How to Get More Clients for Your Therapy Practice on Yelp!

Are you a newly-licensed therapist with a budding practice and you’re looking to bring on new patients? Maybe you’re an established therapist that’s looking for a new way to get patients through the door. Either way, this article is for you

For many years Yelp has been the go-to for service businesses to shine in the online space, displaying positive reviews and encouraging eager folks to book their services.

With the recent public criticism of Yelp, including a documentary called Billion Dollar Bully, don’t be fooled. As unfortunate as some of the claims that have been made against Yelp are, they are still the go to resource for many clients as it relates to assessing the online reputation of retail, restaurant, and service businesses. 

It would be a mistake to think that Yelp is no longer a viable source of new patients for your practice.

In fact, Yelp is still used by tens of millions of consumers to make wise decisions as far as which service business to give their hard-earned money to in exchange for top-notch services.

This does include therapy practices, so it makes sense to know the exact, practical steps you can take in order to make the most of your profile on the platform.

Not that you have a choice – businesses famously can’t opt out of their listing being displayed by Yelp.

It’s because of this that it is not a choice, but more of a necessity to put your best foot forward on Yelp. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can do just that with the least amount of pain and frustration possible.

Think of the upside – many businesses get the majority of their new clients from Yelp, and you can build your profile up to the point where the majority of your new patients will be finding your practice on Yelp as well!

Let’s walk through how exactly to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable feat…

Source: The Daily Beast

HOW TO DOMINATE YELP WITH YOUR THERAPY PRACTICE

There are a few key ingredients to an effective Yelp profile.

One is to build a steady stream of new 5-star reviews

Now you may be wondering, is there a way to cheat the system and either pay for or somehow manufacture fake 5-star reviews?

The answer to this is a flat out – no.

Yelp has famously punished businesses for attempting to defraud their review system, even going so far as to plaster a warning to consumers on your profile. 

If you flat-out offer discounts or extra perks in exchange for positive reviews, you may be hit with a Consumer Alert on your Yelp profile, such as the one pictured below.

Another way to get more patients for your therapy practice on Yelp is to encourage happy patients to review you.

“Sure, but how do I find and isolate the happy patients,” you cheerfully inquire, “if I don’t know which ones are actually happy with my practice?”

The simple answer is, of course, to ask them

Send out an automated email or text message (which is proven to have a higher response rate) after every therapy session (or at the very least, the first one) asking customers what they thought about your service.

For the patients that responded positively, send out a follow-up email asking those specific patients to leave an honest review on Yelp.

Provide a link to your Yelp profile in the email – you can even go a step further and find the link that directs them to write a review (just right-click on the ‘Write a review’ button on your profile and insert that link into the email).

In this way, you are pre-selecting the patients that are already happy with your service, and encouraging those folks to leave a review, which will inevitably results in more 5-star reviews on your profile.

Another technique includes calling the patients directly and soliciting their feedback and then asking the happy ones to leave a review.

Either way, you’re not technically violating any of Yelp’s terms since you’re not providing any kind of incentive for patients to leave a review – simply asking the right people

As a happy side-effect, you’ll also be able to deal with any qualms or frustrations that your patients have with your practice on the spot, before they’ve had a chance to run to online platforms such as Yelp and Google to voice their concerns.

As the mini cherry on top, you’ll also be privy to feedback that you can then use to change your practice for the better.

Another possible strategy would be to fight against the allegedly unfair algorithm that filters your positive reviews on Yelp.

You may even try intentionally asking for 1-star reviews, as a restaurant owner famously did in the Bay Area, which led him to receive overwhelming praise from business owners and a massive uptick in new business.

However, this strategy is reserved for those with thick skin and a determination to stick it to the man (or in this case, the platform)

Additionally, if you don’t reach critical mass to the point where publications like The Hustle are writing articles about you, this plan may backfire drastically and leave you with a downtrodden, 1-star review plagued Yelp listing.

Given this high risk / high reward, scenario, let’s talk about some techniques that don’t involve potentially flushing your Yelp listing down the toilet (and with that, the trust of thousands of potential new patients).

HOW TO RUN YOUR THERAPY PRACTICE BETTE

Being dependent on a single platform to spoon-feed you with clients is inherently dangerous.

What if Yelp changes their algorithm or decides to mark some of your positive reviews as ‘Not Recommended

Let’s delve into the nuances of how to grow your therapy practice without having to rely on Yelp to provide you with the majority of your new patients or patient leads.

BE VISIBLE ONLINE

As the internet gobbles up more and more brick-and-mortar businesses, you can ensure your small business is successful in the future by putting yourself everywhere a potential client might be looking.

I’ve said before that leads and sales are like oxygen for a business and without this your business will suffocate and eventually die.

So take heed and take some time to build a solid pipeline of new leads coming in.

MAKE SURE YOUR LEAD FUNNEL IS IN PLACE

The main reason you created a profile on Yelp is because you are looking for more patients for your therapy practice.

So without your own source of new clients, it can be tough to break free and build your small business from the ground up.

How do you build an evergreen pipeline of new clients, you ask

We’ve covered this before in our article on how to generate online leads for your service business, but let’s break it down specifically for your Therapy practice.

  • Build your online presence on sites like Google, Yelp, Thumbtack, and Online Directories
  • Advertise on the websites of local businesses
  • Ask your current clients for referrals
  • Run Google Ads (PocketSuite has a partnership with Google that allows you to easily market your business and send leads right to an online chat widget that you can receive messages from and respond to via text)
  • Create a partnerships with local clinics, private clinicians, attorneys, and accountants that are great trusted referral source

For more information on how PocketSuite can help you run your practice, check out our article on How to Run your Private Practice with PocketSuite.

From business messaging to scheduling, online booking to accepting payments, and a generous amount of other useful tools, check out PocketSuite’s Premium plan to help you run your entire practice from a single app

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2020, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to Become a Child Therapist

Childhood should be a happy time. Far too often, though, it isn’t. Mental and emotional illness can have a severe impact on a child’s development, leading to ingrained issues that could last a lifetime if left untreated. With care, compassion and treatment, a childhood with significant trauma can be transformed into triumph as a child once again enjoys a carefree existence of discovery and learning in a loving environment.

how to become a child therapist

Child therapists specialize in treating children typically under the age of 17 with behavioral, emotional, or mental disorders. These professionals may work in a public school system, a clinical setting, as part of a medical team, government agency, or in private practice.

Therapists typically work with children to help them become mentally and emotionally stable and happy. Some child therapists focus on certain areas, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, abuse, or depression.

Because very young children cannot always express themselves fully or explain what is going on inside, child therapists often try “play therapy” as a means of drawing out the child. With play therapy, a child engages in an enjoyable activity while the therapist observes. As children engage in the activity they may begin to reveal emotions, express feelings and say what’s on their mind. Child therapists use these insights to assess, diagnose, and develop treatment plans.

To be successful in treating children with mental and emotional disorders, a child therapist must have open communication with the child’s caregivers, whether parents or legal guardians. Here, your role is to explain to caregivers what to expect during therapy and recovery as well as offer suggestions on what they should watch for and how they can help. You’ll enjoy tremendous professional satisfaction and an above-average income when you become a child therapist.

When you choose to become a child therapist you are making a commitment to improving young lives, to bringing joy back into children’s spirits, and to restoring peace within families. You are helping people at the most impressionable ages achieve normalcy in their lives. You help children find and hold onto their self-confidence. You help repair the past and fix the present so the child can enjoy the future. Few career paths are more fulfilling and impactful on individual clients and society as a whole.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this chapter on becoming a Child Therapist:

  • How Much Can You Make
  • Training and Certifications
  • Professional Groups to Join
  • Career Options for Child Therapists
  • Finding Clients
  • Helpful Tips for New Child Therapists

How Much Can You Make?

The average annual salary for a child therapist is currently $69,248. Therapists with an established private practice can make much more. An income of more than $200,000 a year is not uncommon for a child therapist with 7-10 years of experience. Those at the higher end of the pay range tend to have doctoral degrees in psychiatry, while a therapist can practice in most states with a master’s degree.

how much can you make as a child therapist

In terms of actual work, there is little difference between a child therapist and a child psychiatrist, the main distinction being that a psychiatrist can prescribe medication. A therapist cannot.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that about a third of licensed psychologists were in private practice, including child therapists. In these private-practice settings, children receive treatment on an outpatient basis.

Therapists can also work for public or private healthcare facilities, such as a pediatrician’s office.

Job opportunities for child therapists are expected to increase 14 percent through 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Training and Certifications

A bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field is the standard prerequisite for pursuing training as a child therapist. All states require practitioners to hold at least the minimum of a master’s degree and pass a state-certified exam to get licensed as a child therapist. Check the requirements for your state before choosing a program of study.

What you’ll learn:

  • Principles of child psychology
  • Therapy techniques when working with children
  • Recognizing and diagnosing different learning disabilities
  • Diagnosing social disorders
  • Evaluating emotional problems
  • Developing effective treatment plans
  • Communicating with children
  • Communicating with caregivers

what you learn as a child therapist

Professional Groups to Join

Stay informed about new developments in the field and build a network of connections with fellow professionals by joining one or more of these organizations:

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)

The AACAP promotes the positive and healthy development of people from infancy to adulthood. Access to ongoing education, conferences, liability insurance coverage and a listing on the academy’s directory of professionals are just some of the membership benefits.

American Psychiatric Association (APA)

More than 37,000 APA members are devoted to psychiatric research, ethical standards in clinical practice, and providing ongoing education opportunities and other services to members.

American Psychological Association (APA)

Similar to the American Psychiatric Association, this organization of 115,000 members offers professional conferences, reports, discussions and publications.

Your network and access to resources in the field will expand through membership in one of the many professional industry associations. Connecting with other experts in the field is crucial to your own growth and continuing professional education.

Career Options

Child therapists can find jobs within public school systems, private schools, public health clinics and working with a team of therapists in a private practice or offering therapy as an individual private practitioner.

what you learn as a child therapist

Leverage your membership in professional organizations by networking with other therapists to learn about job opportunities.

Finding Clients

Network with other members of your professional organizations to ask about job openings.

Many professional organizations maintain an online directory for caregivers to find a child therapist. Get your business added to the list.

Contact other professionals in your community to let them know you’re available for referrals. Clergy, doctors, and even other therapists are good sources for referrals.

See Chapters 1 through 4 for other channels to find clients.

Helpful Hints for New Child Therapists

According to Positive Psychology, parents and guardians often ask whether a child really needs therapy, whether treatment can do any good and what signs to look for in a child who may be a good candidate for therapy.

These symptoms and behaviors in children may indicate a problem that therapy can help with or correct:

  • Unwarranted aggression
  • Incontinence
  • Difficulty adjusting to social situations
  • Frequent nightmare and sleep difficulties
  • A sudden drop in grades at school
  • Persistent worry and anxiety
  • Withdrawing from activities they normally enjoy
  • Loss of appetite or dramatic weight loss/gain
  • Performing obsessive routines like hand washing
  • Expressing thoughts of suicide
  • Talking about voices they hear in their head
  • Social isolation and wanting to be alone
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Increased physical complaints despite a normal, healthy physician’s report
  • Self-harm such as cutting
  • Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Constant anger and a tendency to overreact
  • Preoccupation with physical illness or personal appearance
  • An inability to concentrate, think clearly or make decisions
  • An inability to sit still
  • Diets or binging behavior
  • Violent acts such as setting fires or killing animals

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry suggests therapists should be prepared to answer these questions from caregivers:

  • Why is psychotherapy being recommended?
  • What results can I expect?
  • How long will my child be involved in therapy?
  • How frequently will the therapist see my child?
  • Will the therapist be meeting with just my child or with the entire family?
  • How much will sessions cost?
  • How will we (caregivers) be informed about our child’s progress and how can we help?
  • How soon can we expect to see some changes?

eBook: How to Become a Therapist – Volume 1

The Guide to Becoming a Therapist

The field of psychotherapy is diverse, complex and, because it involves the mysteries of the human mind, it is essentially infinite. The challenges are as unique as every client seeking therapeutic services.

We’re going to take a look at what you need to do to become certified in a variety of psychotherapeutic disciplines as well as the training required to become licensed.

Download the Book

 

Each chapter in this eBook outlines the specific certification requirements and costs to train in several different fields of therapy.

In this PocketSuite guide you’ll also discover how much you can earn as a psychotherapist, what’s involved in getting started, the best professional organizations to join for advancing your career, where to look for employment and how to draw more clients to your practice. There’s even a section on helpful tips when you’re just starting out.

All of these therapist specialties included in this single eBook!

  1. How to Become a Psychotherapist
  2. How to Become a Hypnotherapist
  3. How to Become a Substance Abuse Therapist
  4. How to Become a Behavioral Therapist
  5. How to Become a Child Therapist
  6. How to Become a Clinical Therapist

Download the Book