In every business, the most important challenge is how to get clients or customers. Without paying customers, no business will run for very long and the saying, “if we build it, they will come” no longer applies to the real world. To get more customers or clients, business owners need to learn how to market their business
For some, marketing is fun and crunching numbers for individual marketing strategies comes naturally. Meanwhile, therapists are rarely trained marketers and prefer to focus their efforts on their clients which leaves them struggling between finding clients and helping them. If you find your practice dealing with this struggle, follow these four tips to get counseling clients with a bit more ease.
Find your niche
If you haven’t already, consider honing your practice in on a specific niche so people with those issues will have an easier time finding you. Maybe you specialize in child therapy, marriage and family counseling, addiction therapy, therapy for anxiety, eating disorder therapy, grief and loss therapy, etc. Having a niche doesn’t exclude helping other clients, instead it allows you to focus on the type of therapy that you are best at providing and making yourself more visible to those seeking your specialty.
Be visible online
Being online is more important than you might think. In 2017,Wellness Institute’s research found that 80% of internet users searched online for health-related information and 97% of Americans used the internet to find a local business. Any potential new clients you are seeking are very likely to use the internet to find a therapist and information about their issues.
Establishing an online presence isn’t hard, but it can cost some money depending on the route you decide to take. The best way to establish an authoritative online presence is to get a website. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on your first website, but, you do want to spend enough to ensure that you will produce a quality and SEO-friendly website. This means search engines will find it and view it as having information that demonstrates knowledge or “authority” on a topic.
Additionally (or alternatively), you can focus your business on free sites, such as online business directories and social media. If you already have a social media page for your business, the best way to get clients from it is to post articles and engage your followers consistently. Whatever direction you choose, just choose something and begin because it’s better to have something online than nothing at all.
Networking for therapists isn’t as straight-forward as mingling at the local bar with other business professionals. When networking, you want to think about both where your clients are mingling and where your power partners are mingling. That might mean showing up at local physician conventions, talk to family practitioners and other doctors in your area, connect with other therapists in the area who have a different niche, or start networking with the groups that represent your ideal target (this isn’t always possible depending on who your ideal client is, however). If you struggle finding something, you may find a few peers very eager to help organize an event that can grow into something done on a regular basis.
Create quality content
People look for more information now than ever before. Give your ideal audience the information they want by creating quality content they would want to read. In Psychology Today’s, “10 Summertime Marketing Tips,” suggests boosting your private practice with newsletters, information products, and workshops. You can also create a blog, submit magazine articles, and even start a YouTube series. Creating quality content that your ideal audience will want to read is good for both business and credibility. Focus on what comes most naturally to you or find freelance marketers to help you get started.
Finding new clients is easier said than done. Even following the above-listed tips, there is no guarantee that the right clients will come your way. Research has confirmed the importance of the therapist-client relationship over time. A study extensively researched the individual factors for successful therapeutic outcomes and found that, “On average the most important common factor was the therapeutic alliance,” or the client-therapist relationship.
At reflect, we found that focusing on getting the client-therapist relationship right the first time, clients are more likely to see success. We focused on this factor so much that 90% of the clients who try reflect find a therapist they like. To make the marketing piece easier for local therapists, reflect also handles matching the right clients and therapists, dealing with the paperwork and scheduling, and handling the no-call, no-pay situations that come up in this business. We are the largest network of trusted therapists in the Bay Area, and we want to help you grow your practice without worry about marketing it.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, only 41% of adults with mental health problems will get the mental health services they need. Americans are more stressed out than ever and we have the opportunity to provide them with valuable and affordable therapy services, but we can’t do it without you: the therapist.