What I find to be most helpful to the therapists I work with is this concept of thinking of yourself as both a business and a brand. Often it’s hard for therapists to think of themselves as a business or a brand, but you have to think about yourself that way in order to grow like a business or brand would. You’re in this field to help people, but the reality is, you need to get connected with the right client in order to help them. That’s where the marketing comes in. And I’m assuming the majority of you are where you are today because you love helping people, not because you love owning a business. But that’s the reality of your situation.
When you own a business you need to put a lot of effort into creating a brand. So here are my strategies for therapists and counselors to build their brand.
There are many different types of brands out there. But they have a lot of things in common. One is that they have a niche. They understand their audience. Walmart isn’t trying to sell things at a premium price while Apple isn’t worried about cutting you the best deal. They each have their own games and audiences they are trying to sell to.
Let’s take this even farther, into your specific field. Twenty years ago, the global marketplace started changing from people choosing the best store in their town to shop at to the best store in the world. All because the internet made it available. This increased competition to such a degree that people had to find a competitive advantage by being unique and specialized. That’s why most modern companies are based around selling a very small set of items that they do the best. Not an endless catalog.
Due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting prevention efforts, this change happened within months to previously very personal in-person services like therapy.
With online therapy you are now competing with everyone who is licensed in your state. You need to find your specialization to stand out, or lose out to the person who does. If I am a younger male struggling with anxiety issues why would I choose a general therapist when I can choose someone who markets their specialization in younger males struggling with anxiety?
Creating an unforgettable brand takes consistency. This comes in many different forms. Most notably your visuals like your logo, colors, and fonts to your messaging like your tagline and topics your cover. Like we just talked about, if you choose a specialization, stick with it! Stay strong and lean into your niche because that’s what creates strength in your brand image, anything else you market will simply dilute it.
Then when it comes to your visuals, this is an easy way to look professional. Look across the entire therapy client journey. Each experience that someone has with you should look the same. Your social media should look like your website and your website should look like your office when they walk in. Your potential client should have a good sense of who you are and what they’re in for by the time they walk through your door (Or meet you online).
The foundation of all your marketing sits on your brand. So, how does one make a good brand? Here's what you should be paying attention to.