Episode 9 Authentic Marketing for Holistic Counseling with Michelle Hardman

May 5, 2021

How can you create an effective magnet to attract your ideal clients? What are some marketing mistakes that holistic counselors make when trying to market their practices? Why is your ‘why’ more important than your ‘how’?


Michelle is a “unicorn” in the clinical world – with an MBA in strategic management AND as Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor/Private Practice owner – she is kinda unique!! Plus, as a Certified Daring Way Facilitator, teaching curricula based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, her business coaching and productivity tools incorporate powerful components of this body of work.

She is SO passionate about helping you FLOURISH because she KNOWS you went into private practice with your own passion for creating a healing space for others!!

Michelle coaches clinicians, just like you, with a vales-based approach to business ensuring your practice’s marketing and branding efforts are authentic and effective! This way, you can be sure to attract YOUR ideal clients and build a thriving practice you love.

Visit her website. Book a free 20-minute chat by clicking here.

Email Michelle at grow@theprimedpractice.com

Get 15% off with the promo code ‘hcp15’ on the Get Out Of Your Own Way‘ marketing course


  • Differences between marketing for holistic group practices and other group practices
  • Talk about your ‘why’, not the ‘how’
  • Some mistakes holistic therapists make when marketing their practices
  • How to connect to your ideal client


The main difference between the marketing strategies of holistic group practices and other more conventional group practices is that they will both market to two different kinds of ideal clients.

It may not be the same client who is reaching out to a CBT clinician … so I think that being keenly aware of who your dream client is, what they’re going to look for and language that resonates with them is probably one of the first things to think about when you’re marketing a holistic private practice. (Michelle Hardman)

As a holistic counseling practice, be aware of:

  • Who your ideal client is,
  • What the language is that you can use to connect with them, and
  • What their unique pain points are that you can help them with.

This is because these aspects may be different from how a CBT clinician will market to their ideal clients, and when you can become clear on these aspects you are then able to weed out the people that you may not work well with and find the people that will fit in well with your treatment modalities.


Often people who are coming in for treatment do not always care much for the medical or holistic jargon behind your practice. Some terminology will be beneficial, but often what a client really wants to hear is your ‘why’ and why this work will benefit them.

It resonates more with people on an emotional level to talk about why you are passionate about the work, and why holistic is the approach and the modality of your practice because I think that’s when we get that real connection and that spark with somebody who might be reading a brochure or the copy on your website and that is going to feel a lot more genuine and authentic. (Michelle Hardman)

By owning what you do and why it is important to you, it flows from a genuine and sincere place. Therefore, when you write your copy or talk about your work on podcasts and so forth, people can feel the energy you have behind the work you do when you explain ‘why’ you enjoy it, work with it, and believe in it, instead of only using medical jargon.

  • Here in your marketing, you can talk about your core values as the overlay of your practice.

Authentically being you is a really great thing and that means, by definition, you are not going to treat every single person that calls you or reaches out … it can be painful and that’s where I love the idea as a holistic practitioner, peeling off that clinician piece and overlaying it on building your business. How can you do it metaphorically in a holistic way, just as you would tell your clients, how can you talk to yourself in that same fashion so that you don’t feel like you have to take on every client that calls. (Michelle Hardman)

  • Be mindful of networking and referral sources because this builds on and brings in the ideal clients that you want your practice to work with.


1 – “Ugh, I can’t market myself”: Sales does not equal marketing and marketing does not equal sales. When you market your practice, that is about the client, not about you.

Sales is about me as the business owner. Sales is about ‘I met this many new clients, I hit these targets, these are my goals. Sales is about me’. That is why when we think about trying to talk to people from that perspective it feels so gross because it’s not about them, it’s about me … because sales are about my goals. Marketing on the other hand is about your client’s pain points. (Michelle Hardman)

Marketing is being able to understand your ideal client’s pain points and being able to articulate that you understand their pain points, that you know how to assist them and bring relief to them.

The key is to be mindful and aware … so that we can catch that and stop the [anxiety] going into the words and the messages we are creating, but instead staying aligned with ‘why’ you started this holistic practice, being able to speak from there with your core values, keeping in mind what your ideal client’s pain points are and how you can address them … that’s where the marketing magic happens. (Michelle Hardman)

2 – Not networking: being able to create relationships with therapists – even therapists that specialize in the same area as you – can be helpful because then you begin to create strong bonds. These bonds allow you to refer out to one another, bring one another into meaningful change and evolution where it brings positive ripple effects into your own practice.

This can happen when there is courage because when we slip into the scarcity mindset we become antagonists but in reality, there are definitely enough clients to go around.


Slow down to figure it out. This may seem counterintuitive because you might think that you are losing money, but when you slow down to figure out how to connect with your ideal client, your business and practice becomes so much stronger and in more need, because you have now introduced it to the very people who need it, instead of blindly marketing it to anyone.

Write some of your core mission values down and work around them, work them into your practice, so that you know you are building your business around the very people you want to assist.

When folks are new in their own private practice, I get it, you want to go as fast as possible because you want to make money and you are excited about what you are doing … if we spend some time on the front end ironing out those details and being specific then we have created a really strong filter … and we’ve created a really strong magnet to attract the right [clients] and that’s going to pay off in dividends. (Michelle Hardman)

Download this free worksheet to give you a starting point to create or “re-imagine” your marketing efforts.

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