The community marketing plan focuses on how you will reach and connect with those in your local area- perhaps through networking and speaking.
Your online marketing plan focuses on how you will reach and connect with those who may be searching online for a therapist just like you.
In both kinds of practice building, tracking your results is very important. In this article, though, we’ll talk about online marketing and the metrics you want to track for your local practice.
The mention of metrics or measurement sometimes makes therapists uncomfortable.
You don’t need a degree in computer science to practice smart online marketing for your practice. But there are a few detours that eat up time and money when people don’t take the time to learn what’s best for the business when it comes to the Internet.
To start, people often confuse the idea of being popular with being profitable. That therapist you follow on Twitter who has 50,000 followers might not be making any money at all from social media! And maybe you have tons of fans on Facebook, but what are you going to do with them?
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be nationally or internationally known, but you want this recognition to be profitable as well. If you’re a young business, you want to focus on having a basic reserve and know that you can afford to invest in the strategies that make a larger platform possible.
Two options available for your online marketing plan include paid advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). Paid advertising can give you a short-term bump, but this value might decrease over time. Search engine optimization can be a slower process, but it has a longer return and can keep people coming to your site without additional investment.
Remember, neither strategy might be right for you right now if you’re new in business and aren’t sure what your specialization is going to be. Both paid advertising and SEO rely on the assumption that you know who you want to target. So for newcomers, a little bit of coaching and mentoring might be needed first before you determine the next steps in your practice.
Once your business is a little more established, you’ll want to start measuring the metrics of your website. So often people rely on their feelings rather than the facts of how their business or website is performing. If you don’t know what is bringing you business, and you don’t know how much you’re spending on keeping your business running, then you don’t know if you business is profitable or not.
How can you keep track of your online metrics? Sometimes it’s as simple as using an excel spreadsheet or a pen or paper. You can use a free program like Google Analytics to keep track of the number of visitors on your site, the number of unique visitors, how much time people spend on your site, and how many inquiries you get from your site about your practice.
It’s important to try and keep all your measurements in one place so you can have a snapshot of your business that’s easy to read and accessible. Make sure you update regularly, at least every two weeks.
Your main goals from your online marketing are to attract new potential clients and to have them contact you for a session.
In this way, your online marketing plan can support the growth and health of your local private practice.