Get Expat Clients: How To Market Therapy Services To Americans Abroad

As a marketing consultant for therapists as well as a former expat (14 years in Greece!), here are my notes from a recent presentation I did to help therapists market their therapy services to expats:

Start With Taking The Time To Really Understand Expats

Particularly important if you have not been an expat!

  1. Get clear on different reasons/types of expats (retirees not the same as young person who moved for love not the same as political/social issues move)
  2. Get really clear on the unique pain points of expats. Things like separated from family that’s getting old or growing up, adjusting to a new culture, learning a new language, isolation from not sharing a common past with local peers, etc
    1. How to do this:
      1. Youtube expat vloggers/content creators 
      2. Expat forums
      3. Expat blog posts, newsletters from orgs
      4. Expat friends (both directions, talk to the expat in your neighborhood and the one living across the world)
  3. Get familiar with how hard it is for expats to find therapy
    1. Partly because they don’t realize they can get therapy from US therapists
    2. Partly because US therapists don’t know what’s up & they say “no” to therapy with expats

Top Suggested Sales & Marketing Content Updates 

  1. Sales
    1. On your website, create page for expats in general “Therapy for US Expats”
    2. OR get more specific create page for expats in a certain area or country “Therapy for US Expats in Singapore”
  2. Marketing
    1. Huge marketing opportunity: create mental health content for expats – short form video content, blog posts, social posts, free checklists, guides, or other gifts, and more

Build A Referral Network, One City At A Time

Very good idea to build a referral network for getting referrals. As many expat groups online are city-specific, it may feel easier to select a single city at a time. Here’s roughly how:

  1. Research and connect with people offering services to expats – there’s an entire culture of services like shipping and moving, taxes, visa related services which usually includes local bilingual lawyers, relocation services, real estate agents specialized in housing for expats or moves, etc
  2. Research and connect with therapists local to the expats so they can refer you because
    1. They don’t speak English (that well to do therapy in English) 
    2. Or don’t share your specialization – Try connecting with therapists or organizations helping with the niche area – sexual assault therapists or organizations
    3. Or don’t offer your modality – Try connecting with that niche group in the country you want to target. E.g., “emdr italy” … because they have some EMDR therapists but not ones that speak English. Can you become their go-to referral?
  3. Find and provide value to organizations for expats. Most global expat orgs will have a local presence in major cities.
    1. Eg Internations
    2. Eg Girl Gone International
    3. Research them and see if you can offer their audience free value. Like could you present on “How To Deal With Being Apart From Family As An Expat” (or something you’ve researched may be a hot topic since you did all that amazing research!)

Connect Directly With Potential Clients

  1. Join communities. There’s a FB group for expats in every major city. Example, try “expats in bangkok” – there may also be other groups and other places where people gather in community.
  2. Get even more specific and it will help further:
    1. If you work with digital nomads – there are a million online groups and influencers for that
    2. If you would with retirees – there are a million online groups and influencers for that
    3. Once you’re in the expat circles, you will find subgroups/subinterests – for instance, there is a group in Athens for “Foreign Moms in Athens”  There’s also a group for “LBGT expats in Athens” – if it’s an identity, it exists in a group for expats too.

Hope This Helps!

Kat Love

Kat Love

Hi, I'm Kat Love (they/them). Therapists helped me heal from childhood sexual abuse so now I help therapists with their marketing and business. Here on the blog, I share insights on things like marketing, social media, websites, hiring, and more. I created a solution to help you get your website copy written in the easiest way possible. I also offer a limited number of one-on-one coaching spots. Would love to help you get out there, do the important work you do, and create a life and business you love.