Private practice building consultant and eating disorder therapist Allison Puryear and I talk online marketing mindset to get yourself out there without the guilt.
- The benefit of having a good online marketing mindset.
- How marketing is not a dirty word.
- Common blocks that therapists have towards putting themselves out there online.
- How to avoid building and marketing the wrong practice
- Some example journeys towards improved marketing mindsets.
- One thing you can do right now to move yourself towards a better mindset around online marketing.
Watch the video to get these online psychotherapy practice marketing insights and more. Session notes and links can be found below the video embed.
Session Notes + Links
Having a Good Mindset for Online Marketing Is Beneficial
One reason for this is you’ll have ongoing comfort. Instead of feeling like you have this business that you need to promote and that promotion is bad, you can stop feeling bad and guilty.
Reframe marketing as just letting people know what you do and trusting them to make the decision about whether or not you’re a good fit for them. Doing this makes marketing a much better experience.
Marketing does not mean manipulation. You’re you, you show up, and you do what you do.
In fact, you’re doing a disservice if you’re not marketing because those that need you won’t know about your services. Therapy is so so needed!
Marketing Isn’t a Dirty Word
A lot of us believe that marketing is skeezy, salesy, manipulative. The part about that belief that is true is that there ARE people that market aggressively and do manipulate by trying to convince people that they need what they are selling instead of just making an offer.
Don’t use the aggressive marketers as an example of what marketing is. The extremists are not the definition. It’s false way of thinking about marketing and both you and your clients are missing out when you continue to believe that marketing is so agressive.
Instead, use marketing as a way of letting people know what you offer and come at it from an authentic, heartfelt place.
“I absolutely love marketing and I would have never expected that of myself until I started reframing it.” Allison
You’ll actually scare clients away if you do anything but authentic, heartfelt marketing. You can be more effective by being you. Rest assured that the thing you’re most comfortable with is what is going to work the best.
Marketing Can Actually Be Fun
You get to show up, be yourself, and you end up attracting the people that you want to be around!
Networking, blogging, website copy, responding in FB groups, answering the phone, you can do these things as marketing activities but also as a normal human being with a desire to connect.
Marketing can also help give people hope and a huge sense of relief. Imagine really suffering and then finding someone that understands you.
Then, this becomes not just about building your practice, it’s also about providing what you want to in the world.
Common Blocks Therapists Face in Putting Themselves Out There
One challenge a lot therapists face is not showing up as themselves. Being formal and academic instead of human.
But your humanity is what your clients connect with!
Another challenge is that many therapists haven’t developed their sense of self completely and lack self trust. Sometimes this can lead to the therapist copying other people instead of being true to who they are. Instead of copying the marketing of someone else, ask, “how would you say it?” or, “How would you do it” to make a marketing activity your own.
A third challenge is the discovery that marketing and building a private practice is also about personal and professional development in surprising ways.
“I just have to do a business, what does that have to do with my personal life?” Alison on the myth of personal life and practice life separation.
It’s necessary to root in, deepen your sense of self, and hold on to the belief that you are good enough. Insecurities will come up and can influence how you present yourself.
How To Avoid Building and Marketing The Wrong Practice
Some therapists fall into the trap of marketing to and accepting clients that aren’t their people. They end up working a lot but feeling really burnt out. It’s one situation in which having a full practice isn’t a good thing.
Getting clear can help you build the practice that is right for you and have the life you want. Here are three things to get clear on:
- How do you want your practice to fit into your life? (Not the other way around)?
- Who do you want to work with?
- Who are you as a clinician?
There is a lot of compassion in boundaries. Like it’s ok if you want to take Fridays off.
Improved Mindset Journeys
Example 1 – From fear to comfort
A therapist doing network marketing started out with being really scared of being salesly. So much so, that they met with a dietician and dampened down who she was. Instead of showing up completely, she was like a cardboard cutout of herself.
Once she shifted into being in the right mindset, she became more comfortable with just being herself. She met with another potential referral source but instead of being fearful, she opened up about who she is, what’s she’s passionate about, and how she works.
She ended up getting a ton of referrals from the second dietician but not the first.
Example 2 – From fear to being seen
Alison herself gives the example of her own journey with blogging. She started out feeling as if blogging was a bit self-indulgent and presumptuous. And underneath those judgements, discovered too that there was some fear there around writing a blog and no one showing up to read it.
But once Alison shifted into reframing blogging as a way to help serve people, blogging has become easier. Each blog post gives someone hope, tools, or provides what’s needed.
She now blogs regularly for her eating disorder niche and uses it as a way to connect and serve the people that she cares about. There really isn’t a lot of free help out there and blogging of course doesn’t replace clinical work but perhaps a blog post could be that pep talk that someone needed on a hard day. The blog let’s people regain hope and know what’s possible.
One Thing You Can Do Right Now to Get Into the Right Mindset
Reframe marketing as just letting people know what you provide, that’s all. Loosen up around it, there are going to be blocks, and that’s ok.
Marketing: telling people that you’re there.
Don’t convince anyone that they need to see you. (Please don’t try to convince them). This will help take the pressure off for both you and them!
When I first started blogging, I also wrote a bit about what it might mean to redefine marketing (spookily similar to some of what Alison and I discussed!)