How to Use YouTube to Grow Your Therapy Practice
Have you been sucked into the vortex that is YouTube? Your intention was to find an answer to a single, maybe simple, question. Then, after what seemed a tiny period, you look up to realize the truth: time is relative after all and you’ve just lost hours.
The world loves social media and YouTube holds special powers.
According to Statista, Americans spend two hours and three minutes consuming communal content every day. In fact, this well-known statistics gathering company noted that social media has:
A wide-reaching and significant impact on not only online activities but also offline behavior and life in general… Respondents stated that social media had increased their access to information, ease of communication, and freedom of expression.
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There are many reasons it’s here to stay. But its impacts on offline behavior is particularly important for a therapist. And this, in part, is why you should incorporate YouTube into your therapy practice’s marketing mix. But we each only have a finite amount of time. With the multitude of available platforms to choose from, why is YouTube key?
YouTube offers in-built reach, stackability, and seduction.
Importantly for practices:
- YouTube has more than two billion users!
- Almost 3/4s of Americans use YouTube
- Seven in ten viewers purchased from a brand after watching its YouTube content
- YouTube is the world’s second-most searched search engine (and site, after Google)
- On average, YouTube viewers watch almost nine videos each day
- Each visit lasts a whopping 41.9 minutes!
- Every year, channels that earn over $10K on YouTube double (this can make for a handy side income)
- As an article on eMarketer revealed; YouTube is the “second-most-watched digital video platform after Netflix.”
Your target audience is on this platform, searching for answers, and taking action!
This brings us to a key consideration…
What are the pros and cons of marketing your practice on YouTube?
Whether for paid or organic marketing, there are pros and cons to any platform. So how can you determine whether YouTube might be right for you and your practice?
Consider your ideal clients
Who are your ideal clients? Where do they seek information? What pain do they want to cure or pleasure do they wish to experience? Can you use the platform to connect, build rapport, and eventually secure consultation bookings?
Let’s consider these questions for a variety of social media platforms…
If you work with corporate high-ups, LinkedIn might be worthwhile considering. However, as the company says themselves, you can use “LinkedIn to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships, and learn the skills you need to succeed in your career.” It’s not a health resource.
YouTube and Facebook are the social media juggernauts. You can find your tribe on either and both.
If you plan to use organic traffic, Facebook can be problematic. The Facebook algorithm means even those who have ‘liked’ your business page will be highly unlikely to see your posts… Unless you choose to post Facebook stories. According to HootSuite, easy-to-understand stories that share new products or tips and advice are the way to go.
The first thing to note about Instagram is the age of those enamored with this platform. According to Statista, over 50% of the population is aged 34 years or younger, and especially teens.
It’s worth considered two points here:
- Does your ideal client fall into this age range?
- Are they the ones who pay the bills and therefore the ones who need to be convinced of your value?
Looking down this list we can draw one conclusion: you’ll find your potential ideal clients searching for expertise and answers on YouTube. It ought to be part of your social media marketing strategy.
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Reflect on (and challenge) your preferences
In social media marketing, frequency matters. No matter which avenue sounds ideal in theory, if in practice you will not create content because of your preferences, it’s not the right fit for you.
For YouTube, it helps to feel (or become) comfy on video
To create basic videos putting your face “out there” is required. Viewers will learn from and connect with you in a human-to-human way. They can see, hear and “feel” you in a way that images and text alone do not allow. This will help you build rapport and the perception of expertise.
But, if you have more time and interest, you can produce (or outsource) slideshow creation or other forms of video.
Requires a little more effort
While videos for YouTube can be quite fast, it does require more effort than a text and picture post.
You can post to Facebook and LinkedIn wearing your PJs, laying on the couch, or whilst waiting in the grocery store queue. As a therapist, though, these are not appropriate when delivering a video presentation.
But with video in mind, maintaining professionalism means more than just background. The quality of audio and video and the background and setting matter. Poor quality content is inescapably obvious!
The benefits of YouTube
YouTube is a mega-search engine! Because of its sheer size, your ideal clients are found here and already actively engaged. It’s a wonderful way to connect with masses of potential clients!
And this medium enables viewers to get to know you in a way that other posts don’t allow. You can use tone, body language, and expression to explain. Props too. These advantages are great for both simple and in-depth issues.
How to get started on YouTube
So you’re ready to commit. How can you produce content that works?
There are a variety of important steps. Let’s take a look at them now…
Make a plan
As noted by Fitzhugh Dodson, “Without goals and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” If you want to create a video that wows and makes an impact you need to plan it first.
At a minimum, answer the following questions:
- What message do you wish to share?
- Who is your ideal client?
- What phrases do they use?
- How long do you want the video to be?
- Do you need a script?
- Should you include images, other videos, props?
- Will it just be you speaking?
- What equipment do you need?
- Where should you shoot to maximize your professional appearance?
Set your structure and plan before you proceed.
Know your equipment needs
If you have the cash you may choose to outsource some or all of the process. That said if you plan to produce your own videos you will need to consider, at minimum, a camera, microphone, lighting, and storage. Editing software is a plus.
You can begin with a quality smartphone or set up a dedicated studio. Either way, an external microphone (like a lapel mic) is a good idea for enhanced sound quality.
Stage the room
As people do judge a book by its cover, you should ensure a professional, appropriate setting. The background forms part of your story and impact.
Choose a spot with wonderful lighting, a neat backdrop, where the audio won’t bounce. Opt for a surrounding that matches your personality, message, and profession. Remember, the point of a video is to deliver value, build rapport and present yourself well. The focus should be on you and your message, not a clustered or distracting backdrop.
A wonderful way to get a feel for what’s possible is to look around your practice and home for a suitable place. Also, search YouTube for videos that promote the feel you’d like and model them.
Tip: To save time set up a permanent, idealized location. You can then use this space for most or all of your videos.
Remember, everything you say and do provides information about your credibility, professionalism, and capacity. Present with this in mind. Dress in appropriate attire, sport a complimentary hairstyle, if you wear makeup then do so.
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7 Tips for Looking and Sounding Natural on Camera
Presenting to a camera can be strangely disconcerting. This lensed inanimate object can trigger a nervous power. Thankfully, there are tips that will help.
1. Practice makes perfect
As you start your YouTube journey, you will have few if any viewers. So you can learn without mass exposure. As you practice more, you’ll become more proficient. This will time well with an increase in your audience.
This might sound impossible but it’s not as hard as you think.
Before you shoot, do something to relax yourself: meditation, sipping Chamomile tea, smiling.
An unusual tip: Position yourself so you are ready to record. Pull funny faces at yourself before you hit the button. The silliness will loosen your mind and posture.
During a shoot, you can encourage relaxation too. Secure a picture of a loved one atop the lens and imagine speaking directly to them. Take your time. Remember to breathe. Slow down.
Your plan will light the path. This takes some pressure off. You might refer to brief notes, a whiteboard or use a teleprompter app. Remember, though, improvisation is fine! A plan is for guidance like a Northern star.
Tip: do not read your content or you’ll lose the connection with your viewer.
4. Look directly into the lens as if talking to a client
5. Adopt a confident posture
Shoulders up and back, my friend. You are speaking to improve the life of another human being. Your message matters! Upright posture also allows easier breath and greater confidence.
6. Present when you are most awake and your brain is working well
7. Watch your videos
No, not to be hypercritical or to prevent you from taking the brave step to hit upload. Instead, as with any skill, to learn and improve as you continue your recording journey.
What should you record?
Just like with any social network, you need to know what your ideal client needs. Then create videos around that.
1. Follow well-patronized experts in your field. Which of their posts result in a high level of interaction?
2. Head to YouTube. What common problems do your clients face? Enter these in the search bar: depression, anxiety, a lack of confidence. You’ll notice stats. These help you to work out what is popular. Then search for your niche, where relevant. Depression over 50s, anxiety in children, lack of confidence at work. Again, view and note the statistics.
Whilst in this process see what specific topics are hot. Oftentimes, “how to” videos work well. How can I cope with depression? How to know when to seek treatment for my child’s anxiety? How can I build confidence at work?
Also, watch these videos to see what grabs you. Are there important points you could expand on?
Look at the comments section. Are there commonly raised questions?
These can all provide inspiration for topics.
3. Take note of your current clients queries.
4. Notice if any questions are frequently asked on your other social media accounts, within Facebook or Reddit groups, or on other sites.
5. Stay abreast of the news for topical issues you can speak to.
6. Ask your friends and colleagues for ideas.
7. Ask your tribe what why’d like to hear.
Promote your channel
Don’t buy into the myth that, “If you build it, they will come.” All marketing requires ongoing action.
Place symbols and links on your therapist website, in your email newsletter, as an email signature, and on your other social media accounts.
Embed your videos into relevant blog posts.
If right for you, consider paid advertising.
Speed up your video creation
To get the most from YouTube it’s important to harness the power of tech and timing. This will help you speed up the process for better results in less time.
Promote your flow by recording videos one after another.
When you begin, keep it simple.
Find and use tools like TubeBuddy to help to find “high-performing, searchable video topics, and craft the perfect titles and tags” and cut your publishing time.
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine whose addicted viewership includes your ideal clients. This makes it the perfect social media platform to promote your practice and reach. With a little practice and dedication, you can create videos that connect, woo, and convert.
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