This is a 100% tough love blog post. I’m not here to sugar coat this for you, on the contrary, I want to give you the information, tools and support you need to be successful in generating leads online.
Your work is invaluable, life changing and life saving. I want to support you in serving the most ideal clients and create more access to mental health care, everywhere.
There’s a lot of moving parts to marketing your private practice online no doubt. I often hear therapists say they don’t know where to start, spend their time and focus their energy. As a result, they spend a lot of time creating and posting content with no purpose or strategy. They inevitably burn out and in some cases give up on social media marketing as a whole.
Marketing your business is not optional.
When we cease to market, our businesses are effectively dying. Most therapist marketing is extremely passive and relies almost exclusively on a therapy seekers perceived need for therapy, and their subsequent Google search. Directories and SEO are always options that contribute to longevity for growing practices and are excellent sources of lead generation for clinicians, no doubt. But they aren’t the only way, they don't always bring in the intended target market and I’m not in the business of auditing Psychology Today profiles.
Therapists struggle to generate leads online because they think they can Google-and-Pinterest-DIY-search their way through effective messaging that converts followers into ideal client leads, while that may be true it’s a long road full of trial, error and experimentation.
OK you got me, no matter what path you take you’re going to experience some trial, error and experimentation. But you can’t Google search your way to earning a degree in marketing so stay in your lane and let me give you some tips, to point you in the right direction…
Here are my fave tips for therapists and coaches in 2021 to consider before *actually* securing clients on Instagram or other social media...
CLARIFY YOUR MESSAGING
This is definitely a basic addition to the list and it’s something I try to gloss over in my content AND with my private clients. But in actuality, therapists are notoriously broad in defining their niche, target market and ideal client because… scarcity mindset. It may seem counterintuitive, but you’re leaving more money on the table right now, today by resisting specificity in your marketing.
On the back end of this conversation it’s important to understand the role that market research plays, or rather the lack of market research. Even if you’re working with ideal clients already but are struggling to message to them effectively on social media your work is not done. We must approach our marketing efforts with clarity and simplicity. Using broad terminology and inaccessible psychology jargon does not generally equate to more sales/conversions. But considering each and every interaction with our target market to be formal market research will afford us the opportunity to serve them more powerfully before they ever decide to buy in.
Saying 'life trasitions' 😫🤢 will never be clear enough for any marketing around here FYI.
BE STRATEGIC IN HOW YOU SHOW UP
If you weren’t already aware, you’re not creating content for yourself, this may mean that:
your content no longer ‘lights you up’
you don't think the content is groundbreaking or mind boggling
you’re certain the information is less significant to the journey than you once believed
If you’re uncertain of how or why repetition fits into your content marketing strategy, check out this blog. As content creators and business owners we must be sure to walk with our audience on the entirety of their journey, when we fail to acknowledge (and serve) the different points at which our audience members enter our social media sales funnels we leave folks behind.
When we are pouring ourselves into content creation and executing a high level marketing plan, it is imperative that we are also showing up WHERE our target market lives online. You wouldn’t search for a stay-at-home mom crowd on LinkedIn, but you may find some great breastfeeding at work groups there.
If you’re unsure of where to start, search some keywords in Facebook Groups! You’ll be able to find local groups and/or niche specific groups FULL of hundreds and sometimes thousands of your target market in one place.
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF
You know it and I know. Comparison stifles your growth and creativity faster than you can say ‘ireallywanttenthousandfollowers’. You don’t want to read this paragraph but you should. I don’t want to shame you because I get it! You see Becky with the generalist account posting about A through Z and you’re wondering how she gained 20K followers in 6 months… or less.
She’s in grad school, with no job, during a pandemic. No kids. No commitments. She’s online 12 hours per day and her visibility strategy is on point. She’s also not selling a damn thing, she has no vested interest in maintaining her profile which is also why she doesn’t show her face and sometimes ghosts the account for weeks on end.
Her falling engagement rates will likely mean her 20K followers mean nothing to publishers, anyway, so chill out. Mute her account without unfollowing and gain your freaking life back. Being a weird, jealous internet stalker is a choice you have everyday. I would know I got Facebook when I was 13.
Now, let’s talk about generating leads, because that’s likely why you chose to stop and read:
This can mean not doing it, outsourcing it or even relying on it daily to drive the bulk of your online traffic. I don’t know what your current and complete external engagement strategy looks like on Instagram but I’d willingly bet you $5 that you don’t have one.
WEBSITE TRAFFIC THAT’S NOT EFFECTIVE SEO STRATEGY VIA SOLO BLOGGING
Let’s expand past the traditional, because while your website may be the bomb.com with a Google ranking to match, you may not want the Google traffic. There may be untapped gold mines of ideal clientele on the internet waiting to be directed to your website another way.
Trying gunning for some external backlinks courtesy of guest blogging. Hit up Pinterest and don’t count out email marketing especially if you’re selling alternative offerings.
If you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is you can absolutely fill your practice with ads. As of January 2021, costs per lead are up, sitting somewhere between $6-10 when targeting a cold audience on Facebook/Instagram.
I am a big fan of Google ads for group practices that are medium to large and struggle to find a singular brand identity for their social media profiles. It’s important to have the capital to spend upfront when considering the prevalence of ad blindness.
Content marketing is simply the creation and sharing of online materials which does not directly promote a brand or product but stimulates interest. You're likely already doing it.
Getting content marketing down pat is the gift that keeps on giving. When combined with intentional and strategic repetition, content marketing IS in essence passive marketing. It will live forever in the places you share it, allowing you to capitalize on repetition to drive sales and grow your brand awareness and product recognition.
Here are a few examples of content marketing you may already be executing:
And on that note, lean into batching AND repurposing! Spend less time, grow more!
Sharing is caring so never stop collaborating! Tapping into mutually beneficial, collaborative relationships can change the way you market. Having a visibility strategy on lock means you can consider skipping engagement because you are being seen, shared and are growing ALL DAY LONG.
I love to see it! Can you tell? So what does this actually look like? Think of podcasting, guest blogging, hosting collaborative Clubhouse rooms, joint Instagram lives, or participating in an Instagram Story takeover! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a great place to start.
And it’s worth noting that it can and should include regular old networking, too. And creating viral style, shareable content, which does indeed mean keeping up with the trends!
Check out my IGTV on cultivating authentic relationships here:
While marketing your business online is largely not a build it and they’ll come situation, generating quality leads consistently is a massive part of the battle. If you’re all organic all the way, be sure to manage your expectations! It won’t happen overnight but if you stay consistent and actually track what’s producing and ROI you can cut out the busy work and focus more on making money and changing lives.
Be sure to work your program.
Grab my complete Instagram Bundle here if you’re ready to craft and execute a custom high level marketing plan with yours truly!
You'll leave with a custom, high level marketing plan that is tailored to your current comfort zone but is designed to promote growth through:
our 90 minute intensive call
you sharing your vision with me during the sign up process
identifying any gaps in the personal branding audit
This is not a get rich quick fix. 90 days of hard work and consistency will follow once we've completed the call and I've drafted you strategy and schedule document.
This is an investment in tried and true knowledge you'll keep for life, implementing time and time again to reach and sustain new levels in business and sales growth.
Don't wait until next time, it's time to step into your power, live in your purpose and show up to serve your ideal clients!
I cannot wait to serve you in my zone of genius! Let's generate leads together! Talk soon,