Starting or growing a private practice means taking on the role of a business owner. And, your business, like most others, depends on how consistently can you get new clients. Today we’ll share why conventional marketing for therapists is failing and how to do it right. The most burning problem is finding new routes. To help your clients live a happier and healthier life, you need to figure out which marketing option works best for you.
Conventional Marketing Channels That Therapists Rely on Nowadays
Therapist directories, such as Psychology Today or Goodtherapy offer their visitors a search through therapist’s profiles so they can choose the therapist they think best matches their needs. As a therapist, you have an opportunity to create a profile that highlights your availability, location, and specialty. They both cost about $300 a year, and there are no guarantees of how many clients will the listing send to your office. No wonder conventional marketing for therapists is failing.
Print Media Advertising
As a tried and tested way to get your name in front of the wider audience, print advertising is slowly on it’s way out as a choice in marketing for therapists. The high costs of running a print ad do not bring any return. Print ads target a wider audience, and with the rise of social media, this audience is diminishing each day.
Digital Advertising (Google AdWords, Facebook Ads)
As an answer to the rise of digital media, print ads were replaced by Google and Facebook adverts. These two are the most common places on the internet visited on the planet, but their paid advertising programs work differently.
Google AdWords enables you to purchase a top spot in Google search results for a specific keyword tied closely to your business, e.g. “marriage counselor in Tucson.” And Facebook Ads enable you to target groups of people who belong to a specific demographic group. They usually share a specific interest or belong to specific areas.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing aims to make marketing messages more organic. So they look like any other user-generated content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. In a way, social media marketing comes as a natural extension to have an online presence that includes a website and profiles on relevant networks.
Whether it is your prior clients recommending your services to their friends or relatives, or your peers referring the clients to your practice, word-of-mouth recommendations remain one of the primary sources for new clients for every therapist.
Since mental health is a private topic, people are more likely to trust their friends or experts in the field than an advert, simply because it’s less personal. Social media marketing sometimes can gap this bridge. Your potential clients get a chance to know who you are and what you do.
Each of these marketing channels isn’t inherently better than the other, but let’s take a look at
Why Conventional Marketing for Therapists Is Failing
1. High Costs and High Competition
Effective paid advertising costs money. Even though it might seem like it isn’t complicated to set up a promotion for your Instagram post or to run a simple Facebook ad, there also isn’t much to be gained. That is unless you know what you are doing when it comes to targeting, monitoring performance indicators, and investing a budget into your campaign.
If you want to run an AdWords campaign on a keyword like the one we used in our example, “marriage counselor in Tucson” you quickly discover that you have to outbid your competition. Hiring an agency is a good choice, but this option can cost $200 per client.
2. High Time and Knowledge Investment
It’s easy to grasp the basic concepts of digital advertising or social media marketing fairly quickly. You will soon find out that doing each is a result of years of experience people put into running digital ad campaigns.
The “DIY” approach works for writing your blog or sharing a few posts on social media. This will establish your reputation and get your practice out there. It’s better to spend time working with paying clients instead of speaking to an uninterested crowd.
3. Ineffective Targeting
With conventional marketing, the primary goal remains the same. Your advertising needs to be seen by the people who are most likely to book a session.
Getting your message delivered in front of the people who are looking for begins by narrowing your specialization. Next, it takes a bit of research and strategizing to discover who your potential clients are. Finally, you need to establish your reputation and showcase your practice to your targeted audience. Effective targeting enables you to book more clients with the least investment in advertising.
How ‘Incentives’ Changed Marketing for Therapists
The Incentives program introduces innovative marketing for therapists that aims not only to reduce but to remove the expense of advertising for new clients for your therapy practice.
How Is It Possible?
When we started the WeAreMore App there was one question that always came up in our user’s discussions: “Can you recommend me a good therapist?”
We do not offer medical services ourselves, instead, we provide a platform where people can connect and support each other. The Incentives is our answer to our users’ needs. We partner up with therapists and therapy practices. So, we connect clients who are ready to start working on their mental health issues.
Your expertise is showcased to paying clients. They select to work with therapists based on their preferences and therapist expertise. The only thing we ask in exchange is two hours (2 free sessions with a client) of your time.
Conventional marketing for therapists is failing and for good reason. When you compare it to targeting options they offer, you have no control of targeting with word-of-mouth referrals. As you move to print and digital advertising, your targeting options get better, but the costs rise as well.