Running your own private practice can get extremely busy – in between clients, admin, bookkeeping, and receptionist duties, very few health practitioners have hours to spend on marketing! But in our increasingly digital world, most practitioners do need to have presence online to attract new customers.
isosconnects’ in-house marketer shares some tips on how to market smarter not harder, to attract the right clients for you, and build loyalty with the clients you already have.
First, think about your brand – and by brand I don’t just mean the colours and fonts you use on your website. You have probably already established your brand (and may not have thought about it as branding) in the way you interact with your clients, present yourself, and your style of communication. All of these things will influence the kinds of client you attract.
Simply put, as a private practitioner, you are your brand.
We’ve written a whole other blog post on branding, if you want to take a look.
Whatever marketing channels you choose (more on that below) keep your brand at the forefront when creating content. This will help you attract the right fit clients for you. Right fit clients are the ones that will have successful outcomes and make referrals, which means less work marketing long-term.
Second, keep it simple. There’s no need to be on all social media networks producing videos, and blog posts, and photos, and quotes, and so on… The goal is not to be an influencer with thousands of followers – 100 followers who really resonate with you can be very powerful (you can become their first point of call, and they will refer)!
Focus on one or two channels that you’re comfortable with and enjoy (e.g. email and Facebook). The last thing you want is to get caught in a loop of spending hours on marketing to attract clients, then not having the time to dedicate to them when you do!
The aim is to build a sustainable marketing plan that you can automate in the long-term.
This is a much more effective way of marketing your services – less time consuming, better quality content, no burnout!
The Three Layers Of Your Marketing
1. ADVICE – 60 mins per week
This is where you create awareness around who you are, and show off your knowledge to people who might be looking for your services online. 60% of people in the UK search for health and wellness information online, and there is so much information (and misinformation) out there that people actively search out and value strong voices from qualified people.
Choose at least one of the options below
a) Post on social media at least 3 times per week and respond to comments (choose whatever platform and format you enjoy and are most comfortable with)
b) Send one email to your email database per week
c) Write a blog post and share with your network (1 or 2 times per month)
Tools like Canva are excellent for creating content; they have an abundance of pre-made templates that you can edit with your branding, then just switch up the content for new posts. There are also plenty of scheduling apps (this can also be done through Canva) that allow you to upload content ahead of time and in bulk, that will then be posted automatically.
· 3 things to prepare before your first therapy sessions
· Why CBT/Hypnotherapy/behaviour therapy might be right for you
· 5 tips for creating healthy habits
· 5 tips to avoid burnout
· Healthy boundaries can look like…
· Why you should practise self-care
It is a great way to show off your credentials and your personality, establish trust, and connect with potential clients who resonate with you.
You might take it for granted, but you have a wealth of knowledge that the general public find extremely valuable – a TED talk can change your life in 15 minutes. You can have that same impact on someone seeing your content.
2. GUIDANCE – 30-60 mins per week
This is how you can build on the advice you offered through your content and add a little extra. It might look a bit like snippets of that initial, free consultation you may offer potential patients; guiding them on how they can apply your advice in a more specific way.
a) Responding to comments and direct messages/emails
b) Engaging in groups on social media
c) Engaging in conversations on other people’s content within your network
More personalised advice and discussions. If someone asks you a specific question, consider responding with something along the lines of, ‘while I don’t know all of the details of your situation, you could look at X, Y, Z. I’d be happy to schedule you and introductory call if you’d like more specific help.’
This is the stage at which someone may be considering making an appointment with you, so it’s really valuable to participate in these conversations and use them as an opportunity to show the value you can offer to your potential client, and also establish that there’s a good fit.
Of course, it’s also crucial to set boundaries and be able to step away if someone is asking for too much or crossing lines. Guiding people to your appointment booking link if they want to engage in a longer conversation, or to an emergency number if they are in crisis, are important steps to plan ahead for and become comfortable with.
It’s not only the content you send out that you should be considering in your marketing. How your clients make an appointment, the ease of communication with you, and the added value of aftercare, can really impact their overall experience.
a) Google Business Profile – easy to set up and will allow you to be found in ‘therapist near me’ search results
b) Online appointment booking
c) Automated appointment reminders
d) Follow up emails
Having a simple website, or Google Business Profile, is a must to allow your potential clients to see your services and fees in their own time before making an appointment. You can make this process as simple and convenient as possible by utilising online booking, which allows you to take bookings at any time of the day (great for client!), without the need to manually go through emails or voicemails (great for you!).
Automated appointment reminders are also a great tool to reduce the risk of no shows and last-minute cancellations, and to prevent your client from having the last-minute ‘find the video link’ panic! You can even add links to articles, tips, and advice within appointment confirmation emails, or provide tips and after-care advice in follow-up emails.
These small things combined make for a great client experience and that is key for any private health professional, and isosconnect provides all these tools within our client management software (which can save you an hour a day on admin!).
Effective marketing should bring you the best fit clients that will finish with you happy and successful; it should also save you time, money, and energy, so the time you invest upfront and the consistency you build into your efforts will pay off. Follow the steps above, and don’t forget to spend a little time each month checking if your efforts are working or might need a slight adjustment.