Learning how to market yourself as a therapist wasn’t a huge priority in your graduate program. But, now that you’re stepping into the professional world and building up your private practice, it’s inevitable to become familiar with the basics of online marketing. Advertising yourself as a therapist doesn’t necessarily have to complicated. There are three basics channels you need to cover.
First, you need to establish your online presence with a website. Reach out to your potential clients through social media and professional networks such as therapist directories and specialized referral services for mental heal professionals. Let’s delve into details on how to market yourself as an online therapist.
Create a Website for Your Private Practice
Building a website for your private practice nowadays is practically an online alternative to a brick-and-mortar shop. We all spend a considerable portion of our day online, so it’s only natural a potential client will look for you online.
While the technical side of creating a website might seem daunting to you at first, it is not. Services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace offer intuitive and easy-to-use website builders that give a professional look and feel. If you consider yourself an extremely un-technical person you can hire a developer at a very reasonable price through online platforms.
Invest in a website that has an attractive, eye-catching design. Your potential clients should understand precisely what you offer, what qualifies you to provide those services, and how you can be reached.
The key question to keep in mind when deciding on what to include on your website is:
“Will this encourage someone to book a session?”
More Tips on What to Include on Your Private Practice Website
Add a professional photo and a description of how your sessions look together. Add testimonials from your previous clients, and a call-to-action for a reader to book a session are a must.
Your private practice website doesn’t necessarily have to include a blog. But if you choose to write one, it can be an excellent way to get you noticed. Write high-quality content that contains the right keywords, regularly; a proper frequency is once a week. But most importantly, write content that is valuable and relevant to the people who need your services.
In short, if you don’t have a professional website yet, make that a top priority. And of course, don’t forget to advertise your site by adding it to your email signature, post comments signature, or your forum comments signature.
1. Make the Most Out of Social Media as an Online Therapist.
We live in an era in which social media is not only viral but also a primary source of information for many people. As a therapist, you are limited by ethics principles on what you can share. However, you still have plenty of space to maximize your exposure on social media ethically and reach new clients.
Here are tips on how to market yourself as an online therapist:
2. Join Facebook Groups
These are created for people interested in your niche. Groups in which people are talking about their mental health and they are looking for help are the right place for a therapist, and not only for the advertising purposes. You can help people who need professional input and make a difference in their lives. By doing so, you will also have an interactive relationship with your future clients before they become your clients, which can only positively impact your collaborations.
3. Create Ads to Advertise Your Services
All social media networks offer the possibility to create ads that will reach just the right type of audience you need. Facebook Ads, for example, provide a precise targeting relevant to your region, or you can filter people who will see your ad by their interests and habits. These are paying ads so, you should expect to invest a minimum budget in them. How much you decide to spend depends on your possibilities as well as on your needs and expectations.
You can also choose to advertise through Google or Bing Ads. These advertisements are displayed together with search results, and, typically, to get a consistent flow of clients from search advertising at a reasonable price, you would need to consult a professional.
4. Retweet and Share the Content You Publish on Your Blog
If you blog regularly, you need to share your content. Otherwise, it’s like talking to an empty audience. You don’t want to come off as spammy, so write and share content that is relevant. There is little point in sharing your latest blog that deals with nuances of different therapy approaches to a group of close friends or family who have nothing to gain by reading it.
5. Expand Your Professional Network with Linkedin
Sharing a blog from our previous example on Linkedin, where other therapists can read it, would have a completely different impact. If you’re connected with other therapists (which you should be), they’ll be interested in learning your thoughts on the topic, leaving comments, and remembering you. Later, they might refer you to clients they can’t manage at the moment.
Finally, always evaluate the time and effort you put into building up your following and maintaining multiple profiles versus the clients you get from each source. This way, you’ll be able to turn your attention elsewhere before you lose too much time on something that just doesn’t work.
6. Use Therapist Directories to Market Yourself as an Online Therapist
Therapist directories are old, but a consistent way to be noticed by a potential client. Established services like Psychology Today cost about $300 yearly. However, there are no guarantees your listing will bring in any clients unless you make it appealing.
To make your listing stand out, a professional photo is a must. Next, you need to optimize your headline and description so that the person reading it can get a sense of who you are and what you do. When writing a summary, just as when you’re writing for your website, always consider what does a specific sentence says to a person looking to book a session.
7. Use Incentives
Incentives is a specialized referral service for mental health professionals that came to be as a direct result of chronic patient’s needs for therapy. To make it easier for WeAreMore App users to find a therapist, Incentives offers mental health professionals to create a listing, at the cost of two therapy sessions.
With all these technicalities in mind, you also want to avoid making your listing sound “too salesy.” The best way to market yourself as an online therapist is to show your potential clients you’re a compassionate person open to helping them. One way to communicate this is to include anonymized and a very brief story of the client that moved you the most. Or, you can tell your potential clients your reasons for becoming a therapist.