How ABA Professionals Grow Their Client Base
- Build a Brand
- Establish a Referral Program
- Connect with Community Groups
- Local SEO and Social Media
- Consider Professional Ethics
A practitioner of applied behavior analysis (ABA) may work with clients as an independent consultant or by establishing a clinic with a larger team. In either case, learning how to market services to the right audience is absolutely essential. Marketing is just as important for professional service providers as it is for physical products, so ABA practitioners shouldn’t hesitate to spread the word about their work.
Related resource: Top 15 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Online Programs
1. Build a Brand
Branding is a foundational marketing concept used by companies of all sizes and in all industries. Brand image is the net result of the perception that clients, competitors, and investors have of a company. Choosing a relevant and professional name for a behavior analysis practice is an important first step in the branding process. Businesses reinforce their image by carefully planning how they present themselves in client meetings, public conversations, and advertising.
2. Establish a Referral Program
Clients who receive good service may be more inclined to share their experience with others, but adding an incentive can motivate them even more. Referral programs don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Many companies allow clients to refer others for a discount on future services or something of comparable value. Clinics should also try to create a professional referral network with other health or therapy service providers.
3. Connect with Community Groups
Many communities around the country have support groups for people suffering from conditions that can be managed with ABA, including addiction and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Behavior analysts can connect with these groups for direct access to a local audience who could benefit from their services. When possible, it’s better to communicate directly with organizers to ensure marketing efforts don’t violate the privacy or purpose of the support space.
4. Local SEO and Social Media
Behavior analysts generally serve clients in a limited geographic area, which means their digital marketing efforts should always be geared towards local results. Online advertising campaigns can often be tailored to only appear to people who are within certain regions, which allows for targeted ads that maximize return on investment. Practitioners should also establish a professional social media presence so they can start building connections and content.
5. Consider Professional Ethics
Applied behavior analysis has the potential to deliver life-changing benefits for some clients, but practitioners have to be careful about making promises. In fact, professionals who have been officially licensed are expected to follow a specific code of ethics in their marketing efforts, according to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. These ethics cover a wide range of issues relevant to client outreach, including the use of testimonials, solicitation and media presentations.
Good customer service and consistent results may motivate some patients to spread good word of mouth, but this kind of natural marketing is rarely enough on its own. There are dozens of innovative ways that ABA practices can build a strong brand image and connect with potential clients in their community.