Author: Ann Lowe
The aim of the article is to help therapists market themselves, not simply advertise what they do. Many of us can mistakenly believe that the two are the same, however this isn’t the case.
Advertising refers to the way we promote our counselling or therapy service, so for example we may take an advert out in a local newspaper or create a poster for a local shop noticeboard.
Marketing on the other hand refers to the whole brand, the whole identity for what we are offering. It requires us to have an in-depth understanding of what we want to convey to the potential client, and then ensuring that at every possible opportunity, that message is coherent.
Therefore, it stands to reason that marketing isn’t particularly glamorous. Many elements of marketing include getting the basics right and focusing in on the detail, such as:
Ensuring that our answer machine message gives the right impression. The way we want to come across on an answerphone message if we are a therapist is going to differ somewhat to if we are an investment banker or physical fitness coach. We want to go for a balance of welcoming, without being too ‘soft’ that it sounds patronising or condescending. A good idea is to ask a few trusted friends or colleagues to listen to our recordings and give honest feedback on how they felt when listening. It may be worth asking them to consider: did they feel a connection with you? Is it friendly? Do they get a sense of what will happen next? Is there an alternative means of contact?
Being aware of our social media presence. If we choose to use social media to promote our services or to connect with friends socially, much information is accessible about us online. As therapists we need to be even more cautious of what is out there in the public domain. Whilst the idea of being a ‘blank canvas’ for clients to be able to project onto is more synonymous with the psychoanalytic approach, its not a good idea to have our night out last Friday (with accompanying photos) on Facebook.
Ensuring that any information we put out is consistent. You may have multiple social media accounts, as well as profiles on directories and counselling websites. It is our job to ensure that information contained on each is the same, that information (such as telephone numbers, email addresses and links to other sources of information) is kept up to date.
Incorrect information can give the overall impression that we aren’t up to date or organised. Inaccuracy can put clients off even before we’ve had a chance to have a chat with them and so it makes good sense to get it right.
Other aspects of marketing – which feed into the idea of having an overall brand image – to consider are:
What makes you unique as a therapist?
Underpinning all of these elements is a simple yet crucial question that we can return to again and again, and that is: what motivates us to do this work? Often known as ‘Our Why’.
If you have a clear sense of why you’re doing this work, then much of the marketing falls naturally into place, we begin to communicate a coherent vision and message for our work and will begin to align with the right people that can put us in touch with the right clients. It will also help you to get an understanding of what makes you unique as a therapist. This may result in us deciding upon a specialism that we feel passionate about, that perhaps not many other people in our area are covering, or it may be the creative way in which we utilise our training to offer something different to clients.
If you need help with your marketing or advertising presence contact Ann at www.TheWriteTyper.co.uk
Author: Ann Lowe
(Please note that in this article we use the terms therapy/counselling and therapist/counsellor interchangeably)
If you want to build up a private practice that can provide you with a living wage, you are going to need some long-term clients. This is a simple matter of mathematics - if you need 18 clients per week to give you the income you need, and your clients stay for 6 sessions on average, you will need to find 3 new clients each and every working week. Apart from the fact that this is very difficult to achieve by your own marketing, it can quickly lead to you burning out too.
read more> so how do you get long-term clients?
by Ann Lowe
Counsellors and psychotherapists operate within a marketplace, just like any other person or business offering a service to their community. As difficult as it may feel to acknowledge that you are first and foremost in business, it is going to be important to accept this if you are to run a successful private practice.
Whilst therapists don’t always like to talk about being in ‘business’, or having competitors, it is true that all businesses need to be able to be found by their clients, and to stand out as different in some way. Perhaps it may be helpful to turn this around by considering that by being different and letting the world know about what makes you stand out, you are in fact in a better position to help more people.
In this blog post, I’m going to be talking about the ways in which you can do this as a private practitioner by having a specialism.
read more> choosing a specialism - why bother?
Author: Ann Lowe
Your website is there to support and promote business growth by helping potential clients to find you are your service.
A good website will be easy to navigate, visually attractive and most importantly, provide good quality information. This means the content must be professional, accurate, well written and easy to understand.
You may or may not know it, but every time you produce content for your website and upload it, it is one more opportunity for search engines to find you and therefore one more opportunity for individuals who would benefit from your support, to find you.
Read more> Getting back to basics...
by Ann Lowe
In this article, I’m going to share some easy to implement techniques that can optimise the time and energy you spend producing content for your blog or website.
Increasing the amount of visitors to your website (or your blog) through appropriate search engine optimisation (SEO) is not an art, it’s a science. And whilst that sounds like you need a lot of technical know-how, that isn’t the case. All you need is to write some good content that is of interest and value to your clients, and then apply some simple techniques to ensure that your work is more likely to be found.
Does it work?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) has been one of the biggest buzzwords – and sources of debate – in online marketing for years.
As Wikipedia puts it, SEO involves “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results”. In other words, it involves optimising everything on a website – the design, writing, content quality, keywords, links, everything; in order to try and increase its search engine ranking.
You’ve probably noticed that I said it’s a source of debate. It’s effectiveness in recent years has been debated among online marketing experts. Is it really as effective as it used to be? The answer is, we truly don’t know. What we do know is that it helps a lot of websites and businesses to grow.
Read more for a working example...