How to build a great brand for Therapists and Counsellors in Private Practice
Are you a health and well-being practitioner working solo? Congratulations! You are making waves in the digital world, and your opportunities are growing.
So, you’ll be asking yourself “How do I stand out online and attract great clients?”
Your reputation is everything, and it begins the second someone sees you on a Google listing, your LinkedIn profile, or your website.
It's no secret that people are searching for health and well-being solutions at an unprecedented rate.
It's no secret that people are searching for health and well-being solutions at an unprecedented rate. More than ever, people want to know how to feel their best, and they want to know their options. They can search using words like "online health coach”, “Therapist" or specific terms like “Qualified Couples Counsellor” and …. you’ve got these exact words on your profiles. You are ready to help them. But when they find you, what will draw them in?
The answer is branding. Personal branding is how you, and your Private Practice stand out from the crowd.
The answer is branding. Personal branding is how you, and your Private Practice stand out from the crowd. A collection of images, words and communication processes that project your values in the caring profession. Your business name, your style of images, your client communication techniques… these are all critical pieces of your personal brand.
Personal branding is about making an impression on potential clients that makes them want to work with you above everyone else. The 3 C’s of branding are Clarity, Consistency and Character. You'll have a name for your business (and ideally one that's easy to remember and type), a clear description of your services and qualifications and you will know your target audience. Sorted? Not quite.
We know that people’s attention spans are very short online, and here at isosconnect, our experience suggests that appointments by new clients are often made at night, which makes sense if it is when someone could be emotionally low. Overall, while searching on our phones and laptops, we have grown the tendency to want an answer immediately. No-one appreciates a delayed reaction. Wondering if the email was received, worried the call-back will come at a very inconvenient, potentially embarrassing time. This is what the growing large service providers understand about clients booking, and why they have grown. But your opportunity is here is waiting for you and will help you build regular income. Remember, a client is choosing a business as well as you as a trained practitioner.
So, there are improvements you can make, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Take these easy steps.
1. Be a digital spy to help you brand your Private Practice
Get a trusted friend to search for your services in Google or LinkedIn, with the intention of making a booking. Get them to note each of the steps, ready to share with you, along with some feedback on what they loved and what was difficult. For example, if they google your name, every profile you have appears – which one would they click-on? And why?
Then get them to make a booking, outside of business hours. Send that message/email or dial that number and leave a message. And ask them what they think of that. If you are using an Out of Office email, or a recorded voicemail message, that will also leave an impression. And you do want that impression to be professional and to project trust and confidence.
2. Why image and service audits are an important part of branding your therapy business
Now you have a good idea of what your process ‘feels’ like to a client, especially a new one. What do you want your brand to say about your Practice? How would you prefer that potential client to feel?
Organised, Professional, Safe, Trusted, Knowledgeable and Personal are some of the words we hear when asking Practitioners that question. These values are ingrained in the way you feel about your business, now we need to bring them to life, beyond a website!
Of course, from a practical perspective, posting email address and phone numbers online leaves you with a LOT of communication to sort through. Your email address then gets used for sales, and voicemails mean you must call someone back. It’s a never-ending cycle. So how do you stand out, and brand yourself as professional and trusted in a digital world?
3. Practical tips to create an exceptional brand as a Health and Well-being Practitioner
Here are 4 easy tips.
Use an automated booking system. It will make all those pieces work together seamlessly! Automated booking systems increase your credibility and ease of use dramatically, while also showing clients that they can trust you because you're easy to work with (and not just because it helps streamline your business). And they are easy for you to control.
Ø Go one step further and use practice management software that will simplify your life and give your business the edge it needs to compete in this digital world
Use a professional video service for online sessions rather than a free or general consumer software. The tools you use say a lot about your practice. It sets a standard, both in compliance and personal branding. It signals that you are being responsible with technology and data. Telehealth is not just for companies, today you can benefit from its integrity as well.
Share your CPD work often in a blog or on your social profiles. Clients love to learn about you before they talk to you and are often willing to read quite a lot.
Edit your LinkedIn name so that your URL contains an important keyword that you want to be found on Google for, for example ‘relationshipcounsellor’
Regularly ask clients for their feedback on “How easy was it to work with me?”
A testimonial for this crucial stage will give other new clients more confidence in you because you value client’s feedback. You have taken the time to gather it, and your client was happy to provide it, even anonymously.
And don't let yourself be bogged down or worried by technology! These things really do make a big difference to the impression you give while saving you time so that you can focus on doing what matters most: taking care of your clients and providing them with the best possible service available online today!
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. We are here to help you use technology to its fullest advantage, so that you can help more of the people that need you.
We speak to practitioners all the time and we wanted to share the top FAQ’s that we see.
1 - What Branding mistakes should health and well-being practitioners avoid?
It is well understood that when operating online, a ‘Niche’ goes a long way. Pick one aspect of your services and focus on that, you can build on it later, or adjust if you need to. But a Niche creates a clear understanding and expectation between you and your clients, which is priceless. E.g. isosconnect is practice management software for individual practitioners (not clinics)
2 – Do I need a professional Marketer to gain more clients?
Marketing is complex as a skill, and it is only half the equation. Marketing puts you and clients in the same vicinity. Sales puts the appointments in your diary. But doing the basics well can have a profound effect. Your Google Business Page, with a clear Niche and an automated booking system can be transformative, alongside some testimonials (anonymous is okay).
3 – How much should I spend on marketing my therapy business?
This is a budgeting decision in my book. How many clients do you need to make a profit? or to earn the living you really want? Once you know this you can plan a budget for marketing and sales. Content Marketing is the best value for money over time. Spend your money giving as much value as you can to your potential clients; with articles like this!