social media marketing

How Media Exposure Can Grow Your Practice: Podcast Interview

How media exposure can help grow your practice: Podcast interviewI thought you'd you enjoy this lively interview with Joe Sanok of Practice of the Practice Podcast about my private practice journey from a solo practitioner to a clinic with 3 locations and 20 employees. We cover a lot of ground during this podcast!  In addition to tips about gaining media exposure you'll also find: Tips to land high profile media interviews.

The biggest lesson I learned when resigning from managed care.

The book that helped transform my practice.

Tips for finding blog topics to write about.

How to find quality therapist to expand your practice.

How to encourage to see my colleagues when you don't have openings.

The role of social media and building an online presence.

How I became a private practice consultant.

Listen to the podcast interview here

..and here's a fun graphic specifically about how to add top-notch clinicians...

How to add clinicians to your practice

Find out more about the with fellow PsychCentral Bloggers Kelly Higdon, Miranda Palmer, and Joe Sanok.

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4 Ways To Use Pinterest To Build Your Practice

oa4qcmjpg_zpsf989836bPinterest is a social media platform that therapists might overlook when building their online presence. It may seem more tailored toward foodies, pop culture junkies, or book lovers than for people wanting or providng professional counseling. However, Pinterest can be a valuable way to serve your online community and also get the word out about yourself and the clinical services you offer. Joe Sanock, an LPC who also works as a private practice consultant, explains that “People who go on Pinterest are dreaming about having a new life. It could be a new hair style, a new dress, or a renovation. They are in a mindset of change. As counselors, we fit perfectly into that mindset.” He says that Pinterest is his leading referral for both his private practice and consulting business. Bottom line: Pinterest can work as a great marketing tool for you (read more about Joe's experience here).

Here is some more information and tips for using Pinterest to benefit your practice:

1) Regularly Pin and Re-pin Inspiring and Informative Material 

Make a point to pin and re-pin inspiring quotes and ideas that are relevant to your work as a therapist. Quotes about change and personal development often work best. Try to use quotes that are universal enough to not seem super technical or boring, but specific enough to establish that your niche deals with emotional and relational well-being. Use original material as well as curating existing content.

9e255a8308018913f312cbe3afec454eIt’s a good idea to strategically include your name and website links on your graphics or memes (see left for an image I pinned as an example). This can be helpful when you get share and re-pins. It’s more than okay to tap into the promotional side of using Pinterest.

There is of course no cut-and-dry rule about how regularly you should post. But as is the case with any social media platform you utilize, you must commit to make content creation and curation an ongoing thing if you want it to make a difference in your marketing; pinning a new picture or idea once every month is not going to do much for establishing and maintaining your online presence.

2) Optimize Your Bio and Profile

The bio at the top of your Pinterest page is your "hello" to new followers. First impressions are important, and you want to introduce yourself professionally and accurately to your viewers. It should have your picture, a clear description of your speciality, and links to your main website. Optimizing your biography is also good for SEO (making your stuff for findable on the web). See screenshot below for my example:

Julie Hanks Pinteret

3) Be Deliberate in Selecting Categories and Board Titles

Similar to your biography, be strategic about your titles, categories and boards; they're more important than you might think. Not only do they give a clear indication of the nature of your material, but they're also good for the search engines because your titles are your keywords. Not every one of your boards must be directly related to the field; it's good to diversify and show your followers that you're a multi-dimensional person. For example, you might have a board of humorous memes.

4) Follow Others in Your Niche

And finally, we come to the social part of the social media of Pinterest. Follow other relevant users. Look at the categories and boards of those who re-pin your stuff and see if they are similar to yours. Engage in Pinterest not just for yourself, but use it as a way to learn more and continue to be inspired. Check out other people's pins as well. And yes, follow to be followed (among other reasons).

So there's some tips to get you started or help you more with using Pinterest. It can be a useful tool to engage with the online community, invite more visitors to your website, as well as build your own professional online presence.

What's your experience using Pinterest for your practice?

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My Top Social Media Management Tools


Get organized with these social media management tools. Post to multiple platforms from a single dashboard.

Social media is an important part of building a strong online practice presence, but it can sometimes be a pain to manage.  You need to get fresh content out there on a regular basis, but it can be difficult to keep up. Thankfully, there are programs to help you schedule your posts, so you can get .  Here are my two favorites:


Hootsuite is a management system that you connect to your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Wordpress, and Instagram (and others) to schedule when your posts go live.  That means that you can plan ahead by writing your content beforehand, then use the system to schedule what date and time the messages will be posted. Hootsuite is free up to the first 3 social networks, then offers upgrade options if you want to include more.

Another great feature of Hootsuite that is often under-utilized is its analytics section. This allows you to see how well your social media is doing by tracking how many people are reading your posts.  Each upgraded version of Hootsuite offers progressively more detailed reports so you can measure your social outreach.


Socialoomph is similar to Hootsuite in that it allows you to schedule posts and analyze your results, but it takes it a step further by giving you tools to interact with your social media followers.  With this system, you can automatically follow those who follow you. This is important because it demonstrates that you are engaging with your readers, which makes you more accessible and engaged with your online followers. Another way this system can help you is by shortening the URL (web address) of a link you may choose to include in your content. This cleans up the appearance of your status and also may be necessary if you use networks like Twitter, which only allows 140 characters.

The upgraded version of Socialoomph gives you even more features, such as an automatic analysis of key words and phrases that appear in your content that allows you to find other social media users with similar content.  This lets you connect with other experts in the field and also helps you find potential clients.

Another benefit of Socialoomph is the ability to schedule recurring tweets/post every few hours, days, weeks, etc. with up to 3 variations of rotating texts. This is helpful for automating Twitter posts. For example, I'll set a favorite inspirational quote to tweet every 12 weeks.

How do you stay on top of your social media?

Could these tools help you get organized?  

Social Media Bootcamp For Therapists Webinar Feb 27

Social Media Bootcamp: Attract Self-Pay Clients to Your Private Practice
Date: Thursday Feb. 27  5:00 pm MST (4:00 pm PST, 6:00pm CST, 7:00pm EST)
Presenter: Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW
Attract more self-pay clients to your private practice by effectively and ethically using social media.
Over the past 12 years I've built a private practice with 3 locations and 20 providers with a fee-for-service private pay model (free of managed care) by attracting ideal clients through building a strong online presence and building an engaged social media following.

In this 90 minute webinar you will learn:

  • The building blocks of a strong online presence that will attract your ideal clients to your practice.
  • The most important thing you can do to attract ideal clients online to your practice.
  • Which social networking sites will reach your ideal clients.
  • Learn effective strategies to grow and engage your social media following.

Register for Social Media Marketing Bootcamp Webinar!


5 Social Media Marketing Lessons From My Top Traffic Sources

Do you know where your website visitors come from? If not, it probably a good idea to start. I use Google Analytics to find out which sites are the top referrers to my private practice website

The following statistics reinforce what I've already known. They illustrate that:

  1. A website is crucial for private practice growth.
  2. Google is king. Most people find my website through Google searches.
  3. Creating valuable content that can be shared on Facebook is definitely worth the investment.
  4. Guest blogging on larger sites does increase website traffic.
  5. It's worth a monthly fee price to get listed in online directories.

Take a look at my year-to-date website traffic stats.

Do you know where your website traffic comes from? Who are your top online referral sources?