5 Proven Marketing Strategies Therapists use to Make Sure the People Who Need Them can Find Them

If you’re not telling anyone about what you do, does it really matter what you do?!

We believe what you do does matter and we want to see you tell people about it.

So, here’s 5 different ways to tell the world what you do.

NOTE: Instead of being overwhelmed about how you’re gonna execute all of these we recommend that you choose your favorite technique and use it for three months .

REFERRALS

When Carol first mentioned this I was like, “Wait.  What?! You’re starting an online practice, but you’re networking with local therapists.”

“Yes,” she said.

She explained that she was meeting with them for two reasons:

  1. To ask about insurances they accepted and typically worked with.
  2. To build a referral list.

Before she knew it she was getting referrals from the therapists she had met with.  Now she is referring clients to them. Talk about a win-win!

ADDING A CALL TO ACTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT

As a counselor, life coach, or therapist you’re an influencer.  Especially if you choose to show up on social media. You’re sharing a tip or trick to help your ideal client live from a place of freedom and confidence.

But all too often those posts disappear into cyberspace, don’t they?

Probably all because your audience didn’t know what to do with your post.

  • Should they like it?  
  • Leave a comment?  
  • Hold up, comment what?  

Next time you share that carefully crafted post of yours ask yourself, “What action do I want my audience to take?  Do I want them to “like” this photo, leave a comment, tell me how they’re gonna change, leave an emoji, grab my free ebook, ask me a question in my DMs?”.

Here’s five call to actions you’re welcome to steal:

  • If you agree, give me a “thumbs up.”
  • Tag a bestie.
  • If you loved this, let me see you in the comments!
  • Wanting more on this thought?!  I created a whole ebook on this that you can get for FREE at the link in the comments…
  • If you’re with me on this leave “I choose joy” in the comments.

TWO THINGS A CLIENT-CONVERTING WEBSITE HAS

When creating a compelling website it’s easy to throw around words like “clean visuals” and “clear messaging,” but at the end of the day, every image and word on your website needs to do two things:  

  1. Eliminate distraction
  2. Guide to a specific action

SELF-TESTS

Have you ever filled out one of those quizzes floating around on the internet? Like, “What’s your secret-sauce for marketing”, “What type of sleeper are you”…?

No?!

Well, then you’ve probably taken a personality test at some point or done one of those facebook things that tell you what celebrity you resemble or what you will look like in 30 years (why do we even click on that one?!).

You’ve done one of those right?!

These test are compelling and intriguing because there’s something in us that wants to be unraveled and demystified (at least to ourselves) and if a random internet test can “figure us out” we feel less alone and a whole lot more understood.

Ya with me?

This curiosity and desire in all of us provides a unique opportunity for therapists to not only market their practices, but serve their audience, by giving them something they want.

Self-tests.

Self tests are a series of questions an individual can answer on their own. When completed the self test provides results based on the answers provided and the topic of the test.

PERSONAL PROFILE

When you work with iTherapy you get your very own profile on our website.  By writing a short bio, tagging the services you provide, and linking your website you have the opportunity to be found by someone who hops onto our website looking for a therapist (don’t worry, we’ll help you set this up).

People should know about what you do, because what you do matters.

If you wish that telling people about what you do was a little easier, you’re in the right place! From providing everything you need to own and operate an online HIPPA compliant practice to giving you an official profile, simplifying your practice is what we do.

Ready for owning and operating your own practice to get easier? Book a call!

Self-tests: The unique and trendy link to serving your audience, growing your online therapy practice, and building your credibility.

Have you ever filled out one of those quizzes floating around on the internet? Like, “What’s your secret-sauce for marketing”, “What type of sleeper are you”…?

No?!

Well, then you’ve probably taken a personality test at some point or done one of those facebook things that tell you what celebrity you resemble or what you will look like in 30 years (why do we even click on that one?!).

You’ve done one of those right?!

These test are compelling and intriguing because there’s something in us that wants to be unraveled and demystified (at least to ourselves) and if a random internet test can “figure us out” we feel less alone and a whole lot more understood.

Ya with me?

This curiosity and desire in all of us provides a unique opportunity for therapists to not only market their practices, but serve their audience, by giving them something they want.

Self-tests.

Self tests are a series of questions an individual can answer on their own. When completed the self test provides results based on the answers provided and the topic of the test.

Following are two ways to grow your practice, build your credibility, and serve your audience by leveraging self-tests.

BLOG POSTS

What are you an expert at? What do you want to help people overcome most?

Write a blog post about the five most common symptoms or the three techniques that have helped your clients the most. Throughout the post and at the end link to the self-test most related to your post.

Three blog post topics we recommend:

  1. Common Symptoms
  2. Most Helpful (or time efficient) Techniques
  3. Recent Research

Close the post with an invitation to work with you. You can even say something like, “If you took the self-test, I would love to hear what your results were. Schedule a call here.”

Writing a blog post about a specific topic positions you as the expert. Leaving the link for a reader to test themselves will clarify for them whether or not they need help. Inviting them to work with you makes an easy transition; you’ve already established yourself as the expert, after assessing themselves with the test YOU provided – if they want help after all that you’re it!

Who else would they choose?!

SOCIAL MEDIA

Not only is social media where quizzes are hottest right now, but it’s also the place your blog post has the most opportunity to get viewed (if you know how to rock pinterest that’s good, too).

Write a post teasing the topic you want to feature with a self test. Invite the reader to take the test. At the end of the post slip in a few words about how you’re here to help. Or just share a snippet of your blog post and link to the post (afterall, you’ve spent a bunch of time crafting epic authority-building content).

Feel free to customize the following captions for your own social media post:

POST #1: Curiosity

Wonder if you’re [insert “depressed”, “anorexic”, “struggling with speech anxiety”…]?

End the fear-infusing “what ifs” and find out for yourself by answering these questions: [insert self-test link]

If you want to talk about your results or skip it all and talk to a real therapist get yourself on my calendar [insert link to your calendar].

POST #2: Authority

“For the next two weeks I want you to [insert what you would prescribe someone to do that is struggling with the self-test you want to feature].”

The next time we talked my client reported that they were [insert positive results that have been experienced from such a prescription/assignment].

Want to know if this assignment would work for you? Check out this quiz: [insert self-test link].

Remember, we want to be understood, even if that’s a computerized assessment that tells us we’re not the only one.

Here’s a list of self-tests you’re welcome to link to in your posts.

Whether linking self-tests in a facebook post or sharing them in an email newsletter you’re adding value to your audience, establishing yourself as an expert, and creating awareness of the services you provide!

Wanting more ways to simplify your practice?! We got you. Book a call here to see how we can help!

5 ways to stay personally and professionally engaged while running an online therapy practice

Running your own practice as an online therapist comes with its own set of challenges.

Sure you don’t have to choose between your love for therapy and love for your family (or travel) anymore, but it can get lonely.  Not only are you a therapist listening to others and helping them navigate their problems, you’re a business owner. Self-care takes on a whole new meaning.

We trust that you know how to take a day off and golf or get a pedicure, so instead of giving you a “pampering list” we’ve rounded up five effective ways to staying engaged and productive as a therapist who runs their own online practice for the long haul:  

SCHEDULE TIME FOR BEHIND THE SCENES TASKS

Filing, sending emails, staying on top of insurance (if you accept it), keeping up with your CEs can pile up. A lot of therapists have found that setting aside time to knock out these mundane tasks gives them peace of mind. Instead of trying to fit it in “here and there” you can have confidence knowing you’ve scheduled time to care for your business.

You might want to schedule this first thing every morning so that you know everything is taken care of before you get on your first call. You might be someone who wants to dedicate one afternoon a week to these tasks. Either way, your brain-space and self-care meter will thank you for SCHEDULING the admin time (or hiring a virtual assistant).

QUESTION: if I look at your calendar will I find dedicated time to the business-side of your practice?!

LEAVE BUMPER ROOM BETWEEN SESSIONS

Ever feel emotionally drained when you get to the end of your sessions?! Like making dinner is even too much to ask, forget helping your kids with homework?!

There’s nothing wrong with going from session to session to session. But making sure you end one session on time so you can start the next session on time can be emotionally draining. Scheduling bumper room between your sessions could be all it takes for you to get to the end of the day and with enough energy to be the family person you want to be.

Even if it’s just 15 minutes between sessions that would be enough for you to grab a cup of tea or move through three yoga poses. Space for you could even mean forward planning your sessions so you do all your session at the beginning of the day, and knock out some admin work before stepping back into your personal life. Space means different things for each person. You can do this!

Not only will your sanity benefit but so will the service and attention that you’ll be able to give your clients. Adding 15 minutes between sessions might feel like it’s gonna add up to a lot of the end of the day, but how would it feel to get to the end of the day and not feel miserable as you walk into your kitchen to make dinner?!

QUESTION: How can I schedule my calls so I’m able to show up to my personal life in a way that make me proud even after a long day of sessions?

SPEND TIME WITH LIKEMINDED PEOPLE WHO LISTEN TO YOU

Let me guess, you work from home!  It’s great, isn’t it?! But it can also get VERY lonely – I know. Whether networking or scheduling a coffee date, it’s important to be intentional about spending time with like-minded people who are willing to listen. Consider booking a flight to visit a friend that really gets you or a scheduling a standing phone call to chat about life with someone you trust.

You spend most of your time listening to people. It’s okay – healthy even – for you to talk to someone who listens to you. That doesn’t mean you need to schedule a professional therapy session for yourself (although that might not be a bad idea), but it does mean you need to make sure you’re living your life, voicing to your feelings, and not losing your humanity to your work. Afterall, you’re a human serving humans!

QUESTION: Who do I (can I) talk to weekly just about life?

GIVE YOURSELF OFFICE HOURS

Ever feel like you’re eternally accessible?! You control that. Office hours are like boundaries in the relationship, while a lot of people think boundaries are for the people you’re in relationship with they’re really for YOU. To tell you when someone has gone too far or you’re giving too much. Boundaries are to help you protect what’s important to you.

If you feel drained by continually answering emails and picking up phone calls give yourself dedicated office hours. “Between this time and this time, on these days I can schedule calls. For this many hours a week I commit to knock out the admin side of my business.” Protect your business and your person life by establishing office hours.

You might make an exception now and again to schedule session outside of these hours, the hours might even shift week-to-week, but you’re giving yourself a structure to work within more often than not.  Sound good?!

QUESTION: What are my dedicated office hours?

SET UP A DESK FOR YOURSELF

A desk can mean a lot of things but at the end of the day is a designated space where you work. Somedays that looks like a coffee shop for me. Other days it’s my balcony. Some afternoons it’s the library. Once upon a time I even had a legit desk, no-clutter zone, lots of space, and a picture that made me smile.

I don’t think it was the space or location that made my work effective, but the mental dedication that space allowed me to enter into every time I sat down. When I show up to my desk (wherever it is) it’s to work – focus and work. Setting up a physical desk also provides a sense of official-ness and helps keep office hours (if you were inspired by the previous section).

QUESTION: Where is my designated work space?

Now that you made it to the end we’ve got two things for you:

1) We’d LOVE to hear where your designated work space is in the comments.

2) Did you know we’re in the business of simplifying the business-side of your practice?! Book yourself a call with us to see how much sanity we can save you by simplifying your practice with around the clock live support and easy streamlined payments!

Three things Therapists wish they had thought about before providing therapy to out-of-state or international clients.

You’ve spent hours with your client and they’ve covered a lot of ground.  Your client recently received a promotion and is now moving. Because they’re thankful for all you’ve done together and want to continue the work they ask if you can continue being their therapist via online sessions.

It’s an epic moment, right?!  Until you realize you don’t know what to say…  

Don’t worry, after extensive research we discovered what you need to check off your list when providing therapy online to out-of-state clients, overseas clients, and internationally.  We even snuck in a few bonus thoughts at the end!

One thing you don’t want to miss and will apply regardless of where you’re providing therapy: make sure you’re following the guidelines of your licensing board.  In other words, figure out what your licensing board guidelines are FIRST and give them the most weight!

Now that, that’s out of the way…

Providing therapy online in different states.

Let’s say you live in North Carolina, but you just moved from Virginia.  What’s gonna happen to all your clients?! You can refer them of course, but what if they want to keep working with you?  After all you’ve spent a lot of time building a relationship to get to where you are today.

You already have a license in Virginia, the state you originally practiced in.  So here’s what you need to do:

  1. Is the state your client resides in telehealth friendly?
  2. What are the state’s regulations for telehealth that you client resides in?
  3. What regulations does the state you reside in have?

As Roy Huggins of Person Centered Tech says:

When you work with a client in a foreign state, your work is in both that state and your state. The purpose of the licensing board(s) in the client’s state is to regulate who is working with that client (Can I Practice “Skype Therapy” Across State Lines?).

In other words, you need to make sure you’re practicing legally in both states that therapy is being provided to and from.

Providing therapy online to overseas clients.

Your current client, in the state you’re licensed in, is traveling and wants to continue sessions while abroad.  More often than not, you’re good to go (finally, a simple answer), but it can never hurt to check your state’s regulations!

You have a client living overseas, you’ve crossed all the “t”s and dotted all the “i”s to provide them therapy internationally, but they’re moving stateside.  You need to abide by the regulations of the state your client will be resident in – more often than not you’ll need to be licensed in that state (make sure that state is telehealth friendly).  If the state is not telehealth friendly it would be a good time to build your referral list.

Providing therapy online while living overseas.

You’re living overseas (gosh, I’m jealous) and want to provide therapy online, right?!  All I have to say is you’re one brave and dedicated therapist.

There’s three areas you’re going to want to check:

  1. The regulations where you are certified.
  2. The regulations where you are located (providing therapy from).
  3. The regulations where your client is located/resident.

You can do further research on this here.

Additional thoughts to consider…

  • Is the online platform you’re using HIPAA compliant?
  • Does your insurance cover practicing in other states and overseas?
  • If you’re sued by an international client have you taken legal actions to be protected?

Basically, every everything we talked about today boils down to: if you’re providing therapy to someone outside of your state or nation you’re technically providing therapy in two places and therefore need to meet the regulations of both locations.

If that sounds like a lot of work to you, you’re feeling overwhelmed by the business end of an online practice AND finding a HIPAA compliant video platform book a call with us.  Making YOUR practice simple is what we do!

The Best Kept Secret to Owning and Operating Your Online Therapy Practice Independently

You’re sitting in front of your computer screen after seven in-person counseling sessions.  You’re exhausted, but determined to get to the bottom of this starting-an-online-practice thing.

Your cursor blinks in the search bar…

Hold up!

Before you go to bed another hour later we’d like to invite you to a virtual work-with-us experience (your family, your clients, and your tomorrow-morning-self will thank you for reading this to the end!).

Go back to your cursor in the search bar and type: how to have a simple online therapy practice

iTherapy pops up.  You click it. Here’s a summary of what you’ll discover:

  1. DEMO
  2. LIVE TUTORIAL
  3. LIVE SUPPORT
  4. EMAIL UPDATES (so you don’t forget about any features or miss updates)
  5. MONTHLY PAYMENTS
  6. PROFILE

DEMO

Your experience with iTherapy will start with a video chat to briefly walk you through our features.  Two things you should know going in: 1) We’re question friendly – the more the better. 2) Because we want you to be able to choose the best package for your practice we’re gonna throw a lot of information at you.  Hence, question-friendly.

Brief demo overview:

  • HIPAA Compliant Online Counseling Platform
  • Online Scheduling Feature
  • Client Management and Notes
  • Secure Communications
  • Client Invoicing and Payment Procession
  • Electronic Insurance Claims Submissions
  • Personalized Form Creation and Storage

TUTORIAL

You loved the demo and selected your package.  Congrats! You’ll receive a link to schedule another video session to get all your log in set up and make sure you know how to navigate all the features (including entering insurance info, scheduling HIPAA compliant video sessions, and filing notes).  

SUPPORT

Ever sat on the phone with Customer Service?!  Eats up your time, doesn’t it?! Believe me, we know.  But we’ll sit on hold for you. That’s right, we provide 24/7 live support.  All you have to do is let us know what the challenge is. If we can’t fix it, we’ll get to the bottom of it for you!

EMAIL UPDATES

As a business owner who helps people we know there’s a lot on your mind, not to mention any of the hats you might wear like parent, spouse, daughter, friend… We get that it’s hard to keep up with all the updates and remember all the features at your disposal.  So each month we get all those updates and reminders into one quick and catchy email so you can stay at the top of your game in life and business.

ONE MONTHLY PAYMENT

Like we said, we know your brain is in a lot of places at once, the last thing you need is seven payments to have all the platforms you need to run a HIPAA compliant online practice.  So we’ll send you ONE monthly payment. Pay it and you’re good to go for EVERYTHING!

PROFILE

When you work with iTherapy you get your very own profile on our website.  By writing a short bio, tagging the services you provide, and linking your website you have the opportunity to be found by someone who hops onto our website looking for a therapist (don’t worry, we’ll help you set this up, too).

In summary:

iTherapy is the brainchild of Carol Pulley, a practicing therapist, and her husband Forrest Pulley with 20+ years of business experience, who saw a need for a one-stop shop to owning and operating an online therapy practice independently.   

All that to say, we’re not here to sign you up with HIPAA compliant platforms and turn you loose.  

We’re here to help you – answer your questions and provide live tech support – as you help others, we just happen to provide all the HIPAA compliant resources you need to run a successful online practice.  

CEO/Founder of Village Mindset, LLC, Katesha S. Broadus, LCSW, BC-TMH, said this about providing online counseling for her clients through iTherapy:

“When I found out about iTherapy I was a few days from launching my practice. I cancelled everything and switched to iTherapy, because of their inclusive virtual office package (phone, fax, email), business coaching, and online platform that supported family/group counseling sessions. Without a doubt, iTherapy was a one stop shop for all of my business needs.”

If you’re like “This is the kind of simple I was looking for,” get your online therapy practice started by scheduling your real-life demo TODAY!

Is Online Therapy a Good Fit for You?!

You’ve finally crept all the way out to the edge of the high diving board.  Your toes are wrapped around the final centimeters of the white sandpaper-y bendy piece of something.

“You’ve got this,” your mom calls from the other side of the pool, video camera poised.

“Common, you’ll love it,” your friend yells from below.

“Yes, but…” you adjust your goggles.

2 breathless seconds later you’re pushing hair and water away from your face frantically scanning for the nearest ladder.  You did it.

“I did it!”.  You beam at your friend, “Let’s do it again!”.

And just like that you did something new, grew in a new layer of confidence in your capabilities, and had a blast (if I do say so myself).  Tomorrow, you’ll be the friend yelling, “Common, it’ll be fun!”.

But, let’s rewind real quick, just seconds before you were unsure…scared…wishing you hadn’t made it all the way to the edge because then you’d be allowed to walk back down.  And in a fraction of a minute you became a believer, right?!

What flipped you from scared and unsure to confident and excited?!  Experience.

That’s it.

And, believe it or not, experience is often the deciding factor between whether or not online therapy is a good fit for therapists looking to build or scale their practice.

Sure online therapy has its share of scary moments, so does face-to-face therapy, and so does jumping off the high diving board.  But fear and uncertainty, don’t make face-to-face therapy ineffective or dangerous in itself, just like fear and uncertainty don’t make jumping of the high-diving board not-fun or dangerous.  It’s the same way with online therapy.

Here are the three areas we have seen EXPERIENCE make the biggest impact in whether or not online therapy is a good fit for you – yes, you!

BUSINESS

There’s this whole business side of things for online therapy that still have to happen, right?!  Like a place to keep all your client records, notes, billing, and scheduling. Having a reliable platform or system to process and store all this information is critical in you being fully present during sessions and online therapy being a successful experience for you and your client.

I mean, if you’re hosting a session, but subconsciously freaking out about all the details and admin stuff for the session….probably won’t be a great session.

This is kinda like the ladder and everything holding the diving board….structure first.  You gotta get up those stairs in order to jump. So, make sure they’re sturdy (shameless plug alert: serving you in such a way that you can focus on your clients is what makes us proud, so schedule a demo with us to see if we’re you’re missing link to a thriving online practice).

TECHNOLOGY

Now.  The. Tech.  Basically, anyone’s worst enemy unless you’re some tech genius, which might mean you should join our team.  Seriously though, how familiar are you with the platform you will be using to host your online session (also, is it HIPPA compliant)?  

Have you hosted a mock session?  Do you know what all the buttons are?  Do you know how to mute the other person – mute yourself, for that matter?  How is the audio on your device/microphone? Are you even comfortable with video chat?

In other words, do you know how to swim?  Swimming lessons generally (most definitely, should) come before jumping off a high diving board.  Being comfortable with video chats should definitely come before an online session.

Get good at video chats.  Get comfortable talking to your friends and having a genuine conversation via video.  You. Can. Do. This.

PEOPLE

How good are you at building rapport with people in general?  Most therapist are concerned about online therapy with the simple thought that they won’t be able to build rapport.  But, are you good at building rapport with your clients in a face-to-face session?  What if your experience building rapport with clients face-to-face is the very thing that gives you a leg up to building rapport with clients via an online session?!

Thought of that, yet?

The fact that you could swim meant you weren’t gonna die jumping off that board.  Okay, maybe you wouldn’t have liked it and never done it again, but you knew you would surface and swim to the edge.  All you had to do was jump. That single jump would rule out an experience for you or open a whole new thrilling world.

So, jump.  Give online therapy a chance.

Chances are, online therapy isn’t as scary as you think and it’s probably more of a fit than you ever imagined.  You just need to decide if you like “the thrill of falling through the air” or not.  So all I have left for you today is…

What if you jump and find that online therapy isn’t a fit?!  You tried it so you’ll never have to wonder, “Could I have made more impact and income with online therapy?”.  

What if you do jump and online therapy ends up being the link to you not having to choose between your love for therapy and your love for your kids EVER again?!

In other words, what if online therapy is a fit, but you never knew because you never jumped?!

P.S.  We get it, this whole jumping thing can be scary (even after our epic post) so if you have questions or you’re just ready to get started with someone you trust schedule a demo with us.  Helping people who help people is what we do!  Seriously, the demo is on us, so book it!