counselors & social media

The Four Biggest Social Media Mistakes Made by Therapists

Four Social Media Mistakes Therapists  AMplified Practice Coaching for Therapists.jpg

Lots of therapists want to start using social media to increase the reach of their online presence.  

But starting out on the wrong foot in social media can leave you spinning your wheels with ineffective strategy. 

All too often private practice counselors jump in too quickly and make one of these four mistakes in social media.  I'll outline them below to help you stay on the right track:

 

1.     Breaking Promises

Creating a consistent and credible online presence can really help you build trust with prospective clients.  This means following through on agreements can help build rapport even when you're not present.  

Unfortunately, it can also break trust and diminish credibility if you miss the mark.  

Case in point: breaking promises.  

When you create social media profiles for your business and especially when you link them to your website you are offering them as an opportunity for clients to connect.  

So if you aren't using the social media profile anymore, never have, or step away for a while it leaves a gap for the client.  

To keep your social media promises in this sense all you have to do is commit to posting daily on whatever platform you share with clients.  If you're not ready to commit to that kind of social media availability, wait until you are to move into this arena.

2.     Poor Boundaries

Boundaries are one of the biggest concerns most counselors face when considering social media marketing.  We worry about crossover from our personal accounts to our professional relationships.  

For this reason it's important you identify which accounts you want to use to market your practice and post only professional content. This increases credibility and helps keep a consistent message for prospective clients who want to work with you.

3.      Offputting Privacy Settings

The other way therapists often mis-use social media is by setting the wrong privacy boundaries.  Accounts on Twitter and Instagram you have the option for you to make your profile private.  When you are set on private others can see your profile picture, name, and that your profile is private.  

This is a great option if you plan to use the account for your personal life only.  It works well for twitter and instagram specifically because there really is no privacy on those sites if you choose to use them.  

However, if you want to direct your clients there either through links on your site or by using your therapy business name  or credentials in your account having a private account is confusing to your prospective clients.

This privacy block confuses prospective clients who think you're using twitter and instagram marketing and resource sharing.  For example, instead of using "Gina Senarighi MFT CPC" as my account name I might use "Gina Senarighi" only to help avoid crossover.  And instead of linking it to my professional website or email signature, I would only share it with friends and family.

Remember, even with your privacy set on these accounts twitter and instagram own the things you share and they can change their privacy settings anytime.  To be on the safe side I recommend you don't share anything you don't want clients to find online.  

4.     Wrong Target

The final social media mistake I see counselors in private practice making is simply not knowing who they are marketing to.  You can always create a strong presence online with social media casting a wide net, but each social media platform has a different reputation with specific audiences.  You can spend a lot of time and energy with little return this way.

If you want a more effective strategy you want to take time to research the different social media available and the audiences who engage most.  Some populations are online more than others and some platforms are more popular with teens or women while others are focused on tech professionals or social media geeks.  

 

Social media can definitely support your private practice growth.  Having a clear plan can help you use social media wisely to market your practice.  Take time creating a plan to you can make the most of your time using these great tools.  

If you want 1:1 help creating a social media plan that reaches the right clients for your practice schedule a consultation with me now.  I am happy to help.  

And if you want a supportive community to talk through marketing ideas join the conversation on the private Authentic Marketing for Therapists in Private Practice facebook group.


Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

How to Use Facebook Groups to Increase Therapy Client Referrals

Increase Therapy Client Referrals with Counseling Facebook Groups | Business Coaching for Therapists

Becoming an active member of social media groups is one way to increase credibility and referrals among mental health practitioners. It's the new business networking event- just without physical business cards.

It's pretty easy to make connections all over the globe and establish yourself as knowledgeable and reliable in private practice through facebook networking.  However, if you're not careful about HOW you write your introductions and responses you could be missing out on referrals and collaboration opportunities.

There are four important pieces of information that get left out in the online networking world. Be sure to include these to make the most of your online group memberships.

Four elements of a successful facebook group introduction for therapists:

1. My actual name (not my facebook alias) so other practitioners can find me, contact me, look me up for referrals

  • "My non-facebook name is Gina Senarighi"
  • "Offline I practice as Gina Senarighi"
  • "My name at work is Gina Senarighi"

2. My practice's geographic location so other practitioners know if clients are near me for better referrals

  • "I practice in Southeast Portland, Or"
  • "I have an office in University District and Green Lake neighborhoods in Seattle WA"
  • "I am moving to Pasadena, CA and could use help connecting with more clients and practitioners in the area."

3. A one sentence description of my ideal client

  • "I love working with women executives who are considering parenthood."
  • "I work with polyamorous couples"
  • "I love helping female combat vets return to life in the states"
  • "I help families of teens with autism navigate the healthcare system"

4. A link to your private practice website and facebook page (again, so referral sources can find you easily.

  • "You can read more about my work at www.amplifiedgood.com"
  • "Check out my new blog on my private practice site www.uncommonlovepdx.com"
  • "I have a few resources for clients in my focus area on my site www.amplifiedgood.com"

If you've already sent an introduction and your self critic is in full alarm "Oh no!  I did it wrong!"  Don't worry.  You can always re-introduce yourself.  Try something like this:

"Hi!  I wanted to send a quick hello to all of you to re-introduce my practice.  My offline name is Gina Senarighi, and I work with couples considering opening their relationships in Portland, Oregon and online.  If you're interested in learning more about these couples check out my website: www.uncommonlovepdx.com or give me a call- I love talking with other therapists about the work I do!"  

It's that simple.  

Making it as easy as possible for others to refer to you can greatly improve the referrals you receive through online networking groups.

Join the Authentic Marketing for Private Practice Facebook Group and try it out how!


Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

Eleven Therapists to Follow on Twitter

Therapists on Twitter | Amplified Practice Authentic Marketing & Business Coaching for Therapists

One of the concerns I hear most frequently from therapists is how to use social media for private practice and remain professional and ethical.  

Fortunately, there are many great examples of psychologists and counselors who are using social media ethically and have built a solid following.  

I often refer to the professionals listed here as role models of great twitter use by psychotherapists.  

11 Therapists to Follow on Twitter

@DrCraigMalkin – 18.1K followers

Craig Malkin might look familiar due to his regular publications, syndication, and TV appearances. Dr. Malkin earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2000.  One of his subjects of particular note is narcissism, and his 2013 article “Five Early Warning Signs You’re with a Narcissist” ended up going viral. Malkin’s book on the same topic is scheduled for release in 2015, but in the meantime his updates can be found on Twitter.

@KimBlackham - 5.4K followers

Kim Blackham LMFT doesn't have the same large following or years of experience as the others on this list, but I felt it important to mention her.  I have been following her twitter use for some time and am impressed at the sheer volume of quality content she posts both by sharing her own and retweeting others.  I have seen her following grow enormously in the short time I have known her and I am confident her following will soon outrank the others on this list.

@STurkle – 14.8K followers

Sherry Turkle’s area of interest is particularly relevant to our current era. She discusses people’s relationship to technology, so her Twitter feed is regularly filled with interesting tech-info. Turkle has written a number of books – such as Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other – and frequently appears in the media discussing claims that our fast-paced technological world may be leaving us lonelier and less able to really communicate with one another.

@MelissaMcCreery – 15.5K followers

Melissa McCreery investigates the psychology behind overeating based on her research as a Ph.D. and an M.A. in clinical psychology from Michigan State University. McCreery set up the website toomuchonherplate.com, which provides women with a tailored program to help them have power over their relationship with food. Her Twitter feed is an accessible selection of inspiring quotes, links and updates to aid dieters on their journey. 

@PsyBlog – 22.1K followers

Jeremy Dean established his PsyBlog website in 2004, and it has since gone on to attain more than one million hits a month. It has also been recognized by high-profile media outlets such as the BBC, the Los Angeles TimesThe Guardian, and The New York Times, among others. Dean decided to launch the site after becoming aware of the lack of intelligent and accessible news with a psychological slant. 

@Julie_Hanks - 10.9K followers

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, MSW, LCSW is a self-care evangelist, author, relationship expert, media contributor, blogger, speaker, songwriter, and licensed therapist with 20 year experience counseling women, couples and families. In addition to owning Wasatch Family Therapy, LLC and serving as executive director, Hanks is an emotional health and relationship expert on TV and radio. She also authored the book The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women.

@neuropsychblog – 29.8K followers

Psychology blogger Anthony Risser can be found writing at his BrainBlog website,neuropsychological.blogspot.com. Here, he provides educational articles to his readers, many of whom are students.  Risser has many years’ experience in the field of clinical neuropsychology and achieved his Ph.D. in the subject from the University of Victoria in 2004. His twitter following growth in a short time period is truly remarkable.

@amplifiedgood - 11.3K followers

Yeah, okay this is me from my private practice site, Amplified Good, but I thought this list could seem a little intimidating, I mean, all these folks have been at it for years.  That said, I think I am holding my own, in one year on twitter I grew my following from 0 to 2100, and in the last two months with focus I boosted well past my goal of 10K.  Check out my feed to see what I am doing with the social media knowledge I have gained.  

@DrMelanieG – 36.3K followers

Melanie Greenberg has a private clinic in California and is recognized worldwide for her work on  chronic pain, trauma, stress and coping strategies. She completed her psychology bachelor’s degree in South Africa and earned her Ph.D. at New York’s Stony Brook University. She has more than 50 academic pieces to her name and played a role in drawing up national protocols for the treatment of long-term pain. Greenberg is prolific on Twitter, having tweeted over 76,000 times.  She is also known as a role model for women in the field of social media for her use of twitter.

@drkkolmes – 87.5K followers

Keely Kolmes is an avid Twitter user – which is perhaps not surprising, considering the fact that one of her key research areas investigates the clinical and ethical concerns surrounding the internet and psychotherapy. This is precisely who she makes an excellent model to follow.  Kolmes owns a clinic in San Francisco where she treats clients for anxiety, sexual concerns, grief,  and more. In 2003 she obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology. She is an advisory member of Without My Consent, a hub of information and debate on online privacy incursions.

@RichardWiseman – 132K followers

Richard Wiseman started his career as a magician before taking up a degree in psychology at University College London and earning a psychology doctorate at the University of Edinburgh. He has been described as “the most interesting and innovative experimental psychologist in the world today.” He is currently Professor of Psychology at England’s University of Hertfordshire and has written half a dozen books discussing topics such as the paranormal, self-help, psychology and luck.  Needless to say, his tweets make very fascinating reading.

 

If you're interested in connecting with other therapists about social media use and authentic marketing for private practice join our Authentic Marketing for Therapists Facebook group. 

 
 



Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

Pinterest for Private Practice: Therapy Resource Boards

Counseling Practice and Pinterest | Amplified Practice Authentic Marketing & Business Coaching for Therapists

Pinterest is a simple and easy tool for sharing resources, articles, and recommendations among colleagues and with clients.  

Pinterest is also an excellent tool for increasing SEO and website traffic.  I receive more referrals to my site from Pinterest than any other social media source (twice as much). Pinterest images have really helped my site be found through google search in addition to my other SEO maximizing efforts.

The simplest way you can use pinterest for private practice is by starting resource collections.  Pinterest allows you to curate boards based on your interests.  I recommend starting a board for each of the interests you've identified as a part of your client niche.

Here are a few great examples of therapists using pinterest for private practice: 

Therapy Resources

Psychoeducational Self-Help Worksheets/Handouts Board
http://www.pinterest.com/judybelmont/psychoeducational-self-help-worksheetshandouts/

Counseling and Mental Health Tips and Tools Board
http://www.pinterest.com/judybelmont/counseling-and-mental-health-tips-and-tools/

Art Therapy Board
http://www.pinterest.com/mcca11/art-therapy/

Art Therapy Prompts Board
http://www.pinterest.com/cathymalchiodi/art-therapy-prompts/

Couples Counseling Resource Board

http://www.pinterest.com/amplifiedgood/couples-counseling-resources/

Psychotherapy Psychology and Wellness Blogs Board

http://www.pinterest.com/judybelmont/psychotherapy-psychology-and-wellness-blogs-videos/

Dr Brene’ Brown’s Pinterest Boards

http://www.pinterest.com/brene/


coach for therapists | therapy practice

Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

The Best Pinterest Boards on Counseling and Mental Health

Mental Health on PInerest | Amplified Practice Authentic Marketing & Business Coaching for Therapists

Are you using Pinterest for Private Practice?

is an great tool for sharing resources, articles, and recommendations among colleagues and with clients.  As a professional who is new to social media it can be difficult to know where to start.  

Fortunately, Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media platforms and by far the easiest to use. For therapists concerned with dual relationships, or boundary concerns with clients, Pinterest's limited messaging (now) and commenting functions make it  easier to use as a resource sharing forum rather than an interactive setting (like twitter or Facebook).  

Pinterest is also an excellent tool for sharing your blogs and posts.  I receive twice as many referrals to my counseling practice site from Pinterest than any other social media.  

Pinterest images have helped my site be found through google image search in addition to my other SEO maximizing efforts.

And for me, it is the easiest and most fun to use.  

Check out the great example boards to see a few colleagues who are sharing useful content on Pinterest

Psychology

Positive Med Psychology Board

http://www.pinterest.com/positivemed/psychology/

Brainworks Rehab Psychology Board 

http://www.pinterest.com/brainworksrehab/psychology/

Dr Brene' Brown

http://www.pinterest.com/brene/

Rehab Center's Psychology Board

http://www.pinterest.com/rehabcenternet/psychology/

Mental Health

Mental Health Issues Board

http://www.pinterest.com/playheals/mental-health-issues/

Mental Health Stigma Board 

http://www.pinterest.com/healthyplace/mental-health-stigma-stand-up-for-mental-health/

Counseling Practices

Laura Nelson's Counseling Board 

http://www.pinterest.com/lolauranelson/counseling/

Brittany Noll-Cooper's School Counseling Board 

http://www.pinterest.com/bcooper85/counseling/

Danielle Maggiore's Counseling Board 

http://www.pinterest.com/danielle101183/counseling/

Becky Wiginton's Counseling Board 

http://www.pinterest.com/becky_wiginton/counseling/

Amplified Good 

http://www.pinterest.com/amplifiedgood

build a private practice | start counseling practice

Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.