4 Common Marketing Myths in Private Practice

Your money mindset impacts the ways you think about, feel about, and interact with your money. It sets the tone for what you think you can earn as a clinician, what you’re “allowed” to spend that money on, and what things you can consider to be a “good” use of your income. 

As health and wellness entrepreneurs, our money mindset inevitably impacts our relationship with marketing. Why? Because marketing is intrinsically tied to sales. For most health and wellness professionals, the word “sales” brings up a sense of queasiness because it’s associated with being pushy or manipulating someone into buying something they don’t need. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Common Marketing Myths, Busted

Let’s get into some of the most common marketing myths impacted by our money mindset, including tips on overcoming them.

Myth #1:  Marketing is sleazy.

This belief is rooted in another money mindset myth—that money is evil or bad, or that wanting money makes you greedy. Let’s remember that money isn’t inherently bad. You can earn a sustainable living and make a difference for your clients. You can charge a profitable rate and serve those in your community. When you shift your mindset from “marketing is sleazy” to “good marketing helps clients find ideal providers,” you make it easier for the folks who need your expertise to find you. 

Myth #2: Social media marketing is the only way to get clients.

This is also a money-mindset block that commonly shifts into a marketing block. In the money mindset space, this sounds like “budgeting is the only way to be good at money.” But any time I see an absolute statement—like always or never—in relation to marketing, my ears perk up. We have to include room for nuance in a lot of areas of our work, and the same goes for your marketing strategy. Social media can be a great avenue to bring clients into your practice, but it’s not the only way. Spend some time thinking about your strengths, and how you can use those in creative ways to find your ideal client

Myth #3: Buying ads is the best use of your marketing budget.

Terms like “best” are absolute-adjacent, and I’m equally wary of them. Ads can be a great marketing strategy for some practices, but not all ads are created equal—and they certainly aren’t cut and paste. Each platform that you advertise on uses different methods to get your ad in front of the right people. 

An ad on Google is based on search terms, like “anxiety therapist Iowa,” or “therapist open weekends.” This ad strategy is very different from social media ads on Facebook or Pinterest, which target your ads to people based on their user history and interests. For example, someone who follows outdoor adventure accounts or self-care for mom influencers might be shown an ad like “Stop knee pain on hikes,” or “Free download: 10 self-care tips for new moms.” 

Without a solid understanding of the platform you’re advertising on, it can be easy to purchase an online ad without intention and essentially light your money on fire. Instead, think about why you’re gravitating toward ads in the first place. Are you afraid you’re not getting clients quickly enough? Is it because someone told you ads were a “surefire way” to drive clients into your practice? Instead of acting out of financial fear or anxiety, sit with your “why” before investing in digital ads. And if it’s still the right choice for you, make sure you do your research so your ad money is really working for you. 

Myth #4: You have to be creative to be good at marketing.

This belief is rooted in the idea that the only entrepreneurs who are “good” entrepreneurs are the ones who are highly extroverted—which isn’t true. Lots of wellness entrepreneurs are introverted, identify as highly sensitive, or prefer a more subtle approach to marketing. And they all still drive aligned clients into their practices. 

This is where being your genuine self can help bring ideal clients into your practice. Your aligned clients might not resonate with the psychotherapist who is mock-rocking to today’s pop music—they might be more inclined to read a blog post on mindfulness tips. Again, spend some time identifying where your strengths are, but also spend some time thinking about what your clients would benefit from. If you aren’t creating content with your clients in mind, they won’t get what you hope from it. 

How to Overcome Unhelpful Thoughts

Marketing doesn’t always yield immediate results, which can be frustrating. But as healthcare entrepreneurs, this is something we’re familiar with. We don’t tell our clients that one session will immediately address their concerns. There aren’t quick small fixes that turn everything around. It’s about small habits stack one on top of the other that create lasting results, and the same goes for your marketing. When done well, your marketing can help you find your ideal clients—even if it takes some time. 

When you find yourself thinking unhelpful thoughts about marketing, like “marketing is manipulative,” stop for a second. Ask yourself if you’re being manipulative in your content. Is it manipulative to let a primary care provider know that you offer services that might benefit their clients? The answer is likely no. 

My advice to practitioners struggling with their marketing strategies is to invest in a well-thought-out, easy-to-navigate website. Make this your “marketing home.” A good website offers a clear picture of who you are, what services you offer, and gives those clients a simple way to request an appointment with you. Even if you pursue nothing else, at least your clients have a way to get to know you—and more importantly, a way to reach out. 

If you want to expand your marketing beyond that, think about the places you enjoy getting your own content. Do you love following inspiring, artistic accounts on social media? Do you like listening to new studies via a podcast, or do you love receiving a thoughtfully curated newsletter to your inbox? Figure out what feels natural and aligned for you, and put your energy there. When you do that, marketing will feel less like a chore, and more like a genuine extension of yourself and your practice. 

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