Marketing your therapy practice can take on a lot of different forms. From advertising to public speaking, SEO, community engagement and more, there are countless ways to fill up your caseload: online and off.
For the purpose of this article, we will assume that you already have a website. If not, creating one should be your next step.
Promote Your Therapy Practice With Public Speaking
One of the best ways to promote your practice is by NOT talking about it. Instead, find a venue to share your expertise and allow potential clients to come to you.
Local businesses are a good place to start, as many are happy to offer employees a lunchtime workshop or seminar on a health-related topic. The larger the workforce, the more likely a company is to have some sort of health or wellness component to their HR department’s services.
If you live near a college or university, you might be able to guest lecture during a relevant class. Try and get in touch with a professor or department head, and see if it’s possible to invite members of the community to your session.
Every city has organizations or clubs that meet regularly. Figure out which ones you might be able to address, then get in touch with their leader or program coordinator to see if they have space during an upcoming meeting. Meetup.com and eventbrite.com are great places to start.
Finally, always remember that YOU are the best possible brand ambassador for your practice. When the time comes to discuss your practice — and there will certainly be opportunities for that — speak from the heart and let your passion shine through. And, be sure to bring plenty of business cards.
Guest Post on Therapy Sites and Blogs
The online equivalent of public speaking, writing a guest post for a blog or therapy site is a great way to raise awareness of your practice. If you can, find a site whose readership is based out of the same geographical location as your practice.
Even if that proves impossible, which it often does, any published article should include a link back to your website. These “backlinks” should be a critical part of your SEO plan, and help establish you as an expert in your field.
Use Google AdWords
There’s no way around it; advertising is the fastest way to get your website in front of potential clients. It’s also one of the easiest ways to burn through your marketing budget. The real trick is converting those ad clicks into paying clients, which involves carefully crafting and testing your ad copy and landing pages.
While Google is the most popular search engine in the world, be sure to save some ad dollars for other sites, like Bing (Microsoft), 7 Search and Yahoo! What they lack in traffic, they more than make up for in lower rates.
Add Your Practice to Therapy Directory Sites
Online directory sites are a hotly debated topic for therapists. On one hand, they seem like a great way to get more referrals and increase your practice’s Internet presence. On the other hand, every therapist you know seems to be listed on those sites … so, how can you ensure that your practice comes up above theirs in a search result?
Simple answer, you can’t. However, by creating a detailed profile and researching the competition in your area, you can give yourself a better chance of standing out and coming up higher in the listing. Plus, every directory that links to your site helps with your SEO.
Cost is another element to consider when choosing which directory sites to be a part of. A simple rule of thumb is this: if it’s free, you should add yourself. If you have to pay, do your research first. Here are a few things to think about before dropping down your credit card:
- How many therapists are listed?
- Where is the site based out of?
- Is the site’s philosophy or about page in line with your own?
- Does that site come up in a Google search when you try to find a therapist in your area?
- Does the site have a free trial?
Optimize Your Therapy Site for SEO
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is one of the most important acronyms on the Web. In a nutshell, it’s the science behind having your website appear higher in search engine rankings. Sound good? Here are a few easy ways to get started.
- Make sure every page of your website lists your name, location and specialties. This will help you come up higher for location-based search results, such as “San Francisco couples counseling.”
- Each of your specialties should be discussed in a separate Web page of at least 400 words, which can be found through a link in your menu bar. When writing this page, be sure to include keywords that someone might search for … even if it makes your writing a bit more clunky. Google provides a free tool to discover the best and most searched keywords for your topic.
- Set up your free business page on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Join a Group Practice
Marketing your therapy practice by yourself can be a full-time job. That’s why it’s helpful to team up with other like-minded clinicians and create or join a group practice. At Well Clinic, our marketing team works around the clock to keep a steady flow of leads and intakes coming into the office. That way, our clinicians can focus on what they do best … providing compassionate care to people in need.
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While there are countless more ways to market your therapy practice, these six steps are a great place to get started. In the comments section, please share any techniques that have worked for you. Happy marketing!
About the Author
Greg Goodman is Head of Marketing and Design at Well Clinic. He also runs Goodman Creatives, which specializes in web design, marketing, photography and helping therapists get more business.