4 Tactics for Marketing Your Psychology Private Practice

Jessica Elliott

Jessica couples her 24 years of restaurant and hospitality industry experience with meticulous research to deliver insight into technology, operations, and marketing topics. Her optimized copy helps companies engage their audience while strengthening their communication with clients, employees, and management.

Are you hesitant about marketing your psychology private practice? Many psychologists worry about the best ways to find new clients, and can feel overwhelmed with the number of marketing options available. 

The best way to start is to realize that marketing is about making your services accessible. Your potential clients want answers to their problems, but they face barriers. Clients may not know what type of help they need or struggle to find a trustworthy provider. That’s why it’s essential to get the word out about the services you offer. 

Use these tactics to build the foundation of your private practice marketing strategy. Then, design an easy-to-implement plan that humanizes your services and connects you with more people who need your help. 

Smiling psychiatrist talking to a young couple during a counseling session

  1. Determine your marketing mix

Diversify your marketing mix to make your services more accessible to others. You don’t want to be beholden to one channel. Any marketing tactic that makes your list should be easy to execute, cost-effective, and measurable. First, make a list of all possible marketing platforms, such as:

  • Social media channels
  • Email 
  • Website
  • Search engine advertising
  • Print marketing
  • Networking events

Next, balance your financial and time resources to see where you can afford to dedicate your time. With your budget in mind, review your market research. Each channel should align with those that your audience uses. 

Select social media channels for marketing

Many private practitioners start with platforms they’re familiar with, like LinkedIn or Facebook. This is an excellent way to ease into marketing and get a feel for the time it takes. Consider your audience demographics and find out where your potential clients hang out and get their information from. For instance:

  • With “over 2.6 billion monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2020,” Facebook remains a popular platform for private practitioners. Don’t forget to research networking groups as well. 
  • A LinkedIn profile and business page connects you to other mental health professionals and gives you space to showcase your credentials.
  • A YouTube account allows you to share helpful videos and gain credibility by showing folks the person they’ll meet during a video teletherapy session.

Other platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, provide additional ways to build relationships and nurture potential clients. Consistency is essential in social media marketing. So, pick channels where you’ll post regularly. 

Build an email list

Email is a great way to stay in touch with current clients and reach out to new ones. But, the two groups won’t want to read the same type of content. Segment your email list early so you can deliver personalized content. For example:

  • Keep existing customers updated on the latest openings or new plans you offer.
  • Get leads interested by sharing how-to content that provides tips and solutions.
  • Personalize emails for folks with different conditions. 

Explore ways to increase your email list using a website popup, an opt-in box on your intake form, and landing pages. 

Add paid advertising to your marketing mix

Reaching clients on a search engine or social media takes work. When starting, you don’t have the domain authority to rank high on the search engine results page. And without many followers on social media, it can be tough to get engagement on your posts. Paid advertising extends your reach in these areas. But, advertising gets pricey, so it’s essential to do it correctly. Key areas include headlines that meet the searcher’s intent and compelling copy with a strong call to action. The actual character count for headlines and copy vary by platform.

  • Search engines allow 30 or fewer characters for a headline and 90 or fewer characters for the ad copy. 
  • Social media gives you many more options for short and long copy, along with videos, photos, and interactive content.
  1. Automate and simplify your marketing plan

Consistency builds trust. Before getting into any type of private practice marketing, including offering online therapy sessions, make sure you can commit time and funds to long-term efforts. Once you select a few marketing channels, then save yourself time by developing an editorial calendar and email template. 

Devise your social media strategy

After choosing which social channels are right for you, creating your social media strategy is a vital element of your marketing plan. It defines your goals and how you’ll measure outcomes. People need to trust you, so it’s crucial to create a social media plan that builds your reputation while providing extra reassurance to potential clients. Do this by:

  • Using the same logo, colors, and cover photos for all platforms
  • Developing a style guide that includes your key messages, values, and mission
  • Sharing content that is helpful, relevant, and from reputable sources
  • Creating a social media policy for clients, like this one from Dr. Keely Kolmes

Create marketing templates and calendars 

Once you select a few marketing channels, then save yourself time by developing an editorial calendar and email template. Doing so gives you an overview of your communications. Sit down once a month or so and plan out your content calendar. Marketing organization. Use a file system or a tool like Trello to outline monthly actions and deadlines for tasks. Put resources in one spot, so you can jump in during your free time and complete various marketing activities. Editorial calendar. Use a free template or a simple spreadsheet to track your communications. List each channel and select a combination of curated and self-created content. For example, choose a theme each month, then develop social media posts, emails, and blog posts around this topic. Email template. Save yourself time by using a general email template. Each week, you can change the headlines and content to reflect your theme, but the framework remains the same. This makes it easier to plan what types of images and content you need. 

Employ email automation tools

With a service like Constant Contact, you can create emails that automatically send when a person takes a specific action. Not all email services are HIPAA-compliant. Mailchimp will not provide a Business Associate Agreement (BAA), but you can request a BAA from Constant Contact. Develop emails to:

  • Say hello to new clients or create a “What to expect with your first visit” email.
  • Assist campaigns triggered by users downloading a free eBook or PDF from your website.

Use social media automation tools

Real-time social media interaction is the best way to engage users. But, you’re busy running your psychology private practice and can’t be online all the time. Fortunately, automation tools like Buffer or Hootsuite post to your social channels for you. Also, consider using a tool like Feedly to curate content for social media. Select trusted publications, and Feedly generates a list of the latest published content. If you use Buffer, you can quickly add it to your queue with a couple of clicks. 

  1. Optimize your website for mobile and desktop traffic

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical tactic for marketing your psychology private practice. As with all marketing, it begins with research. You want to know what your potential clients search for and why they’re searching. Search engines want to match people with websites that help them. Give Google and Bing helpful information in your content, URL, images, tags, and metadata. The basics of SEO for psychologists include:

  • Listing your credentials, what you do, and what types of conditions you treat.
  • Using synonyms for conditions and solutions within your content.
  • Optimizing your website for specific locations.

Make your site accessible and inclusive

Build trust and credibility into your website at every layer so anyone can use your site regardless of capability. For instance, a screen reader uses web page headers to organize and read your site to users. And, folks should be able to navigate your site with only a keyboard. Your website developer may refer to the technical Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 when building your site. Ways to apply web accessibility best practices and ensure ADA compliance include:

  • Adding closed captions and transcripts for all video content.
  • Putting a web accessibility policy or statement on your website.
  • Writing alt text captions for all images.
  1. Ramp up your referral strategy

Referrals are a huge source of revenue. But, you’re not tied to traditional networking events. Instead, consider digital ways to help others, build your authority, and get more referrals. There are countless ways to boost referrals, for example: 

  • Participate in Facebook groups with other professionals and those with people seeking therapy
  • Join LinkedIn groups and ask for recommendations 
  • Optimize your directory listings on Google, Yelp, Good Therapy, Yellow Pages, and Health Grades

Start marketing your psychology private practice today

When you start a therapy practice,  it’s critical to dedicate time to each aspect of your business. Marketing your psychology private practice is about building relationships and creating accessibility. Develop a strategy that places your clients first and uses your resources wisely. With a solid plan and actionable tactics, you’ll generate a steady stream of those who want your services.

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