How to Educate Prospective Clients on the Need for Mental Health Services

Educate Prospective Clients on the Need for Mental Health Services

You entered the mental health field to help folks who need your services, but sometimes you encounter a block. Whether you’re combating a social stigma attached to receiving mental help or helping someone justify the cost of self-pay therapy, you have your work cut out for you. In order to build your client base, breaking down these walls means avoiding a few common private practice mistakes.

Fortunately, much of the stigma surrounding mental health is a thing of the past. Folks these days are much more receptive to mental therapy. While our grandparents’ generation would “make it work,” younger generations recognize the need to take care of their emotional well-being, too. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need a gentle nudge towards your private practice.

So much of marketing is recognizing your prospect’s need and positioning your private practice as the solution. But sometimes you have to get them to see their need, too. Once your prospective clients recognize their need, your work still isn’t done. You’ll also need to educate them on why they need your service.

You must be able to answer questions like:

Is it selfish to seek mental therapy?

Can’t I overcome this problem on my own with willpower?

Do I have the budget to spend on therapy?

How long will it take?

Isn’t therapy for people with bigger problems than mine?

Am I just overreacting?

And so on…

The good news is that you can create a platform to answer those questions and more. Below, we’ll discuss the top strategies for educating prospective clients on why they should seek out mental therapy. Let’s get started.

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Create a Website

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Do you have a website for your private practice yet? If not, it’s time to step into the 21st century.

A website is a necessity for every private practice. You need a website to engage people who are searching for the very mental health services that you provide. If you don’t have a website yet, I can guarantee you that your competitors do, and they’re taking advantage of the opportunity to persuade prospects to use their services instead of yours.

Stake your claim and take part in the conversation.

Instead of thinking of your website as another way to market your services, you should position it as the ultimate educational resource.

You’ll do this by creating an entire library of content for your specialties. Sure, you’ll add all the basics, such as About Us, Contact Us, and Fee Schedule, but you’ll also go beyond that to include a collection of resources for each service you offer. You can do this in the form of a blog or by adding permanent pages to your website.

Let’s say you offer counseling for those struggling with eating disorders. To educate, create blog posts that coincide with topics your audience may be searching for on Google. For example, entitle the blog post, “How do I fix my eating disorder?” or “5 ways to know if I have an eating disorder”.

On your blog, aim to write a post at least twice a month.

This will help you reach your target client who may not know who you are but know that they need help. By providing this valuable resource, you’re much more likely to win over their hearts.

If you don’t already have a website, I recommend starting with a service like Brighter Vision. Brighter Vision specializes in designing websites for therapists. This service is affordable, beginner friendly, and every site looks professional and high quality. By the way, Brighter Vision has extended one free month to all TheraNest customers who sign up through this special link.

Start an Email Newsletter

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Above, we discussed the need to create a blog or a collection of articles on your website that educates your prospective clients. Now, let’s talk about how to appeal to prospects who aren’t ready to pay for your services right away (hint: that’s most of them).

Nine out of ten people who visit your site won’t return, but there is something you can do about it. When you invite “just looking” prospects to subscribe to your email newsletter (and they accept), you get more chances to persuade them to use your services.

One of my favorite ways to create and distribute email newsletters is with a program called MailChimp. MailChimp is free for beginners and it’s incredibly easy to use.

Here are the best practices for your email newsletter:

Send emails frequently. Just like with your blog posts, aim for at least two times per month. You don’t want them to forget about you and mark you as spam! (It happens more than you think.) Send regular emails so that you stay top of mind for your subscribers.

Use a call to action. End every email with an instruction. I recommend coordinating your email newsletter with new blog posts, and driving readers back to your website.

Keep it valuable. Don’t just send out an email without having something beneficial to add. Share actionable tips and strategies that your audience can put to good use. For example, if a majority of your clients are struggling with self esteem issues, offer them links to useful resources like downloadable self esteem worksheets or activities.

Sell your services. But do so sparingly. I don’t think it’s necessary to sell in every email, but it’s okay to highlight a service once every couple of months. The point of your email newsletter isn’t to sell– it’s to build a relationship of trust with your audience.

Write an eBook

write-an-ebook

Have you ever considered writing an ebook?

Digital books are a great way to educate your target customer. Plus, ebooks can help you build your email newsletter. How?

Instead of just adding a “subscribe to our newsletter” invitation on your website, use an ebook to encourage signups. You can offer a free ebook to everyone who subscribes to your email list.

Here’s how to use an ebook to grow your client base:

  • Decide on the topic that resonates with your prospective client.
  • Tackle the subject in a lengthy ebook (at least 20 pages).
  • Create an ebook that’s valuable and informative enough to charge for.
  • Give away for free! (But in exchange for an email address.) You can set this up with MailChimp.

Display brochures for front desk

display-brochures

Last, but certainly not least, print up brochures about your services and leave them on your front desk. This is how you market to your current clients. They may not be aware of or familiar with all the services you offer.

They may also take your brochure and give it to someone else who needs your services.

Don’t just stop at your front desk though. Visit local shops and offices who service your target clients and ask if you can display your brochures there, too.

In your brochures, make sure you explain what you offer and what benefits it provides. Always link back to your website where you’ll have more room to share information.

Final Thoughts

Your prospective clients want to make an educated decision. Use the above tips to teach them about what you offer and persuade them to try your services.

Would you like the quick start action plan that accompanies this post? Click Here