Private Practice Marketing: Top 5 Best Sources for Fantastic Referrals

Successful private practices rely on referrals to grow their client-base.

The more consistent the amount of referrals, the steadier the income.

The higher-quality referrals, the better outcomes for the clients themselves and the higher level of job satisfaction for the private practice owner / staff.

But where should you go to actually get these referrals?

There Are “Best” Places to Get Referrals

As a private practitioner, it’s stressful to worry about where your next referral is coming from.

As a helping professional, you want to be able to help more people, but who should you reach out to to get high-quality referrals for your private practice?

​Very few private practices have large marketing budgets and need to focus their attention on marketing strategies that actually work.

​If you’re trying to maximize the “bang for your buck” and get the highest quality referrals for the least amount of time and money possible, keep reading because I am going to share my list of “Best and Most Consistent” places to get referrals.

Bonus: Want more ideas? Download a free list of the “Top 20” Sources for Fantastic Referrals (15 of which aren’t mentioned in the post!)


​Want More Referrals for Your Private Practice?
Use This List to Help Your Private Practice Grow

If you’re a private practitioner who wants to focus your marketing efforts on referral sources that have the greatest chance of resulting in frequent, high-quality leads start with these five:

1. Physicians / Specialists
​The very best referrals are going to come from people who know your clients and know the value of what you can do for them. 

While it can be intimidating for private practitioners to establish and build relationships with pediatricians, primary care doctors and specialists (such as neuropsychologists, ENTS, physiatrists, etc.) the long-term payoff of establishing referral relationships cannot be underestimated!

Once you become the “go to” clinician that a certain physician refers to, you can virtually guarantee your caseload numbers to go up!

2. Your Website
Having a complete and findable website is the best way to get referrals 24/7. Most people search for information online these days (you included!) so having a professional-looking website with information about your services, yourself, etc. is essential.

While it used to be very complicated and expensive to create websites, with platforms like Weebly, Wix and Squarespace, it’s now very simple (and affordable!) to have a spectacular looking site in just a matter of hours.

3. Other Clinicians
Often times, potential clients as other clinicians they are working with if they know any good SLPs / OTs / PTs in private practice. Many of my best referrals have come from clinicians whom I’ve worked with in the past as they know my skill level and areas of interest. 

Clients tend to trust the advice of their therapists and we clinicians love to pass good clients onto great therapists. It’s a win-win-win!

4. “Mom” Facebook Groups
Most cities / towns / neighborhoods have “mom” groups on Facebook that to share resources, ask questions, give away or sell items, etc.

With some frequency, moms (and dads!) post questions about their children, ask for recommendations about therapy services, etc. By providing helpful information first and then giving a link to your website or contact information, you can build awareness as well as trust and authority in your local community.

You can also occasionally share links about your private practice with text like, “New openings for the fall!” to drum up some business. Ask the page administrator if it’s okay to post messages like this first.

5. Word of Mouth
Everyone wants word of mouth marketing! Why? Because it’s (perceived as) free and often comes from people who know and love you as they are often based on relationships.

But how do you get referrals via word of mouth? It’s as simple as making sure that people in your professional, social and familial circles know that:

  • you’re in private practice
  • what types of clients you see
  • how to best get in touch with you

Word of mouth referrals happen in variable amounts of time often take time to occur. In order to “get your name out there” and start creating awareness of your private practice, make sure you’re talking about it frequently!

Good Referrals Are Good; Great Referrals Are GOLD


Not all referrals are created equal. Just because you’re getting inquiries doesn’t mean that you’re going to get booked appointments.

They key to getting great referrals is by:

  1. Becoming Findable
  2. Building Awareness
  3. Establishing Referral Relationships

If you want to learn specific, step-by-step ways to market your private practice to the above referral sources, check out Grow Your Private Practice.

Grow Your Private Practice is the only marketing program specifically created by a private practitioner for private practitioners.

Bonus: Want more ideas? Download a free list of the “Top 20” Sources for Fantastic Referrals (15 of which aren’t mentioned in the post!)


Jena H. Casbon, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and private practice consultant. She started her own speech therapy private practice in 2006. She is the founder of The Independent Clinician and author of The Guide to Private PatientsThe Guide to Creating a Web Presence for Your Private Practice and now, Grow Your Private Practice. Since 2008, she has helped thousands of clinicians get the flexibility, income and freedom they desire from starting their own private speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy practices. 
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