Marketing for therapists

In the past, when any local service was needed, you turned to friends and personal recommendations from people you knew. Today, however, most people turn to the internet first.

This means there’s a huge potential to attract new clients to your therapy practice using local search engine optimization (local SEO). While you may know something about SEO in general, local SEO is much more specific.

Keep reading to learn more about marketing for therapists and how to make local SEO work for your practice.

3 Reasons Therapists Need to Invest in Local SEO

If you aren’t convinced that the targeted efforts of local SEO can help your practice, think about these three things:

1. The Yellow Page No Longer Exist

The Yellow Pages got their start in 1878. This alone shows how old-fashioned this method of finding a business is.

In the past, though, the Yellow Pages offered a great way for therapists to find new business. You would purchase an ad and then wait for the clients to call.

Or you would start the name of your business with the letter A so you show up at the beginning of the phone book.

Today, people turn to the internet.

In fact, 93 percent of people start the search for a local business online, with Google being a favorite search engine.

2. It’s a Source of Free Traffic

Depending on the stage of your practice, paying for some advertising can be beneficial.

But I’m a huge proponent of free ways you can get traffic to your therapy website. http://createmytherapistwebsite.com/free-ways-to-drive-traffic-to-therapy-website/

If you can boost your ranking on Google, you are going to have a constant flow of completely free traffic. All you have to do is to convert them to real, paying clients.

3. Fast Results

When you focus on local results for your therapy practice, you are only competing for the top spot in Google with other therapists in the local area.

So if you have a local office and see clients in person, this could be a place worth investing some time or marketing efforts.

You don’t have to try and compete with therapists and other websites across the country that may have a larger marketing budget than you.

Is Local SEO more Important than Traditional SEO?

So, you may be wondering if local SEO efforts are more important than the traditional type of SEO you’ve heard so much about.

The truth is, you need both.

Regardless of your business model, as a local business with a website you are trying to rank, you need to ensure it is well-structured, properly optimized, multi-device compliant, error-free, and indexable.

The good news is, the factors that help with traditional SEO are also going to be beneficial for your local SEO efforts.

You can think of local SEO as being extra steps you take to get your website to appear in the local search results instead of an alternative to traditional SEO.

When building an SEO strategy for your practice, make sure it considers the traditional and local SEO needs. You’ll want to work on both for the best results.

Local SEO: What Really Matters?

Local SEO and traditional SEO efforts are actually quite similar. They both consider on- and off-site factors.

Some specific examples of on-page local factors to focus on, in your own strategy include:

  • Ensuring your business name, address and phone number (sometimes called NAP) is consistent across all online presences such as your Facebook page, Psychology Today and Google Business listings
  • Linking the contact page in the main navigation
  • Include schema mark up for your site
  • Using fresh and relevant content on your blog
  • Specific information related to the local area

Each of these can help set you up for success when building your local SEO strategy.

However, that’s just part of the puzzle. You also have to consider the off-page local SEO factors.

These include:

Listings

A listing is what makes your business visible, and this is at the core of local SEO. You find listings on directories and websites such as Psychology Today, Bing Places, Yelp, Local, and Google+

Citations

A citation is a reference to your business. This includes a reference to the name, phone number, website, or address. Multiple citations of your private practice, spread across a number of websites, can be a signal to Google of where your business resides and what it’s all about.

Social Media

If you want to be found locally, you have to embrace social media. Make sure to do research to see where your target audience hangs out online.

Therapists and Reviews: What’s the Verdict?

For local SEO related to non-mental health businesses, reviews are an important part of the bigger marketing strategy.

They can actually help with ranking a local business higher and increase conversion rates.

However, with therapy (of any type) it isn’t a typical local business. Factors such as confidentiality and not pressuring clients to leave a review, along with other ethical considerations, come in to play.

So you’ve got to be a bit careful when it comes to reviews.

The decision of if you collect reviews for your therapy practice is dependent on how you are getting the reviews, your personal comfort, and your ethical guidelines.

Help More People by Investing in Local SEO Marketing for Therapists

The more people you can reach online, the more opportunities you have to help them.

More leads also mean you can choose the clients that are a good match for your private practice.

As a therapist, you have to adhere to requirements and guidelines that may not be present for other businesses in the area.

While this is true, it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from local marketing efforts to help you get found by potential clients nearby.

Enlist Help for Local SEO Success

As a therapist, regardless of your specific niche, the end goal is to help people. However, if people don’t find you when they search online, you miss out on the chance to help them.

This is one of the many reasons why investing in local SEO marketing for therapists is such a good idea.

If you aren’t sure how to get started, or if you don’t have the time to invest in these efforts, we’d love to help.

Learn how you can work with us to get the local SEO results you need to keep a steady flow of new clients coming to your practice.

The more people who find you, the more people you can help.

Our very first month of the Private Practice Elevation Podcast got off to a great start! Here are the four episodes you may have missed.

01. What Metrics Should I Be Tracking On My Private Practice Website?

No matter what your business goals are, keeping track of certain metrics, not only pertaining to your website but your entire business, is paramount to moving your practice toward reaching those goals. How will you know you hit a goal unless you actually measure the results of your actions? In this episode we’re answering a question from our audience: “what metrics should I be tracking on my website?”

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How to get started using Google Analytics
  • Where to find these basic metrics within the Google Analytics dashboard
  • Why knowing your most-visited web pages is so important
  • How knowing where traffic is coming from can help you craft your online marketing strategy
  • My super simple way to track website conversions each month

Click here to listen

02. A Simple Online Marketing Plan For Your Private Practice

I bet you’ve got some big goals for your practice. Maybe even scary audacious ones!

And the only way to get there is to take stock of where you are now so you can get to work, one step at a time. In this episode I’m going to lay out a plan, a trail map if you will, that will help understand what marketing tasks you should focus on, no matter what stage your private practice is in.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • The multiple stages most private practices go through on their journey toward a full caseload
  • The various marketing tasks you should focus on at each of these stages
  • When you should start outsourcing some of your marketing tasks
  • How to free up time to focus on the dreams you have for your life

Click here to listen.

03. From DIY Website To Google Page 1: How One Therapist Created a Successful Hypnotherapy Website

Paul Thomas is a Clinical Hypnotherapist in Sydney, Australia, who helps his clients overcome personal, emotional and habitual problems quickly and easily by using Hypnosis and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).  He also happens to be one of the very first students to go through the Create My Therapist Website Toolbox program. Paul took what he learned in the program about creating content and boy did Google love it. He applied it to his hypnotherapy website and was able to rank it on the first page of Google!

What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

  • How Paul decided that online marketing was the way to go for his private practice
  • How Paul shifted the focus of his about page to create content for his ideal client
  • What it’s like to DIY your private practice website and how much content you actually need to launch
  • How Paul identified where to invest money in order to grow his business and the shift he made to free content marketing INSTEAD of paying for ads
  • What Paul did AFTER he launched to create momentum and drive organic traffic to his hypnotherapy website

Click here to listen.

04. 15 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Private Practice Website (for Free)

If you’ve been looking at your analytics and feeling like your website is not getting the traffic you desire (or need) in order to attract more clients your private practice, it’s time to make a change. You could certainly pay for Google or Facebook ads to pick up that traffic, but I’m a firm believer in starting with some free strategies to get the traffic train moving out of the station.

In this episode I’ll share with you 15 FREE ways you can start driving traffic to your therapy website.

Click here to listen.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to join Simple Practice. Please understand that I only recommend Simple Practice because my wife uses it and we’ve seen how their platform has truly simplified her processes. Please only purchase them if you truly feel that they will help you achieve your goals.

Coordinating your schedule with your clients schedule can often be a headache. It often involves a lot of back and forth and wasted time communicating. But with the rise many online scheduling systems have helped many a therapist simplify their process.

Coordinating your schedule with your clients schedule can often be a headache. It often involves a lot of back and forth and wasted time communicating. But with the rise many online scheduling systems have helped many a therapist simplify their process.  In this article I’ll share a glimpse into my wife’s journey with Simple Practice and how online booking has helped simplify her process and book more clients.

In this article I’ll share a glimpse into my wife’s journey with Simple Practice and how online booking has helped simplify her process and book more clients.

Why My Wife Chose To Go With Simple Practice

There’s nothing like owning your own business AND being a mom to cause you to really identify what’s not efficient in your life.

For my wife, she was getting increasingly frustrated with back-and-forth emailing or texting with clients to figure out time slots for them to book sessions.

Another time-suck in her practice was the note-writing process. Since she was not on an electronic, HIPAA compliant system, she had to write each therapy note, print it, delete it from her computer and then file the hard copy.

Talk about a process!

Because of these time-sucking tasks and the fact that the world is moving to electronic records anyway, she knew she had to find a system that would work for her well into the future.

After looking into a few electronic client management systems, she decided that the features and, well, the simplicity of Simple Practice would best suit her needs.

While the process of switching her current clients at the time over to electronic records took some time and could probably fill its own blog post, getting her forms and schedule integrated in the system was rather easy.

One feature we were eager to get her using was the online booking functionality.

We’re both obsessed with efficiency and we knew this would help her save a ton of time and possibly even help her book more sessions.

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Integrating Online Booking With Her Website

Simple Practice offers two ways you could integrate online booking into any website:

  • Link directly to a client portal mini-site
  • Or use their booking widget and have the booking feature popup on your website

Linking Directly to The Client Portal

A client portal is a link that you can send any current or potential client to.

It’s their ground-zero for interacting with your process and doing business with you. They can book appointments, fill out intake forms or access their current information if they are already a client.

It looks like this:

simple practice online booking scheduling portal

Once you’ve turned on your client portal and activated online booking for your services, the feature will be part of your portal.

You can set it do only existing clients can schedule with you, or allow new clients to schedule appointments as well.

Simple Practice lets you customize part of the URL for your client portal and once you do that, this will be the link that you can then use on your website or send to clients in an email or text.

 simple practice help client portal url

To connect your client portal and give your website visitors access to it, you can simple use that link throughout your website.

You could create a button in a call to action section that says “Schedule An Appointment” and send people over to your client portal.

Or include the link in your website’s menu so it appears in the same spot on each page and users can easily navigate to it.

Using Simple Practice’s Booking Widget

The other option that Simple Practice gives you to integrate online booking on your website is what they call the “Booking Widget”.

What this is is a piece of HTML code that you can copy and then paste into the code on your website.

What your visitors will see is a button like this:

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And when they click said button, a popup appears with your services to allow clients to book:

simple practice booking widget popup

This option works great for those who don’t want their website visitor to leave their website but be able to stay right there and book an appointment.

While copying and pasting the code into your website is mostly straightforward (Simple Practice gives you instructions in their support documentation) it does get a bit more complicated when you want to customize the button’s color to match your website.

So some basic knowledge of HTML or having someone help you is ideal to make sure it works and looks good.

Which Option Worked Best for My Wife’s Practice?

When my wife and I looked into integrating online booking into her website, we tested out which way would work best: sending visitors to the online portal, or having using the booking widget that pops up on her website.

We decided that just sending people to the portal was the best way to do it.

The reason we went with this approach was because we liked how, when a user goes to the client portal link, they are first asked whether they are an existing client or new client.

My wife prefers to talk to people on the phone before their first session, so she offers a free phone consultation.

When a user chooses “I’m a new client”, the online booking will default to that initial phone consultation so they can book a time to have their phone call.

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People can still book an appointment without ever talking to my wife, which does happen, but she prefers to have the first connection.

If they’re an existing client, they’ll sign in and they can schedule their appointment.

When using the Booking Widget popup however, there is nothing to indicate whether the user is a new or existing client, so the widget defaults to a standard counseling session.

If a new client sees the popup, they’d have to know to click the dropdown and find that initial consultation call option and choose it.

Knowing that she converts well on those phone consults meant that we didn’t want to lose potential clients to this extra step.

So, sending people to her client portal link made the most sense to my wife and how she operates.

So you’ll want to think through your own onboarding process and decide what makes the most sense to you.

How Online Booking Has Helped My Wife Save Time and Book More Clients

Using Simple Practice’s online booking has been a game changer for my wife.

Before, she’d have to email each new or existing client to work out a date and time for them to work together.

Now, it’s as simple as saying “go to my website and find a time that works for you.”

It’s helped provide a better service to her clients because it saves them time as well and eliminates all the back and forth communication.

Now, because her clients have the power to schedule whenever they like, my wife has been able to book more sessions.

She’s had many clients want to see her before their next scheduled session as things come up in her life.

So they’ll just go to her website and book away!

It’s been exciting for my wife to see more sessions get booked on her calendar without having to do any extra work.

Conclusion

Online booking may not work for everyone.

It really comes down to how you like to communicate with your existing clients and how you onboard new ones.

For my wife, her move to Simple Practice has been wonderful.

While it took some time to switch everything over, it now saves her tons of time and has allowed her to book more sessions and keep track of everything going on her practice.

Online booking has been one of the many benefits of using Simple Practice.

If you’re curious how Simple Practice’s online booking and other tools can help you streamline your entire business, they offer a free 30-day trial that you can check out here.

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By Jesse Hallock

How well do you know yourself? Simple question. Often, it is an elusive answer. The reason I ask is that knowing yourself and your practice (in many ways an extension of yourself) is a KEY to how well you market and grow your practice.

By Jesse Hallock  How well do you know yourself? Simple question. Often, it is an elusive answer. The reason I ask is that knowing yourself and your practice (in many ways an extension of yourself) is a KEY to how well you market and grow your practice.   There are many things to know about your practice, but without a doubt one of the biggest questions that faces private practice owners is “Should I take insurance?”

There are many things to know about your practice, but without a doubt one of the biggest questions that faces private practice owners is “Should I take insurance?”

Should I Take Insurance?

You have probably been asked, asked yourself, read blog posts, followed social media discussions and more on whether or not you should take insurance for your practice. I’ll spare you exhaustive discussion.

Here are just a couple of reasons to take insurance from our experience:

  • You want a larger pool of clients to offer your services to.
  • You want more networks to connect through or get referrals from.
  • You feel drawn or called to a specific demographic.
  • You are willing to figure out the billing system on my own or hire someone else to.

There is also another option which is sometimes a little less known: Out-of-network.

Now, the advantage of being out-of-network is that you don’t have to go through the credentialing process to be on a panel.

In some ways, this is the middle ground between a full cash-pay client and an in-network insurance client.

You can charge your full cash rate – but since the client does have insurance they will often get reimbursed for part of it so they don’t have to pay the full cash rate.

How Do I Pick Insurance Panels for My Therapy Practice?

We’ll keep this short and sweet.

There are a ton of options out there for panels. Our company has worked with successful practices that are in-network with about 40 insurance companies.

And we have worked with successful practices that are in-network with 1 insurance company.

Here are some things to consider as you think through this:

  • Which insurance companies have the most members in your area?
  • Which insurance companies reimburse best?
  • If you are called to a certain demographic, what is the most common insurance they use?
  • Are there large companies or industries near you that all offer the same insurance to their employees (this would include military bases and Tricare)?

What Does This Mean for My Private Practice Marketing?

What your specialties are, what your niche is, who your ideal client is, whether you take insurance at all, whether you’re in-network or not – all of these and more come together to make up who your practice is (yes, who).

Knowing and being intentional about who you are and why will make a ridiculously huge difference in how you market your practice.

Your marketing should be an extension of yourself and your therapy practice.

It is the part of you that reaches out into the world as says, “This is me.”

Successful marketing happens when the world reaches back and says, “That’s me as well!”

It’s when who you are, what you offer, and how you offer it connects with who a potential client is, what they need, and how they best receive it.

How Will My Therapy Website Help?

Every tiniest detail of your website can work for you as you work to connect with your ideal clients.

The color scheme, the fonts, the pictures, the layout – all of these, and more, are the ‘non-verbal’ communication, and we all know how important that is!

Then of course there is what is written, how it is written, and even what is intentionally not written.

The better you know yourself and your practice, the better and more clearly you can show “This is me” through your website (and the easier it will be for your designer to fit together all the tiniest details to make that a reality).

Here’s where insurance and website intersect.

What insurances you accept or don’t are part of who your target audience is.

The better you know yourself, the better you can market yourself.

The same is true with your clients – the better you know your ideal client, including their insurance experience, the better you will be able be able to connect with them through your marketing!

Part of knowing you target audience is knowing what questions they are coming to your website with. Everyone has questions they want answered before taking the next step. Remember that clarity builds connection.

So one of the best things you can do is foresee these questions and intentionally answer them on your site.

Here are some questions they are probably asking:

“This looks really great, but do they take insurance?”

“Are they in-network with my carrier?”

“How will I know if my plan covers this?”

“What do I do if they aren’t in-network?”

There are many ways to answer these questions for clients and maintain the connection: you can have a section of a page that explains your network status, a separate page that talks about insurance, you can have an FAQ format to address questions, or something else.

Find a format that works well for you and provides clarity and confidence for your ideal client and you’re set.

Remember, you want to bring together the real you and the ideal client.

You can “non-verbally” communicate through pictures, fonts, layout, and color scheme as well. You can communicate it SO WELL that when your ideal client visits your page, they will already feel and know – “This is me, this is what I have been looking for!” and the “verbal” communication that they read read through then serves to reinforce what they already feel.

Conclusion

Is there a right or wrong answer for taking insurance?

No. Definitely not.

But whichever direction you choose – you can make intentional decisions about how you will connect with your ideal client that will either work for you or against you.

Know yourself clearly, put yourself out there strategically, and make the difference you’ve been wanting to make!

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About Jesse Hallock

Jesse Hallock is the Sales Director for Practice Solutions – a billing, credentialing, and consulting company for mental/behavioral health private practices. Practice Solutions serves practice owners around the country by working with them directly and also by openly collaborating with the top influencers in the industry to share our knowledge of, and experience with, the insurance billing world. To learn more or contact us, go to www.practicesol.com

A guest post by Melody Wilding

You’ve created an awesome website for your private practice. You’ve identified who your ideal client is and refined your niche. You’re even blogging on a consistent basis!

 

A guest post by Melody Wilding You’ve created an awesome website for your private practice. You’ve identified who your ideal client is and refined your niche. You’re even blogging on a consistent basis! The only problem is, no one is reading your content or signing up to work with you because they don’t know your practice exists.

The only problem is, no one is reading your content or signing up to work with you because they don’t know your practice exists.

Creating a thriving therapy practice requires that people know about your business and trust you.

But how do you stand out in a crowded marketplace and attract more people to your website?

One of the most powerful ways to stand out, connect with potential clients, and create instant credibility is by leveraging the power of free publicity.

You might be stumped at how to go about getting a slew of shiny “As Seen On” logos on your website. Maybe you feel nervous at the thought of giving media interviews. It’s understandable, but if you can put your doubts aside for a second,

I’ll show you how to get free PR right now, whether you are a seasoned clinician or just starting out in private practice.

Why Psychotherapists Need Media Exposure

Your public profile and platform are keys to your success, regardless of what your business goals are. By getting featured in the media you:

Become easier to find online through Google.

Media exposure is one of the best ways to drive more traffic to your website. It also helps you rank higher on Google by boosting your SEO.

When large, reputable news sites link back to your therapy website, it makes it more likely you’ll show up high in Google search results.

Connect with ideal clients.

You’ve probably heard that you should “go where your ideal clients are hanging out”.

Giving interviews and getting featured in the media is a shortcut to showing up exactly where your ideal customers are consuming content and looking for solutions.

It gives you an opportunity to speak directly to them by providing advice that solves the pain points they’re experiencing.

Gain powerful social proof

Social proof is a powerful marketing tactic that helps potential clients see you more positively.

It legitimizes your expertise in the outside world. When potential clients see you’ve been featured in the media, they come to regard you as an expert.

They trust you more. Having credibility indicators like press logos on your website can mean the difference between a website visitor choosing to book a consultation with you over your competition.

How to Get Free Publicity for Your Private Practice

The simplest, fastest to get media exposure without spending a penny is by using a powerful, free PR service called Help A Reporter Out or HARO.

HARO is a free service that connects journalists with experts. Through HARO, you can get featured in over 55,000 media outlets including top publications like TIME, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

I used HARO to go from zero clients and credibility to being featured in major publications like New York Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes, Shape, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Mashable, within one year of starting my business. 

Working with the media is what’s allowed me to build a six-figure business and be booked out with a wait list.

Publicity has also helped me pursue other opportunities like paid writing, speaking, and building courses.

How HARO Works

After you sign up at helpareporter.com, you will start getting three emails every weekday with a list of requests (called “queries”) from reporters looking for experts to comment on topics ranging from health and wellness to relationships and career development.

Each HARO email contains about 50-75 different requests from reporters. This adds up to over 150 more opportunities to get featured in the media every single day, delivered straight to your inbox at no cost.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Scan the HARO emails every day. When you see a query that fits your expertise, act quickly. Journalists get hundreds of emails from HARO, so time is of the essence.
  2. Next, compose a new email to the reporter. Make sure your response is concise, adheres to the reporter’s requirements, and most importantly, provides helpful advice for readers.
  3. If the reporter opens your email and is interested in what you have to say, then you may be quoted in an article or be interviewed. When that happens, you get exposure to the thousands or millions of readers of that publication.
  4. Share it! You worked hard to earn this media exposure, so celebrate. For example, post the article on social media, send it to your email list, and put the publication’s logo on your website. Make sure to follow up with the journalist and thank them, as well.

HARO gives you a great opportunity to drive more traffic to your website and boost your credibility so that more people want to engage your services. It’s also a powerful tool that can help grow your business, your reputation, and your impact.

Discover How to Have Success with HARO

Sign up for my free training, Media Made Easy: The Secrets To Getting Press Coverage (Even When You Have No Connections) and discover the top 3 tips to use HARO successfully and get featured in the media.

About the Author

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Melody Wilding is a licensed social worker and coach who help high achievers mentally and emotionally thrive in their careers. When Melody started her practice a few years ago, she had zero clients and no credibility. Today she runs a six-figure business, has a client waitlist, has given a TEDx talk with over 20,000 views, and has been featured in dozens of top media publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Inc, Forbes, and Fast Company, Cosmo, Shape, Glamour, and dozens more. Melody is also the creator of The Media Darling Method, an online course that teaches therapists how to land major publicity that grows their private practice and personal brands.

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Your website exists to convert visitors into clients. But if your private practice website isn’t doing its job, what can you do to begin getting to work for you?

 

In this article I’ll break down 5 reasons why your private practice website may not be getting you the conversions you desire. Let’s begin!

1: Your Website Doesn’t Look Trustworthy

Your website represents your private practice.

It’s one of the first places people will look to judge whether you’re the therapist for them.

And when your website looks like it was built in the 90’s or frustrates the user, they will judge the legitimacy of your business.

How many times have you searched for a service online and landed on a businesses website that was poorly created, lacked info and was hard to use?

Then you breathe a sigh of relief when you come to the next company that has a professional website, is easy to use and just makes you feel like they know what they’re doing because of that…

You’ll probably choose the business whose website left you feeling good rather than frustrated, right?

If you want to see more clients choose you because of what they saw on your website, you’ve got to invest either some time or money into making it look professional.

Related Post: 5 Ways Your Private Practice Website is Making You Look Unprofessional

2: You’ve Made It Too Complicated

Have you ever gone into a store and had a question about a product?

But maybe it’s a large store and there’s no one around to help you.

Or maybe it’s a busy store, it’s cluttered and there’s a so much going on you can’t even begin to find someone who can help you with your question.

You hang out a bit with that “I need help” look on your face just hoping someone will come by and ask what they can do for you.

This is what it’s like for your potential clients if your website is too busy.

If there isn’t a clear path on your website to let users know the next step you want them to take, they’re probably getting frustrated and leaving your website.

Find ways to simplify your website and give clear calls to action to help increase your conversions.

3: Potential Therapy Clients Aren’t Sure You Can Help Them With Their Challenge

Another reason why your private practice website may not be converting may come down a content issue.

Do you have content on your website that your ideal clients are looking for?

Are you breaking down your services into informational pages that showcase your expertise and give them idea of what life can look like after they work with you?

Or do you just have a bulleted list of topics/issues you can help your clients with.

I truly believe that you’re doing amazing work and the world is a better place because of your service.

But when someone is pain and they land on their website, all they want to know is “can this person help me?”

And if you don’t have much information that helps them feel confident in your abilities then why would they choose to work with you?

Put yourself in their shoes and expound upon the amazing work you do with your clients.

When you view your website as a way to serve your clients BEFORE they’re even your clients, you begin to create helpful content that will help you stand out amongst other therapists.

Related Post: How one therapist used specialty pages to land on page one of Google.

4: You Haven’t Given Them A Chance to Convert

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If you don’t give your website visitors a chance to convert, well then, they probably won’t convert!

Make sure that you do your best to make it as easy as possible for people to take the next step with you.

Is your contact information easy to find? Is it consistently placed in the same spot on every page, such as a footer or header bar?

Are you using calls to action that are clear and tell your visitor what they should do next?

You’ll want to include calls to action on each page to make sure you lead them down the path toward that conversion.

And make sure they stand out.

A simple text link in the middle or end of a page of content may get lost.

Try and make your calls to action stand out from your content and give the page an anchor for your visitor to gravitate toward.

5: Your Private Practice Website Just Doesn’t Work

If your website is riddled with broken links and functionality issues, you’re going to drive people away quickly.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Trying to use a website that doesn’t work is extremely frustrating in this fast-paced, convenience-addicted world of ours.

If you know you have issues with your website that may be causing your visitors to get annoyed and bounce off, address them asap.

Another big issue on this subject is whether your website is responsive or not.

Are you visitors able to navigate and easily use your website on a mobile device?

This is becoming increasingly important and Google will reward websites with a mobile-friendly version with a higher rank than those without.

Your great content and great work will mean nothing if people simply cannot use your website.

Conclusion

Increasing conversions of your website can be a tricky, ongoing process.

If you’re feeling like your website is not working to get clients in the door of your private practice, pay attention to the reasons above and begin brainstorming some ways to address anything you think may be the cause.

Change may not happen overnight, but as you plug the holes in your website, over time your website will be working more and more effectively for you and doing what it was designed to do… get you clients!

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Have you ever heard someone say how you need a ‘marketing funnel’ in your private practice? If you’re confused as to what that means, please read on.

Have you ever heard someone say how you need a ‘marketing funnel’ in your private practice? If you’re confused as to what that means, please read on. In this article I’ll break down what it means to have a private practice marketing funnel and how it can be applied to your business.

In this article I’ll break down what it means to have a private practice marketing funnel and how it can be applied to your business.

The Private Practice Marketing Funnel Explained

When someone talks about having a marketing funnel, they’re actually referring to a series of steps a website visitor would take to go from a general prospect to becoming your next client.

For example, someone who doesn’t know you may land on your website for the first time.

Then, perhaps they join your email list and receive some more information from you.

They get to know you over time and get more familiar with you.

Then they click a link in an email and schedule that first session with you.

That’s it! That’s what a marketing funnel may look like in a private practice.

To help you visualize, here’s a great depiction of a marketing funnel:

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Source: Vendasta

Let’s break this down a bit, shall we?

Lead Attraction: Increasing Traffic Made Up Of Potential Clients

The first phase of any marketing funnel in your private practice starts with attracting new potential clients, or leads.

These are folks that are new to your world.

They may be doing a bit of research for a therapist so they visit your website and view your content in an attempt to learn more about what you do and if you can help them.

So your first step in creating a marketing funnel is to provide content that serves your ideal client.

This could be in the form of relevant blog posts on topics your ideal clients are concerned about.

It could also be an informational page on your website that focuses on your areas of expertise.

Whatever it is, it should be jam-packed with helpful info that speaks to the type of client you want to attract, as that’s your best way of growing more traffic from those most likely to work with you.

This type of content can help you grow your SEO potential too, which can increase traffic to your private practice website over time.

So, once all that traffic shows up to your website, then what?

Let’s continue.

Lead Engagement: Turning Traffic into New Leads

Ok, so you’ve got some great content on your therapy website and people are showing up to read it.

The next step is to give your visitors a chance to go a little deeper with you and receive even more value from you.

This is where you ask them for their email address in exchange for some high-value content related to what they’ve already read on your website or something you know would really benefit your clients.

What this does is it allows people to put their hand up and say they want to learn more from you.

It serves your potential client in a deeper way.

On your end, it gives you a chance to follow up with them later via email.

Think of some extra content you can create that would help a potential client solve a specific problem.

It could be a PDF guide or maybe a link to an instructional video on YouTube.

This is what people call a “lead magnet”. You may have heard the term.

Most email service providers, like Mailchimp, allow you to create a form you can paste into a page on your website where people can put in their name and email address.

Then, once they sign up, you can send them the free special content.

Here’s an example from another CMTW blog post:

private practice marketing funnel optimized

Once someone fills that form out, they’ll get an email confirming their subscription and giving them a link to download their free checklist.

Onto the next phase!

Lead Nurturing: Staying Connected to Potential Clients and Converting Them Into Paying Ones

Ok, so someone has visited your website and decided they’d like more from you so they join your email list, then what?

Well, the first step is to welcome the new lead (potential client) to your email list and deliver the content you promised.

If it’s a PDF, you’ll have your email service provider send out a link to the file so they can download it.

Your next goal is to stay connected to this person so they not only get to know you but – if they’re your ideal client – educate them on how you are uniquely qualified to help them overcome their challenges.

They showed enough interest in your work that they gave you their email address so let’s not take that lightly. You want to serve them well!

You’ll want to continue to provide them with great content on a regular basis to keep your practice top of mind as they’re deciding whether to work with you or not.

A great way to do this is to create a sequence of emails that continues to provide valuable content.

This would be your “welcome series” or “onboarding” email sequence.

Here’s some ideas of the types of emails you can send them, starting with delivering your lead magnet:

  1. Welcome them to your email list and give them the link to your PDF download or other free content you promised
  2. Send an “about me” email that tells your story and how/why you help your clients get results in their lives
  3. Expand upon the free content by diving deep into how they can apply it to their situation
  4. Send an email that showcases your best blog posts
  5. Use your most-visited blog post as content for an email
  6. Send an email that reminds them of the services you offer

The number of emails you send is up to you. I’d recommend not overwhelming the recipient with too many emails though.

Space them out a bit and give more time in between emails as time goes on.

What’s great about this method is that you can send 6 emails over the course of 3 months, which allows you to serve your ideal client, educate them on your services and get to know you on a deeper level.

Going Forward: What To Do With Your Email List

Beyond sending an onboarding or welcome series of emails to your email list you’ll want to keep in touch with them consistently over time.

If you’ve got upcoming workshops, classes or webinars that you’re offering, you can send an email to your list to let them know.

Maybe there’s a book that you’ve seen greatly impact your clients’ lives. You can write an email about it and send them the link.

Or maybe you’ve found or created other great resources that may help your clients. Share that with your email list.

If you’re writing blog posts on a regular basis, you can use that as a way to send new and relevant content to your email list.

If you’re on the CMTW email list, you’ll often get emails that let you know about new articles to help you with your private practice website.

This approach is great because you don’t have to come up with ideas for both blog posts AND emails to send.

Remember: your services and content CAN help people. Use your email list as way to generously give to your ideal client.

Do this and you’ll hopefully remain top of mind so that when they’re ready to start therapy, you’ll be the one they call.

Conclusion

Creating a marketing funnel for your private practice can be a great way to serve your ideal client beyond just visiting your website.

To recap, there are three main steps to any marketing funnel:

  1. Lead Attraction is where you get traffic to your website by writing great content aimed at your ideal client
  2. Lead Engagement is where you offer that traffic some extra valuable content, such as a PDF
  3. Lead Nurturing is where you continue to connect with your potential clients by sending them relevant emails

Since many people may not reach out to you the first time they visit your website, having them go through these steps is a great way to stay connected.

You can use a marketing funnel in your private practice to serve your potential clients so that when they ARE ready to begin therapy, they’ll be able to respond to your emails and get started right away.

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A quest post by Katie May

So you have an idea for an awesome group and you just KNOW it’s going to benefit the clients that you serve. In fact, a few of them may have even mentioned that they wish something like it already exists.

A quest post by Katie May So you have an idea for an awesome group and you just KNOW it’s going to benefit the clients that you serve. In fact, a few of them may have even mentioned that they wish something like it already exists.

You create a flyer, open enrollment AND… Crickets.

Why does it feel so hard to fill a group when you know your clients will benefit from it (and they’ve even expressed interest and excitement?)

It’s because group enrollment actually starts way before you open the doors. There’s pre-launch work that needs to be done.

And what’s cool about this is that you actually get to offer a LOT of value and content to help your local community before they even connect with you for a group screening.

Step 0: Your Therapy Group Pre-Launch

I like to think of the pre-launch as “step 0.” It’s what prospective clients can start to do to help themselves before they decide they know, like and trust you enough to reach out for help.

Think about it… that first step of asking for help (or admitting you need help) can be the hardest one.

When you follow a process that moves your prospective clients through a journey, you’re moving the relationship with them from complete strangers to one where you position yourself as the go-to expert that they NEED to see.

You’ll want to give yourself about eight weeks prior to the start of your group to set yourself up for full group success.

This gives you enough time to be able to effectively market, but also to recognize that life happens and that work, family and/or sickness can get in the way.

You want to plan for hiccups so that you’re not scrambling at the last minute to fill those last few seats.

Start by really fleshing out your ideal group client, even if you think you already know them.

Understand what their pain points are and what relief they are looking for by reaching out to you. This should be easy for you if you work with this specific type of client in your practice already.

You’ve likely fielded tons of calls, had tons of intake sessions and serve multiple clients per week on this very issue that you can use as your “market research.”

Make a List of Potential Group Clients

Make a list of clients that you already see that could be a good fit for your group. You may even want to think about “pre-selling” them. This is easy peasy!

As you wrap up a session (or in an email between sessions) you can simply say, “Hey, I’m thinking about running a group for women with anxiety in the next few months. If I run it, would you be interested?”

This will give you a good idea of the potential for your group and whether clients like yours will be interested in it.

You want to be sure that those who are interested have a place to get more information. Create a page on your website that is fully dedicated to your group.

Be sure to talk about who it’s for, what this person experiences and have specific and bullet-pointed outcomes that this person will achieve when they join your group.

You don’t even need to have a specific date or time for group yet.

Create a Contact Form For People Interested in Your Group

The most important part of this group page is having a contact form for those who are interested to fill out their name, email address and phone number.

This will allow you to follow up with them further in the launch process to share more about the group and invite them to connect with you.

Create a flyer using the same information you used on your group page.

Be mindful to not overcrowd the flyer with details and understand that the goal of the flyer is to drive people to your group page to complete a contact form so you can gather their information for further use.

Share this flyer in your waiting room and with any colleagues who support a similar population.

Formulate Your Therapy Group Goals

Finally, start to formulate some really concrete goals for your group.

How many clients would you like to ideally have signed up to start the group? What is the minimum amount of income you’d like to make to run the group successfully?

When you can set clear goals to know exactly what you’re working towards, it will motivate you and guide you in the whole group filling process.

Write down your goals and really visualize that full and profitable group every single day.

Once your ideal client and group goals are clear, the rest becomes a numbers game.

It’s about driving targeted traffic to your group web page and using a phone conversation to screen members to enroll those who are a perfect fit.

For more information on how to market and fill your group once you’re clear on the who and what, visit ​www.becomeagroupguru.com​ and watch the free webinar to Fill Your Therapy Group in 6 weeks.

​Stop wishing and waiting to get enough clients interested all at once and learn the 3 step process for creating group clients on demand with a fool-proof marketing process that brings group members to you in 6 weeks or less.

KKM Profile Pic 1

About Katie

Katie helps therapists market, fill and run group programs so that they can make a massive positive impact on the world (and their bank account) at the same time.

Visit www.becomeagroupguru.com to learn the fastest and most effective way to go from zero to full group, even if you hate marketing and you have no idea where to start.

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Blogging can be one of the best ways to boost traffic to your private practice website. But simply putting a post on your website isn’t enough to ensure people actually read it. So what can you do?

Blogging can be one of the best ways to boost traffic to your private practice website. But simply putting a post on your website isn’t enough to ensure people actually read it. So what can you do? In this article we’ll go over five ways you can boost your traffic with blogging while ensuring that visitors stick around and actually read your posts.

In this article we’ll go over five ways you can boost your traffic with blogging while ensuring that visitors stick around and actually read your posts.

1: Write Content Your Ideal Clients Actually Want To Read

5 ways to get more readers therapy blog 1

The first step in increasing your blog readership is to write posts that actually serve your ideal clients.

Your blog should not be a repository of “deep thoughts” or vague reflections.

I certainly encourage you to use your experiences and reflections to inspire your blog posts.

But a blog post titled “My Morning Hike” will get faaaaaar less views than one titled “How A Simple Walk Can Help You Set Goals and Decrease Anxiety About The New Year.”

When we use vague titles and long ramblings, it’s extremely unclear to the reader what’s actually in it for them.

Starting with your headline, you give your website visitors a reason to read each blog post.

Don’t know where to begin?

Start by thinking about why clients come to you.

Make a list of the challenges their facing and the topics you’ve been discussing in your sessions.

Then write about it!

Think of your blog as a way of serving your current clients as well as website visitors that may not even become your clients.

Over time, this will help increase connection with your readers, foster a positive perception of you and your practice, highlight your expertise and hopefully turn into more clients.

2: Be Consistent When Publishing New Blog Posts on Your Private Practice Website

more readers therapist blogging counseling calendar

Google loves seeing fresh content on your private practice website.

When you consistently add new blog posts, this lets Google know that your website is growing.

It says, “Now here’s a website that is constantly growing in resources. I like that!”

Plus, the more you write, the more words are on your website.

This means that your chances for ranking for new keywords is increasing constantly, so your ability to rank higher in Google for various phrases goes up and up over time.

When we first launched my wife’s website back in 2011, we saw her traffic double after she began blogging.

She added one new blog post each week for a few months.

And she didn’t even use social media to share the posts!

So, if you want to increase traffic to your blog, find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.

For tips on how to maintain a consistent blogging schedule, check out this post.

3: Use Social Media To Drive More Traffic to Your Blog Posts

5 ways to get more blog readers therapist marketing social media

If your clients don’t know your blog post exists, how will they ever read it?

Plus, your blog posts may or may not be ranking well in Google, making it hard to even find some of that great content you’ve been working on.

So, another way you can get your blog posts in front of potential clients is to use social media.

When you use social media to create a following, it’s another way to get your content in front of people.

And if people are liking your private practice Facebook page or following you on Pinterest, then they’ve already expressed some interest in what you’re doing.

This makes them more likely to read your posts when they show up in their feed.

Heck, even if it’s your friends and family that see your blog posts on Facebook, you never know who will read it, share it and get it in front of your next client.

My favorite social network for driving traffic is DEFINITELY Pinterest.

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Did you know that Pinterest is the second largest driver of traffic, second only to Facebook?

Because of its traffic-building potential and nature of finding helpful articles on the platform, I believe it can be a powerful marketing tool for any therapist with a blog.

Related article: Why Your Private Practice Needs To Be On Pinterest.

But no matter what platform you love to use, social media is a great way to take your blog post a bit further and drive a little more traffic to it.

Some tips for using social media to promote your blog posts:

  • If you’re just starting out, choose ONE network and learn how to use it effectively before adding another
  • Be consistent. Just like how you should frequently publish new blog posts on your website, you should frequently be sharing on social media
  • Try and balance 1 post about your business to every 4 posts that are not promotional, such as quotes and helpful articles from others
  • Use Google Analytics to check in from time to time and see which platform is bringing in the most traffic and then focus on that platform to drive even more traffic

4: Use Email Marketing to Let People Know When You’ve Published a New Post

5 ways to get more blog readers therapists email marketing

Just like social media above, using email marketing is a great way to send your blog posts to potential clients who have already expressed interest in your work.

One of the first questions I hear from people starting out with email marketing is “what do I say to people on my email list?”

Letting people on your email list know that you’ve published a new blog post is a great way to keep in touch with your list.

Once your blog post is published, you can write an email summarizing it and include the link back to your website.

I encourage you to link to your website, rather than just send the blog post in an email.

This way, people can visit other pages on your website if they want to – continually learning more about your services – and hopefully lead to scheduling a session with you.

Your email list should be filled with people who have already enjoyed your content enough to even give you their email address… so this audience is really the best target for reading your blog posts.

When they continue to get helpful and insightful articles a couple times a month, it warms them up to you, creates trust and helps remind them that you can help them.

You never know when someone will respond to one of those emails asking when they can schedule their next session!

5: Include Images in Your Blog Posts

private practice blogging tips

So here is a stat that is pretty crazy:

Blog articles with images get 94% more views. (source)

94%!! Wow!

In our fast-paced world, photos help get our attention and drive engagement.

If you want to increase the amount of views your blog posts get, be sure to include at least one photo with each one.

This will help your posts stand out, especially when shared on social media.

Including images can also help you optimize your post better for search engines.

To learn more about how to optimize images for SEO, click here.

Conclusion

If you’re wondering why more people aren’t reading your blog posts, I encourage to give the five tips above a shot.

Test it out over time and see if your traffic is increasing.

Remember, just publishing blog posts is not always enough to increase your traffic.

You just may need to give people a reminder that your new blog posts exist. The more chances people get to hear about your post, the more clicks over to your website there will be.

And the best part about all the tips above is that they’re totally free for you to try!

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A guest post by Ili Rivera Walter, PhD

By now, I am sure you know that other than you, your website is your number one networking partner in attracting potential therapy clients. What you may not know, however, is that your website is the perfect place to communicate your personality, and what I call your “personal brand.”

A guest post by Ili Rivera Walter, PhD By now, I am sure you know that other than you, your website is your number one networking partner in attracting potential therapy clients. What you may not know, however, is that your website is the perfect place to communicate your personality, and what I call your “personal brand.”

Using your website as the home of your personal brand gives clients a refreshing experience. When your online home showcases your brand, visitors do not encounter another humdrum therapy website, and as a result, they are able to better determine if what you offer is what they need.

So, what exactly is your personal brand?

Your personal brand is who you are translated into words, colors, and images that reflect who you serve and what you want.

Today, I am sharing with you the method that I teach therapists for finding and communicating their personal brand with words. I call it the “soul-story method.”

1: Soul (The Reflection Stage)

Getting in touch with your soul means getting in touch with your humanity. When you understand who you are, you are able to consistently connect with therapy clients, and anyone, from your personhood. This is the first step in social connection, as well as establishing a flowing client and referral base.

As a therapist, you are well-trained in empathic communication, listening, and presence. While connecting with clients online may not come easy to you, this is (most likely) not because you don’t have the skills for fostering connection.

The difficulty for many therapists is found in the frame and language that exists for building their businesses–words like “marketing,” “sales,” “conversion,” “profit.”

What might shift for you if, for example, you began to reframe business growth as based on “learning,” “curiosity,” “questioning,” “serving,” and of course, “connecting”?

The soul section of the soul-story method is simple. Answer the questions:

  • What awakens your soul?
  • What have you observed from your work, and/or its results, that inspires you?

Answering these questions requires a process of reflection that results in identifying what moves you. Here is a list of sample questions to guide you:

What awakens your soul?

  • During what activities are you most present?
  • What were you doing the last time you laughed with surprising joy?
  • What nurtures you?
  • How do you express your creativity?
  • In what ways do you take care of your soul?

What have you observed from your work, and/or its results, that inspires you?

  • Think of a recent time when you felt honored to hear a client’s story during therapy. Describe your experience.
  • When has a client expressed gratitude for your work?
    • What was the client’s presenting problem?
    • What change occurred?
    • How did you feel when he/she expressed gratitude?
  • What therapy work do you LOVE?

The soul section connects your personal inspiration with your professional inspiration, because these, together, create your personal brand. They get to the heart of what you do, and why you do it.

2: Story (The Writing Stage)

Explaining her process for public speaking, Dr. Debra Campbell (2017) says, “The material had to feel utterly authentic to me, streamed live from my soul, and I had to own it one hundred per cent in the telling.”

During the story stage, you “own” the telling of your authenticity. You express what you learned in the soul section with a message that reverberates in clients’ minds.

A Quick Story

When I first visited Daniel Fava’s website, the main thing that stood out to me, and the only thing I remember from that first website visit, is that Daniel is an INFJ (Myer’s-Briggs Type Indicator personality type).

It is the last bullet point on his About page. Why did this seemingly insignificant detail–unrelated to websites–stick with me? Well, I use the MBTI as a coaching tool with my therapist clients, I speak “MBTI” language, and my husband is an INFJ.

I happen to know that INFJ’s comprise less than 1.5% of the population. This told me more about him, and what I most likely would experience working with him, than anything he says on his site about his process for creating therapist websites.

Daniel couldn’t have known what detail on his site would reach me. He, however, understood that by sharing his personality (literally!), the likelihood was that he would make a heart-connection with his readers.

Marketing communication, like all interpersonal communication, starts with a heart check. Who’s the person you want to establish or deepen your connection with? Why is it important? What’s at stake? Why does what you want to say matter to them? –Donald Miller

How to tell your story

Boundaries

All compelling stories have boundaries. In fiction, the boundaries are determined by the story arc; in poetry, by the pattern.

For therapists, the boundaries are determined, to a large degree, by our ethical and legal commitments. Let’s take a minute to establish the boundaries of your soul story.

I recently received a question from a therapist who is developing a niche, and considering blogging. She asked:

What’s the boundary of personally disclosing on a professional blog? My personal life is what led me to focus on [her niche], which is what my practice will address. I don’t normally self disclose during sessions, but I’m wondering if its a different ball game with blogging.

I responded to this therapist with what I believe about storytelling (side note: storytelling is different from self-disclosure): Clients want to know that you understand them. There is no better way to communicate understanding than to share a similar struggle, if it has led you to your niche.

How to share a struggle

Whether you’re writing a blog post, your website, or a social media post, the sweet spot, for you and potential clients, is in revealing your personality, but not your personal process. My guide for this is Brené Brown’s tip: “Share what is vulnerable, not what is intimate.” Also, ensure that the motivation for the telling is to connect with potential therapy clients from your professional identity.

How to craft your story

I’ve found the following guidelines helpful when writing business content:

1 | Mention who you serve, and why you serve them

For significant content–videos, blog posts, podcast episodes, and so forth, make sure that it solves a problem for your potential or existing clients, and/or that you communicate your experience and passion.

2 | Use “I”

If you are solo practitioner, a group practice owner who uses independently contracted therapists, or a business owner at the center of your brand, use “I” when referring to your business, rather than “we.” “I” reflects vulnerability and ownership, while “we” can be confusing when one person is the face of the business.

3 | Use “You”

Speak directly to your potential therapy clients, when your goal is to teach, or you are inviting action. In general, speak directly to them as much as possible. Your business is about them, and connecting with them, and ultimately, this is the role of your story.

What is your story?

Your story is your business story, but it is also your personal story. You’ve worked hard, struggled, succeeded, learned, and you bring all of that into every therapy session. Your clients and potential clients should know your passion and determination.

In an effort to guide you through the process of writing your story, I am listing three questions that will lead to you identifying the essentials of your story. I’ve also answered each question with my story, in order to provide an example:

  • What brought you to this point in your career, and this business?

I changed my business model (from private practice to online counseling/coaching) after becoming a mom. I needed more flexibility, and I wanted to design work that met my personal needs for my new life stage.

What events have led you to be where you are right now? Invite your potential clients into this part of your story.

  • Why do you serve the clients you serve?

When I was transitioning professionally, I could not find a community that would help me navigate the personal and career changes required. I decided to focus my expertise on supporting therapists in creating careers that enrich their life.

  • What vision are you creating, one session at a time?

I am creating a community of therapists who feel and work refreshed, by designing intentional work. I am determined to blast burnout out of the mental health field!

How to use your story

Once you’ve completed your soul story, circle words that you use regularly in conversation. Star or highlight words that communicate your heart for your work. These words will be the foundation of your personal brand. Use them repeatedly when you post on social media, as well as on your website and sales copy.

Once you are intimately familiar with your soul story, it will naturally appear in your writing. In the meantime, glance at it anytime you write content for your private practice.

I recommend going through the soul-story method with pen and paper. If you want to clarify your personal brand, and craft your soul-story, download your free soul-story method guide, here: bit.ly/soulstoryguide. It includes all of the questions listed in this post, along with space for writing.

 


Ili Walter

Ili Rivera Walter, PhD is an intentional career coach and wellness warrior for mental health professionals. She is a LMFT in the states of Florida and Pennsylvania, as well as an AAMFT-Approved Supervisor. Ili is the founder and facilitator of The Refreshed Therapist Network, a community of therapists creating innovative careers that prevent burnout and enhance wellbeing. Learn more about Ili at www.familytherapybasics.com.