How do you make sure the people in your area are always thinking about you? You want to know that whenever anyone near you needs mental health services, they think about you and call you first. Word of mouth may be the first thing that comes to mind, but this often isn’t effective and takes too much time. The best and most effective way to make sure your practice is well-known is by planning and marketing your mental health practice. It may seem like it’s easier said than done, but if you can follow the tips below, you’ll be well on your way.
1. Solidify Your Online Presence
When you go to market your private practice, you want to make sure you solidify your plan with the basics. More specifically, you want to solidify your online presence with a website that’s responsive and easy to use. Don’t have experience with websites or web development? No problem. There are tools out there like Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace that will guide you through the process of creating a seamless website. Of course, the key here is to make sure it's user-friendly. Try thinking about the site like a patient would. Are you able to move through the site without long load time? Is the purpose of each page easy to understand? If you’re not sure, its always great to do some user testing by asking friends, family, or a colleague to try navigating through the site as well.
Need a quick guide on building a website. Find one here.
Another important note about your online presence and your website is ensuring that everyone has a clear understanding of your specialties and services. This sounds like a no brainer, but many business owners miss the mark. Your goal is to make sure you’re specific enough that you’re getting the right people setting up appointments, but also broad enough that your website visitors don’t have to have their doctorate to know what you do.
2. Use Google
Google isn’t the scary beast you think it is. There are a lot of tools that can help you grow your business and some of them are even free. You’ve probably only thought of Google in terms of Google Ads (previously Google AdWords), which is a great tool, but there’s much more to see. Google My Business provides a local listing for you so anyone searching for services similar to yours can find them on Google Search and Maps. Let’s be honest, what’s the first thing someone does when they discover they need help? They go to Google, so you want to make sure you’re there as well.
You can take your efforts a step further with SEO and Google Ads to make sure you show up when you want to. SEO (search engine optimization) is a process that can help you make sure your site shows up in results when potential patients complete relevant searches. SEO can start from the moment you create your site and includes making sure you have the right keywords on the page. A large portion of SEO isn’t complicated and can be completed with the help of a quick guide while other more technical portions could be left to an agency or freelance expert when you’re ready to tackle them.
Want to learn more about SEO? Start with this guide.
Once you have SEO setup, and you decide to start Google Ads, make sure you do a bit of research before spending your budget. Again, Google Ads doesn’t have to be difficult. You decide how much you spend and you can target the keywords you like. Before you set up your first campaign though, you want to use Google’s other tools like Keyword Planner to see how much a click for a particular keyword will generally cost.
Google provides some of the guides about using Google Ads.
3. Use Social Media (carefully)
Private practice marketing doesn’t have to end with searches. As a practice owner, you can use social media to your advantage. Without realizing it, people are often looking to social media for direction and connection. By posting HIPAA compliant information about your practice, as well as advice, you can begin to form a connection with individuals before they even make their first appointment.
What’s the best way to stay HIPAA compliant on social media? Don’t post information about your previous or current clients. When posting you can stick to general information about your services and how people can work through the challenges in their lives. If social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are a bit too social for you, then feel free to keep it professional with a page or blog on LinkedIn.
4. Blog, Blog, Blog (Email, Email, Email)
You may have already convinced yourself that you don’t have time for a blog. In the process, you’ve talked yourself out of a valuable resource to help connect with patients on every level. If we think back to potential patients (or even people who haven’t considered therapy) completing a search on Google, they’re usually looking for written advice from a professional. They haven’t decided to go anywhere or see anyone just yet, but if they read your blog and like your insights then they’ll search for you when they’re ready. You have to meet people where they are in marketing and a blog is the first step to doing that.
See what a successful blog looks like here.
A blog also opens another opportunity that so many people miss out on. Emails. You might be thinking, "No one wants a newsletter crowding their inbox." Well, they do if it has valuable information. Whenever someone comes to your site or blog you have the chance to offer them your knowledge and expertise. Your visitors have already shown that they need it by coming to your site in the first place. A quick welcome email to let them know you’re happy they’re considering their mental health will always be appreciated.
5. Be Consistent and Considerate
You don’t have to dive into every marketing technique headfirst to see results. Choosing one method listed here and being consistent is what’s most important. If you decide to write a weekly blog and send a monthly newsletter then keep at it. Grow your list. Sit down one day and write all four of your blog posts for the month. Create a calendar reminder to make sure everything is being done. The same applies to posting on social media and maintaining your online presence. The last thing you want to do is show up one day and disappear the next.
No matter which strategy you decide to go with you can find the rhythm, and the success you want for your practice. More importantly, you can make sure that you save time and keep patients coming to you.