to scheduling, online booking to accepting payments, and a generous amount of other useful tools, check out PocketSuite’s Premium plan to help you run your entire practice from a single app

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2020, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to get more clients from Handy!

Are you a cleaner who’s working on the Handy platform and you’re wondering how to make the most of it? In this article we’ll be talking about how to make the most of working as a 1099 contractor on the popular cleaning platform, where you can choose your jobs and get paid within 1 business day. You’re not alone – Handy has completed over 1 Million bookings as of 2014.

They also offer handyman services, however the bulk of their revenue comes from cleaning (about 80%).

Handy has over 692 reviews on Glassdoor, a website where employees (and contractors, in this case) can review their employer.

As you may expect, not all of the reviews are positive. The average rating that employees gave Handy is 2.4 out of 5 stars.

Why such a low rating, you may ask?

If you’re familiar with the business practices of this NYC-based tech startup, you won’t be surprised by some of the shocking Glassdoor reviews that you come across:

“Unstable and Unpredictable Work”

“Very little consideration for the employee”

“Dont expect to much if you’re a cleaning professional.”

Okay, you smirk, but that’s just one review site – Glassdoor.

How about Indeed?

Indeed places Handy at 3.0 out of 5 stars with 373 reviews and counting. Plus, some of the reviewers are calling out Handy for submitting fake reviews to boost their rating (the ones from New York).

And on and on it goes.

How could a company that has raised over $100 million dollars in funding be such a wretched place to work?

You’d think they would at least have some perks for their workers, as most startups do.

This backlash from 1099 contractors is not a new thing – as far back as 2012, cleaners have lambasted Handy for its questionable treatment of contractors, low wages, and frustrating customer service – they were even sued for labor violations in 2014.

One article even called them a “Hellscape of Labor Code Violations.”

A former Handy customer writes in Money Under 30 that professionals were being paid a meager fee, and also mentioned that some reviews talk about customers being “robbed by Handy’s contractors.”

With all this hullabaloo over Handy, they still managed to be acquired by ANGI, the same company that owns Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor, for an undisclosed amount in 2018.

What does this mean for you, a 1099 cleaner that is interested in making some extra cash doing some cleaning appointments with this company?

Keep on reading to understand the pros and cons of this decision and how it will impact your life.

As a cleaning professional, I’m sure you’d like to make the most of working with Handy.

Although former contractors advise to stay away, you’ve decided to take the plunge and see how this “ATM in your pocket” works, as some cleaners have described this app.

Here are several ways you can make the most of dire circumstances – we’ll be talking about how to get more clients on Handy and keep your rating high at the same time.

HOW TO GET MORE CLIENTS ON HANDY

The best advice I can give you is to read the Handy Pro Terms carefully and thoroughly.

You may find that there are policies in place that you disagree with, but it’s better to be knowledgable about these practices rather than taken aback by them.

For example, it’s important to cancel bookings as early as possible if you can’t make it.

If you cancel a booking within 24 hours of the booking, you’re charged a fee.

If you cancel within 2 hours of the booking, you’re assessed an even higher fee that can border on how much you would have been paid to complete the booking.

Yes, you read that right. They will take the fee out of your earnings.

Some cleaners find this bordering on criminal, others are more understanding.

It makes sense from a business perspective, as Handy is losing out on revenue and angering their customers by having cleaners cancel at the last minute.

However, if you have a genuine and legitimate excuse for not being able to make it to a cleaning appointment (car trouble, other emergencies) it can be frustrating to have your pay docked as well.

Ultimately, by working on the Handy platform you are dependent on the platform to give you jobs.

It’s different than being a solo-preneur or small business owner, because Handy can re-route your clients to another professional or change the algorithm at any time.

Additionally, you can be locked out of the platform if you don’t abide by one of their litany of rules and regulations, as described in the Pro Terms.

In order to truly control their destiny, cleaning professionals are switching to using PocketSuite to manage their small business and clients, as this allows them to actually own their clients.

With PocketSuite, your clients are using and paying for your services directly, not utilizing a toll booth like Handy.

I would advise you to weigh the pros and cons of giving up control of your customer base to another company, as this ultimately means they control your destiny.

Instead, check out some of the cleaning pros that are making six figures using PocketSuite to manage their business.

They aren’t dependent on another company to manage their customers or give them more business.

If you’re using Handy, you have to play by their rules.

If you don’t, they will lock you out and you’ll need to search elsewhere to earn your day’s bread.

This may be more riskier than going out on your own and growing your small cleaning business.

By becoming a solo-preneur and using PocketSuite to manage your business, you’re running the show and you get to call the shots.

You get to decide on which policies you enforce, which clients you keep (and which you fire!)

Every aspect of your business is up to you. No longer will you be subjected to unnecessary fines, outrageous work conditions, and draconian policies.

You can set your own hours, communicate with your own clients the way you want to, and not have corporate regulations imposed on you.

HOW TO GROW YOUR SMALL CLEANING BUSINESS

If you’ve decided to embark on a mission to build your own business and shed the limitations imposed on you by Handy, your first step is to read our article on How to Generate Online Leads for your Service Business.

Leads become sales, and sales are synonymous with bottom-line revenue. Revenue is the oxygen that your business needs to survive – without it, your business will fail and you’ll be right back in the same place you started.

A consistent stream of leads is important because it guarantees your future business will grow stronger and survive.

You should also create an online presence by submitting your business to online directories such as Yelp and Google, which will help to solidify your business as a trustworthy entity.

This is important for two subsets of folks – to potential customers searching for cleaning services, and to customers that have already found your business and are researching it to determine your trustworthiness.

Lastly, make sure that you read up on all of the articles online that describe how to start a cleaning business (even if you have no money!)

These should point you in the right direction:

https://fitsmallbusiness.com/start-a-cleaning-business/

https://www.cleaningbusinessacademy.com/how-to-start-a-cleaning-business-guide/

https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/02/how-to-start-a-cleaning-business.html

Your fate is in your hands. If you want to take the plunge and become a small business owner or solo-preneur in the cleaning field, you need an app that will help you manage your clients, payments, accept credit cards, and every other aspect of your business.

Give PocketSuite a shot – there’s a free plan, and you can join the countless cleaning professionals making 6 figures on the app.

You can do this!

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2020, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

Written by Ilya Ornatov