Marketing Your Private Practice
How do you market your private practice? The first questions I would ask would be who do you feel most drawn to? Who do you feel that you’ve got the training, the criteria to meet with and to really impact their lives? That is difficult for a new person starting out. As you go along, it is learning who they are and giving Google information to help market your private practice.
How do I market myself as a therapist?
On your website, you are going to want to have specific niches. Often when I get onto a practice on a website It will say they’re great at working with anxiety and depression in Des Moines, Iowa. I will go on their website and I can’t tell if that’s what they’re great at. Sometimes nothing jumps out of the page, such as heading at the top of the page. You need to have something that people and Google can latch onto to market your private practice.
Your specific niche pages need to talk about anxiety and depression and things in relation. It also needs to include where you are located. Google needs to be able to see that that’s where you are. Often when I get on people’s page, and they’ll have a whole list of things that I treat. I say,
“Ok, where are your specific pages for that list of things?”
“Oh that would be so much content.”
I’m telling people you need at least five hundred words on the page. Then they’re like,
“How do I do that for, you know, ten different things?’
“Well, how do you eat an apple? A bite at a time.”
Start up with a Service Page, and then that becomes your template for your services pages. Start with one and build that out and then go to the next one.
What are the benefits of blogging for business?
Content is king. None of us like to produce content. If you’re one of those weird people that likes to write blog posts, I want to talk to you. I might pay you to write some for me.
Often I tell my therapists in my practice, “Write me a blog or two every now and then and I’ll pay you your session rate for writing it.”
I usually tell them three hundred plus words. I always suggest this to people – get somebody to write a big blog post on each of your niches. By a big blog post I mean like a two thousand plus word post where it talks about everything. This includes anxiety counseling, terms that people could be searching for, what anxiety is, etc. It is a massive chunk of information.
Blogging is big. You can take and use that blog post in multiple ways. When you write a three-hundred-word blog, you can take and chop out just a few sentences of it and you can tweak that just a little bit. Then you can drop it into My Google Business post, and then you can link back to that blog from the “My Google Business” post. You can put it in various places so that Google sees it and people see it, and so that you don’t feel like you wrote a three-hundred-word blog post that is just sitting on your website for no apparent reason.
Do Google reviews help business?
I’m a fan of Google My Business. This is because I like looking at reviews. Any time I’m looking for a restaurant, any time I’m looking for any kind of service provider, I’m pulling up Google Maps. If I am searching for a service, and if they don’t have any reviews, I’m not calling them. If they only have one or two reviews, I’m not going to call them. The more reviews they have, the more likely I am to call them. I like to think that I’m probably not the only person out there like that.
This day and age more and more people are looking for reviews.
Now, I always tell my therapists,
“Don’t ask your clients for reviews. That is a no-no.”
Obviously we all know that. But I do tell people,
“Hey, look at who else you know. Who is in your circle, who are colleagues, who were your professors, who was your supervisor at your practical site?”
Those are the people I want to get reviews from. They are the people that can speak to who you are as a therapist.
How do I advertise my therapy services?
Keep it simple. Don’t try to get crazy with it, don’t try to do it all at once. If I were going to start a new therapy practice tomorrow in a new town, the very first thing I would do is try to get my Google My Business listing claimed and optimized. I would do this even before I ever built the website. Google has a free website that you can build through the Google My Business platform. It should not be your long-term goal as far as a website. But if I had an hour and no money and I was starting a new practice in a new location, I would build up my Google My Business and I would launch the Google My Business website.
Let’s say you’re in rural west Texas, you might write a blog post that is about anxiety. ‘Date Night Ideas for Couples in Houston, Texas.’ Within that you’re writing all about Houston, Texas, things to do there, what a couple could do and how to build your relationship, how to connect on a deeper spiritual, physical, wherever level. Then somewhere in there you’re mentioning in there,
“Hey, if you would like couple’s counseling’ or retreat that I’m offering then reach out today.”
Then you give them your information in a way they can reach you.
With marriage counseling it obviously comes a little easier because you can write about date night ideas in Houston. But if you’re an anxiety counselor, there may be specific activities. When you talk about reducing anxiety, you talk about going for a walk, getting some exercise, getting some air, doing some outside activity. Then you might mention some of those activities in Houston that there are to do, or you might mention those activities in El Paso.
Why does Google use your location?
The other thing that you want to do on your website is to have a page specific to each of those cities. You are going to have a page that talks about anxiety counseling in Houston, Texas. Then on that page, speak about each of those types of people that you see. Examples, anxiety counseling, depression therapy, relationship counseling, and all the above. You want to mention those things on the page and write a paragraph about anxiety counseling in Fort Worth or in Houston. Just don’t come to Fort Worth and be my competition. Just kidding. Those are called location pages. So, if you do a quick Google search for just building location pages for your website, you’re going to find tons of information from people smarter than me that talk about building out location pages and what that should look like for various services.
Around your location service areas tab in Google My Business, you can add those big cities in there. If you want to reach people in Houston and you’re in west Texas, have it in your Google My Business, under your service areas. Mention it in your Google My Business, like in your business description, write a few posts and updates in your Google My Business that make it in that place. Then write a blog post or two and have a location page on your website. This will also help market your private practice.
Can therapists advertise on Facebook?
Facebook ads are very good for building a list of people in your community that are potentially interested in your services. These are not as good for getting someone to call your practice and hire you that week. Often therapy practice owners want marketing to have an ROI quick. You’re not looking for maybe six months from now they’ll give you a call.
If you’re like,
“I need clients today!” then Facebook ads are not your friend.
People do not get on Facebook looking for a therapist. They get on there to make other people think their life is better than it really is. They get on there to post pictures of their dog. But they’re not necessarily getting on Facebook looking for therapy. What do you do when you need a service? You don’t get on Facebook. Facebook is not great for helping to market your private practice.
Content is great because you can rank organically for something if you just have good SEO, good content, good information out there on your website and on the web and other places, then that is free. But Facebook ads are difficult thing to dial in to get quick clients. Usually when you spend a dollar, you want to get two dollars back. If you spend a hundred dollars, you’d like to make a couple hundred dollars. I can tell you that on Google ads I spend twelve hundred dollars a month for my practice, and I spend all of those twelve hundred dollars within eight miles of my practice location. Those are the only people I’m speaking to, within eight miles as far as Google ads. Those are the people that are most likely to follow through and schedule.
How do private practices attract clients?
Facebook ads is good for growing a list. What I’ve done is I’ve run an ad that says ‘Interested in marriage counseling? Download this free couple’s counseling guide.’ When they click on the guidelink it takes them to a landing page on my website. Then they put in their name and their email address. When they put that in my MailChimp sends them an email that has that counseling-couple counseling guide embedded in the email. It adds them to our couple’s counseling newsletter and they get what they want as far as the guide. They click on that guide and it downloads it to their computer. They open the guide up and it answers the top five questions that we get asked. The questions are, how much does it cost, how long do we have to come, what types of things will we work on, those kinds of basic questions.
At the end of the guide, it says,
“Hey, if you’re ready now or if you get ready to schedule marriage counseling, we’d love to help. Reach out at…”
and it gives our phone number and email address that they can reach out. It is a soft nudge at the end that is like,
“Hey get in touch of us when you need it.”
But what happens to us there is the person sees it on Facebook, they are probably never going to see the ad again, but they downloaded the guide and then the guide lives in their computer and then when the guide lives in their computer, they might go back to it.
How can a counselor get more clients?
If my attention goes all over the place and my marketing goes all over the place, that means my marketing money and time goes all over the place, and then each place gets less of my time, money, and attention. People that talk about getting licensing with the state so they can see people in three or four different states, it says to me,
“Ok, you must really be killing it in your state.”
But often that is not the case. Often people say back, I have trouble finding clients, so I’m going to go get licensed in Oklahoma. But it’s going to be more difficult to find clients in Oklahoma than it is right around you.
How does one do Google ads? One, either find someone who really knows Google ads and knows how to put them together and knows how to build the ad. If you don’t do therapy for free, you probably don’t want to show up for free therapy, right? You would be surprised when I look at someone and their ads account and they’re showing up for free this and free that.
You need to find somebody or you need to learn how to narrow your ad and to target your ad so that you’re not wasting three dollars a click or five dollars and click on stuff that’s never going to pay you any money back. Over time, Google ads get better because you can create and you can make negative keywords. If you see something weird showing up that I don’t want to showing up, I can make that a negative keyword. Google knows never show anybody that ad again which will help market your private practice.
How can Google Ads help my business?
I did some coaching with a couple in Vegas who had the bright idea that they were going to basically cash in their savings and they were going to build a big group practice. They told me they were spending thousands of dollars a week on Google ads since day one of their practice opening. When I came in, they were like ten thousand in the hole without very much to show for it. I ended up tweaking their Google ads, creating some negative keywords in there, and reduced their spending down to about a thousand dollars a month instead. Now, they’re a group practice and they have a bunch of clinicians working with them. What they were doing was throwing a whole bunch of money at a big machine that they did not know about, and that is dangerous.
I have coaching sessions where I walk people through what helps us grow. This includes Google My Business optimization, SEO website and more. I would love to talk to anybody that is interested. Kate tagged me this morning in the group. Feel free to shoot me a message asking me questions about marketing your private practice.
Blog post by Kate Walker Ph.D., LPC/LMFT Supervisor. You can contact Craig Alsup at his practice Live Beyond Counseling and Coaching.
Looking for resources for your supervision practice? Get the Essential Guide for Self-Employed Mental Health Professionals
Tag:advertising, clinical, clinical supervising, clinical supervision, clinical supervisor, counseling, counselor therapy, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed mental health clinician, licensed professional counselor, lmft, LMHC, marketing yourself, mental health, mental health professional, Private Practice, private practice resources, Private Practice Strategies, supervising, Supervision, Supervisor, therapist LPC