Effective Marketing for Therapists

a cell phone and a keychain on a table

For modern mental health professionals, knowing how to reach your target audience and effectively brand your practice can sometimes be just as important as the work you’re doing. Whether you specialize in patients with anxiety disorders or you practice dialectic behavior therapy, knowing how to develop marketing materials can make a major difference both for patients and staff members. Luckily, there are effective ways to do so without restructuring your practice.

Know your audience

Say, for instance, that you specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Cognitive therapy works with current problems patients have with their behavior. This could be an inability to take their mind off of a stressful event or recurring anxiety. As such, it’s a good idea for a CBT therapist to focus on that specific niche of their practice, whether it’s an in-person business or a telehealth service. Your medical practice needs to speak to your target audience more capably. Sometimes, this means incorporating social media into your skills training. Other times, it means developing a site that works on mobile devices for stress-free appointment scheduling. It could even mean introducing a new service or cognitive behavior therapy technique to reach untapped prospective patients.

One great way to do this is through some market research. Again, suppose you offer telemedicine services for cognitive restructuring. You could ask patients to fill out a simple survey to determine what type of therapy is proving to be most popular. You can then conduct a meta-analysis of the results to determine where your medical practice is connecting with your target audience and where you can make improvements. Your marketing effort should be a clear testament to the health systems you have in place and speak to the various health services you offer. Understanding your target market is only a portion of the puzzle, however. You also need to decide which marketing materials work best with your brand.

Selecting marketing materials

While it’s often thought that traditional marketing is outdated, it still works for many mental health patients in the United States. In many ways, seeing an ad in the local newspaper or receiving direct mail can build trust more effectively. This holds true even if you’re focused more specifically on telehealth programs as a form of therapy. Knowing how to market telemedicine services is incredibly important as it’s easy to assume you should be operating strictly digitally. However, even with telehealth programs, tactics like direct mail can still help you reach potential clients. It’s a great way to cover all your bases without spending too much.

Of course, you need to make sure your marketing materials are clear and concise. Each campaign should target a specific problem—whether it’s difficulty with social situations, recurring negative thoughts, cravings, drug abuse, or the desire for a behavior change through CBT techniques. Do you offer inpatient services, for example? Or do you run on a health plan that emphasizes the waiting room and repeat visits? Naturally, if you’re in the telemedicine field, you’re potentially working with more tech-savvy patients, so it’s important to know how that can impact your marketing as well. For a telehealth solution, you may want to look into the American Telemedicine Association for more information.

Each piece of marketing should have a clear message. Whether you work with physical symptoms or have a staff comprised mostly of cognitive-behavioral therapists who specialize in talk therapy, your marketing should speak to that. Providing insurance information and accepted insurance companies can be a boon, too.

Working in the mental health field can be complex enough as it is. Your marketing shouldn’t hold your practice back. From working with those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to those seeking to break negative behavioral patterns, your focus should be on your practice. Don’t let your marketing undermine the great work you’re doing.