Choosing a focus for business growth.

I am a coach/therapist and need more clients as soon as possible in order to cover my business expenses and start paying down my line of credit. I used to accept insurance and hated it, so quit the panel and raised my rates in May 2020. I lost a lot of clients since I did that and was assuming my new niche would create a lot of interest and demand eventually, but in actuality people haven’t just been coming to me like they used to when I took insurance and I have been learning to actually do marketing for the first time ever. I tried FB ads for a while and that didn’t work well for reasons related to my niche. Since then, I’ve been helped by the PPP loan (which was forgiven) and SBA loan, which I think enabled me to survive business-wise, but also enabled me not to be laser-focused on my marketing.

I have been running Google Ads with some success the last 7 weeks. They click the add, are taken to my website or a landing page and then go to my Calendly page to fill out a screener form and request a free 20-min consultation. It’s been a process of refining it each week with ups and downs along the way. My (free) intern has been helping to screen people once they schedule. Overall, it’s not cheap. I’ll spend about $2k in September and got maybe 8 new clients at $225 or $250 per session–1 or 2 maybe came from other sources. I am not sure how many sessions the average client does now that I don’t take insurance. And I am not sure of my attrition rate.

I am using my business line of credit to pay for these ads, so things are temporarily moving in the wrong direction financially, but I’m hoping it will pay off and I’ll have a great little marketing machine at the end of this. There’s a fear I’m paying too much per client acquisition though (although it’s trending downward) and what if I can’t get the cost down enough? There are some no-shows and plenty of people who have budgets that are too low, so we have been screening those people out after they request the consultation. However, Google is counting those people as a conversion still because requesting the consult is the conversion. A couple days ago, I made a video to help screen them BEFORE they request a free consultation to help with Google sending me the right people, but I’m waiting on my web developer to set that up.

I have feelings of scarcity and self-blame around this. I’m afraid of using up my whole line of credit running these ads and getting in more debt. And I’m also afraid of jumping ship too early because things seem to have really picked up in the last couple weeks with the requests for a consultation. I’m honestly just sick of being in this place of fear/survival/scarcity with my business and financial situation.