You may have figured out by now that growing your therapy practice is like traveling down a rabbit hole. You want to expand your private practice but there are so many things out there to try and spend money on – it’s endless.
Networking, Facebook advertising, Google advertising, Social media posting, podcasting, referral connections, therapy listservs, therapist member profile directories…
Let’s talk about the bare minimum that you need to be doing to build your caseload.
1. Take a look at the last 5 years of how clients have come into your private practice.
What efforts brought in your best clients. Was it directly from your website? A word of mouth referral? An article they read somewhere on a third party site that you contributed to?
Whatever it is that looks to be what actually brought in the most revenue into your counseling practice you’re going to want to focus your energies on- even if it isn’t what all of the “gurus” tell you to do!
If you got a lot of business from word of mouth referrals, then by all means, invest your extra marketing time into going to in person networking events or setting up coffee dates with other therapists and meet them for one on ones.
2. Understand the difference between sales and marketing
Sales is casting a large net over a small group of individuals (think of the top level of a triangle) that you know are perfect for the service that you offer. You know exactly who these people are, where they hang out, what other services they spend money on.
Going after those potential clients is somewhat more of a direct process. You know how to target them and you need to do so in a direct manner.
Say that you are a mediator in NY. You know that you want to work with couples that are going through the process of divorce. For you, contacting and meeting the divorce lawyers in your area and getting to know them so that they can refer their easier cases to you is going to be an effective sales strategy. From then, closing those referrals are going to be your sales strategy.
Or say you are a therapist that specializes in eating disorders. You’ll want to make sure that your website is SEO friendly and well optimized for that exact search query: “Therapist for eating disorders”. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to spend money on google ads that would build upon searches on google that are already taking place for exactly what it is that you do!
Marketing, on the other hand, is casting a net over a larger group of people – think of the wide bottom part of a triangle- and amplifying your message with omnipresence, so that people see, read, and hear about you everywhere, but not necessarily knowing where they are, who they are, and where they hang out.
You need ways to pull these people into your funnel-a sort of attraction marketing- and see who sticks.
This is the case for instance if you are a therapist that works online and practices teletherapy where you can work with anyone, anywhere. You are going to need to be clear on your niche and your marketing message and put it out there to see who is attracted to you.
For you, if you had a well written lead magnet, webinar, video that you could setup via a Facebook ad and draw people in to see your message, following up with consistent autoresponders and emails so that you are the first one that they think of when it comes time to them looking for a therapist.
The bottom line is that you can’t afford to spend money on everything- you already have enough expenses as a therapist wanting to sustain your practice and that is why it is critical to understand if you want to focus on sales or marketing as well as taking a look at revenue producing activities and doing more of what has worked to bring in income in the past.
If you need any help with building or expanding your counseling private practice, please don’t hesitate to contact us at this link. We are happy to help you with your SEO, Google Adwords, or Marketing Funnel setup. It’s what we do personally to grow our own marriage counseling practice.