The Clinician's Guide to Content Marketing, with Marissa Lawton

Topics covered:  content and content marketing, how to bridge marketing and therapy, social media marketing and platforms, a proven methodology for content marketing. Length: 1 hour, 19 minutes

Class Notes

About Marissa:  Marissa is a licensed counselor, freelance writer, and content marketer for therapists.  She approaches content marketing from a clinician’s point of view, helping other clinicians that are apprehensive about, confused by, or too busy for content marketing.  She holds a counseling master’s degree, and is currently completing a marriage and family therapy certification.

Content marketing works for you while you sleep!


What is content?

  • Content is information

Internet content:  pictures, blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media posts

  • Be intentional about your content.  Content is cumulative and equals our “web presence.”
  • Nothing ever goes away from the internet.

Good news:  You can curate your content in ways that contribute to your desired web presence.

Why does content matter?

  • Our online reputation
  • HIPAA compliance and confidentiality
  • Personal safety and privacy (what can our clients see about our lives?)
  • Professional ethics and boundaries

Business Owners

  • You represent your practice/business
  • You want a curated business persona (a.k.a., a personal brand)
  • There isn’t a clear separation between business and personal personas online (i.e., they are one and the same)

What is content marketing?

Taking your intentional, curated web presence, and positioning it in front of your ideal client.

Reframe:  Taking your expertise and making it easily available to those that need your help, by posting your content strategically online.

Content marketing vs. blogging (or, producing content)

Blogging can be a source of content marketing, but not necessarily.

Content marketing:

  • is intentional and utilizes long-tail keywords that are attractive to your niche topic
  • is content that appeals to (is targeted to) your ideal client
  • Mirrors specific topics that you address with your ideal clients in session (tip: write blog and social media posts on these topics)
  • utilizes a strategy fits together like puzzle pieces
  • includes an intentional path for clients to book with you (calls to action)

Search Engine Optimization

Long tail keywords:  phrases that are being searched; for example, “postpartum depression after second baby”

Use it in your title, and once or twice within your blog post

Internal links:  How your blog posts link back to each other.  Create more internal links on your website, because it shows that your website is “content rich.”

External links:  When other people, or social media posts, link back to your site.

Images and video:  Use keywords when naming images, and include videos on your website.

How and where to share your content to reach your ideal client:  Steps for content marketing success

1 |  Analyze your niche

How do they talk? What phrases are they searching?

2 |  Set yourself apart. Find your unique angle

3 |  Use strategic Content

4 |  Post consistently

5 |  Develop a cohesive online presence/brand/persona

Reasons why therapists fail at content marketing

  • Writing for other clinicians, rather than ideal clients
  • Content isn’t enticing
  • Blending in with other therapists
    • Become a thought leader, or a devil’s advocate
  • Content doesn’t provide solutions
    • Blog post must include a concrete takeaway that is actionable and measurable
  • Your ideal client isn’t seeing your posts

How to identify your target audience (niche)

Niche down 5 times:

Example:  I want to work with women (1), from 29-40 (2), who are anxious (3), about returning to work (4), because they’re going through a divorce (5)

Social media strategy/Social media platforms

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Where does my ideal client hang out online?
  • How are they using social media?
  • Are you trying to grow an audience, or expand your engagement with the audience you already have?
  • Is this strategy sustainable long-term?

Social media and content marketing is free--you are investing time, not money.  It’s a trade-off.  It must be strategic, in order for it to reward you financially.

Social media and your target audiences

Facebook:  Used equally by men and women, all ages, 2 billion users worldwide. Lots of options for marketing. A must have.

Pinterest:  150 million users worldwide, a visual search engine, mainly women, but male users are growing, most users are under age 45. Users plan and create visual boards as well as ways to solve crises.

Youtube:  Search engine.  Vide tutorials. Adults over 35. Short videos that are actionable.

LinkedIn:  People connecting and engaging with content.  Middle aged target audience, more males than females.  High socio-economic status.

Twitter:  Mostly males, under 49.  Moves quickly, can be difficult to stand out.  A “retweet” strategy can work well. Use hashtags!

Instagram:  Most users are millennials, overwhelmingly female. This is for a visual representation of your brand. Instagram stories is essential.

An Exact Content Marketing Strategy

How do I know what to say? : A repeatable methodology for saving time and targeting your niche

Methods vs. Tactics

Methods are proven--repeatable and evolve with you in your practice

Tactics are experiments--trying it one time to see if it works for you; must be perfected.

Hypotheses (tactics) vs. Theories (methods)

This is a method/theory for using your content:

Step 1:  Identify 4 questions that are relevant to your ideal client (4 Overarching Themes):  What are they talking about all the time?

Step 2:  Write a blog post, or create a piece of content, for each of the four questions/themes.

Step 3:  Use specific tips in your post from step 2

Step 4:  Take Tip 1 (or first heading) from Step 3, and share it as a large piece of conent (i.e., video) on a social media platform (Youtube, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, etc.).

Share different bullet points under tip/heading 1 on a variety of social media platforms, and include a link to your post, or your video (these act as external links).

You are not repeating content, but rather posting a variety of content from one larger piece on different platforms.

Tip:  Consider your personality when deciding on your content delivery method (for example, posts, videos, podcast, etc.).

Someone needs to see your content 7 times, before they purchase from you.

This strategy is way to reuse your content, increase SEO, and consistently reach your target audience using complementary information, rather than repetition.


Your next steps 

  • Ensuring that your content marketing is targeted, comprehensive, and strategic
  • Your content is representative of who you are 
  • Content is created based on what you want your potential client to think about when they encounter your content
  • Refine your niche
  • Decide where to target your ideal audience


Create tailored content with a repeatable methodology that saves time!  Get your workbook here (it's also found in Library --> Resources)

Special Offer, from Marissa

Marissa is offering $50 off her content strategy service to all RTN members. If you're ready to have a comprehensive, repeatable strategy, let her know you learned about her from RTN. Learn more about Marissa's services.