After the Write: How to Use Your Blog Post to Market Your Practice
You’ve typed your fingers to the bone. You’ve agonized. You’ve perfected. Maybe you’ve even shed a few tears. But it’s ready… Your blog post is finally ready to go.
How do you keep your hard work from languishing on your website with just your mom to appreciate it? You want your blog post to be read by the people who are most likely to need your therapy services.
The key to making blogging a success for your private practice all hinges on what you do AFTER you publish the post. The way you promote your blog posts determines the amount of visitors you get to your website. And you want to increase the number of visitors in order to increase the number of potential clients interested in your work.
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A successful blog promotion strategy for psychotherapists consists of three elements:
• Aligning your blogging strategy with your overall practice-building strategy,
• Increasing the number of people reading your blog posts, and
• Nurturing relationships with blog post readers.
Blogging as a Practice-Building Strategy
Although you’ve written blog posts, you’re not a blogger – you’re a therapist. You’re not trying to build a blog – you’re trying to build your practice and attract more clients. Blog posts are your means to an end, not the end itself.
To better understand how that works, you need to understand the 4-step process prospective clients go through before they book their first appointment.
1. Connect. In the connect stage, you are simply building awareness. Letting prospective clients know that you exist and how you help. This is done primarily through social media, SEO, and in-person networking events.
2. Engage. In the engage stage, you provide content that showcases how you can provide value to your prospective clients. This is where blogs, videos, and podcasts come in. This is content that is designed to entertain, educate, or inspire your audience.
3. Nurture. In the nurture stage, you are developing the “know, like, and trust” factor with potential clients, demonstrating your ability to help them and positioning yourself as the go-to person for them to call. Blog posts are also valuable in this stage because it gives people a reason to return to your website.
4. Convert. This is the fun stage, where the client calls you and says, “I’ve been reading your blog posts for a while and I really need to schedule an appointment.”
Blog posts are essential in both the “Engage” and “Nurture” stages because they excel at developing awareness, establishing credibility, and building the “know, like, and trust” factor that is so essential for new clients.
However, blog posts alone won’t fill your practice. They are one step in the client-attraction process; you’ve got to have a “next step” or “call-to-action” for readers to take in order to learn more about you and connect with you. This next step could be more relevant blog posts, free downloads, social media retargeting, a workshop, or even an event.
You are providing excellent value and then inviting them to take the next step toward working with you. This is often referred to as a “marketing funnel,” a systematic approach to move clients through that four-step process.
Your blog posts should pave a clear path for potential clients to move forward in working with you. Don’t leave it in the hands of potential clients by hoping they will figure out what action they should take next. It’s your job to guide them through the process of selecting you as their therapist.
Once you’ve got a strategy in place to nurture relationships with your blog readers, it’s time to make sure your content gets read by as many high-value potential clients as possible.
Getting Your Blog Post Read
One of the most common questions private practices coaches like me get when we begin working with a therapist is, “Why aren’t I getting more calls from my website? I think my site is pretty good, but no one is calling me.”
When we hear this, the first thing we do is investigate how many website visitors that therapist is actually getting. The best website in the world won’t get you clients if nobody ever visits it.
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The good news is that blog posts are one of the best ways to get more visitors (or “traffic”) to your website. Potential clients come to your website because they are interested in the blog post you’ve written, and they stay because they want to see what else you have to offer.
Once your blog post is published, your job is about 40% complete. The other 60% is getting it read by people who are most interested in what you’re saying.
Here’s a list of my top blog promotion strategies for psychotherapists:
• Send an email to your list
• Include a link to your blog post in your email auto-signature
• Share your content on the social media platform most relevant for your clients
• Ask 5 friends to share a link to your content
• Share your content on social media again
• Boost your content on Facebook for $5
• Re-promote older, successful content
• Share your blog with relevant LinkedIn groups
• Write a guest blog for an established influencer to leverage their audience
• Optimize each of your posts for 1 specific keyword
• Cross-link your posts
• Add social media sharing buttons
Nurturing Relationships with your Audience
When a potential client reads your blog post, they have a choice to make: Do they want more from you?
Blog readers will fall into one of three categories:
1. Those who just didn’t click with you and what you had to say. That’s fine. There’s another therapist who is a better fit for them somewhere.
2. Those who got exactly what they needed from your post. They loved what you wrote and they got value from it. Their lives are a bit better after having read your post, but they don’t need more from you.
3. Those who read what you wrote and realized that you are exactly the therapist they’ve been looking for. These are the readers who continue to engage with you and are most likely to become therapy clients.
Your time and attention in marketing should be dedicated to this third group. The ones who already know and like your work. The ones that already have a problem you can help, even if they aren’t ready to call you for therapy today.
You’ll want to nurture that relationship until they are ready to call you for therapy. How do you do this? By providing them reasons to WANT to stay in touch with you, visit your website, and read your email.
Here’s how you do that:
• Offer Free Downloads. Let’s say you work with parents, and you’ve written a blog post on dealing with your child’s temper tantrums. What if you offered readers a free tip sheet on implementing timeouts for pre-schoolers? They get information that’s valuable to them and you get to collect their email address.
• Post New Content Regularly. On average, clients will visit your website 10 – 12 times before they call you for therapy. Make sure there’s new, fresh, relevant content for them when they come back.
• Create Videos or Podcasts on Hot Topics. When you write a wildly popular blog post, that’s a sign that you’ve hit on a topic of great interest to your potential clients. Take the content and “re-purpose” it in video or podcast format.
• Social Media Retargeting. When someone visits your website, they’re demonstrating an interest in you and your work. Using retargeting strategies allows you to continue to stay in touch and provide great value to potential clients.
• Connect with Email. Email is the best way to stay in touch with clients over time. Make sure you’re sending regular email that inspires, educates, and entertains your readers.
You’ve taken the first step: writing a blog post and putting your message out in the world. Now it’s time to connect with the people who most need your help and share with them exactly how you can help. That’s what your blog promotional strategy is all about.
If you’re looking for other tools and resources to help you build a thriving 6-figure private practice, download my free 6-Figure Checklist to help you determine which practice-building strategies are best for your practice.
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