Review: The Introvert’s Edge to Networking by Matthew Pollard

This is a little different than my usual self-help review, but there’s a reason I was drawn to this book to review. First of all, my mission is to review books that will help therapists, either with their own business/self-improvement, or with their clientele. I’ve found that a lot of us therapists are introverts, and as introverts and helper types, we are often terrible at being business owners.

When I first started my private practice and was trying to build a healthy fee-for-service clientele, I used to go to networking events a lot – BNI (business networking international), chamber of commerce mixers, and what have you. I always found it awkward, not only because I’m an introvert, but also because of the nature of our business. I don’t know if you have noticed, but say “I’m a therapist” in a crowd, and no one says another word, just drifts awkwardly away to some other conversation. Like it or not, there is still a stigma around therapy, or a fear of getting “analyzed” or whatever.

My solution to this is a solution that Pollard goes into great detail about in this book. Specialize, find your niche, and find a way to say what you do without saying “I’m a therapist”. I’ve never come up with a clever two word title like Pollard suggests (if I did, I might be the Marriage Maven?), but I created a one liner that expressed my niche without using the word therapist or counselor. I used to say “I help couples in distress save their marriages from divorce court”. I developed a worksheet for my Therapist Marketing talks that help people find a niche line like this. But I also really love the idea of finding a two word description that prompts people to ask “What’s that?”.

I also really love Pollard’s advice to “be a giver”, and give people something of value instead of just trying to sell them on your service. Especially as a therapist, people don’t want you trying to convince them they need therapy (in public no less!) or diagnosing them at a networking event! But almost everyone could use your “5 tips for couples in distress” or “2 things you can do anytime when you’re anxious” type of information.

Pollard’s system is a system I think could work for a lot of introvert therapist-types. If you are trying to convince people to pay you upwards of $150 per hour out of pocket when they could possibly use their insurance instead, you’re not going to sell them using logic. You’re going to sell them on it by Pollard’s mantra: Success doesn’t come from being everything to everyone but being the only logical choice to a select few.

This book will be out on January 19, 2021 and is available for pre-orders now.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Net Galley for my review. The link above is an Amazon affiliate link and I receive a small compensation from orders placed through this link.