How to Market Therapy Services to Your Local Community

How to Market Your Therapy Services to Your Community

Marketing to your local community takes a multi-pronged approach. Recently, we discussed cheap and effective ways to market your private practice online. In this post, we’ll tackle offline strategies to reach your clients, too.

Direct Mail

direct-mail

Image Courtesy of Bradley Gordon, Flickr

Did you know that one of the most practical ways to advertise your private practice is through a postal mail box? No doubt you’ve opened up your own mailbox and received flyers from local businesses. While you may throw away the majority of the advertisements you receive, you still scan them first. You may even file away a few for future use. This is why you should consider direct mail marketing.

Direct mail does two things effectively:

It will raise awareness about your private practice.

If you build it, they won’t come, but if you advertise it, you’ve got a decent chance. You can’t just rely on word-of-mouth marketing, or even Internet marketing to advertise your private practice. As a local business, you have the benefit of being able to send out mailers to a targeted, regional area.

Don’t overlook this opportunity because you’re afraid that prospects will toss your advertisement mail away. The ones who need your services will hold on to it, and that’s who you’re marketing to anyway.

Here’s a list of resources for getting started with each of these marketing strategies. Click Here

It can motivate people to try your services.

Motivate people to try your service by explaining what you offer, giving prices, and including coupons. That’s a mouthful. Let’s break it down.

Explain the services that you offer. Avoid using industry terms, and go with everyday language that your prospective clients will understand. Also, don’t just list services. Present them as benefits. Focus on how each service will enrich your client’s life.

Give prices for what you offer. No one wants to be disappointed to find out they can’t afford your services once they call your office. This is especially necessary if you’re a self-pay private practice. If you’re running a special, or you’re unveiling a new service, it’s a good idea to share your fees.

Include coupons as powerful incentives. Deals make prospects feel good about taking a risk and trying your service. It can be a useful strategy for getting clients in the door, especially if you reduce the fee for a mini-session.

It’s easy to set up a direct mail campaign with the US Postal Service. Go here to get started on an Every Door Direct Mail campaign.

Billboards

billboards

Image Courtesy of Versageek, Flickr

You can’t drive for too far without seeing a billboard. Often, you’ll see the same billboard for weeks or even months at a time, as you make your way to and from work. Billboards are unavoidable, which is why they’re a smart way to advertise your private practice.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Keep the content to six words or less. Who has time to read a wordy billboard? You have about six seconds to make an impression.

Include an easy-to-remember website. Choose a simple website address, if possible. It should be easy to remember, even when speeding by at 60 miles per hour.

Don’t design it yourself. If you’ve bootstrapped and diy’ed your entire business, you may be tempted to diy your billboard design too. Don’t. Unless you’re confident in your design abilities, it’s best to go with a professional design team.

But I understand– it’s pricy to hire a professional designer. That’s why I recommend choosing an affordable online graphic design marketplace like 99designs.

Use billboards in combination with a direct mail campaign to get the most coverage.

Engage them with visuals. Don’t go minimal because it can read bland or empty. Use images to help convey your message faster than you can with words.

Don’t have too many things going on. One image is plenty.

Simplify your message. Don’t try to do too much with one billboard.

Choose larger text. It should be readable from a great distance.

Flyers

flyers

Image Courtesy of Overnight Prints

Flyers are at the heart of many marketing campaigns, and for good reason. Flyers are low cost, easy to hand out, and can work as both an information and advertising tool– what’s not to love?

Print out flyers and canvas your neighborhood or city at large. Visit local businesses who serve the same pool of clients you’d like to reach. Ask for permission to leave a stack of your flyers on their reception desk or bulletin board.

Or, you can get a little more social in your marketing and go door to door, passing out your flyers and asking for their business face to face.

Your flyer can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like, but all flyers should contain the following elements:

A Compelling Visual. The human brain can process visual images much faster than other types of information. Immediately draw your audience in with an image that conveys the overall tone of your message.

Contact Information. Have you ever received a flyer and didn’t know where to go? I have, and it’s exasperating. Don’t forget to include your physical address and phone number or, at the very least, your website address. You don’t want to get people excited about trying your services, only to not know how to find you.

A Call to Action. Your call to action should direct the flyer recipient on what to do next. Here’s a short list of calls to action you may use in your flyer:

  • Call today to schedule your free evaluation
  • Visit our website for a free assessment quiz
  • Bring in this flyer to receive 15% off of our ____ service

By the way, add bite to your flyer by including a coupon. This incentive pairs well with a self-pay strategy (read more about how to implement a self-pay strategy in your private practice here).

Radio Ads

radioi-ads

Image Courtesy of Alan Levine, Flickr

Video may have killed the radio star, but there’s still plenty of opportunities for you to advertise your private practice on the airwaves. Did you know that three out of four adults still tune into the radio on a regular basis? It’s a powerful marketing medium to reach your local clients when they’re a captive audience. Advertise your private practice on radio during that daily commute to and from work.

The best times to advertise on radio is during a 13 hour block from 6am to 7pm. You may think that the best times to advertise are during the AM and PM rush hours, but guess again. Actually most people listen to the radio during the period between the two rush hours (from 10am to 3pm). The next popular time periods are afternoon and morning rush hours, in that order.

To reach the most amount of people with your marketing, secure a spot during this midday time block.

Of course, this time block is also the most expensive.

The cost varies depending on your location and the station you’d like to advertise on. Those in Biloxi, MS will pay considerably less than those in Los Angeles, CA. You may pay under a $1000 in a one-horse town but ten times as much in a sprawling metropolis.

Here are a few tips for radio advertising:

Advertise on multiple radio stations to cover as much of the area as possible. Cover soft rock, country, alternative, and talk radio, for example.

Opt for shorter ads. Think 30 seconds or less. Shorter ads are often less expensive and can get the message across quickly, before the listener tunes out.

Create a lengthy ad campaign. Don’t just try it for one month and quit. Some listeners are more responsive after multiple encounters with your commercial. A long-running radio ad campaign can build top-of-mind awareness.

Explicitly tell them what to do next. Don’t be shy. If you want them to call you, tell them directly.

Don’t focus on yourself in the radio ad. Instead of focusing on how trustworthy you are as a private practice, make it about what benefits the listener will receive from trying your services.

Final Thoughts

To saturate your market, consider using both online and offline strategies. Don’t make it either/ or. You can reach a wider group of people by being everywhere at once.

Here’s a list of resources for getting started with each of these marketing strategies. Click Here