Your Therapy Brand Matters: A Powerful, Profitable and Heartfelt Strategy
Why Your Therapy Brand Is So Important To Your Private Practice’s Success
Branding tells a powerful story; your story. It is how you create an ethical hook that connects people to your practice, shares your values, and separates yourself from your competition. A great therapy brand brings credibility, creates loyalty, and has the potential to massively increase your income.
And you are crafting your brand at this very moment.
“Whether you are deliberately constructing or practicing without brand awareness, you are actively building your brand.”
In a moment, I will share simple strategies to enhance your private practice branding and we’ll talk about how branding is a moral, authentic responsibility. Many businesses do not fully grasp the importance of branding, so if this is you, great — you are in the right place — but before we get to that, I want to share an example:
Close your eyes and imagine…
For Christmas, you received a new phone. You’ve needed one for a while and you already know you want it to take great photos, have a sleek black exterior, and include an infinity screen (Well, they look cool!) As you visualize your new piece of tech, what do you see? An Apple? Samsung? Sony? Do you feel drawn to a certain company? This is branding in action.
Branding is the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product [or service] in the consumer’s mind. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.
Is this not what you already do?
You’ve attracted clients and retained loyal regulars. Whether or not consciously created, you have a therapy brand. Is it the one you want, and are you using it to powerfully transform your practice?
An inkling into your therapy branding.
Think about what your clients gain from seeing you as a therapist. Do they think you are well qualified and suited to help people? I hope so! This begs the question, how do you put your stamp on your expertise and become known as the go-to therapist, the expert practice? How do you create instant rapport with new clients? And how can you ensure that those people you best serve know what you offer so they receive premium care from your practice rather than second-class therapy from a less able practitioner?
The key is considered private practice branding and marketing.
Tip: We talk about The Importance of Branding & Owning Your Brand, with Anabelle Bugatti in this interview. Anabelle shares fantastic advice she incorporated to build a thriving private practice.
There are important fundamentals to successful therapy branding that, when nailed, have the potential to reshape your practice and profits. Let’s take a look.
1) A clear therapy brand boosts private practice success
The fact is, you are not the best therapist to serve everyone (this is a GREAT thing) and chances are your practice is not a big multinational with a million-dollar marketing budget to match (this, too, is a good thing). These two facts combine to compel clarity: you need to understand your expertise, become crystal clear on who and how you help, and this enables you to hone a well-considered brand to lift your practice to the next level.
When defining your therapy brand, consider:
Who are the clients currently in your practice? On average, do they have common health challenges? Are they a certain age, gender, or occupation type? Have they achieved a certain level of education, income, or have similar hobbies and interests? And importantly, who do you most love to work with? If you haven’t yet done so, take the ideal client quiz to help you determine exactly who your ideal client is.
Write these down.
The answers to these questions help bring clarity around who you best serve and who to target. A specialized subset of people is called a niche and your niches are the pot of gold, in terms of job satisfaction, patient success rates, and financial growth. They will also inform your therapy brand personality.
See, if you want to help baby boomers through the empty nest years, your brand language, tone and appearance will be considerably different if you help youth struggling with an eating disorder.
Want some tips on the benefits of niching? Listen to our interview ‘How Having a Niche Made Sheila a More Effective Therapist & Business Owner.’
How clarity informs branding and helps your potential clients
Once clear, it is easier to set the strategies to attract your niche clients. Going back to our baby boomers versus youth example, you can imagine how your practice could enhance connectedness, loyalty, and pierced value through age-appropriate music, reading material and decor, the specific workshops you offer, advertising, logo, identity, and how your website can be designed to encourage maximal conversion. This all forms part of your brand.
When you actively create your brand, you can target clients, speaking directly to them and their deepest concerns, in a way that secures you as the best option, the therapist for them to trust.
2) Ah, trust. The must-have that branding shares
What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions BMW? Quality and fine driving. Volvo? Safety. Toyota Prius? Environmentally friendly. A therapy brand has wrapped within it a set of values and expectations which influence a client or potential clients’ perception of brand trustworthiness.
To a therapist, this is a must-have. There are few fields where trust is as important.
When building your private practice branding, honesty, authenticity, and ethics are integral components and therapist branding should enhance the perception of these values.
Define your values, mission, aims, and vision. Share these on your website and in practice, but more than this, let these guide your actions and decisions. In branding, there is no room for confusion as confusion kills trust and sales.
Be consistent and congruent or you will whittle away your brand and credibility. Trust requires reliability, predictability, and the delivery of value and so does your brand. When people trust your brand, your private practice success is more secure.
“If you can’t connect you can’t build trust and a brand. Without trust, you cannot sell, and if you can’t sell you can’t help.”
Branding and trust are built by:
- Your practice name… Trauma specialist? The Trauma Counseling Center as opposed to MPT’s Counseling
- Logo design… For example, professional rather than childlike, unless you specialize in children’s therapy
- How you speak to your clients in practice, by social media and other online platforms
- The language you use
- Your attitude
- Your prices
- … even your colors
- Your professionalism
- Dress code
- Mass media coverage
- Whether you have authored a book…
Your website is also critical. In this day and age, the lack of a website equates to an instant plummet in credibility. You must have a professional website that reflects and enhances your brand to be taken seriously. Your website shares your values, articles, practice information, and more, and without it, you are not able to build your brand quickly or completely.
Imagine you are in your potential client’s shoes. If everything lines up in the branding and story, the therapy practice presents and proves via the above branding and trust strategies that they are the best choice for X condition, there is no need to look elsewhere.
As you can see, spending considered time and effort on your brand is critical to your private practice success.
3) Share your uniqueness
Part of building your brand is knowing what you do well and being clear about who you serve, another part is understanding your points of difference; your competitive edge.
Why do clients choose you? What specific benefits do you offer? Why is this different to the practice down the road? You could think about it in terms of how a client might describe you to a friend, ‘They are the practice that…’
Being – or even appearing to be — unique is critical to your private practice success. It allows you to build a truthful story about how your education, professional and personal experience, and skills are the exact mix a potential client needs. This draws in new clients and builds loyalty within your current practice. It also helps to remove potential competitors and obstacles like money or whether to prioritize therapy from the equation. In essence, it helps people to take action.
4) Your brand essence
Speaking of essence, your brand ought to be able to be wrapped up in a sentence — or a tagline; a polished, crafted and distilled version of your practice and its values are the core of private practice branding. It succinctly informs everything you do and say, and so gives clients a congruent understanding of what to expect and ‘what’s in it for them’ — how they will benefit from seeking your expertise.
Therapist and private practice branding are essential parts of your private practice success. As mentioned, you are crafting your brand at this very moment whether consciously or not. By focusing on the conscious option and building your brand both in the shorter and longer-term, you can achieve fulfillment as a therapist and financially in ways that may currently seem impossible.
Want to see how a successful therapist is incorporating these tips into her private practice? Read Tamara Powell’s story about how she stands out in private practice without sacrificing her soul.