15 Actionable Tips & Strategies For Marketing Your Counseling Practice [Update 2020]

Are you interested in marketing your counseling practice like a pro? 

Then you are in the right place. 

Today I am going to show you the same 15 strategies we use for marketing for therapists nationwide. 

These strategies are proven – some of our clients have seen their business double in the first month after we applied these techniques.

Let’s do it!

Here is what we will cover in this post:

  1. Have A Dynamic Website
  2. Build Your Visitor’s Trust With Social Proof
  3. Collect emails and follow up
  4. Find Out Where Your Clients Can Be Found
  5. Have A Presence Where Your Typical Clients Spend Time
  6. Consider Social Media Advertising
  7. Get Remarketing Ads Set-Up
  8. Search Engine Advertising Is Crazy Effective
  9. Follow Up With Leads and Past Clients
  10. Directories Are Worth The Investment
  11. Quora Boosts Your Reputation and Your Search Engine Rankings
  12. Generate Free Inbound Traffic With Blog Responses
  13. Share An Interesting Perspective (on current events) With Local Media
  14. Join Help A Reporter Out (HARO)
  15. Become A National Industry Expert In 60 Days Or Less

1. Have A Dynamic Website

If people want to know if your counseling practice is right for them, the first thing they will do is look at your website. 

Antique websites are not more valuable. If your website looks like it’s as old as the internet itself, you won’t be inspiring anyone to step into your office. 

This means your website needs to be an up-to-date source of trustworthy, relevant information for your potential client. If your website is out of date, it may be time to think about an upgrade. 

2. Build Your Visitor’s Trust With Social Proof

Have you ever checked the rating of a product before buying it online? 

This is called social proof and people heavily rely on it for making decisions online. If other people trust you and had a good experience, the person viewing your reviews probably will too.  

Contact your current and past clients who are pleased with your services and ask them to give you a one to two sentence testimonial of your services. 

Many people don’t know what a testimonial is so you can tell them it’s like an Amazon product review, but about your services. Here is a testimonial from one of our clients from our homepage. 

Take these reviews and put them in a prominent place on your home page. 

Nobody wants to shop around for a therapist which means they will likely schedule an appoint with the first trustworthy website they find. 

Here is another example of what you want on your homepage: 

“5 STARS – Dr. Thompson changed my life by helping me heal after my husband unexpectedly left me for another woman. Dr. Thomposon helped me realize my life was not over, but I instead I have a full life ahead of me to live. If you’re looking for a counselor, look no further.” 

When a possible client reads this, why look any further? They won’t, they will just book the appointment. 

3. Collect Emails and Follow Up

Be sure you are collecting the email of everyone who comes through your practice and your website. Most therapists don’t realize your email list is the most valuable thing they own.  

When you have an email list of 100 or 1000 people, all you have to do to get more clients is to engage that email list with compelling content and a call to action. 

You can send bulk emails to your entire list using services like mailchimp.com. You can also send personal emails to clients you haven’t heard from for a while to remind them to schedule their next appointment. Just remember, an active email list is money in the bank. 

4. Find Out Where Your Clients Can Be Found

The days of billboards over the highway and sending out mailers have passed. For most small businesses it’s no longer the most cost-effective option. 

Most small businesses are using highly targeted advertising they only pay for if it gets results. This is in contrast to a billboard that you pay for first, with no guarantee of results. 

What part of town does your typical client live in? If you know this you can target ads to these locations.

What types of things do your average client search online to find you? You can target ads to the keywords they search, showing ads only to them. 

If I were a therapist, these are a few of the keywords I might consider targeting with Google Ads (I’m located in Honolulu). 

Does your audience mainly use directories, social media or search engines?  

Knowing where your average client spends most of their time will cue you into the best marketing strategies you can use to get to them.

5. Have A Presence Where Your Typical Clients Spend Time

Once you know where your audience spends time, create a presence in the same place. 

Be creative and come up with some ideas of how you can reach out to that area to get the attention of your target audience. 

Example: If your clients are located locally (as opposed to digital counseling) contact local non-profit organizations or local businesses and offer to put on a free seminar. 

After spending a couple of afternoons speaking to your audience, your name will be the first on their lips when they or anyone else they know needs someone to talk to. 

If you make a habit out of doing these free events around town, you will be the local expert in all things related to counseling. 

To be even more effective, you could collect emails at the door from everyone in attendance to further build your email list. 

Remember, if you speak for one local Salvation Army event at no cost, you can ad “Has spoken for organizations like The Salvation Army” to your bio. That sounds about as trustworthy as anyone can get. 

Here are a couple more examples of creating a digital presence where your target audience is. 

Example: Your target audience is searching for you on Google → Show Google Ads

We often show Google Ads for therapists looking for marketing agencies. We also show ads for our therapists to get them more clients.

Example: Your target audience can be found on Facebook → Show Ads and Funnel traffic to your facebook page.

Example: If your target audience is looking for answers on Youtube → Create videos that answer their specific questions. 

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6. Consider Social Media Advertising

Advertising on social media websites like Facebook is one of the best ways to get highly-specific with who you show your ads too. 

You can choose who to show ads to based on age, gender, what types of pages they like, their job status, their geographic locations, and much more. 

The better you know your ideal client, the more effective social media advertising will work for your counseling practice. 

7. Get Remarketing Ads Set-Up

Remarketing is even more cost-effective. When you remarket, you only show ads to people who have already visited your website. 

Can you remember searching for a product online only to begin seeing ads for the same product everywhere? That’s remarketing. 

You can harness that same power to re-engage people who have already shown interest in what you offer. 

And the best part is you only pay when they click your ad. 

8. Search Engine Advertising Is Crazy Effective

Google Ads is the most popular form of search engine advertising. This is another form of Pay Per Click advertising which is extremely cost-effective compared to more traditional advertising methods.

You can start with an advertising budget from $10 to $10,000. Google Ads targets people differently than social media advertising. With Google Ads, you target search terms related to your industry. 

Example: Here is an example of a search term you can show an ad to: “Best counselor near me for anxiety”. 

This means you choose what types of searches you show ads for and you only pay for people that click your ads. 

9. Follow Up With Leads and Past Clients 

In sales, people always say “follow up or famine.” 

People are so busy nowadays that they don’t have the time or attention to remember what they had for breakfast, let alone that they should probably see a therapist.

Most people repress the need to talk to someone until the pain of not finding a therapist is unbearable. This means you have to get their attention back. Always remember to follow up with your leads.

10. Directories Are Worth The Investment

Most directories ask a fee to be included. However, getting your name promoted on Psychology Today is a fantastic way to build your credibility with potential clients. 

Add the logos of the directories you are featured on your website. Make those logos clickable by including a link to your directory profile in the image settings. 

11. Quora Boosts Your Reputation and Your Search Engine Rankings

Quora is a question and answer website. 

It takes 10 minutes to create a profile on Quora.com. Once you do this, create answers counseling-related questions. Offer thoughtful responses and include one link back to your website after each response. If you have a blog post or video on the same subject, leave your link to this instead. 

Doing this will increase the number of backlinks to your website which will help your website show up closer to the top of Google when people are searching locally for therapists. 

Here is a link to my quora response to a therapist who asked how to get more clients (As seen above).

12. Share An Interesting Perspective (on current events) With Local Media

You can leave thoughtful responses to blogs written by others in the same space as yourself. Again, remember to leave a link back to your own website or related content. 

As long as your comment is positive and contains useful information, it will sit under this blog post forever and send traffic to your website. 

13. Share An Interesting Perspective (on current events) With Local Media

A very effective strategy for generating local clientele is to offer local media outlets (newspapers, local TV news, etc) a nicely polished piece of content on some relevant, local event. 

Get creative and offer a new and insightful angle. 

News organizations are constantly on the hunt for high-quality information to fill space on the air or on the page. 

This means these people are very busy so you need to give them content that they don’t have to put any effort into to polish up. 

If they can turn around and drop it in the paper with little to no work, the odds of you getting published are much higher. 

14. Join Help A Reporter Out (HARO)

Creating a Help A Reporter Out profile takes about 5 minutes. 

Stories reporters are working on will be sent directly into your email inbox. Reply to the reporter and you will begin to find yourself published in all kinds of places. 

Maybe it’s a small paper in Idaho or maybe it’s Forbes magazine. Either way, being featured in published works will build a lot of credibility with potential clients on your website. 

Think of Haro like an odds game. Submit a dozen articles and sooner or later you will get published. All of the pieces of content that aren’t chosen, you can use to drive traffic to your own site online.  

15. Become an Industry Leading Expert In 60 Days Or Less

It’s not hard to be a “top expert.” Fortune 500 public relations professionals morph Joe schmoes into industry-leading professionals every day, and you can too. 

All of this can be accomplished with just a month or two of dedicated work. 

  1. Have you written a book or even an Ebook? Add “Author of ____” to your bio. 
  2. Join three trade organizations and add it to your bio.  “Dr. Thomposon is a member of the American Counseling Association, the American Mental Health Counselors Association, and The American Academy of Grief Counseling” Usually doing costs only a modest membership fee. 
  3. Let your audience know where you received your credentials. 
  4. Share where any of your work has been published (This is not limited to academic journals).
  5. Let your potential clients know what companies you have spoken for. If you haven’t spoken for any organization, offer a free seminar to a few non-profit organizations with recognizable names.  

Here is an example of a professional bio you can create by just taking the 5 steps mentioned above.

“Dr. Thompson is the author of “Setting Yourself Free From Anxiety” and received her Ph.D. from ______ University. Her work has been featured in the Idaho Post, The Orlando Sentinel, and Forbes magazine. Dr. Thomposon frequently speaks for organizations like The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, and The United Way, teaching people how to overcome their life’s biggest fears. 

Currently, Sally is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she lives with her husband and two children. If you would like to contact Dr. Thompson click the button below. “

Here Is The Next Step…

Which of these 15 strategies will you implement first? 

Will you answer questions on Quora?

Will you work on your bio? 

Or will you start advertising? If so, on what platform? 

Leave your answer in the comments below!

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