Marketing for therapists

In the past, when any local service was needed, you turned to friends and personal recommendations from people you knew. Today, however, most people turn to the internet first.

This means there’s a huge potential to attract new clients to your therapy practice using local search engine optimization (local SEO). While you may know something about SEO in general, local SEO is much more specific.

Keep reading to learn more about marketing for therapists and how to make local SEO work for your practice.

3 Reasons Therapists Need to Invest in Local SEO

If you aren’t convinced that the targeted efforts of local SEO can help your practice, think about these three things:

1. The Yellow Page No Longer Exist

The Yellow Pages got their start in 1878. This alone shows how old-fashioned this method of finding a business is.

In the past, though, the Yellow Pages offered a great way for therapists to find new business. You would purchase an ad and then wait for the clients to call.

Or you would start the name of your business with the letter A so you show up at the beginning of the phone book.

Today, people turn to the internet.

In fact, 93 percent of people start the search for a local business online, with Google being a favorite search engine.

2. It’s a Source of Free Traffic

Depending on the stage of your practice, paying for some advertising can be beneficial.

But I’m a huge proponent of free ways you can get traffic to your therapy website. http://createmytherapistwebsite.com/free-ways-to-drive-traffic-to-therapy-website/

If you can boost your ranking on Google, you are going to have a constant flow of completely free traffic. All you have to do is to convert them to real, paying clients.

3. Fast Results

When you focus on local results for your therapy practice, you are only competing for the top spot in Google with other therapists in the local area.

So if you have a local office and see clients in person, this could be a place worth investing some time or marketing efforts.

You don’t have to try and compete with therapists and other websites across the country that may have a larger marketing budget than you.

Is Local SEO more Important than Traditional SEO?

So, you may be wondering if local SEO efforts are more important than the traditional type of SEO you’ve heard so much about.

The truth is, you need both.

Regardless of your business model, as a local business with a website you are trying to rank, you need to ensure it is well-structured, properly optimized, multi-device compliant, error-free, and indexable.

The good news is, the factors that help with traditional SEO are also going to be beneficial for your local SEO efforts.

You can think of local SEO as being extra steps you take to get your website to appear in the local search results instead of an alternative to traditional SEO.

When building an SEO strategy for your practice, make sure it considers the traditional and local SEO needs. You’ll want to work on both for the best results.

Local SEO: What Really Matters?

Local SEO and traditional SEO efforts are actually quite similar. They both consider on- and off-site factors.

Some specific examples of on-page local factors to focus on, in your own strategy include:

  • Ensuring your business name, address and phone number (sometimes called NAP) is consistent across all online presences such as your Facebook page, Psychology Today and Google Business listings
  • Linking the contact page in the main navigation
  • Include schema mark up for your site
  • Using fresh and relevant content on your blog
  • Specific information related to the local area

Each of these can help set you up for success when building your local SEO strategy.

However, that’s just part of the puzzle. You also have to consider the off-page local SEO factors.

These include:

Listings

A listing is what makes your business visible, and this is at the core of local SEO. You find listings on directories and websites such as Psychology Today, Bing Places, Yelp, Local, and Google+

Citations

A citation is a reference to your business. This includes a reference to the name, phone number, website, or address. Multiple citations of your private practice, spread across a number of websites, can be a signal to Google of where your business resides and what it’s all about.

Social Media

If you want to be found locally, you have to embrace social media. Make sure to do research to see where your target audience hangs out online.

Therapists and Reviews: What’s the Verdict?

For local SEO related to non-mental health businesses, reviews are an important part of the bigger marketing strategy.

They can actually help with ranking a local business higher and increase conversion rates.

However, with therapy (of any type) it isn’t a typical local business. Factors such as confidentiality and not pressuring clients to leave a review, along with other ethical considerations, come in to play.

So you’ve got to be a bit careful when it comes to reviews.

The decision of if you collect reviews for your therapy practice is dependent on how you are getting the reviews, your personal comfort, and your ethical guidelines.

Help More People by Investing in Local SEO Marketing for Therapists

The more people you can reach online, the more opportunities you have to help them.

More leads also mean you can choose the clients that are a good match for your private practice.

As a therapist, you have to adhere to requirements and guidelines that may not be present for other businesses in the area.

While this is true, it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from local marketing efforts to help you get found by potential clients nearby.

Enlist Help for Local SEO Success

As a therapist, regardless of your specific niche, the end goal is to help people. However, if people don’t find you when they search online, you miss out on the chance to help them.

This is one of the many reasons why investing in local SEO marketing for therapists is such a good idea.

If you aren’t sure how to get started, or if you don’t have the time to invest in these efforts, we’d love to help.

Learn how you can work with us to get the local SEO results you need to keep a steady flow of new clients coming to your practice.

The more people who find you, the more people you can help.

A guest post by Melody Wilding

You’ve created an awesome website for your private practice. You’ve identified who your ideal client is and refined your niche. You’re even blogging on a consistent basis!

 

A guest post by Melody Wilding You’ve created an awesome website for your private practice. You’ve identified who your ideal client is and refined your niche. You’re even blogging on a consistent basis! The only problem is, no one is reading your content or signing up to work with you because they don’t know your practice exists.

The only problem is, no one is reading your content or signing up to work with you because they don’t know your practice exists.

Creating a thriving therapy practice requires that people know about your business and trust you.

But how do you stand out in a crowded marketplace and attract more people to your website?

One of the most powerful ways to stand out, connect with potential clients, and create instant credibility is by leveraging the power of free publicity.

You might be stumped at how to go about getting a slew of shiny “As Seen On” logos on your website. Maybe you feel nervous at the thought of giving media interviews. It’s understandable, but if you can put your doubts aside for a second,

I’ll show you how to get free PR right now, whether you are a seasoned clinician or just starting out in private practice.

Why Psychotherapists Need Media Exposure

Your public profile and platform are keys to your success, regardless of what your business goals are. By getting featured in the media you:

Become easier to find online through Google.

Media exposure is one of the best ways to drive more traffic to your website. It also helps you rank higher on Google by boosting your SEO.

When large, reputable news sites link back to your therapy website, it makes it more likely you’ll show up high in Google search results.

Connect with ideal clients.

You’ve probably heard that you should “go where your ideal clients are hanging out”.

Giving interviews and getting featured in the media is a shortcut to showing up exactly where your ideal customers are consuming content and looking for solutions.

It gives you an opportunity to speak directly to them by providing advice that solves the pain points they’re experiencing.

Gain powerful social proof

Social proof is a powerful marketing tactic that helps potential clients see you more positively.

It legitimizes your expertise in the outside world. When potential clients see you’ve been featured in the media, they come to regard you as an expert.

They trust you more. Having credibility indicators like press logos on your website can mean the difference between a website visitor choosing to book a consultation with you over your competition.

How to Get Free Publicity for Your Private Practice

The simplest, fastest to get media exposure without spending a penny is by using a powerful, free PR service called Help A Reporter Out or HARO.

HARO is a free service that connects journalists with experts. Through HARO, you can get featured in over 55,000 media outlets including top publications like TIME, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

I used HARO to go from zero clients and credibility to being featured in major publications like New York Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes, Shape, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Mashable, within one year of starting my business. 

Working with the media is what’s allowed me to build a six-figure business and be booked out with a wait list.

Publicity has also helped me pursue other opportunities like paid writing, speaking, and building courses.

How HARO Works

After you sign up at helpareporter.com, you will start getting three emails every weekday with a list of requests (called “queries”) from reporters looking for experts to comment on topics ranging from health and wellness to relationships and career development.

Each HARO email contains about 50-75 different requests from reporters. This adds up to over 150 more opportunities to get featured in the media every single day, delivered straight to your inbox at no cost.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Scan the HARO emails every day. When you see a query that fits your expertise, act quickly. Journalists get hundreds of emails from HARO, so time is of the essence.
  2. Next, compose a new email to the reporter. Make sure your response is concise, adheres to the reporter’s requirements, and most importantly, provides helpful advice for readers.
  3. If the reporter opens your email and is interested in what you have to say, then you may be quoted in an article or be interviewed. When that happens, you get exposure to the thousands or millions of readers of that publication.
  4. Share it! You worked hard to earn this media exposure, so celebrate. For example, post the article on social media, send it to your email list, and put the publication’s logo on your website. Make sure to follow up with the journalist and thank them, as well.

HARO gives you a great opportunity to drive more traffic to your website and boost your credibility so that more people want to engage your services. It’s also a powerful tool that can help grow your business, your reputation, and your impact.

Discover How to Have Success with HARO

Sign up for my free training, Media Made Easy: The Secrets To Getting Press Coverage (Even When You Have No Connections) and discover the top 3 tips to use HARO successfully and get featured in the media.

About the Author

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Melody Wilding is a licensed social worker and coach who help high achievers mentally and emotionally thrive in their careers. When Melody started her practice a few years ago, she had zero clients and no credibility. Today she runs a six-figure business, has a client waitlist, has given a TEDx talk with over 20,000 views, and has been featured in dozens of top media publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Inc, Forbes, and Fast Company, Cosmo, Shape, Glamour, and dozens more. Melody is also the creator of The Media Darling Method, an online course that teaches therapists how to land major publicity that grows their private practice and personal brands.

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Psychology Today is often the go-to directory for most mental-health therapists when they launch their private practice. Because of its high Google rank and searchability, having a profile can help you get found by more clients.

In this article, we’ll go over how you can add your Psychology Today Verification badge to your website.

Psychology Today is often the go-to directory for most mental-health therapists when they launch their private practice. Because of its high Google rank and searchability, having a profile can help you get found by more clients. In this article, we’ll go over how you can add your Psychology Today Verification badge to your website.

What is A Psychology Today Verification Badge?

Simply put, the verification badge is a graphic with a link that Psychology Today provides to you.

It looks like this:

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You can place this graphic on your website as a way to further connect your website to your Psychology Today profile.

You can use it as a small token to boost your credibility with website visitors looking to vet their new therapist.

Also, linking to credible websites, such as Psychology Today, can also have a slight benefit to your search engine optimization.

Where to Put Your Psychology Today Verification Badge

My personal opinion is that you’re going to create far more connection with your potential clients on YOUR website and NOT your Psychology Today profile.

Plus, because of Psychology Today’s high Google ranking, many visitors will see your profile first, and then go to your website to learn a little more about you.

Because of this, I like to make sure we’re keeping visitors ON your website, reading your blog posts and getting comfortable with you and CONVERTING into clients.

Not just sending them away from your website.

So, where do I recommend you put your Psychology Today verification seal?

Well, there’s no “one size fits all” for this and it really depends on the design of your website.

First and foremost, I usually relegate the graphic to my clients’ about pages.

There, you may have a section toward the bottom of the page that lists your credentials and trainings. It’s here where you can put the seal, along with other organization seals you may be affiliated with.

This creates one area of the website that a visitor can see your credibility.

Another place I may put the graphic when I’m designing private practice websites would be the website footer.

And if I do, it’s usually small and probably the last thing on the page.

Like I said, we want to keep your visitors on your website and lead them to contacting you through your calls to action.

While they could still convert off your Psychology Today profile (which is great), to me, your website provides a better representation of you and your personality and a better chance at converting.

That’s just my opinion!

How to Embed The Psychology Today Verification on Your Website

Ok, so how can you embed this nifty little badge on your own website? Just follow the steps below:

1: Log into your Psychology Today profile

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2: Under your name, in the top right corner, click on “Link and Share”

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3: Choose a size and theme that will work with your website styles

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4: Click on the “Copy” button at the bottom of the page to copy the code

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5: Paste the code into your website

This is where things may get just a little bit tricky.

Each website builder will be a little bit different, but you’re going to look for your builder’s way of adding HTML code to your content.

For example, in WordPress, you can add it right inside any text on a page by click the “Text” tab (as opposed to “Visual”) in your text editor:

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Once you’re in the “Text” or HTML view, you can paste your code:

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Most website builders work in the same way, allowing you to add code into any text block.

Once your Psychology Today code is pasted into the page, you can save or preview it:

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If you’re having trouble getting the code to appear, it’s possible that the code is conflicting with your theme or some other code going on.

It’s always best to reach out to customer support for your theme (if using WordPress) or your website builder (such as Squarespace or Wix).

There you have it! Now your website will be cross linked with your Psychology Today profile.

Get your first six months of Psychology Today for FREE.

You can get started with Psychology Today and get your first six months absolutely free.

My wife has graciously made this referral link available to my audience. (thanks Honey!)

If you’d like to get a free six months, just send an email to daniel@createmytherapistwebsite.com with the subject “Please send me the Psychology Today link” and we’ll send it right over.

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Marketing is not very easy. Finding the right words that will resonate with your potential clients can often be quite challenging. But there’s one thing that can help you when it comes to writing your website and marketing copy: story.

Marketing is not very easy. Finding the right words that will resonate with your potential clients can often be quite challenging. But there’s one thing that can help you when it comes to writing your website and marketing copy: story. In this article I’d like to share with you some of the key takeaways from one of my favorite marketing books, Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

 

In this article I’d like to share with you some of the key takeaways from one of my favorite marketing books, Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

The Power of Story in Your Private Practice Marketing

Donald Miller is a student of storytelling.

He says, “Story is the greatest weapon to combat noise, because it organizes information in such a way that people are compelled to listen.”

Stories are memorable. Stories capture the human spirit and keep our attention, especially if it’s a good one.

When we tell a good story with our marketing, we move from just creating information and hoping to compel potential clients to actually inviting them into something bigger.

You see, the one thing that is so powerful about storytelling, especially when it comes to your marketing, is that the human response is to place ourselves within a good story.

We think about what we’d do in the hero’s situation.

How would we overcome such a challenge?

How can I be the hero?!

“Once you understand how story integrates with your brand message, you’ll be able to create communication pieces (and even brand strategy) that engages more [clients] and grows your business.”

And this is exactly what Donald Miller teaches you to do in Building A Story Brand.

After writing 8 books and studying hundreds of movies, plays and musicals, he’s boiled down the essential elements of a compelling story.

You can use this framework to make your potential client the hero of the story you tell with your private practice:

“A CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN, and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in SUCCESS.”

Your client is the character… you are the guide.

Can you see how you could take this framework and write a story about your client’s challenges and how you and your private practice can guide them toward success?

Three Crucial Questions You Must Answer for Your Ideal Client

As I work with my clients to create compelling content and websites, it’s extremely helpful to be clear on the desires of the client(s) they are trying to reach.

If you’re not clear on what your ideal client desires and the things keeping them from reaching those desires, your marketing may just fall flat.

When you do know these things, you can craft compelling copy that resonates with the story they’re already living and give them the plan to reach success.

Donald mentions that the story you tell with your marketing copy should answer the following three questions, and quickly:

  1. What does the hero (your ideal client) want?
  2. Who or what is opposing the hero getting what she wants?
  3. What will the hero’s life look like if she does (or does not) get what she wants?

If you can answer these questions, with clarity, you can invite your website visitors into a compelling story where they can see themselves “getting what they want.”

Let’s say your client is a stressed-out professional and you want to create a landing page that attracts that client.

Your answers may go something like this:

  1. You want to be free from the stress and anxiety caused by your demanding job.
  2. But even when you’re at home, playing with your children or trying to unwind, you’re still thinking about that last email that came in, the fire you’ll need to put out tomorrow morning when you get to work and the many projects you’re trying to balance.
  3. If you can’t find a way to manage these pressures well, you feel like your health will continue to slip, there will be more and more conflict with your spouse and you just might miss the best years of your children’s life.

See the type of story that tells?

The copy paints a picture that the client can fully relate to and say “yes, that’s me! Now give me the way out!”

Guiding Your Clients Toward Success and Away From Failure

Another aspect of great storytelling that can help you create compelling marketing for your private practice is the reality and tension of what’s at stake.

In The Lord Of The Rings, we want to see Frodo destroy the ring in the fires of Mt. Doom and avoid the end of the world at the hand of the forces of darkness.

We want resolution in our stories, and your potential clients most definitely want a resolution when it comes to their own.

This is where you can paint the picture of what life can look like should a client choose to work with you.

It’s also a chance to explain what life can look like if nothing changes for your potential client.

This creates a vision of those deep desires that your client wants and gives them a plan (your services) to achieve those desires.

Think about how your clients are feeling before working with you and how they may feel after.

What does life look like before working with you and what could it look like after?

Using this structure can help you craft extremely compelling copy for your private practice website that connects with potential clients and gives them hope for a better future and the motivation they need to take action.

Conclusion

The above are just a few of my favorite highlights from Donald Miller’s book, Building A Story Brand.

When I read this book, I dog-eared and underlined something on every few pages. It’s just that good!

If you’re struggling with what to say on your private practice website or any other marketing you do for your business, this is a must read for you.

The simple framework gives you a structure to easily follow and prompts to help you avoid sitting in front of a blank computer screen and write content that will help you grow your practice.

The book also comes with free access to a website where you can craft your own story script so you can refer to the key aspects of your ideal client’s story and use it to create consistent and compelling marketing copy.

I hope you find it as helpful in your marketing as I did!

Click the link below to learn more:

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Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.  Please understand that I only recommend products or services because I use them myself and find them helpful, not to make a commission should you choose to purchase something.  Please only purchase if you truly feel that it will help you achieve your goals.

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Guest Post by Nancy Gallegos

After speaking to hundreds of psychotherapists across the country and internationally, the two most common challenges they reported were burnout and a plateau in their private practice business.

Guest Post by Nancy Gallegos After speaking to hundreds of psychotherapists across the country and internationally, the two most common challenges they reported were burnout and a plateau in their private practice business. Unfortunately, burnout rates are high within the mental health field regardless if you work in a community clinic setting or in private practice.  

Unfortunately, burnout rates are high within the mental health field regardless if you work in a community clinic setting or in private practice.

Our work as psychotherapists is personally rewarding and most of us enter this field with a passion to serve others.  However, the profession is demanding both emotionally and physically.

I experienced firsthand burnout and compassion fatigue which lead me to my journey of discovering coaching services.

The number of mental health professionals transitioning into coaching is consistently growing every year.

Psychotherapists are expanding their business model to include coaching services.

The coaching industry is blooming and we are in an era where people are seeking a better future, going after their dreams, wanting to live a more fulfilled life, seeking personal development and solutions to specific struggles and obstacles.

These individuals don’t meet criteria for a diagnosis or medical necessity for psychotherapy services. However, they are still in need of support and guidance from qualified coaches to help them live at their fullest potential.

Trained mental health professionals are more than qualified to provide coaching services.

Your education, training, and experience as a mental health professional sets you apart and is a huge advantage.

Coaching is another option available to leverage your expertise and expand your business model to breakthrough financial plateaus and continue to do what you love – helping others.

Here are four ways to know if adding coaching services to your business model is right for you.

1. Solution Focused and Future Oriented Work  

Do you enjoy working with clients on finding a solution to a specific problem, helping them design their future, and prefer a more direct approach with clients?

Coaching services are present and future oriented with emphasizes on providing solutions for specific barriers, struggles, and problems.

Coaching focuses on planning and goal setting with an action driven and direct service approach.

You rarely dive into the client’s past and you never diagnose a coaching client. In coaching you are in a collaborative partnership with the client and moving away from the traditional medical model.

2. Passion and Soul Driven Work

Do you have passions, interests, and personal values you would love to incorporate in your work with clients and unable to do so with psychotherapy services?

Imagine being able to incorporate your own passion, personal values, and interests in your work with clients.

In coaching you are serving a specific niche whom you are passionate about and who you are best positioned to serve.  You are in control of only inviting your dream ideal clients to work with you and enrolling them in your coaching packages.

Perhaps you have overcome a personal struggle and now you desire to help those in similar situations. Or you desire to incorporate spirituality and who you truly are in your work with clients. The possibilities are endless with coaching.

3. Flexibility

Are you in need of more flexibility in your life right now?

One of the top reasons psychotherapists are attracted to a coaching business is flexibility.

Flexibility in your day to day schedule and being able to serve clients from the comfort of your home or from anywhere in the word – all you need is your laptop and good reliable wifi.

Flexibility to move across states if needed without interrupting your client’s services and your business revenue.  You can serve clients from all over the world, no shortage of clients or being confined to market your services only within local communities.

So whether you are in need of flexibility in your daily schedule to take your children to school or spend more time with loved ones or to travel the world, a coaching business might be right for you.

4. Financial Growth

Are you looking to increase your business revenue and improve or up-level your current lifestyle?

Adding coaching to your business model is another option to increase your revenue while decreasing your caseload so you have more time and energy to dedicate to your clients and personal needs.  Even with a part-time coaching business $5,000 – $10,000 monthly revenue is feasible.

There really is no revenue cap in owning your own coaching business, it all depends on your goals, the lifestyle you want to create, and the business model you desire.  It’s your choice.

Conclusion

I invite you to set time aside to further explore and re-evaluate your business goals and personal goals.

Where do you want your business to be in one and five years from now?

Does coaching services fit in those goals?

Remember coaching is simply another option available to you to Leverage your Expertise, Expand your Reach

 

Nancy Gallegos headshot

About Nancy:

Nancy Gallegos is a LMFT in California with over 16 years of experience in the mental health field including community mental health and private practice.  She is a Business Success Coach for mental health professionals who are ready to leverage their expertise and expand their reach by creating a passion driven and profitable coaching business.  Learn more about Nancy at http://nancygallegoscoaching.com

Guest post by Maureen Werrbach

Does the thought of marketing your group practice have you scratching your head or making you turn and run in the other direction? I hear ya. Most of us were able to make it work when we were growing our solo practices, but then we didn’t realize that what was working for us as solo providers doesn’t necessarily help our group practices grow.

Does the thought of marketing your group practice have you scratching your head or making you turn and run in the other direction? I hear ya. Most of us were able to make it work when we were growing our solo practices, but then we didn’t realize that what was working for us as solo providers doesn’t necessarily help our group practices grow.

One of the most common complaints I hear from group practice owners is that they have a difficult time getting potential clients to see their therapists.

Part of the problem is that often times, that group practice owner gives the potential client the tone that they feel bad that they can’t take them, only perpetuating the idea that whomever the client gets is a second-rate therapist to the group practice owner.

Working through that issue is a whole other article for another day. But the other part of the problem is that the group practice owner is continuing to market in ways that worked for them as solo providers, further increasing the probability that potential clients will call to see them.

In an effort to help group practice owners learn ways to market that actually work for their group practices, I’ve come up with 10 ways to market a group practice.

1: A website that’s engaging, easy to navigate + makes it easy for clients to reach you.

Nothing screams a bad practice (in the eyes of a client) than a website that’s disorganized, outdated, and difficult to navigate.

Clients need to easily be able to see if your group practice can help them or not, and fast.

They do not (and shouldn’t) want to spend a lot of time scrolling and clicking around your website to see if there is a therapist in your practice that works with their needs. Potential clients will just exit your website.

Even more, with websites being so well designed lately, clients expect that yours will be too. It is a reflection of our physical group practice. If clients feel dissatisfied or think your website is lackluster, it’s unlikely that they will reach out.

Circling back to navigation, it’s equally important that potential clients and referral sources can quickly scan through your list of therapists and find the best fit.

The more therapists you have, the more important it is to have subcategories of presenting issues you work with, to make it easier for them to find their ideal clinician.

2: Having your clinicians blog regularly to their ideal clients. 

Not only does this increase your ranking on Google, it also helps your potential clients have another touchpoint with a therapist before scheduling.

Research shows that potential clients need around 7 touchpoints before scheduling an appointment.

Blogs offer a way for clients to get to know your therapists in another light outside of their bios. Vlogs are even more successful in converting potential clients into clients.

3: Google AdWords, done professionally. 

I was a naysayer of Google AdWords for a while.

For years, I had tried to do it myself, with minimal results.

When I hired out my Google AdWords, I increased my website traffic by 71% in the first month!

In the digital age, an overwhelming majority of people search for the things they need, including therapists, online. Going behind the scenes to make your website get more traffic is one way to increase those referrals.

4: Community outreach + speaking engagements. 

My group practice engages in one free community speaking engagement (often at a local school or business) as a way to give back to the community but also as a marketing strategy.

When we give an hour of our time to presenting on a topic that is important to us, we often get a handful of new referrals that week because of the people who heard our presentation.

Outreaching and speaking engagements are also a way to increase brand recognition and your like, know, and trust factor from potential clients, referral sources, and community members.

5: Clinicians marketing themselves to places their ideal clients go. 

One thing to let go of as a group practice owner is marketing your clinicians individually (unless it is done digitally).

When a group practice owner goes out into the community to market their clinicians individually, what happens is that the group practice owner becomes the person those referral sources refer to.

It’s also less effective than if the clinician marketed out in the community themselves.

An example I like to use is with a therapist in my practice who is a CADC. I have no substance abuse counseling experience. I would have a much harder time, and be less effective at expressing my clinician’s experience in working with substance abuse clients than she would.

6: Checking Google Analytics for sources of potential problems. 

This one is important.

I learn a lot from my Google Analytics.

Like, which pages on my website get less than mediocre traffic. Or which pages have high bounce rates (meaning clients come to it and exit out of my website completely right away.

This tells you which pages need updating or changing in content or design.

7: A Facebook business page or other form of social media for business. 

One that’s engaging and relevant.

Social media is a thing. People spend a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram.

Finding one place (not all of them!) to have a presence not only increases your visibility (and like, know, and trust factor) it also is a great way to lead people back to your website.

8: Having an email list that’s targeted.

Email lists may seem like they have gone on the wayside, but you’d be wrong.

What people hate is getting spammed or receiving emails that aren’t relevant to them. Or being added to an email list they didn’t sign up for.

Email list providers like Mailchimp, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, and others, have some pretty awesome features these days that help you target the right information to the right people.

When people sign up for my email list, they choose what information they want to know about.

Parenting? Relationships? Health counseling? Anxiety? Stress Management? You get the idea.

Adding these subcategories that relates to the presenting issues your therapists work with and write about helps clients and potential clients get the information they actually care to read and need.

This increases the likelihood that they will engage in the email and take an action, like scheduling an appointment or calling to take a group you are offering.

9: Optimizing your website’s SEO so your website shows up for keywords that are relevant to your business. 

This is something you can learn to do yourself (with a lot of time) or something you can delegate. Things like Yoast for WordPress sites is useful for optimizing your website in a DIY fashion or hiring someone to check each page that its optimized can be a one-time investment.

10: In person networking with other providers, especially those that your ideal clients go to and other therapists who specialize in things your group practice doesn’t.

The one type of in person marketing I do (my focus for marketing tends to be behind the scenes-digital) is networking with other groups, whether medical, business, or counseling group practice owners.

Since we are all in the same boat, other business owners tend to be able to understand the concept of referring to other members inside of a group rather than to group practice owners themselves.

Helpful hint: I have a Google Spreadsheet that I open up when I meet with other group practice owners that categorizes referral sources by specialty. That way, we can refer to specific people in other group practices or medical offices that specialize in something specific, versus deferring to the owner of the practice.

I hope these 10 marketing tips helps you organize your marketing strategy in a way that works for you and your business. As a final tip, do only one thing at a time so you can measure that marketing strategy is helping your business receive new clients. Good luck!

Maureen Werrbach is a trauma and relationship therapist in Chicago, a group practice owner [Urban Wellness], and a group practice business coach who helps group practice owners start and scale their group practices [The Group Practice Exchange].

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When search engines crawl through your content, one of the first indicators as to what the page is about is the URL. You can use the URL of each page and blog post on your private practice website to boost your SEO game.

In this article, we’ll talk about 5 ways to optimize URLs for SEO.

When search engines crawl through your content, one of the first indicators as to what the page is about is the URL. You can use the URL of each page and blog post on your private practice website to boost your SEO game. In this article, we’ll talk about 5 ways to optimize URLs for SEO.

1: Optimize for Humans, First

Google is VERY smart.

Gone are the days of just slapping keywords in your content and ranking on page 1.

Because Google wants to show the BEST content for a user’s search, you have to write for humans, not for Google.

Make your URLs as easy to read as possible.

This way, when someone sees a URL, they’ll have a clear understanding of what they’ll find by clicking on it.

Instead of URL like this: http://www.mywebsite.com/home/post?ID=128

You want something like this: http://www.mywebsite.com/10-ways-to-naturally-battle-depression

Which link would YOU rather click on?

2: Place Your Keywords in the URL

This one is pretty straight forward.

Decide what someone would type into Google to find the content you’re creating and place those keywords in the URL.

As I mentioned in this post’s intro, the URL is one of the first places Google will look to indicate what the page is about.

Research has also shown evidence of something called “domain bias”.

This means that users will often judge content based on whether they believe a domain to be worth a click based on the URL.

Putting your keywords in the URL will help users know exactly what they’ll get from clicking your link in search engines.

3: Keep URLs short, If Possible

This one is about usability, more than the technical side of Google.

Going back to tip #1 in this post, you want your URLs to be easily read and understood by humans.

A shorter URL will be much easier to read, easier to remember, easier to copy and past and can be understood more quickly than a super long URL.

There’s not hard and fast rule here, but I’d try and keep it as short as possible and well under 100 characters.

4: Separate Words with Hyphens & Underscores

You can break up the words in your URLs by separating them with hyphens or underscores.

Sometimes, when you leave a space in your URL, it will render as %20, which just looks weird and detracts from the keywords I know you’re putting in your URL.

Most content management systems, like WordPress take care of this automatically, but it’s worth a mention.

5: Keep URLs Consistent with Page Titles, If Possible

To create a consistent user experience and re-iterate the page content, try and match the words in the URL with the words of your page title.

If you have a super long title for a blog post (10 Ways To Survive Family Dysfunction During The Holidays… Without Drinking), it doesn’t mean that it has to be word for word.

But you do want some consistency that will let the user know what they’ll find by clicking the link and then be reassured when they see the title when they land on the page.

Something like http://mywebsite.com/survive-family-dysfunction-during-holidays would totally work here.

This will also help when you share the link on social media.

Your followers will see the title of the page and the matching URL close by, giving them confidence to click.

Wrapping UP

I hope you’ve found these five tips useful as you optimize your private practice website for search engines.

SEO can be a fickle beast, but if you keep tips like the above in mind while you consistently create content, you’ll see positive movement over time.

If you’d like to learn what Google finds most important and how to SEO your private practice website, check out my mini-course, A Little Course About SEO.

Want To Learn More About SEO?

Check out my mini-training, A Little Course About SEO:

Building a private practice is hard. Like any business, there can be ups and there can be downs as you figure out how to market your therapy services.

But the great news is, you don’t have to do it alone.

In this article, I’ll share advice from some of the leading coaches and teachers in private practice marketing.

Building a private practice is hard. Like any business, there can be ups and there can be downs as you figure out how to market your therapy services. But the great news is, you don’t have to do it alone. In this article, I’ll share with advice from some of the leading coaches and teachers in private practice marketing.

There are entire communities filled with successful therapists willing to share their support and advice on building a thriving practice.

But there’s also a growing number of coaches and experts who have made it their mission to help you succeed in private practice and overcome your biggest marketing challenges.

14 Marketing Secrets from Private Practice Experts

Whenever I need a little marketing inspiration for my own business, I turn to those who are further along and more skilled than I.

I listen to what they’re doing, what they’ve done and think about how it applies to my business.

I applied the same approach to help you with YOUR business.

Recently, I reached out to 14 of those private practice marketing gurus and asked them all just one question:

“What’s the MOST important lesson or tip you’ve learned about marketing a private practice?”

I’ve compiled all their marketing wisdom into an info-packed PDF – free as my gift to you!

Here’s a sample of some of the tips you’ll get when you download the PDF:

Tip #1: Market in Ways That Feel Authentic to You

If you find ways to market that feel authentic to you and your practice, the clients will roll in.

Two things typically get in the way of this:

  1. Feeling uncomfortable with marketing (I like to think of marketing as letting people know you’re out there. It’s not about convincing, it’s about connecting)
  2. Thinking you have to market in a way that worked for a colleague. There are at least 100 ways to market a practice. If you choose a few that are fun, you’ll be a more effective marketer and you’ll actually enjoy it.

allison puryear

– Allison Puryear
www.abundancepracticebuilding.com

Tip #7: Do Less & Do It Better

The most important lesson I’ve learned when it comes to marketing a private practice is to do less and do it better. Through helping therapists venturing into websites and online marketing,

I’ve noticed that those therapists that select a handful of marketing activities that they feel excited about tend to be able to sustain those activities over time.

Marketing requires this sustained, consistent effort but there will be no energy for making that effort if you’ve spread yourself too thin. Or, you’ll be doing a lot, but doing it poorly.

So the first step is to take the time to put together a simple strategy. Next, schedule time for your marketing activities in your week and set some goals. I suggest sticking to a marketing strategy for 90 days. At that 90 day point, check in and see how things are going and shift as needed.

Repeat this continuously and you will discover what works for you.

Don’t do all the marketing activities that exist. Do the marketing activities that you have discovered work for you. Take a lot of deep breaths, get help and support when you need it, and have fun!

kat love

– Kat Love
www.empathysites.com

Tip #12: Go A Mile Deep

I’ve always been scared of words like “marketing” and “putting myself out there.”

I began to reframe marketing as “connection” and that’s been helpful for me. Because all of us are good at that as clinicians. Related to this, I’m a big believer in building a few relationships with referral sources that have lots of depth as opposed to many with little depth.

Or as I like to remind myself, “Go a mile deep rather than a mile wide.

melvin varghese

– Melvin Varghese, PhD
www.sellingthecouch.com

Tip #13: Let Yourself Be Seen

You don’t have to share your deepest secrets, but you do need to let yourself be seen.

Your clients need and want to a glimpse into who they are trusting with the most intimate areas of their life. They need to know that you understand them and empathize with them.

You can’t connect deeply with everybody, so you have to be willing to get a bit specific and remember “when you try to speak to everyone, you speak to noone.”

Speaking from a niche mentality doesn’t mean you will only see that niche or one type of client, it just means in this moment you are making it easier for people who need you to find you, and speaking to them in that deep, heart place.

miranda palmer

– Miranda Palmer
www.zynnyme.com

Download the PDF to get 10 More Expert Marketing Tips

I’m so excited to share this new resource with you because it’s jam-packed with so many great tips for marketing a private practice.

I love how each teacher has their own view and strength when it comes to marketing.

So you’ll be getting a well-rounded view of what you can do focus your marketing efforts and grow your practice.

Just click on the banner below to get your free PDF, 14 Expert Secrets For Marketing Your Private Practice:

Click here to get free private practice marketing tips

The holiday season is a perfect time to slow things down (or at least attempt to!) and plan for the coming year. So, I’ve taken a break from publishing new articles for the month of December.

But I’m not going to leave you hanging. Below you’ll find some of my favorite and most popular articles in the Create My Therapist Website archives.

I hope you get to enjoy some of them while sitting by a fire sipping your favorite hot beverage.

1: The Complete Therapist’s Guide to Marketing a Private Practice

FB private practice marketing guide 1

This guide is an essential resource to anyone looking for new ideas and strategies for marketing their private practice.

From getting started to building a website, content marketing, SEO and getting more referrals, this guide has all you need to start marketing your private practice strategically and attracting more clients.

Check out the private practice marketing guide

2. My Best Articles About Pinterest

Pinterest is not JUST a place to find out how to make Christmas decor out of old palettes you found behind your favorite grocery store.

Pinterest is also one of the BEST ways to drive traffic to your private practice website.

So, here are all my articles and lessons related to growing your online presence using Pinterest.:

3. The Best SEO Resources

SEO (search engine optimization) doesn’t have to bring you pain in the new year.

If I had to sum up my best SEO advice to you, it would be this: consistently publish new content and know the most important places to put your keywords. Then, be patient.

But, if you want to dig a little deeper… below are some of my favorite SEO articles and resources to help you get found by your clients:

4. Creating A Website That Gets You Clients

Your website is one of the most important marketing tools you have.

If it’s not bringing in new client leads on the regular, then something has to change.

And that’s my passion.

I LOVE making websites and I love helping therapists create websites that propel their practice forward.

That’s why I offer one-on-one custom design services, as well as online courses… to help as many folks as I can grow their practice through their online presence.

The website we built for my wife was KEY to her building up a successful practice back in 2011 and I can’t stand by and let other therapists miss out.

Below are some of my favorite articles and resources to help you create the website your practice deserves:

4. And, Finally, Discounts on All Courses and Services

the best private practice marketing articles of 2017

To ring in the new year, I’ve created a coupon for 30% off all my online courses.

Purchase between now and when the ball drops to receive a discount on any and all trainings:

A Little Course About SEO:
10 Stupid Simple Things You Can Do To Optimize Pages or Blog Posts For Search Engines Consistently

A Little Course About WordPress:
Helping therapists take WordPress from a mysterious, scary and confusing beast to a friendly puppy, easy to navigate and use

The Blog Traffic Accelerator:
Explode Your Traffic Using A Simple Blogging System Combined With The Power of Pinterest

The Create My Therapist Website Toolbox:

Confidently Build Your Own Private Practice WordPress Website From Start to Finish… Even if you “lack the technical know-how”

Just click the links above or use the coupon code “ITSAWONDERFULLIFE2017”

But why stop with the courses? I’m also discounting my one-on-one services too:

Custom Website Design:

Ready to redesign your website or launch a new one? Just mention my favorite holiday movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, in the inquiry form and I’ll apply a 10% discount to your future project.

WordPress Maintenance & Support Packages:

Tired of wasting time keeping your WordPress files up to date or making changes to your website? Let me and my team do the work instead. Mention my favorite holiday movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, in the inquiry form and I’ll apply a 10% discount to your package.

That’s a wrap, 2017.

I hope you and your family have a blessed holiday season and wonderful new year.

For me, this year has been a whirlwind, seeing our first baby born and learning to run a business and balance a family. Quite the adventure!

I’ve also created some great friendships within the private practice community and have enjoyed so much connecting with more of my blog readers.

And look forward to creating more opportunities to connect in the new year.

Cheers to a great new year for you and private practice!

best private practice articles 2017 pin

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I hate to say it, but as clinicians, we can be a little slow on the entrepreneurial uptake. We’re often so focused on serving our clients well, that we struggle to come up for air and think about the professional side of our practices.

And, because we sometimes forget that we’re running a business as well as serving others, it’s not uncommon for those in the psychotherapy profession to neglect business-building activities.

I hate to say it, but as clinicians, we can be a little slow on the entrepreneurial uptake. We’re often so focused on serving our clients well, that we struggle to come up for air and think about the professional side of our practices. And, because we sometimes forget that we’re running a business as well as serving others, it’s not uncommon for those in the psychotherapy profession to neglect business-building activities.

For instance, the idea of incorporating or even relying on technology in our practices is still a bit scary and there is a definite tension when it comes to clinicians embracing modern ways of networking and marketing.

In fact, I literally get questions daily about how online marketing works and whether or not a fellow therapist actually needs a website.

As 2017 draws to an end and we approach 2018, the answer is an unwavering and astounding YES!

Yes, you need a website. But not only that, you need a well-designed website that is both visually appealing and speaks directly to your ideal client.

Now, I’m “technically” a millennial so my willingness to embrace technology may be a bit skewed, but I’m being really honest when I say that even my 90-year-old grandma has an iPhone.

This goes to show that no matter your ideal client population, they are online.

Your website is your greatest business asset.

It’s inexpensive to maintain and it works for you 24/7. Sure, there is an initial cost to set up a website properly, and whether you hire it out or create it yourself, there is a large commitment of either money or time up front.

But take that money you spend and divide it into an hourly wage, and you’ll see that your website is actually your most underpaid employee.

Your website is also your greatest gatekeeper.

When your content is written in a way that speaks directly to your ideal client, you will not only attract them to your practice but repel those that are not a good fit.

The same goes for posting your hours and fees online. Those who cannot fit into your schedule or afford your fees will move on. But, the calls that do come will be serious and motivated inquiries.

Perhaps the best thing about having a well-designed website, however, is the fact that it is a marketing machine.

I’m a big fan of in-person networking and believe it’s essential to growing and scaling any practice.

But, it’s just not possible to meet in person 24-hours a day. What’s more, a client in need whose anxiety has him up at 3 in the morning can’t go in and see his primary care doctor.

So, who better to turn to than good ol’ Google?

Having an attractive website allows you to still be available despite the time of day or circumstances. It also provides you with an internet home base which acts as the hub of your online marketing.

The Truth About Content and Online Marketing

By now, we are well aware that we must market our practices to see any kind of success.

There are just so many professionals in our field, that without a concentrated effort, we will never stand out from the crowd.

However, many of the traditional ways we are taught to promote ourselves: in-person networking, business events in the community, forming partnerships with doctors and psychiatrists, hosting open houses, etc. all demand so much effort that they leave little time for us to concentrate on what we do best – therapy.

The truth about internet marketing is that any AND everything that is posted online counts as content.

This includes the raging rant we posted five years ago after being pulled over for a broken taillight when there are “real” criminals out there. And, it also includes the picture from last week where we are shaking hands with the police chief after implementing a mental health system in the county jail.

Though hilarious (or mortifying – however you want to look at it), what’s difficult about marketing in 2017 and beyond is that nothing ever disappears from the internet.

If it’s been posted somewhere, whether immediately “deleted” or not, it is accessible by someone, somehow. This means that all of the content we have ever created contributes to our online reputation and our web presence.

The fortunate thing, though, is that content is cumulative. So, the more positive things you post about yourself personally and professionally, the better your reputation becomes.

This strategic curation of online content that highlights you and your practice in a positive way becomes what is known as your “brand.”

Positioning your brand’s message so it is easily accessible by those that most need your help is what is known as content marketing.

Content Marketing is an extremely powerful tool for attracting clients and building a practice with much less effort and overhead than ever before.

Utilizing blogs, videos, images, and website copy allows therapists to highlight themselves among all other clinicians in the area and position their practice as the one that is the best match for those needing services.

What’s more, recent surveys show that technology such as the internet and Smart Phones are not commodities.

Regardless of their socioeconomic status, clients are online.

Therefore, content marketing is one way to reach populations that might not ever find their way to therapy through traditional channels.

Lastly, content marketing is a fervent way for us to build practices we truly love and are excited about showing up to every day.

How Your Website Fits into A Content Marketing Strategy

Like I mentioned above, your website is the hub of your presence online.

It is where your brand lives and where all of your potential clients should be going to find out more about working with you.

The first impression, which is almost always visual, is what keeps these potential leads from immediately bouncing away from your site.

However, it is the web copy (read: content) that draws the reader in and converts them from a prospect to a paying client.

There are a few different ways a lead might land on your website.

They may find you directly by putting keyword phrases into a search engine, they may find your website listed on a directory, or they may stumble across your business or rack card.

In each of these cases, the prospect is what is considered a “cold” lead. They do not know you, and they have not received your name or contact information from anyone they trust.

Once they have found you online, the only thing cold leads have to go on when deciding whether or not you are a good fit for them is the copy on your website.

How you speak to potential clients has a profound effect on whether or not they pick up the phone to schedule with you. Talking directly to leads in a language that resonates will cause them to have an emotional reaction and believe that you truly understand what it is they are struggling with.

Ensuring that your website is filled to the brim with such tailored content is the quickest way to earn a prospect’s trust and encourage them to get in contact with you.

And it’s not much different for warm leads.

These are the people who come to your website through a referral. Whether they receive your name from a trusted doctor or loved one, in this day and age, the majority of people will still go to your website to learn more about you.

While warms leads are a bit more primed to schedule with you, they can still be turned off if they don’t believe that you are the right fit for them.

Talking in too general of a way is just not helpful. Without reaching leads at a core level, you will always leave readers of your website in a lukewarm state.

But, if you’re able to get to the core of the prospect’s struggles, and speak to them on each and every page of your site, you can elicit an emotional response and motivate them to pick up the phone.

So, what’s the key to speaking in a way that resonates with potential clients?

Choosing a niche.

What is Niche Marketing and Why Should Therapists Use It?

The idea of defining your niche is still a bit controversial in clinician circles.

One reason for this is there are some that think niching down is unethical as therapists who prefer a certain population are essentially denying services to some who may be in need.

The idea, however, is not to deny services, but to offer therapy at a higher skill level.

In fact, defining your ideal client allows you to hone your skills and become a specialist. So long as you are providing legitimate options and alternatives to those outside your niche, such as genuine referrals, you are not violating any ethical guidelines.

Another common hang-up about niching down is that some therapists believe it to be too restrictive to build a thriving practice.

It’s true, the second you decide to niche your practice, you are basically choosing to alienate a large segment of potential clients. By narrowing your focus to one slice of the population, you are effectively telling others that you do not serve them as well as you serve your chosen demographic.

This can be really scary, especially when clinicians are new to practice or do not have a full caseload.

But the reality is, defining your niche is the quickest way to fill a practice with clients you are excited to work with and that leave you feeling professionally fulfilled.

Incorporating niche marketing into your practice is the best way to write “tight” website copy.

Copy that is too loose or that has too many holes in it will not speak to your ideal clients. It gives them too many opportunities to turn their attention elsewhere.

However, web copy that is written with a niche in mind becomes sharp and provocative and resonates with readers at their core.

A Five-Step Niching Process

So now that you know the importance of your website and also how integral your web copy is to attracting your ideal client, it’s time to figure out how to go about defining your niche.

A lot of clinicians make the mistake of having a niche that is too wide.

Again, this probably goes back to the fear of repelling too many clients and operating from a scarcity mindset.

However, there are enough clients for every therapist to build a profitable practice, so there should be no fear about learning to attract a very narrow segment of the population.

A great tip is to imagine the act of defining your niche as building an upside-down pyramid.

The objective is to work from a wide scope and funnel the concept of your ideal client down until it becomes narrower and narrower.

At each stage, ask yourself questions about your ideal client like “what is at the core of their presenting problem” “what is underneath this complaint” and “what is really going on here” to help you really learn how to target them.

I always recommend going through this process five times so that you essentially narrow your niche down five levels.

An example of this is:

  1. Teenagers
  2. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped
  3. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped because they have developed test anxiety
  4. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped and who have developed test anxiety because they are worried about getting into a good college
  5. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped, who have developed test anxiety, and who are worried about getting into a good college because their older sibling graduated Suma Cum Laude from an Ivy League school

By the time you get to the fifth level, you have a completely clear idea of who you are marketing to and trying to attract to your practice.

Now, that does not mean that this is the only type of client you will see.

Some of your marketing will appeal to 20 or 30 somethings with anxiety or the parents of high-performing teens, but the core of your marketing message will resonate with a certain segment of the population which is the whole point.

This exercise isn’t always easy to do right off the bat and takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it can be fun to brainstorm different ideal client populations you’d like to serve.

If you need a little guidance when it comes to refining your niche, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

If you’d like to take your content marketing even further, by defining your ideal client, finding your ideal clients online and generating strategic, tailored website content, download your FREE 8-page workbook here >>> bit.ly/cliniciancontentworkbook

About Marissa Lawtonmarissa lawton portrait sm

Marissa Lawton is a licensed counselor, national board certified counselor, and member of the American Counseling Association. She is also an avid content marketer and lights up helping female clinicians build their private practices through strategic and tailored online marketing.

Marissa is the creator of The Clinician’s Guide to Content Marketing, a comprehensive system of masterclasses, concierge strategy calls, and boutique writing services that helps therapists identify their niche, find them online, and generate content that speaks directly to their ideal clients.

You can learn more about Marissa at risslawton.com