How to Market Your Private Practice
Marketing is a crucial part of growing any private practice. However, if you run a small or solo practice, you probably don’t have a large budget to invest into marketing.
The good news is that some marketing strategies only require the investment of time. In other words, these strategies are completely free!
Let’s take a look at seven completely free and effective marketing strategies that can help you grow your private practice.
1. Get Active on Social Media
Social media isn’t optional these days. Everyone from the pope to the president uses it, and so should you. Here’s why:
- Free to use.
- Allows you to build your network online.
- Helps you find potential clients.
- Helps potential clients find you.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
When using social media for free marketing, it’s important to go local. Even though social media has a global reach, don’t use it to speak to the entire world but to address to your niche audience.
Here are six ways to use social media to market your business:
- Attach local hashtags to get found in local search (i.e. #WichitaKS or #DallasTX).
Speak to those who are local to you. These are the people who are most likely to either make an appointment with you or refer others to you. According to multiple studies, people find local businesses and people more trustworthy.
- Follow local businesses related to your counseling niche.
For example, if you counsel those with weight-related problems, find local businesses that share your same target clientele (such as bariatric centers, gyms, weight loss clinics, and hospitals).
- Retweet and repost from local businesses you follow.
Don’t just follow local businesses, also share their information with your followers. Doing this generates goodwill with that business and gets you on their radar.
- Advertise your blog posts.
Starting a website and publishing regular blog posts can do wonders. After you’ve created a blog post, advertise it on your social media accounts. Do the same for any valuable mental health resources you might offer online. For example, if you specialize in anger management, and have a toolbox full of anger management worksheets and activities, linking to them on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, your blog post can help bring new people to your website.
- Create a Facebook business page.
With over a billion users worldwide, having a presence on Facebook is a must. Get found on local Facebook search when a Facebook user looks for therapists in their area. Learn more here: How to Use Facebook to Grow Your Private Therapy Practice.
- Find networking opportunities on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the social media platform for professionals. Use LinkedIn to search for fellow therapists and discover mental health groups that you can join. Connect with local therapists and develop a complementary referral network that can easily market your practice.
2. Use Google My Business
Google My Business is Google’s local business directory. It’s essential that you get your private practice listed here. Why?
Google relies on this directory to decide which listings to promote when someone searches for a local business. For example, if someone searches for family therapists in Tempe, AZ, Google will pull from its local directory to determine which therapists to display first.
Listing with Google My Business will also improve your chances of making it into Google’s local snack pack, a list of three businesses that display above the regular search results. Here’s an example of Google’s local snack pack:
3. Get Interviewed
Make yourself available for interviews by local press. That includes radio, television news, newspapers, podcasts, and publications (both printed and digital). Don’t forget local blogs.
Develop friendly relationships with the local journalists, producers, and bloggers in your area who speak to your target demographic. One day, they may need to get expert insight for a mental health-related topic, and because you’ve already built a relationship, you’ll be top of mind.
Here are a few ways to build a relationship with local press:
- Follow them on social media.
- Retweet and repost their content on social media.
- Leave comments on their blog posts.
- Send an email offering your help when needed.
- Join HARO and actively respond to requests.
4. Offer to Speak to Local Businesses
Public speaking is another free way to market your private practice. Whether you’re speaking in front of an auditorium or to a small group, public speaking will increase awareness and hopefully land you more clients, or at least a few referrals.
Not sure how to get started? Check with local businesses. Many businesses are interested in enriching their employees’ lives and are happy to invite mental health professionals in for a seminar or workshop.
When pitching to a local business, make a bridge between your expertise and their need. For example, you can offer to speak with employees about 10 ways to relieve stress when working in a customer service profession.
But local businesses aren’t the only ones who may invite you to speak. Other options include schools, community centers, community colleges, churches, youth groups, camps, and more.
5. Create and Distribute Flyers
Here’s an old school marketing strategy that works well: Print flyers and distribute them around your city.
While this strategy isn’t completely free (you’ll pay for paper and printing supplies), flyers are a low-cost and almost free way to market your private practice. To keep costs down, go low tech and print from your office printer.
We recommend using a free online graphic design software, like Canva, to create a beautiful flyer.
Start off slow. You don’t have to print off hundreds of flyers to get great results. Get started by printing 25-50 of them. Then, with flyers in hand, head to local businesses that cater to your clientele and ask the manager if you can post your flyer on the community board. You can find community boards at grocery stores, health food stores, coffee shops, neighborhood cafes, farmers markets, and more.
6. Put up an “Accepting Clients” Sign in Your Window
One of the most effective ways to market your private practice is also the simplest. Use a window sign to let the community know that you’re welcoming new clients.
Potential clients may pass your practice every day on their commute to and from work and wonder about your services and your fees. By posting an “accepting clients” sign in your window, it may be the perfect impetus for a curious passerby.
Make sure you have your website up and ready to answer curious visitors. Another option is to adhere a brochure box holder near your “accepting clients” sign and fill it with flyers that promote your services.
7. Offer an Open House
You’ve spent time networking with local businesses and fellow therapists. Now, invite the business community to your practice for an open house. An open house provides an incredible opportunity to make real connections with others. By meeting you in person and coming to your practice space, they’ll be much more likely to refer people to you.
Send out your invitations early and spread a wide net. Remember, not everyone will RSVP and not everyone who RSVPs will show up. While hosting an open house is technically free, you’ll definitely want to spend money on food. Free food attracts a larger crowd and leaves a better impression.
Do you have some room in the budget for marketing? Check out these additional ways to market your private practice:
- How to Market Therapy Services to Your Local Community
- Cheap and Effective Online Marketing for Private Practice