5 easy steps to start doing now
The new year is a great time to ramp up marketing efforts to grow your private practice. You and your clients know that you’re a wonderfully skilled and compassionate counselor, but how do you tell that to the world? To grow, you must consistently market yourself as an accessible professional without sounding disingenuous. Here are five ways to start marketing your practice and setting yourself up for success in 2020 and beyond:
- Create a website. It doesn’t have to be complicated! Initially, templates with free hosting are the way to go. You can find beginner-friendly templates here and here. Once your website is on its feet, consider upgrading to a premium plan (about $15-$20 monthly). This will give you storage space, a domain (your personalized website name), and easy-to-read analytics, to better measure your business. Build your website based on your style but design the layout with prospective clients in mind. Have a clear, uncluttered navigation bar so browsers can see who you are, where you are, how to (easily) connect with you and resources they will want to read. Choose your words carefully and tailor them to your prospective clients—don’t make it about Do include a professional bio that is welcoming, accessible and that will resonate with prospective clients. Also, upload an updated, professional headshot. Make it easy on yourself and use the bio and professional picture from your Health Affiliates Maine profile.
- Write a blog. Consistently writing blogs, publishing them to your website and then sharing them on your social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) will help clients find you and will help Google promote your website. Generally, a person only searches for a counselor once they’ve realized that’s what they need. By writing blogs on topics that you are passionate about (addiction, anger management, anxiety) you are helping a future client access a trusted resource that will offer them solutions: your private practice, your counseling services. Even better, create a video blog (vlog). Videos will let browsers see you, hear you and gauge how you would interact together in a therapy session.
- List yourself on professional profiles. Again, people will only search for a counselor once they’ve realized that’s what they need, but if you are listed on sites such as Psychology Today and goodtherapy.org, with a clear, organized, approachable profile, clients will be drawn to your authenticity and expertise. Like your website, make the profile about how you can help them to solve their problems. When you attain new clients, ask how they heard of you. Take note of the profile that gets the most visits and keep that one up to date and active. (These sites have annual fees.)
- Create an email list and send a newsletter. You can get an email list started from an invitation form on your website. Keep any information you send out relevant and concise and send often enough to keep yourself fresh in their minds without seeming spammy. Send newsletters about any new blogs you’ve added to your website or any approaching public speaking events. And…
- Host public speaking events! Reach out to community centers and businesses in your area to host a forum on a topic that you are enthusiastic about. Whether it’s ways to relieve stress, walk and talk therapy techniques, implementing meditation into daily life, use your passion about the topic to create a connection with like-minded individuals who might need your counseling services.
Along with these five ways to market yourself and grow your private practice, you can also post flyers and business cards on community bulletin boards; share posts of businesses you like on Facebook (this creates goodwill and opens a door to future collaboration); and network with other professionals you admire. You can even become an Employee Assistance Provider (EAP) for nearby companies and businesses. Be creative, be genuine, and be excited to talk about your practice and what you can offer your future clients.