I’m a Pretty Big Deal on TikTok and You Should Be Too

Jeff Guenther on Oct 10, 2021

Okay, if you’re a therapist, it’s time to stop ignoring TikTok. Honestly, it’s understandable that we all made a Facebook for Business page and abandoned it a day later. And that we created Instagram accounts only to come up with zero content. And Twitter is such a dumpster fire that it’s probably smart to just hang out on the sidelines. But TikTok is the most downloaded app for a reason and lemme tell you all, it was made for therapists.

But before I get to why it’s a perfect fit for us, I’m gonna brag about how viral my posts have been. I’ve only been posting content for about a month, but I’ve got several videos with more than a million views. My videos span from bizarre to educational to fun to downright confrontational. If you want to go on a wonderful journey, you should visit TherapyDen’s TikTok account and look for the three videos I made about BetterHelp. Or you can just click here (1), here (2) and here (3). If you hate BetterHelp as much as I do, you’ll have a good time.

But beating up on BetterHelp is not what I’m here to tell you to do. (I mean, unless you want to, then I highly encourage you to do so.) I’m here to tell you that the psychoeducational videos that I made are why I’ve gained over 225k followers in less than a month. My most viewed and engaged video is this one I made talking about three things you shouldn’t do when you first fall in love. It’s got over 2.6 million views and counting. It took about 20 minutes to make and it’s super basic relationship advice. TikTokers, who are mostly Gen Z and Millennials, eat relationship advice up. As therapists, we have relationship advice oozing out of us. Package up the advice into short, concise and digestible videos and you’re well on your way to TikTok influencer status.

But this is really why you should do it

Besides the obvious boost to the ego (which I apparently can’t get enough of), creating a TikTok account will not only flood you with new clients, it will allow you to create a brand. You’ve likely been reading my blogs for a while. You probably have a good sense of what TherapyDen’s voice is. Speaking to and reaching fellow therapists is not a problem for me and likely not too big of an issue for you either. But reaching clients on a large scale can be tricky. TikTok has fixed that for me and it can do the same for you.

I’m just gonna take a quick pause here to mention that I don’t work for TikTok or have a sponsorship deal with them. It’s starting to sound like I’m trying to sell you on something that will somehow benefit me. I’m not doing that. I’m just really excited for more therapists to take over TikTok and for you to reach more people. That being said, Ms. or Mr. TikTok, if you’d like to pay me for shilling your product to fellow therapists, I’d be happy to. 😉

If you’re just planning to be a therapist that sees clients, then having a website and creating a TherapyDen profile is likely all you’ll need to sustain your private practice. But if you have even the slightest desire to eventually expand in order to make more money and spread more help, TikTok is a no-brainer. The first step to expanding in this digital universe is to create a following. With over a billion monthly users on TikTok, you really can’t go wrong.

How therapists can get started with TikTok

Like I’ve been hounding you to do this whole time, go to TherapyDen’s TikTok and get inspired by my posts. Another account I’m in love with is the Situational Therapist. Look at their account to see how they’ve been attracting a ton of followers for a long time now. And search for other trending therapists by following hashtags such as #therapy, #therapytiktok, #therapytok and #mentalhealth.

Once you get a feel for what’s out there, you’ll most likely start to come up with ideas of your own. TikTok is all about copying other people’s ideas, so don’t be afraid to use someone else’s format.

I’d also recommend leaning into your niche and specialty. Pick out the complicated terms and sift through all your therapy jargon and create videos that clearly explain what you’re trying to convey in very easy to understand language. Don’t get too hung up on the format. If you look at my account, you’ll see that I’m kinda all over the place. I play around with different ways to present the information so that I can get a good idea of what works.

Oh, and don’t worry about all the fancy filters and effects. You don’t need to be flashy. Once you start using TikTok more, you’ll get a better idea of all the bells and whistles and if you want to start playing around with that stuff.

One of the most important things is to try your very best to hook viewers in the first 2 or 3 seconds, so make sure you’ve got something really interesting to say right away. Oftentimes, validating your ideal viewer’s emotional state is the way to go (which you should already be pretty good at since you’re basically doing that all day long with clients). You might start with “How to stop feeling anxious in relationships” or “Doing this can instantly calm you down the next time you panic.”

My last piece of advice is to try to post one video a day. I know that sounds daunting, but once you get into the swing of things, it can become quite fun and not be that labor intensive. TikTok is not about highly produced videos. It’s a very DIY platform, so there’s no need to polish your videos. In fact, the more polished you are, the less authentic you come across and the less interesting you’ll be.

If TikTok still seems a bit overwhelming or you just don’t care, then I understand. At the very least, please like and comment on one of my least viewed videos starring my dog Josh that honestly deserves a lot more love and attention.

Jeff Guenther, LPC, is a therapist in Portland, OR. He has been in private practice since 2005. Jeff is the creator and owner of Portland Therapy Center, a highly ranked therapist directory. Jeff, and his team, have launched a new progressive therapist directory, TherapyDen.

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