Marketing a private practice can be the most daunting task if you are not sure where to start and which options you have. To get you started, we look into marketing channels and strategies you can start using today to get a consistent inflow of clients.
Being a therapist in private practice can be challenging when you are just starting out. Once you run out of your first few clients, then what? In any business plan, it is extremely important to have the right target audience while marketing your business.
Marketing a private practice would, initially, involve the following:
- Create a Database of clients in relation to your specialism. For example, if you specialize in working with addiction rehabilitation then target rehabilitation centers around your area.
- Plan your pitch. When you create a pitch, your first and foremost thought should be ‘why’ a client or Institution might want you. Base your plan around the ‘WHY’.
- Your approach needs to center on ‘Trust’. Show your clients that you are sincere and willing to help them with your experience and unique skills.
As a therapist, you might feel that things like ‘trust’ and ‘acceptance’ are common knowledge to people. You’d be surprised by how many people in the general population do not understand what therapy means. Explain your potential and process to your clients even when it seems obvious and build that trust around your approach.
What if there was a way to get through to the right audience without having to invest so much time and money in a business plan? Here are 4 channels for marketing a private practice, together with tips and strategy you can apply to each.
Marketing a private practice on social media
Social media is a booming tool for marketing a private practice. Using your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to spread your message will allow you to get a large reach in the whole world. But what should you post? If you want to target a certain demographic population, you can use Facebook ads to target a certain age group in a specific area. You need to decide your demographics and Facebook ads will help you to go about the process. It is cheap and effective but it doesn’t guarantee conversion.
Creating weekly videos on your social media is another way to target clients. Make a list of topics that you are most acquainted with, for example, if you are a relationship counselor then think about 10 different difficult situations in relationships and make one video weekly. When people hear you and see you, it is easier for them to approach you because you have created a sense of familiarity through your videos.
You could have clients who write lovely reviews on your Facebook page but if you had more clients reviewing your services, you could become more popular on social media. The question of confidentiality will often have clients refraining from reviewing or even speaking about you. You can combat this by gaining client consent before posting a testimonial that is sent to you personally or on a feedback form.
Anonymous feedback forms after a workshop or group session will allow you to evaluate your own development while having offline or handwritten reviews that look genuine and you could possibly post these on your social media page. Don’t forget to add social media publishing consent on the feedback form.
Marketing a private practice through online platforms
While the internet has great advantages, these days you might be watching too many Facebook and Youtube Ads from online coaches, mentors, and even fitness instructors! How would clients differentiate your qualifications and genuine evidence-based practice from all other competitive and under qualified life coaches who are promoting themselves on each and every website with great testimonials on how to ‘gain abundance’ and become ‘rich’.
Online counseling services have become a great tool for accessing quick, easy and cheap therapy. Reachout is one such platform for mental health professionals.
You might be updating your social media pages regularly but there may be times when clients who are living far away from you might not be able to trust how genuine you are in order to have a video counseling session. Clients hesitate before they can approach you in a vulnerable and pressurizing world of social media. Reachout can take care of all your marketing plans with tailored ads for specific target audiences and provides you with specific reports on potential clients. If you are new to private practice and want to gain new clients, Reachout Incentives allows you to offer two free sessions before your clients start paying from the next session onwards. It’s a great way to build trust with new clients and learn a new way of consultation.
Engaging with the community
The best way for marketing a private practice is to become a known face in your close-knit community. You can contact some youth clubs, community leisure centers, and health centers to run free workshops on your specialized topics. You could run courses to spread awareness about mental health and educate people about symptoms.
The old fashion way of distributing flyers in your local area could also come in handy. You can printout a flyer for an open session on mental health.
Encouraging people in the community to come and see you in person will enable them to get to know you before they come for a therapy session. An evening or weekend is the best time to have an open session. Many people feel less vulnerable showing up in groups and it could be an opportunity for you to show your expertise in person rather than on paper or the internet.
Publishing in local journals and magazines is another way for effective marketing. However, make sure you are writing about recent issues in your city. People read about current issues in the area through their community magazines. Read up about current psychological issues and focus on statistics.
For example, if you know that 35% of the people are posting about a certain topic in your area, write about it and get it published. Publishers of local magazines love topics related to current issues. Another way of writing for the local magazine is to link current issues to psychological aspects. People are interested in knowing how policies or upcoming developments in healthcare or education will affect them psychologically.
Networking with the right people
Attending conferences is a great way to meet other professionals in your field and learn from their marketing plans. How about hosting a conference or a peer group of professionals in your workplace setting? When people see how you are actively trying your best with regards to learning new skills, they are drawn to you and start trusting you. It is also a great way to spread your message through word of mouth.
Other therapists in your area can also recommend you to clients who need your specialist skill set. You can always share confidential cases with mentors and peers. In turn, this reassures them of your capabilities before they refer you to friends and family. It’s all about your reputation in your field. It never hurts to start building your reputation among professionals online. For this purpose, therapist directories like the one on Psychology Today can be worth your effort.
Overall, marketing yourself could take a lot of time and money. All you need to do is have a plan and stick to it. Consistency is key when it comes to effective marketing. When your current marketing strategy stops working, change the plan, not the destination.