Marketing a group practice can be tricky. As most of us start a group practice from our solo practices, we get used to marketing ourselves (that is, if we feel comfortable marketing ourselves!). Marketing a group practice is different in many ways, as it requires us to look at the larger picture and not just ourselves.
What’s important is that you learn to market your GROUP, because if you don’t, what will happen is that people will call to see you, and you will end up disappointing some potential clients when you tell them you are full, and you will spend time trying to convince or give a lot of information about how another clinician in your group may be a good fit for them as well.
I spent the beginning years marketing myself, and I *thought* my group as well. But what happened was my group, Urban Wellness, became one with Maureen Werrbach in the eyes of the community.
After learning how to market myself and my group as separate entities, I want to share some tips with you on best practices for having your community see your group and its clinicians
- It is important that your clinicians spend time marketing themselves. As the group owner, you should not be marketing on everyone’s behalf-essentially that is just marketing yourself-clients will want to see you, since wherever you go to market, they will likely give your name as the referral source (ah, relationships). When the clinicians become known in the community as specialists in certain issues or important resources within the community, that helps the group become known.
- Market your group as a whole by sending flyers in the community newspaper (ask your local chamber of commerce on how to do that), email blasts, marketing materials via email or snail mail, facebook pages (I see the non in-person marketing as better marketing for the group as a whole).
- In person marketing or networking typically helps the individual who is doing the marketing, so if you are doing all the in person marketing, you will likely get the referrals. Again, it is important that your clinicians also market in target areas that reach the clients they specialize in seeing. For example, I don’t work with substance abuse, but one of my clinicians does. She knows the places to go to reach that population better than I do, and so she markets herself, with Urban Wellness materials to those places.
- Incentivize: I offer two hours or paid marketing hours (in person-not email or phone marketing) to each clinician so they get paid for the work they do. Remember: when they market themselves, it is helping the group, and it is less time you have to spend marketing.
- Another great way to market the individual clinicians, thereby marketing the group and not just yourself, is to have them blog or vlog on topics relating to their speciality on your website. This way, potential clients can connect with the therapist before even scheduling an appointment.
- In your marketing materials, have a “Meet the Clinicians” flyer that has a photo and short bio on each clincian. I had it printed on glossy paper and it looks really nice. I put that into my marketing folder that any of us hand out. That way, they see each clinician right there with the most important info about them.
What I find to be important is not so much to market just your group, as that is a faceless entity. When you employ great clinicians that clients are wanting to see, that in turn makes your group practice become an important part of the community. I think some practice owners are afraid of having the clinicians be known individually because they think it doesn’t help make the business name grow, or if they leave, the referrals leave with them, but I don’t find this to be true. If you expect that all your clinicians spend some time marketing, even if they leave, the new clinicians will continue with this.
Action item: Have a flyer printed that has your clinicians photo and bios on it. Make it into a PDF and it serves double duty! You can email it when marketing or mail it out!
Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here: LEARN MORE HERE