Marketing Tips for Therapists
Therapy is often seen as completely diverse from any business venture. Therapists are often in the occupation to help others and tend to be people who appreciate the altruistic element of their job, void of any sales. However, at the end of the day, while doing incredible and valuable work, therapy is also a business. These two don’t need to be mutually exclusive. If you’re a new therapist in your community, you know that word of mouth is not quite enough to get your practice off the ground. You need a successful marketing campaign to get your name and reputation out there in order to bring clients into your office. A loud call to action may be exactly what your clients need and for them to answer, you will need to access the potential client pool. Don’t worry – Nuzu Marketing is here to help! We’ve carefully selected some key tips and strategies which will help give your clients the courage they need to make that initial appointment with you.
#1. Develop a Therapist Specialization
Just as with a physical health doctor, people appreciate the world of specialization. One way to set yourself apart in the world of therapy is to hone in on one demographic or group based on your specialty. With that, you can advertise yourself accordingly to your specific niche. Even better is if your specialty is in something less mainstream or a concept that’s up-and-coming (such as mindfulness or gender fluidity). While of course not discriminating, you could focus on a particular age group (teens, seniors), gender (male, female, transitioning), specific health issue (such as OCD, depression, anger), relationships, families, addiction, and there are myriad more options.
To determine which specialty is your calling (if you haven’t already), consider who your best work has been with. Do you like working with any particular group? Which mental health issues interest you and why did you become a therapist? Another element to consider is your location. What seem to be the local common mental health problems? Which demographic resides in your area?
If you have determined the answers to these questions, then you have just created your unique value proposition. That means you have outlined what sets you apart from your competitors, what services you provide, and how you solve the problems of your clients. Your unique value proposition is pure magic in the marketing world!
#2. Network Locally as a Therapist
In therapy specifically, the number one way to get your name out there is to market yourself locally. You can attend local community events, church functions, government meetings, school events, visit local businesses, and get your face and name recognizable. After all, a large part of a therapy practice is being a stable and effective part of the community. At such events you can have cards ready with your pertinent contact information and directions to your website, social media accounts, as well as your specialty.
#3. Create an Effective Therapy Practice Website
A most crucial part of your marketing campaign in today’s day and age is an effective website. It should be easy to use, provide all the information for your clients, and encourage clients to reach out (let them know how to also!). This will be their first impression of you, so make it count! Clients need to feel comfortable and safe with their therapist, so making a clear, concise, professional, and navigable site is imperative. Another important element is to include reviews, ratings, and testimonials so that clients can hear firsthand what others say about you.
Keep your wording direct and simple and the site design attractive. Besides services offered and contact information, you’ll also need location, links to more information (as necessary), pictures and bios of yourself and staff, and any other pertinent information. Encourage your clients to move toward health and security by beginning their pathway to inner peace. (Remind them why they sought you out in the first place.)
#4. Search Engine Optimization for Therapists
Once you have your fantastic and effective website, you’ll want it to be accessible to your potential clients. You can do so by using pay-per-click advertising, Google My Business, and organic (SEO) website listings.
Pay-per-click advertising through Google Adwords or Bing Ads allows you to show up in the top positions through their auction-based system. You also have the pleasure of controlling the landing page and the ad copy which means you promote your specialty.
Setting up your Google My Business account is crucial because this is where local map searches link to you. Using geo-targeted searches, anyone searching for therapy in your area will get a listing of all possibilities through Google My Business, including you! It’s free and you can up your ranking with description optimization and high reviews.
Lastly, there is SEO or organic website listings where ranking is gained through keywords and phrases, blog content, and social media traffic. Through your blog, you’ll be able to hit your focus group and appeal to those searching for your specialty while also ranking highly in that area.
Your goal is to be on the first page in any one or all of these areas.
#5. Social Media Advertising for Therapists
One of the easiest and free ways to advertise today is on the social media platforms. On your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media accounts, you can post general information on your specialty, provide your contact information and link to your website, share useful techniques and tips, and show a presence in social media.
The one note here which is unique to therapy is that the ACA Code of Ethics requires you to keep separate personal and business profiles. Additionally, you will not be able to share any patient profile content in order to protect your clients. These regulations protect both your clients and you. Still a very effective method of marketing for you.
#6. Content Marketing for Therapists
This is basically the method by which you make contact with potential clients. All the aforementioned online channels are included here. Your blog, YouTube, social media, your website, etc. all enable you to make connections.
The initial phase is reaching those clients who are just beginning their searches for a therapist. This is where the organic listings are helpful and having useful information and an easy to navigate website can bring people back to you.
Then people get more serious and the pay-per-click is effective at this stage. This is where your blog, social media, and YouTube can really help by sharing your expertise on general mental health issues and treatments, your approach, and when someone should seek help (from you of course!).
Of course, all of this should be done with utmost care, as you are simply sharing general information and don’t want people to jump to self-diagnosis or assume incorrect information.
#7. Reviews and Testimonials for Therapists
A very effective way of reaching potential clients is word of mouth. A very effective “word of mouth” method is testimonials and reviews on your website, Facebook, etc. This helps build trust in your practice and in you as a therapist. However, this can be a very fine line to tread in the world of therapy due to confidentiality, anonymity, and ethics. In order to safeguard your clients and yourself, it’s best to adhere to the ACA Code of Ethics outline regarding this topic which asks you to consider:
- Potential harm or disruption to the client
- Informed consent when seeking this type of endorsement from a patient
- Seeking testimonials which are generic and anonymous so the client can not be identified
- Group therapy: obtain informed consent from all parties
- Therapy is different for everyone, so a review from one patient may not indicate success for other patients
Overall, testimonials and reviews regarding a therapist can be effective when done while following all protocols and regulations for the protection of all.
Best marketing tip: be there for your clients, build trust, and lead the journey to healing.