Marketing and Advertising Yourself
In order to build and sustain a private practice, you need to market yourself. There are many types of marketing strategies out there, and it may be worth attending a CPD workshop that focuses specifically on this.
* Your best marketing tool is likely to be your own website. There are lots of real-life examples online that may assist you in deciding how to design and word yours. There are also plenty of websites aimed at helping you create your own. If you like a particular therapist’s website, you might consider emailing them to ask whether they would be happy to share details of their designer. It may also be wise to consider Search Engine Optimisation as you write you website such that it achieves a high search ranking.
* You may choose to join a referral directory. Metanoia’s own referral directory is a very good way of ensuring that your name and contact details get out there and is open to any graduates of Metanoia. You can find joining details by clicking here.
* You can use social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin to link back to your website. It does, however, require some time and effort to create something that will really draw people’s attention in.
* You might connect and network with local health professionals in your area such as GPs, specialist agencies, Employee Assistance Programs, and other counsellors and therapists.
* You could consider offering workshops at conferences in your local area. These are often free or low cost to attend and may generate interest from potential clients or via referrals from other practitioners.
* Consider writing for a therapy journal or a newspaper or magazine.
Whatever you do to market yourself, remember that you must not say anything online or in print which could mislead a lay person as to your qualifications or experience. For example, if you are a student member of a professional body, such as BACP, UKCP or BPS, but you are not accredited by them, please state clearly that you are a student member, and do not use acronyms in a way which could give a false impression. Equally, when listing details of academic qualifications, please state the subject of degrees and other higher education awards so that if they are not counselling or psychotherapy qualifications, they cannot be misconstrued as such. You should not use testimonials from clients in your advertising material.
If you do not have a counselling or psychotherapy qualification, Metanoia Institute holds the position that you may only advertise yourself in the following ways, as appropriate:
Counsellor in Training
Psychotherapist in Training
Student Counselling Psychologist
Counselling Psychologist in Training
If you have any queries about how you may represent yourself, please contact your primary tutor or programme leader. Metanoia Institute’s code of professional practice, which includes a section on how to advertise yourself, can be found by clicking here.