Here are the four episodes you may have missed in May!


05. What Content Goes on A Therapy Landing Page?

In episode 3 of this podcast, I interviewed Paul Thomas, my friend from down under who created his own private practice website and was able to get it ranking #1 in Google for a number of keywords. A lot of our conversation focused on the type of content he created on in order to pull that off. And the strategy he used is one that I often talk about…

That is, creating these specific pages for each and every service or specialty you have within your therapy practice. Now, in this episode, I want to break down this strategy to give you an outline of the type of content you should be creating for these types of pages.

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

  • What a specialty page is and why it’s so important for your website
  • How to find out what people are typing in Google to find the services YOU offer
  • How you can use these pages to create more connection with your potential clients
  • A structure and layout for the content of your service landing pages
  • Some extra things to include on these pages so that Google will rank them higher
  • The most important part of your specialty page that will help it convert better

Click here to listen


06. How to Repel Clients That Aren’t A Good Fit For Your Private Practice

Your therapy website is ground zero for attracting your ideal client to your private practice and hopefully converting them into a paying client. But as time goes on and your practice grows, you’re sure to attract some of the other types of clients. You know, the ones that really aren’t a great fit for you. Perhaps they had a different expectation of what therapy would look like, so they abandon the whole thing after one or two sessions. In this episode of The Private Practice Elevation Podcast, I share 5 ways you can repel clients that aren’t a good fit for your private practice.

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

  • How to let go of striving for the wrong types of clients and owning your expertise
  • Copy tips to help you narrow your focus and clarify who you work with (and who you don’t!)
  • A simple copy hack that can keep you from talking to the wrong clients and start converting the right ones
  • How having a blog on your private practice website can help your website visitors understand who you work with and who you don’t
  • The power of just being yourself in your marketing

Click here to listen.


07. 5 Tips For Great Portrait Photography for Your Private Practice Website

Portraits of yourself can either distract or add to the design of your private practice website. So, how do you avoid just slapping an iPhone selfie up on your professional private practice website and start creating a connection and beautiful website design? In this episode of the podcast, I’ll share with you 5 quick tips you can use when getting photos taken for your website and other marketing materials. You can use these tips to communicate with your photographer so that you can use these photos in the most flexible ways in all kinds of design, especially your website.

What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

  • Why you shouldn’t use vertical, old-school-style portraits on your private practice website
  • The things you can do with the photos that will give you more possibilities and make your website designer extremely happy
  • The types of compositions that work best for your website and how to communicate this to your photographer
  • How to crop your photos to create focus and connection with your website visitors
  • Why you should let go of your fear of being photographed

Click here to listen.


08. Passive Income for Therapists: How To Add Online Income to Your Private Practice

In this episode of the Private Practice Elevation podcast, I chat with Marissa Lawton about her step by step process for creating “passive income” for your private practice. Marissa comes with a wealth of value and information on this topic because she’s done it all herself.

Validating ideas and creating sales funnels can seem overwhelming at first, but using Marissa’s Passive Income Roadmap cheatsheet, she breaks it all down for you so you can get started on your idea today.

What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

  • The definition of “passive income” and what it really takes to be successful
  • How the landscape of “passive income” has changed and how therapists are now poised to benefit from it more than ever
  • How to create systems in your business that sell products online and expand your therapy practice service
  • How to validate your “passive income” idea so that it actually sells
  • How to brand your product so that it stands out from other products in your niche
  • How to build an email list so that it cultivates community and gives you access to ideal customers to sell your future product to
  • The step-by-step process for turning a product idea into an additional income source for your private practice
  • When you should pay for ads to help sell your online products
  • Tools you can use to create a sales funnel that won’t break the bank
  • Tips for growing your audience and building trust that results in sales

Click here to listen.

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.

A guest post by Amanda Jeans

Imagine this. You’ve been building your private practice for a few years, you’re onboarding new clients every week, you’re continuing to educate yourself and become an expert in your field.

The only problem? Time.

As a therapist, you feel there isn’t enough of it to go around. You feel yourself crumbling and you can’t seem to get ahead. If ONLY you could get some help! Ahhh sweet relief. But how?

Surely good help is hard to find AND expensive, right?

Think again.

You may find the right help at an affordable price if you consider hiring a virtual assistant for your private practice.

‘Virtual Assistants’ are the new “It” girl in the world of therapy and private practice. VA’s, as they are called, provide administrative help, marketing help, calendar help and can even sift through your endless amounts of email. Scheduling and client calls? That too. SERIOUSLY. Sounds like a dream come true right?

Though the idea of having a VA makes any therapist giddy from the toes up, I am generally met with 6 cold, hard pushbacks. I’m going to address these myths and provide you with the fear-crushing information you need to take the leap of faith into ‘letting go’for the sake of your practice.

Myth 1: I can’t afford a virtual assistant in my private practice

I am addressing price first. Usually, this is the number one concern when hiring your private practice support team. Will you be able to afford the overhead? Traditionally, hiring someone to sit with you at the office daily, for 4 to 8 hours a day meant a solid salary, employee taxes, and benefits.

When you hire a VA you’re getting billed by the hour FOR ONLY THE WORK DONE in a day. This is magic! You can hire a VA to do the exact same jobs as an in-house employee for a fraction of the cost.

In my agency, we bill to the minute. We don’t round, so you only pay for what you get. You aren’t paying us to sit around the watercooler or chat with other employees.

Myth 2: Virtual assistants are hard to find

Admittedly, VA’s are kind of like four leaf clovers. We know they exist, are pretty awesome when you find one, but rarely do you physically see them. I’ll give you a tip: ask your therapy colleagues first. Ask the people in your Mastermind groups, and ask the people in your Facebook groups. Our small agency, thus far, has worked entirely on referrals!

So what happens when you Google “find a virtual assistant for my private practice”? I’m willing to bet a big name staffing agency pops up.  This agency is perfectly fine to use. But, if you want a more personal, one-on-one relationship with your VA, scroll down a little further in the search and possibly to page two (GASP).

Be cautious, however, of anyone and everyone claiming to be a VA. While this might technically be true, ask to see references, samples of work, and have them fill out a questionnaire that asks specific questions to you and your private practice. This early vetting will save you time, stress and money later on.

Myth 3: They’re hard to communicate with when working remotely

We sometimes think because we’re working in an office with fancy telephones and a conference room we are engaging in productive communication 24/7. You can’t possibly have this type of relationship with your VA right? Not so.  Because VA’s work remotely, they tend to be extra sensitive to communication. A properly trained (or experienced) VA attends regular check-ins, utilizes project management software, text messages (at the clients’ discretion), phone calls and zoom meetings.  

Here’s a little VA secret: communication and efficiency are our top priorities! We don’t like to waste time, but we do like to ask questions.

Myth 4: Virtual assistants are lazy

If you could see a VA’s project boards in Asana your brain would spin and you might need to lie down. We are the queens and kings of multi-tasking and keeping things in order during an entire workday. The sheer mental compartmentalizing is grueling and frankly makes me kind of sweaty. Generally speaking, VA’s seek remote work for various reasons, but in my experience, they are usually juggling life just like everyone else.

Myth 5: They don’t do specialized private practice tasks or anything outside of administrative tasks

The good news? VA’s are Jacks and Janes of all trades.

There isn’t much we can’t or won’t do for a client. Because we’re also good communicators, you can be assured we will tell you if we’re comfortable doing other tasks for your private practice like social media management, graphic design, blog writing, sales,  or therapist website design or management.

The possibilities are endless. Some VA’s specialize in mental health or private practice work! This is even better news.

The bad news? Your VA might not know how to do a specialized task. That’s ok. They will either learn or find someone that can. Either way, you win.

Searching for a VA to support you in your private practice shouldn’t be another task you simply can’t find time for. There is an entire sea of highly efficient, organized and talented VA’s out there ready to help you gain productive hours back into your work or personal life. These amazing individuals will prioritize you and your business. When you succeed, WE succeed.

So if you’re a therapist thinking about hiring a virtual assistant for your private practice, consider these five myths and what the truth means for you. As a therapist, more time means helping more people but it also means helping yourself.

About Amanda

Amanda is passionate to help others gain productive work (or personal) hours back into their lives. She and her small team of VA’s work with therapists (and related fileds), entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profits. She has degree from the University of Houston, and received her BS in Psychology and Business (graduated Magna Cum Laude). During her time at U of H, she became interested in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and started independent research on leadership, work-life balance and multicultural issues. Fast forward to today, she ultimately took her love of people and puzzles, her skill in efficient organization, and the practicality of being a flexible entrepreneur to serve others in their businesses. You can learn more about booking therapist VA and Social Media services here, or you can email Amanda at amanda@quietcougar.com

The speed at which your private practice website loads is one of the many factors Google looks at when recommending your website. One thing that may slow your website down is the images that appear on it.

There Are Two Things You Want To Optimize For: Image Size and File Size

 

There are two things that are going to make your images slow to load on your website.

Number one is the physical size of the image.

The size of images on computers is measured in pixels. You’ve got a width and a height for each image.

When I see a website that loads slowly, the first thing I’ll do is take a look at the images.

Many times there will be images that appear small to the user – let’s say they are only 300 pixels wide on the screen – but if you right-click on the image and open it in a new tab, the image is actually 4000 pixels wide.

This means that the HTML code is still loading a 4k pixel wide (BIG!) image and then styling it as 300 pixels wide.

The website STILL needs to load that large image.

So think about how you’ll use your images on your website. If it will appear in a small space, use a tool to resize those images before you load them onto your website.

The other aspect of your images that can slow things down is the size of the image file.

This is the space it takes up on your computer.

If you start with the width and height of your images, resizing them to make them smaller, this will cut down on your images file sizes.

Optimizing for Image Size

To edit the size of your images (width and height) before uploading to your private practice website, you can use a photo editor.

There are free tools out there you can use such as Canva’s Photo Editor.

You can upload your photo, resize it or crop it, then download the file.

Optimizing for File Size

For optimizing the file size of your images, you can use an image compression tool.

This helps cut down on the file size while keeping a decent quality of the photo.

Here are two image compression tools you can try:

To learn more about keeping your images loading super fast plus the sizes I recommend you stick to, watch the video below:

Conclusion

If you want your website to compete with the competition in Google, page speed is one thing you want to make sure you’re doing right.

Making sure you use properly optimized images is one way you can cut down on a lot of extra load time.

You can use the tips above to give your private practice website visitors a better experience and help your website rank better in Google.

Not sure if your website is loading slow or fast or whether your images are slowing things down?

Check out this free speed test from Pingdom to get started.

Click here to subscribe

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

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.

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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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A guest post by Sarah Leitschuh

As many therapists do, I found the leap into private practice to be an overwhelming experience. I built my clinical skills in an agency setting where I felt so confident. But, in the early days of private practice I found myself doubting even my most foundational skills as a therapist.

 

There was so much to learn, so much to do and so much to keep track of! I tried to do it all and found myself pulled in a million directions.

As you can imagine, this left me exhausted and frustrated.

Eventually, I realized that the practice I had been creating didn’t meet my needs and wasn’t in alignment with my goals for going into private practice.

Although I was building a profitable practice and doing good work with my clients, I wasn’t showing up in the way that I wanted to in any of my relationships inside or outside of my office.

I gave myself permission to slow down and re-vision my approach to my work and how my work would fit with my life outside of work.

As I’ve worked on fine tuning the way in which I approach my work, I have also supported other therapists in doing the same.

After reflecting on my conversations with therapists from across the country, I found that most often issues that contribute to therapist overwhelm are often linked to therapists’ struggle to maintain boundaries around their time.

4 Ways Therapists Can Reduce Overwhelm By Maintaining Boundaries

1. Clearly Define and Communicate Your Work Schedule

First and foremost, it is essential to clearly define your schedule for yourself.

You must be committed to the schedule that you create, so you can avoid the temptation to create regular “exceptions” to your schedule in order to accomodate to others’ wishes.

When you have a clearly defined schedule that you are able to commit to, you are able to confidently communicate this to your clients and let them know when you are available to see them and what they can expect from you in terms of timeframes for returned calls/emails, written reports and any other information they may need from you.

When you know exactly when you will be working you are able to map out the tasks that you need to do and avoid the spill-over of work into your personal time.

A clearly defined schedule with time blocked out for all practice related tasks allows therapists to feel less anxious about finding the time needed to see clients and complete administrative tasks.

2. Create Systems and Set Aside Dedicated Time For Regular Tasks.

Clearly defined systems help therapists complete their work in an efficient way and eliminate the uncertainty of not knowing when or how tasks will be completed.

Systems address the who, what, when, where and how of the work we do as therapists, specifically as it relates to tasks we do often.

Therapists should look at creating systems for many areas in their practices including; welcoming new clients, communications, documentation, billing/financial matters and scheduling.

Additionally, I suggest that when possible, therapists batch similar tasks together.

For example, designate set times/days for routine tasks such as checking email or writing session notes instead of randomly doing them whenever you have a few minutes to spare.

Avoid temptations to frequently deviate from the systems and structures that you create.

I love the flexibility of private practice as much as the next person, but know that too much flexibility leads to incomplete work and the spillover of work into my personal time.

3. Say No To Opportunities (Including Potential Clients) That Are Not In Alignment With Your Practice Goals

In our eagerness to start seeing clients and build our practices, it is easy to accept almost every opportunity that presents itself to us (think things like new client inquiries, invitations to speak to a group or a potential collaboration with a colleague) without really considering how the opportunity fits with the ultimate vision for our practice.

This is a habit that can carry into practices that are decades old.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen many therapists (including myself) inadvertently end up saying yes to opportunities that suck time and energy because they are not in alignment with our practice goals or vision.

Therapists need to allow ourselves the space and time to reflect on and evaluate opportunities before saying yes.

Ultimately, we want to save our time, energy and focus for the work that we are most passionate about.

I’ve found it helpful to build in a buffer of time before I officially respond to opportunities that present themselves by saying things like “Let me think about that and get back to you.”

4.  Create Rituals and Routines to Turn Off Work at the End Of The Day and Week

As a therapist and entrepreneur, I find it is important to be intentional in planning for how we wrap up our work at the end of the day and week.

The tasks that we need to complete will never be 100% complete and we need to be able to tolerate tabling unfinished work for the next day or the following week instead of pushing ourselves to work unreasonable numbers of hours each week.

Therapists who struggle to turn off work tend to find themselves more overwhelmed and burnt out.

The therapists who I have spoken to who are the least overwhelmed by their work are those who have made the time to reflect on and consistently implement the rituals and practices that they find most effective to turn off work and allow themselves the time and space to recharge.

About SarahBaby Love Sarah 2 S 1 768x509 1

Sarah Leitschuh is a Minnesota-based therapist and coach who is on a mission to help reduce therapist overwhelm. Sarah works with therapists who are ready to find a way to approach their work that leaves them energized at the end of the week instead of burnout and depleted.  You can learn more about Sarah’s work at www.sarahleitschuhcounseling.com.

The Overwhelm Assessment for Stressed Out Therapists is a tool that allows therapists to take inventory of all the areas contributing to their overwhelm and develop an action plan to reduce their overwhelm today.  Claim your complimentary copy of the Assessment.

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Psychology Today is often the go-to directory for most mental-health therapists when they launch their private practice. Because of its high Google rank and searchability, having a profile can help you get found by more clients.

In this article, we’ll go over how you can add your Psychology Today Verification badge to your website.

Psychology Today is often the go-to directory for most mental-health therapists when they launch their private practice. Because of its high Google rank and searchability, having a profile can help you get found by more clients. In this article, we’ll go over how you can add your Psychology Today Verification badge to your website.

What is A Psychology Today Verification Badge?

Simply put, the verification badge is a graphic with a link that Psychology Today provides to you.

It looks like this:

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You can place this graphic on your website as a way to further connect your website to your Psychology Today profile.

You can use it as a small token to boost your credibility with website visitors looking to vet their new therapist.

Also, linking to credible websites, such as Psychology Today, can also have a slight benefit to your search engine optimization.

Where to Put Your Psychology Today Verification Badge

My personal opinion is that you’re going to create far more connection with your potential clients on YOUR website and NOT your Psychology Today profile.

Plus, because of Psychology Today’s high Google ranking, many visitors will see your profile first, and then go to your website to learn a little more about you.

Because of this, I like to make sure we’re keeping visitors ON your website, reading your blog posts and getting comfortable with you and CONVERTING into clients.

Not just sending them away from your website.

So, where do I recommend you put your Psychology Today verification seal?

Well, there’s no “one size fits all” for this and it really depends on the design of your website.

First and foremost, I usually relegate the graphic to my clients’ about pages.

There, you may have a section toward the bottom of the page that lists your credentials and trainings. It’s here where you can put the seal, along with other organization seals you may be affiliated with.

This creates one area of the website that a visitor can see your credibility.

Another place I may put the graphic when I’m designing private practice websites would be the website footer.

And if I do, it’s usually small and probably the last thing on the page.

Like I said, we want to keep your visitors on your website and lead them to contacting you through your calls to action.

While they could still convert off your Psychology Today profile (which is great), to me, your website provides a better representation of you and your personality and a better chance at converting.

That’s just my opinion!

How to Embed The Psychology Today Verification on Your Website

Ok, so how can you embed this nifty little badge on your own website? Just follow the steps below:

1: Log into your Psychology Today profile

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2: Under your name, in the top right corner, click on “Link and Share”

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3: Choose a size and theme that will work with your website styles

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4: Click on the “Copy” button at the bottom of the page to copy the code

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5: Paste the code into your website

This is where things may get just a little bit tricky.

Each website builder will be a little bit different, but you’re going to look for your builder’s way of adding HTML code to your content.

For example, in WordPress, you can add it right inside any text on a page by click the “Text” tab (as opposed to “Visual”) in your text editor:

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Once you’re in the “Text” or HTML view, you can paste your code:

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Most website builders work in the same way, allowing you to add code into any text block.

Once your Psychology Today code is pasted into the page, you can save or preview it:

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If you’re having trouble getting the code to appear, it’s possible that the code is conflicting with your theme or some other code going on.

It’s always best to reach out to customer support for your theme (if using WordPress) or your website builder (such as Squarespace or Wix).

There you have it! Now your website will be cross linked with your Psychology Today profile.

Get your first six months of Psychology Today for FREE.

You can get started with Psychology Today and get your first six months absolutely free.

My wife has graciously made this referral link available to my audience. (thanks Honey!)

If you’d like to get a free six months, just send an email to daniel@createmytherapistwebsite.com with the subject “Please send me the Psychology Today link” and we’ll send it right over.

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