The Threat Of Not Marketing Your Private Practice And How To Avoid It
Mental health and the awareness of mental health issues has become one of the main health topics to dominate our media. And for a good reason. Depression and anxiety among kids and teenagers are on the rise. We live in the midst of the opioid crisis. And we are still battling with the stigma of getting mental health help.
This is a unique opportunity for therapists to live their purpose, help the people they set out to help when they first decided to study and work in this area, and also educate the public.
I talk a lot about opportunities in marketing, but we also need to talk about threats. The threat of not marketing yourself as a therapist is leaving the messaging to the non-experts. The people who don't have the expertise, education and credentials to treat the people in need. These "non-experts" can piggyback on this conversation and use it for their advantage, to promote ideas and services that are doing your clients a major disservice.
The threat of not marketing yourself as a therapist is leaving the messaging to the non-experts.
I recently saw an ad for a psychic who's message was that her reading was cheaper than a visit to a therapist. For some people its a whimsical play on our culture, but for others, who really need help and are not in the joking frame of mind, this message could be a quick fix of their emotional and mental problems.
By not participating in the Mental Health conversation, not marketing your services correctly, you are not only missing the opportunity to build authority, but also opening up a threat for an unethical manipulation of people in need of help. This might sound dramatic, but in reality, marketing is a form of responsibility that you owe to the people who are actually searching for for your service.
So how do you take this responsibility and become a leading voice in the mental health awareness conversation?
Understand who you are talking to. To understand who your listener is you must first identify your ideal client. Who is the person that you want to help in the first place? And who is the person that is actively looking for what you have to offer them? When you define and understand this person's motives, desires and pains, you will be able to address them directly in your marketing messaging.
Define your main message. To do that you need to craft a value proposition that will address the benefits of working with you. The essence of all your offerings needs to be rooted in the value that you provide to your clients. Even though this value might seem to you as self-evident, it is not for others. It needs to be defined, spelled out and promoted.
Create valuable content. Your content can take many forms: written, video, audio or live speaking. That can be determined as you go along planning your marketing. The important part here is creating topics that are rooted in your value proposition and are connectable with your ideal client. People who have become an authority in their realms, like Esther Perel, develop content that promotes a very specific message and delivers a clear value to the audience.
Talk about your message. You need to spread your message on every marketing channel that you have decided to use. For that, you would have to create a marketing plan that outlines your promotional actions. Remember that people need to know you and what you stand for, before they can like and trust you.
This is not an easy task, but it's necessary if you want to serve the people you chose to help, dominate the conversation and grow your private practice.