There are many things to think about when launching a private practice the most critical will be where do I get client leads?
Very often these can simply be by word of mouth based on previous successful work, registering with private health care providers or via traditional marketing in places your clients visit or see – local magazines, community and health centres to name a few. However, by far one of largest areas of opportunity is the online space. Marketing yourself and your services via the internet will ensure you have regular leads and ensure you are not relying on one source for new clients. Below are areas to consider when marketing your business online. As it’s a large area to cover the sections are short with links to further information or tips should you wish to know more.
What To Consider:
1. Purchase A Domain Name
Purchase a domain name from a reputable company: SiteGround, GoDaddy ( use to have a bad reputation but much improved in all aspects) and 123Reg are all OK. Take a little time to consider the domain name you’d like, the following article explains in detail what to consider when picking a domain name: Domain Name Considerations Remember very often the ideal one is already taken so have a few in mind then check whether they are available.
2. Get A Website Up and Running
You will need a website to act as a hub for all your online marketing work. Think of a website as an investment, not an expense. Choose a supplier carefully, cheapest is not always best. Consider both a setup cost but also the on-going management and maintenance of the site will need budgeting for. Avoid suppliers who are just interested in the setup and not how they support you afterward. It’s a long-term relationship and you need to be confident that the supplier is going to care 5 years down the line and not vanish. The link below explains how much to consider paying for a website: How Much To Pay For A Great Website
You can get relatively cheap websites that are fine for starters for a small monthly fee. Wix and Squarespace are good places to start. But usually, over time you will find they lack the flexibility you need to grow your business. But if budget is tight they are a good starting point and to gain experience.
Free checklist download: Checklist For A Successful Website
2. Setup Social Media Profiles
Consider setting yourself up on one or two social media places. No need to register with all of them just concentrate on being present on one or two. Advertising on these platforms is very often the cheapest way to market your business. The following article explains the best times of the day and week to post on each of the platforms for maximum visibility: Best Time To Post On Social Media
3. Get A Logo and Branding
Yes, you do need a logo but it needn’t be overly complex. A simple logo consistently applied across marketing platforms is very often all that is needed. A logo speaks to your customers – very often it’s the first thing they see of your business – from a business card to the internet to an advert. It’s the first customer touch point. It will say something about your business. It is important a logo conveys the right initial messages to your customers. That may be conveying – a fresh dynamic brand or something more conventional and reliable. The important thing is it needs to convey an ‘intentional’ message. Designed well a logo will communicate confidence and professionalism. Check out the following post for more advice:To Logo Or Not To Logo
4. How To Get Leads On Line?
Getting leads on line from a cold start takes time. But there are things you can do to give yourself the very best start:
- Make sure your website has been set-up with ranking in Google search results in mind. Ensure the website has content that reflects what your customers will be searching for online. Avoid simply duplicating content from other websites this will impact both sites negatively. Ensure your address and working location is clearly visible on your site – usually in the footer. Further tips available here: 7 Tips To Improve Your Google Ranking and 5 Things You Can Fix On your Website In The Next Week To Increase Leads
- Your web designer should be able to advise on simple steps to optimise the site. There are many factors that impact ranking in search results but the key thing to keep in mind is time. In many cases, in can take 12 months+ to rank for your ideal search term like – CBT therapist. So be patient.
- Ensure you register your business with Google My Business This is a quick way to get leads. It means you’ll appear in local search results on a map. Another tip is to keep this profile up to date and maintained. Add photos and quick posts regularly. If possible try to get Google Reviews from customers with a google email address. A well-maintained profile will keep you high in the rankings for local search.
- Register with local business directories – Yell, Thompson Local. Always add a link to your website when registering. This helps raise the authority of your website. Ensure your business name and address is consistent across all directories so Google recognises it as the same business.
- Consider paid advertising like Google Adwords, Facebook or Twitter Ads – also known as Pay Per Click or PPC. You’ll need to experiment with these and see what works so careful monitoring and control are needed. Google Adwords allows you to target ads to potential customers who are searching for your services as opposed to Facebook and Twitter Ads which are less specific and your adverts show to people browsing in general – good for brand awareness and cheap though. If you are considering PPC then take a read of this article first: 5 Questions To Ask A PPC Agency
5. Keep It All Up To Date
Lastly, ensure you keep your website up to date both in terms of fresh content – blog posts but also ensure the software is kept up to date. Not only for security reasons but it ensures when you want to take advantage of new business opportunities your website is ready to go and not so old that you need to start from scratch or pay to have the site overhauled. A little often is the way to go.
It’s useful to be able to see what’s happing on your site – how many visitors you’re getting, where are they coming from, what are they interested in on your website etc. It’s worth having some form of analysis software on your site. Google offers a free analytics product that can be easily installed on most sites and collects a wealth of useful information to keep an eye on how successful your marketing efforts are. Find out more here: Who Is Looking At Your Website