I teach a Nuts and Bolts of Starting Your Private Practice Class. One of the aspects people struggle with the most is marketing their practices. Therapists seem to have an aversion to marketing. Which I get. Our product is related to us. Selling our product is in some ways selling ourselves. I can see why that can feel gross.
However, if you want a successful practice, especially a private pay-only practice, you need to market hard and consistently. That includes an excellent website and social media marketing. I talked to a colleague today who said she spent an hour a day marketing on Facebook. Groan at your own risk. This person has a very successful group practice that is all private pay that is almost always full.
There are a few aspects to this. One is developing your marketing message which, I will discuss today and a second is the ways to deliver it, which I will discuss in my next blog post. Be sure to sign up for my mailing list if you want to be notified when I publish that post.
Why do you develop a marketing message?
To attract your ideal clients. You don’t want to just get clients you want to attract the clients you work with best. Pre-internet we developed our connection with clients in the first session. This engagement has to happen in about 30 seconds when a potential client finds your webpage. If you don’t connect with a potential client quickly on your website they will click to the next site.
How do you connect with a client that quickly?
Let them know you get them and their pain. Show them you are safe and they can relate to you and you can relate to them. The best way of doing this is by having a video on your website. Again I hear the groans. How else is a client going to connect better than hearing you speak? You can have content and a picture (and you better have both!) but a video gives your potential clients the strongest way to make a connection with you. On my counseling website, I have a video I made with an i-phone showing me as I am. I am an authentic therapist and I believe this comes through in my video. You can also spend some money and get a more professional video. I get that it is hard. I myself struggle to watch myself in a video. But I have heard from clients that are referred to me that my video and website spoke to them. That is the connection you want to create with your potential clients.
What is in your marketing message?
The first thing is speaking to pain points. The client needs to believe you understand them. The second thing is expressing why you as their therapist versus the many other therapists out there? What gives you the expertise to help them? That should not be expressed in I was trained in psychodynamic therapy and practice DBT. That means nothing to most potential clients. They want to know you can listen and help them develop skills that will change their lives. The third piece is to showcase your personality. You must give the client a sense of who you are in the room (see the video statement above). Many people do not understand how therapy works. They can be intimidated by the process. You want to help them see you are a professional but, also a human being that can help them. The final piece is a brief call to action. For us, that is usually a statement that says call me today for a free 15-minute consultation.
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Feel free to reach out anytime if you want to hear more about how I can help you with your marketing message.