I’ll just admit it. I’m rather obsessed with marketers. I just spent a month listening to 38 entrepreneurs in short audio interviews. I learned a lot about the mindset, the pitches, the guilt they create for people who are afraid to market or too frugal to “put money into themselves as they ask clients to do for themselves.” I am also fascinated how they both make you feel really insecure, elicit your greed, and temporarily make you unable to resist! This is not to say marketers are all bad, don’t have amazing information to share, etc. But even people with great information still fascinate me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt insecure with a sales pitch only to realize WOW, the sales pitch was way better than the product. I end up critiquing everything about the material from the way its taught to what is taught. And then realize I really do have something unique to offer. (This is what all marketers want, ultimately, is for you to realize you have something awesome to offer the world and give you the moxy to “just do it.”)
This post is dedicated to therapists who went to graduate school, took licensing exams, and love the art and science of therapy, not marketing. In no particular order:
Therapists do not appreciate heavy sales pitches. As professionals, nobody wants a slick one page website with heavy copywriting to tell you the answer is as simple as X. Therapists are used to credentials and researching trainers or CEU workshops and really like to know and trust the person, which isn’t possible on a one page site designed with great testimonials and no background on the person.
Therapists who love therapy are not looking to walk along the beach making millions. While few therapists would say they make awesome money, I also don’t know many therapists whose dream is to actually QUIT the very thing they went to grad school for and do every day…. seeing clients. The biggest thing marketers do is elicit your greed at wanting to make easy, passive money. The tension is wanting more financial security with the reality that to make more money you have to get OUT of the therapy profession into self-help, coaching and what is called “informational marketing.” There is tremendous work involved in non-therapy profit making and frankly, not everyone is cut out for it or finds it rewarding.
Therapists live in shades of gray. You know there is always more than one way to look at the world, but you’re being sold with one way of doing things without the broader context (I plan on helping you with this broader “what are all my options and what’s involved in each” in the relaunch of who I am and what I offer.)
Therapists have different values around learning and time management. Marketers, by nature, are obsessed with buying marketing coaching help, reading tons of marketing websites, and buying a lot of marketing books. That’s awesome because they love marketing and it’s their profession. Therapists go to therapy trainings, buy lots of books and videos, journals and magazines about psychotherapy, and are generally wanting to improve their CRAFT (therapy). Most will set up their own “mastermind” groups which they call consultation groups, pay for supervision, etc just like marketers do in their circles. Marketers never “waste time” learning about marketing because they just turn around and repackage it to their customers.
Therapists however, have much to learn to help their clients and the more time spent learning marketing may be more time not improving, learning the latest research or enhancing a therapeutic technique to actually help your clients. Yes, you need both therapy training and marketing training, but not all marketers appreciate there are only so many hours in a day and the work of therapy is often draining, requiring great self-care and time away from doing any work. They also don’t necessarily appreciate that your “art” is not packaged in printed material, but in the actual relationships with your clients. Marketer’s generally have a strong bias against one to one help, feeling that it’s a inferior way of making money. (Their positive spin on that is by packaging material they help MORE people who then save money not having to pay for personal coaching.) Unfortunately packaged marketing material does not let you heavily interact with your specific questions. It’s like the difference between therapy and self-help books, both have a place and purpose…but I believe there has to be a third way, lower costs than personal consulting but more personalization than self-help materials.
My therapist husband said it best the other day. The reason for my being is to walk along side therapists rather than talk at you, guilt you, heavily sales pitch you, or otherwise be perplexed why you don’t just invest in yourself via marketing. (And self disclosure, he’s like most therapists in HATING marketing, so I am living with and having a growing appreciation for the nuance of most therapists. I’m a wee bit defensive for him and you!) I believe there are untapped ways to guide you, through THERAPY SPEAK, to help you shift into a marketing-saavy mindset. But it takes time and patience (mine and yours.) I’ve got some cool things up my sleeves to help with these exact problems listed above.
I encourage you to sign up for this blog as well as subscribe to learn about upcoming products/services. I can’t keep you updated if I don’t know you exist! 🙂