Marketing For Counselors: How To Transition Your Private Practice To Online Counseling

In these times of change, if you’re a counselor, you’re pretty much forced to embrace online counseling services. This means, that you will need to update your website, add more SEO for online therapy to be found on Google, and create a Google Ads campaign tailored for that if you want to have new clients. This is especially important since many counselors are experiencing cancellations by their existing clients since many of them do not want to switch to online counseling or simply are dealing with the hectic situation that is happening right now.

In my eyes, the best time to do adapt is TODAY. Blockbuster truly believed that DVDs will survive. Netflix understood that DVDs will still exist, but would play an increasingly smaller role in the way people watch TV. Needless to say, the story of Netflix is very different than the story of Blockbuster.

As a counselor, it is not enough to just add online therapy services and choose the right platform. You also have to adjust your marketing to advertise to the population that I believe will INCREASINGLY be looking for online therapy in particular.

I believe that counselors should do what they’ve been trained to do, which is to support others in need. You can’t do that if you don’t adapt so that you could continue creating new clients.

In this video, I will use my own website, to demonstrate what are some of the things that you can do today to begin improving and adjusting your marketing efforts for this day when social distancing keeps people at home on the one hand and creates even a higher need for counseling on the other.

What I’m showing in the video are a few examples of some of the strategies that could be used as part of your work in building a private practice (as well as sustaining and growing it). Having a system in place and a plan for finding therapy clients at any time is crucial. This is exactly what we do in The 6 Figure Practice: we build that system. You can learn more about it here.

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About the 6-Figure Practice Program: 

The Six Figure Practice with Sasha Raskin, is an online program and community for helpers such as counselors and coaches, who are building their private practice. If you’re looking for a clear, step-by-step road map for creating and marketing your private practice, you’re at the right place! 

<img role= Free resources to grow and market your counseling private practice or coaching business: 

<img role= Free 22 minutes crash course – “How to Create a Thriving Counseling / Coaching Private Practice”: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/free-22-minute-crash-course

<img role= Free resources about marketing for therapists and marketing for coaches: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/blog 

<img role= Free 30-minutes strategy session with Sasha Raskin: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/schedule-a-free-30-min-strategy-session/  

<img role= Our accelerator program for creating a 6-figure business: 

<img role= The 6 Figure Practice Program: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/the-6-figure-practice-program-accelerator/ 

<img role= More ways to connect:

<img role= Website: https://www.the6figurepractice.com

<img role= Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the6figurepractice 

<img role= Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2174406112863019

<img role= Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/the6figurepractice

<img role= Chat with me on messenger: https://m.me/the6figurepractice  

<img role= Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCITSmYvj-vpwuWrOuwqYr5w 

<img role= About me: 

My name is Sasha Raskin. I’m a Number 1 Best Selling Co-Author in 12 Countries, a Doctoral student in Counseling Education and Supervision, a coach, a psychotherapist and an adjunct faculty at a graduate counseling program at Naropa University. 

One of the things I’m enjoying the most is helping other therapists and coaches build their successful private practice so that they could actually help the clients they were taught to help, and thrive themselves. I’m almost always fully booked, so my ability to work with individuals is limited. That is why I’ve created this program to deliver powerful results and create a community where you will feel supported by each other! 

This program’s primary goal is to help you build a thriving private practice, in a fun and authentic way. Counselors and coaches invest an incredible amount of time, money, and effort into building their helping skills. However, when their training ends, they usually find themselves lacking the business skills that are needed to start and run a successful private practice, feel isolated, discouraged and not knowing where to start. 

I believe that to be truly helpful to others, therapists and coaches have to learn to thrive themselves and definitely know how to get clients whom they can help. 

This is where this program comes in. If you’re willing to learn and work hard, a 6-figure private practice is within your reach in a year – 2 years. This program will give you a clear outline, and detailed instructions on how to get there.

Marketing for Online Counseling – Create a Stream of New Therapy Clients

Hi. With all the things that are happening right now and the switch, the big switch, to online counseling that I think has been coming for a long time with the Coronavirus is happening so fast. I think it’s important to talk about how do we actually, beyond keeping the clients that you have and supporting your existing clients, how can you help the clients that are looking for therapists who do online counseling to find you?

So we’ll talk about (1) what should you do, what should be the changes on your website to make sure that the new potential clients that find you really understand that you’re doing online counseling, (2) what are the changes on your website that you should do in order for Google to start ranking you higher as someone that offers online counseling, and (3) what kind of paid advertising can you do to start finding new clients, new counseling clients, for online therapy?

So I see that many colleagues of mine have seen a lot of cancellations, and I had some clients are cancelling as well, so I think it’s important on my end to support you if you’re a counselor as much as possible in this time to help you keep continuing doing counseling and offering your services especially during this time.

So let’s start. So the first thing I’m going to do is to make sure that my website is ready for to show that I’m doing counseling for online. So the first thing I did is I added right here … previously I had just couples and family therapy in Boulder, Colorado. And I added and online. So during those three crucial seconds that the person sees your website they will see, “Okay, this person is doing, this counselor is doing counseling online.”

Now I’m going to change, I have this page as counseling for individuals. By the way, I’m recording this on Wix, but … I’m just going to change the background, let’s say. So this is on Wix, but this applies to any platform because we’re talking about the idea. So let’s change it to online counseling. Let me change the color. Online counseling/online therapy, because those are the two main search terms that your clients will be looking for, so we want to make sure that you get found for both of them.

So by the way, this training might be pretty lengthy, so trust your wisdom, skip whatever you don’t need. I just want to make sure that it’s detailed enough if you need it to be.

I’m just going to hit publish. So now I have a web page that is just online counseling. Now I’m going to change the page’s name as well to instead of counseling for individuals I’m going to rename it, same – online counseling or online therapy. Perfect.

Another important part is the SEO. Again, for different platforms, different ways to do so. On Wix you simply have the SEO tab, so I’m going to change it for instead of counseling for individuals Boulder, I’m going to change the URL to online counseling, and guess what? Of course, online therapy as well, online therapy. Sasha Raskin MA, psychotherapist, provides online therapy/online counseling and counseling in Boulder and Denver. Proofread it. So this is how it appears on Google, that’s what we’re doing. Online counseling/online therapy. That’s good.

And we’re going to make sure that it looks good. That’s how it would look like on Google. Perfect. So let’s publish it. Hide that guy.

And a quick thing to do would be to add a text to your page that actually talks about something about online counseling and what’s happening right now specifically. So I just added that text right here. I took it from an email that I sent to my clients about moving to online therapy. You can see it in the previous video that I did, and I’m just going to add that. By the way, Ctrl + Shift + V is nice, on Windows at least, probably Command + Shift + V on Mac, would allow you to paste … to get rid of the previous font. So it would be pasting it in the same font that you already have on your website, just going to make sure that it’s bigger, maybe make it … By the way, if you make your fonts nice and big on your website that feels nice to the visitor. So don’t be shy with the size. Let’s make it 30. Cool.

Now if you go to heartandmeaning.com you can see the actual result of all that if you go to in the counseling therapy services and you go to online counseling, the page that we just updated, you will see how it looks like. So you can use it as an example or an inspiration. And perfect. All right, so we updated our therapy page.

Another helpful thing to do would be to add a blog post on your blog. This is, again, done for the sake of your visitors. They see, “Okay, this person has also a post about online counseling, I can trust that this is something that they do.” And also it’s good for Google to find your website when someone types in online counseling. So I just wrote something quick about the benefits of online counseling, online therapy.

By the way, I know that especially in the Six Figure Practice program some participants and some clients of mine that I helped them build the private practice are a little bit reluctant to write blog posts. Maybe this is an opportunity to write your first one especially maybe being more at home, this can be a good opportunity to start building your blog. So this one, English being my third language, one page probably took me five minutes, right? It’s not that big of a deal. And it really helps you rank higher in Google and hopefully get to the first page with at least certain important keywords. So I’m going to paste this in here. This will be the subject line. Actually title.

I’m going to add a photo, that’s important, both visually it’s helpful and it’s important because Google actually scans the meta tags for your photos to rank you for specific keywords. Let’s choose one, let’s just choose a computer screen or something like that. Wix has free images which is nice. Let’s do that, for example. We’ll add it to page.

And you’ll see in the settings different platforms have different ways to do this, but what you’re looking for is alternative text, alt text. That’s what would be shown to someone who cannot see a photo in the browser for some reason, but what’s important is that Google scans that alt text. So if I call it online counseling/online therapy you’re adding the chances that you will rank higher. And publish.

So this didn’t take too long, right? If I go to the blog post, to the blog, right here, I now have this blog post published. Of course, to promote your blog posts and also to help yourself get ranked higher on Google, Google wants to know that you have a social indicators. So you can post it on LinkedIn, for example, on Facebook, Instagram. And let’s add hashtag #telehealth, #onlinecounseling, #onlinetherapy. By the way, this is not just about online counseling, this is something to be doing in general. Okay, post.

And let’s go back and do a quick Google ads campaign which is probably the most effective way of your clients finding you. If you’re not familiar with Google Ads, if I go and search for counseling on Google and you get this little ad text, it means it’s an ad. And when I click this link you can make sure that you rank on the first page of Google, it’s pretty easy and we talk about it in the Six Figure Practice program. By the way, you can check it out in your free time, this is how it’s called. By the way, tons of good free resources for you in the blog as well.

Going back to the Google Ads campaign. So I created a new campaign, we’re going to make it a website traffic. I’m going to make it search. So I’m just going to create something easy, right? Select the ways you’d like to reach your goal, your business, let’s do heartandmeaning. Now the thing is that you already have online counseling page, right? Which is very useful since you’ll be pointing the ad, online counseling/online therapy. Oh, I see that it didn’t change the URL so I’m going to change that.

Let’s go back to the online counseling page. Online counseling page, manage pages. Let’s change the URL. Settings. SEO. We want to make it online counseling. It didn’t save it for some reason, but it’s good I caught it. Online therapy, all right. Changed to this field, now it’s supposed to remember it. Go back to it, just make sure that it looks good. And hit publish. Maybe we just didn’t hit publish. And let’s go and test it out now, online counseling/online therapy. Let’s just go to a different page and then go. Huh, very strange. I’m not sure why this is happening. Let’s try to open another one. My apologies about that.

Go to URL, let’s just check if it works. Okay, looks like it’s working. So probably just refreshing the website was needed.

So we’re going to use this one to create an ad. We’re going to call it online therapy, this campaign. No search network, no display network. United States. Let’s make it, for example, 10 bucks a day just to test it out. Let’s do clicks. Actually I’ll select a bidding directly, manual cost per click so I won’t be wasting money with Google’s artificial intelligence. And I will set manual bids. Save and continue. And let’s call this ad group online counseling.

Let’s add keywords – online therapy, online marriage counseling, online counseling. That’s just as an example, right? You can, of course, try them out in different variations, for example.

By the way, if you don’t know how to do Google Ads you can always hire someone and just ask them, “Hey, can you do this campaign for me right now?” Or if you want to learn it, it’s a pretty cool thing to do. So right now there are different match types, so keyboard match, anything that contains online or therapy in any order would be found using this. Now this is called phrase match, this what’s on “needs to be found” in this specific order within the sentence that the person, the client is searching online to be found. And exact match it has to be only that, otherwise it won’t be found, right? So we want to test what would be found, would get more clicks, right?

Of course, you can Google, you can do some … again, if you want to join the program and learn how to do it in an advanced way you can do it. Just go to the Six Figure Practice to learn about that and the method that we use.

So continuing, going back to the Google Ads. Save and continue. And default bid let’s say three bucks for a click, let’s say two bucks. So if the maximum that we’ll be paying for a click would be $2 so we’ll be getting five clicks a day. Save and continue. Let’s come up with the text for it. Headline one, online counseling/online therapy. We can only 30 characters here. And online therapy. So that’s how it looks like for now as you can see. We don’t need to see that. Online counseling and online … Or we can just do online counseling without and, right? So that’s how it looks like. And write free 20-minute consultation call. We don’t need headline number three. Let’s put it in the description.

Schedule your free 20-minute consultation call. Online counseling is just a convenient way to do therapy from the convenience … Sorry for all the typos. Thank you, Google. From the convenience and easy way. Online therapy from the convenience of your home. Let’s see if we can add exclamation point here. Whoops.

Schedule your free consultation call now. An easy way to do therapy from the convenience of your home.

So this is how it looks like. Online counseling/online therapy. Schedule your free 20-minute consultation call now. An easy way to do therapy from the convenience of your home. Save and continue. Confirmation. Nine estimates, for clicks it would probably be less than two bucks a click. Continue to campaign. And we’re good to go.

So you are ready to do … well, basically to create new clients for online counseling and to be better prepared for this day so you could actually serve the clients that you were taught to serve, right? And it’s better to prepare yourselves now.

Now anything that I said in here, a quick disclaimer – do it at your own risk, you can always lose money if you do paid advertising. So this is not an advice necessarily. It’s just an example of what you can do to potentially increase the stream of clients, especially now that’s important.

I hope it was helpful. Let me know if it was. And stay safe and healthy.

About the Author Sasha Raskin

Sasha Raskin, MA, is an  international #1 bestselling co-author , the founder of  The 6 Figure Practice, a  life coach, and business coach and a  psychotherapist in Boulder, CO. He is working on a P.h.D in Counseling Education and Supervision and is an adjunct faculty at the Contemplative Counseling master’s program at Naropa University, from which he also graduated. Sasha has been in the mental health field for more than 10 years, worked with youth at risk, recovery, mental health hospitals, and coached individuals, couples, families, startups, and groups. He has created mindfulness stress reduction and music therapy programs within different organizations. Whether it’s in person or via phone/video calls, whether as  a counselor , a  life coach or a  business coach, Sasha uses cutting-edge, research-based techniques to help his clients around the world to thrive.   As a  coach Sasha Raskin provides individual and group  coaching in Boulder, Colorado, and worldwide via video and phone calls, drawing from over ten years of experience. His services include:  life coaching,  business coaching,  career coaching,  ADD coaching,  ADHD coaching,  ADD coach,  ADHD coach,  leadership coaching, and  executive coaching. Schedule your free 20-minute  coaching phone consultation with Sasha Raskin As a  counselor in Boulder, CO, Sasha provides  individual counseling in Boulder, CO ,  family therapy in Boulder, CO, and  couples therapy in Boulder,  marriage counseling in Boulder, and  couples intensives /  couples retreats, drawing from over ten years of clinical experience.  He does  couples therapy Boulder,  online couples therapy,  Online Marriage Counseling  ,  online relationship counseling,   and marriage counseling boulder.

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