With the many many ways that you can put yourself out there online, how can you narrow online marketing activities down into a sustainable strategy? In this session of Let’s Talk, we’re talking about just that.
Today’s guest is Kelly Higdon the cofounder of zynnyme.com where she helps therapists like you create their dream life and practice. Also a licensed therapist herself who’s been on the journey of building her own practice, she now focuses on business coaching and the Business School Bootcamp program which has helped hundreds of therapists build successful practices.
Today, we talk on the following online marketing strategy boosting topics:
- The benefits of creating an online marketing strategy
- Common mistakes that therapists make with their online marketing strategies
- A walk through an example online marketing funnel
- The most effective online marketing activities for therapists
- How to start putting together an online marketing strategy even if you’re overwhelmed.
- One thing a therapist can do right now to start creating an online marketing strategy
Watch the video here and find session notes and links following the video:
Session Notes + Links
The Benefits Of Having An Online Marketing Strategy
Having an online marketing strategy allows you to see what’s working and what isn’t so you focus your action and save time. Purpose-action is a good thing because it reduces burnout.
A lot of people when they get started get really excited. It’s kind of like dating. You think about that person all the time, you want to be with them all the time, then after you’ve been married for ten years you want to do stuff that keeps the momentum going because you know it works. That will also give you confidence.
When we don’t have a strategy, marketing is coming from a place of lack of knowledge or fear. But it’s possible to discover why you should spend your time on Facebook or what it is you need to be talking about because you know it’s what benefits your audience.
Benefits of having a strategy:
- Reduction of burnout
- Saving time
- Giving you more purpose
3 Most Common Mistakes Therapists Make With Their Online Marketing Strategies
Having No Flow
One of the big mistakes in online marketing is having the pieces but they’re not put together. There’s no flow. We talk about this idea of funnel which sounds very online marketer-ish, but it’s simply that people drop in and you move them all into one centralized place.
A lot of of the time there are pieces that do not move people into one place. It moves over here and over here. The call to actions are all different. There isn’t enough clarity on communicating the focus of the practice. And there’s no message that says, “this is where I want people to go.”
Having that one kind of focused flow is important, especially when you’re starting.
Having Too Many Options
The more options you have for people, the more choices you have, can lead to more inaction because people get stuck. They don’t know how to make a decision. If there’s only one clear option it’s easier for your audience.
An example is looking at what we did with Business School Bootcamp. We did it for a few years before we added Most Awesome Conference. We don’t do them all at the same time because it’s confusing.
Another big mistake is trying everything. Kind of that shotgun method of, like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.
Challenge is that when you try to do everything you usually don’t everything well. If you focus on one or two ways of marketing you can make it really nice and beautiful and focused. When you add a bunch of stuff in there it can get kind of overwhelming and you don’t know which way is up.
So, What Is A Marketing Funnel Anyway? Walk Through An Example:
A good example of a funnel is starting somewhere like Facebook. Think about a FB post and ask: where does that Facebook post ask a viewer to go to next?
That FB post is capturing people at the opening of the funnel. You got people that wander around on Facebook or share your post on Facebook. They’ve entered into the funnel. But the key then is to ask them to go somewhere next.
You can post all the beautiful, inspirational stuff you want, but at some point you want them to go to your website.
Then when they get to your website then what do they do? What’s the next step? Is the next step for them to dig in more deeply? Is it for them to download an ebook from you? How are you building the relationship?
So you post on Instagram or Facebook and then answer the question: where do they go from there? Then, what’s the next step from there and the next step from there? Every time you have to tell them.
Therapists often think, “Oh, they’ll figure it out.” But that’s not true. You have to say, “Click here. Go download this.” That is the way we are as human beings. We have to be told.
That is a funnel. Moving from one point a to the final destination, which would be scheduling the appointment or booking the speaking engagement or buying the book.
There are different steps in the process. It’s not just here’s a post, buy my book. Again, back to the dating analogy, that’s like going up to someone and saying, “Hey, I think you’re good looking. Let’s get married.” No, you go on to get to know them, build the relationship.
Basically: romance them, and then propose.
What Are The Most Effective Online Marketing Strategies For Therapists?
The most effective online marketing strategy comes from:
- Using the tools that match your personality
- Using communication that resonates with the ideal client
- And finding the activities that serve your purpose
I have a friend, she’s redoing her website, a brilliant writer so when I’m thinking about her online strategy I’m thinking blogging and whatever kind of written stuff she can do.
That really matches her personality and her ideal clients like to read. It’s a good fit. It serves her purpose in that way of reaching them. I think you need to be thinking in terms of that, doing what you can do best and consistently and in a way that it reaches your ideal client.
Generally speaking, video is a great marketing media format. Not everybody’s comfortable on video, but you can learn that. Video and audio allows people can see you or hear you which is a great way to build trust.
I think one of the things to consider is where are you most vulnerable when you’re putting yourself out there? Because that’s usually going to be the best way that you’re going to connect.
The best way is when you come shining through. That could be writing or video, but don’t do something just because you think you should. Usually you can tell when someone’s like, “Oh, I just slapped an ebook up there.” Something like that. You want the passion to come through for what you’re doing.
What If You Choose A Strategy That Fits Your Personality and Strengths But Is Ineffective?
You totally will choose marketing strategies that are ineffective. You are going to. Let’s just get that out of the way.
Some marketing will not be successful at all but as long as you’re getting analytics and data from it to make a different decision than what you are doing is working. You’ve got to try a lot of things systematically and not all at once.
Someone I know did a Facebook Live that was very vulnerable. Even though they were not expecting it, the video went viral. It can be unexpectedly good results or not, but then you learn from the experience.
Miranda and I had two other programs before Bootcamp. One we couldn’t even sell. The other one we did but then we realized that our clients needed something else before they got to learning those skills. That’s where Bootcamp got created.
Tip: approach doing marketing as fun, trying new things and getting to create and see what works! Just being consistent with it is what’s important.
How To Start Putting Together An Online Marketing Strategy (Even If You’re Overwhelmed)
Look at Your Target Market
The first step is to look at your target market, your ideal client, that customer avatar and ask: where do they hang out? If you don’t know, Google it. Google “who uses Instagram?” or “Instagram demographics” or “Facebook demographics.” Start there.
Find out where they hang out online and where else do they get services? Part of your online marketing strategy is to turn online connections into relationships.
Linkedin, is how I met Joe Sanok and I met Julie Hanks there too. I’ve met a lot of people through Linkedin. I’ve turned them into offline relationships.
So you may want to build a relationship with:
- Directly with potential clients
- Referral relationships
- Further connections that will support you, refer you, share your stuff
Then Figure Out How To Be Where Your Clients (and Referral Sources) Are
Then you want to, okay, let’s say they’re on Instagram. Well, how do I use Instagram? Start doing that Google research and start playing around with building relationships on Instagram, using hashtags,
Next, Think About Where You Want People To Go
For all the people that are discovering you on Instagram, start thinking about where you want people to go from Instagram. Do you have something else that you can offer? Maybe that is a download, an ebook, or a video.
Anything that you can continue to move them towards your website. That’s where I would just start, one platform, and moving them to your website.
Remember: Start Small
Starting with one platform means you’ll really get to understand how to use it and the analytics. You can see what’s trending, what’s popular, and get yourself in there.
A lot of therapists struggle to get things done because they have too much information and need to simplify. Shiny Object Syndrome is everywhere but stay your course and focus on you. You can’t compare and there are no magic wands.
One Thing You Can Do Right Now To Start Creating An Online Marketing Strategy?
See what you already have. Before you add, look at what is in front of you. Look at the analytics of your website, look at what’s been popular, where your relationships are.
Do a survey of resources before you start expanding. Sometimes we don’t leverage what is right in front of our face. We think adding something new is better, but it’s likely that there is stuff that you’re already doing that’s working and stuff that you’re doing that’s not that you can eliminate to make room for new things.
The other aspect of overwhelm is adding. It’s like,”I have no room.” Well, that’s because we need to cut out the stuff that isn’t really working for you and letting it go.
I know it can feel kind of sad. Maybe you need a little memorial for your Facebook page that needs to die.
And that’s okay. You put a lot of time into something, so let’s see what can be eliminated. You know this by numbers: what gets shared, what gets liked, what gets seen and viewed. Start with what you have.
If anyone out there is overwhelmed, it’s normal, but you can change it. It’ll be okay.
Thank You For Watching
Thank you so much for watching! If you would like to get in touch with a comment or feedback, feel free to contact me or tweet me. I would love to hear from you and find out how your online marketing strategy planning is coming along.
Music by https://soundcloud.com/kilcool/sweet