Pinterest still remains one of my favorite ways to get traffic to any therapy website.

When you combine content that truly serves your potential therapy clients with the multiplication power of Pinterest, it’s a winning combination to get more traffic to your website and reach a larger audience.

In this article, I’ll share with you 5 ways that you can use Pinterest to explode your website traffic.

Want to start at the very beginning with Pinterest? Check out this Pinterest guide.

Let’s get started…

1: Get Very Clear On Who Your Target Audience Is

Story: My very first blog

My second blog with my portfolio site

The problem with that first blog was that it really only served one person… me!

I wasn’t offering anything that anyone would really want, outside of my own family and friends who wanted to see my photos.

This is why it’s so important to define why you blog and who you blog for.

Doing so will help you focus your writing, explode your blog post ideas, poise you to connect with your potential clients and showcase your expertise.

That’s why today’s lesson is so important. It lays the groundwork for everything else we’ll do in this challenge.

Questions to Get You Started:

1: Who do you love helping in your private practice? 

What types of clients do you get really excited to work with? Think about the last time you were looking forward to that first session with a new client… what were they like and why were they coming to you?

2: What questions are your favorite clients consistently asking you? 

List out a few challenges and topics you love to tackle with your clients. Be as detailed as you can here.

3: Who do you want to see more of in your private practice? 

People who need help with … (fill in the blank). This is like the first question, but this one is for the future. Who do you want to attract to your private practice?

4: How can reading your blog posts help them (even if they don’t become a client)?

Is it inspiration? Is it hope? Is it simple tips to help them with (fill in the blank).

2: Set Up A Pinterest Business Account and Enable Rich Pins

Using a Pinterest Business account will give you access to some awesome statistics so you can understand how well or poorly your account is doing.

This also allows you to verify your website and use something called Rich Pins, which will attach information about your blog and website to pins you create for your blog posts.

I actually covered the process of setting up Rich Pins in detail in this post here.

3: Treat Your Pinterest Profile As A Resource Library For Your Ideal Clients

I’ve said it a few times and I’ll say it again… your Pinterest profile is an extension of your website and your private practice.

So, when someone lands on your Pinterest profile, you want your board titles and the images you pin to reinforce what you do and how you can help your ideal client.

What you DON’T want, is for your ideal client to click onto your Pinterest profile, expecting to learn more about your practice, only to see boards like “Hairstyles,” “Cute Dogs,” and “Desserts I Love.”

That’s confusing.

  1. Use your professional portrait for the profile image or your private practice’s logo
  2. You can create a “featured” board on your profile where you pin all the content that comes from your blog
  3. Name your boards with clear titles that have keywords in the title – these can even be the same as your blog’s categories
  4. Search for BOARDS related to the content your ideal client would read so you can curate other helpful resources that are NOT from your blog

4: Use Keywords Everywhere!

Now, Pinterest is a really just a search engine… and just like Google, the way to get found is through using keywords.

Also, your Pinterest profile is an extension of your website and blog.

It’s a place where you share resources that are helpful to your ideal clients.

So, with a couple simple tweaks, you can ensure that your profile is one that can be found in Pinterest AND captures your ideal clients and readers’ attention.

Here’s how we do it:

1: Add keywords to your Business Name

In your profile settings, there’s a space for your business name and Pinterest gives you some extra space that you can fill with keywords related to your niche and services.

So, instead of just putting your name, ie “Daniel Fava”, you can expand it to something like this:

Daniel Fava Marriage & Family Therapist

Or

Daniel Fava LPC | Marriage Tips, Couples Therapy

Think of your most important keywords that will attract your ideal client and include them in your business name.

2: Write a solid bio focused on your ideal client

Your Pinterest bio (About you section in your profile settings) is PRIME real estate you can use to attract your ideal client and let them know how you plan to serve them.

It’s the first impression people get of you and your practice when they land on your profile.

This is where you’ll want to get clear about who you help and what you help them achieve.

You can also include a call to action here and link over to your website for some bonus traffic.

So, instead of saying, “I’m an LPC in Atlanta, GA” (pretty boring, right?)

Say something like THIS:

“I help couples and parents restore relationships and families through collaborative therapy. Download your free Family Conversation Starters cheatsheet here >> http://bit.ly

Now readers can tell exactly what you do and what they’re gonna get from you.

3: Use keywords in each of your board descriptions

Every board you create on Pinterest can be a new topic that you can use to attract your ideal clients.

Make sure you don’t leave your board description blank but use it as a way to let people know what the board is about, including the keywords anyone would use to find it.

4: Write a keyword-rich description for each pin you save for your website content

This works just like the meta description on a page on your website. 

It lets searchers know what the content is about and contains the keywords your clients are searching for.

Here’s why this step is so important:

  1. It will help your target audience find you when using Pinterest search
  2. Pinterest will see your keywords and suggest your pins to people who don’t yet follow you but view related topics
  3. This will, in time increase your Pinterest followers and ultimately, your traffic

5: Use Pinterest automation tools to get more traffic

Just like blogging, consistency is key to using Pinterest to get more traffic to your private practice website.

You must be active on Pinterest in order to grow your following and traffic. Pin relevant content to your boards each day and mix in some of your own blog post pins as well.

Yes, you can pin your own content multiple times to multiple boards! It’s ok!

So you’ll want to go beyond just creating a pin for each blog post you publish on your website.

Because pinning anywhere from 10 – 25 times a day is really ideal to keep your account fresh and consistently at the top of your followers’ feeds.

You want to repin other helpful resources for your clients and mix in your own content that links to your website and drives that yummy traffic.

So in order to do that without going crazy, a Pinterest Scheduling tool is ideal.

I personally use Tailwind which lets me set a pinning schedule then fill up a queue of great content that will get dripped out over the course of the week.

Tailwind has a great feature called the Smart Loop, where you can put in your best content and tell it how often you want it to pin that to your account and it will just auto loop it over time. 

Ready to use Pinterest to explode your traffic, grow your audience and attract more of your ideal clients? Join the free 10-day Kickstart Your Blog Traffic Challenge by clicking the banner below:

<p><script src=”//static.leadpages.net/leadboxes/current/embed.js” async=”” defer=””></script> <img style=”cursor: pointer;” src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/SAkfskJEFg0CHHXfYIqwro93jNE5RHi5SEENuhWVnUZg0fM0K4CpPyf_I1lnJaybdsr85fyrNAzAHgyMqZ3s0g=s0″ alt=”Click here to join the free challenge” data-leadbox-popup=”14677d473f72a2:1385c73def46dc” data-leadbox-domain=”createmytherapistwebsite.lpusercontent.com” /></p>

We’ve been talking a lot about SEO lately on the Private Practice Elevation Podcast.

In this article, we’re going to discuss backlinks, which are often the missing piece when it comes to making sure your website ranks well in Google.

SEO stands for search engine optimization and it has to do with the often confusing practice and strategy of helping your website pages show up in Google search results – preferably at the top of those results.

Most therapists are aware that the keywords and phrases that appear on their private practice website have a lot to do with where their website will show up on Google.

This is true, but it’s not the whole story.

While great content is the foundation of a good SEO strategy, there’s one aspect that I see get overlooked time and again.

It’s called backlinks (sometimes called inbound links).

In simple terms, a backlink is any link on another website that links to your website.

If you’ve got your therapy website link in your Facebook profile, that’s a backlink.

If you’ve written a guest blog post for PsychCentral and have your website link in your bio at the bottom, that’s a great backlink.

But why are these links important for ranking your therapy website high in search results?

Read on, my friend!

Why Backlinks Are Important for SEO

Backlinks are important because they basically tell Google that other websites like your website.

It’s kinda like having a referral on your resume.

When Google looks at your website (resume), it sees all the links (referrals) pointing to it.

If those referrals are good ones, it could help Google understand that a lot of other sites are saying that your information is extremely relevant related to your website’s topic, thus having a positive impact on your search engine results rank.

Not All Backlinks Are Created Equal

Continuing with our resume analogy, if your uncle, Charlie had a glowing referral on your resume as well as Oprah Winfrey, which one do you think would carry a little more weight?

The same is true when it comes to inbound links on your website.

A link from a website that has no authority with Google – meaning it doesn’t rank well for topics related to your website – would not be as valuable as one from a website that has a high domain authority.

Remember, Google wants to show users the most relevant and best information based on what they are looking for.

So if they type in “how to improve communication with my husband” and Google sees that you’ve got that content AND a lot of trustworthy websites are linking to it, it helps tell Google that your content is trustworthy as well.

I’ve created a lot of content on my blog at Create My Therapist Website.

So after 3 years of blogging, I’m getting about 7k average monthly pageviews on that website and the majority of that traffic comes from Google.

I get probably an email a week from someone who wants to me to update a blog post I’ve written or write a guest post on this website, because they know there’s a little domain authority there.

So a great idea for you if you’d like to boost your traffic and SEO is to get published on other websites related to your therapy services.

Using Anchor Text Properly in Your Backlinks

We can’t talk about backlinks without talking about “anchor text”.

Anchor text is the actual text that appears on a web page that links to your website.

Let’s say you’ve recently been published on Psych Central and at the bottom of your article is your bio.

In your bio you may say something like, “John Smith is an anxiety specialist with a private practice in Atlanta”. 

Within that sentence, you may put a link on the words “anxiety specialist” and that would be your anchor text.

There are 6 types of anchor links you can use to link to your private practice website:

  1. Exact Match – The exact keyword(s) you want to rank for, such as “anxiety specialist”
  2. Partial Match – This is a variation of the keyword(s) you want to rank such as “anxiety specialist in Atlanta”
  3. Brand Anchor Text – The name of your private practice such as “Liz Fava Counseling Services”
  4. Naked / URL – Just the naked URL like http://www.favacounseling.com
  5. Benign Anchor Text – Anchor text that doesn’t mean anything like “ click here” or “website”
  6. No Text / Image – When you put a link on an image and there’s no text 

Which one should you use when creating a backlink? Here’s what Moz had to say:

“With the Penguin algorithm update, Google began to look more closely at keywords in anchor text. If too many of a site’s inbound links contain the exact same anchor text, it can start to appear suspicious and may be a sign that the links weren’t acquired naturally. In general, it’s still a best practice to obtain and use keyword- and topic-specific anchor text when possible. However, SEOs may get better results by striving for a variety of more natural anchor text phrases rather than the same keyword each time.”

In order to create a more natural backlinking strategy and portfolio of links to your private practice website, try and stick to a ratio of 9 to 1.

You’ll want 9 anchor text links to be brand, naked url, benign or images. Then one that may be for a keyword phrase that you want to try and rank for.

Doing this will help you avoid penalties and encourage more trust from Lord Google.

Where to Begin With a Backlink SEO Strategy

If you’re wondering how many backlinks your therapy website currently has, just head to Moz’s free link explorer tool and type in your domain:


Use the results to get a snapshot of how your website is doing and what types of backlinks you currently have.

Don’t like the results? Well, then let’s get to work!

I know it may sound like a lot of work to get your website link on a whole bunch of other websites.

And yes, this can take you a lot of time! I recommend it being part of your website strategy to look for opportunities to contribute to other websites.

You could write a guest blog post or be interviewed on a podcast.

All of this requires a bit of research and relationship building.

But if you’re wanting to get started quickly, begin with some easy backlinks that will help give you a foundation of backlinks related to your private practice.

Start a business profile on each social media website you can find and simply add your branded URL or Naked URL to your profile.

This doesn’t mean you need to actually use these profiles for marketing, it’s just to show Google you are legit and to point back to your website.

Another thing you can do is find some local business directories where you can list your business with a link back to your website.

Again, we’re creating a foundation of links that become signals to Google that your private practice exists.

You could also write a roundup blog post where you list a bunch of resources from experts in your niche and you link to them. Then just email them with the blog post letting them know they were featured. 

They will most likely share the blog post with their own audience, giving you some social signals which Google likes, and in some cases, they may even link to it on their own website.

Conclusion

Most therapists understand that optimizing the content on their website is a huge part of getting traffic from search engines.

However, not many are doing the work to create a solid foundation of backlinks from other websites.

Adding backlinks to your SEO strategy can be the missing piece to helping your private practice rise in the search engines and get more traffic and clients in your business.

At Private Practice Elevation, we can help you get more traffic with a custom backlink strategy where we do all the heavy lifting of creating links and helping you rank higher. 

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.

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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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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Marketing is not very easy. Finding the right words that will resonate with your potential clients can often be quite challenging. But there’s one thing that can help you when it comes to writing your website and marketing copy: story.

Marketing is not very easy. Finding the right words that will resonate with your potential clients can often be quite challenging. But there’s one thing that can help you when it comes to writing your website and marketing copy: story. In this article I’d like to share with you some of the key takeaways from one of my favorite marketing books, Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

 

In this article I’d like to share with you some of the key takeaways from one of my favorite marketing books, Building A StoryBrand by Donald Miller.

The Power of Story in Your Private Practice Marketing

Donald Miller is a student of storytelling.

He says, “Story is the greatest weapon to combat noise, because it organizes information in such a way that people are compelled to listen.”

Stories are memorable. Stories capture the human spirit and keep our attention, especially if it’s a good one.

When we tell a good story with our marketing, we move from just creating information and hoping to compel potential clients to actually inviting them into something bigger.

You see, the one thing that is so powerful about storytelling, especially when it comes to your marketing, is that the human response is to place ourselves within a good story.

We think about what we’d do in the hero’s situation.

How would we overcome such a challenge?

How can I be the hero?!

“Once you understand how story integrates with your brand message, you’ll be able to create communication pieces (and even brand strategy) that engages more [clients] and grows your business.”

And this is exactly what Donald Miller teaches you to do in Building A Story Brand.

After writing 8 books and studying hundreds of movies, plays and musicals, he’s boiled down the essential elements of a compelling story.

You can use this framework to make your potential client the hero of the story you tell with your private practice:

“A CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN, and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in SUCCESS.”

Your client is the character… you are the guide.

Can you see how you could take this framework and write a story about your client’s challenges and how you and your private practice can guide them toward success?

Three Crucial Questions You Must Answer for Your Ideal Client

As I work with my clients to create compelling content and websites, it’s extremely helpful to be clear on the desires of the client(s) they are trying to reach.

If you’re not clear on what your ideal client desires and the things keeping them from reaching those desires, your marketing may just fall flat.

When you do know these things, you can craft compelling copy that resonates with the story they’re already living and give them the plan to reach success.

Donald mentions that the story you tell with your marketing copy should answer the following three questions, and quickly:

  1. What does the hero (your ideal client) want?
  2. Who or what is opposing the hero getting what she wants?
  3. What will the hero’s life look like if she does (or does not) get what she wants?

If you can answer these questions, with clarity, you can invite your website visitors into a compelling story where they can see themselves “getting what they want.”

Let’s say your client is a stressed-out professional and you want to create a landing page that attracts that client.

Your answers may go something like this:

  1. You want to be free from the stress and anxiety caused by your demanding job.
  2. But even when you’re at home, playing with your children or trying to unwind, you’re still thinking about that last email that came in, the fire you’ll need to put out tomorrow morning when you get to work and the many projects you’re trying to balance.
  3. If you can’t find a way to manage these pressures well, you feel like your health will continue to slip, there will be more and more conflict with your spouse and you just might miss the best years of your children’s life.

See the type of story that tells?

The copy paints a picture that the client can fully relate to and say “yes, that’s me! Now give me the way out!”

Guiding Your Clients Toward Success and Away From Failure

Another aspect of great storytelling that can help you create compelling marketing for your private practice is the reality and tension of what’s at stake.

In The Lord Of The Rings, we want to see Frodo destroy the ring in the fires of Mt. Doom and avoid the end of the world at the hand of the forces of darkness.

We want resolution in our stories, and your potential clients most definitely want a resolution when it comes to their own.

This is where you can paint the picture of what life can look like should a client choose to work with you.

It’s also a chance to explain what life can look like if nothing changes for your potential client.

This creates a vision of those deep desires that your client wants and gives them a plan (your services) to achieve those desires.

Think about how your clients are feeling before working with you and how they may feel after.

What does life look like before working with you and what could it look like after?

Using this structure can help you craft extremely compelling copy for your private practice website that connects with potential clients and gives them hope for a better future and the motivation they need to take action.

Conclusion

The above are just a few of my favorite highlights from Donald Miller’s book, Building A Story Brand.

When I read this book, I dog-eared and underlined something on every few pages. It’s just that good!

If you’re struggling with what to say on your private practice website or any other marketing you do for your business, this is a must read for you.

The simple framework gives you a structure to easily follow and prompts to help you avoid sitting in front of a blank computer screen and write content that will help you grow your practice.

The book also comes with free access to a website where you can craft your own story script so you can refer to the key aspects of your ideal client’s story and use it to create consistent and compelling marketing copy.

I hope you find it as helpful in your marketing as I did!

Click the link below to learn more:

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Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.  Please understand that I only recommend products or services because I use them myself and find them helpful, not to make a commission should you choose to purchase something.  Please only purchase if you truly feel that it will help you achieve your goals.

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Guest Post by Nancy Gallegos

After speaking to hundreds of psychotherapists across the country and internationally, the two most common challenges they reported were burnout and a plateau in their private practice business.

Guest Post by Nancy Gallegos After speaking to hundreds of psychotherapists across the country and internationally, the two most common challenges they reported were burnout and a plateau in their private practice business. Unfortunately, burnout rates are high within the mental health field regardless if you work in a community clinic setting or in private practice.  

Unfortunately, burnout rates are high within the mental health field regardless if you work in a community clinic setting or in private practice.

Our work as psychotherapists is personally rewarding and most of us enter this field with a passion to serve others.  However, the profession is demanding both emotionally and physically.

I experienced firsthand burnout and compassion fatigue which lead me to my journey of discovering coaching services.

The number of mental health professionals transitioning into coaching is consistently growing every year.

Psychotherapists are expanding their business model to include coaching services.

The coaching industry is blooming and we are in an era where people are seeking a better future, going after their dreams, wanting to live a more fulfilled life, seeking personal development and solutions to specific struggles and obstacles.

These individuals don’t meet criteria for a diagnosis or medical necessity for psychotherapy services. However, they are still in need of support and guidance from qualified coaches to help them live at their fullest potential.

Trained mental health professionals are more than qualified to provide coaching services.

Your education, training, and experience as a mental health professional sets you apart and is a huge advantage.

Coaching is another option available to leverage your expertise and expand your business model to breakthrough financial plateaus and continue to do what you love – helping others.

Here are four ways to know if adding coaching services to your business model is right for you.

1. Solution Focused and Future Oriented Work  

Do you enjoy working with clients on finding a solution to a specific problem, helping them design their future, and prefer a more direct approach with clients?

Coaching services are present and future oriented with emphasizes on providing solutions for specific barriers, struggles, and problems.

Coaching focuses on planning and goal setting with an action driven and direct service approach.

You rarely dive into the client’s past and you never diagnose a coaching client. In coaching you are in a collaborative partnership with the client and moving away from the traditional medical model.

2. Passion and Soul Driven Work

Do you have passions, interests, and personal values you would love to incorporate in your work with clients and unable to do so with psychotherapy services?

Imagine being able to incorporate your own passion, personal values, and interests in your work with clients.

In coaching you are serving a specific niche whom you are passionate about and who you are best positioned to serve.  You are in control of only inviting your dream ideal clients to work with you and enrolling them in your coaching packages.

Perhaps you have overcome a personal struggle and now you desire to help those in similar situations. Or you desire to incorporate spirituality and who you truly are in your work with clients. The possibilities are endless with coaching.

3. Flexibility

Are you in need of more flexibility in your life right now?

One of the top reasons psychotherapists are attracted to a coaching business is flexibility.

Flexibility in your day to day schedule and being able to serve clients from the comfort of your home or from anywhere in the word – all you need is your laptop and good reliable wifi.

Flexibility to move across states if needed without interrupting your client’s services and your business revenue.  You can serve clients from all over the world, no shortage of clients or being confined to market your services only within local communities.

So whether you are in need of flexibility in your daily schedule to take your children to school or spend more time with loved ones or to travel the world, a coaching business might be right for you.

4. Financial Growth

Are you looking to increase your business revenue and improve or up-level your current lifestyle?

Adding coaching to your business model is another option to increase your revenue while decreasing your caseload so you have more time and energy to dedicate to your clients and personal needs.  Even with a part-time coaching business $5,000 – $10,000 monthly revenue is feasible.

There really is no revenue cap in owning your own coaching business, it all depends on your goals, the lifestyle you want to create, and the business model you desire.  It’s your choice.

Conclusion

I invite you to set time aside to further explore and re-evaluate your business goals and personal goals.

Where do you want your business to be in one and five years from now?

Does coaching services fit in those goals?

Remember coaching is simply another option available to you to Leverage your Expertise, Expand your Reach

 

Nancy Gallegos headshot

About Nancy:

Nancy Gallegos is a LMFT in California with over 16 years of experience in the mental health field including community mental health and private practice.  She is a Business Success Coach for mental health professionals who are ready to leverage their expertise and expand their reach by creating a passion driven and profitable coaching business.  Learn more about Nancy at http://nancygallegoscoaching.com

Guest post by Maureen Werrbach

Does the thought of marketing your group practice have you scratching your head or making you turn and run in the other direction? I hear ya. Most of us were able to make it work when we were growing our solo practices, but then we didn’t realize that what was working for us as solo providers doesn’t necessarily help our group practices grow.

Does the thought of marketing your group practice have you scratching your head or making you turn and run in the other direction? I hear ya. Most of us were able to make it work when we were growing our solo practices, but then we didn’t realize that what was working for us as solo providers doesn’t necessarily help our group practices grow.

One of the most common complaints I hear from group practice owners is that they have a difficult time getting potential clients to see their therapists.

Part of the problem is that often times, that group practice owner gives the potential client the tone that they feel bad that they can’t take them, only perpetuating the idea that whomever the client gets is a second-rate therapist to the group practice owner.

Working through that issue is a whole other article for another day. But the other part of the problem is that the group practice owner is continuing to market in ways that worked for them as solo providers, further increasing the probability that potential clients will call to see them.

In an effort to help group practice owners learn ways to market that actually work for their group practices, I’ve come up with 10 ways to market a group practice.

1: A website that’s engaging, easy to navigate + makes it easy for clients to reach you.

Nothing screams a bad practice (in the eyes of a client) than a website that’s disorganized, outdated, and difficult to navigate.

Clients need to easily be able to see if your group practice can help them or not, and fast.

They do not (and shouldn’t) want to spend a lot of time scrolling and clicking around your website to see if there is a therapist in your practice that works with their needs. Potential clients will just exit your website.

Even more, with websites being so well designed lately, clients expect that yours will be too. It is a reflection of our physical group practice. If clients feel dissatisfied or think your website is lackluster, it’s unlikely that they will reach out.

Circling back to navigation, it’s equally important that potential clients and referral sources can quickly scan through your list of therapists and find the best fit.

The more therapists you have, the more important it is to have subcategories of presenting issues you work with, to make it easier for them to find their ideal clinician.

2: Having your clinicians blog regularly to their ideal clients. 

Not only does this increase your ranking on Google, it also helps your potential clients have another touchpoint with a therapist before scheduling.

Research shows that potential clients need around 7 touchpoints before scheduling an appointment.

Blogs offer a way for clients to get to know your therapists in another light outside of their bios. Vlogs are even more successful in converting potential clients into clients.

3: Google AdWords, done professionally. 

I was a naysayer of Google AdWords for a while.

For years, I had tried to do it myself, with minimal results.

When I hired out my Google AdWords, I increased my website traffic by 71% in the first month!

In the digital age, an overwhelming majority of people search for the things they need, including therapists, online. Going behind the scenes to make your website get more traffic is one way to increase those referrals.

4: Community outreach + speaking engagements. 

My group practice engages in one free community speaking engagement (often at a local school or business) as a way to give back to the community but also as a marketing strategy.

When we give an hour of our time to presenting on a topic that is important to us, we often get a handful of new referrals that week because of the people who heard our presentation.

Outreaching and speaking engagements are also a way to increase brand recognition and your like, know, and trust factor from potential clients, referral sources, and community members.

5: Clinicians marketing themselves to places their ideal clients go. 

One thing to let go of as a group practice owner is marketing your clinicians individually (unless it is done digitally).

When a group practice owner goes out into the community to market their clinicians individually, what happens is that the group practice owner becomes the person those referral sources refer to.

It’s also less effective than if the clinician marketed out in the community themselves.

An example I like to use is with a therapist in my practice who is a CADC. I have no substance abuse counseling experience. I would have a much harder time, and be less effective at expressing my clinician’s experience in working with substance abuse clients than she would.

6: Checking Google Analytics for sources of potential problems. 

This one is important.

I learn a lot from my Google Analytics.

Like, which pages on my website get less than mediocre traffic. Or which pages have high bounce rates (meaning clients come to it and exit out of my website completely right away.

This tells you which pages need updating or changing in content or design.

7: A Facebook business page or other form of social media for business. 

One that’s engaging and relevant.

Social media is a thing. People spend a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram.

Finding one place (not all of them!) to have a presence not only increases your visibility (and like, know, and trust factor) it also is a great way to lead people back to your website.

8: Having an email list that’s targeted.

Email lists may seem like they have gone on the wayside, but you’d be wrong.

What people hate is getting spammed or receiving emails that aren’t relevant to them. Or being added to an email list they didn’t sign up for.

Email list providers like Mailchimp, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, and others, have some pretty awesome features these days that help you target the right information to the right people.

When people sign up for my email list, they choose what information they want to know about.

Parenting? Relationships? Health counseling? Anxiety? Stress Management? You get the idea.

Adding these subcategories that relates to the presenting issues your therapists work with and write about helps clients and potential clients get the information they actually care to read and need.

This increases the likelihood that they will engage in the email and take an action, like scheduling an appointment or calling to take a group you are offering.

9: Optimizing your website’s SEO so your website shows up for keywords that are relevant to your business. 

This is something you can learn to do yourself (with a lot of time) or something you can delegate. Things like Yoast for WordPress sites is useful for optimizing your website in a DIY fashion or hiring someone to check each page that its optimized can be a one-time investment.

10: In person networking with other providers, especially those that your ideal clients go to and other therapists who specialize in things your group practice doesn’t.

The one type of in person marketing I do (my focus for marketing tends to be behind the scenes-digital) is networking with other groups, whether medical, business, or counseling group practice owners.

Since we are all in the same boat, other business owners tend to be able to understand the concept of referring to other members inside of a group rather than to group practice owners themselves.

Helpful hint: I have a Google Spreadsheet that I open up when I meet with other group practice owners that categorizes referral sources by specialty. That way, we can refer to specific people in other group practices or medical offices that specialize in something specific, versus deferring to the owner of the practice.

I hope these 10 marketing tips helps you organize your marketing strategy in a way that works for you and your business. As a final tip, do only one thing at a time so you can measure that marketing strategy is helping your business receive new clients. Good luck!

Maureen Werrbach is a trauma and relationship therapist in Chicago, a group practice owner [Urban Wellness], and a group practice business coach who helps group practice owners start and scale their group practices [The Group Practice Exchange].

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When search engines crawl through your content, one of the first indicators as to what the page is about is the URL. You can use the URL of each page and blog post on your private practice website to boost your SEO game.

In this article, we’ll talk about 5 ways to optimize URLs for SEO.

When search engines crawl through your content, one of the first indicators as to what the page is about is the URL. You can use the URL of each page and blog post on your private practice website to boost your SEO game. In this article, we’ll talk about 5 ways to optimize URLs for SEO.

1: Optimize for Humans, First

Google is VERY smart.

Gone are the days of just slapping keywords in your content and ranking on page 1.

Because Google wants to show the BEST content for a user’s search, you have to write for humans, not for Google.

Make your URLs as easy to read as possible.

This way, when someone sees a URL, they’ll have a clear understanding of what they’ll find by clicking on it.

Instead of URL like this: http://www.mywebsite.com/home/post?ID=128

You want something like this: http://www.mywebsite.com/10-ways-to-naturally-battle-depression

Which link would YOU rather click on?

2: Place Your Keywords in the URL

This one is pretty straight forward.

Decide what someone would type into Google to find the content you’re creating and place those keywords in the URL.

As I mentioned in this post’s intro, the URL is one of the first places Google will look to indicate what the page is about.

Research has also shown evidence of something called “domain bias”.

This means that users will often judge content based on whether they believe a domain to be worth a click based on the URL.

Putting your keywords in the URL will help users know exactly what they’ll get from clicking your link in search engines.

3: Keep URLs short, If Possible

This one is about usability, more than the technical side of Google.

Going back to tip #1 in this post, you want your URLs to be easily read and understood by humans.

A shorter URL will be much easier to read, easier to remember, easier to copy and past and can be understood more quickly than a super long URL.

There’s not hard and fast rule here, but I’d try and keep it as short as possible and well under 100 characters.

4: Separate Words with Hyphens & Underscores

You can break up the words in your URLs by separating them with hyphens or underscores.

Sometimes, when you leave a space in your URL, it will render as %20, which just looks weird and detracts from the keywords I know you’re putting in your URL.

Most content management systems, like WordPress take care of this automatically, but it’s worth a mention.

5: Keep URLs Consistent with Page Titles, If Possible

To create a consistent user experience and re-iterate the page content, try and match the words in the URL with the words of your page title.

If you have a super long title for a blog post (10 Ways To Survive Family Dysfunction During The Holidays… Without Drinking), it doesn’t mean that it has to be word for word.

But you do want some consistency that will let the user know what they’ll find by clicking the link and then be reassured when they see the title when they land on the page.

Something like http://mywebsite.com/survive-family-dysfunction-during-holidays would totally work here.

This will also help when you share the link on social media.

Your followers will see the title of the page and the matching URL close by, giving them confidence to click.

Wrapping UP

I hope you’ve found these five tips useful as you optimize your private practice website for search engines.

SEO can be a fickle beast, but if you keep tips like the above in mind while you consistently create content, you’ll see positive movement over time.

If you’d like to learn what Google finds most important and how to SEO your private practice website, check out my mini-course, A Little Course About SEO.

Want To Learn More About SEO?

Check out my mini-training, A Little Course About SEO:

Building a private practice is hard. Like any business, there can be ups and there can be downs as you figure out how to market your therapy services.

But the great news is, you don’t have to do it alone.

In this article, I’ll share advice from some of the leading coaches and teachers in private practice marketing.

Building a private practice is hard. Like any business, there can be ups and there can be downs as you figure out how to market your therapy services. But the great news is, you don’t have to do it alone. In this article, I’ll share with advice from some of the leading coaches and teachers in private practice marketing.

There are entire communities filled with successful therapists willing to share their support and advice on building a thriving practice.

But there’s also a growing number of coaches and experts who have made it their mission to help you succeed in private practice and overcome your biggest marketing challenges.

14 Marketing Secrets from Private Practice Experts

Whenever I need a little marketing inspiration for my own business, I turn to those who are further along and more skilled than I.

I listen to what they’re doing, what they’ve done and think about how it applies to my business.

I applied the same approach to help you with YOUR business.

Recently, I reached out to 14 of those private practice marketing gurus and asked them all just one question:

“What’s the MOST important lesson or tip you’ve learned about marketing a private practice?”

I’ve compiled all their marketing wisdom into an info-packed PDF – free as my gift to you!

Here’s a sample of some of the tips you’ll get when you download the PDF:

Tip #1: Market in Ways That Feel Authentic to You

If you find ways to market that feel authentic to you and your practice, the clients will roll in.

Two things typically get in the way of this:

  1. Feeling uncomfortable with marketing (I like to think of marketing as letting people know you’re out there. It’s not about convincing, it’s about connecting)
  2. Thinking you have to market in a way that worked for a colleague. There are at least 100 ways to market a practice. If you choose a few that are fun, you’ll be a more effective marketer and you’ll actually enjoy it.

allison puryear

– Allison Puryear
www.abundancepracticebuilding.com

Tip #7: Do Less & Do It Better

The most important lesson I’ve learned when it comes to marketing a private practice is to do less and do it better. Through helping therapists venturing into websites and online marketing,

I’ve noticed that those therapists that select a handful of marketing activities that they feel excited about tend to be able to sustain those activities over time.

Marketing requires this sustained, consistent effort but there will be no energy for making that effort if you’ve spread yourself too thin. Or, you’ll be doing a lot, but doing it poorly.

So the first step is to take the time to put together a simple strategy. Next, schedule time for your marketing activities in your week and set some goals. I suggest sticking to a marketing strategy for 90 days. At that 90 day point, check in and see how things are going and shift as needed.

Repeat this continuously and you will discover what works for you.

Don’t do all the marketing activities that exist. Do the marketing activities that you have discovered work for you. Take a lot of deep breaths, get help and support when you need it, and have fun!

kat love

– Kat Love
www.empathysites.com

Tip #12: Go A Mile Deep

I’ve always been scared of words like “marketing” and “putting myself out there.”

I began to reframe marketing as “connection” and that’s been helpful for me. Because all of us are good at that as clinicians. Related to this, I’m a big believer in building a few relationships with referral sources that have lots of depth as opposed to many with little depth.

Or as I like to remind myself, “Go a mile deep rather than a mile wide.

melvin varghese

– Melvin Varghese, PhD
www.sellingthecouch.com

Tip #13: Let Yourself Be Seen

You don’t have to share your deepest secrets, but you do need to let yourself be seen.

Your clients need and want to a glimpse into who they are trusting with the most intimate areas of their life. They need to know that you understand them and empathize with them.

You can’t connect deeply with everybody, so you have to be willing to get a bit specific and remember “when you try to speak to everyone, you speak to noone.”

Speaking from a niche mentality doesn’t mean you will only see that niche or one type of client, it just means in this moment you are making it easier for people who need you to find you, and speaking to them in that deep, heart place.

miranda palmer

– Miranda Palmer
www.zynnyme.com

Download the PDF to get 10 More Expert Marketing Tips

I’m so excited to share this new resource with you because it’s jam-packed with so many great tips for marketing a private practice.

I love how each teacher has their own view and strength when it comes to marketing.

So you’ll be getting a well-rounded view of what you can do focus your marketing efforts and grow your practice.

Just click on the banner below to get your free PDF, 14 Expert Secrets For Marketing Your Private Practice:

Click here to get free private practice marketing tips