For many therapists operating a private practice, taking insurance is out of the question. For many of our clients, this is certainly the case. So how can a private practice attract new patients that are willing to pay out of pocket instead of through their insurance? In this post, we are going to describe a process we use to get private pay clients for therapy practices.
1. Establishing Your Brand
Before you start the process of attracting private pay clients for your therapy practice, you have to make sure that your target patient reacts the way you want them to react when they encounter your practice. Building a therapy brand is an important step in positioning your private practice.
Perhaps your ideal client are affluent individuals such as actors, politicians, and sports figures. Your brand should reflect a high-end look and feel and speak directly to these audience segments.
2. Building the Right Foundation
After your establish your brand, it’s important to create your virtual storefront, also known as, your website! Building your best therapy website will set the foundation for attracting private pay clients and will prove to them that your business is legit and that it offers a highly valuable service.
If you need help with building a website strategy that builds your practice, our mental health website company partner can help.
Signs Your Private Practice Needs a New Website
We’ve written a blog on “10 signs your private practice needs a new website” previously, but here is a quick outline of 10 reasons why you need a new website for your practice:
- Your website is not mobile friendly
- Your search engine rankings are low
- Your website uses flash
- Your website visitors aren’t converting to patients
- Your website looks old and outdated
- Your website is really slow
- Your practice has outgrown its current website
- You updated your brand and need a new look and feel
- Your competitors’ websites look better than yours
- You’re embarrassed to give out your URL to friends, family, or patients
For therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, a website strategy is critical to the success of your practice.
3. Showcasing Your Value
One of the most important aspects of your website project and beyond is showcasing your value to patients. If you charge $300.00 per hour in your private practice, your quality and value must shine through and be overwhelmingly transparent to a potential patient. Here are some things you can include to show value:
- Showcase reviews from Google (these are more trustworthy than just normal reviews you add yourself)
- Showcase testimonials (if permitted by law and by a recovered patient to do so)
- Have a high-end design that appeals to your potential patients
- Highly your expertise and let your website be a robust resource
- Include applicable imagery and video
- Outline the process and what a patient can expect: The beginning, the middle, and the conclusion (what you can expect to help your patient achieve)
The above are just a few ideas to show off your wonderful value to your potential patients. These will help you show private pay clients that you are worth the cost.
4. Creating the Right Messaging
Another important aspect of your website, online profiles, and other materials is creating the right message that resonates with private pay clients. We highly recommend putting yourself in the shoes of your patients rather than creating messaging that makes sense to you. If your target market is patients, then you should use language that is understandable from someone who most likely did not get a Ph. D. in psychology or psychiatry.
Here are some other factors to think about when creating your messaging:
- Are your patients mainly female or male?
- Are your patients young adults or older adults?
- Which profession(s) are your target patients?
- Where are your ideal patients located?
In addition, having the right messaging on your contact page and Google My Business page are critical to expressing that you do not accept insurance. Something like this will work:
Just a reminder, (insert name) does not participate in any insurance plans. This means that (insert name) cannot accept your insurance for payment. (insert name) will make every effort to assist you with the filing of the proper paperwork so that you may get reimbursed by your insurance carrier. However, this is not a guarantee that your insurance will reimburse you for your treatment. Every insurance policy is written differently so it is important that you speak to your insurance regarding your out-of-network mental health coverage prior to your first session.
5. Developing a Strategy
After you’ve created your brand, your website, properly showcased your value, and wrote your messaging, building a strategy is next.
Here are a few of the strategies we use to help clients get private pay clients:
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the very best strategies to build for psychologists, therapists, and other medical professionals. SEO takes time to build out, typically 9 to 12 + months. But if you plan on creating a long-term private practice, SEO is a must.
SEO works by creating strategies to rank for more keywords, and then creating strategies to rank higher for those keywords on Google and other search engines. Keywords are simply the queries, or searches, your patients are making to find a psychologist or therapist like you.
If you need help with SEO, our mental health SEO marketing company partner can help.
Blog and Video
A blog and/or video make great content to showcase your practice and provide the expertise your patients and potential patients are looking for. Both of these strategies can also help you get found when combined with SEO.
Pay-per-click advertising can be a great marketing strategy to increase lead gen quickly. Another major benefit is that if properly set up on Google, you can track the exact terms that your potential patients use to contact you from. This has major advantages for when you build out a SEO strategy as we can heavily focus on these “money” keywords.
Social Media Marketing
Social media can be a great tool to humanize your brand… Which means, you can showcase all your amazing content and expertise created in a blog or video strategy and push it out to your audience.
Email Marketing / CRM
Email marketing + a CRM (customer relationship management) is a great strategy to organize, understand, and reach out to customers and potential customers strategically. We work with a great CRM that can provide a lot of great features like: Live chat, email marketing automation, billing, and much more.
Patient Management System
To manage patients and send reminder texts and emails, a patient management system can be extremely valuable to your practice.
Grow Your Private Practice
TherapyByPro is an online mental health directory that connects mental health pros with clients in need. If you’re a mental health professional, you can Join our community and add your practice listing here. We have assessments, practice forms, and worksheet templates mental health professionals can use to streamline their practice. View all of our mental health forms, worksheet, and assessments here.