Feb 2, 2021
In this episode, Colleen Hilton joins the show to talk about our marketing mindset in private practice. Many therapists think that marketing is icky. However, marketing is actually essential to get clients the help that they need. The more effective your marketing efforts are, the better you can help the right people. Tune in as we talk about finding your ideal client and how Thrivelution can be a win-win for both therapists and clients.
Colleen Hilton is the founder & CEO of Acuity Counseling, Acuity Consulting and Thrivelution LLC. She is also a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist & an AAMFT approved Supervisor, with over 14 years of experience in the industry.
Since 2016, Acuity Counseling has been providing boutique therapy services, with a retail-style model, making high-quality mental health available to the general public. With 3 brick and mortar locations and a strong online presence throughout the state via telehealth, Acuity is seeking to make a difference across all of Washington state.
Acuity Consulting focuses on creating change in the business world by offering leadership coaching, and organizational mental health training. By supporting individuals and organizations in personal and professional change, believing in the systemic impact we will have together.
Colleen co-founded Thrivelution LLC in 2020, amidst the unprecedented circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thrivelution is disrupting the current market space by throwing out the antiquated practice of directory style searches, focusing on the quality of matches, and demonstrating a return on investment for small business owners.
Colleen is outspoken as a leader and educator on the business side of the mental health industry. She is active in coaching private practice owners, as well as new group practice owners, in how to align their values as a helper, with their role as a business owner to assist them in creating successful, profitable businesses.
Personally, Colleen is a wife and the proud mother of two inspiring young women. She is passionate about warm weather (still missing
SoCal), boating, and finding great food wherever she is at. Colleen loves people and making new connections, finding great joy in learning from others, and hearing the amazing stories every person has to share.
Many therapists think that marketing is icky or too salesy. Colleen is working on debunking that marketing mindset for private practice owners. Instead, we should use marketing to create a mindset for success. Marketing and advertising get an awful rap in the mental health industry. We feel like somehow being a helper doesn't align with marketing and advertising, but Colleen honestly believes that our professional ethics require that we do beneficial marketing and advertising.
Your marketing mindset has a lot to do with finances too. If you don't have enough money, then you are struggling. How will that impact the work that you do for clients? If you can hone in on marketing, then you can market to your ideal client and attract the person into your practice. That is why it's essential to have an exact brand. Then, the feedback loop just starts to work in a beautiful way where the clients are coming to us. We can charge what we're worth!
When we do effective marketing, we reach our ideal client and provide the most qualified help. While on the other hand, if our net is too broad or there is no net at all, we can't help our ideal clients. Clients will not magically find you when you build a website. We should be practicing from an abundance mindset - there are many clients out there, and you really should be helping the people you are passionate about supporting.
Colleen will reverse engineer her marketing. So, think about your ideal client and answer these questions:
Then, start thinking about ways you can engage with your ideal client. We are not selling something. Instead, we are communicating the value that we have and how we can provide help. Marketing is the ability to help people find you. Potential clients are out there, and they are struggling. By using doing effective marketing, we can provide them the exact solution that they are looking for.
What if your ideal client is out there with the wrong therapist? They have a terrible experience, so they visit another therapist. Yet again, they have a terrible experience. Sadly, this keeps happening to your ideal client. Eventually, they give up on therapy altogether. Now, their problems keep getting worse and worse. They are digging a hole for themselves, and they can't figure out how to get out. Maybe ten years pass by, and they finally find you. If you could find that ideal client ten years ago, they would be in a much different place today.
Give your clients what they are looking for in the first place. When you find your ideal client, you help them, and they get to help you. Working with our ideal client allows us to be supported financially. When we are supported financially, then we can do our best work. After grad school, we have the hopes and dreams to open a private practice. Like any business, marketing is a crucial component to getting more clients. For therapists, it's no different – we need to practice effective marketing techniques!
Colleen stumbled with her marketing at first. She didn't know how to communicate with potential clients. She had referral relationships, the directory listing, yet she didn't find herself with the right clients. Unfortunately, when you don't have the right clients, then you need to turn them away. It's a shame for the client because they ask for help, yet they find themselves with a roadblock.
So, Colleen wanted to know why there wasn't a "dating app" for finding a therapist. Clients should go on the app and ask for what they want. Then, therapists should advertise their services. We need a matching system that focuses on clinical fit. Thrivelution is an algorithm that will present options to clients and clinicians. That way, they can mutually agree to the relationship. Once it's a good fit, the clinicians can take it from there. Clinicians can build thriving private practices, and clients can find the best therapist for them – it's a win-win!
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Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog. He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer, and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast wherever you listen to it. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn, and Pinterest, “Like” us on Facebook.