Therapists, don’t be intimidated by the word marketing, it is all about making connections and positioning yourself in the community. THEY DIDN’T TEACH US THIS IN SCHOOL, so I will share with you what I had to learn on my own and what works. Take it slow so you don’t get overwhelmed, this is not a race. Create a plan to implement one marketing strategy every three months because you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Do one thing for three months and do it well. Then assess to see if or what you want to add. Marketing is about making connections where people come to you for information, can rely on you and trust you. Typically, one connection if done right will open up doors for other connections and before you know it people will be making referrals to you. Here are a few specific suggestions that have worked for me.
1. Be the Person to Help others Locate the Best Resources:
Offer to help professionals to find resources for their clients or themselves. For example: a doctor may need help finding a support group for a patient. You can offer to help the doc find a couple of options for his patient which will put you in direct communication with the doctor. When providing the doc with the information you can also talk about what you do, he/she will see you as an expert and know that you are the person who can help.
2. Be the Expert
Offer to speak at local organizations on a subject that is closely connected to the services you want to offer. Don’t make it a commercial, people see right through that, educate them on a topic. Then throw in a few examples (without disclosing personal information) which will help others to see what you do and how you successfully helped someone. When you throw in the anecdotal examples it helps your audience connect personally as well, “Oh I had a similar experience” or “A patient who had that same issue”. Being seen as an expert and a person who can help is a great way to get referrals.
3. Join a Board or get Involved with an Organization that Relates to the Services you Provide or Population you Want to Treat.
For example, you may want to provide services to caregivers of people with dementia. Here are a few suggestions; get involved with a local walk or fundraiser for Alzheimer’s, offer to sponsor something, display at a local event, offer to sign people in at a function or create a walk team. These are all great ways to connect with the community you want to provide services for.
You can do it!!