Private practice marketing
Private practice marketing involves narrowing down your niche and defining the clients you would like to treat. Now it’s time to target those clients. Online marketing, like your website and social media, and tried-and-true word of mouth can help you on your journey to target the right clients for your practice. As you learn more about these avenues for private practice marketing and employ the best practices, you can continue on your path to help the therapy clients you want to treat.
Build a website
A website can serve as the building block for private practice marketing. It helps your clients find you and gives your practice credibility. Think of it as an opportunity to present yourself as an expert in your field and demonstrate how you can help your clients. It should clearly communicate your branding and speak directly to the pain points of your clients – essentials for private practice marketing.
Prospective and existing clients might use your website to learn more about you. The website should communicate:
- Information on what kinds of services you provide
- Hours of availability
- Contact information
- Pricing and insurance information
- Information about the therapist(s) in the practice if applicable
- Resources for clients
- Blog postings
- Information about telehealth or other services
The concept of a website can seem overwhelming, especially if you have never created one. Some therapists build their own website and some outsource it to a web developer. Whichever route you choose, you will get the most out of your private practice marketing budget by doing research and learning the basics of website building. Anticipate learning a new vocabulary, concepts, and processes to create a website for your practice.
Word of mouth
With the constant hype of social media marketing, it’s easy to forget about the potential for word-of-mouth when it comes to private practice marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing happens when one person tells another person about your services.
Word-of-mouth marketing can occur from networking within a community such as other therapists, doctors, or other professionals. Networking begins with researching and finding the appropriate networking groups to help you target and reach your client niche. Google searches, Meetup.com, local Facebook groups and industry directories can help you find networking groups. Some networking groups are free to attend while others have fees and other requirements to join.
Once you identify a networking group, make effective use of your time by establishing a plan for each meeting.
1. Set an agenda and purpose before attending the meeting,
- How many people would you like to speak to individually at the meeting?
- How many follow up coffees, phone calls, or meetings would you like to schedule? Schedule these events before leaving the meeting.
- Are there any specific professionals you’d like to meet?
2. Develop the “elevator pitch” prior to the meeting
- Identify the pain points of your ideal client
- Explain how you solve those pain points and any special services you offer (ie., teletherapy or a willingness to meet after traditional office hours)
- How can people find you (ex: website, social media, print media)
When attending a networking event, building a trusting relationship with other attendees is an essential component. As a therapist, it can be natural to build trusting relationships. After all, the foundation for a successful relationship begins with building trust with clients. That same strategy can be used to build trusting relationships with those people in your community as part of your private practice marketing plan.
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Similar to a therapy session, it’s important to ask the other attendees relevant questions to build the trusting relationship.
- Ask about their business
- What do they need help with in their business?
- How can you help them build their business?
- Who is their ideal client?
- Ask any follow up questions based on previous interactions
Current clients and family members can also serve as an excellent and reputable word-of-mouth marketing source. When clients recognize that you’ve helped them find relief and make changes in their lives, they will tell their friends, support system, and other professionals. In this way, delivering excellent therapy services is the best form of private practice marketing.
Using social media
Over half of the world’s population uses social media and spends an average of 2.5 hours per day on social media. With such high usage, social media is an excellent way to target your ideal clients as part of your private practice marketing plan. When using social media you can share your unique voice and message with your target clients.
As critical tools in private practice marketing, a good place to start is understanding which social media platforms your potential clients use so you can spend your time, money, and resources on the most appropriate platform(s). While it can be difficult knowing where your clients hang out in social media, it’s important to conduct your own market research regarding your target users on various social media platforms. Because of their high volume, Facebook and Instagram are generally good places to start.
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Facebook remains the world’s most popular social media platform.
86% of adults ages 18-29
77% of adults ages 30 -49
51% of adults ages 50-65
34% of adults over 65
67% of adults ages 18-29
47% of adults ages 30 -49
23% of adults ages 50-65
8% of adults over 65
Most used platform among teenagers
84% of teenagers
Varying usage across income ranges
44% of households with an annual income of less than $30,000
45% of households with an annual income between $30k-$60k
36% of households with an annual income between $60k-$70k
55% of households with an annual income between $70k-$80k
46% of households with an annual income between $80k-$100k
60% of households with an annual income above $100,000
Some therapists, particularly those in mental health therapy, have used these social media channels along with TikTok with much success, even becoming influencers. With more people and celebrities sharing their mental health stories more openly on social media, providers like Dr. Ebony Butler, clinical psychologist Holly Schiff and licensed professional counselor Monica Denais are using social media as a branch of their private practice marketing plans to share tips, build rapport with potential clients and even promote products like journals. Additionally, clinical psychologists are using social media for targeted niches. One example is Janine Kreft, PsyD, of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who launched TikTok and Instagram accounts focused on psychoeducation.
As you conduct your private practice marketing research and learn more about where your prospective clients spend their time on social media, you can then begin to build your brand and messaging in that space. Social media allows the opportunity to strategically deliver content. On social media you can connect naturally to current and potential clients. It allows you the opportunity to create your voice as an expert in your field while building relationships with people in your niche who are curious about getting help.
Using the right channels to target your ideal client is crucial to success in private practice. Using the right tools to manage your private practice also leads to success. EHRs like TheraPlatform can help you manage client information such as scheduling, documentation and billing. They also offer a risk-free 30-day trial. No credit card required. Cancel anytime.
Hirose, A. “114 Social Media Demographics that Matter to Marketers in 2022”. Hootsuite. 2022, April 5. Accessed July 16, 2022.
Khoros. “The 2022 Social Media Demographics Guide”. Accessed July 16, 2022.
- The Ultimate Teletherapy E-book
- The Ultimate Billing Guide for Therapists
- Private Practice Therapist: Identifying your ideal clients
- Offline Marketing Strategies for your Teletherapy Services
- Online marketing strategies for your Teletherapy Services
- Therapy Resources