5 Steps to Attract Private Pay Clients
Therapists offer a critical skilled service that helps people transform their lives. Yet it is common for therapists to struggle with questions such as, “What should I charge?” and “How can I financially thrive while doing this work?”
Many therapists turn to insurance panels as a source of clients, but soon come to realize that their practices would be more sustainable if they had clients who paid the sticker price for services. Yet the private pay client seems to be an endangered species.
Spoiler alert: They aren’t. And if you position yourself well, private-pay clients come to you.
What would it be like if you were eagerly sought after, rather than quietly waiting in hopes that future clients would reach out?
What if there were ways to have potential clients clambering to get on your schedule, with credit cards in hand, ready and willing to swipe?
That’s what this post is about.
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5 Steps to Attract Private-Pay Clients
1) Imagine YOU Are a Celebrity
Have you noticed the incredible drawing power that comes with celebrity? People are attracted to famous folk like moths to a flame, and one meeting can be etched in memory for a lifetime. The discussion around money often becomes secondary in those moments. While it may seem that chance determines this kind of celebrity status, there are strategies that can bring you into the public eye. You don’t need to become an internationally renowned expert – becoming a local celebrity will raise you above your competition and increase your perceived value, which, in turn, reduces price resistance.
It’s not as hard as it might seem.
Community radio, TV, digital and print newspapers, and newsletters target your ideal geographic market: local people.
When events occur that have mental health ramifications, contact your local journalists. Can you supply a compassionate, interesting angle to a current event? Contact various local media with a story idea and quotes. They are busy, so provide them with fast, polished information that’s relevant to their audience, and you will endear yourself to them. Never harass a journalist and offer great content, and you may become the go-to homegrown therapist.
Keep your eye on an events calendar like this one. Can you share an interesting angle on a celebration? When a holiday is just around the corner, some people feel excited, connected, and joyful. Yet, for others, this season raises overwhelming experiences of isolation and loneliness. Speaking to these sorts of cultural touchpoints from a therapeutic point of view can add depth and interest to a journalist’s story.
Mass Media Exposure
You are an expert; journalists are already seeking your insight. Help A Reporter is a platform that connects experts with journalists looking for sources for their stories. Many of these journalists are writing for significant mass media platforms with a global reach. Reply to their calls for content. When you apply for each future call out, include any impressive media you’ve been featured in previously to increase the likelihood that they will choose to feature you, thus snowballing your results.
How else can you maximize your media coverage?
After a media appearance, add the relevant logo to your website, business cards, and email signature. Post on social media, share the link to your article, cut out print articles and display them on your practice noticeboard, include photos in your newsletter – make sure people know you as a resource. Current clients may ask you about this topic for a loved one, so print copies you can give them to share the word about your expertise. This is powerful for private practice marketing.
Ready for a Regular Feature?
Approach local radio stations and newspapers about being a regular presenter or columnist. A regular call-in question-and-answer radio session or a columnist gig for the local paper can boost your celebrity status markedly and give you access to a wide range of potential private-pay clients.
Write a Book
Being an author instantly propels you past those therapists who aren’t. Writing a book doesn’t need to take years and heartache. Let me share one secret strategy…
If you write one quality 1000-word blog post per week, after one year — even taking six weeks off — you have written 46,000 impactful words. Combine these pieces, edit, format, add a cover, and voila! You are an author. Imagine what doors this can open for you. Private-pay clients will seek you out, and being an author will energize your private practice marketing.
2) Target Your Ideal Client
Not everyone is your ideal client. There, I’ve said it. In private practice, there’s a myth that you should turn no one away. Who does this benefit? Let’s imagine you have a brain tumor. Would you prefer to see a general doctor at a lower cost or pay a premium to consult with a brain cancer specialist? Plenty of people who both can and will choose the latter.
If you specialize in helping those with chronic pain, tie this speciality to your brand so people with ongoing pain know you are the professional to consult for the best results. You are the best psychological brain surgeon of the chronic pain world.
What do you love to do and do best? This is where to focus.
How? Get to know your potential clients and…
Know Your Key Demographics
According to dictionary.com, demographic is defined as “the statistical data of a population, especially those showing average age, income, education, etc.” To find private-pay clients, you must target potential clients who can afford your service. Understanding demographics helps you key in to the population and target the types of concerns and clients whom you enjoy helping and who can pay you privately.
There are non-competing local businesses that already serve your ideal client. Once you’ve recognized your key demographic, brainstorm ideas on how to get your business in front of these ideal clients. Where might they hang out? What hobbies do they have? Where do they work? Google searches will help you identify local businesses with similar clients. Once you have this list, consider how you could collaborate with them for to benefit both businesses and your clients. Approach them with a win-win cross-marketing proposal, and you may gain access to their existing database.
Need help identifying your Ideal Client?
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3) Carve Out Your Niche
As I mentioned above, potential clients — especially those who can afford your private-pay services — look for an expert who is knowledgeable and experienced in their concern. In marketing terms, this specialized segment of a market is called a niche. By carving out a niche for your practice, you are enhancing the perceived value of what you offer, which can make your practice incredibly desirable.
Why Is a Niche So Important?
Imagine you suffer from depression. You decide it is time to seek care and you settle down with a cup of tea to begin your internet search.
The first listing you find is called XYZ Practice and it claims to help those with gambling addiction, impotence, stress management, sleep disorders, child behavioral problems, ADHD and more. There is no blog, and few details on the website.
The second website you find is under the domain DepressionHelp.com (very specific to their issue), it looks professional (adding credibility), includes a blog filled with many depression-related articles sharing actionable, helpful content (showing knowledge and expertise), and offers a free Instant Depression Relief Checklist available for download (increasing trust and rapport). The therapist has also appeared in USA Today and on Dr. Phil, is a regular contributor to goodtherapy.org and has written a book about depression.
Who would you choose?
Can you see the difference, and how the financial barriers to committed action begin to melt away?
4) Create a Great Website with Quality Content and a Professional Blog
It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of a professional website and blog for your practice. As you can see above, this helps you develop celebrity status, target your ideal client, and create a niche for your practice in areas that are both financially and emotionally rewarding. It is important for attracting, educating, and booking private-pay clients. It’s also a critical component of successful private practice marketing, no matter what your client roster looks like.
Need Help with Your Private Practice Website?
That’s where we come in! Take a look at our Portfolio and if our work resonates with you, we’d love to help you build a beautiful website that attracts your ideal client so you can become a successful private pay practice.
A top-notch website also enables you to build relationships and reciprocity with potential clients, which leads us to our next step.
5) Build Relationships and Reciprocity
When clients have a personal relationship with you and feel cared for and known, they are far more likely to reach out to you than go to someone else. You can build trust through your online presence in a way that encourages private-pay clients to engage your therapy services. By sharing high-quality, niche content and helpful tips, you establish yourself as an expert resource, build a relationship with your online audience, and establish a bank of reciprocity. It is human nature to wish to return the favor to those who have helped us, especially in our times of need. As a therapist, the advice you share online can make a significant difference in a potential client’s life while building up the trustworthiness and value of your brand.
You can enhance this relationship, trust, and reciprocity-building further by incorporating high-quality, complimentary gifts. For example, we know how crucial private-pay clients are for therapists, so we offer our Private Pay Mini-Series.
In this mini-series, you’ll learn:
- 7 industry leader’s experiences with cash-based private practices
- How to drop your insurance panels
- How to set boundaries and fees in your cash-based private practice
- How to market yourself and your private-pay practice
- How to make a six-figure income in your cash pay private practice
- And much, much more
I strongly recommend you take advantage of this opportunity by signing up for this mini-series and listening to it thoroughly. You will learn how to fill your practice with private-pay clients and quit your insurance panels once and for all.
Want the beautiful therapist website you deserve? Then you’re in the perfect place.
Brighter Vision is the ultimate marketing package for therapists, centered around the best therapist website you’ve ever had. Fill out the form below to learn more about our team of professionals who can’t wait to help your practice grow like never before 🙂