In order for you to build and sustain a practice you need to market yourself. There are many types of marketing strategies out there that can suit your niche and personality. Marketing can be scary to a new counsellor in private practice. Where do you start? How much do you invest time wise and financially? What is the best way to market? If you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with the process of marketing your business, know that you are not alone and that many other therapists feel the same way. You are in a profession that puts clients first so I can imagine if you feel that self promotion feels uneasy. I suggest to you that you market in your comfort zone.
Unfortunately, there is no best way. Yes, I tricked you into thinking there was one way. There are many smart ways. However, I think the best marketing tool at your disposal is to have a website as I’ve mentioned in my last post. A website speaks on your behalf to the public. It can easily be added to your business cards, email signatures, advertising etc., Alright, I’ve touched upon the main tool to have. Here are some marketing tips and methods to try (but I advise you to try the ones that speak to you personally and professionally).
– Consider public speaking and offering workshops to potential clients in your specialty. These can even be free or at a low cost to generate more attendance.
– You can invest in some online marketing advertisement such as having your name on certain sites such as Theravive, Psychology today etc., or advertising through Google itself. I advise you what ever way you choose, do some research prior to your decision.
– Connect and network with key stakeholders revolving around your specialty. Your list could include family doctors or specialists and other therapists. Think out of the box in terms of who would benefit from referring you clients. Always, ALWAYS carry business cards on you, even to the grocery store. You just never know who you’ll meet and be able to network with.
– Create social media sites which link back to your website. These do require time and effort to draw people’s attentions in.
– Create a newsletter or blog on your website
– Write for a newspaper or magazine
– Interview on a radio show
Can you think of any other marketing methods? Have you tried something and it failed? Has something worked well for you? The goal is to eventually have word of mouth referrals from these networks and from clients themselves but you have to start somewhere. It will definitely feel like more effort in the beginning and you’ll need to put some conscious effort in the long run to sustain clients. So where would you like to begin?
Andrea Cashman is a private practice counsellor who has founded Holistic Counselling Services for individual clients seeking therapy in Ottawa, ON. She also practices at the Ottawa Hospital as a registered nurse. Feel free to comment below or contact her at [email protected] or visit her website at www.holisticcounsellingservices.ca
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA