Each therapist has a responsibility to promote their practice. This means spreading the
word about their therapy and the benefits they offer their clients. Well known and
established therapists get plenty of promotion through word of mouth, but therapists who
are lesser known or new to the profession or the area need to do their own
Before we look at the three key aspects of marketing your practice, you need to develop
a marketing mindset.
Check Your Mindset
Many therapists think marketing and promotion are beyond their abilities. In fact they
are essential. So find some way of teaching yourself about these areas: there are many
books, courses and workshops around.
There are small business owners who aren’t willing to discuss advertising their
business. They may believe that advertising “is a dirty word”. Are you the type
of person who believes promotion is a dirty word? Think otherwise: therapists who want to
get their practices to thrive, need to promote their practice.
Understanding The Three Facets of Marketing
To fully develop the promotional mind set, you need to understand the different types of
promotion and how they work. There are three facets to marketing. Understanding the
difference will help you to add new dimensions to your marketing mind.
The facets include:
Advertising includes any paid ads. It can include newspapers, radio, TV and online paid
ads. The bad news – this is usually expensive. The good news – there are plenty of
alternatives. Even if you have a big budget, it never hurts to find inexpensive ways to
advertise your practice. Many therapists aren’t in a position to shell out big money
for paid ads.
Promotion is a broad category and there are many possibilities and price ranges; from
free to expensive. You can use promotion to distribute information about the types of
therapy you have to offer. It can include clients you bring in yourself, when other people
refer clients or people who find you through a phone book ad, your fliers, your website or
other promotional options. The most effective way to promote is through a combination of
Over time each therapist discovers which options are better suited to them, their
personality and their type of therapy. Promotion is not a “one size fits all”
sort of pursuit. You learn which promotional possibilities do and don’t work for you
or your practice. The goal of promotion is to increase sales and to bring in new clients,
get exposure for new and existing practices, to gain a realistic chance against other
therapists and to develop a “brand” for your practice.
Publicity has the potential to reach large audiences and give you a lot of exposure.
Publicity can increase the shape and scope of your marketing campaign. It’s important
to find opportunities to get the right coverage which will benefit your practice. Targeted
publicity which attracts your target market is the most beneficial. Publicity work can be
done in conjunction with another organization. A couple of great ways to get publicity for
your practice is to sponsor a youth sports team or to develop fundraising events for
organizations that appeal to your target audience.
Remember your persuasive skills
When you think of marketing, remember the persuasive skills that you used to be licensed
in your field, to get a position in an established practice or to start your own. Those
accomplishments required conviction and motivation on your part. Marketing requires the
Remember that promotional work is something that you can always learn more about. The
market changes on a regular basis. Online promotional options change and improve all the
time. You’ve got the basics, now it’s time to expand your promotional knowledge
and learn to use these options in a more effective way.