Redefine Marketing And You'll Get Better At It

marketing a therapy practice

Does marketing your therapy practice feel a bit cumbersome/boring/tedious/painful?


You’ve gotta redefine what “marketing” is because if you’re feeling that way, your marketing isn’t working as well as it should. Also, life’s too short to feel that way about such an important part of your job.


A person who’s looking for a therapist goes on some kind of journey to find one. They might begin that journey by asking a friend, asking a professional, searching online, or attending a talk.

market a therapy practice


Marketing your practice is facilitating that search (journey) for the people who are a good fit for your therapy practice. When you think of marketing that way, you can relax. You can even have fun with it. Ask yourself how can you facilitate these journeys in thoughtful and interesting ways.


Here are just a few of the ways your next right-fit client might find you:


A Referral From One Of Your Colleagues

You can facilitate that journey by allowing your colleagues to know you and get a sense of  what you do. I just had tea with an awesome therapist today (Hi, Shirin!) We didn’t even talk a lot about our clinical work, but I know who to send her way because I know her a little bit better.


Online Search

You can facilitate this journey by speaking directly to your right-fit clients on your site. You can also create awesome, thoughtful content that you house on your site and share over social media platforms. Create content that’s useful for your potential clients and fun for you. Some therapists enjoy blogging. Others like creating videos. Others like being guests on podcasts, or hosting a podcast.


Public Speaking

Create a talk centered around the needs of your next potential clients. Imagine what they are looking for help with, and make that your topic. Ease the journey by giving attendees a clear path to working with you at the end of the talk. That’s not selling. It’s helping.


Make the end of this journey welcoming and seamless.

No matter how your next clients find you, make sure the process of calling you, emailing you or scheduling an appointment online is simple and straightforward.

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A Blindspot You Can Fix Now


Here’s a problem I’ve seen happen to some excellent therapists lately. They’re doing just about everything right to build their unique and profitable therapy practices, but they leave out something important. Bear with me and I’ll tell you what it is and how to avoid it.


Let’s pretend it’s you. Imagine this: You’ve identified your niche, learned to express what’s unique about you as a therapist, created your ideal business model and implemented a solid marketing plan. Your website reflects who you are and speaks directly to your right-fit clients. Maybe you’ve even done some speaking gigs or created content that your right-fit clients value. You’ve brought up your fees so you’re getting paid well. As a result of all of this hard work, your practice has grown. Woo hoo!


But then….you start noticing you haven’t gotten a referral from a colleague in a while. What gives? You’ve got strong relationships with your colleagues, and you’ve gotten together with some of them recently. You refer clients to them, and you’d value referrals in return. You’re feeling discouraged.  


Here’s the thing. You probably haven’t been telling those colleagues that you have openings.


It’s obvious to your colleagues that you’ve done some fabulous work on your business. Your website looks great and the way you talk about your work is compelling. You look so successful to your colleagues that they assume your practice is full. They figure you don’t need or even want their referrals.


You can SO easily fix this. I got an email this week from a gifted colleague letting me know that she’s got some openings. I’ve sent her many clients over the years, and occasionally she’s been too full to take one. Thanks to her email, I’ll send her more soon.


Do this right now: Think about which of your colleagues doesn’t know you’ve got openings.


On a side note, if that description of you having it all together made you feel bummed out and you said, “No I really haven’t done all of those wonderful things,” that’s OK. Wherever you on your practice-building path, I’m here for you. Whether you’re brand new to private practice or you’re a seasoned expert, I’ve got resources to help you create the business only you can create. 

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Take the Challenge: 30 Days To a Strong Referral Network (Back by popular demand)


If you need an infusion of clients who are a great fit for you, building referral partnerships is the fastest way to make it happen. This isn’t networking as usual. It’s a targeted and strategic plan to create relationships that will bring you great referrals over and over again.

Participants have said:

“I met with one new colleague who has already referred me a new client.”
“I was able to take steps with this challenge that I couldn’t before.”
“I have tools I can use after the challenge.”
"Thanks for all the resources you shared in this (FREE!) challenge."

When you sign up you'll receive your first assignment right away. 


You'll also receive weekly practice building tips, NEVER spam. You can easily unsubscribe at any time. 


We've Begun Our Challenge to Build A Stronger Referral Network

This referral challenge has been productive and fun so far! We're only on week 2, and you people are taking action. If you’re not in the challenge, it really isn’t too late to join. You can catch up on the prior days of assignments and stay with us through June. 

 Sign up right here. It’s free. 

 I created this as a very do-able challenge, with the assumption that your life is busy, and you can fit in a 5 to 20-minute challenge each weekday. 

There are almost 100 therapists in the challenge. 

 Here’s what I’m hearing from participants so far:  

A lot of you are getting more clarity. You’ve gotten more clear on your message through the first day’s exercises, and you’re also more clear on the purpose of your networking conversations. With that clarity, you’re going to be a lot more effective. 

Some of you have let me know you're surprised that the challenge isn’t what you expected. In a good way. Networking in this way is less artificial than you thought would be. 

Others of you are relieved that this challenge is not based on using social media. Social media can be used as a tool during this challenge, but you can certainly do the whole thing without it. 

Clear, surprised, and relieved. That’s exactly what I want you to feel. 

Here’s to getting your phone ringing with great referrals!

Whether you're in the challenge or not, if you're ready to build your practice in a big way, apply for a free consultation with me now. We'll talk about your next steps to building an incredible practice. 

How To Network At A Holiday Party

You might be going to some gatherings where you’ll see colleagues and other potential referral partners (people who might refer to you and who you might refer to) this week. If you’ve been reading my blog, or if you’ve ever talked to me about networking, you know I’m NOT going to tell you to bring a bunch of business cards and ask everyone to refer clients to your practice. That doesn’t work, and it isn’t fun for you or for the other guests!

Last week I went to a holiday party where I saw a whole bunch of colleagues, and it got me thinking about how therapists can network well at a party, and how they can make networking mistakes. Therapists who see networking as a long-term effort, and who are focused on building authentic relationships, succeed at networking. That’s true at a party just as much as it is true at a one on one coffee date.  Choose a few people who you want to know better, and create a deeper connection with those people. Connect with them in a meaningful way, asking them the curious questions that help you understand them better. Ask them some interesting questions about their work, like “How are you working differently now than you were a few years ago?” You’ll learn about their recent training and other influences, and you’ll avoid getting stock answers you might if you only asked “how is your practice going?” Ask them personal questions too. Find out about their kids and favorite restaurant. 

Don’t focus on telling them about your work. Most people will ask, and at that point, choose just one thing you want to be known for, and talk about it as you let your enthusiasm shine. You might think for a few minutes before you arrive about what you most want to share. Don’t fall into commiserating about the difficult parts of private practice. Focus on what you love about your work. Yes, it is a good idea to bring some business cards just in case. I admit I actually forgot mine last week.