I have used videos in many ways to grow and attract an audience. When I started using videos early in my private practice, I used it to gain clients by providing visitors to my website, a video ‘’’snapshot” of who I was as a person. The goal of the videos embedded in my website were to visually engage visitors while developing a virtual connection with them. And it worked! Those who scheduled a first time appointments commented about my video. They liked the film location, my professional presentation, and the overall feel of the video.
I first learned the value of video marketing when I attended a conference for real-estate agents and other business owners. The presenters preached the power of video marketing and how the next generation of consumers will rely on short videos and social media to influence how they spend their money. And O…M…G, the presenters were absolutely correct; and research backs up their claim! In fact, when I started my private practice months later, I released several poorly edited videos about parenting, counseling and “creating emotional safety with teens.” With those videos, my practice went from 10 clients a week to 28 in two months.
From that moment on, I became an advocate for clinicians in private practice who utilize videos to reach potential clients. Please see video→
Primary social media platform
YouTube is my primary social media platform. Other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are means to guide people to my website. My website is where I attempt to convert visitors to clients with engaging videos and relevant content.
Unfortunately, many mental health professionals are still reluctant to utilize videos and YouTube as part of their marketing. Many mental health professionals are concerned about compromising client confidentiality and engaging with clients outside the therapeutic setting. Clinicians are often fearful that their current or potential clients will engage with them via social media–this is certainly a valid concern! I was concerned about this as well.
There is nothing private about social media. Do not be fooled into thinking that the privacy settings on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube etc., will ensure privacy–sorry it just doesn’t! Being slightly paranoid in this aspect can actually be beneficial for clinicians because it forces them to be mindful of what is appropriate and inappropriate to post and share on social media. In fact, you should have a social media policy and process it with your clients (Crap! That reminds me that I have to upload my policy on my website).
I highly recommend that if you have a YouTube video, uncheck the “allow comments” section.
You can find this section in edit mode of your video, under advanced setting.
In addition, when you are posting content on social media, you must ask yourself– is this going to cause harm or compromise the confidentiality of my clients? We are responsible for what we post on social media. We have to consider the possible consequences as it relates to our clinical work. When in doubt, consult with a few trusted colleagues or your regulatory board.
How I built up my caseload with videos on social media
I want to be clear that I’ve never gotten direct therapy clients from my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. However, through social media, I’ve developed relationships with organizations and groups who became my referral sources. The beauty and usefulness of social media is not that you can post a picture of your lunch or share your political and religious opinions, or even show off a stunning selfie. Instead, I believe, social media provides us the opportunity to build virtual relationships. These virtual relationships can lead to actual partnerships, business opportunities, networks, professional collaboration and support systems.
The only way I got clients from social media was when organizations, colleagues and referral sources who I have a relationship with, posted my videos (i.e. parenting, communication and family related topics) on their social media platform. For example, I developed a relationship with a Christian church close to my office. This church has their own Facebook and Twitter with about 1000 followers and “friends.” After developing a relationship with that church, they consistently posted my videos on their social media platforms. If I needed promotion about a workshop relevant for their community, they posted it on their Facebook and Twitter and encouraged their followers to “check out my website”—that’s how I got clients from social media.
I was also strategic about how I share my content. I embedded my videos in my email signature. I created a picture with a play button just under my signature and linked my YouTube video to that picture. When people received emails from me, they have the option to view a video about my practice.
Having a YouTube video that can be easily emailed, texted, tweeted and posted from your phone, computer and tablet is much more convenient than giving out multiple business cards—besides, not everyone will have their business cards on hand, but almost everyone will most certainly have their cellphones with them! And I would like to add that every smartphone and iPhone has the YouTube app. My past and current clients have shared my videos when they referred others to me. I often get callers who tell me, “…your former client….forwarded your video to me.”
These are some of the ways that I share my videos to gain clients. There are other creative ways (I will be writing about those in later blogs). For now, please visit my website, FYLMIT.com, to know more about video and social media marketing for therapists. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.