start marketing your counselling business
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7 Simple Ways to Start Marketing Your Counselling Practice

If you are ready and waiting to launch your private therapy practice, how do you even start marketing your counselling practice?

You may be a brilliant couple counsellor, but that doesn’t mean that you are also a brilliant marketer.

As a small business owner, you have to wear many hats. From bookkeeper to marketer to chief tea maker, running a small business pull you in many different directions. 

But it’s marketing that will get you your clients, so you will have to put yourself and your counselling brand out there to some extent.

Marketing yourself can feel like a huge undertaking, and it is a vast area, but as I say, you don’t have to do it all. 

So if you are launching a private practice, here are 7 simple ways to start marketing your counselling practice.

Table of Contents

Getting unsolicited advice

When you first start your private practice, you will probably be overwhelmed by the amount of advice you are given and will undoubtedly have a massive list of all the marketing you ‘should’ be doing. 

But, if you followed every single piece of advice and did ALL the marketing, you would have no time to see clients.

If you have begun to market your practice but your marketing efforts have not worked, try some of these tips and tricks.

1. Start marketing your counselling practice by playing to your strengths 

Whatever advice you are given, you have to play to your strengths. Let me explain.

A well meaning fellow therapist may tell you that using Instagram has transformed their business. They rave about how many followers they have on the platform and how some of those followers are now regular clients.

That’s great news for them. But what if you don’t feel comfortable sharing photographs every day? Or taking photographs is not your strong point, and however hard you try, you can’t take a decent photograph. Or maybe you don’t want that level of intrusion into your daily life. 

That’s fine, don’t go down the Instagram route. Take the advice on board, and instead think about what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. 

Do you like to write? If so, how about starting a blog?

Do you enjoy public speaking? Great – how about starting a YouTube channel where you give advice.

Your marketing should reflect what you are good at, so don’t feel pressurised to go down a route that you are uncomfortable with because it will show and may even have a negative effect.

2. Have a marketing strategy

Whichever marketing route or tools you use, it’s essential to have a marketing strategy. 

But how do you even get a strategy together? Here are * key points for you to consider.

3. What is your niche?

Be clear about who you want to work with. You might want to position yourself as a counsellor who can help everyone. Although this is very commendable, it will result in you casting your net too wide.

Instead, think about who your target is. When a potential client is looking for a counsellor, they are looking for someone who has particular skills or can help them with a specific issue. 

The benefits of finding your niche are:

  • You’ll attract clients that are looking for your speciality
  • If you have an online presence and clients look for a specific keyword, your practice is more likely to appear.
  • It will enable you to get clear about who you want to help
  • Your marketing will have more purpose and focus

This video from Private Practice Skills demonstrates a process that you can use to identify your niche.

4. Where are your clients?

Once you have established your niche, you will begin to understand how to target your clients and where they ‘hang out.’

For example, if you decide to target young, professional couples, which social media platforms are they most likely to use? They may not be regular users of Facebook as this is more of a platform for older people, but they are likely to use Pinterest or Instagram.

Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client and come up with a list of places where they are most likely to see your marketing. Remember, it doesn’t just have to be online. Consider where they are likely to hang out in person.

Also, online therapy no longer means that you have to be a local business, within easy reach of potential patients. Your niche can extend globally now and you may attract clients from around the world.

5. Target marketing

Moving on, you now know your niche and where your future clients hang out. Now it’s time to use that knowledge and focus your marketing. It is known as target marketing, and it essentially hones in on your client to ensure that they see your message. 

Getting to know your target market requires research and understanding of your prospective customers. 

Consider the following when researching your market.

  • Who – needs the counselling
  • What – can you offer
  • Why – would they choose you
  • How – can you offer the services that they want

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can target both your marketing and your marketing budget.

6. What problem do you solve?

Instead of sitting and waiting for a stream of clients to show up or waving your arms in the air shouting, “look at me, I’m a relationship therapist!” think about what problems you can solve for your new client.

Problem-solving follows on from finding your niche. For example, if your niche is counselling couples over the age of 65, they may be dealing with problems specific to their age group. 

Understanding your target market and viewing their relationship through their eyes will help you think about the types of problems and how you can solve them.

7. Start with easy ways to market your business

Accessible marketing routes are also called ‘Low hanging fruit’. When you first start your therapy business, look for ways to market yourself and get some clients while working on your marketing strategy.

A straightforward way to get referrals is to add yourself to online counselling directories like psychology today. When you start getting clients, you can offer them discounted sessions for every referral they send your way.

Setting up your own therapy website is a great way to get yourself seen by a potential client.

Marketing not for you? Get some professional help

If you think that when you start marketing your counselling practice it will be too difficult, time-consuming or simply outside of your skillset, you could get help in specific areas.

Content writers who are experts in SEO (search engine optimisation) can help to formulate a blog post that rank on google. A social media manager can help you curate and create content for social media platforms and offer support in digital marketing.

And they don’t have to cost a fortune. A great place to start looking for support is at Fiverr where you’ll find many people who can help you out in the short term.

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