Marketing: the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
There is a belief in the therapy community that if you are a “good” therapist, you don’t need to do marketing. Trust me, my inbox has emails of therapists telling me this very thing. However, I don’t buy that line at all.
Marketing isn’t a bad thing. It’s necessary and here is why.
Let me paint you a picture.
If you did no marketing, whatsoever, this is what your business would look like. You would have an office, without a sign and no directory listing – not even in the building directory. This also means you would have no online presence for your business. You would not tell anyone that you have a private practice or that you are a therapist that helps people. Your own family wouldn’t really know about your practice. You won’t need a business card, a brochure or any kind of printed or online materials discussing what you do. And the chair across from you would probably be empty because no one knows about you and they certainly kind find you in the building.
If you own a business you must promote it so people can find you and you can find the people you were meant to serve.
First, let’s look at what marketing looks like for private practices.
- Any time you tell people what you do, even though you intention isn’t to necessarily sell yourself, when you convey your passion and who you love to help, that’s marketing.
- Building relationships is the foundation. Who you know, from the Starbucks barista that you see every morning, to your faith leader, to your aunt Mildred in Ohio, the people who know you, like you and trust you, refer to you. That’s marketing.
- When you hand out your business card, put a sign on your door, give information to your doctor, that’s marketing.
- When you write tips and articles that help people online, that’s marketing.
- When you make it easy for people to find you and are super clear about who you do and do not help, that’s marketing.
Ease comes with knowledge.
Do you know how you help? Do you know what makes working with you awesome? When you are clear about what you offer and how you help people, it is easier to convey. Also, you get excited about it. Marketing takes energy. So why not start off with where you find yourself most passionate? People are drawn to genuine enthusiasm. Write down all the services you offer and then write down what sets you apart in how you help. Really tap into your uniqueness.
Ease comes with value.
All that marketing isn’t salesy, it’s good stuff that gives to others. Good marketing provides value, is ethical and maintains your integrity by aligning with your values. When you speak to a room of people and touch a life – that is so valuable and makes the process positive. Whenever you tweet, send and email, or talk to someone, leave them with a tidbit of yourself. Let them walk away a little bit better just for having encountered you. Give value!
Ease comes with alignment.
When I coach clients on private practice marketing, we look at who they are. Sure there are some basic essentials to marketing, like what I listed above, but there are other marketing avenues such as speaking, writing, video blogging, storytelling, and more. If you shine most when you write – write. If you know how to get people to listen and learn – speak. If you are a creative that loves visuals – create a visual of your message. Take a moment and reflect on your strengths and passions. What do you love to do? If you pair that with your marketing, it will make marketing that much more easy to get done and enjoy the process.
I had a coaching client who was a consultant. He really knew how to connect with people and they felt shifts instantly when working with him. But have him write a blog post, while they were fine, they just didn’t convey who his essence when he was talking to them. Have him do an initial consult on the phone or face to face, he blew people away. Now other people might tell him, go do more blogging, but I told him, get on the phone. That was his wheelhouse. Blogging he could practice and learn later but for immediate shifts, he needed to focus on his strengths. Find where you align and go there first when marketing your practice.
Find your ease.
Marketing is a natural and necessary part of owning a business, especially if it is a private practice. Take a moment and evaluate what amazing marketing you are already doing and where you can insert more of your passion to keep your momentum going. Share below some of your easy marketing techniques for your practice.