Marketing

Is Social Media Marketing Important for Private Practice Therapists?

February 18, 2022

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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. 

Meet Aisha

Yes. Yes, it is.

Why Social Media Will Help You Build a Thriving Private Practice

There are tons of therapists that are  not using all the available tools and resources that are at their disposable to market their private practice.

But, if someone told you that you could market your private practice to thousands of people with little to no investment of time, energy, and effort, would you do it?

Probably!

Well, did you know that over 82% of the North American Population is active on social media? Source : Backlinko.com

And the probability that your ideal clients are spending time on social media is very high, so why not use social media apps to reach them?

Social media is one of the many ways in which you can increase your social proof by reaching thousands of people with a click of button, and still most therapists are intimidated to use it for their business.

I’ll be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with social media, primarily because of the client population I serve – I’m an anxiety specialist and research shows that using social media can cause and exacerbate anxiety symptoms –

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and it took me a while to come to terms with how I wanted to use social media to reach my ideal client population.

It wasn’t until a dear friend of mine, also a therapist, reminded me that social media is “just a marketing tool”.

And you know me well enough by now, that I’m a fan of therapists shouting from the rooftops about their stellar clinical skills and marketing is the most effective way to do so.

Let’s talk more about why using social media to reach your target audience is a wise decision for most small business owners.

Pet Peeve

I’m sure you’ve noticed the growing trend of self-diagnosis after seeing a post on social media.

Some of it has to do with people feeling comfortable and confident enough to share their mental health journey and some of it has to do with mental health clinicians and advocates offering psychoeducation via social media.

Sure. It’s problematic for some, and yet, can we just take a moment and celebrate the fact that more people are talking about mental health and wellness than ever before?

I have had a number of my therapy clients ask questions in session after seeing a viral post about mental health and guess what – I would much rather have them reflect about their thoughts, feelings, and reactions to that post in therapy, then have my clients discharge themselves from therapy because they think social media is a replacement for therapy.

As clinicians, it’s one thing to complain about what’s happening on social media from the sidelines and it’s another to contribute to its resolution.

I for one, have made the intentional choice to contribute to being a part of the solution and

If you mean what you say about being a mental health advocate, wouldn’t it be more helpful to offer a solution to the problem, rather than just saying “this is a problem, someone should do something about it”?

You can do something about it, and if you’re confused about what to do, let’s first look at what NOT to do.

Major Missteps

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some therapists that have found themselves in “hot water” because they were trying to be too relatable on social media (by taking too many pages out of the #influencer handbook) and unfortunately found themselves overthrown by cancel culture.

For example, a therapist with a relatively small following on TikTok had a video go viral, for the wrong reasons and not only reportedly lost clients but also had the public submitting reports to her licensing board – Click here to read the full-coverage article 

Now, I’m not sharing this with you to scare you or to feed into the “see! That’s why I’m not on social media!”

What I’m trying to do is to help you understand that if you’re going to use social media as a marketing tool for your business, it’s vital to have a strategic marketing plan, so that you won’t forget who you are, what you do, and who you serve.

You Have Options

Maybe it’s a generational thing but when most therapists I talk to, think of social media, they think Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, but they’re not the only show in town.

You have also have LinkedIn, Clubhouse, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat, YouTube to name a few.

In the US, the average number of social media accounts is 7.1 per person and only 27% use social media for business. Source: Backlinko 

So you know what that means?

The idea that “the market is saturated” doesn’t really apply because if almost 83% of people DON’T use social media for business, then your business is more likely to be found by your ideal client.

And keep in mind that marketing on social media is still not the only option.

There are so many ways in which you can market your private practice – PR (think HARO), blogging, podcasts, website, word of mouth aka reliable referral network, paid ads…

As much as I encourage you to tell people about who you are, what you do, who you serve – the #1 thing to keep in mind is that,

Marketing is non-negotiable and having a strategic marketing plan will allow you to save time, make money, and build a thriving private practice.

The “Secret” to Strategic Marketing

One of the intended outcomes of marketing your practice is to build your KLT Factor (know, like, and trust) BUT

I cannot say it enough, your marketing efforts will go a long way if you’re able to be consistent.

Why?

Because when you’re consistent, you won’t be forgotten. And when you’re top of mind, then people will remember you enough to refer their friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors to your thriving, flourishing, stellar private practice!


Want to learn how to consistently market your private practice? Join the hundreds of therapists that are committed to learning how to ethically blend their clinical skills with entrepreneurship without burning out and subscribe to my weekly newsletter – where you’ll receive transparent and curated guidance and more delivered to your inbox.

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