Many mental health professionals starting their private practice are clueless when it comes to marketing. And understandably so. Marketing courses aren’t taught in many, if any, mental health graduate programs. This lack of training often leaves you with all the technical knowledge of how to treat your clients, but none of the information about how to get them in the door. When starting your private practice, it will be up to you to create your marketing plan and strategies.
Marketing is often unfairly classified as a dirty word. You most likely got into your profession because you wanted to help people, not trick or scam them. Thankfully, long-term, effective marketing and advertising do not subject people to these schemes. Instead, think of this new marketing as a method to be more interactive with your community. There are people with struggles who are looking for the exact types of services you offer. Marketing helps them know you exist and get a feel for your company. Obtaining this mindset can spark a new direction for ideas that work for your business specifically in your area.
Having your name listed in one or more of the available mental health business directories can help potential clients to find you quickly. These and general listing such as Google Business listings boost your SEO by creating more inbound links to your website. Perhaps the most well-known therapist directory is Psychology Today. While most directories charge a fee, some directory sites may offer a free version that shares your basic information with a premium upgrade option available to share more specific business information.
Facebook and Instagram pages can help you become more well-known in your community. On these platforms, you can share blog posts, introduce new staff members, and share behind-the-scenes information (like if you are changing something about your building). These websites also provide the option to run business ads across both platforms to increase your visibility and hopefully your call-in rate and client numbers.
One marketing method that helps you rank higher in Google is to include a blog on your website. Aim to post between two and eight times per month to show Google that you are active and consistent. If you are writing the blogs yourself, take a little time to learn about keyword inclusion, post formatting, active voice and calls to action. As far as blog content, think about the types of questions your clients may be curious to ask. Perhaps this is talking about the kinds of counseling methods that you use, sharing snippets of client progress stories anonymously, or explaining signs that a particular situation is best handled with the help of a mental health professional.
Go to Community Events
Whether you are speaking at a local event or solely attending, going to community events is an excellent time for networking. Become friendly with other psychologists, psychiatrists, and doctors near you. While it may sound counterintuitive to mingle with competitors, it is indeed a fast way to boost business through referrals.
By incorporating these strategies into your business, your marketing plan will be well underway. Remember that certain outlets work better for some companies than others, so a little experimentation is to be expected in the beginning as well as throughout your years in private practice. If you are wondering what marketing strategies to avoid, check out this post. (link to https://luminello.com/private-practice-hub-articles/4-common-marketing-mistakes-of-private-practice-beginners/)
Source 1: Social Work Coaching
Source 2: Practice of Therapy