Marketing your private practice as a therapist isn’t easy. You want to reach the right audience in an effective way while still sounding genuine, compassionate, and knowledgeable in every piece of content you publish.
If you’re ready to learn how to market yourself as a therapist, you’ve come to the right place.
With actionable marketing strategies designed around your ideal client, you can develop a thriving therapy practice that attracts and retains clients around the clock.
Learn what steps you can take when developing your marketing strategy, from defining your practice’s value proposition to developing your online presence. By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the tools you need to grow your practice using effective marketing strategies.
Understanding the Therapist’s Unique Value Proposition
With therapy services taking the internet by storm, your practice now faces far more competition than ever before. If you want to succeed in your marketing strategy, you first need to define your practice’s unique value proposition — what sets you apart from other therapists.
The most common value propositions you can use to give yourself an edge against other local healthcare providers typically include your personal experience and your specialized therapeutic approach.
Personal Journey and Professional Expertise
You joined the field of mental health services for a reason. Your background and story shape your practice and can help you reach potential clients with similar experiences.
Sharing your story also adds a genuine, human aspect to the face behind your services, setting you apart from basic chat lines or template websites.
Spend some time defining this personal journey first, then share it somewhere on your website, like on your about us page or home page.
Specialized Therapeutic Techniques and Mental Health Services
Therapy covers a wide range of services. You can detail the specific methods and approaches your therapy practice specializes in to determine what sets you apart from other practices. This list could be as top-level as offering holistic therapy or group sessions, or you could get specific, mentioning that you provide brainspotting services.
We recommend listing all of the services that your therapy practice provides while also noting which areas you specialize in. Doing so allows prospective clients to determine whether or not your practice will be a good fit for their particular needs.
Articulating your services not only helps you stand out from the competition but also helps you target specific keywords when working on SEO (search engine optimization).
Identifying Your Ideal Client
Once you’ve defined how your private practice stands out from the competition, it’s time to nail down your ideal clients. Defining your target audience is a quintessential step in learning how to market yourself as a therapist, as it allows you to create valuable content that addresses your audience’s needs.
While you may not be able to lump all potential clients into one generalized group, you can identify basic concepts that help you cater your marketing strategies accordingly.
Demographics and Psychographics
As much as you may like to, you cannot provide excellent care to everyone. Instead, you need to refine your private practice services to a smaller group that shares something in common. Your potential clients may have similar demographics or mental health issues that make you a good fit as a therapist, based on your specialized therapeutic techniques.
We recommend exploring the characteristics and behaviors of your preferred audience by analyzing your current clients and the mental health demographics in your area.
For example, you may find that your ideal client group is LGBTQ+ teens or veterans dealing with PTSD. Both examples display specific demographics and psychographics that you can keep in mind when developing your content.
Of course, your ideal client should align with the services you specialize in as well as your personal experience and expertise level.
You may also choose a few groups of potential clients you wish to target, assuming you have the appropriate foundations to do so. Once you select your ideal client groups, you can begin learning how to market to them.
Client Needs and Goals
Defining potential client groups is only the first step. Now, you need to climb into their shoes to attempt to understand their aspirations, pain points, and potential solutions so you can position yourself as the answer.
You want your online marketing strategies to focus on client outcomes and positive solutions so potential clients envision you as the right step forward.
One of the best ways to define client needs and goals is by creating audience personas. Personas are individual characters you can develop based on a wider audience group. Each persona will have detailed characteristics, such as their age, job, goals in life, biggest problems, etc.
You can use each of your personas when creating content for your marketing strategy to ensure that all of your online advertising efforts align with client needs.
Building an Authentic Marketing Strategy for Your Private Practice
Now that you’ve defined your unique selling proposition and ideal client, you can get back to the task at hand: how to market yourself as a therapist.
When defining your marketing plan, you want to strike the right balance between effective strategies that still feel genuine. Authenticity is a crucial part of gaining the trust of new clients while also performing well in search engines.
Unfortunately, when you search online for marketing ideas, you often find cheat sheets filled with long lists of inauthentic tactics like keyword stuffing, aggressive paid advertising strategies, and cold-calling, all of which feel like the opposite of helping people find mental health support.
So, how can mental health professionals advertise to new clients while still sounding authentic?
Content Marketing Through Storytelling
Story-based content marketing provides the ideal avenue for displaying your value while still reaching new audiences. By developing high-quality content, you can increase your rankings in search engine results while becoming a thought leader on various mental health topics.
Like most therapists in the blog space, you could provide articles that spread awareness on mental health conditions, helping people make informed decisions regarding their needs.
You can also use narratives and client success stories to showcase your knowledge on the topic and your impact. This way, readers will understand that you aren’t just a grad school student repeating information you read on Google; rather, you have valuable insights and actionable knowledge to apply to each scenario.
If you’re writing an article about ADHD in adults, you can certainly discuss basic topics like symptoms, risks, and when to seek a counseling practice. Along with this, you could delve into a personal story about a hypothetical client who had undiagnosed ADHD for numerous years before coming to you, potentially discussing some of their misunderstood symptoms.
Marketing through storytelling not only displays your experience in the field but also creates a sympathetic example to show your potential clients how you would work with them — and how ADHD symptoms are easily misrepresented.
Leveraging Social Proof
An easy way to prove your authenticity to potential clients is simply by letting your past clients do the work for you. Social proof goes a long way for mental health professionals, as other clients don’t want to select a new therapist they can’t trust.
We recommend incorporating testimonials and reviews into your website to develop a well-rounded, effective marketing suite.
You can request reviews from repeat visitors to boost your online visibility in various therapist directories, like Google Business Profile or Yelp.
Once you receive a few reviews, you can reach out to these clients, asking for their consent to use their reviews as marketing content in testimonials. Positive reviews will also boost your rankings in search engines.
Building Your Digital Presence Through Online Marketing
Authenticity is vital in marketing for therapists, but your digital presence should not be overlooked. When considering how to market yourself as a therapist, search engine optimization and social media efforts must be part of your over-arching plan.
Such efforts allow you to increase the online sessions on your website, helping you grow your practice without needing to invest in expensive paid advertising campaigns.
Professional Website as a Marketing Hub
After you create your marketing plan, your website should be your primary focus. A professional website acts as a marketing hub for your business, attracting new clients, converting leads, and increasing your practice awareness.
You must spend careful time developing an SEO-optimized website that can perform well in search results while appearing authentic to people.
Search engine optimization is adjusting your web content to rank on the first page for queries like “online therapy sessions 24/7” or “best therapists in Toronto.”
The Google Search algorithm considers over 200 factors when ranking websites, so you must develop your website carefully if you want to perform well. We recommend the following:
- Make your website easy to navigate.
- Carefully research and select keywords to rank for.
- Optimize your content for your optimal keywords.
- Ensure that your site loads quickly.
- Optimize all content to work well on mobile devices.
- Place your contact information in easy-to-find places.
- Use engaging, action-focused language and avoid large chunks of copy.
- Offer resources, such as hotlines, to further prove authenticity and support.
- Run your website through a site audit tool to remove any technical errors.
Whether you provide online therapy, in-person sessions, or both, we recommend streamlining the appointment signup process to ensure that potential clients face no issues. At Weave, we offer appointment scheduling software so future clients can easily schedule an appointment on your site.
Social Media Strategy for Therapy Services
Social media marketing enhances all the hard work you’ve completed thus far. When you post regularly on different social media channels, you can develop a wider audience who will recognize your business name next time they need therapy support.
We recommend choosing social media platforms that align with the preferences of the ideal clients you outlined earlier in your digital marketing plan.
For example, if your ideal client persona has a Facebook page and Instagram account, consider developing a Facebook business page and Instagram business account to begin reaching more clients on their preferred channels. Our top tips for social media marketing include the following:
- Post regularly according to the platform’s preferences
- Engage with your audience
- Share articles from your digital marketing blog
- Engage with other leaders in the community
Networking and Community Involvement
Marketing for therapists doesn’t just revolve around digital avenues like social media. To prove your authenticity while also boosting brand awareness, your business should consider getting involved with the community.
Local connections and word-of-mouth are powerful tools for therapists, as many potential clients prefer to trust recommendations from family, friends, and providers rather than content they read online.
Collaborations With Healthcare Providers
Partnering with other healthcare providers can help you quickly gain more clients. When another professional takes the time to refer clients to your practices, those customers are likely to trust their recommendation.
Networking can extend your reach, so we recommend connecting with other professionals during industry conferences or local events.
Engaging With Local Events and Workshops
Active community engagement can create a new level of local visibility. When researching marketing for therapists, you may not imagine that getting involved in community events will create new leads, though when more people recognize your name, they may be more likely to choose your practice the next time they need support.
We recommend developing your own events or getting involved in any that the community offers to find people in the area who actively need your support.
Ramp Up Your Marketing Efforts With Weave
Learning how to market yourself as a therapist requires careful, upfront strategizing. You must understand what sets you apart from others and what your ideal client needs to develop authentic, valuable content catered to their preferences.
At Weave, we help therapy practices streamline their digital marketing efforts with automated review collections, email marketing tools, and more. Ready to expand your practice? Schedule a demo with Weave today to see how we can help you reach wider audiences.
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