How can therapists find the time to post on social media? Many counsellors starting out in private practice have other jobs or are studying for further qualifications. Seeing clients on top of existing work commitments means time is already scarce – so how can they market themselves?
Social media marketing is most effective when it is consistent. This helps to show people you’re reliable but it can feel like a big burden to create daily posts. It can all feel a bit overwhelming.
If it’s important enough I’ll make the time. If not, I’ll make an excuse. (Marie Forleo)
It’s so easy to find reasons not to make the time. There are always demands on your attention. So it can be helpful to remind yourself what it is all for. Think about:
- Who. Who are you doing this for? Think about the people you want to help. How much difference will therapy make to their lives? Reaching out to them on social media will make it easier for them to access the help that you can give them. Also, think about you (see the next point).
- Why. Why do you want to run a private practice? When I talk to therapists who are interested in my coaching services, they often tell me that running a private practice will be the fulfilment of a dream. It means they have arrived at a destination that they’ve been working towards for years. They’ll be doing what they love and they’ll be achieving the independence and freedom of being their own boss.
- What. Think about what you’re trying to achieve. Setting yourself a goal helps to make it more fun as you try and work out ways to get there. How many clients do you want to serve? What sort of income do you want to earn? What do you want your private practice to look like?
If you’d like some more help with your motivation, contact Josephine
Ten time hacks
So having decided you are going to make a commitment to posting on social media, how do you make time for it?
Make it Personal
Work in a way that suits you. Are you an organised person who plans their diary in advance? Or are you someone who works off “to do” lists? Diary people may like to carefully plan ahead, to do list people may find it helpful to write a list of monthly, weekly and daily tasks to tick off.
Whatever type of person you are, it is helpful to block out time in your diary which you dedicate to your posting schedule. This could include monthly, weekly and daily slots. You’ll need time each day to check on any responses to your posts and reply.
On a monthly or weekly basis you can plan content in advance. Check and see what events are coming up, for example World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th 2020. Schedule your post to appear on that day using either your social media app or one of the many commercial apps that will do it for you.
Build posting into your daily routine. If you have a set time of day to post, you won’t have to waste your energy reminding yourself to do so. It will become a habit.
Adding on is a time hack where you add doing something to a habit you already have. For example, if you journal every day, why not add an extra five minutes onto that time to draft your reflection into a social media post?
How much time do you spend checking your social media feed? Why not focus on creating your own post first?
Utilise Your Energy
Are you an early bird or a night owl? Acknowledge and play to your strengths. If you are more energetic in the morning, use that time to focus and create posts. Use lower energy times later in the day to read and reply to comments on your posts. If you’re a night owl you’ll want to use your evening energy for creativity
Write Everything Down
Make sure you capture your thoughts so that you can relax knowing they have been recorded. Ideas often come at inconvenient moments like in the shower or on a walk. Record them (for example, using a note in your phone) as soon as possible.
It will help you to focus on the task at hand if your brain isn’t constantly feeling anxious about forgetting something.
Order Tasks by Time
Break your posts down into separate elements, for example:
Thinking of ideas
Searching for photos
Writing the posts
Designing visuals on Canva
Uploading the post to social media
Further break these tasks down by time. Which of them are 5 minute tasks, which are 10 minutes and so on. Label each task accordingly.
Next time you have a few spare minutes (for example, when taking a break between clients) select a suitable task, for example, 5 minutes to find a quote.
Group Tasks by Theme
Tasks can also be themed so that you group similar tasks together to work efficiently and really focus. An example of this would be searching for photographs. You could search for a week’s worth of photographs at one time.
You could design a month’s worth of quote images on Canva.
You could write a series of posts around one subject to be shared at different times.
On a final note, it takes time to develop the skill of social media marketing. It’s not something we’re routinely taught as part of counselling training. However, it adds fun and creativity to our work and it is possible to learn and improve.
If you’d like some help with marketing yourself on social media, I’m running some training on how to create more of a buzz around your posts.
Contact me to find out more.