Marketing Funnels for Psychotherapists

Marketing Funnels for Psychotherapists

“Marketing funnels for psychotherapists? What the heck is a marketing funnel and why do I need one?”

Marketing funnels have been around in the online/digital marketing world for a few years. They’ve proven their effectiveness in many different fields. While many psychotherapists have been slow to adopt this, marketing funnels are a powerful practice-building tool.

I this article, I’ll explain what makes marketing funnels so powerful, and how you can benefit from building one for your practice.

What is a marketing funnel?

You want your website and social media visitors to call you for therapy, right? That’s the whole goal of your marketing. However, the VAST MAJORITY of that traffic is NOT YET ready to call you.

Whatever the reason, with traditional psychotherapy marketing, the moment a client hits the ‘x’ or the back button, you’ve lost them.

With a marketing funnel, you give them the opportunity to stay in touch with you over time until they are ready to call. (Data from couples counselors shows this process can take 4 – 6 months.)

You nurture and develop the relationship with the potential client so that by the time they call you, they’ve “pre-selected” you as their therapist. Pretty neat, right?

A client enters your marketing funnel when they take an action with you. This could be watching a video on your Facebook page, reading a blog post on your website, or signing up for a free offer.

After the client has taken that initial action, your marketing funnel guides them through the client journey until they are ready for therapy. Marketing funnels rely heavily on email marketing and retargeting to develop this relationship. This is the marketing funnel we build for our “Done-for-You” marketing members:

marketing funnels for psychotherapists

Marketing funnels solve the biggest psychotherapy marketing challenges

We work with therapists all over the world, and we hear about the same marketing frustrations over and over again.

  1. Not enough client calls. Most therapists build their marketing around trying to “get client calls”. Here’s the problem with that: only about 3% of your website visitors are ready to call for therapy today. This means that the majority of your website traffic is “lost” if you rely on a traditional marketing approach. New client calls are an OUTCOME of your marketing.
  2. “Fee shoppers”. With traditional psychotherapy marketing, clients see therapists as a commodity. They choose a therapist based on “who’s in my insurance network”, “who can see me on Saturday”, or “who is the least expensive”. They don’t value the expertise of the individual therapist
  3. Lack of visibility. Many of you are your own best kept secret. You don’t have the awareness in your area that positions you as the “go-to” person. A marketing funnel allows you to reach many more potential clients. The greater your visibility, the greater your number of potential clients.

Most psychotherapy marketing is “Therapist-Centric”

All three of those marketing frustrations stem from the same underlying problem: Psychotherapy marketing tends to be “therapist-centric”.

Most therapy websites are all about the therapist. The therapist’s credentials, the therapist’s experience, the therapist’s treatment approach.

You can’t tell your clients how wonderful you are. You have to show them. This is how you establish that “know, like, and trust” factor that is so essential in attracting new clients. That way when clients are ready to call you, they’ve already decided that you are the therapist they want to work with.

Marketing funnels follow potential clients through the natural “customer journey”.

Coming to therapy is never a rash decision. It is a long process, with clients trying to cope with and solve the problem on their own in a number of ways. Clients might struggle for months or even years before they are ready to call a therapist.

Marketing Funnels make fees a “mere triviality”

Ramit Sethi talks about how effective marketing makes fees a “mere triviality”, and I love that phrase. This is especially critical for those of you in private-pay practices, or those of you wanting to transition into private pay.

[RELATED: 9 Tips for Transitioning to a Fee-For-Service Private Practice]

When your in a private-pay practice, you don’t want clients basing their decision on your fees. This sets up a competitive mindset, with therapists all competing over clients.

Want to see how your current marketing stacks up? If you’re a couples counselor, take our Marketing Quiz for Couples Counselors to see how you rate and get personalized recommendations to improve your marketing effectiveness: