6 Smart Strategies for Marketing your Private Practice

As a private practice owner, have you been feeling any of the following about your current therapy business:

  1. Directionless and stuck
  2. Hesitant about making changes
  3. Unsure about how to get started

If the answer is yes to any or all of those options, don’t worry because we’ve got you completely covered. Yes, marketing yourself or your private practice can seem overwhelming. Many therapists shy away from the idea of marketing at all, because it makes them feel too “salesy.”

But once you shift your mindset, many of these blocks will simply melt away. Think of marketing as a way to authentically share things that you care about, build trust, and create familiarity for your clients. Putting yourself out there also means that you are able to be more accessible and provide solutions to the people who truly need them.

So today I’m sharing six smart strategies for how to approach marketing your private practice in a positive, effective, and meaningful way! These tips will show you how a strong marketing plan can add value to your private practice business and also help create a safe space for your clients.

1. GET SPECIFIC

Starting out with a goal like, “Get More Visible” or “Have more followers on Facebook” is too broad to really be effective.  Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or just getting started, setting SMART (Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Relevant – Time Based) goals will enable you to make the most of your therapy practice business. Make sure that you have a concrete way to evaluate what kinds of returns you are getting from your different marketing efforts. This can be as simple as making sure to ask each new client how they found you, and then tracking that information in a simple spreadsheet over time. Setting up analytics on your website will give you a way to see which pages or blog posts on your site are generating the most interest. You can use this information to double down in areas where you are seeing success, and adjust your strategy in places where you aren’t getting traction.

2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

This is all about understanding the needs of your community and your clients. Be strategic about identifying who your clients are, and then building your marketing in ways that are likely to intersect with your target market. This means targeting your networking , and cultivating collaborative relationships and referrals with people and organizations who are most likely to be interacting organically with the clients who would be a good fit for you. Focus on research to figure out what your key target areas should be and what exactly would be helpful for your potential clients. For instance, as a child therapist, cultivate a relationship with local pediatricians and understand their needs. 

Your marketing strategy should cater to the requirements of your clients and reflect your personality as well as specialty.

3. SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING

Establishing an online presence and creating a marketing strategy, at any point in your private practice career, can seem like too much to do successfully. Feeling overwhelmed, or like you have to do everything at once, can make getting started seem difficult. But remember, there is no better time than now. Simplify the process as much as possible so you feel comfortable and grow it strategically and gradually.  You don’t have to do everything all at once. It’s all about focusing on things which align with what you enjoy and the information you want to share. There is no need to force yourself to “do it all.” Start small if that is what feels more manageable to you – but do that small amount carefully and strategically!

4. FOLLOW YOUR NATURAL STRENGTHS

Set priorities, create a plan which matches both your private practice goals as well as your personal goals, keeping in mind your clients’ requirements at all times. Your goals will then help define various forms of marketing which are available to you, starting with a strong website as your foundation. Remember, almost 85% of your potential clientele are mostly looking for your expert services online. Your website is your home base, and the hub from which all your marketing efforts will come.

From there, you can move on to social media, blogs, videos, SEO, online advertising and networking (online and offline).

Focus on the one which fits your personality the best, in a way which is most comfortable for you, for the way you want your practice to grow. For example, if you like being on camera, YouTube could be a great option but if you enjoy writing more, then blogging would be the more natural choice.

5. SHARE YOUR POSITIVITY AND INSIGHT​

It can be challenging to put yourself out there. And stressful. On the other hand, think of the good that you can do by sharing the positivity, hope, and insight that you have. By being visible and sharing some of your “good vibes” – whether on your website, through social media, blogging, or other means – you are reaching out to a larger audience and impacting more people in a positive way. It also give potential clients a chance to get a sense of your personality and who you are – developing the trust that they need to feel in order to reach out to you for help. So, whether it’s a face-to-face interaction, an online consult, an email or a blog post, it’s all about creating that safe space for communication.

By marketing yourself/your private practice, you have the ability to offer solutions which only you can provide to the people who truly need them.

6. DON’T GO IT ALONE

Marketing may be vital to growing your private practice and fulfilling your mission of helping people heal – but that doesn’t mean that they taught you how to do it in school!! Don’t feel that you have to go it alone and figure everything out from scratch. Educating yourself by reading blog posts (like this one!) listening to podcasts (like Psychbiz!) and collaborating with and sharing insights with other therapists through facebook and other groups, can be a great way to shorten the learning curve. Bringing in the help of experts – whether that means working with a consultant or hiring a website designer, can also mean that your efforts aren’t wasted and that you are making the best use of your resources and time.

Your marketing strategy should cater to the requirements of your clients and reflect your personality as well as specialty.

Did you find some great strategies and ideas in this post? What are to do next for  your own marketing—and how has this post helped to clarify your plans?

Let me know in the comments!

And if you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!

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Hi! I’m Sarah. 

 I help counselors and therapists  have a bigger impact on the world through better client connection. I do this by creating beautiful visuals and strategically designed websites.

Sarah Gershone web designer