It is clear that the psychologist’s image in the last decade has changed; he is closer to reality and less in line with the stereotype of “mad doctor.” The slice of the population interviewed for this research actually perceives the psychologist as a professional figure to whom one turns to solve an emotional-mental problem.
Still from the research, however, a lack of knowledge of the non-clinical areas in which psychologists operate also emerges. The psychologist and the psychotherapist represent two figures whose fundamental role is to intervene in a situation of malaise, to take care of a “damage.”
The first consultation with a psychologist presupposes the patient’s acceptance, often creating an initial obstacle between the two. This favors contact with figures who have been enjoying enormous success in recent years; figures such as motivators and life coaches, who are seen as those who take care of the well-being and “success” of the person.
How could this gap be resolved?
A first step could be to respond to the patient’s needs by making oneself “more reachable,” adopting new strategies and new action plans.
The ability to listen to the patient should begin even before he enters the office. Let’s find out how …
At this point, you might be thinking: «What do I need a marketing plan for? I don’t sell products! ».
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 that 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?
Marketing will help you to listen to the company you are addressing and to understand its needs to identify the services you can offer based on your skills.
Building a marketing plan helps you to clarify the positioning you have chosen for your profession and the goals you want to achieve. This will help you determine the tools and resources you need to achieve those goals.
How to build a marketing plan for psychologists?
- Identify your strategic goals.
This first phase’s mistake is to aspire to unrealistic goals consistent with the reality from which one starts. So be fair and set intermediate and long-term goals, modifying your strategy “along the way” if necessary.
- Do an internal analysis and position your business.
What does it mean? Do an analysis of your patients and your work experiences.
- Who did you get the best results with?
- Which customers give you the most satisfaction?
Also review your professional experience:
- What are your main skills?
- What are your limits, your weaknesses?
Answer these questions to try to understand what your specialization may be, and then focus on that!
At this stage, it is important to put your time and money resources on paper. Creating a budget to invest in promoting your business is essential.
NEVER neglect the customer acquisition cost (CAC): it is one of the most important elements when planning marketing strategies and when you are at the beginning of your career.
Always remember that the best move you can do is to start with what you already have.
- Do an external analysis!
Do an external analysis and identify the characteristics and constraints of your “target market.”
In particular, it examines:
• The market demand: in your context, which specializations are most in-demand? What is the potential demand, and what could limit the growth of demand?
For example: if you operate in a context influenced by a strong index of precariousness, even at work, you know well that the people you are addressing may require support for personal fulfillment and to improve their self-esteem; and at the same time, they may have financial problems that prevent them from undertaking long-term private therapy.
• Customer behavior: 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 reality? 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.
Who am I? What do they offer? How are they promoted? How they “intercept” customers, and how they behave with them? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Having the answers to these questions will allow you to have a more complete and objective view of your industry. You would be amazed at how many ideas and food for thought you could have answered these questions.
- Build a marketing strategy.
At this point, you will have clearer ideas, and you will know what the starting point is, that is, the collection of useful information to understand how and by what means it is possible to intercept your customers.
I leave you some tips:
• 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!
Also read this article!