How to Get More Therapy Clients
I get asked a LOT about how to get more therapy clients. The answer? It's math that’s going to grow your practice. And a discussion about marketing has got to include the ethics of converting a potential client to a client. Long and short, converting a potential client into an actual client should be a win-win. You'll need to know three terms: conversion rates, key performance indicators, and referrals that will position you as a community expert.
How do I promote my counseling business?
Now, I am not a math fan (bless you if you are) but don't worry. This is not multiplying fractions or converting to the metric system. So I will start our math lesson with a hotdog stand. If you put your hotdog stand in Times Square you’re going to have thousands of people walk by your hotdog stand every day. Even if you’re a terrible hotdog maker, which I know you’re not, you’re going to sell more hotdogs than you would if you put your hotdog stand on the corner of a small town. A hotdog sale is called a conversion. More foot traffic means the likelihood of a conversion goes up. If you become a better hotdog maker or you develop a killer sales pitch, your conversion rate goes up.
Your conversion rate and the foot traffic in front of your hotdog stand have names. We call them key performance indicators (KPI). Increase your conversion rate from 5% of the 100 people who walk by to 10% of the people who walk by, you have just increased the number of therapy clients. Or, keep your conversion rate at 5% but increase the number of people who walk by from 100 to 200, you have still increased the number of therapy clients. As a practice owner this is really good news because now you can focus on two things: increasing your foot traffic (number of calls to your practice that connect to a person) and the quality of your conversion script (here's a You Tube video where I walk you through this).
How do I promote myself as a therapist?
You are amazing, but you are not a good fit for everybody. Conversions in mental health marketing aren’t just about sales, they are about making sure that it’s a good match. You don’t want to sell a lifelong vegan their very first hotdog. Think about things like:
- How do I do my best work based on my theory?
- How do I describe what counseling does?
- What is a realistic treatment plan for me?
- When do I want to see clients?
- How much will I charge?
When it’s not a good fit, then it's time to establish yourself as a community expert rather than their therapist. Do this by:
- Referring free resources on your site
- Referring to experts you trust in your community
- Keep a list of free and low-cost counseling resources in your community
While you did not get the client, you DID create a fan. This person is now an unofficial part of your marketing team who can tell friends and family that while you may have been out of their price range, didn’t fit with their schedule, or didn't specialize in their issue, you are an expert with resources, you answered questions, you did it all under ten minutes.
Get more clients in your mental health practice
Conversion rates, KPIs, and establishing yourself as an expert all work together to increase the number of potential clients who become clients. For more resources check out:
Looking for resources for your supervision practice? Get the Essential Guide for Self-Employed Mental Health Professionals
Blog post by Kate Walker Ph.D., LPC/LMFT Supervisor
Tag:advertising, Amazing Client Experience, counseling, counselor continuing education, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed mental health clinician, licensed professional counselor, lmft, LMHC, lpc, marketing, marketing yourself, Private Practice, private practice resources, Private Practice Strategies