The biggest hurdles around marketing for most therapists in private practice are about showing up and being seen in the world.
It's terrifying for most of us, after all our years of disappearing and trying to be neutral to share our voice in the world. It's doubly terrifying to share our voice in such a large public forum as the world wide web.
And yet, having a website is essential to filling a private practice in our modern world. Not having a site, relying only on Psychology Today, and networking only with business cards is not a sustainable model.
While the business and marketing training I took helped me grow my practice enormously, the biggest challenges for me were also about showing up, letting my voice be heard, and sharing a little bit more online.
I was in the midst of this struggle when I trained with Dr. Brene Brown to become a Daring Way Facilitator. The curriculum I learned there revolutionized the way I see vulnerability, courage and showing up in my business and marketing.
I've led countless trainings for therapists based on this material since, and have learned I was not alone. Most counseling professionals have paralyzing fears about beeing seen, showing off, or playing big in marketing a private practice.
While most of us have watched Brene's infamous TED Talk, most therapists haven't seen this talk she gave to an audience of creatives at the 99U conference in 2013. I find it especially applicable to the kind of creativity and courage we are working with as therapist bloggers.
The three main critics you want to watch out for when you start showing up more are
Shame will sneak in and tell you, you are not worthy of this online space, no one cares, and you will just sound arrogant/ignorant/or something else awful. It wants you to question you and your blog's value.
Scarcity wants you to worry about the resources available to you. It will tell you there aren't enough clients to go around, you don't have enough time or energy, you don't know enough. Scarcity wants you to play small.
Comparison will lie to you. They will say someone else is doing this better than you. They have prettier graphics, more followers, more credentials. Comparison tells you that everyone else has already said or done something better than you ever could. Comparison wants you stuck in place.
In the video Brene suggests naming the critics when they show up to help reclaim your power.
Instead of trying to ignore these critics or letting them overpower you, tell them, "I see you, I hear you, but I'm going to do this anyway. I am not interested in your feedback."
And rely on friends, empathetic colleagues, and authentic supporters who can help hold you up when you fall. If you need more community, you may want to join the Blog Brave Group Coaching Program to get your blog rolling with courage and integrity in 2016.
Or, if you're interested in getting the support of a private practice coach, set up a Dream Practice Consultation to see how I can be this kind of supporter for you.
Finally, as you begin daring to show up online it is essential you have a solid self-compassion practice in place. Because we are our own worst critics being able to practice self-compassion is both one of the most challenging parts of this curriculum and the most valuable.
Take these suggestions to heart as you start your courageous blogging practice. If you want to share marketing and other showing up success stories join us in the Authentic Marketing for Therapists private facebook group. We want to cheer you on!
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.