4 min

Common Marketing Mistakes Therapists Often Make

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While many therapists are taught the importance of theoretical orientation, clinical excellence, and adhering to laws and ethics, there's often little attention given to marketing. As a result, many successful therapists struggle to fill their caseload or gain recognition. Even if you are a skilled practitioner, your business could flounder without effective marketing.

Failing to Define or Speak to Your Target Audience

Even if you don't have an overly specific niche, it's a mistake to avoid identifying your ideal clients. Trying to speak to everyone results in coming across as too generic and broad- in a saturated market, you will struggle to stand out. In addition, because therapy is so inherently intimate, it's especially important that potential clients feel seen and heard when they come across your website or marketing campaigns.

If this is an area of weakness, consider spending some time reflecting on your caseload. What kinds of clients do you most want to work with? What are their ages, presenting problems, and innermost needs? How do other companies market to them, and where might they be most responsive to your advertising efforts?

Inconsistent or Disregarded Branding

One of the most common marketing marketing mistakes professionals make is coming across as inconsistent or unclear. Your brand is the "stuff" that separates you from other therapists; it's the essence of your practice, mission statement, and values.

A successful marketing campaign honors branding in everything it does, from the font on the business cards to the logo on the website to the copy written in each email. Branding is an evolving art, but people should have a clear feel for who you are, what you stand for, and how you can help them when they view your marketing materials.

Failing to Take Care of Your Online Presence

Even if you acquire clients via word-of-mouth or through an in-person referral source, you're missing out on tremendous opportunities by disregarding your company's online presence.

At a minimum, you need to have a website that advertises your practice, specialties, and contact information. You should also have an updated LinkedIn page that showcases your work experience, accomplishments, and other professional endeavors.

Make sure that all your headshots and written copy are current. If you no longer offer a specific service or your fees/hours have changed, make those adjustments.

Ignoring or Failing to Nurture Potential Referral Sources

Networking is an essential part of any business. The more people know about your practice, the more people can speak about your reputation and refer potential clients to you.

One of the most common marketing mistakes professionals make is failing to network. That doesn't mean you have to attend luncheons or company parties if you're more introverted. But it does mean making an effort to know other therapists in your community and talk about your practice.

Furthermore, depending on your population, you may have referral sources beyond therapists. For example, you might consider building a relationship with your local high schools if you work with teenagers or a medical practice if you specialize in clients with chronic pain conditions.

Failing to Moderate or Adjust Marketing Campaigns

Many therapists set up their website only to never update it again. As you and your practice evolve, your marketing campaigns should reflect these changes. In addition, it's important to track analytics to see what's working on what's not (i.e. if you're paying to be on a specific directory, you should track how many calls/inquiries that directory generates for you).

It's normal to need to pivot your efforts every so often. If you're in the early stages of your practice, consider spending an hour once a quarter to review your metrics and make any adjustments. If you're in later stages, devote some time at least once a year.

Trying to Do It All Without Help

Marketing can be a full-time job, especially if you're just learning the ropes. It's tempting to try to cut down on costs or avoid delegating to others by managing everything yourself.

But the DIY method can be costly, both in time and money. By spending more effort on marketing, you have less to give to your clients, and you will also have less free time. It may be helpful to consider how you can outsource certain marketing tasks to better optimize your strategy.

Outsourcing options can include hiring a:

  • virtual assistant to run a social media campaign or create content
  • marketing company to help with branding, logos, and a website
  • copywriter for blogging or website copy
  • SEO expert for increasing online presence
  • public relations specialist for advertising large-scale projects and press releases

Having Unrealistic Expectations or Doing Too Much Too Soon

Even the most successful marketing campaigns face problems. It's important to have reasonable expectations for your business- if you're just starting out, it's unlikely that you will build an entire caseload in just a few weeks.

At the same time, pacing also matters. For example, if you know you want to be active on social media, it may be overwhelming to make profiles and content for four different platforms. Instead, consider focusing your effort on one platform at a time and build your audience slowly and authentically.

Inadequate Call to Action (CTA)

No matter how you market your business, clients should easily know how to reach you. This applies whether you're handing out business cards or directing clients to your website.

Compelling calls to action can include encouraging website visitors to sign up for your monthly newsletter, schedule an initial consultation, download a resource you created, or contact you directly.

Overpricing or Underpricing Services (Or Failing to Include Prices)

Finances certainly come into play when potential clients are sourcing therapists. With that, it's important to establish your fees and price your services accordingly.

Some therapists avoid posting fees on their websites because they don't want to deter potential clients from reaching out. This is often a mistake- transparency is an essential part of the work, and the opposite may happen where more clients contact you only to be dissuaded by the price later on.

Even though you might feel tempted to charge less than other therapists, clients might assume your lower rate indicates a lack of experience, competence, or confidence, all of which can affect their ability to trust your skillset.

Final Thoughts On Successful Marketing Campaigns for Therapists

Most therapists aren't taught to market their business or create successful advertising campaigns. But it's important to regularly consider how you can speak to potential clients and keep your company running smoothly. There's no "perfect" strategy for marketing, and it's important to keep an open mind and be willing to experiment with new techniques to find what works best for you.

At Navix Health, we support therapists and other mental health professionals in streamlining their management software. We aim to free up your time and resources so you can focus more on what you do best- helping your clients.

We offer inclusive software packages that integrate EMR, revenue cycle management, and our unique NavixAI™ into one effective, affordable system. We can accommodate your company's individual needs, and our dedicated customer relationship management ensures that you feel supported the entire time.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary demo.

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