June 18, 2024

Episode 69:

Should Social Media Be Where You Spend Your Time Marketing?

In this episode, I’ll discuss how to determine if social media should be where you’re spending your time and effort.

Episode 69: Should Social Media Be Where You Spend Your Time Marketing?

Show Notes

Welcome back to the Designer Practice Podcast and I’m your host Kayla Das.

Marketing is an inevitable part of running a private practice. But where should you focus your time and effort? Should it be on social media?

In this episode, I’ll discuss how to determine if social media should be where you’re spending your time and effort to grow your private practice.

Social Media and Private Practice

Social media is a great tool for marketing private practices. However, it may not be the right tool for every therapist or every private practice. I’ve heard therapists say when they first started out, others would tell them that they have to be on social media platforms in order to get clients, even when it didn’t feel right for them.

And they asked me if they actually need to be on social media. And my answer is no.

Honestly, I don’t believe that one marketing strategy is better than another, or that we need to focus all of our attention on a specific marketing initiative for it to work. I believe that there is more to the equation than just the marketing initiative itself.

4 Key Elements that Make Marketing Successful

There are four key elements that make any marketing initiative successful.

First, knowing who you’re trying to attract through your marketing, in other words, knowing your private practice niche.

Two, the consistency of showing up or working on that particular marketing initiative.

Three, tracking if you’re actually getting the results from the marketing initiative. In other words, are you getting clients by it?

And, that you somewhat like or at least tolerate the marketing initiative at hand.

Know Your Private Practice Niche

So first let’s talk about knowing your private practice niche. So, it’s no secret that I strongly believe that by targeting your marketing towards a specific type of client helps bring in more clients than being too general or broad. And that’s because when a client is searching for a therapist or coach, they are looking for help with a specific issue or problem, not a general one. And as a result, when they see an advertisement by a therapist that speaks about their particular concern, they are more likely to connect with that post and reach out for services.

Another important piece to knowing your ideal client is that you learn more about where your ideal client shows up and where they spend their time. And when you know where they are, you’ll have a pretty good idea of where you should spend your time and effort in marketing your practice.

For example, if you work with teenagers who experience trauma, then you’re going to advertise your services differently and in different places than if you work with patients in palliative care, because how they seek services and where they show up will be vastly different.

Because I think the topic of niching is so important, I actually have a full episode on this topic. So, if you haven’t already checked it out, check out Episode 22: How Choosing a Niche can Help you Grow your Private Practice.

Consistency with Marketing

The second element is consistency, because the more consistent you are in showing up and working on a particular marketing initiative, the more chances your ideal client will see you and remember you when they need services.

In the marketing world, there is a philosophy called the rule of seven, where a person needs to see you at least seven times before they will reach out to you for service. I know as a consumer myself; I rarely purchase something or reach out to someone the first time I see their advertisement. Unless I’m actively searching for or in emergent need of that particular service, then I might just reach out to the first person that I find.

But many prospective clients are not going to be in an emergent need, although some might be. So, some prospective clients may do background research on different therapists and practices such as checking out profiles, websites, business social media accounts, and so forth. While others may not even realize that therapy is an option for them, or they might not be ready for therapy at this time. So, when they see your consistent marketing efforts, and when they are ready for a therapist, you’re going to come top of mind.

From my experience as a business coach, this happens all the time. I would say 80 percent of my clients have said that they’ve been following me for a while before reaching out to work with me. Whether they’re reading my blogs, following my podcast, or seeing my social media posts, when they are ready to work with a business coach, I come first of mind. And it is because I consistently show up that it built trust with them.  

Get Results

Next, any marketing initiative you do should ultimately get you results and directly or indirectly bring in clients to your practice.

Now it’s unrealistic to think that results will happen overnight with any marketing initiative. It does take time for most marketing initiatives to start working. For instance, if we go back to the Rule of 7, if it takes someone seven times to see your advertisements before they reach out. This means it could take days, weeks, and even some cases months before you see massive results. But staying consistent, even during the lull times is important for it to start working.

But there is a point if we’re consistently showing up, but not getting the results that we were hoping for, then we have to evaluate why it’s not working and shift our focus. Shifting our focus may include changing how we use the marketing initiative, when we use it. and if we use it. Another important part is also acknowledging knowing when we need to enlist help, such as hiring someone to help us with a specific marketing initiative or just marketing overall.

Like or at Least Tolerate the Marketing Initiative 

So, the final element, which I think it’s overlooked a lot, is do you like or at the very least find the marketing initiative tolerable? It’s hard to remain consistent and to get results when every part of a particular marketing initiative you dread and you find it so intolerable. If you dread it, you’re probably going to procrastinate it or just not do it at all. Or feel terrible about it when you do it, even if you’re getting results from it. Now I do want to be clear that I’m not saying that you need to be in love with any particular marketing strategy, because for some, marketing is their least favorite part of business next to accounting.

So, it’s important to try different marketing methods, even if you feel a little uncomfortable about it at first. Because sometimes that uncomfortable piece is just because we’re unaware of what it takes to do that marketing initiative, but we feel more comfortable with time.

But if you absolutely hate it, and you continually walk away feeling frustrated, anxious, or angry every time you do it, especially after you’ve tried it over and over, it just may not be the marketing initiative that’s for you. And that’s okay.

So let me give you a personal example. When I first started my business coaching practice, I followed all the gurus that said the only way to successfully market a practice is by hosting events in real time, such as in person workshops, live webinars, or uncut social media reels. But regardless of how many times I did it or how many clients I got from it, I always left the event feeling anxious and I would be unable to do any other work for the remainder of the day. I had to just sit down and decompress. I worried about what I said at the event, or how I said things, and I’d wonder if the event provided enough value for participants to walk away satisfied. It honestly was a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. And after I stopped worrying about the event itself, I actually started worrying more about how I spent the rest of the day doing nothing because I thought it was the only way that I could grow my practice. And because I felt I couldn’t do it I was doubting my abilities big time.

But then I tried podcasting, where I can pre-record and edit content and essentially give my own stamp of approval before anyone else hears it. That excited me and energized me and I noticed that I did like to be heard Just on my own times and not live. So, I hope that this particular example help you if there’s some marketing initiative that just doesn’t sit right with you, because it’s just about finding what does fit with you. Not necessarily about just trying to fit yourself into a box because someone told you, you should.

So, I want to go back and say, of course, recording, editing, and launching my first few episodes had its own frustrations and anxieties, but I found it was a very, very different experience than when I went live. I didn’t dread it. I didn’t need to decompress afterwards, and I didn’t feel burnt out because of it. And once I had gotten into the groove of things of how to record, edit, and launch podcast episodes I enjoyed the process. So let me tell you that for me going live was not the only way that I could build my business.

And so, what does all of this have to do with social media?

Well, these elements can help you determine whether you should spend time marketing your private practice on social media or not.

So, let me explain.

Social Media and Your Time

Your time is valuable, so focusing on doing the things that bring in clients is paramount, so social media can be a great tool for marketing a private practice, but only if there’s a strategy behind it and that the four elements are present.

If you know your ideal client well, you’re going to have an easier time gaining likes and followers on social media because your content will be more aligned with their needs. When you know who your ideal client is, you can learn more about the things that they are going through so that you can start posting topics to help address those concerns. This helps decrease the amount of time and effort you’ll need to put into coming up with post ideas. And because you know the issues or needs of your ideal client, it is much easier to stay consistent with posting because you have a flow of ideas.

Also, when you know who your ideal client is, you can also gain a better idea of which social media platforms that your ideal client is on, if they’re on any at all. Because if your ideal client is not typically on a specific social media platform, then it might not be where you should be spending the bulk of your time, because regardless of how often you post, they’ll never see it.

To get results on social media, you’ll need to focus on two things simultaneously. Building social media followers and posting engaging content. So, when you start using social media to market your private practice, you’ll need followers to see your posts, but you’ll also need posts to grow your followers. People are unlikely to follow a social media page with no posts or unengaging posts. And engaging posts builds the know, like, and trust factor so that people will follow you. But that also means that when you start posting on social media, you’re not going to see immediate results because you’ll need to build your followers first.

So, when considering whether you should be focusing your time on social media, it’s to know that it’s a long game, that includes promoting your social media accounts to get followers, while simultaneously posting so that you have engaging content.

And finally, think to yourself, do I like or could even tolerate posting on social media? Like I said before, it’s advisable to try marketing initiatives that are outside of your comfort zone. But if you find that regardless of how often you do it, it just doesn’t feel right to you and you constantly feel frustrated, overwhelmed, or burnt out by doing it. Then maybe shifting how much time you spend doing it, whether you want to hire someone to do it for you, or if you just want to not do it at all, this is something that you need to consider.


So overall, social media is a great marketing tool, but whether or not you should be spending your time on it depends on where your ideal clients show up, whether you have the capacity to post consistently, your strategy for building followers so that you get results, and whether you feel posting on social media is tolerable.

Social media marketing isn’t right for every person or every practice, and that’s okay. There’s no right or wrong way to market a private practice, there’s just your way. In addition, I believe that there’s not just one magic strategy for growing private practices, because whether a strategy will work or not depends on these four elements.

So, I hope this episode helped break down how you can determine whether social media is where you should be spending your time and effort to market your private practice.

Thanks for tuning into today’s episode. And if you like this episode or the designer practice podcast overall, and you’re listening on a major podcasting platform, please click subscribe to follow the podcast so you don’t miss a thing

Until next time. Bye for now.

Podcast Links

Free Boosting Business Community: facebook.com/groups/exclusiveprivatepracticecommunity

Open Path Psychotherapy Collective: kayladas.com/openpath

Designer Practice Digital Template Shop: designerpractice.etsy.com

Credits & Disclaimers

Music by ItsWatR from Pixabay

The Designer Practice Podcast and Evaspare Inc. has an affiliate and/or sponsorship relationship for advertisements in our podcast episodes. We receive commission or monetary compensation, at no extra cost to you, when you use our promotional codes and/or check out advertisement links.

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