John Clarke on The Basics of Digital Marketing | FP 50

John Clarke on The Basics of Digital Marketing | FP 50

Are you a private practice owner who wants to expand and improve the effectiveness of your marketing? How can you set up long-term marketing practices that have a high client conversion rate? Which options should you consider?

In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks about the basics of digital marketing with John Clarke.

Meet John Clarke

John Clarke MA, EdS, NCC, LPC is a licensed counselor, former group practice owner (sold in 2019), and private practice coach at He’s been helping therapists get more clients, make more money, and master private practice since 2013.

When he’s not nerding out over all things private practice, he’s pretending he knows how to play jazz drums, punching people in the face (gently…ish) at Muay Thai kickboxing, and talking to his pets like they’re humans.

Visit John’s website, connect on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Listen to the podcast here.

In This Podcast

  • Some common marketing mistakes therapists make
  • Make your website client-centric
  • Different kinds of website traffic
  • If you only had $1k to put into marketing, Google Ads, or SEO?
  • Should you run Google Ads yourself or outsource help?
  • Marketing tips for group practice owners

Some common marketing mistakes therapists make

John’s main tip is to use common sense. People have an ability to overcomplicate their marketing because they want to fast forward to SEO and Google Ads when they have not understood the principles behind it, or without making their website clear and comprehensible.

Whatever you do, know why you’re doing it.

  • Become “Google obsessed”. Social media can be helpful for brand awareness, however, as a foundation, Google is a good place to make your bets.
  • Do not feel pressured to make loads of social media posts on loads of platforms just because everyone around you is blindly doing it too.
  • Make sure your website is succinct and readable with your mission message or idea made clear from the beginning to target your niche market.
  • Use plain language and skip on the jargon to make sure that you do not lose your potential clients with overly confusing information.

Make your website client-centric

The StoryBrand framework is really that businesses fail in their marketing because they position themselves as the hero, whereas in reality the client is the hero in their story, and our job is to position ourselves as the guides, trying to help that hero overcome their multiple levels of problems and challenges and I think that’s a good, simple way to think about your place on your website and in your marketing.

Sometimes therapists talk about themselves on their website because they do not know what else to say, even though this is a common and sincere mistake, try to avoid this. By making your website all about yourself, clients will be deterred. People may not be compelled to engage with you when you are making yourself the focus.

You could have lots of traffic, but if your website is not easily navigable or client-centered, it will not be as successful as it can be.

Different kinds of website traffic


Here you pay per click with Google Ads, when someone is searching for something and you have paid Google Ads for certain keywords, you will only pay when these keywords enable a potential customer to click on your website or link. Essentially, it is an online auction. Paid traffic is a good starting point for your business, especially if you want to build up your business quickly or if you have a specific goal in mind that you want to fulfill.


Organic traffic builds over time. Once you have it established and you maintain in occasionally, it can hold itself up very well.

If you only had $1k to put into marketing, Google Ads, or SEO?

John recommends putting almost all of that $1k into Google Ads.

The reality is like, those who are willing to be scrappy and spend some money to put in their business are usually gonna see it back.

It may be scary to spend such an amount of money in the beginning, but looking at the long-term client retention rates that you can get from good Google Ads shows that you can quickly make back that money.

Most therapists do not stick with Google Ads long enough to fully appreciate this return, or they may not be putting enough money into Google Ads to really see the impact it can have.

Should you run Google Ads yourself or outsource help?

My rule of thumb for outsourcing is you should do everything yourself or at least understand the task before you outsource it.

By understanding what the task is before outsourcing is, you will understand exactly what kind of help you need and how to oversee it properly. Therefore with something like Google Ads, spend some time getting to know how the system works before you decide whether or not to keep it on your plate or hire someone to assist you.

Marketing tips for group practice owners

Grow and engage with your email lists and do not let them be neglected.

What a lot of group practice owners forget is to grow and engage with their email lists. Lets say you have your client contact list in your EHR with Therapy Notes or whatever, but you absolutely have to have email lists because it’s a centralized place where you can keep in touch with everybody that has ever came into contact with your business.

Email lists are a long-term play, if and when the time comes that you decide to sell your practice, your email list becomes an important asset because the new owner will be purchasing all the contacts your business has amassed.

In the long run, you can create serious brand awareness overtime and stay connected with old clients as well as bringing new clients on board.

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Meet Whitney Owens

Photo of Christian therapist Whitney Owens. Whitney helps other christian counselors grow faith based private practices!Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.

Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.

Thanks For Listening!

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Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to

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