I’m Going to be Transparent with You About TherapyDen’s Marketing

Jeff Guenther on Sep 12, 2021

I’m sitting here trying to write a blog about TherapyDen’s premium subscription and all the wonderful benefits that you’ll get if you upgrade your account with us. But it’s really hard to do. I mean, I think you should upgrade your account, don’t get me wrong. Really great benefits to be had, yada, yada, yada. I believe in the service we offer. That’s not the problem. The problem is writing an article that’s interesting to read, compelling, maybe a little funny, not too offensive but just offensive enough to get some attention on social and in the end convinces a decent-sized chunk of you to actually upgrade your TherapyDen profile (or at the very least create a new free profile and maybe share TherapyDen with your colleagues).

Let me back up for a minute and tell you about how I’ve been marketing to therapists since way back in 2017. Stay with me because I think you’ll find this interesting, especially if you ever want to sell your services online (and especially if you want to sell directly to therapists).

Content marketing is what I do.

I’m sure “content marketing” has been a thing ever since marketing was a thing, but I didn’t really notice it until the internet did its thing about 25 years ago. Basically, TherapyDen (or we can just say me, Jeff) makes a form of content that I think therapists will enjoy and engage with, and throughout the content, I either directly ask you to create a profile with TherapyDen or I indirectly ask you to sign up. I play around with whether or not I feel like being direct or indirect. It all depends on my mood and how creative or playful I feel like being that day.

And the content can be anything on the internet. It can be a blog (which is one of my most favorite ways of creating content), a podcast, an illustration, a Tweet or Instagram post. It can be any type of media I feel like creating that I think you might find interesting. The not-so-secret goals are to get you to sign up for TherapyDen and to share my content with all your therapist buddies across the digital world.

Being authentic is essential.

But of course, aside from getting more TherapyDen signups, the content I create needs to be authentic. And I am nothing if not authentic (or at least I’d like to think so). I care deeply about our community and the clients that get services from us. I have rock solid values that I think pulse through everything that I create. To me, being authentic means being vulnerable and honest about my thoughts on mental health topics.

Obviously, therapists know when someone is being vulnerable and honest. Therapists are attracted to authenticity. We ask our clients to be authentic and we give them authentic feedback. Authenticity is kinda our thing. We’re experts in it. So if you’re ever going to sell something to a therapist, just cut through the bullshit and be direct and honest about what you’re thinking.

Where is this blog even going? Let's get back on topic…

How should I sell you on a premium subscription?

I'd like to cut through the bullshit and be direct for you too, which is why I want to know how I can convince you to upgrade your TherapyDen profile. (Check out our new snazzy landing page that will convince you to join.) There are a few ways I’ve been trying to do this lately and I’d love to hear your feedback because I’m not sure what’s the best way to go.

The “upgrade because you’re already getting value” proposition.

From what I can tell, this is the worst performing argument. I’ll tell you why in a sec. However, it’s always the best way to convince me to give you money, so keep that in mind when you come knocking on my door. Basically, I’m saying, if you’re a therapist that’s already getting clients from TherapyDen and enjoying all the content I create that you derive value from, will you please consider upgrading your subscription? TherapyDen is making you more money with clients and you’re enjoying the energy/labor that I put into my content, so would you please make this energetic exchange more balanced in the form of giving TherapyDen/me money?

It’s hard to find smooth marketing language to make this argument and that’s why you don’t see much of it from me. I was kinda hoping this would just magically happen without me asking. But the biggest problem seems to be that if therapists are already getting value from TherapyDen, why would they change the relationship? I’m giving it away for free. Who doesn’t like free stuff? I get it. But wouldn’t it be nice if our relationship felt more even? Personally, I think it would. ;)

The “upgrade because you’ll get more value/clients” proposition.

Hey, do you want more client referrals?! Well, have I got the premium subscription plan for you! You’ll move up in online counseling rankings, you’ll get to customize your profile more and you’ll be able to add more states that you’re licensed in!

This is working the best from what I can gather. And we’ve got the results to prove it. Howeverrrrrrrrr, not every single therapist is going to get more clients even if their profile is being viewed more often, so this can create angry therapists that feel like they aren’t getting what they are paying for. Which is… fair. But if you’d just hang in there longer than maybe two months, you’ll start reaping the rewards.

The “upgrade because you’ll be moving the industry forward” proposition.

Also a fave of mine (and maybe the most fun), it’s an argument that works a medium amount. I’m sayin, hey you. Yeah you! *Winky face.* How about you and I blow up this non-inclusive, borderline racist, most definitely stuck-in-the-past therapist directory industry and go full steam ahead? Do you want therapist directories that are truly inclusive and progressive to dominate the space so that a more diverse and modern set of clients can find a therapist that’s a competent match? Well, if you contribute by upgrading your subscription, you and I will take on the behemoths in this space that have been holding us back for years. Your money will allow us to move faster and make an even bigger difference. Want in?

The “upgrade because if you pay then others don’t have to” proposition.

I feel like this one should appeal to all of us therapists because this is how the majority of us run our practices. We set aside a certain amount of lower fee sessions to provide for folks that don’t have insurance or the means to pay full fee. The clients that pay full fee are partially funding the lower fee clients, right? If you didn’t have high-paying clients, you couldn’t take on the low-paying ones. And it’s the same for TherapyDen. If we don’t have enough premium subs, then we can’t offer free profiles to over 90% of the therapists that have a profile with us. It’s a costly endeavor to run a big website like ours. We need therapists that have the means to pay at least $10 a month for a profile so that we can continue being the inclusive therapist directory that any therapist at any income level can afford. So how about you toss us a few bucks so we can keep the basic profiles free?

Okay, so what do you think?

Do any of these arguments resonate with you more than another? Am I missing an argument that I haven’t thought of? After reading this blog, does it make you want to upgrade to a premium subscription? Because you can if you want to. ;)

Whatever you decide to do, I’m just happy that you’re here reading this content. Because when it comes down to it, I am probably just seeking the positive attention that I never received from my family when I was a helpless little child trying to navigate a scary world. Did that just do it? Did that just make you want to upgrade? Come on! You’re a therapist. That had to work!

Email me at [email protected] with any feedback you have.

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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