Most psychotherapists find they need to use a variety of marketing strategies to build a profitable psychotherapy practice and attract clients.
The good news is we have lots of options when it comes to marketing our private practices!
Marketing your psychotherapy practice might include:
- Paid directories like Psychology Today or Good Therapy
- Creating a website and using SEO (search engine optimization) to rank in high in internet searches
- Networking with other professionals (doctors, yoga instructors, massage therapists, psychotherapists, inpatient programs, clergy, etc)
- Advertising (Google AdWords, Facebook or social media ads, local publications)
- Blogging and content marketing
- Speaking or leading workshops
Which marketing strategies are right for your business?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by marketing. It doesn’t help that most of us go into business without any experience or training in marketing. So, you may find yourself: 1) trying to do every kind of marketing you can think of, 2) doing what everyone else seems to be doing, or 3) doing nothing. Obviously, none of these are great marketing plans!
These tips can help you choose the most effective marketing strategies for you and your clients.
- Be authentic. Effective marketing is authentic. After all, YOU are the product you’re marketing so it makes sense that you want potential clients to get a sense of who you are before they even pick up the phone. I’ve found the best way to do this is to write my web copy and blog posts just as I would speak in real life to a client. For the most part, clients aren’t interested in clinical terminology or psychobabble; they’re looking for a real, caring person can relate to them. Being authentic doesn’t mean total self-disclosure; we can be authentic and still maintain our boundaries. You can share who you are by letting your dry sense of humor come through in a blog post or your love of Harry Potter analogies shine on the About Me page of your website.
- Know your ideal client. A niche will help your practice stand out in a competitive market. And having a clear understanding of who your ideal client is will allow you to choose effective marketing strategies. For example, if you specialize in working with millennials you might focus your marketing on social media whereas a niche in bereavement counseling might lead you to build connections with local clergy members and funeral directors. In addition, a specific niche will be helpful in writing web copy and blog posts that provide valuable information to your target audience. My niche is helping people struggling with codependency and this is clear when someone visits my website and reads my blog. Potential clients immediately see that I have expertise in this area and are more likely to choose a therapist who specializes in their area of concern than a generalist.
- You don’t have to do it all. Our resources are precious, so we want to use our time, energy, and money wisely when it comes to marketing. It’s very easy to get distracted by what other therapists are doing, whether it’s their web copy, a service they’re offering, or videos they’re making. These may all be great ideas, but we have to ask ourselves if they reflect who we really are and our business goals. For example, if your colleague tells you he’s getting great results from Facebook Live videos, that doesn’t mean it’s the right marketing strategy for your practice. For most of us, marketing does involve some trial and error, but we don’t have to try (or stick with) everything. Do what feels right for you…and the clients will come.
If you’re building a new private practice or expanding your psychotherapy practice this year, I hope these marketing tips will be helpful. Remember to be authentic, know your ideal client, and that you don’t have to do it all and you’ll be on your way to a successful and profitable psychotherapy practice.
©2017 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved.
Photos courtesy of Unsplash.com.