Do you feel as if you could be marketing your practice better?
Many psychologists and therapists offer brilliant services to their clients but struggle when it comes to the business of marketing.
Today we’re here to dispel some of the difficulty and give you 26 marketing tactics to consider to help your therapy services reach new clients.
1. Brand Consistency
Though you may not like to think of your practice as a brand, the truth is many people now access healthcare with the mindset of a consumer. This means your business should have a brand. Why? Having a brand enables recognition from clients and assists you to more easily build your professional reputation.
A brand can be your name, or it can be a business name. Either way, to create trust and credibility you will need to make sure your brand is consistent.
This means thinking about maintaining consistent appearance and messaging across your website, social media, business cards and physical space is important.
Don’t undervalue the impact a strong brand profile can have on your business.
2. Building Strong Relationships
As you practice your business, build positive relationships with those around you. From your colleagues to your clients, positive word of mouth matters. Being respectful, and considerate goes a long way.
3. Referral Network
Running your own psychology practice or therapy business can be tiring, and at times isolating. It’s important to consider how you can utilise your network to support your business.
When’s the last time you sent a colleague an email to check and see how they were going? Have they learnt anything new recently? Or do you have something of value to share with them?
Reach out to fellow psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors and psychiatrists.
Your colleagues may have too much work than is manageable and may like to refer some of their clients to you. Or they may have enquiries from patients who are better suited to your area of focus than theirs.
Maintaining positive relationships with those in your industry helps for when business is quiet. When it’s not, consider returning the favour and referring to other professionals.
4. Website design
Having a functional and beautiful website is vital. Would you trust a physical store that had cracked windows, flickering lights and a bad smell when you entered. Of course not. Your website is your physical store in the digital world.
The vast majority of clients expect to be able to find out about services they need online. Simply put, if your business doesn’t have a website, you’re missing out on potential clients. If your website doesn’t look good it will negatively impact you too.
Getting a great website has never been easier. Create your own website using an easy to use website builder, or hire a website designer. Your clients will appreciate having a convenient place to find out all about your business.
Having a website for your clinic is useful for another reason. SEO. Or Search Engine Optimization. Through incorporating keywords and phrases into your site, you’ll make your website more likely to be chosen by search engines to show to people. People rarely click past the first page of Google, and even more, rarely go past the second. Don’t let your site be buried - think about SEO so that when potential new clients are doing their research so your services are readily available.
6. Video marketing
If you’re comfortable public speaking, or in front of a camera it’s worth thinking about video marketing. Video marketing is an effective way of getting the attention of clients. Whether it’s a video tour of your clinic or an interview with you, video marketing can be a helpful addition to your marketing strategy.
An engaging blog offers value to clients before they book an appointment. Use a blog to interact with clients, and offer them helpful advice on a range of topics relevant to your field. If you’ve assisted them outside of an appointment, people may be more likely to ask about other ways you can help them.
8. Offer Telehealth or Online consultations
The last few years have also seen a rise in digital therapy services - vulnerable people or young people may be more comfortable with accessing services that are not face to face. This is the case for a range of reasons, but a driving factor is convenience. Texting counsellors or other online practitioners is much more common than previously - in particular, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Offering alternatives to in-person services shows your business values accessibility and is technologically up to date.
9. Email marketing
Emailing a newsletter can be a great way to stay in touch with existing clients and offer additional value. Don’t bombard their inbox, but keep your communication helpful - Maybe you’re running a free educational webinar or releasing a book? Think about what value you can provide to someone who might be in need.
10. Find a niche
Many psychologists do not focus on a particular niche for fear of restricting their potential client pool. The opposite is the case. Finding an appropriate niche can assist you in finding clients that are looking for help with a specific problem.
Consumers equate specialisation with trust and competence. They will also be willing to pay more because they’re accessing a specialist - rather than a generalist.
Knowing your niche will also help you to build your referral network more specifically. For example, if you offer services specific to children, it can be useful to let schools and teachers know of your services.
11. Public Speaking
Opportunities for public speaking can take multiple forms. Whether it’s appearing as a guest speaker at a conference, or being interviewed on an LinkedIn - public speaking opportunities shouldn’t be overlooked for their marketing value.
These opportunities provide exposure for your business and build credibility in both your brand and you as a professional.
12. Local Media
Though a more traditional form of marketing, your local media shouldn’t be overlooked. Local media can be particularly helpful if your target audience uses these media forms regularly. If you’re running an event in your local area - let the local paper or radio know.
13. Signage and visibility
It’s surprising how often signage is overlooked when it comes to marketing. But having adequate signage that is easily visible will help clients locate your therapy rooms. Your client’s experience of your service begins before they enter your rooms. Minimize confusion or anxiety by ensuring all signage is well-positioned.
Though not as popular as they once were, flyers and business cards still have a place in some marketing strategies. There are clients that prefer having a flyer or business card to take with them. While we don’t recommend spending the majority of your marketing budget on this, flyers are worth considering.
You may like to ask relevant businesses if you can display your flyers or business cards in their waiting rooms.
15. Conference attendance
Attending events allows you to build credibility and network with others. Networking boosts brand awareness and the possibility to expand your referral network. Do try to keep your interactions with others genuine.
16. Checking in with existing clients
Ensuring your relationships with existing clients is positive can go a long way to securing the future potential of your clinic. This can be as simple as a follow-up call or email to check in with clients you haven’t seen in a while. Alternatively, you may like to send out holiday greeting cards wishing them well for the coming season.
Clients value authentic care, so going the extra step for those in your business can help boost positive word of mouth referrals and boost client retention. But make sure your actions are authentic.
17. Free trials of paid directory
Listing yourself in a directory is helpful for exposure and access to clients utilising those directories. Many of these offer a free trial, which is worth doing. If you’ve not landed any clients before the trial period ends, cancel your listing. Doing this ensures you haven’t lost any money but provides the potential to connect with new clients.
LinkedIn is often an untapped resource. Useful in particular for connecting with like-minded professionals, this is another way to boost your brand profile and build a referral network. You may be invited to participate in opportunities you otherwise may not have been aware of.
19. Get a free Google business listing
Even if you don’t yet have a website, one of the first things you can do as a business is getting a Google listing. This means that clients who Google you will be able to find all the necessary information quickly. List your booking phone number, rooms address, hours and any other relevant information.
20. Expert appearances
Often the media will call for an ‘expert’ to weigh in on particular issues. Take advantage of these opportunities to build your credibility. Foster connections with your local media outlets, or other businesses who may be interested in collaborating with you. The beauty industry, in particular, is one to avoid dismissing, as they have a lot of financial backing and interest in health-related topics.
21. Write for others
As with expert appearances, writing for other people’s blogs or as a guest contributor to a magazine again builds brand credibility and exposure. If you enjoy writing, this can be a great addition to your marketing.
Guest posting on other blogs will often provide a backlink to your website - driving traffic to your services long after you’ve finished the article.
Volunteer opportunities arise from time to time, whether it’s speaking to a group of highschoolers about a career in psychology, or assisting a local charity with counselling. While volunteering can cost time, and you may not see an immediate return for your investment - it’s still valuable. Through volunteering, your reputation in your local community will be built, and potential future clients may have a positive first interaction with you - outside of your clinic rooms.
23. Determine your call to action
Knowing what action you’d like clients to take is key to figuring out which marketing tactics will be best for your practice. Do you want clients to book a therapy session? Or refer a friend to your services?
If you decide to run a giveaway or other incentives to your service, it’s important to remember your responsibilities as a healthcare provider. It’s a good idea to ensure you’re familiar with AHPRA’s advertising guidelines. https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Publications/Advertising-resources/Legislation-guidelines/Advertising-guidelines.aspx
24. Online ads
Targeted advertising online, and on social media can be an effective marketing method. Online ads often have a greater reach and cost less than an advertisement in physical form. Before deciding where to place your ad, you should consider all the factors that may impact its success. Outline some specific goals you have for the campaign, so you can measure if it’s worth repeating this tactic.
25. Partner with other practitioners or brands
Are there businesses in your area that may benefit from your services? It can be worth considering who you can collaborate with to boost both businesses brand awareness. You may be able to put on an event or training session that adds value for both business’s clients. Businesses that psychologists may like to consider collaborating with include: Yoga studios, health co-working spaces, pharmacies, universities, aged care facilities, RSLs and more.
26. Your email signature
If you haven’t already, set an email signature. This is an easy way to let everyone know who you are and what services you offer.