When it comes to having your own mental health private practice, social media is surely a godsend for networking and growing your business. Facebook and Twitter have long been helping therapists reach out and increase their sphere of influence in the professional sense, but there are other networking sites, such as LinkedIn, that are quite helpful for building your private practice as well.
LinkedIn is a social networking platform with over 300 million members around the world. While health professionals haven’t flocked to it as quickly as people from other industries have, it is a great platform for you as a therapist to establish your credibility as a professional, showcase your credentials and experience, and network with other professionals. There is also a plethora of advice articles, information and professional opportunities available. If you’re not taking advantage of LinkedIn, it’s time to learn how such a platform can help you grow your private practice.
Grow Your Professional (and Referral) Network on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is also a great place to connect with others in the mental health field who in the future may refer clients to you and connect with associations that you’re interested in. On the same note, you may be able to connect with those that you can refer clients to should there be a need.
Here are some great ways LinkedIn can help you grow your private practice:
Set up your account & profile
It’s simple to sign up with LinkedIn. Simply go to LinkedIn and take a few minutes to set up your personal profile (example), which doubles as your practice profile for solo practitioners. If you are part of a group practice, you should consider setting up a Company Page to help promote and market your private practice or group. If you’re strapped for time, you can fill it in over time or hire a freelancer to do this for you. And as with Facebook and Twitter, having an account and profile is free.
Get involved in LinkedIn groups
There are a wide variety of LinkedIn Groups organized around different subjects that you can join and utilize their shared resources, such as articles, research, and news. Additionally, you can keep tabs on upcoming conferences and seminars that you may be interested in. At the same time, you are free to share your own blog posts, articles, and resources with the community at large. Feel free to establish yourself as a professional and connect with others in the groups. To join Groups, click on the Interests tab and then click on Groups. Do a search on the keywords for the kind of group you are seeking, such as United States Mental Health Professionals or Psychotherapy and Counseling Psychology.
Follow company profiles
In addition to connecting with professionals, you can “follow” Company Profiles (such as Luminello) to keep abreast of new information, opportunities, and more.
Utilize other services
Besides being able to network within your niche, you can also connect with other businesses that will compliment your private practice, such as business coaching, marketing gurus, or accounting businesses. You may also find handy resources and information that will help you get your practice moving with solid momentum.
The client/therapist dilemma
Keep in mind that LinkedIn is not the ideal place to communicate with potential or current clients. Some therapists have run into a dilemma when it comes to clients trying to contact or connect with them via LinkedIn. To avoid this issues, be sure that you only add people into your network that you know are business colleagues or businesses. Do not let any ethical concerns keep you from taking advantage of this wonderful networking and promotional opportunity. If you have any doubts about adding someone, simply refrain from adding them to your connections – LinkedIn gives you the power to decide whether to approve or deny any connection request that come to you.
Taking advantage of social media networking opportunities is a surefire way to continue getting your business the exposure that it deserves, so you can continue to extend your wonderful services to those in need.