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5 Key Steps to Marketing Your Counseling Practice in 2021

Recorded Live.

Learn About Key Components to Your Private Practice Marketing

Join allcounselors.com CEO Cory Miller as he discusses the most impactful, inexpensive marketing options available right now. Whether your practice is brand new or long-established, digital marketing is key to reaching potential clients.

Machine Webinar Transcript

Cory Miller

Everybody, welcome back to the allcounselorsl.com webinar today, we’re going to be talking about five key steps to growing your practice in 2021. Most every Friday, we have some kind of webinar, like, like this talking about marketing and business for therapists, and counselors, clinicians, at all counselors, we love what you do in the world. And we’re so appreciative of what you do in the world. And we’re here to serve and support you.

So I’m glad you’re here today to talk through these five key steps. Now, today, this is gonna be about 25 minutes, and then we’re gonna open it up for q&a, we’ll turn off the recording. And it’s it can be free flow or anything you want. On most all of our webinars we do throughout counselors, we want this to be highly practical and helpful for you the clinician to get out there and create a well world. So we always try to leave time at the end of our webinars for open q&a and all that.

All right, my name is Cory Miller. I am the co-founder of allcounselors.com. I for the past 10 years, plus, I had built a software company in 2008. Started, grew it. And then it was acquired in 2018. And left in 2019, to start my next chapter of what I’m doing, and I feel so passionate about entrepreneur, mental health, excuse me, that I put my own time and money into this endeavor. We call all counselors, I’m really excited. By the way, in two weeks, if you’re on our email list, which you probably heard about this webinar, from that, we’re going to be releasing our first directory, specifically to help you clinicians connect with clients.

We know marketing is a tough job, you got to you got to school for hours and hours of training, then you get out to do supervision level, the standards that are in place, absolutely. But I just know it’s tough. And then you’re working for an agency or someone else you decide, well, I want to go into private practice for myself. And then you have this big problem called marketing, big problem called business. We at all counselors want you to spend your time doing therapy and not doing marketing. That’s why we do things like this, try to help you move forward. So you can spend less time on these things, get to the actual key steps to help you build your practice and do that good work in the world.

But anyway, so I built a multimillion dollar business with myself where company had a team of about 2526, when I left, got the team all transitioned over. But a couple years ago, about five years ago, I started sharing my personal story, mental health story that happened previous into my life, and in the industry that I was working at at the time. And I just feel very passionate about helping make a difference in mental health. And I love what you do in the world. So along that first talk I ever gave to kind of share some things that have happened, particularly around being an entrepreneur, and why I have a therapist and counselor today, still meeting regularly now about once a month, that how key that was for my life. And so I’m a mental health advocate. And part of that is why I’m doing all counselors. I teach entrepreneurship coach entrepreneurs help with digital marketing. So this is this is the all of my passions in one.

So let’s get down to why you showed up today, which is the five key steps occur in your practice in 2021. The first is absolutely key and somebody in that Richard for this, put this in there, what do you hope to learn? Talking about your ideal client profile, I’m so glad the person that did that shared that because you’re thinking in the exact right mindset about marketing your practice. Now, I know this is this is not an easy subject, always with therapists who want to know your heart, you want to help as many people as you can. But for your practice and your own sake, I want to and for those you serve, I want you to start thinking about who you can help best.

The ideal client profile is just thinking about the people you serve the people you help, and try to put them in some buckets to help identify this is the type of person that I help best. If you think about it, I’ll give a bland general example Mac versus PC. There’s some people that love Windows will only use Windows. And then there’s even a subset of those who have overall computer users that love Linux, open source software. And then there’s some that are zealots for just Mac and you know, I have had PCs in my life, but I prefer Mac Mac is kind of my identity. It’s the way I like to work and things like that.

I have tried the other two and just decided it’s this one is for me. Now on the reverse. That’s the same true for you as a therapist, there’s probably people like you can get as specific as you know your credentials for sure if you’re ledc are you working Just primarily with children and adolescents or just couples start to think about those things, start to think about the people. If you’ve never thought about this before, in I’m sure you have but start thinking about, as you just kind of think back about all the clients you’ve helped. What are some common themes.

Now, it could be demographics, it could be location, it could be specific mental health issues, it could be a group of mental health issues that you find yourself kind of gravitating toward. That all form of helps you formulate your ideal client profile. Now, the reason I do this is because when you know exactly what you’re you can, who you can help best, then you can target your marketing messaging, from your website, your social profiles, the emails, the way you talk to other people that might refer you is you can laser in, this is the person that that I help best or most. So think through common themes, think through the issues, you might come up, you might say I’m a specialist in helping entrepreneurs. You could even nuance that I help entrepreneurs, or I help leaders, and who manage 50 people think is best as you can’t, those are probably bad examples.

But think as best you can and narrow that down to a set a group of people that you can put some like category labels on and think about in this term of ideal client profile. Now, as a business concept, this is absolutely key. I’m also I’m translating it down to solopreneurs, independent therapists working on your own trying to start your own practice. But it’s so key. Maybe the other question you can ask is What do you want to be known for? What do you want to be known for who you help? And so think about those things and start drafting those ideas, what I want you to do is take a, if you’re writing notes, or you’re doing it digitally or whatever, is just start thinking this, whatever comes to mind, if you’re in, you know, married or have, you know, great colleagues or friends that kind of know, you’ve been around you how you talk and what you gravitate toward, you might even ask them.

Who do you think I typically, I know, that’s a hard one, because you can’t violate client confidentiality, and shouldn’t but that’s probably comes through in your passions about the type of people you can help you are the issues, you tend to gravitate toward all of that sets here, then the next things are going to start building on these. But if you have this you know how to message, you know how to target, whether it’s content creation, whether it’s your website or talking to a referral. Okay, I think I’ve kicked that one. But if you have questions, please use the chat, or the q&a button. If anything i’m saying is unclear or you want want some more further examples, I’m here for you.

So first is draft your client ideal profile, this probably will change over time, or at least it will be more and more refined over time. absolutely key way to start. Okay, number two. So because of at least the United States licensing and things like that tends to be geographically based, for obvious reasons. Most of most of the clinicians we talked to aren’t licensed in multiple states and another’s reciprocity and things like that. But from that note, there are 1000s, hundreds, maybe 1000s of people every week, every month, type it go into Google and typing therapist, marriage therapist, therapist for my children, those type of turns that lead back and see what we started with ideal client profile, because someone, you might say I serve couples, okay, well, from from your ideal client profile, it’s a couple looking struggling with something, maybe they’ve there’s, you know, some communication issues or work displacement that’s causing relationship problems.

And they go to Google, and they type in relationship counselor, you know, couples therapy or something like that. The first best way that is free by the way to get found when people talk those words into Google, that come back to you is to have what’s called a Google My Business profile. So I spin up Google, and I really mean Google My Business, you could actually go to business.google.com. Give me this link right here. in the chat, that’s where you can go and sign up for a free Google My Business account. Now, what this does is if you just type in therapist into Google, you see ads and stuff, but this is what you see right here.

This what’s called the mat map pack, so that Google knows where I’m at. Right, which is kind of scary, but then will pop up these counselors around me in Oklahoma City here. I’m almost in the heart of Oklahoma City. These profiles you’re seeing here are all Google My Business profiles. Now. All counselors can help you Do that can help you set it up, how can help you optimize your profile for you just hit our contact form, we can help you do that. But Google My Business is number one way, free, by the way, unless you engage services with us, which we can totally do that for you saving you some time, but free because it doesn’t cost a penny to get in the account and start putting your information there.

But if you’ve you probably likely use this if you’ve ever searched for restaurant and Google or, you know, I needed a tuxedo or, you know, what’s another plumber? Typically, that’s how these results get shared in Google. And we want you as a therapist, there’s people looking in your area in your state for sure, right? Looking for therapist, Counselor, all those terms, Google My Business is a Google property, and it’s great way to get found. Okay, so number two, if you don’t have a Google My Business account, get one number two on that step two, to be I should say, is start to flesh out your profile, giving it as much information as you can, if you need help with that ping all counselors and we’ve got a package just to help you do that. In fact, our website packets, we can help you do both your website and your Google My Business account for you. So that’s number two.

Number one is draft your ideal client profile number two, spin up Google My Business. Number three, now is get a simple website going. Now, your website does not mean your Psychology Today directory listings or your Facebook page. Those are helpful. And I’ll talk about those in a minute. But your website should be the center of your universe, your marketing universe for your practice. Think about it. When you email somebody, when you tell somebody about what you do, you want to have this awesome digital brochure, 20 473 165 days a year available for them. But all these roads should connect back even your Google My Business profile should connect back to your website.

Whatever tool you use, all counselors can do it to through a platform called WordPress. But we have a simple website package for you. That helps you It helps plays along with the Google My Business account, to be the yin and yang so that when somebody’s looking for a comma, city therapist, or therapist, no comma city, or something like that, they find you through your website or Google My Business and they play together. But your website should be the home for all your marketing activities. And it should answer some key questions.

So thinking about your ideal client profile, who are you, and where your website should signal to Google and others to both the people actually looking at your website, but also Google and Bing in the search engines that your therapist located in Oklahoma City. That’s called local SEO, SEO stands for search engine optimization. And this is long way around telling you that local SEO with your website and your Google My Business are great partners in that so you can get found locally. here to answer who you are, it should answer who you work with.

So if you only serve children, you don’t want to waste your time and somebody else’s time if they need their an adult need marital counseling, if you only work with children, then it should say I only work with children, and then how you help. Now, a lot of times, let me give you some tips a lot of times about your website copy, you may be tempted because you’ve been in academics for a long time and you know, all these terms and modalities and all what the acronyms mean and all that stuff.

So but it let’s say you do as a modality EMDR some people will know what EMDR is, I know what EMDR is, but I work in the field or support the field of practitioners like yourself. But if you use some of those, you know, CBT or DBT, or something like that, explain what that means on your website. Don’t just say DBT CBT, or even say cognitive behavioral therapy, say that, you might say cognitive behavioral therapy, but it does, this is why I use it. This is how it helps. This is what you know, all those things, take out the really this goes into the banner of take out all the jargon as best you can. Now you might have your credentials for ledc or lmft or something like that, at some point, make sure you share that means licensed family and marriage therapists but then unpack that even better, I help couples I hope I married couples or or any kind of couple in a relationship.

And that comes to think about it you have to think about it from the other side, which is the perspective client. They’re trying to get some key questions answered. The main one is, is this the person that can help me with my issues? That is this the person I’m hurting? There’s something going on in my life? I want to talk to a counselor. I want to start that journey. And is this the right person for me and so you want to answer all those questions.

Likely some of the questions you may have an FAQ section or website all the websites we do have a frequently asked questions because it’s just the way people want to need to use or because people have questions, you and I always have questions that don’t exactly get answered on the site. And there’s some. And we always include their Frequently Asked Questions section, like, do you take insurance? Do you do telehealth or remote therapy or therapy by video? You know, you may say it’s telehealth. Again, back to the jargon. They may say, do you do online sessions? You know, are you in office based only? But answer all those key questions and they’re likely the same ones you answer every single time somebody emails you, new client, and you probably already get that information locked and loaded.

And so there’s those are some thoughts about making your website, the center of your universe number one, that it’s optimized for what’s called local SEO or local search, people search for therapist in your geographic location. Help people at just like a human that hasn’t been through 60 plus hours of training or academics, what you do for them, who you serve, so they go when they go on your site, they go, this person serves me this clinician, is this therapist is for me, and how you help and answer those key questions, read on your website.

Okay, that’s number three, we talked about number one, ideal client profile number two, Google My Business number three, website is, is the hub should have that on this screen. But the hub, the website should be the hub for everything, all the other things I’m talking about should be spokes off the hub, it’s a will, everything should come to your website, your website can push out, but everything should flow back to your website, because that’s the thing you control. That’s the thing that you can edit and change and new photo or some new therapy, you learn through continuing education, everything should lead back to your website, it is the hub for all your marketing. I can’t say that enough.

Number four. Now I’m going to talk about some referral networks ways of getting we hear a lot about as word of mouth marketing. So as you’re stepping out from whatever you’re doing now into your private practice, you want to continue even though I love digital marketing, I love the web, I’m kind of tend to be more introverted a lot. And I’d rather just kind of sit sit behind a computer screen then go to big meetup or something. But the value of word of mouth marketing of referrals is absolutely key.

And this plays and builds on the other things we’ve just talked about. So think about, here’s the way I want you to think about is building your your referral network is thinking about all the people that may have in serve clients, speller, the one you’ve talked about the ideal client profile, that the people I think about, that could potentially be referral partners. And here’s your list. primary care physicians, I actually asked my primary care two years ago, if she knew anybody that was a therapist that she could recommend knowing that she does physical health and all that and I wanted to find someone to to compliment her care and help in my life. And she gave me three names, which is great. I was like, wow, okay, this is awesome. It came from credentialed authority, somebody I trust, obviously.

So think about doctors, you know, whether it be from chiropractors to naturopathic doctors, to your primary care type people, whoever it is, think of all those professionals in the health care career, I actually was talking to a therapist in New York City. And he said, they get a lot of referrals from physical therapists, he happens to serve an older demographic, and a lot of the physical therapists are in home. And he happens to do that to go in home with people. Like, wow, that’s ideal. So identifying where your referrals come from, and sometimes she can, I think you can ask this ethically, but how did you hear about me? You know, how did you get here? Well, I was referred by my physician, Oh, do you mind sharing who that is? Now, that way, you can go back and thank him. But also, that’s great to know there’s someone out there sharing the good word about you.

Hopefully, they found your website, they have your website, they have your email that coincides with your website, they can find you in Google My Business and all of that link. Going back your website where you can hit the contact form, they can, they can book an appointment with you. So decisions, think back about supervisors, if you have a supervising therapist, mentors, teachers, anybody in the field, if you know business owners think about that business owners, have employees have teams. That’s a great way to to offer your services. Maybe they’re not a client, maybe they’re just a friend, but they can pass on. refer people that might have issues you need to talk to a therapist.

I did that with my software business. I had a dear friend I went to college with news therapist, and I referred a number of people to him. I didn’t see him but refer people to him, which was fantastic. And all of these people, as you start to develop your list of people just start going through there, because all of these contexts and relationships already know you, likely, they already know you. Now, there’ll be another set of lists, that’s just people around where you do people in your city that you might think there’s a really great therapist, but we know she’s booked up, you might just send a quick ping and say, I happen to be in the same area, I heard that you’re booked up, and just wanted to say hi, and here are the people again, people in issues I talked, I typically treat now you can use jargon with that person, right?

See, understand mental health therapy. But again, this is why when you send that pain or whatever you can have on your business card, it comes back to your website, where you can keep up to date with the latest things you’re doing. As you start to continually refine your ideal client profile, you put that on your website and start tweaking this messaging, she get more and more of the people you can help best and most.

But this, this referral network, I can’t stress, it’s it’s like planting the seeds that that you should have every week. So you’re pinging somebody in your referral list. So we had the list of people you know, or know you, the second list of people that met not know you, but they can still be some of these brackets, you notice there’s a new, there’s a new medical clinic clinic opening that you know, a little bit down your your road for me? Well, you get your little business card that has your website, your cell phone, and all that kind of stuff, where your phone, and your email address and stuff you can strap on say, hey, so excited to have have you here in the neighborhood. Here’s, you know, I do mental health and treat therapists. And these are some of the issues and if I can ever be of help, please let me know.

Otherwise, I’m gonna be telling people about your business. So those type of things, put on your minimum, I’d say once a week, reach out to this list of people that you started to, I hope write down right now and start paying them. And just keeping those contacts warm. You might say, well, I had this professor from college, and I’ve been out of touch. But that’s great way to say I’m going into private practice. All of these people. Sometimes the best clients or customers I’ve gotten have been referrals from people that are like, not the closest to me, in my circle, social circles, but just a little bit later removed. And just tell them, you know, that professor from school or supervisor to prove it vising counselor that you’ve worked with in the past that you’re what you’re doing, and here’s my website, you so you can learn more.

Okay, so ideal client profile, Google My Business, get your website going have at the center of your marketing universe. Number four is build that referral network that’s consistent, just touchpoints all these things just keep building on each other. And are things that you can keep working on and thinking about as you go. Now, fifth, and I put this fifth, because I don’t want you to kind of get, I want you to really work on the things I found this an entrepreneur, both in a big business, and doing solo work, too, that have helped me is fifth on the list is social media, social media in what we call the outpost.

So remembering website is your the center hub, the center of the universe, and the spokes that come out are referral network and doing that referral work. And another one is maybe you have a Facebook page, you feel like you can connect with the people, that ideal client profile might be more on Facebook than Instagram, or whatever it is. And all these things, including your directory, including Google, my business are spokes coming out from your website, that should lead back to your website. So the fifth is start either if, if you think a certain social media outlet or you have a director Listen, like on Psychology Today, make sure and go back and update all that. And with your website and with the different things that we’ve talked about today.

And make sure they’re pointing back to you. So again, using that Client Profile, making some tweaks and reviewing those things. If you start new ones, my only caution is make sure it’s where the people that you’ve identified in step number one are actually going to be at. I don’t want you to waste a lot of time creating 15 posts a day on Facebook page when your audience might not be there or the effectiveness might not be there. But I know people are typing in therapists into Google looking for you. Those are the best type of buyers because it’s called search intent. Think about it. If you needed a blue dress or a you know, sport coat or something for some event, you type into Google, right? Same thing. Those people that are looking for plumber, massage therapist, therapist, Counselor, those are the people looking, they’re ready to buy. They’re trying to find something they’re closest to the buying part or becoming a client. You’re here. thing, making sure all of these things reflect back and are in sync with each other is absolutely key. So, Facebook pages is great. Can you keep it up on a regular? You know? Is it worth your, your, your time? And is it reflective of how I’ve just kind of laid out? People get to you become clients.

Okay, by the way, I wanted to mention, we have a directory rolling out, I’m so glad Finally, and like, in August, early August for you to be a directory. Now look, I put that number five, two, because I still think you need to have a website. So because I still think you need to have Google My Business. But as part of that, knowing we can help you do that we’ve been working on for months, our own directory that’s very, that’s optimized, like I said, for local search, I can combine you put your website link in and you can start to use that as Google uses those in their algorithms to go Okay, this person, this therapist is in Oklahoma City, or Denver or Colorado Springs. And when somebody types in ghosts, okay, serve them this information.

So our directory is going to be a part of that. And I’m excited. If you’re not on the all counselors comm email list, please do so today, because you’ll be the first to hear about our directory, or so pumped about that, again, connecting the hurting to the healers. Excuse me. The phone, I’m going to give you a bonus today. So I’ve just talked about five steps. Let me talk to these. Identify your ideal client profile. Google My Business number two, three, website website is your hub. everything connects into that. Number four, start your your list of referral network people that you can paying and contact and introduce yourself to start building that know like and trust. Number five, then start updating your outposts. So I’ll post those things out here, right. If you have social media accounts, go update those your psychology today, whatever directory type things you have, make sure you get those updated and synced back to your website and all that. And then number five, this is just the bonus.

If you’ve done these, you’re like okay, cool, we got all these done everything, then I want you to start thinking about content creation. The first five steps are kind of table stakes. These are the things I think everybody needs to do. But often we go to the more glamorous things like social media, but those five in those order, that’s what I suggest you do. Now, if you got those down, you got a good process for all that you were talking to your, your network, you know, the people that might refer business back to you and vice versa. And all of the steps that I’ve talked about today, then if you still say, Cory, I’ve got time. Okay, then think about content creation. And what I mean by that is maybe a blog or whatever the the, you know, if you’ve done that ideal client profile thing, you know, okay, most people are on surfing on Instagram, for instance, then you might create an Instagram account, or start your blog. In this content creation.

What I i’m i’m on day three of 30 days of clicking publish a self challenge I put to myself to finally get building muscle outside of my professional like outlets like this. And and these are the same things I coached myself and others on when you’re thinking about content creation. Start easy make the bar low, don’t think you have to write 5000 words, for your first blog post or are put on Instagram, you saw somewhere, somebody said three times a day, you can even post on Instagram or something like that start the bar low. Just like no, no personal fitness trainer would ever tell you to go benchpress 300 pounds in weight on the first day unless you’re the Hulk, right? So start, create a low bar for yourself. Start small, simple and easy. And whatever you’re doing with content creation, find your voice as you get creating content, just like I’m relearning and redoing, building that content generation muscle through my 30 days of clicking publish.

But because consistency is absolutely key, if you think about it, it’s like you started, you start a Instagram page and you start creating content, you basically tell to everybody and you’re like, Hey, this is where you can find takeaways and tips about how to do self care. For instance, well, people show up, they follow you, but you don’t post on a consistent schedule. It’s not going to be as effective for you. That’s why I say start small, small, start small and easy. Can I do this once a week, once every two weeks. But stay consistent. consistency is key because it means tells the other person you’re going to show up and do it. Instagram is great for mental health. We’re working on our own channels for that. There’s a lot of brands on Instagram and you probably know of some very, you know, popular therapists on there too. That’s it’s a great platform. It’s not for everybody. Facebook page can be good too. In a blog post on your site, though, if you’re blogging and into the rhythm of blogging, or writing regularly blogging can be great because it’s an identifier.

When you publish a post, particularly if you use a platform like WordPress, we use that it gets what’s called a Sitemaps gets put into a sitemap that’s sent to Google and the Google knows they can send their crawlers out and crawl your site. And now there’s new content here. Google loves to eat new content, and loves new content. So if you’re blogging, that’s awesome, do it on your own site, to make sure you’re getting what’s called Google juice, or, you know, getting potentially indexed by the search engines. Now, I should say, content creation doesn’t have to be written. But it does play into the SEO, Search Engine Optimization stuff that I talked about. But you might say, I talk all day, I’m really good at just kind of extemporaneously like you find yourself saying, what one kind of key phrase all the time, or you find yourself probably giving similar steps or advice or feedback, or coaching, or whatever you do, then you might say, well, I can just, you know, put, pull up my smartphone, start recording, and post that to Instagram, and Facebook or YouTube, whatever channel you decide on.

So it doesn’t have to be writing. Or it could just be close, my Instagram profile could just be cool, cool, inspirational quotes that you use on the tool like that you create on a tool like Canva. canva.com, great free tool, she can create things, Instagram specific things, or Facebook posts, they’ve got the, the templates in there that have one great graphics already done, but also their size for those social media platforms, including blogging. So that’s my sixth. And bonus.

Now it’s time for your homework. I hope you’ve been running some notes and thoughts and doing some of the court you know, answering some of the questions I’ve been asking you. But as you go today, what I want you to do and challenge you to do is just take one step, take one of the things you thought about maybe it’s just I haven’t sat down and just really thought about my, you know, the common types of clients that that I help most. Maybe it’s like, well, I’ve got all these others, Cory, and I want to start content creation, then whatever that is for you. I want to challenge you to take one small step today.

Today to move yourself forward to build your practice, all of this adds up, all of it adds up. And if you’d done just some of these started on step two, or three or whatever you’re at, they all add up to get you more clients that that are hurting that need your help in the world. And we want you to do that and then share any questions you have with us. My email is cory@allcounselors.com, pretty easy er unit, the contact form, and you’ll get to our team and me. And we can give you feedback on any of the things that you’ve talked about today.

And last, but least before I open it up for questions or any other topics you have today, we want you to do at all counselors, I’m so thankful for you being here today. And also for your work in the world, creating a well world. That’s our mission. That’s why we do this is we want to see a world world that people are healthy that intergenerational trauma has decreased and hopefully stop the stigma has ended around mental health, and that they’re coming to you for help.

And we want you to do that work, the therapy worth the work he spent years and hours and hours now 1000s of hours getting your training, getting your education, then going into supervision and practicing with clients we want we want you to keep doing therapy and let us do the marketing. So if you want to book a discovery call, you can go to all costs comm and book a free discovery call where we can help you with things like this one on one, and help you with some of your marketing. We have right now a package for websites get your website going at number three things the the hub in the spokes, that website being the center of your marketing universe for your practice, we can do that for you too. We can also help you with Google My Business.

So I hope you book a call today and see how we can take next steps for you with you to grow your practice in 2021. So with that, I’m going to stop the recording the screenshare and get over to the and see if we have any questions that came in but thank you again. Please come back all counselors calm hit our events thing. We’re gonna have more our Events tab. We’re gonna have more training like this to help you move forward that’s absolutely free for you. So thank you for what you do in the world.