This post continues my series on how therapists and other mental health professionals can promote and grow the practices. My last article discussed why a therapist’s best form of marketing comes from focusing on existing clients. The reason that it’s so important to focus on existing customers is simple – they are the best source of potential referrals. Also, keeping your existing clients is far more profitable than having to constantly sign up new ones. In short, those who make their existing clientele a priority can wind up countin’ cash like this woman:
While those who are losing clients as fast as they sign them up will be trying to figure out how they’re going to pay their office rent, like this woman:
In this post I’m going to look at why one must own their own website instead of relying on renting ad space from third parties. The bottom line is that a therapist who is trying to grow their practice in a sustainable way should focus on owning their online presence instead of renting it. The difference between renting and ownership is just what it sounds like – one can own assets such as their website, their mailing list, etc. Renting, on the other hand, consists of things such as paying to be listed in an online directory, paying for pay-per-click (the ads you see at the top of search engines) or other such activities. Owning something means that once you pay for it once, you never have to pay for it again. Renting, by contrast, leaves you locked into monthly expenses which must be paid otherwise your web presence will disappear.
There are two reasons why a therapist should own their web presence as opposed to renting it. First, ownership can lead to a much higher ROI than going the rental route. Second, you need the compounding effect which comes from owning your web presence if you want to truly grow. Let’s dive into each of these reasons in turn. Also, let’s look at why owning your web presence is crucial if you want to take your business to the next level.
Therapists who own their website and broader online presence can see a higher return on investment
Owning your online assets means that you put time or resources into creating them, and then they are yours forever. This allows the asset to continue generating customer leads for a period of time without any additional resources being put into them. A blog post, for example, stays on your blog forever as opposed to a digital ad, which must be paid for every month or else it will disappear. The lasting effect of ownership creates a higher ROI for your therapy practice.
Consider the following. In 2014 we drafted a blog article for an attorney for a cost of $125 and placed it on their blog. Since they own the article, they never have to put any additional resources into it. From 2014 to December of 2022 that article (which still receives traffic in December of 2022) has been clicked on 12,733 through search results. This is a cost of less than one cent per click. If this attorney had been renting ad space through Google, via pay-per-click marketing, during this same time, they likely would have averaged a cost of roughly $15 per click to their website. At a cost of $15 per click, 12,733 clicks would have cost them just under $191,000. So, for a cost of $125 that attorney has gotten same level of exposure since 2014 that other firms would have paid $191,000 for. The difference in ROI is obvious.
These same concepts apply to any industry, including being a therapist. If you want to grow your business, you need your online assets to generate a continuing return as opposed to simply getting you a client or two before you need to pay for them again. Which brings us our next point – how owning your online presence allows your marketing activities to have a “compounding effect.”
Therapists who own their online presence will see a “compounding effect” in their marketing activities
As explained above, owning your online assets means that they do not go away at the end of the month, unlike a digital ad. In addition to the fact that this leads to a higher ROI, it also creates a compounding effect that you simply cannot achieve by renting ad space. This compounding effect allows you take your business to the next level as opposed to being stuck in second gear in perpetuity.
Consider the following example (I’m going to use simple numbers to prove the point). Jill Therapist pays $125 per month to rent listings in various directories. She averages ten calls from potential clients per month. This means in month one, Jill gets ten calls for her $125. The same in month two, month three, etc. While Jill is receiving calls each month, the only way to increase the number of calls is to increase what she is spending on advertising. In other words, at the end of the year, things look like this:
Do you notice how each month, Jill only receives the same number of calls as she did the month prior? Now suppose that Jill had been investing her money into web assets which she owns. These can take the form of blog posts, videos, etc. This means that those assets will remain in place at the end of the month. Now suppose that Jill is adding four articles per month to her website, and each article will average ten clicks per month. Since each article will remain on the website, this allows for a compounding effect. For example, Jill adds four articles to her website in January. These four articles generate a total of forty clicks. Jill adds four more articles in February but, since the January articles are still there, she now has a total of eight articles on her website and receives eighty clicks for the month of February. By the time you get to December, Jill is receiving 480 clicks per month even though her monthly input (four articles) has not changed. Since more clicks equals more phone calls, Jill’s business is going up without her having to expend additional resources. This compounding effect comes from owning your web assets and it allows you to get more potential calls each year, when compared to the year prior, without putting more resources into marketing than you did the year prior.
Therapists can take their practice to the next level by focusing on ownership of their web presence
The increased ROI and compounding effect above is what can help a therapist to take their practice to the “next level.” This approach allows you to get the most for your money and to ensure that you are receiving an ongoing return. Over time, as you build up a larger web presence, the number of calls you will get will only continue to increase. And this comes without increasing your overhead. Want to get out of second gear? Start focusing on building out a web presence which you own.
At the end of the day, it’s true that you can turn a profit by renting online ad space. Such an approach, however, simply isn’t going to allow you to level up your practice. As part of our therapist website design and marketing services, we help to implement a strategy that will grant you ownership of your digital assets. This will allow you to grow your practice “the right way.” To get started simply contact us online or by telephone. Also, please don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below.
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