Marketing, and especially digital marketing, can be overwhelming. This is completely understandable, given the myriad of marketing options available these days.
You might ask yourself questions like:
Should I advertise on social media? Which platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram? What type of ad: video, still, carousel? What should I advertise? Where will I learn how to do this? Can somebody do it for me? What will it cost? How will I know if it’s effective? What about having a web presence? And do I need to do traditional marketing too?
...And that’s just the tip of a very large iceberg!
We’ve studied therapists with a successful private practice here and overseas to see what areas of marketing are getting most attention, and we’ve condensed it to 3 essential areas:
A social media presence.
Before we look into each of these in more detail, it’s important to point out that even the successful marketeer therapists are not superhuman. They have just figured it out through trial and error, or have had a marketing professional guide them.
What is important is that they have found a plan that allows them to spend minimal time on marketing, and maximum time helping all the new patients they get from their marketing efforts.
1. Build a great website that’s easy to find.
Your website should be the foundation stone of your marketing strategy. It should perfectly reflect who you are, what you do and how you do it, and it should convey a sense of your unique personality.
When we want to find something local these days, we simply google it. A Google search for a therapist in Sligo will instantly yield dozens of options in Sligo and surrounding areas. If your name doesn't appear there or is buried in a list of therapists on a directory website, your chances of being on someone’s radar are low to zero. Remember your clients may be in no mental state to be searching through lists, and they should be able to find you with ease.
Even when you are recommended to somebody, they will google you to see your profile and decide if you are a good fit for them.
A good website is a one-off job, and depending on who creates your site, shouldn’t require too much ongoing work on your behalf. A website is probably the most important marketing tool a therapist can have. It serves as your main point of contact and information about you, and it is the home base where your social media activities direct people to.
Through it, people connect to you and become your client, so don't hold back on getting the best quality site. Make sure that you work with someone who knows the sector and produces a site that takes care of itself with as little involvement from you as possible.
It’s your duty to be found, so that people who really need you can find you -and with a website, you will be seen, get found, and look great when someone finds you.
2. Social media presence.
Let’s face it, social media have taken over the world, especially in the world of marketing. In fact, it is all about marketing!
For a therapist, social media is useful for 3 reasons:
You can build a community and keep people engaged.
People can search you out for social credibility and can learn from your posts.
You can advertise to highly targeted local audiences (e.g. Women, Sligo town, Age 45-65) for as little as €5 per week, building local awareness.
Nowadays people give a lot of importance to a business’ social media page, as it is a place to learn more about people they might like to engage with. Social media is a great way to build the all important trust.
Which platform to operate on? Our advice is to not spread yourself too thin. Remember the aim is to make the job as simple to perform as possible. If you are a newbie, then we recommend Facebook (for local social engagement), and later perhaps LinkedIn (to give access to your professional profile) and Instagram.
It’s great if you can afford a specialist’s help to operate your social media pages, but don’t trust this important task to your design-student niece (outstanding as she may be!) as this task requires careful consideration for each post. We'll go into this in more detail in another blog.
3. Traditional marketing.
Believe it or not, there is still a role for traditional marketing in the therapists’ marketing program, from getting your name out there using leaflets & business cards, to good old fashioned networking. Get known by your local doctors, but also in local businesses that are attended by your target-client base. See our blog: Build Local Awareness with Leaflets & Cards - an important element in your local marketing plan, for a deep dive on this topic.
To conclude, we hope you are reassured by the fact that only 3 main marketing activities are necessary to take care of 95% of your marketing requirements. Of course, you can make a beautiful and effective website and leave it at that, but we recommend to stick to the winning formula of the 3 activities, as each one reinforces the other.
Are you ready to get started?