The numbers of therapists practicing in Ireland have grown significantly in the last 20 years, requiring therapists to work harder to get clients.
According to research, most therapists struggle to make a full time career of it, and the therapists that do better engage more in marketing.
According to a recent survey by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP), therapists enjoy the highest levels of job satisfaction in the country. Most would love working full-time, but for various reasons can't get their business to grow to a sustainable level. So what is holding them back?
According to the research, 80% of therapists in Ireland ranked "word-of-mouth" in their top three sources of new clients, followed by client referrals and then GP referrals.
This is not surprising, considering that the study also highlighted that a massive 72% of therapists feel that they "do not market themselves enough."
Our own research shows that many therapists neither have a website nor a social media presence, and many existing websites could benefit from an update.
We’ve listed 5 reasons why therapists appear to be holding back from marketing themselves:
Lack of marketing knowledge and know-how.
The need for a relatively strong level of skills in design, technology and marketing for those wishing to do DIY marketing.
Marketing budget: how much to spend and on what, is difficult for therapists to assess.
Time: Therapists would rather spend time helping clients rather than grappling with marketing.
The fear of coming across as too commercial.
There is nothing unusual in the above - after all, therapists are meant to help people with their health, and not to be marketing professionals.
Just as therapists would advise a client to seek professional help, so too should they seek help from a marketing professional. The ideal person/company would have a unique combination of design, marketing and web technology skills, and most of all experience in the field of therapy and a willingness to work within their budgetary constraints.
Our study of many successful therapists at home and abroad has clearly shown that marketing is essential to their success. They usually practice three key marketing activities on a regular basis, and you would be pleasantly surprised to find out how little time it takes them.
FInd out in our next blog what these three key activities are, and how you can easily use them in your own marketing program.