Out of the box private practice marketing for therapists

Getting ready for our free out of the box marketing training this Wednesday. And super excited for the free Q & A that will follow with Joe Sanok, LPC someone who has used podcasting, blogging, and videos to grow a successful practice. 

I thought it would be fun to talk a bit about out of the box private practice marketing today. First, what are out of the box marketing techniques? That depends- what kind of box have you put yourself in? 

What is "out of the box" in letting people know you can take new clients? 

The mental health profession has gone through a huge shift in the last decade. It used to be illegal to advertise in the phonebook as a therapist and a website might be seen as uncouth. Therapists who established themselves several decades ago are often doing just fine with word of mouth marketing, while new therapists are struggling to be seen. 

Out of the box is doing something outside of your comfort zone, or something new.

Initially when I built my private practice, I had a newborn still nursing. I learned how to develop a private practice in 90 minute increments twice a day (if I was lucky) while my son took a nap. Is it surprising that 90%+ of my referrals came from the Internet? Not really. It is more surprising to people that it filled my practice with full-fee clients. 

Once my son started pre-school, I had more time for in-person networking. Initially, networking in person was very "out of the box" for me. Even as an extroverted person I felt nervous, lost, and confused. I knew there would be rules, and group dynamics- but I had NO idea what those would be. So initially, I'd spend my time hanging back, watching, and listening. 

The awesome women's network group was quite surprised when I finally dialed in and felt able to let the "real me" come out. Many people thought I was shy and quiet initially! 

What are the best out of the box ways to build a private practice today? 

Who are you? Who are your ideal clients? Where are they hanging out? Your best marketing strategies are going to be those that allow you to authentically let yourself and your services be known out in the world. There are hundreds of effective strategies our clients have used. Here are just a few fun ones: 

  • Speaking in the community
  • Podcasting
  • Connecting with psychiatrists
  • Blogging
  • Writing books
  • Training other therapists
  • Cold-calling people and having coffee
  • LinkedIn

And here are some strategies that therapists have used that haven't worked to help them build their private practices: 

  • Speaking in the community
  • Podcasting
  • Connecting with psychiatrists
  • Blogging
  • Writing books
  • Training other therapists
  • Cold-calling people and having coffee
  • LinkedIn

So- let's nail down what makes a marketing strategy- out of the box or not- effective: 

  1. It needs to accurately reflect who you are. It is ok if it stretches you- but if doesn't show who you really are- or what you really do- it isn't going to help your community. 
  2. It needs to be helpful to your community. We do a lot of self-promotion over here at ZynnyMe- it is true. Ultimately, if our blogging, free trainings, etc. didn't actually help people- we would stop. We get feedback regularly that it helps people who couldn't otherwise afford to pay services- that lets us know we are doing it right! 
  3. Is it fun? Ok- we admit- not everything we do in our marketing is always fun- especially at the beginning. But, ultimately a great marketing strategy will be energizing- not draining. If you feel like any marketing is draining- something is probably out of balance somewhere or there are some mindset shifts to make. 
  4. Is it bringing you new clients? You need to have a way to keep track of what is working and what isn't working. Yes, some strategies take more time than others to get started- but you need to be able to track movement and success. 

Here is an effective out of the box strategy to use today! 

Make it your focus to meet 5 new business people in your city this week. Don't focus on other therapists- focus on people who you would like to get to know, and who come in contact with the kind of clients you want to meet. Focus on relationship building- not agenda seeking. Have your initial agenda be to find out if someone is a good match, how you can support them and if there is a great click that could lead to something else. 

Why is this out of the box? 

Most therapists are hiding! And, when we do go out into the world we focus on talking to other health professionals. Get out into the world, connect with other business owners, expand your world! 

Share an out of the box strategy that has worked well for you below, and why it worked so well to bring the type of clients you best connect with. 

p.s. I remember when webinars were "out of the box" and terrifying for us. Now we get to do them every month and we have so much FUN and teach so many people! Sign up for the free private practice training if you haven't already- we will send out a recording after the fact to everyone who signed up. 

Miranda Palmer

I have successfully built a cash pay psychotherapy practice from scratch on a shoestring budget. I have also failed a licensed exam by 1 point (only to have the licensing board send me a later months later saying I passed), started an online study group to ease my own isolation and have now reached thousands of therapists across the country, helped other therapists market their psychotherapy practices, and helped awesome business owners move from close to closing their doors, to being profitable in less than 6 weeks. I've failed at launching online programs. I've had wild success at launching online programs. I've made mistakes in private practice I've taught others how to avoid my mistakes. You can do this. You were called to this work. Now- go do it! Find some help or inspiration as you need it- but do the work!