If you’re getting your marketing wrong, you could be setting your business up for a fall.
Yet, studies show 48% of small business owners struggle to even define their target audience.
If you’re just getting started with psychotherapy marketing, you could be making a few common mistakes. We’ve pulled together some of the most frequent ones below so you’ll know what to avoid.
Lack of Marketing Strategy
Building a strong strategy is vital to effective marketing. A strategy focuses your efforts. There are many avenues for modern marketing, so your strategy forces you to think about which ones you want to take.
Scattershot marketing techniques are ineffective. They target too broadly and drain too many resources to be efficient. Drawing your strategy up at the start ensures you’re using your time wisely.
That doesn’t mean a marketing strategy has to be rigid. You can always course-correct if things aren’t working out. But you can’t fix something that doesn’t exist in the first place.
Targeting Your Audience
The idea of a target audience is as old as marketing. But marketing amateurs still forget how important it is.
Choosing your target audience shapes your entire message. Without it, you’re likely to be sending out mixed signals that fail to attract anyone. By doing this, you’re actually suggesting that you don’t have any particular expertise – likely the opposite of the message you want to send!
Even if you consider yourself a generalist, your psychotherapy marketing strategy shouldn’t be. Each audience you’re hoping to attract should be targeted with strategies relevant to them.
Do you have a social media account? If so, there’s a real chance you’re muddying your brand by getting social media wrong.
Even if you’re an individual, your business should have a brand. Your brand is a professional identity that presents a specific image to your customers. It may sound counter-intuitive, but your brand is never the same thing as who you are personally.
If you use social media as if it were a personal account, you’re likely confusing your brand. This could drive away followers.
For instance, if you’re tweeting political memes, you’re obscuring your brand signal with noise. At worst, you’re driving away customers who don’t share your personal views.
The caveat is that your social media should be personable. But that’s different to being personal.
If your feed solely consists of marketing spiel, you’ll drive customers away just as quickly. You also need to engage in dialogue to avoid seeming robotic.
These elements aren’t as contradictory as they sound. You can reinforce your brand by sharing and discussing content relevant to your niche.
Your brand shouldn’t be a sterile corporate image. Think of it as your personality as seen through a professional filter.
Any marketing guru can tell you that marketing is an activity game. Psychotherapy marketing is no different.
Many psychotherapists make the mistake of dialing back their marketing when they have a glut of customers. They then realize too late that they don’t have new customers coming through the door. By this time, it’s hard to course correct.
We all want to focus on our core business. But neglecting your marketing in a busy period sets you up for a fall.
Psychotherapy is a cyclical business. During your “boom” periods, you should actually be shoring up your client base to prepare for the “bust” periods.
Marketing is the way to keep a rolling client base, rather than being surprised when business dries up.
Serious businesses don’t use marketing strategies to patch up holes in their customer base. They’re actually marketing all the time to bring in new customers. By the time your profits start dropping, it may already be too late!
Not Using Reputation
If you’re good at what you do, then your customers should be lining up to share their stories.
Many psychotherapists miss out on this opportunity. In this age of influencers, word of mouth is often more important than traditional marketing. Don’t be afraid to urge your customers to market for you.
Of course, you don’t want to make this sound cynical. Prompt customers to share their positive experiences and success stories. Also urge them to leave feedback about your service.
Both of these will build the credibility of your brand. They also ensure that clients are likely to recommend you to friends, family, and their online social circle.
If you fail to capitalize on your reputation, you can miss out on free psychotherapy marketing. Studies show that people are much more likely to take positive actions with a brand after they’re prompted.
No Growth Strategy
Along with your psychotherapy marketing strategy, you need a growth strategy. Whether you embrace it or not, you’re a business. That means you need to think about how you want to grow.
The idea behind creating a growth strategy is to align your actions with your goals to help realize them. An effective growth strategy will actually give you an idea about how to plan and execute your marketing strategy.
The most underappreciated aspect of a growth strategy is identifying risk. By putting together a strategy, you also think through the challenges you face.
This could help you define and correct weaknesses in your message or operation. These weaknesses could mean the end for your practice down the line if not addressed.
Without a growth strategy, you can’t have a serious marketing strategy. You won’t know how much money to spend or how much time to invest in marketing.
You also won’t know if you need outside help. You won’t know what clients you’re reaching out to.
If you don’t have a growth strategy, you’re basically marketing blind.
Psychotherapy Marketing is Vital
Even if you aren’t a business-focused psychotherapist, you can’t afford to ignore your marketing. At the very least, it’s what will attract new clients to you.
By keeping the above advice in mind, you can make the most of your marketing and keep your business expanding.
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