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[00:00:00] Hello everyone. Welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

This podcast is brought to you by PAR.

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Everybody loves free stuff, right? Today’s episode is all about the “free” options for online marketing. While Google Ads can be helpful in getting clients, they can get pricey. So I’m going to talk about a few of the ways you can increase your online presence and bring clients to your practice without spending [00:01:00] a ton of money.

I will invite any of you who are interested in a group coaching experience to check out The Testing Psychologist mastermind groups. There are groups for every level of practice, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. These are groups that I lead. There’s plenty of accountability, goal setting, support, you name it. These groups have it specifically for testing practice owners. You can get more information and sign up for a pre-group call at thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting. Let’s get to it.

Okay, y’all, let’s talk about “free” Marketing options online, (free digital options). I actually cheated. When I say free, [00:02:00] that’s pretty enticing, but very few things are actually free. So I’m going to think about these as low-cost marketing options.

As we get into this discussion, I think it’s important to set the frame here. To me, online presence is very similar to online marketing. Many of these options are simply there to boost your online presence without explicitly soliciting client leads.

Let’s talk about the truly free options here.

Truly free options include a Facebook page, an Instagram page, and a LinkedIn profile/page. And on all of these, you can have business versions. Facebook and Instagram are linked, and LinkedIn is a separate entity, of course, but all of those are free. You can have a business page. These are good ways to bolster your online presence because they have a ton of search engine juice, they’re [00:03:00] huge, and a lot of people are looking at them each day.

The other huge free option that I would say is probably the most important free option is a Google My Business page. Google My Business is now linked to Google Maps- these are the pages that pop up when you search, the map comes up and it lists all of the businesses under your search term.

Having a Google My Business page is super important. Google is the biggest search engine. It’s warm leads. It’s people who are searching for exactly what you do, presumably. And it is completely free, which is amazing.

You can register for a Google My Business page pretty easily. Sometimes they will have to mail you a postcard to confirm your address or your business ownership, which seems pretty antiquated, but sometimes you have to go through that hurdle. But otherwise, [00:04:00] pretty easy.

You can use Google My Business for many things. You can in a way optimize your profile. You can put your keywords on there for the services that you offer. You can put photos of your space, which helps greatly in getting people to click on it. You can gather Google reviews, hopefully positive ones. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of reviews. We cannot solicit reviews, but you can get colleagues to review you and hopefully, some clients will just leave reviews on their own if you provide a good service. You can also microblog on Google My Business. So you can share your thoughts on there and update it regularly. So Google My Business is a great free resource to build your online presence and search engine juice.

Let’s take a break to hear from a featured partner.

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All right, let’s get back to the podcast.

Now, let’s move to mostly free options. And when I say mostly free, I mean under $50 a month.

The first one that I would talk about is your website. I was tempted to put this in the free option, but they’re not free because you have to pay for hosting and you might pay for updates to your website or management. You might pay for [00:06:00] templates to build the website. It’s definitely not free to develop a website, but in terms of ongoing costs, it should certainly be under $50 a month. Maybe under $75.

A website is great. If you have good local search engine optimization or SEO, that’s going to help a lot. If you are unfamiliar with search engine optimization and would like to do some of it yourself, which you can, I would recommend my episode with Aaron Carpenter on search engine optimization.

What that means, just to back up, search engine optimization is the science of building a website that people can find when they are searching for what you do. A website is no good if people can’t find it and you want people when they are searching for ADHD testing in [00:07:00] Kansas City to have your website pop up as a great option for people who are looking for that search term and search engine optimization is the science of making sure that happens. You can do a lot of it yourself, but like many things, there is a point where you might want to start paying someone to do it for you. But like I said, it can be cheap and you can do many things on your own.

Once you have a website, you can blog. Blogging is still a reasonable means of boosting search engine optimization and increasing your online presence.

Now, other mostly free options.

You can run Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads compared to Google Ads have a very low cost per click. What I mean by that is most of this paid advertising or cost-per-click advertising means that you run an ad and you pay every time someone clicks on it. [00:08:00] Google Ads can be relatively expensive. They tend to have a good return on investment, but they can also be relatively expensive. So what that means is you might end up paying, let’s say $3 to $4 per click, maybe even $5 to $10 per click on a Google Ad. Facebook is much lower than that.

You can run a Facebook Ad for $50 and it’ll run for a week. You could likely get it in front of thousands of people and get at least 10, 20, 100 impressions and clicks. That’s pretty good value. So Facebook Ads are pretty easy. They’re also pretty easy to set up on your own. Like many other things, you can do it wrong and lose a lot of money. So I would at least do some basic research into how to run a good Facebook ad before you jump into that. And by [00:09:00] all means, set a budget that works for you. So if you’re feeling a little tentative, set the budget for $25 and see how it does.

All right, my last mostly free option is Psychology Today. Psychology Today is a little bit fraught. Some of you may have heard of the controversy over the last few years about inclusion and diversity in marketing and advertising for Psychology Today. I think those are real concerns. I also think they are working to change some of those, but not doing a great job.

So take this with a grain of salt. If advertising on Psychology Today conflicts with your personal value system, totally okay. There are other online directories that you could use, but Psychology Today is very cheap. It’s $30 a month. One referral from Psychology Today will get you 3 to 5 years of the service. It pays for itself [00:10:00] a million times over. Pretty easy. You set up a profile. For better or for worse, Psychology Today has a lot of SEO juice as well. So Psychology Today is going to rank high in the search engines and it behooves you to have a profile there.

Other directories you might consider are GoodTherapy and TherapyDen. Those are the main ones that I can think of right now. Both of those are great.

So just general tips as you’re putting together your online presence. Do video wherever you can. People love videos. Keep them short, no more than two minutes long. I think Psychology Today even limits you to a 15 or 20-second video, but do video wherever you can. Upload videos to your website, put videos on your Facebook page, your Instagram page, and your Google My Business page, if possible. So do video wherever you can.

If you do social media, [00:11:00] make sure to connect with other similar businesses using hashtags and tagging and build those online connections with other similar businesses that will help folks find you.

The last thing I want to emphasize is, don’t sleep on Google My Business. There are so many tools in there to microblog, share photos of your space, and give people a good sense of what they’re walking into. And like I said, it is completely free aside from the time that you spend. So do a little research. There’s plenty out there on how to optimize your Google My Business listing.

You could just search on Google, how do I optimize my Google My Business listing, and there’ll be plenty of information for you to put into place. And I may even do a podcast on that in the future because I think lots of folks could take quite a bit of info from that. But in the meantime, you can do a lot yourself and find a [00:12:00] lot of information out there.

There you have it, a few free and mostly free options to increase your online presence and marketing.

All right, y’all. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. Always grateful to have you here. I hope that you take away some information that you can implement in your practice and in your life. Any resources that we mentioned during the episode will be listed in the show notes. So make sure to check those out.

If you like what you hear on the podcast, I would be so grateful if you left a review on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast.

And if you’re a practice owner or aspiring practice owner, I’d invite you to check out The Testing Psychologist mastermind groups. I have mastermind groups at every stage of practice development: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. We have homework. We have accountability. We have support. We have resources. These groups are amazing. [00:13:00] We do a lot of work and a lot of connecting. If that sounds interesting to you, you can check out the details at thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting. You can sign up for a pre-group phone call and we will chat and figure out if a group could be a good fit for you. Thanks so much.

The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here, [00:14:00] and similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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