How to get therapy clients

How to Get Therapy Clients

If you’ve been struggling to fill your practice, it can feel like a guessing game. You’re left wondering how to get therapy clients consistently and predictably.

It’s a frustrating place to be, and you’re not enjoying the dream of private practice that you always imagined for yourself.

The secret to attracting more psychotherapy clients and filling your private practice is in changing your approach to your marketing. We need to stop “selling therapy” and start developing relationships with potential clients BEFORE they are ready to call. I call this “therapist-centric marketing” vs. “client-centric marketing”. Let me explain both so you can determine where you are…

Therapist-Centric Marketing

Traditional psychotherapy marketing is “therapist-centric”, meaning its all about YOU, the therapist: your approach to therapy; your training and credentials; your non-judgmental and supportive environment. All of these things ARE important, but they aren’t what clients are most interested in when they visit your directory listing or your website.

What are clients interested in? They are interested in solving a problem. They need to know that you understand them, and can help them.

Take a look at these actual examples of directory listings:

Now, I’m not trying to make anyone look bad, and I’m not faulting you for this type of marketing. I believe that most therapists take this approach to marketing because they truly don’t know that there IS a better way to attract counseling clients. Let me share that with you now…

Client-Centric Marketing

Client-centric marketing is all about the client’s needs, the client’s problem, the client’s hopes and fears, and the client’s transformation. You are connecting with clients on an emotional level. Offering them empathy and hope, right when they need it the most.

In marketing terms, we call this a marketing funnel. You are building awareness with potential clients, and the ones who are most interested in your services will raise their hands and say “Yes, this is exactly what I need.” This enters you into relationship with them. You act as a resource for them as they move through the stages of readiness, until they are ready to call you for therapy.

[RELATED: Marketing Funnels for Psychotherapists]

How to Get Therapy Clients

The key to attracting therapy clients is to align your marketing with your clients decision-making process.

Therapy clients can take 4 – 6 months to make the decision that they need to go to therapy and to choose the right therapist for them.
Practice-building for psychotherapists
This isn’t a decision that is made overnight, and the most effective practice-building strategies connect with clients BEFORE they are ready to call you, and then nurture that relationship over time.

We call this process “The Road to Therapy”. Through our “Done-for-You” marketing program, we’ve learned that the most effective time to reach clients is when they are in Step 2, “Research”. This is when potential clients are considering the idea of therapy, but not yet ready to call for an appointment.

[Couples Counselors: Want to see if our “Done-for-You” marketing program might be a fit for you? Click here to register for our upcoming free webinar.]

When you connect with clients during this step, you’ll develop a relationship with them over time. They’ll get to know, like, and trust you, so that when they ARE ready to go to therapy, you are the person they are ready to call.

Here’s how you can best serve potential clients during the Research step:

  • Entertaining and educational social media content. Yes, I know you’re a therapist, but it’s okay to be fun as well. Humor is a great way to offer someone hope and know that they aren’t in this alone.
  • Relevant website content. In this phase, potential clients want to “binge” on everything they can get about their problem and possible solutions. The more valuable content you have, the more you will keep them coming back to your website again and again.
  • Ongoing email contact. Once someone initially connects with you, you’ll need a way to develop the relationship. Email is far and away the most powerful tool available to do this. According to the Data and Marketing Association, email has the highest conversion rate (66%) of any online marketing strategy. Building an email list will have a HUGE impact on your profitability.