The therapist of today looks very different than the therapist of the past when we open up appropriately to our clients. When the bio pages on our websites share more than credentials. When we have a professional Instagram account. When we make videos for YouTube or for our stories, we allow our clients to see us as real. When we let the client in on how they are impacting us. On what we think of them. On our internal dialogue about the session. That is real too. And that is what the world craves right now.
In a place saturated with automation, we just want real.
A therapist who can skillfully use their authenticity creates an important connection with the client – one that lets them know “I trust you and I invite you to trust me too,” “I offer you a space to be real too,” and “let’s get comfortable, I am along for the ride with you. Let’s get to know each other.” It brings relief. It brings motivation. It creates dedication to the work. And this is how your clients find ways to heal themselves. And this is also how you maintain a thriving and profitable practice:
Using authenticity in marketing to acquire new clients.
People typically feel uncomfortable mixing sales and therapy, but someone isn’t going to become a client unless they believe in the person behind the practice. Being standoffish and mysterious does not increase comfortability and access to therapy, it decreases it. For those that need therapy but aren’t sure how they feel about it, your authenticity will be opening a door to them. Your authenticity will welcome them.
You can be more authentic and transparent in marketing by:
1. Sharing why you were inspired to do this work. You might share an anecdote about a difficult time and how therapy helped you.
2. Sharing how you do this work. Letting people in on the way that you work before they even meet you can create a lot of relief for them. Let them know more about your style – are you direct or gentle? Do you like to give feedback or do you prefer they lead the way?
3. Share your own feelings about the work you do. How does it truly touch you?
Using authenticity to retain and serve clients.
I have heard a lot of clients describe their past therapists as indirect or “awkward,” especially towards the end of the session. The characteristic “our time is up” followed by a swift opening of the door and goodbye leaves people that need our guidance hanging. It also makes our intentions mysterious and therefore our clients become skeptical.
Instead, be open and transparent, telling them how you’re going to help them. Say, “here’s what I heard, and here’s what I usually do to help.” That first session is the way to give them hope. They need to know what you have and that they will be able to use that to feel better in their life somehow. It’s your responsibility to give them that hope.
Three ways you can be more authentic and transparent in serving your clients:
1. Let your clients know how you would like to help them. Give them some ideas about how therapy might look for them and where you believe your work will lead.
2. If you don’t know, then say that you don’t know. Being able to admit that you have uncertainties too is authentic and honest.
3. If they ask you questions about your life, answer them. A huge therapy turn-off is when a therapist responds to a question with a question. The desire to connect is completely human. Allow them to connect. Remember, if their response shows transference then a skilled therapist will be able to use that for good therapeutic work.
There are so many creative ways for people to find you online and to learn about you. I would love to help you do it. you will learn the in’s and outs of private practice marketing. Through a series of videos and homework assignments, I guide you to understand and describe your niche, design your website, track your marketing, and utilize social media.