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Someone using their phone to digitally market their online counseling practice

10 Tips for Marketing Your Online Counseling Practice

Originally published by Beacon Media + Marketing. Updated and revised by Jennifer Gracey, Web Content Strategist & Writer on 07/17/23.

Marketing can pose quite the challenge for any business, requiring a blend of creativity and effectiveness. However, when it comes to mental health marketing, things can get even trickier to grasp and execute successfully.

Notably, the pandemic has ushered in a significant shift in marketing strategies, especially for practitioners who had previously relied on in-person services. Many have transitioned to providing fully remote care, necessitating a change in how they promote themselves.

Given that you’re now operating solely online, your digital presence will play a pivotal role in every aspect of your practice. It’s crucial to have a well-thought-out plan to attract potential clients and nurture existing ones. To get you started, here are ten invaluable tips to market your online counseling practice.

Are you interested in how we’ve helped mental health practices like yours? Learn more about how we can help you!

Why Do You Need To Change Your Marketing? 

Are you curious about why it’s crucial to adapt your marketing strategies if you’re transitioning to a remote practice? It’s possible that signs of ineffective marketing haven’t revealed themselves yet. However, sticking to old methods might hinder your ability to attract new clients.

Google Always Changes the Rules

Here’s the thing: Google implemented changes to how healthcare professionals can utilize their tools, including Google My Business. Unfortunately, without a physical location, your mental health practice and website won’t be able to leverage this tool.

The Google Search Pitfall for Virtual and Telehealth Mental Health Practices

Consequently, when individuals search for “therapists in my area,” or search by location, your practice won’t appear as one of the leading providers. Instead, it will display practices with physical, brick and mortar locations nearby.

But don’t worry, falling behind some competitors doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom. Many people have discovered that online or teletherapy suits their preferred therapy treatment method. There’s a significant demand for your services; you and other therapists in your practice or collective just need to know how to effectively market to this target audience.

10 Tips on How To Market Your Online Counseling Practice

10 tips for marketing your online counseling practice infographic

To effectively market your online mental health practice, it’s crucial to prioritize your online presence and optimize your website, blogs, and overall content for search engine optimization (SEO). Boost your chances of being discovered by being active on social media, sharing educational videos on YouTube, or even creating an educational podcast.

One key strategy for marketing your online service is leveraging search engine tools to improve your ranking on search engines. Are you ready to learn some valuable tips on how to enhance your online marketing efforts for your mental health practice? Let’s dive in!

1. Identify Your Niche and Your USP

Discovering and clearly identifying your niche is crucial for successful online marketing. By doing so, you not only determine the services you’ll offer, but also scope of educational content you’ll share with the world. Focusing your expertise and knowledge and then highlighting it to potential clients establishes credibility and ensures that when people think about that specific topic, you’ll be the first name that comes to mind.

Additionally, it’s vital to identify your unique selling proposition (USP). With numerous options available to potential clients, it’s important to answer, “What sets you apart from the competition?” Whether it’s your comprehensive medication management services, patient-centered care or additional above and beyond resources you provide, it’s your distinct qualities that truly represent your practice and make you stand out. Embrace your uniqueness and let it be the driving force behind your success.

2. Identify Your Target Audience and Strategize

Discovering your target audience is absolutely crucial to understanding who would be genuinely interested in your services. This can be determined by focusing on your areas of expertise, such as offering support to individuals dealing with depression, anxiety, PTSD, trauma, and more. Once you have a clear idea of the people you want to assist, formulating your marketing strategy to reach potential clients becomes a smoother process.

It is equally important to consider the type of clientele that you work exceptionally well with and vice versa. Establishing a safe and connected environment, particularly in an online setting, can pose its challenges. Dedicate time to envisioning your ideal client, and tailor your marketing efforts to effectively target that specific audience.

By implementing these practices, you can truly captivate and engage with your intended audience, while providing the level of support they need.

3. Create a Great Website and Position Your Practice

Screenshots from Holistic CFT's website by Beacon Media + Marketing

When it comes to finding a mental health provider, most individuals turn to online search engines. That’s why it’s crucial to create a stellar website that truly showcases who you are and how you can assist these potential clients.

Your website should not only offer a clear depiction of your services and modalities, but also provide easy navigation that guides visitors towards scheduling an appointment. Don’t forget to include an online contact page, as many people prefer this method over making phone calls due to anxiety. Additionally, ensure that your website has SEO-optimized pages, loads quickly, and contains helpful information that resonates with your brand. And of course, make it simple for visitors to get in touch with you.

By following these strategies, you can enhance your online presence and make a lasting impression on those seeking mental health support.

Do you need help creating a great website? Learn more about how we can help you

4. Support Your SEO By Blogging Regularly

Blogging is an exceptional method for turbocharging your overall SEO efforts. Search engines recognize your page as a valuable resource that can address clients’ burning inquiries. To captivate readers further, ensure high quality content on your blogs incorporate compelling calls-to-action that entice them to book an appointment with you.

If you’re ever grappling with writer’s block, fear not! Crafting a mental health blog marketing strategy tailored to your services and offering educational and useful content is always a wise move. Remember, your blogs should showcase your expertise to establish credibility and position yourself as their ultimate choice. Oh, and don’t forget to amplify your reach by sharing these captivating blogs on social media platforms, driving traffic to your articles and, ultimately, your esteemed website.

5. Use Social Media To Facilitate Engagement

Social media is an invaluable tool for cultivating your online practice. It offers myriad possibilities to attract people to your services, such as bolstering brand awareness, sharing client testimonials, and spotlighting your remarkable online therapy team.

Harnessing and utilizing the power of social media goes beyond promotional efforts — it extends to educating others about mental health and establishing credibility in the field. Envision captivating posts, encompassing vibrant visuals or thoughtful videos, where you break down complex mental health topics and beckon readers to explore your blog for a deeper understanding. Remember: success lies in generating consistent and compelling content across various platforms. Those platforms include the big five:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube

6. Advertise To Reach More Potential Clients

Google ads offers a powerful solution to amplify your online presence. Imagine capturing the attention of potential clients seeking licensed online counselors in their state — your website appears right at the top of Google’s SERP. By leveraging the Google ads function intelligently and strategically, you can achieve this coveted position.

Additionally, your Google Analytics provides invaluable insights into your audience. Understanding what your audience looks at when coming to your website empowers you to fine-tune your ad strategy based on their preferences. Unlocking the potential of this dynamic tool can help bolster your reach and achieve impactful results.

Are you interested in how we can help you advertise? Learn more about how we can help you

7. Network to Earn Clout and Build Credibility

When it comes to networking, there are numerous social platforms available such as Facebook groups. However, if you’re looking to build a solid professional network, really establish your credibility and showcase your expertise in your field, LinkedIn reigns supreme. For medical professionals and therapists, it’s a phenomenal digital tool that enables meaningful connections within the industry.

Connecting with like-minded individuals in your medical community not only keeps you informed but also opens doors for potential recommendations and referrals. It also offers a glimpse into the professional and technical side of your practice, allowing others to witness your expertise.

As a platform, with LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to address crucial mental health issues and promote valuable education in a way that differs from the more casual interactions on other platforms. And leveraging this platform as excellent way to make a lasting impact in the mental health field is a longterm marketing move that just makes sense.

8. Use Social Proof to Show and Tell

Testimonial from Dana Group Associates social media

Are you looking for a foolproof strategy to attract new clients? Well, here’s a rock solid tip: Testimonials are gold! By showcasing how you’ve helped people, testimonials can do wonders to bolster your social clout and business reputation. This is especially true if you primarily offer or are looking to shift to online or telehealth services. In these cases, you’ll definitely need to take it up a notch to establish your credibility.

In this digital age, social reviews play a huge role in people’s decision-making process. And when it comes to online services, they’re even more crucial. Because let’s face it, we’ve all been — at one time or another — the skeptic out there questioning the quality of a service or product we’ve seen online. By using solid evidence that proves you’re capable and that you genuinely care about your clients, you’ll win them over in no time! So, no matter what, make you’re sharing those awesome testimonials from your past clients on your website, social media posts, and wherever else you can think of!

9. Utilize Video to Showcase Your Personality

Center for Grief & Trauma video thumbnail

Effective and meaningful connections can be challenging to establish through online platforms, as judging someone’s character and personality is often easier in person. However, there are ways to overcome this hurdle and showcase your true self. Utilizing videos on your social media accounts and website can serve as a powerful tool to convey your unique personality.

By allowing people to catch a glimpse of your genuine self, you significantly increase the likelihood of potential clients scheduling an appointment. Consider creating interview-style videos or engaging in candid conversations to demonstrate your comfort and professionalism, ultimately assuring clients that they will feel at ease during their sessions with you. Let your personality shine through the lens, and watch as your connections with ideal clients deepen and flourish.

10. Set the Tone By Creating a Positive Atmosphere

Even though you may not be physically present in an office, maintaining a professional appearance is crucial. As a significant portion (if not all) of your client and business transactions take place online, consider investing in high-quality equipment such as a camera, microphone, reliable internet, and HIPAA-compliant video call software.

Remember the power of first impressions: an uncluttered, tidy and professional-looking background, as well as appropriate attire, play a significant role in your client’s overall experience with you as their mental health provider. Neglecting these aspects may lead potential clients to lose trust and turn away. Every tiny detail contributes to the marketing of your online presence, so ensure you pay careful attention to each one.

Why You Should Choose Beacon Media + Marketing to Help

Are you struggling to put your marketing ideas into action? Not sure where to begin or how to create an effective mental health marketing strategy? Look no further!

At Beacon Media + Marketing, we specialize in helping online counseling practices (like yours) thrive. By entrusting us with your marketing needs, you can focus on what truly ignites your passion: helping people by providing quality mental health counseling services. We understand that marketing effectively can be a time-consuming endeavor, and that’s why we’re here to lend a hand.

With our wide range of services — from social media management and paid ads to SEO optimization, blogging, web design and development, branding, graphic design, photography, and video — we have everything you need to boost your mental health branding and reach the top of search results. All of which help with attracting potential clients.

Let us take care of your mental health marketing and branding needs so you can dedicate more time to what matters most: making a difference in people’s lives through counseling. Partner with us at Beacon Media + Marketing and experience the power of effective marketing.

Are you ready to take your online counseling practice to the next level? Get your free consultation!

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