Marketing help for therapists

A lot of people offer business coaching and guidance to therapists, and when you're just setting up, or when your business is not growing as fast as you'd like, it's tempting to sign up with them all. But, like other business decisions, the money you invest in this type of help has to be considered carefully.

We speak to three of the best marketing experts to see how they got into this part of the therapy business, and what advice they can offer.

The experts:

Rob De Groof

David McGee

Tracy Mason

Our experts' answers are colour coded to make it easier for you to follow each one, and appear in alphabetical order (surname) in the transcript.

Hypnotherapy Training & Practitioner - HTP] When did you set up your hypnotherapy business and what was the biggest challenge you faced?
ROB: I started in 2010 by chance. I was not interested in becoming a therapist. I learned hypnosis for my entertainment business. As I realised that to become a good hypnotist you should hypnotise a lot I decided to create a little website about change work to do like two or three sessions a week. After three months I had a full-time therapy business and the waiting time started to build. As I still had my other business time was my biggest challenge.
DAVID: I qualified mid-2017 and, after a few months of consolidation and finding my feet, I started practising part-time in January 2018. I thought that when I qualified, clients would just be queuing at my door. How wrong I was! Finding a consistent flow of clients and, therefore, a predictable income were the biggest challenges that I faced.
TRACY: I set up my business on a full-time basis in 2001. My biggest challenges were knowing how to market my business to attract clients, mindset issues around charging, and boundaries!

[HTP] How did you get over that?
ROB: I stopped performing myself and focussed me entirely on doing hypnosis. After 2 years I started with hiring other therapists. Now I have 6 therapists working for me.
DAVID: Early that year, 2018, I invested in business coaching. It was a journey that transformed me, my confidence and my hypnotherapy business. I needed to know I could make £4K a month in order to quit my day job and within 4 months I proved to myself that was consistently possible.
TRACY: I invested in a marketing manual from a fellow hypnotherapist. It was a 'thud factor', physical manual and a DVD. It gave me some good ideas which I implemented and I have continued to invest year upon year. I had some one-to-one coaching to help shift my beliefs around charging for my skills and time. It helped me to see the transformation and value I gave. My boundaries became firmer with more experience and when I became a mum in 2003 this really focused my mind on how precious my time and energy were.

[HTP] What was the worst business advice you were ever given?
ROB: That you should do most of the work yourself. I experienced that outsourcing is a better way to work.
DAVID: The worst piece of advice I was given was the one that gave no return-on-investment (ROI). That was from a ‘marketing expert’ and the advice was, that I absolutely needed to be on Twitter to get clients. I paid her £150 a month per month for 6 months for her to run a Twitter account for me and the ROI was zero clients and zero financial return!
TRACY: You have to choose a niche straight away to build your business.  No, I disagree. Let your niche find you. Niche is those areas that you find you love to work with and are getting great results with your clients.

[HTP] What made you decide to help other therapists develop their businesses?
ROB: I love to teach. And as my belief is that the more good hypnotherapists there are out there the more people got helped and the more of their friends get interested in hypnosis.
DAVID: I like helping people. I quit my day job in December 2018 and I’ve been a full-time Professional Hypnotherapist since. My income comfortably equals my £48k corporate salary and I hear so many therapists struggling. The hypnotherapy courses teach you how to be a great hypnotherapist but to win clients you need to be equally great at marketing and selling. I’m now sharing what I’ve learnt from business coaching and mentoring with other driven hypnotherapists who want to be successful.
TRACY: Helping other therapists happened very naturally. I worked at various centres where I was always fully booked and fellow therapists asked how I did it. I enjoyed sharing ideas and motivating them. I then set up a Facebook group around 2012 and offered free support and advice for therapists nationally and internationally. I realised there was a great need for marketing, mindset and business confidence and it boosted my confidence that I could coach and inspire.

[HTP] How do you do this?
ROB: I am always ready to help my students. For me, training doesn’t stop on the last day at 5pm. We help them with all kinds of stuff. Also the business side. I offer them mentor programs.
DAVID: Through a Discovery Call with me, I decide if the hypnotherapist is truly committed and the right fit for The Hypnotherapist Coaching Academy. If they are, I will offer them the opportunity of enrolling in my ten-week coaching and mentoring program, which will guide and support them every step of the way towards a successful hypnotherapy business, and ultimately, the life of their dreams.
TRACY: I now offer one to one coaching, have an online course and run an online marketing membership club.

[HTP] Can you share a success story about someone you've helped?
ROB: One of my clients was having trouble finding clients for her new hypnotherapy business. I reviewed her website and found some articles that needed improvement but the biggest problem was that she was only open to book a session on Tuesday evening from 6 pm to 9 pm. I explained to her that this was probably the reason why she couldn’t even fill that time slot on a steady basis. When potential clients see that one of the therapists they are considering is only available on Tuesday evenings and the others offer more options, 80% (if not a referral) will contact one of the other therapists. Not only because the client has more options to book a session, but your credibility will rise. I suggested that even if she is doing hypnotherapy part-time she should open up slots on different days, so the clients don’t have the feeling they are looking at a website of an amateur who is doing only a few hours of hypnotherapy a week. She changed this and her business started to grow.
DAVID: I’ll let one of my clients, Lesley from Lesley Cooper Hypnotherapy tell you about that 'Before working with David, I was hesitant to approach the online/Facebook advertising as I have very little knowledge and experience with it. David has coached me through and taught me how to get started, and I am looking forward to building up my skills with his guidance. Once I had discussed my concerns with David, I had no hesitation whatsoever with going ahead with his coaching. The process has been very comfortable and professional; he is patient and understanding; this is very important when learning new skills. Whilst I still have a long way to go, I have at least managed to get my FB Business Page started, this is a great result for me. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with David, he is always happy to help and discuss concerns, and I would have no hesitation in recommending him as a coach; he is delightful.'
TRACY: I am very proud of my one-to-one coaching client Emma Armes at  Aberdeenshire Hypnotherapy. Emma followed my Facebook page and then joined my six-week online course before coaching with me one-to-one. She has a thriving practice, and her niche in pain management naturally grew from her passion and results. She is now an international trainer and senior practitioner for the OldPain2Go methodology. Emma says 'There is a touch of Tracy running through my whole business and she has helped me from the early days of having no clue as to how to run a business, to the confident practitioner and trainer that I am today.'

[HTP] What's the best tip you can offer people who are setting up their business right now?
ROB: Make it easy for clients to book an appointment with you. Don’t start with, for example, only one day; give clients some options.
DAVID: The biggest obstacle I’ve come across is the hypnotherapists' own limiting beliefs that they’re not good enough to be operating at a level of making £50k a year. So, honestly, my best tip is to do some work on yourself, on your own self-belief, and get out of your own way to allow yourself to be successful. In addition, get some business coaching and mentoring from someone who’s walked the path before you and can show you the way.
TRACY: Work on your own mindset, confidence and beliefs as much as the external marketing itself. They are equally important to your success. And find a support network of fellow therapists whether on or offline for support and motivation.

[HTP] We have quite a lot of business building advice on this site (just type 'business' into the site search to find it), but is there anything you can offer our readers to get them started on a new approach to marketing?
ROB: I offer a free ebook on how to expand your business ‘Working with Hypnotherapy Staff’ - your readers can sign up for it HERE
DAVID: Readers can book a complimentary Discovery Call and find out more about my services by emailing me -
TRACY: Readers can join my FB page
 and send a message saying they have read this interview for a 30 min coaching session and a free marketing guide.


Interviewer is an experienced hypnotherapist and hypnotherapy trainer. She is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words and has co-written the Hypnotherapy Handbook, both of which are available from Amazon.
Find out more about Debbie's services on
Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training - multi accredited hypnotherapy practitioner training, taster days and foundation levels.
CPD Expert - accredited CPD and other therapy training (online and workshops options), expert and qualified hypnotherapy supervision