Therapy Practice Consulting

How To Market A Private Practice
5 min
Written by Christoffer Nettelbladt on March 04, 2020
The purpose of this article is to expose the three most common myths about marketing & give you the three most effective actions to take right now.

You might be a LMFT, PsyD or PhD, LPC, MSW, RSW or a CSAT who opened your practice and you couldn’t be any more ready to dive to help people and make an impact.
However the phone is quite & mails are not pouring in as you might have hoped.

Or you’ve been running your practice for a long time now, and feel ready to take it to the next level where you reach more people, convert more potential clients during the consultations while having more freedom on your own hands to perfect your service delivery & have more personal freedom outside of work.

While In school, you most likely were being told that, “We’re not in it for the money.” 
And by now you’ve probably seen enough bad marketed practices that you don’t wish to be associated with any of that.

The first thing to realise is that marketing is NOT about money, ads, copywriting, cool website features or pretty pictures.

The second thing to realise is that marketing is NOT about you either.

The very purpose of marketing is about putting yourself in front of the people who genuinely need your help, making it easier for them to find the professional help they need to solve the situation they are currently in. 
So, if your private practice is helping people to recover from sexual addiction, any substance addiction or you’re helping people with their trauma, then marketing is about those people having a much easier time to find what they’re looking for on the ever growing internet in their time of need.

Many aren't even sure if professional help is available specifically for the situation they find themselves in. 
Now to you as the expert it’s fairly obvious that the help exist and are in fact very effective.
But put yourself in their shoes for a second, if you didn’t have your education and experience would it be obvious to you that help is available for this specific problem?

3 Most Common Private Practice Marketing Myths 

The way you perceive yourself, your private practice & your business is the result of your current paradigm which is built up from all inputs you’ve gathered about these things so far. 
It may consist of:
 The thoughts and beliefs of a professor or fellow student during your education.
Your parents relationship towards money.
It may also include beliefs about a perceived max income level.

What I’ve noticed is that three specific myths are very commonly holding private practitioners back in their pursuit of helping people in the best possible way while growing their business and reaching new goals.

These are the three myths that stand out in that they are extremely common:

  • I’m great at my work, and so clients will come to me.
  • I need to be an extrovert to be good at marketing.
  • Therapy is all about relationships, so technology isn’t important. 
The reality of the matter is that nothing could be further from the objective truth.
A paradigm shift is needed. Replace the myths with these three objective truths:
Clients are looking for speed & professionalism. Whoever is easy to find, with a message that resonates instantly with their situation & process the professional skills to help is who the client will go for.
Marketing was never about being an extrovert, what clothes you are wearing or what your logo looks like. If your message resonates with your ideal clients then that’s all that will ever matter. I’m an introverted person myself and yet this didn’t stop me from growing three businesses with marketing. If anything being an introvert can serve you well on your journey since quite often you’ll be a great listener with sensitive antennas for social vibrations, use these to your advantage. 
Your private practice is like a symphony. the therapist in you are playing the instruments, while the entrepreneur in you are the conductor bringing it all together into a beautiful symphony. With technology as an accelerator for your message to get in front of your ideal clients you will be able to help more people, grow your practice and reach new goals.

Three Effective Actions To Rapidly Improve Your Marketing

Construct An “Ideal Client Avatar”

The purpose of this is to clearly define in detail YOUR ideal client. This is the type of client you:
Are best equipped to help
Passionate about helping
Want to attract more of to your practice

In order to identify your ideal client, answer these following questions:
How old are they (give it a range)?
In what area do they live? 

What are their concerns in life? 
What aspects of their life or personality affect how you market your service to them?
What happened in the past that led them up to this point? 
How do they feel about what happened in the past? 
Perhaps a former job, an experience they had, or a trip that they took. What are they currently interested in because of this event?
What is their family and relationship status? 
Are they married? Divorced? Single? 
Do they have children? How many? 
Does anything about their relationships have a bearing on how they might use your service or fit it into their week? 
Does your service address any of their concerns that relate to their family?
What is it about your service that matters to this person? 
How does it solve a need, ease a pain, or make them feel good? How does it better their life?
What sorts of thoughts should go through this person’s head right before they decide to purchase your service?

When you know the answers to the above questions you know first of, exactly who you’re marketing towards and secondly, you know exactly how to market towards this person.

Sharpen & Refine YourMessage 

Now that your ideal client is identified in vivid detail go through the messaging on your various profiles and your website.

Go in ruthless with the eyes of a potential client who will give you 10 seconds maximum to judge whether or not you are a good fit to be the professional to help them.

During research for this article I could see a very clear pattern. 
Often there is either a statement about hope and life so general that it actually speaks to anyone about anything. Or there is vast information about methods & features. 
One thing people often miss is that no one actually care about any methods or features ever. All people care about is whether or not service or product will carry them from their current situation to their desired situation. if that is as clear as day THEN some might be interested in features and methods while others won't.
The point however is to always prioritise the transformation people will get from the service, before talking about anything like methods, features or certificates of their staff.

Connect The Dots

Now that you know who your ideal client is and that your website and work related profiles are talking directly towards them, you must connect all the dots.

Make sure that everything you got out there related to your private practice is pointing back to one specific point you want your potential clients to visit, and this should be a section of your website.

Think of your psychology today profile, social media profiles, blog, podcast website and whatever else is included in YOUR marketing strategy as one and the same spiders web. All the different strings should point back towards a specific point in the very epicentre where your message is at its sharpest and your potential clients can act quickly to get in touch with you.

All of these profiles and other tools are simply different guides toward the same goal.
The destination where you present the core of what you do and how to get in touch.

Once you have honed and refined these three actions you will be at the very forefront of your market space which is perfect for the people who are looking for your help.

Christoffer Nettelbladt

Christoffer Nettelblad helps people start & grow their private practice using online methods while making it simple to understand.
If you're interested in starting your own practice or grow your existing one, then you should definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.
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