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8 Steps to Launching or Relaunching a Psychotherapy Practice

Launch (3)

In this guest post, Miranda Palmer LMFT and Kelly Higdon share eight ways to thrive in the current private practice climate.

The process of building a successful private practice has changed considerably over the last twenty years. Most therapists we speak with who have been in practice for a few decades started by getting their credentials from an insurance companies. Reimbursement rates were relatively high for the cost of living from the 80s into the early 90s. Things flowed. Maybe they had a listing in the phone book, but back then there was no need for websites, Facebook pages, or Twitter accounts!

Fast forward to now: the financial picture for therapists in private practice has drastically changed, as we are in a time of low or stagnate reimbursement rates combined with an increase in cost of doing business and living.

The old model is simply that, old. It doesn’t work for today, and thus we find experienced therapists with a full practice that isn’t profitable enough to prepare for retirement, and new therapists often feel lost when they ask their mentors for direction and get answers that don’t resonate with the current economy.

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The Power of Online Presence: Mari A. Lee, LMFT Overcame ‘Technophobia’ to Become Best-Selling Author

power of online

Discover how some very successful mental health professionals use blogging, social media, and other technologies as powerful tools for their therapy practices.  

I’ve discussed in great length ways that my online presence has benefited my private practice. But don’t just take my word for it. Many therapists have utilized the power of social media and blogging to get the word out about their practice, establish rapport, and build trust with those in their community. I’ve asked a few of my colleagues some questions about their experiences (the good and the bad) building their online presence.  This is the first of several interviews where you can learn from the professionals.  My hope is for you to read these and understand even more just how valuable an online presence can be, not just for attracting clients, but for opening up other professional opportunities. Read more

How Your Therapy Skills Can Help Build Your Online Presence (Part 1)

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This is the first post of a 2 part series of how to best utilize social media to engage your readers.  

Developing and maintaining a strong online presence to engage readers employs the same skills you use as a therapist: the ability to foster trust, build rapport, and serve your community.  

The internet allows you to expand your therapy outreach in a way that exceeds the bounds of what you could do from a traditional office setting.  Here are some specific points to consider when building an online presence.

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Get Graphic! Using Visual Content to Build Your Online Practice Presence

Photos, graphics, and memes can help build engagement and grow your online private practice presence.

Visual content is becoming increasingly important to a business’s online presence, and your therapy practice would do well to get on board.  Nothing can replace quality written content, but too many words on a page can be overwhelming and/or dull. In fact, visual media networks, such as YouTube and Instagram have more referral traffic than Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ combined.  It makes sense, as studies show that 90% of the information transmitted to our brain is visual and that we  process images 60,000 times faster than text.  Additionally, information presented visually is much more likely to be retained, so your followers will remember things better than just plain text.  So don’t be afraid to put some quality and purposeful images out there to help boost your online engagement.  Here are some examples of ways to get graphic and connect with your readers visuals. Read more

How to Create and Sell Your First E-book (part 1)

How to write an E-book

In this guest post counselor and consultant Clinton Power shares how to create your first E-Book

There’s no doubt that creating and selling your own digital product is a great way to increase your online exposure, credibility, expertise, and earn some money while doing so.

And the creation of an e-book to sell through your own website or an online bookstore like Amazon or iBooks is the quickest and easiest product to create to get started.

I wrote my own e-book called 31 Days to Build a Better Relationship and published using the Kindle platform on Amazon. It’s been a great way to increase my online presence and credibility as a specialist in relationships and has now been downloaded over 2000 times and received 19 five star reviews in Amazon.

With a $2.99 price tag, I didn’t write it to make money (though the checks from Amazon are very nice), but more to reach thousands of people that I never could have on my own, through the power of the Amazon Marketplace.

Selling an e-book through your own website is also a very good idea, and the good news is you can charge much more than Amazon e-book prices.

So let’s dive in and look at the steps you need to get started.

Select a topic that will sell

It’s important to do some research at the beginning to check there’s a market for your e-book and people looking for the information you want to write about.

As a therapist you are well positioned to create an information product because you have years of training, knowledge and experience about good mental health, the change process, and self-improvement. These information products are often in high demand because they are providing a solution to a pain or problem.

So to get your research underway I suggest you start with Google and Amazon. Search for keywords that are related to the e-book you’re considering writing.

For example, if you’re a specialist in child ADD/ADHD, search for combinations of keywords in Amazon and Google such as “How to overcome child ADD”, or “I think my child has ADHD”, or “best ideas for dealing with ADD”. The idea is you want to see how many people already have products for sale that are similar to your idea.

If you find similar products, but your idea has a particulate angle that is not covered by other e-books, then this is a good thing.

There are hundreds of books on relationships in the Amazon store, but I didn’t find one that used my approach of a tip a day for 31 days, so I knew I was bringing in a different angle that might help with sales.

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Evolution Of A Private Practice

This year marks my 10th year in private practice and I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on and blogging about what’s contributed to the growth and longevity of my practice. As I started creating a timeline chronicling the evolution of my practice, it became clear that the growth of my private practice coincides with my online presence building efforts. I don’t think it’s an accident that when I began actively seeking media interviews, blogging, and building my social networks that my practice experienced tremendous growth.

Twitter 101: Use ‘Lists’ To Follow Favorite Tweeps

Twitter home feed can be overwhelming for new users. The more people you follow, the more tweets show up on your profile page feed. Who has hours every day to read thousands of tweets? I sure don’t. That’s where Twitter “Lists” come in. I received this question from a therapist via email earlier this week, and it echoes the concerns of many therapists I’ve consulted with. How do I highlight users that I’m really interested in so I don’t have to sort through the home feed?

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Social Media Ethics (part 3): Top 3 Ethics Gurus You Should Be Following

Where do I go for trusted information on ethical use of social media for therapists? Here are the top 3 resources on the cutting edge of online ethics for mental health therapists that I find myself referencing time and time again. I have taken their online courses, read dozens of their articles, signed up for newsletters, and of course, I follow all of them on social media sites.

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Celebrating 10 Years Of Private Practice Success

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From solo practitioner to thriving clinic owner. Celebrating the milestones of 10 years of private practice.

Today marks the 10 years since of the founding of my private practice Wasatch Family Therapy, LLC. I started out as a solo practitioner with big dreams of creating an exceptional therapy clinic that not only provides excellent clinical services, but also provides therapists the opportunity to create their “dream practice” in a nurturing work environment that supports personal growth and strong family relationships.

As I take a step back and reflect on this ten year journey, many tender emotions surface. I am grateful for willing clients who have allowed me to walk with them during life crises and transitions. I am touched by the generosity of the professional relationships that I’ve cultivated during this period of time. I am amazed at the personal and professional growth that I’ve experienced. I’ve learned invaluable lessons about leadership, boundaries, and business. I’ve developed skills in marketing, supervising, web design, social media, mentoring, public relations, human resources, interior decorating, negotiating contracts, consulting…

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5 Keys To Writing Killer Blog Post Titles

Is your great blog content hiding behind boring or predictable titles?

Next time you’re browsing the web, notice the articles that catch your eye and pique your interest. What is it about them that interests you enough to click through and look at the content? Often, all that you have to go by is the article title.

Titles matter.

I was just reminded of the importance of blog post titles over the weekend when I posted an article on PsychCentral’s World Of Psychology Blog. The article was titled “8 Surefire Ways To Emotionally Screw Up Your Kid.” Within 24 hours the post had been shared over 1000 times on Facebook and had been retweeted 100 times on Twitter.

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