Are you setting up a Private Counselling Practice? Here’s your ultimate checklist for success!

If you want to market your business step-by-step, enjoy the process of seeing your counselling practice grow, then this is the blog for you!

I’ve helped counsellors like you grow their client list, some were fully booked within 4 weeks!

Setting up a Private Counselling Practice can be daunting, confusing and damn right overwhelming!

There’s no classes on ‘How to set up a Counselling Practice’ when you were at University, right?

You’re probably thinking ‘I have no idea about marketing, and I can’t afford for an expensive copywriter…I’m stuck!” Then you start overthinking and then the next thing, you want to give up…

DON’T!

Follow these simple steps and you will be well on your way and trust me, you will be miles ahead of your competition EVEN IF you have zero idea about marketing.  

 Here’s what you can expect:

* Why starting small and focusing on engagement will ensure your success!

* Discover how to find out what your current and future clients REALLY want…

* Find out what to include on your website and which companies to use.

* You’ll learn how to create sizzling content for your target market!

* Discover ways to get clients to come to you!

* The SECRETS to a compelling Profile Page for your Counselling Practice!

* Learn how to position yourself as an expert to your clients!

What We’ll Cover in more detail:

Tip  #1 – Setting up your social media accounts

Tip  #2 – What do your future clients want? Ways you can find out.

Tip  #3 – Creating a simple website.

Tip  #4 – How to create social media posts that speak to your target market.

Tip  #5 – Counselling directories

Tip  #6 – Creating a KILLERProfile Page!

Tip  #7 – How to ‘keep’ your clients and followers!

And much, MUCH more!

Tip  #1 – Set up your social media accounts for your counselling practice.

 Start small, don’t think you have to be an expert in EVERYTHING right away (I can help you with this if you struggle- my details are at the bottom)

* Set up a Twitter account (here’s a video of exactly how to do that)

Twitter is great for posting content to your target market.

Here are other benefits of using Twitter for your counselling practice:

  1. Increase brand awareness
  2. Keep up with the latest trends in your industry
  3. Promote your blog content, videos, presentations, etc.
  4. Boost your website SEO
  5. Drive website traffic
  6. Get instant feedback about your products and/or services
  7. Increase the reach and impact of your PR initiatives
  8. Gather real-time competitive intelligence
  9. Monitor your brand reputation
  10. Support your recruiting efforts by connecting directly with potential employees
  11. Gain direct access to high profile individuals

(Link to: https://aismedia.com/twitter-for-business/)

Ways you can use Twitter for marketing your counselling practice:

* Set up an Instagram account

Instagram is a great way to increase your reach. You can get really creative with designing your own posts!

Here are some reasons why you should set up an Instagram profile for your counselling practice:

  • More people are using Instagram.
  • Any size of business can thrive.
  • Businesses can make money directly from Instagram.
  • Stories make your business relatable.
  • You can partner with influencers.
  • Hashtags can increase your visibility.
  • You can effectively engage with customers.

(Credit: https://www.business.com/articles/10-reasons-to-use-instagram-for-business/)

How-to set up a Business Profile Page on Instagram for your counselling practice

 Set up a Facebook page & a group page for your counselling practice (notice I didn’t say a personal account- you want to keep it separate.)

With Facebook, you can encourage people to share your brand, message, services for FREE (but there is also Facebook advertising down the line)

Benefits of Facebook for business

  • Facebook is a low-cost marketing strategy. …
  • Share basic information about your business. …
  • Share pictures and videos from your business. …
  • Talk to existing and potential customers. …
  • Provide customer support. …
  • Raise brand awareness and promote positive word-of-mouth. …
  • Facebook can steer traffic to your website. …
  • Targeted advertising

(Credit and more info: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/marketing-sales/marketing-promotion/online-marketing/facebook/benefits)

How to set up a Facebook Page for your Counselling practice

Tip  #2 – What do your future clients want?

Discover HOW to find out what your current and future clients REALLY want…

The reasons why you want to know what your clients want, is so you can create a service they want and need which means they will keep coming back to (and referring) your counselling practice.

How to do this?

* Survey them using twitter/Instagram polls

(Here is a video on how to create a twitter poll

* Create more in-depth surveys in google drive.

Why use surveys?

  • Surveys can be used as a research method in order to inform future marketing decisions. …
  • Small business surveys can be used by sales staff to collect customer data for marketing purposes

(More information: https://surveyanyplace.com/small-business-survey-5-examples/)

Here is a video on how to create a survey using Google Forms:

Then share the link to this survey everywhere and keep an eye on the responses!

* Ask your current clients to take part so you have a definitive list of wants from your current and future clients.

* Ask: Age, gender, occupation, why they would choose one counsellor over another, what would make a counselling session better, what their objections to counselling are and why etc.

* The more you find out the more you can meet their demand.

Tip  #3 – Create a simple website for your counselling practice.

What to include on your Counselling Website

  • Frontpage. The frontpage is more often than not, the first thing that potential clients will see so is obviously of great importance.

How you can help your client

  • About Me. Any about me section is an opportunity to tell potential clients about yourself. …
  • Cost/Location/Services. …
  • Testimonials from current/previous clients.
  • Blog
  • Contact Details.
  • FAQs

(More info: https://christhecounsellor.co.uk/what-to-include-on-your-counselling-website/)

* Focus on your client, what are the benefits to THEM to coming to your counselling practice over somebody else’s?

* What is your unique selling point?  You can get ideas from your surveys that you did.

* Have a simple call to action (CTA) on each page on how they can contact you.

* Write a simple step-by-step process on how they can book you and what will happen after each stage so they can ‘see it’.

* Have your social media icons clearly visible so even if at first they don’t become a client, they can follow your content.

What company should I use?

This is dependent on budget and your expertise. We personally use GoDaddy for our website (http://hackneyandjones.com/)

But here are some comparisons: https://www.websitetooltester.com/en/blog/best-free-website-builders/

Here’s more tips of what to include on your Website for your counselling practice:

Tip  #4 – How to create social media posts that speak to your target market

You’ll learn how to create sizzling content for your target market

* After looking at the replies to your surveys/polls. (Spend a lot of time of this section) you will know what to include in your social media posts.

Eg. If somebody says they are worried about being judged by a counsellor in their survey, your social media post can be:

‘Worried about being judged? Here are 5 reasons for you not to worry….’

* You can post on twitter, encourage people to share on your Facebook page and create Instagram posts.

* To make your posts more striking, you can use canva. (There is a free and paid version).

Canva: https://www.canva.com/

How-to create Instagram posts using Canva:

Tip  #5 – Join counselling directories

Discover ways to get clients to come to you

* What are counselling directories?

A counselling directory connects you with clients who are looking for services near you.

* How much does it cost for me to feature my counselling practice in a directory?

Around £10-20 a month. Some you may get a discount if you pay out for the year.

* Links to some counselling directories

https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/

https://www.takeaseat.co.uk/

https://www.betterhelp.com/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/

https://welldoing.org/

https://www.findatherapist.co.uk/

* Why are they beneficial to you?

If your profile is AMAZING, clients will literally come to you!

Tip  #6 – Create a KILLER Profile Page for your counselling practice.

The secrets to a compelling Profile Page for your counselling practice

What is a profile page? (See an example of below)

Link to the full version: https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor_25517.htm

* What should you include in your profile page?

Here’s everything you need to know:

Get clients – FAST!

Link to it on Amazon: https://geni.us/CreateAKillerProfile 

(Contact me below if instead you would like me to write your killer profile page for your counselling practice. I did the example one you have just read. This counsellor was fully booked in 4 weeks!)

Tip  #7 – How to ‘keep’ your clients and followers

Learn how to position yourself as an expert to your clients

Set up Email Marketing

Why?

There are several benefits to planning out the perfect email marketing strategy for your business:

  • Targeted and personalized content.
  • Build credibility.
  • Better brand recognition.
  • Boost sales. (Emails are free to send remember!)
  • Stronger customer relationships. You can regularly engage with your followers.
  • Metrics to learn what works. Which type of emails works best for your followers.
  • Increased traffic to your website/blogs etc.

(More info: https://www.business2community.com/email-marketing/top-10-benefits-of-email-marketing-02160067)

 Companies you can use

Again, that is up to you depending on skill-set and budget. We personally use https://www.mailerlite.com/

But here is a run-down for you to compare and make up your mind.

https://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/best-email-marketing-services/

What to include in your emails

Email out an introduction about yourself and your counselling practice and what you can offer.

This is another good opportunity to use a survey to ask what content your followers want.

You can regularly ask your followers what questions they would like answered and then dedicate an email to that.

Go onto google and type in your niche and see what questions automatically come up (this means they are getting searched for) see below:

You could do an email on ‘Anxiety Tips and Tricks – 10 ways to stop a panic attack’

Next Steps:

  1. Check out this online course that walks you through the whole process of creating an irresistible profile page for your counselling practice:

Your walk-through to basic marketing.

https://geni.us/GetNewClientsNOW (Link to online course)

HOW DO I START A COUNSELLING PRACTICE?

Some may see it as controversial, but I start offering my services for FREE, yes for FREE.

Even for 1-2 clients. This can help you get your confidence and take somebody through the experience from beginning, middle and end.

You can then ask them for testimonials which makes is SO much easier to get paying clients as you are already ‘Tried and tested’.

HOW CAN I USE MY TIME WISELY ON THE INTERNET TO HELP MY BUSINESS?

I would search for 10 of your competitors and just see what they are posting on all their social media accounts. I would take a look at their website too. This can really help you frame your business going forward.

WHAT IF I’M BUILDING MY COUNSELLING PRACTICE BUSINESS AT HOME?

Try and include a completely separate space where you will see clients and do your paperwork etc.

Take pictures of where the client (and you) will be sitting.

Conclusion

So, there you have it! You’re on your way to setting up an awesome counselling practice.

If you do get stuck remember you can email me and I can help with:

Creating a Killer Profile page

Creating a Killer Content Strategy (so that you NEVER run out of ideas of what to post!)

And much more…

Email me: Vicky.hackneyandJones@gmail.com

Published by vickyjones1980

Ex-Royal Navy, writer, Songwriter and Bucket Lister. Can't wait for 2016, lots of creative projects! Leave your email address on my website for my newsletters and tips etc. http://vickyjones.uk

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