Five Ways to Use Facebook to Get Clients for Counselling

Facebook had over 2.7 billion monthly users in the second quarter of 2020.  It’s very likely that you’ll find your clients amongst them.  However, it can feel very confusing to know how to use Facebook to get clients and this blog will help you to work it out. 

But I’m already advertising on directories.  Why should I use Facebook?

Using social media for marketing means that:

  • You’ll stand out from the crowd. You’ll be creating content for the people you can really help and that will speak to them. 
  • You’ll pick up clients before they turn to directories.  You won’t have to rely on them choosing you because they like your face better than a thousand other therapists. You won’t be competing with other counsellors.
  • You’ll form relationships with people before they have entered the therapy room. Because they’ve seen what you’ve shared, they’ll already know, like and trust you.  That makes it a whole lot easier for them to approach you in the first place.  They’ll feel more confident that you are the therapist for them and it helps to get the therapeutic relationship off to a flying start.

Photo by Joyce Huis on Unsplash

I’m sold.  But are there any disadvantages?

  • Using social media for marketing does take time for things like creating posts and interacting with people
  • It also takes effort to plan your posts and get your head around how to use the platform
  • Because you’re looking to build relationships online, it may be that you’ll disclose more than normal to potential clients. You’ll have to think through the implications of self-disclosure and how much you want to share.  For more information, see my upcoming blog on self-disclosure on social media. 

So how can I use Facebook to Get Clients?

You can use one of the following approaches or a mixture of all of them:

Facebook Groups

One of the simplest ways to use Facebook for marketing is simply to be helpful to people.  There are thousands of free special interest groups on Facebook.  Join several within the area that you wish to serve people – an example would be parenting groups.  Answer posts using your knowledge and expertise and allow people to see how helpful you can be.  Tell them about how counselling can make a difference.  Build relationships.  People will get to know you and ask for your help.

Local Buy & Sell Groups

A simple but successful strategy is to post in your local buy and sell groups.  This does occasionally attract comments asking why the service is not free so do be prepared with an answer.

Local Business Networking Groups

There may be local business groups who also have a Facebook group where you can network with other business owners.  Interact with people and help them where possible.  Other business owners can be a valuable source of referrals.

Facebook Business Page

Set up a Facebook business page.  This is separate to a personal profile.  [If you need more help on this, search Google and find a recent YouTube video that shows you how to do it].  Regularly create content around subjects that matter to the people that you want to help. You can use your page to let people know about your service and direct them to your website, especially if you are writing blogs.

Facebook Advertising

Once you’ve got your page established and you know what type of content is popular with potential clients, you can pay for advertising.  Facebook enables you to target your audience in minute detail so that you can reach the type of people who you know you can help.  You can either boost a popular post so that it reaches more people or you can create a bespoke advert.  You can choose how you want people to interact with you, for example by contacting you or visiting your website. 

Great!  How do I get Started?

Think about the people you help best

It’s really helpful to have a clear idea of the type of client you like to work with. This means you can target your content and your efforts towards the people you really like to help.  Think about who you’d like to reach.  Think about what type of content would help them.

Find the groups where these people hang out

Search to find groups to join that meet your special interest. If you’re not ready to set up a busines page yet, don’t worry.  You can get involved in groups as yourself and join in the conversation.  People will get to know you that way and you can let them know your role if appropriate.

Set up a business page

Don’t worry at this stage about getting it perfect because you can adapt it and improve it as you go.  The most important thing is to have somewhere people can find you.  It’s a good idea to use your name  as people are more likely to connect with, for example, Susan Brown- Calm Counselling than an anonymous organization called Calm Counselling

Connect your personal profile to your business page

This means that people interacting with you can see you are a counsellor. It’s surprising how many people check you out if you are making comments in a group and it is a good way of letting people know what you do.

Don’t worry – it doesn’t mean that people checking your business page can see your personal stuff.

Use your business page

If you’re able to join a group as a business page, this does give you added functionality such as commenting as your page and being able to share your business page posts directly to the group.

However, if you spam posts into groups you’re unlikely to get clients that way.  Getting clients is all about building relationships one conversation at a time.  People don’t like direct sales but they do like respectful helping.

Observe group rules

Make sure you have checked out each group’s rules about etiquette and sharing. Some groups do not allow self-promotion but you can still be in the group and be helpful to people without promoting yourself.  It still works.

Create Content for Your Business Page

Create Facebook content to get more clients

Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

Once you have started your business page you can add content to attract people.  Creating posts to encourage interaction with your page is a skill and I offer webinars to teach you how to do this.  Contact me to find out more.