How to Market a Therapy Group / Workshop

Are you thinking about creating a group or workshop? Have you thought of a great idea for a group or workshop, but have no idea how to market it? If you’ve hosted a group or workshop in the past, has it been as successful as you hoped?

Figuring out how to market or fill a workshop/group is an often talked about topic in the therapy world. In fact, several of the groups and therapist forums I am part of discuss this topic quite often. Many people create a group that they expect to fill immediately, struggle to find people to sign up, can’t figure out who or where to market it to, then just give up. If that sounds like you, you’re not alone.

So what makes marketing a therapy group/workshop so tough?

Contrary to what you may think, only a fraction of marketing a therapy group/workshop is the actual outreach. A large portion of the marketing work lies in the preparation. Because I know this is such a discussed topic, I’ve decided to share my recommendations for marketing a therapy group/workshop.

Below is a list of important factors to consider when marketing a therapy group/workshop.

The Focus or Topic of Your Group/Workshop

When it comes to choosing the focus or topic of your group/workshop, the most important thing to remember is to pick a topic that is very specific. A group that focuses on specific, high acute issues is much more attractive to potential group members and will result in more enrollments (if you are marketing it correctly). A specific group also gives other therapists in your network the ability to identify quickly in their mind which clients they know who will benefit from your group/workshop.

A great example of a specific topic is ‘women processing divorce.’ If a woman has just gotten a divorce, she will be attracted to a course focusing on exactly what she needs in that moment. Compare that to a general women’s therapy group – if someone just went through a divorce and is struggling to get through the day, a workshop focusing on self improvement may not be as enticing as one focused on her specific needs. Keep this in mind when determining your topic.

The Name of Your Group/Workshop

Once you select the topic for your group/workshop, dress it with an appealing name – something that grabs the attention of your potential group members. Be creative! For example, one woman in an online therapy group I am part of named her group “Sad Mom, Mad Mom” – a group that is specifically for mom’s who are trying to focus on their temper and parenting skills. When a mom dealing with similar issues reads the title of her group, for example, she will most likely say – ‘Oh gosh, that’s me!’ and want to join.

Outreach for Your Group/Workshop

You may guess what I’m about to say, but I’ll say it anyway. To market a group/workshop successfully, you need to have an email list that you are continuously building. Ongoing audience creation and nurturing through email marketing and list building techniques are key to these types of things. You want to build an email list through free downloads or teleseminars/webinars, send them ongoing newsletters to stay top of mind (what we refer to as ’nurturing’), and then you can start promoting your groups/workshops.

A strong network of therapists that value your work is another great thing for marketing your groups/workshops. This network of therapists can send people to you that they know will benefit from what you’re offering.

Give Yourself Time to Market Your Group/Workshop

While I wish I could sit here and tell you that it’s possible to easily fill a workshop or group overnight with little or no effort, I can’t. Unless you already have a large email list waiting on the edge of their seat for your latest workshop, marketing your workshop will take time. Waiting until the last minute to market your group is an idea that is likely to not turn out well.

First, you want to focus on building your email list. Then, you can market your workshops or groups much more successfully.

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