Managing Your Marketing Mindset As A Therapist

Running a private practice means we need to market and promote our services | For many therapists, the thought of marketing can be daunting |

Managing Your Marketing Mindset as a Therapist: Overcoming Negative Thoughts and Embracing the Business Side of Your Practice

As therapists, our primary focus is on helping our clients. We spend years learning how to listen, empathise, and offer support to those in need. However, running a private practice also requires us to think about marketing and promoting our services. For many therapists, the thought of marketing can be overwhelming and even uncomfortable. It’s something that I address in Module 4 of my Designing the Dream course.

Negative thoughts and feelings about marketing may arise, such as "I'm not a salesperson" or "I don't want to appear pushy or inauthentic." It's important to recognise and address these negative thoughts in order to effectively market our practices and continue to help the clients who rely on us.

According to the American Psychological Association, the demand for mental health services has increased significantly in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic (APA, 2021). This also holds true for the UK. It presents an opportunity for therapists and counsellors to grow their practices and reach more clients. However, it also means that the competition for clients may be higher. Marketing is crucial in helping potential clients find and choose our therapy practice.

As you read through this post, think about your marketing mindset, where those beliefs come from and how you can overcome them.

Examples of negative marketing mindset:

"I'm not a natural salesperson."

"I don't want to appear pushy or inauthentic."

"I'm afraid of rejection."

"I'm not good at self-promotion."

"I don't have the time or energy to devote to marketing."

These are common negative thoughts that many therapists may have about marketing. These thoughts may arise due to insecurity about our value as therapists, fear of failure or rejection, limited belief in our abilities, or discomfort with self-promotion. It's important to recognise and acknowledge these thoughts in order to address them.

Why negative marketing mindset happens:

  • Insecurity about our value as therapists:

As therapists, we are often trained to be humble and avoid ‘self-aggrandisement’. However, it's important to recognise that we have valuable skills and expertise that can benefit our clients. Feeling insecure about our value as therapists can lead to negative thoughts about marketing.

  • Fear of failure or rejection:

Marketing requires putting ourselves out there and making our services known to potential clients. This can be intimidating and lead to fears of failure or rejection.

  • Limited belief in our abilities:

It's natural to feel uncertain about our ability to market ourselves and our practices. This can lead to negative thoughts about our marketing efforts.

  • Discomfort with self-promotion:

As therapists, we are trained to focus on our clients and their needs. Self-promotion may feel unnatural or uncomfortable for some.

How to overcome negative marketing mindset:

Recognise and acknowledge your negative thoughts

Simply acknowledging that these thoughts exist can help you to identify and challenge them.

For example, if you catch yourself thinking "I'm not a natural salesperson," try saying to yourself "Even though I may feel uncomfortable with marketing myself, I also recognise that it's a necessary part of running a successful practice. And I can tolerate uncomfortable feelings as get used to doing more of it".

Reframe your thoughts

Instead of thinking "I'm not a natural salesperson," try reframing it as "I can learn and develop my marketing skills." It's important to remember that marketing skills, like any other skills, can be learned and improved upon with practice.

Seek support

Talk to a colleague, supervisor, or mentor about your concerns. They may have helpful insights or be able to offer encouragement. Consider joining a therapy-specific marketing group or hiring a coach to help you navigate your marketing efforts.

Educate yourself

Take a workshop or read a book about marketing for therapists (link to own book/resources). This can help you to feel more confident and competent in your marketing efforts.

Practice self-care

Marketing can be emotionally and mentally draining. Remember to take care of yourself and prioritise self-care activities. This may include setting boundaries around your marketing efforts, taking breaks, or seeking support from a trusted friend or therapist.

Marketing Mindset Case study:

Jane is a marriage and family therapist in private practice. When she first started her practice, she struggled with negative thoughts about marketing. She felt uncomfortable self-promoting and was afraid of rejection. She felt people would judge her. As a result, she avoided marketing efforts and relied on referrals from her colleagues to bring in new clients.

Jane knew that she needed to do more to grow her practice, so she decided to address her negative marketing mindset. She started by acknowledging her negative thoughts and reframing them. Instead of thinking "I'm not good at self-promotion," she told herself "I can learn and develop my marketing skills."

Next, Jane sought support from a coach and joined a therapy-specific marketing group. She learned about different marketing strategies and developed and implemented a plan for promoting her practice. She also set boundaries around her marketing efforts and made sure to prioritise self-care.

Jane's efforts paid off. As she learned what worked for her and tailored her marketing strategy to her strengths. She started to see an increase in new clients and was able to grow her practice. She learned that marketing is a crucial part of running a successful practice and that she is capable of promoting her services effectively.

Marketing Yourself Helps Your Ideal Clients Find You

Marketing your private practice is a necessary aspect of running a successful business. It's important to recognise and address any negative thoughts or feelings you may have about marketing in order to effectively promote your services. With a little self-reflection, reframing, and education, you can develop a healthy and positive marketing mindset.

Remember, marketing is about connecting with potential ideal clients and letting them know how you can help them. It's not about being pushy or inauthentic. By focusing on your clients' needs and finding ways to effectively communicate the value of your services, you can build a successful practice and make a positive impact on the lives of those you serve.

What’s not to like about that?

Coaching for Therapists

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Categories: : Marketing, Private Practice