How Marketing Can Help You Build a Relationship with Your Clients Before They Start Therapy

How Marketing Can Help You Build a Relationship with Your Clients Before They Start Therapy

Marketing isn’t just about selling a service or product. When it comes to therapy, it’s about letting people know who you are and how you can help them. Contacting a mental health therapist for the first time – especially if you’ve never been to counseling before – can be really scary. Convincing someone to be completely vulnerable with a total stranger takes time – clients do their research (and a lot of it!) before choosing a therapist. It typically takes about 10 points of contact (visiting your website, reading a blog post, engaging in social media, listening to an interview, etc.) before a potential client will take the first step and contact a therapist. So it’s important that when you start marketing and promoting your services online, you are building trust before you start selling. The goal of marketing therapy is to showcase you as an expert and to develop a relationship with potential clients before they come in for their first session.

Here are a few ways you can build that relationship with potential clients:

BLOGGING: Blogging is a great way to showcase who you are and share your expertise. Regularly blogging (at least once a month, but ideally once a week) will keep your website visitors engaged and coming back for more. They’ll get a sense of who you are and have a better understanding of your specialties. But remember to keep your blogging client-focused. What are their needs? What do they need help with? Don’t focus on yourself and your specialties, focus on their experiences and how you can help solve their problem. Not only will this build trust, but it will attract the clients you want to be seeing.

VIDEOS: Videos are a great way for people to really get to know you and your style. It makes you more personable and more “human.” You can post videos to your website, social media, YouTube, e-newsletters, and the list goes on. A lot of people get hung up on the idea of only putting out perfect content and videos. Your videos don’t have to be perfect. No one is perfect! Even doing a short selfie video talking about mindfulness, self-care, or what you ate for breakfast, is a way for your audience to connect with you and see your human side. This is key in building an authentic relationship. If you are planning to do videos yourself, just make sure the audio is good (try using an external mic), and keep the video short and relevant. If you want to look like a pro, here’s a guide that can help.

SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING: When you pay for ads, start by promoting blog posts, videos of yourself giving advice, and free educational or helpful materials on social media (like Facebook). You can start with a small budget, like $1 a day, and if it’s successful, do another! After you’ve built a solid following, you can start selling your services. By then people will trust you and feel as if they know you. Remember, starting therapy isn’t an impulse buy, so marketing efforts require nurturing – just like the relationship with your clients!

WEBSITE: Just like blogging, your website should reflect who you are and how you can help. When potential clients visit your website, what do you want them to know about you? For therapy to be effective, it’s crucial for the relationship to be a good fit. One way to ensure you are attracting the right clients is to make sure your website speaks directly to those you want to help, so forget the psychobabble and jargon. Your website should be conversational and helpful, addressing your clients needs.

It’s important to get clarification on your services before you start marketing. Consistency is key in building trust. That doesn’t mean you can evolve, change, or add specialties to your practice over time, but it does mean that the relationship you have with your existing clients and potential clients should be built on stability and trust. Marketing can help you clarify your mission and goals, while celebrating your uniqueness and dedication to helping others, so you can attract your ideal clients and grow your private practice.

Running a business, marketing and growing your practice, and actually getting to do what you love – provide counseling – is a lot to juggle! If you need marketing support – designing a beautiful website, writing compelling blogs, getting your message out on social media, or branding your practice – HYHO Marketing & Design can help. Contact me today to learn how I can help you grow your practice and showcase your unique expertise.

Posted by Misha Conaway in Mental Health Therapy Marketing
The 1st Step in Creating a Website

The 1st Step in Creating a Website

When someone tells me they want a website, the first question I ask is “why?” If you are a therapist, small business owner, or non-profit having a beautiful, easy to navigate website is a must. But before you start making a website, it’s important to know what your specific goals are and how you envision your website helping you achieve those goals. Are you looking to grow your private practice? Do you need more donors or volunteers? There’s this idea that you just throw a website out there and it will magically solve all of your problems. But websites aren’t magic. It takes planning, time, and nurturing to have an effective website that will help you reach your goals.

What’s the first step in creating a website?

The first step in creating an effective website is to think and plan. You have to have purpose and clarity before you start designing and developing anything. Here are some questions that can help give you direction. When you answer them, be brief and specific.

  • What is the purpose of your business or organization?
  • Who are your clients or whom do you serve?
  • Whom do you want to visit your website?
  • What do you want them to do when they get to your website?
    • If you are a psychotherapist or counselor, the answer might be “contact me for a therapy appointment” or “schedule a consultation.”
    • If you are a non-profit, the answer could be “donate,” “volunteer,” or “attend an event.”
  • How does this help your private practice or organization meet its goals?

When I discuss the process of building websites with clients, I often use the human body as an analogy. You can’t start building a body with the skin. You have to work from the inside-out.

Start with the bones, or the structure of the website. When people arrive at your website, what will they do? What route do they take? How will they navigate through your site? What are the main pages of your site? This will give you the basic framework for the structure.

Once you decide on the pages and navigation (or the bones), you can move on to the organs and meat (sorry if this is gross!). What is the content that will go on each page? First think about text, “call-to-actions” (this is where you tell people what you want them to do with links or buttons), and accompanying images and videos that support the text. What information do you want to convey? Is it absolutely necessary to include on your website? Whatever you include on your website, make sure it serves a purpose and helps you achieve your business goals. All of your content should be informative, educational, and relevant to your business.

Finally we can move on to the skin or look of the website. This goes hand-in-hand with the branding of your private practice or organization. Now you can think about colors, fonts, logos, and additional imagery that adds the flourishes to your website. Do you have a design concept or logo? What’s your brand?

If you are new to creating websites (or even thinking about web design), I highly recommend looking at other websites of therapists or organizations in your field. Take some time to peruse the site and make notes about what you do and don’t like in terms of ease of use, navigation, design, and feel. Did you enjoy using that website? Were you able to find what you were looking for? Did you know what you were supposed to do when you arrived to the website? This will help you figure out what you want (and just as importantly, don’t want) for your website. Take your time with this process and be specific.

When you do this preliminary work and planning, it will make the rest of the process of creating the website go much smoother and quicker. HYHO Marketing & Design offers an array of services to help you market your private practice or organization, including web design, branding, and blogging. Ready to put your business online? Contact me today and get a beautiful, effective website.

Posted by Misha Conaway in Mental Health Therapy Marketing, Non-Profit Marketing, Website Design