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4 Common Marketing Mistakes of Private Practice Beginners

Congratulations on opening up your very own private practice, as this is a huge milestone worthy of recognition. Embarking on such an endeavor certainly takes courage and ambition. That being said, as a private practice therapist or psychiatrist, you want to be sure that your practice gets the exposure it deserves so that you get plenty of business. After all, there’s plenty of people out there in need of valuable treatment and counseling and you’re just the person to offer such.

Now, in order to draw those people in, it is important to begin understanding the world of marketing, so that your particular practice will be found by those in need. If they can’t find you, you can’t help them, and quite a few new therapists struggle with this because they have never been trained in marketing. Therefore, let’s take some time to delve into some common mistakes when it comes to marketing mistakes of private practice beginners, so that you can avoid such.

Marketing Mistakes #1: Skimping on a website

If you skimp on your website and do not have it optimized, you will not have as much traffic as you’d like. Your website ought to be aesthetically pleasing, furnished with professional content, and be SEO optimized, so that the search engines will be able to find your website during a search.  You can use your website as a marketing tactic by keeping it updated regularly via a blog with new content, and optimizing the copy and articles with relevant keywords.  Think of your website as the storefront to your business. As such, you want it to be full of expertise, professional looking, and ensure that your clients understand exactly what you are offering them. If this task is beyond your scope, there are plenty of writing, marketing and design professionals available to assist you for a reasonable price.

Marketing Mistakes #2: Using paid advertisement

Unless you’re a marketing guru, using your money on paid advertisements like Google Adwords or pay-per-click marketing may be a waste of time. Other therapists who have used this type of marketing state that in the end, the return on investment is not worth it, as many people are not seeking therapists via online ads.

Marketing Mistakes #3: Taking on anyone as a client

Yes, you want to take in plenty of clients, but some people may not be a match to your type of counseling.  For example, if a person comes to you with an issue that you’re not very familiar with and you feel it is out of your expertise range, feel free to refer such a client. This will help reduce your stress and it will be in the best interest of that client. Know who your ideal clients are and be able to inform your clients in a way that they will easily understand. Give yourself permission to refer such clients to more suitable therapists.

Marketing Mistakes #4: Not putting time into networking

Don’t think of yourself as the lone wolf when it comes to your practice. Consider putting some time and effort into getting to know other professionals in your community, as networking certainly has benefits when it comes to growing your private practice. Getting to know likeminded men and women in your field can help you grow personally and/or business wise. Feel free to ask those who have established private practices questions to help you on your new journey. You may also feel led to acquire a mentor who has traveled the road you’re on, as he/she can offer immense support and wisdom.  You may also want to sign up for online networking and content services such as LinkedIn, to connect with people you already know, with new professionals in your local/national/international community, and also groups. Networking is a wonderful way to market yourself and be supportive of the community at large.

Growing your private practice takes time and patience, and much of the growth will depend on a marketing strategy that is thoughtful and avoids these common marketing mistakes.  As you continue to strategize, take these common mistakes into consideration. There are plenty of marketing tactics you can employ in your business, and you may also choose to hire a marketing specialist. Between both of your efforts, you can get your new private practiced noticed quickly and get those clients rolling in. Implement effective marketing techniques now in your marketing campaigns and you’ll certainly reap the benefits along your journey.

Ken Braslow, MD
Dr. Braslow is the founder of Luminello and maintains an active private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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