We get the question a lot- are paid directory services worth the expense? And the real answer is, it depends. And no, it doesn't just depend on whether it is Psychology Today, Theravive, a listing for lawyers, or Therapy Tribe.
The truth is, every person reading this right now has a completely different business, with a different set of circumstances. If you think you are a "one of many" than you aren't positioning your business correctly! Your passion, skills, strengths, and areas of weakness of your uniquely yours. It is time to understand and embrace them!
How do we embrace areas of weakness? I hate managing paperwork and filing. So, when I started my business I put extra work into finding a way to start a paperless office. Now, people seek out my understanding and expertise in helping them go paperless. I could have simply "buckled down" and tried to get better about managing paper... and I did a bit of that... but it was easier to work on when the volume was smaller!
So, what makes a paid listing "worth it" for you?
#1. You need to make sure you can "stand out." That means that you aren't one of 100 therapists on the listing, or that you have such an in demand specialty that they can "narrow down" the search to- that you become set apart. For the most part, the fewer therapists present, the more calls you will get.
#2. You need to make sure that the listing is easy to find. That means that when someone searchs for "counseling Fresno, CA" or "Marriage Therapy Salem" this listing is actually popping up at the top of Google. If it isn't found, there is no point.
But ultimately, you can find a great listing site, that meets the above requirements, and still not get enough calls! Why?
#1. Check that picture. Get rid of the cropped picture with you and your friend where their arm is showing in the picture. Get a professional picture taken! And, think about your ideal clients. Are they looking for someone serious, uber-professional? Or someone relatable and down-to-earth? If they want someone down to earth, get rid of the suit jacket. Try to get a picture that most closely relates to how you present yourself on a daily basis- just amped up a tad ;0)
#2. Check that content! Unless you live in a VERY SMALL town- stop trying to write to EVERYONE. Be very specific about the kind of pain points you are great at helping with. Even if you have a more general practice, your ideal client should see themselves in your description- and I'd recommend linking back to a website that allows you to dig in to your different specialties.
For the most part, I recommend starting with free trials of paid directory services. Why? Because they are a no-brainer. You get a good hint of whether you are going to get clients. Your first paid referral (if they came for 6 weeks for $100 a session) often gives you a great return on investment- and every referral after that is just pure profit.
Here are some current free trials we have dug up for therapists. If they take a credit card- be sure to set a calendar/alarm for checking your stats and cancelling your subscription if you don't want to continue.
Therapy Tribe 3 months free
Psychology Today 6 months free
Theravive For Select Cities free until you get your first paid client
Do you know of other free listings? Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get it added to this list!
Are you coming to our FREE 2014 business planning event next week? Click here to grab your spot! This is a perfect time to explore what is working really well in your practice, and what needs to be let go of as you move forward into 2014!