Getting Paid: Key Differences in Marketing & Branding Approaches with Insurance-Based and Private-Pay Clients
Private-pay clients are seeking out an expert in the field. When you are in a private-pay practice, your marketing and branding must reflect that.
When it comes to seeking out therapy services, a client’s decision-making process can vary greatly depending on the type of practice, the therapist’s expertise, and the payment structure.
Research reveals that insurance-based clients generally select a therapist based on who takes their insurance and the convenience of appointments. This usually leads insurance-based clients to choose a therapist based solely on price and insurance coverage, rather than on expertise or personal fit.
This is NOT the case with private-pay clients.
Private-pay clients who select therapists in private practice are seeking out an expert in the field and are usually looking for a more personalized, specialized approach. Because private-pay clients want a therapist who is knowledgeable, experienced, and an expert in the areas of their concerns, these clients are willing to prioritize the therapist's expertise over factors such as price, insurance coverage, and location—and are willing to pay out-of-pocket for the services of a highly skilled, and experienced, therapist.
For therapists in private-pay private practices, it is important to tailor marketing and branding efforts to attract and this type of client and referral. Since these clients are seeking out an expert in the field, your marketing and branding and content presented has to focus on and reflect that.
Ensuring that the overall client experience is positive, responsive, and supportive is another key factor in attracting, retaining, and continuously keeping your practice full with private-pay clients.
Because private-pay clients are often seeking a high level of personalized attention and care, the therapist's communication style, responsiveness, and attention to detail can all play a role in their decision-making process.
This may involve responding promptly enough to texts, DMs, emails, and voicemails, as well as having an engaging professional website with content that addresses their concerns, an interesting social media presence or platform with videos, images, and interesting content, and implementing effective communication strategies.
It also may involve highlighting your areas of expertise in your networking introductions as well as on your website, social media, email communications and other promotional materials. Including appropriate testimonials can also be effective in demonstrating a therapist's effectiveness and success in treating specific issues.
As you can see, insurance-based clients and private-pay private practice clients have different priorities when it comes to choosing a therapist. Private-pay clients prioritize finding an expert in the field who is responsive to them and can address their specific concerns and issues. As a therapist in private practice, it's important to understand this about your target audience and tailor your marketing and branding efforts accordingly.
Focus on your expertise and specialization, develop an engaging website that demonstrates that; utilize social media in interesting ways that your clientele appreciates; build relationships with other like-minded and allied professionals; and offer value-added services such as books, webinars, workshops, talks, and retreats to differentiate your practice and attract private-pay clients and referrals.
While insurance-based clients may prioritize convenience and insurance coverage in their decision-making process, private-pay clients are seeking out an expert in the field and are willing to pay for a personalized and specialized approach. Therapists in private-pay private practices must tailor their marketing efforts towards this type of client, highlighting their experience and expertise, and providing a high level of personalized attention and care. By doing so, they can attract and retain a clientele that values their skills and expertise, and is willing pay for their services.
Lynne Azpeitia, LMFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor, is in private practice in Santa Monica where she works with Couples and Gifted, Talented, and Creative Adults across the lifespan. Lynne’s been doing business and clinical coaching with mental health professionals for more than 15 years, helping professionals develop even more successful careers and practices. To learn more about her in-person and online services, workshops or monthly no-cost Online Networking & Practice Development Lunch visit www.Gifted-Adults.com or www.LAPracticeDevelopment.com.
Lynne Azpeitia, LMFT
For 10+ years Lynne Azpeitia has helped therapists to live richer and happier lives through her workshops, private practice and career coaching, and her practice consultation groups which train, support, and coach licensed therapists, interns & students how to create and maintain a successful, thriving clinical practice and a profitable career