Marketing for therapists on Instagram

This is the complete guide to marketing for therapists on Instagram.

Gone are the days of the traditional psychologist sitting with a notebook in a quaint, sunlit room. Your future clients are waiting for you on social media. Instagram allows people’s innermost thoughts and feelings to be revealed in a visual way. They don’t even realize what they are disclosing to the world, but you do. And you have the advantage of appealing to them on in a less invasive and formal manner. There is great power in connecting on a human level because most people are apprehensive about getting professional help.

Instagram allows you to use professionalism as a foundation while appearing more relatable and approachable. That is how you attract future clients rather than scare them off with your title. Your clients get a helping hand without them even realizing. Through finding the balance between friendly and professional, you can encourage them to get serious about their mental health. This is the first step to making them feel comfortable to book an appointment. All you need is an optimized Instagram account to establish that connection.

Why Therapists Need an Instagram Account

The premise of social media allows users to share and consume content daily. There are around 100 million photos uploaded on Instagram every day, and the average person spends 53 minutes on the platform. It is unsurprising these statistics are linked to an increase in mental health disorders. As a result, you can access your target demographic regardless of your specialisation. This also helps you create and upload content focusing solely on them.

Another advantage of being a therapist with an Instagram account is you can also run your sessions online. You can do this on the platform itself through direct messaging. Adding an online element to your services not only makes you more accessible, but it also decreases the anxiety people feel about meeting in person. Ultimately it is a win for you and your clients. A lot of therapists are limited by relying solely on face-to-face appointments. Offering an alternative option means you can grow your client base just through having an online presence. Building your Instagram profile starts with choosing the right profile picture.

Profile Pictures for Instagram

This is the first thing people see when scrolling through their feed. Your best two options for an Instagram profile picture are your logo or your face. It’s important to remember the size of the picture gets minimized after upload. That means you should make the most of that small space regardless of the option you choose.

When opting for a logo, the picture needs to be vibrant and eye catching. Use square pictures with dimensions of at least 1080px. Ensure the colours of the graphic are bold and any lines or font are crisp. Here is a great example of logos used in Instagram profile pictures (@enjoybloom; @the.backyard.psychologist).

If you decide on a picture of your face, make sure it is a professional shot of you smiling. In the case you don’t have access to a photographer, use a high-quality camera instead. If the photo is grainy, blurred or out of focus do not use it. Since you are a professional, every element of your profile needs to exude attention to detail. A trick to make your face the focal point is blurring out the background. Use the profile picture below from @nytherapist as inspiration.

Therapists Instagram Bio

Your bio serves as the next selling point of your Instagram profile. This is where you include information about your services including contact details. Here is a breakdown of the @myeasytherapy bio.

What you put in the Name part of your profile helps your account rank in the search results for that keyword. Use terms like ‘psychologist’ that describe your profession like and attract interested parties. Keep it simple because these words need to be popular searches.

The Category section is a label you choose for your account based on the content. Given you are a therapist, a good one to choose is ‘mental health service’ but it’s up to you. In a similar vein, the first part of the bio should be your specialisation or official job title. The tagline is related to your work, so think of something creative that describes what you do but also what makes you different.

We recommend you include at least one mode of contact, especially an email address. It would also benefit you to have a website as a visual representation of your services. Make sure your website is set up professionally because it is a big part of your online image.

Personal v Creator v Business Profile Instagram

Once your bio is complete, you should switch your account to a business profile. This tells Instagram you are not a casual Instagram user and therefore require special privileges. The creator option is generally reserved for influencers who do paid promotions and other users who do not operate under a traditional business model.

Since you are running a business, the data Instagram collects can help you with finding the right audience. Business profiles have access to analytics from the demographics of followers to when they’re most active on Instagram. You also get to see how your posts are received and how much exposure they are getting. In a nutshell, you learn how to make your Instagram account work for your business. Here are the most important metrics to monitor.

Instagram business insights explanation

Content Strategy for Therapists Instagram

Your Instagram account would be nothing without the posts you upload. That is why it’s important to have a content strategy. There are three types of posts you can use depending on the statement you’re trying to make. Your options are photo, carousel or video. Each serves its own purpose, so you can stick to one or alternate over time.

Photos are the most popular type of post, because they are easy to capture/make. A carousel is used to tell a story or discuss a theme. It tends to be an album of photos, but videos can also be included. The benefit of a carousel is keeping users engaged by making them swipe through the collection. Users are more inclined to check every post because they appear to be connected. Similarly, videos are also made to increase engagement. You should consider them mini-movies. The best videos on Instagram are interesting and keep you glued to your screen.



The post below by @theself_carekit depicts the main purpose of an infographic. You educate your audience with fun and vibrant illustrations/graphics. There are many themes you can discuss in psychology. Mental health is a very popular topic on Instagram with millions of searches, but accounts posting high-quality infographics are few in comparison. If you put in the effort to create something unique, you will get better reception than reposting other people’s content. We understand you might not have time, but you can outsource it to people who do. Contact us for vibrant, professional infographics to make your Instagram account stand out.


Funny videos

Uploading funny videos is a common tactic used by many pages, especially those in the health niche. It’s good to provide some comic relief to your audience for two reasons. The first is you will make them feel good because they will laugh or at least smile at your video. Furthermore, it is a clever way to appear more relatable. You may be a therapist, but you too are a human being just like them. It is easier to break the ice and establish rapport if they see you as an equal.

Here is a screenshot of a video from the @frontlinetherapist Instagram.

Inspirational content

You can upload motivational posts in the form of photo, video or both. There is a lot of content you can repost, however choosing popular quotes can get you greater exposure. Once again, using your own quotes in posts will make you look more original. If you do decide to upload a post with a famous quote, you can still use a custom background or present it in a unique way to set yourself apart from others.

Tips for Uploading Content for Therapist Marketing on Instagram

Deciding what to post can be frustrating if you don’t know where to start. Here are some of our recommendations for streamlining the process.

  • Be creative – The more testing you do, the better you can gauge what your audience wants. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas, formats, colours, themes, etc., to see what works best.
  • Be realistic – Don’t get discouraged if your idea isn’t received as well as expected. Instagram users are people, each with their own beliefs and perceptions. You won’t always get it right, and there’s no point in stressing yourself about it. We know that’s what you tell your clients, but it applies to you as well.
  • Be observant – Since you have a business profile, you can access your posts’ analytics. Monitor results for every post and pay attention to outliers. Focus on which posts are saved and shared the most. These metrics highlight the relevance of your content.
  • Be flexible – Mix up your content depending on what your audience wants. There’s nothing wrong with adding new elements and making the most of trending topics/events. Your followers want to be captivated not bored.

Captions for Instagram

Your posts will go unnoticed without the right caption and hashtag set. These elements add the finishing touch to your content. Just like with the rest of your Instagram journey, experimentation is key! When you get it right you can increase your reach and engagement. So, how is it done?

Write original captions that reveal your personality. Whether it’s one sentence or 20, your followers can tell you put in effort. Use your sense of humour, intellect and/or passion to explain the motivation behind your post. You can simplify the message or elaborate on it.

Hashtag Strategy for Therapists on Instagram

The first step we recommend is doing hashtag research. This is achieved by looking at hashtags other therapists/mental health niche pages are using on their posts. Some hashtags are more popular than others. Typically, the more general the hashtag the more posts are using it.

Hashtags like #mentalhealth are very popular because they are umbrella terms encompassing diverse themes and ideologies. Expectedly, this hashtag is used on 16.8 million posts. The hashtag #mentalhealthrecovery, however, is used on close to 600,000 posts. Narrowing down the focus even more brings us to smaller hashtags like #mentalhealthhelp with 57.1K posts.

You will gain more exposure through using long-tail hashtags. These tend to be the most detailed hashtags for your niche. Finding long-tail hashtags can be done through a keyword search under Tags on Instagram. The results will show related hashtags and their popularity. Another method is using the app HishHash. All you need to do is type in a popular hashtag and you get a list of related hashtags in descending order of popularity. You can also save your hashtag sets for easy copy and paste. Make sure you shuffle hashtag sets so Instagram doesn’t think you are spamming. You don’t want to get hit with an action block (here’s how to remove it anyway) or a shadowban

Stories Strategy

This Instagram feature is your chance to be more relaxed when it comes to your content. Stories are used for many purposes depending on your mood or preferences. There are two main types of stories people typically post.

  1. Entertainment

Anything you find funny, interesting, exciting or delicious is an option. There are many photos and videos matching that description, so feel free to explore and see what you find. Ensure you credit the source. You can also share content you’ve shot or filmed yourself. These are a few themes that work well.

Instagram stories

2. Connection

You can give a personal feel to your stories, without disclosing the most intimate moments from your life. Think of your content as a means of facilitating connection. You create rapport with your followers simply by talking about life. Given it is a broad topic, there is a lot of content to be shared.

Instagram stories 2

Instagram Highlights Strategy

Keeping stories for later viewing by your followers is another Instagram feature you should leverage. All you need to do is save the stories you want as a highlight. You can organize your highlights by topic for easy access. We recommend you have no more than 5 highlights to pique interest. Keeping the number small makes the highlights seem more interesting and exclusive. Think of it as the ‘top _’ or ‘best _’ list you see used when referring to movies, books and other products.

Instagram Highlight Covers

Once you have decided how to categorize your highlights, you need a vibrant highlight cover. There are many ways to make them, but these are the general guidelines to follow.

  • Find a graphic that represents the contents of your highlight.
  • Ensure the graphic is high-quality and easy to identify.
  • Use bright colours that match your company colours or theme of your feed.
  • Resize the graphic so it fits in the centre of the circle cover.

We recommend watching this 10-minute video if you want visual instructions for creating a highlight cover.

Grow Your Therapist Instagram Account With Us

The tips and strategies discussed in this article deliver a solid foundation for a polished Instagram account. It is important to employ our recommendations for the best results. Having an optimized profile is the first step toward growing your Instagram account. There exist marketing strategies designed to increase your reach and engagement and ultimately your follower base. If you are looking to take your account to the next level whilst attracting the right clients apply to work with us here.  Together we can create a comprehensive strategy to grow your brand on Instagram