21 Ways to Attract Spiritual Direction Clients

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21 Ways to Attract Spiritual Direction Clients

By Spiritual Directors Teresa Blythe and Laura Lies

As a Spiritual Director wanting to begin or grow your business, you may be wondering how to find more clients. If so, you are not alone. In fact, according to Teresa Blythe, seasoned Spiritual Director and educator who trains apprentices in Spiritual Direction, this is the number one question she hears every day.

While this applies to Spiritual Directors, small business owners in other helping fields will also benefit from these steps.

In this post, we’ll explain why attracting clients to your Spiritual Direction business practice is important, how to attract potential clients, and provide 21 suggestions if you’re new to growing your Spiritual Direction business.

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A.    Who to focus your Invitation toward?

While virtually anyone may come for Spiritual Direction, generally folks come for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime, as experienced Spiritual Director Teresa Blythe advises. Maybe you are a spiritual director with an interest in reaching a particular audience. Spend time reflecting on your particular gifts and determine whom you will target as an audience. That doesn’t limit you just to that audience, but it gives you a place to start.

  1. Religious community clergy and lay leaders. They often appreciate the need for Spiritual Direction and are more likely to stick with it for a longer time. How do you connect with them? Consider working through Diocesan offices that maintain lists from which they refer their clergy. Denominations also have regional offices with leaders who know all the clergy and many of the laypeople in the area. Contacting them could also get you on a list. You want to become the person religious leaders think of when someone needs a spiritual director.
  1. Members of Faith communities. People who attend regular church services and spiritual events are generally more open to the concept of Spiritual Direction. Oftentimes these folks will require more education about what Spiritual Direction is. How do you connect with them? Consider offering a free workshop to introduce yourself. Choose a topic that you are experienced in and that is familiar enough to draw people, such as the Enneagram, Prayer Practices, or Decision Making and Discernment. Offer Group Spiritual Direction, which allows people to warm up to spiritual direction in the company of friends.
  1. Home faith community. Ask to be placed on a special page on their website about your offering of Spiritual Direction. Bruce Tallman, author of Finding Seekers: How to Develop a Spiritual Direction Practice from Beginning to Full-Time Employment, suggests that faith communities love to provide multiple services to their constituents. Your Spiritual Direction practice helps them to attract and help others.
  1. Members of your wider community. Consider offering a similar workshop through the more secular organizations in your community, such as the local library, continuing education through your park district or community college, senior continuing care communities, or service clubs such as Junior League and the like. The goal here is to broaden the net of people who at the very least hear about the concept of Spiritual Direction, further tilling the soil of our planet.
  1. Members of a particular community. It helps to have a niche, even if in your heart you want to work with “just anyone.” If your niche is LGBTQIA+ people, make that clear in all your marketing materials. Use the rainbow flag icon If retired people and seniors are your niches, reach out to continuing care communities, nursing homes, and senior centers. If you are decidedly interfaith in scope, make that clear.
  1. Start from the “inner circle of people who already know you. And begin the process of letting them know that you have begun a Spiritual Direction practice and that you are accepting new clients. According to Laurie Beth Jones, consider pouring your focus into folks with whom you already have a working relationship. As Laurie says, it is far easier to “make new business from old business,” than it is to start from scratch.
  1. List your business on dedicated Spiritual Director search websites. Partner with online lists that already exist for this purpose. Dedicated Spiritual Director online listings include the following:
    1. SDI Spiritual Companions. The largest listing of Spiritual Directors in the galaxy. Purchase a Premium listing that allows more text about you and your practice, photo, and video. Join over 100 others in the Making a Living Group on the SDI website.
    2. Evangelical Spiritual Directors Listing of Spiritual Directors with a Christian Evangelical bent.
    3. Hearts on Fire. Group of Spiritual Directors of the United Methodist Church.
    4. Spiritual Directors of Color.
    5. Unitarian Universalist Spiritual Directors.

 

FREE Preview--Growing Your Spiritual Direction Business--Online Course

 

B.    With What and When to Invite them?

As you prepare Whom to reach out to, you also need to prepare What to reach out to them with. Consider a short “Elevator Pitch” to grab their attention, with a way for them to learn more.

  1. What to include in your Pitch. What do you love about Spiritual Direction? How do you practice Spiritual Direction (what would a “typical” session look like.) Emphasize that you are open to new clients at this time. (You need to make this very clear, otherwise, people seem to assume the opposite.)
  1. How to share your Pitch. Share your pitch in both written form and video. Share it on your personal and business profiles on every social media outlet. Plan to share at least monthly to keep your offering fresh and in front of folks. Again, the email flyer blast is a good way to accomplish this.
  1. When to schedule your launch. Plan the “launch” of reaching out to your network at times of the year when people may be more open, such as in early fall (September) and after the holidays (January.) (Note: this timeline is most relevant in the USA. Please adjust to the rhythms of your region.)

 

FREE Preview--Growing Your Spiritual Direction Business--Online Course

 

C.    How to invite them Digitally?

  1. Establish an online presence. Ideally, plan to have a dedicated website, with at least a home or landing page. In this increasingly digital world, having a web presence will help to lend credibility to your offering. Find recommendations for the best website providers in the ever-changing online world. Link to your website at every opportunity.
  2. Put a blog on your website. and update it regularly to increase your search engine optimization. Teresa Blythe’s blog Spiritual Direction 101 was used to create her book Spiritual Direction 101 by blogging one section at a time.
  3. Email Newsletter. Still one of the most trusted ways to get the word out and if you use the free versions of MailChimp or SendinBlue it costs you nothing but time and effort. Start your newsletter with a brief letter from you to your prospective audience.
  4. Social Media. If needed, “make your peace” with social media, putting it to use “for good.” The more social media sites you post on, the more opportunities people have to find you and your website. Start small and build from there. According to Bruce Tallman, put 25% of your promotional energy into social media. Best sites based on the number of monthly users globally: Facebook Business, YouTube Business, Linked In Business and LinkedIn Spiritual Direction Group, Instagram for Business, Twitter, and TikTok.
  5. Podcasts. According to Hailey Mitsui, a successful Spiritual Director in private practice, she has grown her business by speaking on podcasts and through Instagram where she has over two thousand followers. Wondering how to find a podcast to speak on? Learn more here. If you have the equipment (microphone and audio recorder in your computer) and the interest, start your own podcast. Promote it just like you promote your spiritual direction practice and make sure the podcast leads people back to your website and contact information.
  6. Online classes. What is your specialty as a spiritual director? Someone out there may be looking for a class in what you have to offer. There are several inexpensive online teaching platforms where you can create a class complete with video snippets, handouts, and an online community of people who took the class and interact with one another. You can offer live one-time-only webinars or evergreen classes that bring in passive income. The classes establish you as a teacher and leader in the field.
  7. Video. Reach potential clients through simple video offerings through a YouTube channel for your business, which according to HubSpot Academy is the world’s second-largest search engine behind Google.
  8. Google. As Google accounts for over 90% of all online searches, learn how to partner with Google. According to HubSpot Academy, they use their Blog to often rank #1 on Google searches. Blogging is their number one source of traffic.
  9. HubSpot Academy. Learn how to help searchers find their way to your website through these great marketing teachings from HubSpot Academy.
  10. Keyword Search. Learn how to do a Keyword search to help Google and other search engines find your website.
  11. Search Engine Optimization. Learn the basics about SEO to help searchers find their way to you.

You now have 21 new ways to Attract more clients to your Spiritual Direction business. May you be inspired to step out in faith, to start something new, and to bless a desperate world, for such a time as this. The time is now. Keep going!

Looking for more help in launching and growing your Spiritual Direction business? FREE Preview New Online Course: Grow Your Spiritual Direction Business.

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