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How do you feel about marketing your private practice? 

Do leap out of bed, grab the notebook titled ‘ideas’ and allow your creativity to come out to play?

Or does the thought of ‘selling’ yourself make you break out in hives and a cold sweat, and you sit in front of a blank page wringing your hands and willing yourself to think of something amazing to share?

Ok, so they just might be pretty extreme examples, but if you identify more the second one, this is for you.

Because I’m going to tell you how you can attract more clients, but not by clever sales tactics, just by helping more people. 

How does that sound. Too good to be true?

Well its not, it’s what many businesses do. So I'm going to tell you what content marketing is and why you need to know. 

Here's why...

More...

What even IS content marketing?

Before the internet, marketing was very different. It involved a lot of advertising, in newspapers (remember them?) and places like the Yellow Pages (remember them?).

And in those days you advertised by saying something like:

"Jane Travis, [letters after your name for gravitas] 

Qualified and experienced psychotherapist.

Contact me on 12345 678910"

And these were expensive.

If you put yourself in your clients shoes, you can see how choosing a therapist was extremely hit and miss. Of course there were fewer around then, but you pretty much rang someone and hoped for the best. Counsellors were interchangeable - or that was how it appeared.

As a therapist, you advertised, paid your money and hoped for the best. 

But now, we do something else - content marketing.

According to Content Marketing Institute 

"Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action."

Which basically means you create blogs, videos, podcasts on subjects that will help your readers, who will follow you for more. This creates the Know, Like and Trust factor, meaning they will be more likely to choose you as a therapist or recommend you to friends. . 

Most often, for therapists the preferred method is blogging - which is completely free to do. 

I currently produce a podcast and blog which obviously you are reading now. And this comes under the content marketing umbrella.

So take my podcast and blog. I talk to you freely about things that will help you attract more clients and grow your practice - which I am very happy to do because it's what I am committed to do. Helping more people always makes me feel good. 

And you or anyone can access the information I include in this blog for free. 

So why do I go to the time, trouble an effort - and cost (because there are costs involved to produce a podcast) to produce something for free?

  1. I like helping people. Yes, because I have people pleasing tendencies, but I adore what I do. I’m in business to help people
  2. Not everyone is in a position to join the Grow Your Private Practice membership, so you can get help no matter where you are in your journey
  3. You get to know me. I’ve talked before how important the know, like and trust factor is - if you don't know it, its the fact that people buy from or use the services of people they know, like and trust. And this is also important in that if the sound of my voice makes you want to jump off a cliff, then joining my membership wouldn't be right for you. 
  4. A proportion of listeners will see the value of joining the membership for access to all the help, support and resources available there. So they become paying members. So I grow my business

So basically, I grow my membership by helping instead of selling. 

In fact, I have a free resource for you called how to attract therapy clients by helping instead of selling, and you can grab it here:

ATTRACT MORE THERAPY CLIENTS BY Helping Not Selling

Get your free guide to learn how you can help instead of sell, and attract more therapy clients to your Private Practice.

Attract therapy clients by helping not selling


That, in a nutshell, is content marketing. You produce something that will be useful, interesting or entertaining to your readers and as a result you not only help more people, you get the get the know like and trust factor.

Also, you become known as an authority - and yes, I know as therapists we don’t like being called experts for many reasons, but if I’m going to visit a therapist and I put my story, my mental health, my trust AND my money in their hands, I want to know they are competent. 

I absolutely love creating content. In fact, I’ve been creating content to some extent since I started as a counsellor in 2005.

I started with blogging, which if I’m honest is still my first love. I love the creativity it brings. 

The important thing to remember in blogging is its all about the clients needs. What will they be interested in, what will help them?

Here are a few blogs I wrote when I was a counsellor:

  • When antidepressants aren't enough
  • The curse of perfectionism
  • 7 ways to find happiness every day
  • Why the benefits of counselling last a lifetime
  • Why pleasing everyone won't make you happy
  • 8 tips for a healthier work/life balance
  • Let’s talk about anger
  • 7 myths about counselling

I also did a christmas survival guide, with 10 blogs to cover the 10 days of Christmas which I shared over several years. 

And it felt comfortable to me, because I didn't write about myself. No,  I wrote about what I knew people wanted some help with.

If the title resonated with them and they would click through to read.

And if they found it useful, they might read another - or keep an eye out for the next one. 

Why blogging is great for your private practice

Blogs direct people to your website. And this is always the purpose of marketing - to get people to your website, which is your shop front. Once on your website, you can talk with them directly. They can read your blog, your FAQ’s, your about page and they can go on to contact you.

Blogs also keep people on your website longer, which is one of the things Google looks for, as it means the reader is interested in what you say rather than just clicking away. So Google will be more likely to send people to your blog

Another thing - when you write a blog, Google can see what you are writing about through the SEO, so the  words you use, your formatting, images, keywords etc, so it will show you in google searches. 

And the fact that you are writing a blog about a subject means you are elevating yourself to the position of authority - as I’ve said, but without having to say you’re an expert.

Another really important point is, a blog has a far longer shelf life than a social media post. 

Here’s the lifespan of social media posts (from Atisfyre)

TikTok – Instant Decay

Twitter – 15-18 minutes

Facebook – 6 hours

LinkedIn – 24 hours

Instagram – 48 hours

YouTube – About 20 days

But a blog is different. You can write a blog, say '5 self care ideas that are free'.

Publish and promote it.  BUT then you can repurpose it.

What is repurposing?

Re-purposing means adapting your blog to use in different ways.

So each of the 5 self-care ideas can be turned into a social media post in itself. But you could adapt it in many different ways, like do live video, Tic Toks, carousel posts, quote images - and you do this several times a year for each blog post you produce.

So re-purposing takes all the work you did to produce that blog and re-uses it over and over again, making it work hard for you. 

...so remember to re-purpose your blogs!

And all the SEO goodness is working in the background to drive people to your blog too. 

So yes, there are loads of reasons why blogging is great for business!

How often should you blog?

A blog a month is good to aim for. If you are a prolific writer, more, but I think a blog a month is doable. 

I recommend getting into the habit of setting a goal of a post a month and sticking to it.

What type of content marketing would be best for you?

Creating content is something I feel passionately about - you may have noticed! 

It’s a brilliant tool that can both be used to help people AND to attract new clients. 

Which is PERFECT for therapists. 

And you can choose what content to produce - blog, video or podcast  - depending on how comfortable you are with being visible.

  • If you are fine with visibility, you could record videos for your website and youtube
  • If you prefer to hide a bit, a podcast like this could be a good choice
  • Or if the thought of visibility brings you out in hives, blogging is a perfect choice. 

I blogged for the longest time AND had a couple of blog-based businesses. You can even check out - janetravis.com

And for me, it felt so much more comfortable because the blogs aren't about me, they focus the needs of the client. So if you struggle with visibility, blogging would be a great choice.

People are attracted naturally, no heavy sell required. Doesn’t that feel better?

So if content marketing and attracting clients by helping not selling appeals to you, be sure to download the free guide below:

ATTRACT MORE THERAPY CLIENTS BY Helping Not Selling

Get your free guide to learn how you can help instead of sell, and attract more therapy clients to your Private Practice.

Attract therapy clients by helping not selling


Ready to get started today?

If you’d like to learn how to blog and get started today, I have courses and resources waiting for you in the membership. So go to Grow Your Private Practice and see how blogging helps.

Well that’s it for this week, so happy writing! 

And if you know someone that would benefit from this, be a friend and send them the details.


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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.