Marketing is Necessary : People First

September 18, 2021

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I'm Aisha — private practice strategist for mental health therapists looking to ethically blend their clinical skills with entreprenuership without burnout. 

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Marketing is Necessary is an evolving collection inspired by the lessons, musings, and insights gained during the 2021 Traffic & Conversions Summit hosted by Digital Marketer

This was my first year attending this action-packed conference and frankly, it was an amazing investment in my professional development as an entrepreneur and private practice creator.

As you navigate through this series, I hope that you’ll be inspired to not only ponder some of these marketing concepts, but also take it a step further and implement some of these concepts in your private practice.

People First

What Do They Want?

One reoccurring theme that spanned between professional Marketers like Ryan Deiss, Vince Reed, and Michelle Smith, was to focus on the people that are already searching for what you have to offer. You’re probably wondering, how do you find out what people are searching for? – well there are tons of tools out there but one that was mentioned several times during the T&C Summit was Answer the Public.

This free tool, will help you find out what people are searching for in your related area of service and expertise. And one tip that Rachel Pedersen offered was Answer the Public refreshes it’s free access every 48 hours, so use this tool wisely.

Who Else Can Help Them?

After you find out, what your target population wants, start building a reliable referral network that will help support you in supporting your ideal client population. CAUTION: Please, when you’re building your referral network, connect with people based on your client’s needs. If you go into a networking opportunity with the sole intention of building and refilling your caseload, this is a recipe for disaster.

By taking that approach, you’re creating a transactional relationship, potentially come off as self-serving, and most likely sabotage any future opportunities that could help you and your client population. When I’ve attempted to connect with people with the intention of building a referral network, the ones that have made the encounter all about them, I don’t refer clients to them.

My thought process is, if you’re treating me this way, I wonder how you treat clients?

Is Marketing Your Private Practice Ethical?

Over the years, I’ve heard many therapists and helping professionals share sentiments like “marketing and sales is gross, slimy, sleazy, and unethical”

Well, in my opinion, if you have the aspiration to run a private practice or any business for that matter, and you think “marketing is gross”, then creating a private practice may not be for you.

Marketing is the art and science of communicating a message in a way that resonates with people.

Don’t get me wrong, there are aspects of every industry that are a bit off-putting and down-right unethical, but if you’re having a challenging time recognizing the difference between ethical and unethical marketing, here’s something, I’d like you to try.

Make a list of the companies that you like, enjoy their content, and purchase their products. Think about all the ways they communicate to you. Is there anything this company or service provider does that feels gross? If so, why do you continue to support them? If not, and nothing they do feels gross to you when they reach out, that’s evidence that it’s very possible to be an anti-gross aka unethical marketer.


The over-arching theme that ran through every presentation, fire side chat, and breakout session during Traffic & Conversions was that marketing is about building and maintaining relationships. And coincidently enough, our role as helping professionals is to build and maintain relationships.

If you’re not sure HOW to market a business, take a page out of my book, and learn from people that do this every day. Download an e-book about marketing, subscribe to a marketing blog, or listen to a marketing podcast. There are so many tools and resources available today that can help you understand what it takes to market your private practice.

If you’d like to continue to expand your horizons about what marketing is and determine for yourself how building your marketing skills will help you create & sustain your private practice, subscribe below

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