It is clear that the psychologist’s image in the last decade has changed. A psychologist is now perceived as a professional figure to whom people would like to turns to solve an emotional-mental problem. A psychologist is closer to reality now and less in line with the stereotype of “mad doctor.”
Yet there is a gap in what psychologists can offer and what people actually think of him. In case of emotional trauma or anxiety, people are still more like to listen to public figures such as motivators and life coaches, who are seen as those who take care of the well-being and “success” of the person or those who are achieved big things in life. People turn to psychologists only when things get out of control for them. People don’t consider their everyday cases of anxiety and depression as anything that needs attention. Also, people think of a psychologist as a doctor and not as a guide and mentor to solve their life’s problems.
However, this is not the truth. A psychologist is somebody who can help you if you are dealing with anxiety for a long time and it needs to be a serious medical condition for you to contact a psychologist. How could this gap in the understanding of the people be resolved? A great solution is marketing!
Why A Psychologist Needs Marketing?
At this point, you might be thinking: What do I need a marketing plan for? I don’t sell products!
However, Marketing is not just about selling pots or shoes, nor is it about manipulating people to get them to buy things they don’t need.
Marketing is a social and managerial process aimed at satisfying needs and requirements through processes of creation and exchange of products and values. It is the art and science of identifying, creating and providing value to meet the needs of a target market, making a profit: delivery of satisfaction at a price. – Philip Kotler
Isn’t that what we were talking about in the previous paragraph? People have a need, and you have services that can satisfy their needs. And yet there is a lack of awareness on the part of customers/patients. People don’t recognise their need and don’t know that a satisfying product exist. Only marketing can solve this issue.
Building A Marketing Plan For Psychologists
Having understood the importance of marketing for a psychologist, it is now time that you start making a plan for yourself. A question may arise at this point – what exactly to plan? You need to plan to decide how to make people aware of the service you provide and let them know the type of problem that you can help them with.
7 things to let people know:
- what you have to offer
- why it is important for them
- what are you best at
- what you can do better than others
- what are the prices of your services
- why they should pay that price
- and what is the utility that they derive from paying you that price.
To arrive at the above plans you need to do some analysis of yourself and your work environment.
1. Do an internal analysis and position your business!
What does it mean? Do an analysis of your patients and your work experiences.
- What are your main skills? – These are the ones you need to promote among the customers.
- What are your limits, your weaknesses? – These are the ones you need to work on and improve.
- Which kind of pateints you get the best results with? And Which patients were most satisfied with your therapies or treatment? – These type of customers are going to be your traget market.
2. Do an external analysis!
Do an external analysis and identify the characteristics and constraints of your “target market.”
- Market demand: analyze which specializations are most in-demand? What is the potential demand, and what could limit the growth of demand?
- Customer behavior: Thourght what channels do the customer living in your area seek a psychologist? Where do you find out? Is the role of the psychologist and psychotherapist clear in your area? What can you do to improve the perception of your profession?
- Your competitors/colleagues: It is essential to know the competition. It is essential to understand who and how he promotes himself among your colleagues. What skills you have better as compared to them and how you can promote you excellence in the field in your target market.
Having the answers to these questions will allow you to have a more complete and objective view of your industry. With all this data you should now be ready to make the above 7 plans which we discussed above. Your task now is to make a good marketing strategy for fulfilling the objective of all the 7 plans and monitor your results regularly. Here are some additional tips for you:
- Organize training seminars to help understand the role of the psychologist/psychotherapist, perhaps highlighting the specializations or specific topics that emerged during your internal analysis.
- Your profession is often misunderstood, and people are ashamed to turn to a psychologist/psychotherapist. Making your figure more friendly can only help.
- The specialist always wins over the generalist! Don’t be everyone’s psychologist. Be the best in a certain sector and have a well-defined target of people!