In this world we live in, money gets things accomplished. You can’t watch a movie without a dozen commercial breaks. We see Nike, Coca Cola, Pampers, and Ford commercials, billboards, and magazine ads at every corner and in every sitcom we watch. But most small businesses don’t have the resources to spend the millions — or even hundreds — of dollars in advertising to build your business and your brand.
However, there is hope for your therapy practice. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get the word out about your practice without the need to spend significant — or even any — money on advertising or marketing.
Get a Google Places Listing
Depending on how long your practice has been around, your business may be listed on . But did you know that you can “own” your business listing? Once you own it, you can add details like your fees, parking, and hours. You can add photos of your office and business, and a detailed description of your business. Beyond that, you can even provide offers, or coupons for services. As Google says, “It’s like having free advertising for your business on Google Search and Google Maps. Market your business and claim your listing.”
Start a Facebook Page
Facebook allows any to create free pages for personal or commercial use. You could choose to create a personal (yet professional) page for yourself as a therapist, or create business page that you use to market and advertise your therapy practice with. Facebook is always free, and although boosting your posts or your page can be beneficial and pay off in the long run, even using Facebook for free can give you significant exposure as you post content and list all the necessary details about your therapy practice for free.
Manta was started to provide an online business directory and is today the most trafficked business website, with more than 30, 000 new businesses added every month. Manta is trusted as a business resource, and is a great and free way to have your business listed and be found online., and allow you to list many details about your business. There are, of course, paid options, but there’s no pressure for a small business to place anything more than a free account.
LinkedIn was started with a simple premise: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. Free accounts allow you to engage in professional networking. LinkedIn says that “when you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.” You’re also able to create a company page (for free) and describe your services, programs, and post updates about your business.
Write in a Local Newspapers or Magazine
Although this varies from city to city, many cities have a monthly or quarterly magazine that are published with health sections, guest authors, or columns. Ask to write a regular opinion piece, submit articles on mental health. Do whatever you can with local publications to get your name in print.
Unless you’re very fortunate, you won’t be paid to write for these publications, but you likely won’t have to pay to be published either. This increases your name recognition locally and can help in building your reputation and credibility.
Start a Therapy Blog
We’ve talked previously about whether or not you should start a therapy blog, but blogging is in this list because it is a fantastic way to be found and noticed online. Having a relevant, frequently updated blog on topics of families, marriage, relationships, parenting, and mental or emotional health can help your caseload grow as it builds your professional reputation.
If you’re not up to writing a blog on a regular basis, but still want to reap some of the benefits of therapy blogging, request from some colleagues to be a guest blogger on their site. This typically provides you with a lead-in paragraph explaining who you are, or an author box following your article. Either way, these are great ways to increase your professional exposure without having the burden of writing regularly.
Offer Free Services to the Community
Free is always popular, and when you offer free services, non-profits, community centers, and other groups are more likely to allow you to advertise your services. Be creative and consider your geographic location, your clientele, the social demographics, and other needs in your community. Offer free services or free initial seminars on relevant topics, such as:
- Parenting seminars
- Marriage seminars
- Specific Parenting Seminars, such as ADHD, Autism, or Anger
- Divorce care groups
- Grief support groups
- Free assessments
- Or, waive copays for an initial session
These kinds of advertising and marketing strategies are easily advertised on Facebook, LinkedIn, grocery stores, newspapers, community centers, doctor’s offices, attorney’s offices, and any other creative place you can think of.