Marketing For Therapists With Full Schedules

5 reasons to keep promoting your private practice even when you can't take on new clients.

Group therapy marketing

With the numbers of people looking for mental health help skyrocketing since the past year, it's no wonder that many practices are full to the brim.


I follow a large number of mental health professionals on social media, and I see many posts about having to turn clients away. So much so that it's become a difficult dilemma for clinicians who want to help as many people as they can. Most do.


The problem is that they just can't. For the obvious reason - the human inability to physically stretch time. Besides that, filling up your time to the maximum capacity is not-so-sustainable either, because it may lead to a burnout.


So between your full schedule of client work and an ever looming burnout possibility, why should you even spend time thinking about marketing? What's the point, if you can't accept any new clients?


Because marketing is not only about bringing in new clients. It's also about comfortably positioning yourself for future success, both professional and financial.


So if you allow yourself to dedicate one or two hours a week to marketing your private practice, you will be able to set yourself up for the next step in your practice.


Want to talk about the future of your private practice? Book a Discovery Call Today.


This is what you can dedicate your "marketing hours" to right now:

  1. Learn about your Ideal Client. I know that every marketing and business coach out there is talking at nauseam about the importance of knowing who your ideal client is. But seriously, you need to define this type of person for yourself. Because that's the person you WANT to work with. Your Ideal Client is the reason you decided to go into the Mental Health field in the first place. This persons is the reason why you went to school and opened your private practice. But I can bet that a big percentage of your current clientele does not fall into the category of your ideal client. Understanding who you want to work with will help you become more intentional with the clients you take on and not feel like you have to turn away clients that you might otherwise want to work with. By having a clear criteria on who you want to take on, you will feel better about referring other people to your colleagues.

  2. Set SMART goals for your practice. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. So for example, if you want to reduce your workload, you can formulate it as "I want to reduce my workweek to 4 days by the end of 2021." When you set a goal like that, you start looking at the future of your practice through the lens of reducing your workload. And then you can start figuring out how to actually do it and remain profitable. It might work out that you need to appeal to a different type of clientele that can afford paying higher fees. In this case, your marketing will have to be directed to attract this type of people. Or, you might want to hire other clinicians to work for you and you will have to invest in creating awareness about their services. Setting a SMART goal will help you prioritize your caseload and create a direction for your practice growth.

  3. Explore how you can optimize your working hours. It's fairly typical to charge a set fee for a psychological evaluation. Some clinicians prefer to offer it as a stand alone service, even if it takes several sessions. But mostly, therapists charge an hourly fee. While you can increase your fees with time, looking into other ways to make the best of the time you have can help you use your skills to help more people. Not everyone is ready to book a session with you at this moment, but those people are too, actively looking for help. They are looking for information online on different platforms. Growing an audience of people who are curious but not yet ready to see a therapist can help you generate passive income through affiliations and potential online courses if that's the direction you would like to take. My point is, you can help more people by optimizing your time.

  4. Look into packaging a service into a "service product". Similar to my previous point about optimizing your time, this can be a way to stop trading time for money. I am not suggesting you adopt a coaching model of packaging services for a specific outcome. I know that promising an outcome is not what therapy is about. But I will argue that it is possible to create a service product with therapy as well. Take the time to look at your experience and see where you could create a service that is connected to a specific time-frame. Maybe it's a specialized process of work with couples or a series of support sessions for parents who's child is in therapy. Look at the big picture of your specialization and see which holes you can fill with service packages.

  5. Explore partnerships. Today's full schedule doesn't guarantee that it will stay this way forever. And even if you will continue to effortlessly fill your practice, you will still be getting new inquiries. An unanswered email or a phone call can leave people who are looking for help feeling bitter. And that in turn can generate negative online reviews. That's why it's always better to create partnerships with local practitioners who you can safely refer people that you can't accept in your practice. In turn thos practitioners can refer your ideal clients back to you. This will not only help you with referrals but will also provide a good customer service for people who contact you. Customer service is a big part of marketing and is often neglected when we don't have the need for new clients. I want you to spend time thinking about this aspect so you can avoid future dry spells and negative feedback about your private practice.


Want to talk about the future of your private practice? Book a Discovery Call Today.


In Conclusion

Marketing your private practice should not be a reactive effort that you engage in only when you have no new clients coming in. Marketing is about your business relationship with your audience that consists of future, present and past clients. It's about creating a private practice in which you can thrive, help the people you signed up to help, and sustain the lifestyle you want to have.

I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. How do you optimize your time?

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