I’ve been a licensed marriage and family therapist since 2014. In the time since then, like many other therapists, I have spent a great deal of time working on figuring out how to build my practice. In grad school we think about the practices we’d like to have someday, but get very little training in how to make that happen.
Before I became licensed I worked at a non profit counseling agency in Roseville called Hearts and Hands Counseling. It was at Hearts and hands that I got my start in the valuable marketing experience I would later use to launch my practice.
Building a Practice is Hard!
Because we often get so little business training in school, we usually have to figure out building a practice on our own and through trial and error. I would honestly say that in the time since starting my practice I have spent at least 1800 hours on marketing efforts. The majority of this has been focused on my internet presence and working on my website’s SEO (search engine optimization).
Lots of us Have Trouble Finding Clients
Another part of my marketing efforts have been networking with other therapists, meeting them for coffee or lunch. I try to do this at least once every three weeks. In my time networking I have met many great therapists who I know have been in the field longer than me, and who have more experience and training than me. Despite this, a good portion of these therapists have talked with me about having trouble finding clients. In general, most people seem to get their referrals either through Psychology Today or through getting paneled with insurance companies.
I’ve had many occasions where colleagues have asked me how I’ve managed to build and maintain a relatively full, completely private pay practice. The only real answer I can give people is that I have spent so much time on marketing. The next question I get is usually about how to use SEO to rank higher in search engines. This is a really complicated question and I would say the answer is, either pay someone to do it for you, or invest some time in learning about SEO.
Part of the reason I have spent so much time on SEO is the fact that I am self taught and spent a lot of time seeking out information and trying to figure things out. If you are just starting out with your SEO work I strongly recommend visiting Becky Degrossa at her website counselingwise.com, they specialize in SEO for therapists. Doing this will save you from a lot of the time I wasted on trying to figure things out on my own.
I’ve tried to think of some way I could build a business around using all of the knowledge and experience I have gained in marketing and SEO over the past couple of years, and to help colleagues in some way with SEO.
This is Where SacWellness Comes in
There are lots of therapist directory sites like psychology today. But it occurred to me recently that there aren’t any that specifically service the greater Sacramento area. If you’re reading this you’re likely a therapist in the Sacramento area and you probably have a listing or two on one of these sites. This is good because they can bring you clients and can potentially increase your SEO. However, these sites are big, national, sometimes international businesses. From an SEO perspective, this is where SacWellness will have an advantage and a chance at eventually competing with big sites like psychology today in search queries for therapists in the greater Sacramento area.
They are spread too thin
Because they are so big, sites like Psychology Today are seen by Google as an amalgam of tons of different therapists from all over the world. They are big, and they are powerful, but overtime SacWellness has the potential to outperform them because it is a site specifically catered to finding therapists in Sacramento, Davis, Roseville, Elk Grove, Folsom, and surrounding areas. As such, Google will look at it as an authority on the subject of locating therapists in the our area. As opposed to big sites that google comparatively sees as authorities on the subject of finding therapists in lots of different areas.
To better understand this, it can be helpful to think of it this way: The primary job of Google and other search engines is to present their users with the best content that is most relevant to their search terms. If it was your job to provide someone with a directory of therapists, and you had the choice between a phone book that includes all therapists in the US and one that only contains therapists in that person’s area, which would you choose?
I started working on this site on 2/24/2018. This is my first blog entry. Lets see where this goes.
For more on how listing on SacWellness can help your google rankings see my next blog post: How This is Going to Work.
About the Author
Joe Borders is a marriage and family therapist located in Roseville and Sacramento. He is primarily a sex positive gender therapist, but also specializes in working with couples, teens, addiction, and the LGBTQ community. Joe is also the owner and founder of SacWellness. You can find out more about him by visiting his sacwellness listing or by visiting his website: therapy and counseling in Roseville and Sacramento