Online Marketing Training for Therapists: What You Need to Know
Not having the opportunity to learn about marketing and business skills in grad school puts therapists at a major disadvantage later in their careers. With a large percentage of mental health providers entering the world of private practice and later becoming independent, it's necessary to learn how to attract clients. If you find yourself stuck trying to figure out where to begin your marketing education, online training can be a valuable resource. In this post, I'm laying out the basics of finding the right online marketing training for therapists.
the right online training for therapists
Before you commit to that Instagram course and dive into the rabbit hole of acquiring followers and spending every waking moment scrolling and commenting, watch this video.
In it, I'm explaining the mindset that you'll have to adopt while searching for the right online course. If you're just starting out in marketing, look for a course that offers foundational education and not only tactical knowledge. A more expensive comprehensive course that you can refer to will allow you to lay out the foundation for all your future marketing efforts.
Understand Digital Marketing Basics
Digital marketing may sound intimidating at first, but it's something that you can master even if you're not a tech wiz. Learning how to establish your online presence and attract people through search engine optimization (SEO) will be your number one priority.
In essence, there are two basic steps in developing your digital marketing strategy:
Create your digital HQ - your website.
Direct people online to your HQ.
Everything else falls under these two steps.
With the right online program or course, you'll be able to learn what goes into building your online HQ; and what makes your website effective and user-friendly. So when you're shopping for a digital marketing course as a therapist, make sure it includes copywriting basics for your website and keyword strategy.
Another aspect of Digital Marketing is pay-per-click advertising (PPC). If you're too busy and need an immediate influx of clients, consider investing in paid ads. Online ads can accelerate step #2 and attract online searchers who are looking for therapy right now. Investing in ads will be more costly, but if you find training that teaches you the basics of PPC, you will be able to have full control of your advertising budget.
With the right training, you can quickly become an expert in search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, social media, website analytics, email marketing, and other digital tactics that will help get your practice ahead of the curve. But first, let's focus on your digital marketing bread and butter, SEO.
Learn Key SEO Strategies
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), should be at the core of your online marketing training course. SEO helps you ensure that potential clients can find your website when they use a search engine, like Google or Bing.
When it comes to learning about SEO, you need to understand the principles of on-page SEO, formatting your content in a way that is search-engine friendly. Your training on SEO must include the following:
Keyword research - identifying the best keywords for your website.
Formatting your webpages front and back end to be easily understood and scanned by people and search engines.
Optimization for local searches so your website will come up in search results done in your location.
Promotion of your website and specific web pages to maximize shares and get links from other sites.
But that's not all. Part of the traffic to your website will come from social media and online directories such as Psychology Today. Your marketing training needs to take the power of these platforms into account as well.
When it comes to marketing a therapy practice, you have the advantage of using professional directories to help you direct some of their traffic to your website. While other businesses need to hunt for relevant directories, clinicians have ready-made platforms that can boost your SEO.
Finally, your digital marketing strategy needs to include email marketing. Learning about SEO, PPC, and social media is important but it won't help you book an appointment with people who aren't ready for therapy yet.
If you don't want your hard-earned traffic to go to waste, you need to use email marketing to keep in touch with potential customers and nurture your leads. When SEO and email marketing are taught together in your online marketing training course, it will give you more bang for your buck and bring more clients to your practice.
The Power of Email Marketing & Automation Tools
If you want to learn anything about marketing it's this: people work with people whom they know, like, and trust.
Email marketing is the best and most reliable way to build up your future clients' trust in your abilities. Through email, you can showcase your expertise and authority on a particular subject and educate people on the benefits of mental health. Additionally, email is a great promotional vehicle for your services.
Once a person receives a few emails from you with useful and relevant information, they will develop an affinity with you and your brand as a therapist. But first, you need to learn how to get email subscribers and how to create email automation so you won't have to manually write every email to every person on your list.
There are a few email marketing services you can use like Convertkit, Mailchimp, and Constant Contact. From this list, only Constant Contact is technically HIPAA compliant. There is no clear answer to whether an email marketing service has to be HIPAA-compliant but I would recommend researching what works best for your practice.
Regardless, all email marketing services are capable of:
Integrating with your website
Uploading your existing email list
Segmenting your email subscribers by specific preferences
Scheduling and triggering email automation
Offering you data on email opens and clicks
A comprehensive marketing course will include email marketing in its curriculum where you can learn how to set up your email marketing service and write emails that create deeper connections with your future clients.
Choosing the right online marketing training will help you save on the time spent learning tricks and techniques haphazardly as well as spending your funds on irrelevant information.
Choose a course or training that is created specifically for mental health practitioners by people who have experience within the business of private practice.