Why you need the know, like and trust factor to grow your private practice - Jane Travis - Grow Your Private Practice

Have you heard of the know, like and trust factor?

It’s important when it comes to attracting clients and referrals, and something we, as therapists, sometimes trip up over.

So let’s take a look at what it is, and how you can incorporate the know, like and trust factor into your marketing while staying within your ethical boundaries.


Why you need the know, like and trust factor to grow your private practice - Jane Travis - Grow Your Private Practice

People buy from people and companies they know, like and trust.

But if you’ve ever read anything about blogging and marketing, you’ll probably have been told that to increase this, you should allow the real you to come through by being vulnerable, sharing personal stories and case studies.

Well that’s not suitable for therapists! So how can you stay firmly within personal disclosure boundaries while increasing your know like trust factor?

the know, like and trust factor in action

There's a guy I follow on Twitter who's a man with a van. You need something moving, he's your guy. All in all not the most interesting of businesses (in my eyes anyway!). 

But the way he uses Twitter is amazing. When he stops for lunch, he takes a cryptic photo of his surroundings always making sure his business card - which has a distinctive, cute cartoon van on it - is somewhere in the picture and asks 'where in Lincolnshire am I?' And people try to guess. Simple, fun. 

He plays hide and seek with his business cards - leaves them in strange and cheeky places and takes a pic of it. If he's in the pub he'll talk about the top quality pint and take a pic which includes his business card, or out with his partner for a meal he'll talk about the lovely ambiance, take a pic and his card is casually on the table. His pics always includes his business card somewhere. 

Sometimes, he hides it a business card in a shop, and the first person to find it gets £20.

But you never see his face! It's fun, he's funny! And more importantly, it's memorable. 

He's promoting his business in the most unsalesy way possible. Only about 1 in 20 tweets are him saying 'need to move something, give me a call'. 

And because of this, if I need a man with a van I know I shall choose him because he has the know, like trust and factor. He's made himself memorable.

I know he's likely to have a smile and some banter, and that brightens up the day.  

Know: he shares his day

Like: he's fun!

Trust: he posts consistently, he's been in business a while and he'll sometimes post smiley pics of satisfied customers

(I was in a pub once and saw a business card he'd hidden and felt ridiculously pleased, so went on Twitter and reported my find.) 


In all modalities, the therapeutic relationship is vital. In his article on the Counselling Directory, Joshua Miles says: 

The therapeutic relationship is the connection and relationship developed between the therapist and client over time. Without the therapeutic relationship there can be no effective or meaningful therapy.

This applies to all forms of counselling and psychotherapy, and regardless of the theoretical orientation of your therapist or counsellor, the relationship developed between you will be considered of high importance.

Therefore, a part of the initial session with a new client is for them to get a feel for you and see if they feel comfortable with you. They assess that not by knowing personal details about you but just getting a sense of you - about whether they know, like and trust you. 

The know, like and trust factor in marketing is simply about letting people get that sense of you before they meet you. It's doing the client - and you - a service by not wasting time.

So how can you increase your know, like and trust factor?

Know: Be Visible

Become known for your niche and be the go-to expert (take a read of 'The Reality Of Attracting Therapy Clients').

How can a therapist become know while staying within personal disclosure boundaries?

  • Include a photo of yourself on your website, bio’s and social media accounts - don’t use a logo as your profile image.
  • Share some details of your day on social media - a photo of your coffee and cake or a tool you use in the counselling room, for example
  • Only share things on social media that fit with your niche, so it’s clear what your focus is
  • Check out local networking events and start making relationships with other business owners in your area (Take a read of Business Networking For Counsellors)
  • Consider how you introduce yourself, so when you meet people they will know what you do and who you work with 
  • Offer to talk at local events or companies
  • Use Facebook live and video to let people really get a sense of you
  • Share your ‘why’ on your about page - what makes you so passionate about what you do?
  • Communicate with people about what you do - Harness The Power Of Word Of Mouth Marketing

Don’t be your own best kept secret!

Like: Be Yourself

Being kind, funny or warm doesn’t cross any personal disclosure boundaries, so think about how you can get that across to people. It will make you be memorable. 

  • Allow the passion you have for your niche to come through in everything you do, every blog, social media update or conversation
  • Use a conversational style when blogging, write as though you are talking to one person - remember, blogs aren’t essays
  • Be relevant, use your empathy to consider what your clients are struggling with on a day to day basis and write or share blogs that address those concerns
  • Use Facebook live to let your warmth shine
  • Share something about yourself - your love of maltesers, of clouds, of coffee. 

Trust: Be Reliable

Allow all the qualities that make you a good therapist come through - your honesty, respect, acceptance. 

  • Be consistent. Decide how often to blog/post on social media/send emails and stick to it
  • Only write or share high quality, relevant stuff that your audience will love
  • Share testimonials from clients. This splits counsellors - some do and some don’t but there isn’t a definitive right or wrong answer so consider how you feel about this and make a decision. Obviously, you need their permission and to consider how you handle confidentiality. But a testimonial from previous clients that have had a good experience carries a lot of weight
  • Consider the language you use. Don’t use psychobabble and unnecessarily big words or you’ll come across as pompous and distant. Keep it simple and conversational
  • Be helpful, be kind and don’t be salesy. A post on social media saying ‘Qualified and experienced counsellor in {area} now taking clients, call {number}’ will not encourage people to pick up the phone!

So if you are a private practitioner looking to attract clients and referrals, increasing your know/like/trust factor is a great way to ethically stand out from the crowd.

What can you do to increase your know/like/trust factor?

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About the Author Jane

Jane lives in beautiful Lincoln with her 2 boys and rescue dog. When she's not talking about herself in the third person, she's usually found with her feet up and eating Maltesers. Sometimes she even shares them with friends. Follow me on Instagram

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