The Complete Guide to Therapist Branding + Real Examples
You’ve stepped into (or are about to step into) your own practice; to offer your unique approach to therapy — the one only you can provide — to potential clients. To help people live healthier, happier lives. Great! But before you do, pause.
To truly make an impact and change the lives of others and yourself, you need to consider your therapist branding. That might not be what you expected, right? Branding, really?
Let me explain.
Why does therapist branding matter?
According to the American Marketing Association, “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
Identification and distinct are the critical words here…
We trust those we know more than those we don’t. So, being known in some capacity — being identifiable — builds rapport. Rapport is essential for potential clients to make the decision to book a consultation.
Looking for more super-charged marketing tips?
Use this form to take our e-course on 8 Unconventional Ways
to Market Your Private Practice!
Being distinct is also key. In a nutshell, “Why should a potential client choose you?” What do you offer — what point of difference elevates you over the mass of other choices — that makes you the perfect therapist? If you’re the same as everyone else, you won’t win this conversation. Nor secure bookings.
Think about it this way:
Do you think people attend The Mayo Clinic simply based on its name and assumed expert reputation? You bet they do.
Would you choose a neurosurgeon or a generalist to remove a complex tumor from your brain? The former is right. The job description alone reveals the required skillset.
Private practice branding is the same. It’s a deeply considered strategy that tells the world who you are and why you matter. Good therapist branding provides “stick-ability” so people remember who you are, and elevates the perception of your expertise.
In truth, though, branding is about your potential clients. Your brand should cut through the noise and answer the question: Why should someone choose you? What’s in it for them? If it does, you’re well on the way to creating a successful practice.
How can you successfully brand your private practice?
Before we dive into private practice branding, I’d like to raise an important point…
Some therapists fret about the concept of therapist branding. They worry that it is somehow untoward, could create an unwanted impression, or feel it’s not right for them. If you’ve thought, “If I build it, they will come” or “I’m a good therapist so I don’t need to brand my business,” stop. I’d like to offer an alternative thought.
Whether you deliberately create a brand — a specific impression and experience — or not, your practice has a brand! By making the decision to brand yourself consciously, you can take control of this process. In doing so, you can reach more clients, increase your impact, propel your practice growth, and elevate your bottom line.
Decide on your niche and your ideal client
Do you know which niche you serve? What specialized section of the population do you want to treat? This is step one, part one.
Do you provide therapy to clients with addiction, mood disorders, or chronic pain? Is marriage counseling your area of expertise? Are you a performance coach?
In our article, Find Your Mental Health Niche to Supercharge Practice Growth, we note that choosing your niche is “best decided by a mix of intellect and intuition, need and value, experience and expertise, research and passion.” It’s an important decision.
Next is step one, part two. Choose your ideal client. You can think of your ideal client as a representative avatar; a fictional person from within your niche that personifies the type of client you wish to work with. This matters because your brand needs to be attractive to this avatar. Why?
Need help marketing to your Ideal Client?
Take our Ideal Client Quiz now to receive your custom marketing tips!
Imagine that you create private practice branding that appeals to well-heeled retirees who have chronic pain and associated mood disorders, who prefer in-practice consultations, and whose entire social media engagement occurs on Facebook…
Yet, your preferred niche is young mothers experiencing fatigue and overwhelm, who have a desire for telehealth, and are active on Instagram and Snapchat.
Can you see how there would be a disconnect? (Any disconnect will harm your branding and practice success.)
The language, color scheme, font, logo, blog posts, website design, social media presence, and content is necessarily very different for these groups. See, your branding needs to speak directly to your viewer in a way that creates the epiphany, “They’re talking to me!” That’s how you make the greatest impact!
This step — deciding on your niche and ideal client — must come first. Just as you cannot build a home without a well-laid foundation, you cannot create a thriving practice without a secure core. That core is your niche and ideal client.
Choose your practice name
Once you’ve decided on your niche and ideal client, you can nut out your perfect practice name.
We dive into greater detail in our article, 11 Easy Strategies to Choose the Perfect Private Practice Name. But here are the basics…
Allow your imagination to go wild; don’t censor ideas at this stage. Ask questions like, what words appeal to you? What conditions do you treat? Is there a foundational philosophy that underpins your practice? Take notes.
2. Use the internet as inspiration
Use online tools that help to expand your list.
3. Identify appropriate keywords
When people search online, the search word they type is called a keyword (a single word) or a keyword phrase (multiple words). When appropriate, a popular keyword can be included in your practice name.
4. Consider the types of therapy you offer
If you are dedicated to a lifetime using a single type of therapy, this may help you decide on a practice name.
Note: If there’s a chance you will add to or switch your treatment approach, this might limit you in future.
5. Factor in your niche
Do you offer family therapy, couple counseling, and treatment for addiction or eating disorders? If you plan to remain in this niche, including your niche in your practice name will add power. Potential clients will then know this is your area of expertise.
6. Borrow inspiration
There are ample sources of inspiration online. For example, try this list of 5 free business name generators.
7. Brand big
There’s no reason to play small. If you’d like a practice that shouts “large and trustworthy,” consider adding your city, state, or even country to your practice name.
- New York Couples Counseling
- Texas Addiction Therapy Center
- The American Depression Institute
8. Stay professional
9. Avoid mistakes
Keep your name simple, memorable, easily understood, and without room for misinterpretation. Don’t name your practice after yourself; what if you wish to expand or sell in the future? Ensure the matching domain is available in a .com
10. Cull your list of names
Aim for simple, impactful, and on-point. Cull those that fail to meet this criterion. Then read each potential name out loud; if a name trips on your tongue or takes too long to say, cut it.
11. What remaining name best represents your private practice?
Then, ask this question: What remaining name best represents my private practice?
If one name fulfils the above brief and sounds harmonic to your ear, you have yourself a winner. If not, try again!
Tip: Ask family and friends for their opinion. They may offer wonderful insight.
Not sure if your website has everything it needs?
Test it yourself with our FREE Website Grader quiz!
Choose the right color scheme
Your color scheme is incorporated into your logo, your website, and all other aspects of your therapist branding. It’s important to get this right. See, color contributes to a brand being identifiable and distinct. The right hues can also improve engagement, readership, and attention, and spur a purchasing decision.
But how do you choose something as seemingly personal as a palette?
In our article, Choosing the Right Color Palette for Your Private Practice Website, we cover the psychology of color. We share how to choose the perfect palette, with tones and shades that enhance each other. We make it easier for you to choose well.
Have your logo professionally designed
Your logo is a statement; an instant visual that represents your practice. An attention-grabbing graphic that contributes to an identifiable and distinct brand. Its quality is a reflection of your practice.
To find out how to get a professional logo that packs a punch, read our article, Where to Get a Professional Therapist Logo Designed For Your Private Practice.
Stick with it
The design of your website, the content you share on your blog and social media, brochures and videos — everything you produce — all contribute to your brand. As such, you should continue to push, improve, and stay true to your therapist branding.
Tip: Remember, branding is a process, not a single event.
Good examples of therapist branding
Want to see real-life examples of good branding for therapists?
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Or in this case, a website. To see the advice we’ve shared “in action,” let’s look at three sites built for our happy customers.
Fig Tree Therapy
When you first visit Fig Tree Therapy, notice how the site makes you feel. The calm green, the professional logo and fonts, the beautiful image, and the ease of navigation lead to a great first impression.
Midwest Psychology Group
Midwest Psychology Group has branding that matches its overarching philosophy, principles, and values: an approachable, collaborative, and compassionate approach focused on supporting client transformation. Notice the butterfly in the logo, the trusted blue hints throughout, and the easy-to-read font.
Earlier, we talked about choosing your niche and ideal client. One look at Briefly Counseling’s site and you’ll see why this matters. If you’re looking for “Solution focused brief therapy for kids and teens with anxiety in Illinois” *this* is the right practice! The congruency of the logo, images, language, blog topics, and tone contribute to an authentic, impactful brand.
Grow your therapy brand
Once your private practice branding is in place, it’s time for expansion: to grow your practice’s impact and growth.
To help you do this, we’ve put together a 6-part resources list. Enjoy!
- Article: 6 Ways To Leverage Your Network To Grow Your Therapy Practice
- Webinar: Growing Your Private Practice with Social Media
- Article: How to Build a Strong Therapy Referral Network to Grow Your Practice
- Webinar: Growing Your Private Practice With a Limited Budget: Marketing Tips for New Private Practices
- Article: Growth Platform + Social Genie: A Mega Marketing Solution
- Podcast: TTE 162: Marketing an Established Practice Through Content Creation
Want professional help with your private practice branding?
To truly flourish a practice owner cannot ignore good therapist branding. We believe this step is so fundamental, that it’s required. At BrighterVision, we’ve helped many therapists transform from struggling to success and branding is (most often) an essential component in this process.
That’s why our customers get remarkable results…
As Christine Poane, LCSW, said:
“All the changes we’ve been making have really been working! I received 7, SEVEN new client emails last week! My practice is FULL now. Like, bursting at the seams. So awesome! Thanks so much for all your help!”
We look forward to discussing your challenges and how we at BrighterVision can help you take your practice to the next level.
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 🙂