Many people looking for counseling services will start with the internet.
It’s likely these people are tentative about contacting someone to help with their mental health, and their journey is likely to begin with a Google search.
The internet is both a fantastic resource for those looking for help and a tool that you, the counselor, can utilize to promote the services you have to offer.
Running a private practice can be competitive (it is, after all, a business) so, here are 8 ways to market your counseling services effectively and warmly.
These tips will help you to promote your business but offer an open hand to those looking to take their first steps into seeking help.
1. Be Accessible Via Google
If you’re a private practice, it’s likely you are a local service rather than a national one.
Being a small business is probably more beneficial when it comes to providing a mental health service – and to take full advantage of this you need to be accessible when people search for counseling services via Google.
Ensuring you are ranked highly is important when it comes to being locally competitive.
If someone is searching for ‘counseling services in New Haven’ for example, you’ll need to ensure your business appears with the top search results online.
This is achieved by making sure the details of your business are sufficiently placed on your website and in its metadata; and by marketing yourself consistently and frequently on social media.
Advertising via Google Ads is also something you could consider in this instance.
2. Ensuring Your Website is Perfect
Such a huge part of any marketing campaign is making sure the website people go to and read about your services is top notch.
If you’re a new business, use this opportunity to choose and build your website using the platform you’re most comfortable with, that gives you the kind of tools you need to maintain it easily.
Think about the design of your site, and correlate it with your practice and the service you offer.
You’re a business, yes – but you’re a counseling service that needs to speak to potential patients.
Use the creation of your site to welcome your patients.
3. Use Your Voice
It’s important when marketing this kind of service to instill a level of trust between you and those looking for a counseling service.
On your website – and on corresponding social media platforms – speak in your voice, getting the tone of your service out there.
You want people to be drawn to you for help and you want them to do so with assurance.
In your About Us section of the site, pledge an ethos and explain why you want to help people.
Make sure what you write is heartfelt and appealing.
Include testimonials in order to attract people to come to you for help.
Launch a regular blog or newsletter as well, that people can sign up for, posting frequent updates on you and your service.
Write articles as well as news, sharing your thoughts on various topics relating to your area of expertise, to gain the interest and trust of potential patients and your peers.
4. Connect with other Counseling Services
It’s okay to build relationships with other specialists who are in the same boat as you and running private practices in your area.
As you’ll be aware, various services can help each other with referrals and recommendations.
If you’re ‘out there’ and in touch with other corresponding services, it puts you in better stead for referrals over others who might have an air of exclusivity putting people off approaching them.
Meet with these companies and offer cross-referral; this will simply open you up to new business, via others, that you might not have had access to otherwise.
5. Social Media
It’s imperative that aside from your website your practice is represented on at least one form of social media.
It’s encouraged to have an account on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; each one can be used in a different way for marketing purposes.
Facebook for businesses is an excellent tool for getting information out there to your followers or potential followers.
A business’ Facebook page is almost like a condensed version of the website, with the ability to upload updates, information, and posts.
These can then be promoted via ‘boosted’ Facebook Ads to reach a much wider net of people.
Twitter and Instagram are where you can attract with visuals, quick quotes, link shares, and thoughts.
The likes of fitness instructors, yoga teachers, or wellness experts drive traffic using Instagram by taking advantage of the fact that it’s a photo sharing social media platform.
Calming imagery, photos of yourself with happy and healthy patients, calming sayings – these are all perfect for this type of marketing, along with the hashtags that are used within your industry to draw people to your counseling services.
And ensure you update these platforms regularly – even tie them into each other so that one post on Instagram is then shared across your Facebook and Twitter automatically too.
6. Group Sessions
This strategy is multi-functional: it encourages those timid about trying something alone to take part in a session with others, and brings you an opportunity to attract several new patients at once.
If you hold a therapy group and the turn out is good, you’re likely to get several patients” business from it if the session is effective (it’s up to you to make sure it is).
This could then be a regular meet, which means you’re seeing various patients at once, drumming up more business, and have more people to testify that your service is a good one.
Advertise this via your site, social media, blog/newsletter.
7. Internet Directories
Get your company onto the plethora of free internet directories out there, such as Psychology Today.
Often these are trial listings – but it could be that it gets you patients that essentially bring you in extra income to pay for this kind of marketing when the free trial period expires.
Just be sure to keep an eye on how much traffic it’s getting you and whether it’s worth keeping your name on. If it’s not, cancel the trial before you are charged.
When you drum up new business, keep abreast of where your patients found out about you.
Part of the patient/therapist relationship is being able to trust the counselor and feeling comfortable with them.
Many potential patients might waste your time by meeting with you for a trial session only to find they don’t click with your methods.
Perhaps set up a YouTube channel and upload vlogs to your site so that people can actually get to know your demeanor ahead of time.
This might encourage some to take that step and reach out to you if they are encouraged by the way you are in person (via video).
Even if you don’t want to vlog regularly, having a video on your site to introduce yourself could be a very nifty way to market you and your counseling services.
Discover Your Potential
A focused online strategy is imperative to driving good business.
At Northlake Digital we help companies create a credible brand presence with a scalable marketing system for rapid growth.
We specialize in press releases and distribution, SEO, advertising and social media marketing and presence.
Contact us to find out more and learn how we can help you market your counseling service to its best potential.