If you’re in private practice, chances are you didn’t get a large tax return this season. As a small business owner myself, I know this time of year can be especially tough.
While money’s usually tight this time of year, it’s still important to continue marketing your practice. The time you invest in your marketing strategy now will help bringing you more clients in the future.
Below are some easy ways to continue marketing your practice without financial costs.
Five Easy Ways to Market Your Practice For Free This Tax Season
It’s easy to spend money on just about anything online (you can ask our team — they call me the “tool toad” because I love buying online tools!), and marketing is no exception; however, it’s just as easy and effective to utilize low-cost and free options. And everyone loves free options!
Because Google is highly content driven, the easiest way to draw more traffic to your site and expand your online presence is through writing. As a therapist, you already know how to connect with people on a deeper level than most. Simply channel that gift into your web presence and your writing, and you’ll be set.
Below are a handful of free options that can help widen your audience both online and in your practice. The good news? The more visibility you have online, the more clients you’ll get.
1. Write blogs! Ready? Go.
The truth is, you can never have enough blog posts. Even if you think you’re a blog sensei, write more, and write more often.
Blogging on your therapy website not only allows you to connect on a deeper level with your readers, but it also lends you credibility.
Blogging also increases the size of your site, which, if you’ve read our posts or attended our webinars in the past, then you likely already know that the larger your site (AKA the more pages on your site), the higher you will rank in Google. Ranking better on Google makes your business easier to find online.
Lastly, blog writing also allows you to remain top of mind for your potential clients. If you don’t currently have an email list, we highly recommend starting to build one. This will allow you to use your blogs posts to stay in touch with your potential clients. By sending them valuable, relevant information, you will indirectly remind them that you’re there to help them with their specific issue. When they’re ready to hire a therapist, you’ll be top of mind.
2. Write more blogs! And not just for yourself. Share the love.
The title above may be misleading because writing for others doesn’t just come from the goodness of your heart. Writing posts for other sites (also known as “guest blogging” or “guest posts”) should form a mutually beneficial networking relationship between you and your host.
Writing content for other sites expands your outreach to new audiences (and potential clients), and therefore, lends you more professional integrity. Hosting guests on your blog, too, is a great way to expand and diversify your content — especially when the content will help your potential clients in some way. The more you can build trust and offer value to your readers, the more likely they are to pick up the phone and call you.
When it comes to guest blogging, get creative! You can write a post for a practice or business that offers similar services to yours, a website or blog related to your specialties, local websites, or even your local newspaper’s blog.
Bonus: By writing content for other websites, you’re not only getting exposure to a larger audience, but you’re also getting a high-quality link back to your website. Links to and from your site are two factors Google looks at when determining where to rank your website, so powerful links to your site are a huge plus for improving your chances of ranking higher.
3. Publish, publish, publish
If you have ideas for articles or are particularly proud of one of your blog posts, explore the topic further, and write an article. Once you’re finished writing, send the piece out for publication online.
Publishing your work can certainly increase your audience, plus it’s something that you can add to your resume. Several publications cost nothing to submit to, so why not give it a try?
Some popular online magazines for therapists include, Psychotherapy Networker, Family Therapy Magazine, New Therapist Magazine, TeleMental Health Institute, The Practice Institute, Mind Science Foundation, among many others. You can also submit articles to larger publications like the Huffington Post. In fact, one of our clients was recently published in Forbes magazine!
Do a quick search in Google to find other online magazines or websites that accept publications.
4. Does your social media game need work?
Yes is always the right answer. Although social media can be somewhat difficult to navigate from a therapy marketing standpoint (due to social stigmas surrounding mental health), it’s still really important that you consider mastering this platform and maintain a solid social media web presence.
Plus, social media is not only free, it’s also really fast! You can post once a day (or more, of course) about something simple that can potentially connect with and benefit your potential clients.
Social media posts that tend to perform best are 50-150 words (depending on the platform) of genuine or topical content. Make sure you pair your post with an eye-catching image.
5. Is your Google local listing up to date? Optimized? Oh boy.
Lastly, it’s crucial that your Google Local listing (also referred to as your Google My Business listing) contains accurate information: your current address, website, phone number, hours of operation, relevant categories, etc. You want Google to have accurate information on your practice so a) your clients can find you on Google maps and b) Google has accurate and consistent information on your practice. Here’s why that’s SO important!
Last but not least: Encourage your colleagues (not your clients!) to review your business by clicking write a review on the local Google+ page. These reviews give your potential clients an initial sense of who you are as a therapist, and how you can help.
If you have additional questions, we are here to help.
I know that tax season can be rough on sole practitioners, but with these steps, you can market your practice very cheaply and fairly easily. If you have any questions about any of these points or you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!