As therapists we’re in a profession that embodies service, healing and generosity. However, if we own a private practice we also have a personal responsibility to create a sustainable business. Often, it can feel as if the two are at odds with each other.

Many therapists feel uneasy about the term marketing and see it as a contradiction to providing health care in an ethical way.

In order to serve as many clients as possible, we need a mechanism to get clients in the door on a regular basis. Without this mechanism we suffer financially and sit in an empty office with few people to help. This is where marketing comes in.

There are many forms of marketing ranging from aggressive tactics like outright solicitation to more passive engagement such as building networks and brand exposure. In most industries, marketing is performed more as a science, based in understanding statistics and psychology.

The goal is usually to maximize profits, even when the company is mission oriented.

On the other side of the pendulum, marketing can be an afterthought to companies that are extremely mission oriented. They can find themselves underutilizing the scientific knowledge gained over decades of research into human behavior and what influences people’s decisions. Profits can suffer and many people with great ideas often don’t have the arena to express them.

As therapists, a balance of utilizing marketing strategies in an authentic way, while preserving the mission of the practice, allows us to create a value-driven business. A new paradigm of marketing needs to emerge for the helping professions; one that speaks deeply to the values of the business owner while also providing usable techniques from research and study.

Mindful Marketing is a term that has been used to describe many things, but it hasn’t yet taken hold as a shifting paradigm for businesses. Although the idea of Mindful Marketing has many implications and applications to many industries, it’s inherent usefulness for therapists is far reaching.

Here’s 7 attributes of a mindful marketer and why it’s essential in private practice:

As a mindful marketer you truly contemplate the actions you are taking to increase awareness of your business and the ways you are generating new clients. When developing your marketing plan, you consistently reference your mission ensuring that your plan furthers your values and doesn’t detract from them in any way.

A mindful marketer educates themselves on human behavior, specifically, how people make decisions to buy products and services. Without this knowledge it’s very difficult to understand how to attract new clients, which ultimately allows you to help more people.

A mindful marketer studies effective copywriting skills in order to engage deeply with their prospective clients through their website and other forms of media. They keep in mind how to preserve an authentic and genuine voice, while also generating interest and curiosity from their reader.

A mindful marketer considers the interpersonal dynamics occurring in their networking efforts. They are invested in created trust and bonds that extend beyond “getting something” and into a meaningful human connection.

A mindful marketer relates to their efforts in a scientific manner, understanding what brings the most returns and what doesn’t. However, they also work with their emotional experience so they don’t get trapped in constant highs and lows and elation and stress when thinking about the numbers.

A mindful marketer is client-centered in the pursuit of new clients. They are focused on the client’s needs, desires, struggles, and hopes. They believe that service is a prerequisite to receiving financial abundance in their business.

A mindful marketer works through their psychological baggage around marketing. They know that as an entrepreneur marketing is the main way they are going to reach people so they can share their gift with the world.

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Keith Kurlander

Keith Kurlander is the founder of Higher Practice, a company dedicated to helping therapists achieve their highest potential in private practice. He has two decades of combined experience in business administration, group facilitation, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, yoga instruction and as a licensed professional counselor in private practice.

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