Marketing plays an important role in the success of any speech therapy private practice because private practices need clients to generate income. Since very few speech-language pathologists have backgrounds in marketing, they are often intimidated by marketing and hesitate to promote their private practices. Private practitioners want to get more referrals via word of mouth but in order to get those referrals, you need to actively market your practice first.
Just like you learned how to become an SLP, you can learn how to market your private practice in terms of becoming findable by your ideal client population, building a strong online presence, and developing relationships with other professionals who can refer clients to your practice. All of these methods combined will lead to word of mouth referrals.
As a private practice owner, you have a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of patients in your community – but they have to know about you in order to hire you.
In this blog post, we will delve into nine proven marketing strategies that can supercharge referrals to your speech therapy private practice practice so that you can attract potential clients, garner positive reviews, and help more people.
1. Develop a Website That Will Attract Ideal Clients
Your website serves as the digital face of your speech therapy practice. Websites market your practice for you – even in the middle of the night! Your website is the first place that potential clients will see, so you want to make sure that you have content and images that appeal to your ideal client. Ensure your website includes easy to understand information about what population(s) you serve and what services you offer. Additionally, make sure you have a professional bio and photo so that they can decide if they think you’re the right person to help them. Don’t forget to add your preferred contact information and compelling marketing materials like testimonials.
Pro-Tip: Don’t stress about your private practice website! You need to have one BUT it doesn’t have to be perfect or expensive! Think about it as a digital brochure. You can always add to your website later or hire a graphic designer to improve it once you have the revenue to reinvest in your business.
2. Improve Your Local Search Engine Optimization
In topic #1, we talked about the importance of a website that appeals to your ideal clients. But in order for clients to actually see your website, you have to make sure that you’re using effective search engine optimization (SEO) to boost your practice’s visibility in online search results. The easiest ways to boost your SEO are to claim your Google My Business listing, sprinkle targeted keywords throughout your website (ex. Austin Speech Therapy), and encourage happy clients to leave Google reviews. This will enhance your online reputation and help your private practice website appear in the first few pages of local search results.
Pro-Tip: Our industry is not nearly as competitive as say, lawyers or pizza restaurants. Even just a few small tweaks to your website can boost your SEO and help your website come up in the top search results.
3. Create Social Media Profiles and Post Content
Posting about your speech therapy private practice on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram provides an excellent opportunity to connect with your ideal clients and boost awareness of your practice. Since you have limited time as a private practice owner, focus on creating profiles and content on platforms where your ideal clients (or their parents!) are most likely to be.
4. Local Parent Facebook Groups
Parent Facebook Groups are a great way to connect with potential clients in your area who need services. Join and actively participate in local parent Facebook groups by listing your information when people ask if anyone knows a local speech-language pathologist and offering valuable advice to demonstrate your expertise. Engaging with these communities can establish you as a trusted resource and lead potential clients to inquire about your speech therapy services.
Pro-Tip: Realize that Facebook groups are like search engines! When someone is looking for a speech therapist, they may search the group for “speech therapy” and if your posts, comments, etc. pop up, they are more likely to contact you.
5. Build Relationships with Professionals Who Can Refer Clients To You
Often the best referrals come from professions who know you and the quality of the care you provide. Nurture relationships with local healthcare professionals, schools, and other referral sources serving your target audience. Collaborative referral partnerships can be a steady source of new patients.
6. Collect Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients are powerful marketing tools. Request feedback from happy clients and prominently showcase these testimonials in your marketing materials and on your website.
Pro-Tip: Google Reviews help your SEO!
7. Invest in Paid Advertising
Consider running online advertising campaigns, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, to target specific demographics in your area. These paid ads can effectively drive traffic to your website and generate leads.
Pro-Tip: Google Ads are often the advertising mechanism of choice for private practitioners who offer telepractice, as it allows you to show up at the top of search engine results in other locations.
8. Write Informative Blog Posts
Blogging is a great tool to showcase your expertise and increase your private practice search engine optimization (SEO). Create a blog on your website and publish informative articles about speech therapy, communication tips, and real success stories, recommended toys, etc. High-quality content not only attracts potential clients but also establishes you as an authority in the field of speech therapy.
Pro-Tip: Not sure what to write for your blog post? Write posts that answer the most frequent questions you get from parents. Then, when another parent asks you what toys you recommend for kids with communication difficulties, you can send them a link to your blog post that covers that! Not more reinventing the wheel!
9. Host or Present at Educational Workshops and Conferences
Educational events such as workshops and presentations allow you to showcase your expertise and attract potential clients. Cover topics related to speech therapy, offer practical advice, and provide opportunities for attendees to ask questions. Mention that you’re a speech-language pathologist in private practice and make sure you share your contact information at the end. If people want to hire you, they’ll come find you.
Pro-Tip: Paid presentations can be a great source of extra referrals and become an additional income stream!
In conclusion, your private practice needs clients to stay in business and using effective marketing strategies is how you’ll build your caseload. As a healthcare professional, the recommended marketing strategies covered in this article will help you attract new clients, enhance your online reputation, and ultimately help more clients who need speech therapy services to get the help they need.
Remember: If people don’t know about you, they can’t hire you and you can help them! Word of mouth marketing doesn’t happen on its own. You have to spread the word and actively market your speech therapy private practice.
Jena Castro-Casbon, MS CCC-SLP, is a private practice consultant, author, and speaker, known for founding Independent Clinician—an online education platform dedicated to helping SLPs and OTs establish, expand, and succeed in their private practices. With a mission to enable numerous SLPs and OTs to start their practices annually, Jena offers comprehensive programs like The Start Your Private Practice and Grow Your Private Practice Programs. She’s a sought-after speaker at ASHA conferences, sharing her insights on starting and growing private practices, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Jena also hosts the Private Practice Success Stories podcast and engages with her audience across various social media platforms. Residing in Newton, Massachusetts, with her wife and two sons, Jena is committed to empowering therapists to thrive in the private practice realm.