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  • Writer's pictureMike Zoladkowski

How to get first therapy clients

Learn how to get first therapy/coaching clients and jumpstart your business, even if you don't have any clients.

You’ve just started your own therapy/coaching business. That’s awesome, congratulations! Now, your obvious next step is to get some patients/clients, right?

While we are absolutely certain that GoogleAds, along with local SEO, can get you new clients on auto-pilot, we understand you may not be ready for this investment, especially if you've just started.

That’s why we’ve made this short guide so that you know where to look for the first clients. In this post, we will show you four great sources of therapy/coaching clients that you can use at the beginning of your new career. Let's jump right to it!

Before you start therapist marketing - free clients + niche

No one wants to hear it, but if you are at the very beginning, with no experience and no clients, you most likely will have to take at least two clients for free. Otherwise, you will find it extremely difficult to find people willing to trust you and pay for it at the same time. The good news is, if you're smart about it, this will be your problem only for two or three months.

The second question you should consider is niching down. If you want to sell your therapy/coaching services, you must be as relevant to your target audience as possible. Talking to everyone is talking to no one.

Think of your niche:

  • What are you good at?

  • Who can benefit the most from your help?

  • Why them?

Answering these questions will help you make your messaging more focused and relevant. Plus, you will find it easier to look for potential clients. How so? When you know who you want to work with, it's easier to figure out where you can find them. Some people will tell you to cast a wide net, but it's not always effective. Oftentimes, it's easier to catch a fish in a small pond, not in an ocean.

therapy marketing: niche down

Keeping these two points in mind, let's get down to business:

Marketing for therapists: Your personal network

Tell everyone you know that you're starting a coaching/therapy business. Think of who you know and who might benefit from your help. Consider the following groups of people:

  • Family

  • Friends

  • Fellow students at school/university

  • Your current workplace (and old workplaces!)

  • Social media connections (Facebook, LinkedIn)

Usually, someone knows someone :) What's very helpful, especially at the beginning, is to always mention that you're willing to take two or three clients for free. For one thing, you've just started, so you surely need some practice, and secondly, people will be more willing to give you a shot if they know there are no costs involved.

therapist marketing free traffic

Advertising for therapists: Facebook groups

That's another fantastic source of potential clients. Here, you should focus on two different types of Facebook groups:

1. Therapy/coaching groups

Networking with other therapists/coaches is always a good idea. Many of those experienced specialists look for new people to work with or to refer excess patients to. You can join such groups operating in your country/area and introduce yourself. Tell others why you want to offer therapy/coaching services. Explain what makes you stand out. Perhaps you work in a very specific niche, and you will be able to fill some market gap.

If you have time, try to actively participate in diverse discussions. Show your expertise and commitment. If you see that someone is looking for additional help - be first to respond with a really good offer.

2. Niche groups

Secondly, concentrate on niche groups. Think of your ideal client (at least for now), and be where they usually are. For example, if you live in a country where there are many immigrants, this could be an interesting niche. Many people who recently came to a new country could use additional psychological support. You can offer it to them and get first positive reviews (and maybe even referrals!).

Of course, it's just an example. The point is that you should narrow your offer down. This is what I mentioned in the introduction to this post. Think who can benefit from your help the most. Surely, there are some areas that you feel especially comfortable with - think about them and start there. It's easier to offer your services to potential clients when you do so with a specific target audience, and your offer is tailored to their needs.

Therapist marketing: Online directories

You can easily find online platforms for therapists and coaches. Many people use them or at least look for reviews on them. Some examples of such groups include:

  • Psychology Today

  • TherapyRoute

  • GoodTherapy

Go there and explore available options. Some of those platforms offer basic profiles even for free, although usually, it's a good idea to pay more for a profile that gives you more marketing options.

See what you can do to promote yourself on such platforms and do so actively and regularly.

Start building your free online presence

Running a Facebook fanpage or an Instagram profile doesn't cost you anything but your time. Come up with a good idea on what you want to tackle on your social media profiles, and start writing. Don't forget about making your posts attractive from a visual perspective. Nice photos and infographics are what you need.

Of course, if you have no audience, for some time, you will have to write just for yourself. But you can slowly build your audience by being active in other groups. Refer people to your fanpage (but only after you've published some good content on it), and they will slowly start coming. You can also think of running cheap Facebook Ads campaigns to attract more people. Start with a really small budget to see what the results are.

However, what's crucial is to start promoting your fanpage only once there is some really good content on it! People won't like or follow a page that's empty or boring. Imagine you already have a big audience and write for them. Once you have around ten really nice posts, you can start promoting your page/profile.

personal brand for a therapist

Other sources of new therapy clients

The sources I listed above are undoubtedly your best options. Start with them, and you will be able to find your first client rather quickly. However, there are also other options! If you'd like to know more, I encourage you to download our free guide on how to get therapy/coaching clients.

You can download it completely for free in two versions (mobile and desktop). I hope this guide will help you get your first several clients:

Get clients on auto-pilot

Although the methods I outlined in this post can be effective, and you definitely should try them, especially at the beginning of your journey, in the long-term perspective, you need more. You need a strategy that will allow you to get clients on auto-pilot. This is where our role begins. If you already have three or four regular clients on a retainer, it's time to invest in paid strategies, especially Google Ads and local SEO.

marketing for therapist

Do you want to know more? Schedule a free consultation today:


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