Thanks to technology, there are many free ways to effectively market your private therapy practice. Since these free strategies do take time to implement, I suggest focusing on the ones that sound interesting, fun, fulfilling, and a little challenging so you get something back personally from your time investment.
It can take some time until you actually see the benefits of your marketing in terms of clients coming to your practice. Part of effective marketing is simply raising awareness of your practice and your specialties, which will bring in clients over time.
After nearly 10 years in private practice, I’ve found that the most effective strategies for building your practice use what we already know as therapists about building relationships: building rapport, using your authentic self, starting where the “client” is, to name a few, and translating those skills into a new formats that reaches larger audiences.
How’s your elevator speech coming along? Are you ready to try it out in “public”? One of the most helpful ways to refine your elevator speech is to practice it and ask for feedback. Here’s your social media challenge to help you get the word out about your practice message and to get feedback.
Tweet your elevator speech (in only 140 characters or less) to me @Julie_Hanks and I’ll give you feedback on it. If you tag your tweet with #elevatorspeech then other twitter users can find it and give you feedback, too.
An elevator speech, or practice message, is the building block of marketing your private therapy practice. Getting comfortable saying what you do and how your work helps your clients is essential to drawing additional clients to your practice. In case you missed it, here’s a link to Why Therapists Need an Elevator Speech (part 1).
A great resource for developing your basic practice message is Lynn Grodzki’s book Building Your Ideal Practice. Ms. Grodzki outlines four styles for crafting your basic practice message. Try these out and see which one flows most naturally.
In a previous post I talked about why social media matters to therapists. The number of people using social media on a daily basis, and Facebook in particular, are astounding! Facebook is a great way to raise visibility for your therapy practice and keep your personal profile and clinic page separate. Before you set up your page it’s important to know the difference between a profile and a page.
Benefits of a Facebook Page for your Practice
You’re in the mental health field because you want to make a difference AND an income. Too many therapists are making a big difference but only making a small income. Here are 6 ways you can make your private practice more profitable within the next month.
1) Cut expenses
Look more closely at your recurring monthly expenses. Can you find a way to reduce any of them? You might want to sub-lease your office on the days you’re not there so you’re paying less rent. Do you pay monthly for a therapist referral listing that rarely sends referrals your way that you could cancel? How about buying bulk printer paper of files online? We recently cut expenses by replacing water bottles that we offered to for all clients with a water cooler in the waiting area. This save $100 a month. The little things add up.
An “elevator speech,” also called a basic practice message, is a brief statement of what you do. It should take no longer than it takes to ride a few floors on an elevator and is a crucial aspect of marketing your private practice.
Whenever you talk about or write about your practice, your elevator speech will help you to provide a cohesive and consistent message that attracts your ideal client and builds your private practice. Over time, your message will help you create enough awareness about your practice that people will know who you are and what you do.
The goal is to have people say, “Oh, he’s the one who helps couples create closer marriages.” or “She’s the therapist who helps kids with attention problems find ways to succeed in school.”
You’re in the mental health field because you want to make a difference and make a living, right? Technology and new media now allow therapists to educate and interact with worldwide audience and to talk directly to ideal clients…for free.
Take a look at these recent statistics from the top social media sites:
When is the last time you opened a phone book, looked in an actual encyclopedia, opened a dictionary, or navigated with an paper map? The Internet has revolutionized where we go for information. The several hundred million Google searches every day include searches by potential clients looking for your expertise, your niche, and your services. Can they find you?
Try Googling your name, or your therapy practice, or your specialty areas in your city. Where do you come up in the Google search? On the first page or on page number 25? If Google can’t easily find you then neither can potential clients who are searching for you and your specific therapy services.
“Who do you want to work with?” was the question I asked workshop participants in a recent private practice workshop at a local university. For many workshop participants, this was the first time they’d ever even considered asking themselves which clients they wanted to see in their clinical practice.
Shrinking funding, crowded managed care panels, and a saturation of therapists have left private practitioners feeling desperate to fill their schedules with anyone who is willing to see them. However, based on my personal experience of nearly a decade in private practice, “Who do I want to work with?” is one of the most important questions a clinician can ask themselves.