Like all businesses, therapists, counselors and life coaches need to market their services online. But there are special considerations and challenges to marketing a therapy practice. Here a 4 tips that will help you gain advertising exposure, develop your brand, and win the trust of prospective patients.
First, a video overview with therapist marketing executive Jeff Englehorn:
Therapist Marketing Tip #1: Use Expert Content Marketing
Many people looking for a therapist or counselor will go through a research heavy period online. It’s important that you connect with people during this phase of the decision making process. Offer your expertise so people can get baseline questions answered and assess whether or not they need to come in for a scheduled session.
There are, in fact, few business verticals where connecting with online researchers is more important that it is with therapists. This is sometimes referred to as “content marketing”. You use your website, blog, social media, and other PR efforts to address the issues your patients face, discuss treatment options, and give people a fair gauge as to how much help they need.
At the same time, you are encouraging those who need to see a therapist to reach out to you and get a personalized consultation.
Do be careful about the type of content you create and the detail you go into. You want to provide some basic answers, not support someone’s self-diagnosis with info that leads to assumptions. Your call to action is “contact us for a free consultation”, which is what you want someone to do who really needs professional help.
This marketing strategy is based on the straightforward idea that you use your online content to answer people’s initial questions. It’s helpful, empathetic, and focuses on what the online researchers are looking for. As you gain exposure and earn trust, those who need you will reach out.
Therapist Marketing Tip #2: Test Your Marketing Channels
Which marketing channels will work best for your practice? How will you make the best connections with prospective patients?
Chances are you’ll find several marketing channels that are the best for your practice, but the only way to know for sure is to try them and capture data on the results. Some therapists are able to get quality inquires with pay per click advertising, for others social media marketing is effective.
Overtime, you’ll want to get as much organic traffic as possible, meaning that you use your informational content to draw in people in research mode. Earned, organic traffic has great long-term value because you don’t have the ongoing expense of paying for clicks or ads.
Track your data using a marketing software system like Marketing 360®, and isolate the channels that give the most high-quality leads.
Therapist Marketing Tip #3: Earn Trust
It’s estimated that today, 70% of the consumers buying journey is done by the time they reach the “moment of truth” and actually contact a service. This statistic exemplifies how different digital marketing is from a print Yellow Pages ad.
Your online content speaks volumes about your professionalism, expertise, and even your demeanor. Prospective patients don’t just want to know what you do. They want to get enough of a sense of who you are and how you might help them that they trust you – before even speaking to you.
The focal point of your marketing is your therapist website design. This is literally your introduction a first impression with new patients. Make sure it’s professional, modern, and simple to understand.
Because therapists, for the most part, cannot use reviews or testimonials due to confidentiality issues, more weight is put on your website. Clear information that addresses visitors needs, a strong statement that clarifies how you can help, and a design that gives you a professional, authoritative image will go a long way to earning the trust of visitors.
Therapist Marketing Tip #4: Network and Market Locally
There are some services business that can market almost exclusively online and do well. Therapy and mental health services are not one of them.
Even as an online marketing agency, we must state that as a therapist you need to get into the community and network. Attend charity events, church functions, and local government meetings. Get involved with schools and local businesses.
Your networking efforts get your name into the community and can drive direct traffic to your website. Community connections are an excellent way to build out Facebook and other social media content.
While patients (who may not want to revel they were even in therapy) may not give you direct referrals, your trusted name in the community can increase those opportunities.
Your job is helping people, and being public about how you do that within your local community is a huge marketing advantage.
The truth is, of course, you don’t really “sell” therapy services, like a plumber offering a $30 discount on the first service call.
Instead, your online presence is an extension of the therapeutic process itself. From the beginning, you are connecting with those in need and offering advice to help on a journey towards better mental health.
Use the digital marketing software of Marketing 360® so you can manage the ways you create awareness and connect with prospective patients online.
Beyond that, be yourself. Help people. Engender trust. Be proactive about what you offer.
Those who need your help the most will find you, which is to the benefit of everyone involved.
To learn more about how Marketing 360® works, contact us today. We offer free consultations on how to market your therapy practice, outline plans and pricing, and can give you a free demo on of our marketing software.