Whether consciously or subconsciously, we make quick decisions about the validity and trustworthiness of a business when looking at their website. The same is true of your private practice.

In this article, I’ll share 5 ways that you could be sabotaging your professionalism and trustworthiness on your own website.

Whether consciously or subconsciously, we make quick decisions about the validity and trustworthiness of a business when looking at their website. The same is true of your private practice. In this article, I’ll share 5 ways that you could be sabotaging your professionalism and trustworthiness on your own website.

Your website is one of the most important marketing tools you have.

It can be one of the most effective or, unfortunately, ineffective means for establishing yourself as a trustworthy expert, able to help the potential client who is searching for answers and has landed on your site.

So, which one is it for you? Effective, or ineffective?

When you look at your website, do you get a sense of pride, knowing it represents you and the value of your service?

Do you feel like potential clients can quickly get a sense of that value and think, “this is the type of person I want to work with”?

If so, that’s great!

You can walk away proud and go do something fun. You’ve earned it.

If not, read on.

There are a number of subtle ways that you can communicate private practice excellence to your potential clients through your website design.

Let’s get to it.

1: Your Portrait Looks Like it Was Taken On A Phone

You have a beautiful face and your potential clients want to see it.

They long for that connection, and a high-quality, professional-looking photo of yourself can help create that connection.

But when all you have is one photo to work… and it’s blurry and doesn’t fit with the aesthetic of your website… it screams “unprofessional”.

When I see that, I think that the therapist either doesn’t care about the quality of their marketing material, or they just can’t afford to get a decent photo taken.

Remember:

Visitors make split-second judgements about you, your trustworthiness and your credibility when viewing your website.

If your portrait photo is blurry, cropped from an old family photo or looks unprofessional…

YOU will be perceived as UNPROFESSIONAL.

Now, check out one of my past clients, Dr. Lori Buckley

She had AMAZING photos for me to work with, which made my web designer heart SO happy:

therapist portrait private practice example lori

Notice how she’s not just using just one vertical photo.

She had multiple wide shots with blurred backgrounds of her in a coffee shop and other locations.

This not only gave me a so many more possibilities for the website design, but it also created this inviting and warm connection because her face easily distinguishable.

It’s like she’s inviting the viewer into her world.

So, if your personal photos on your website feel a bit unprofessional and aren’t working to create that connection, think about investing in some new ones.

And you don’t have to break the bank on these either.

Here’s a few suggestions for how to get your portraits taken:

  • Find a local photographer (Google, Facebook recommendation)
  • Search for someone on Craigslist
  • Living Social or Groupon have tons of photography deals
  • DIY with a real camera

You don’t need to hire the best photographer out there. You can even just do it yourself.

The point is to have high-quality photos to use in multiple ways on your website and other marketing materials.

2: Your Website Doesn’t Work On Mobile Devices

In today’s world, your website has to… HAS TO… work well on mobile devices.

Not only will Google be less likely to suggest your website in search results if it’s not responsive, but you’ll also just annoy your visitors who are looking at your website on a phone or tablet.

If someone can’t use your website easily, they can’t find the information they need to do business with you.

And if they can’t do business with you, why do you have a website at all?

If you can navigate your website easily on a computer, but when you open it on a phone, everything is tiny and your images fall apart, you’re going to turn some visitors away.

Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. (Source)

You are a professional and you need a professional-looking website.

And a professional-looking website is one that works for all users, no matter what device they are on.

So, if it’s been years since you’ve built your website and it doesn’t work well on mobile devices, it’s time to do some work.

Not doing so could mean turning away a whole lot of clients.

3: Your Website Design Looks Like It’s From the 90’s

I was 15 years old in 1997.

And I was also a pretty geeky kid, figuring out all the many ways I could use the family computer to do cool stuff.

I remember waiting for hours just to get through on AOL so I could “surf the web” and chat with my buddies.

The internet was new in those days and OMG how far we’ve come.

Here’s what MSN’s homepage looked like in those early days:

unprofessional therapist website 90s

I remember these types of websites.

Buttons floating in odd places.

Blinking images and colors.

Animated text sometimes scrolling across the page.

Fonts in all shapes and sizes.

It worked at the time because we had no idea what we were doing and every business on this new-fangled internet was trying to figure out.

But we’ve learned a lot when it comes to using a website to market a business.

Modern website design is about getting the user to the information they want/need as easily as possible.

So, in a way, websites today look simpler.

Navigation is clear as well as what the website is.

At least that’s how it should be.

Your website doesn’t have to look like a 90’s website, but if it feels outdated, you likely are already aware of it.

It’s time to bring it up to date.

4: You Don’t Have a Logo

Did you know that our brains process images 60,000 times faster than we process words? (source)

Your logo is one of the quickest ways you can communicate with your website visitors who you are and what your practice is like.

It’s also one the first things that your potential clients will look for when landing on your website… even if it’s subconsciously.

We are creatures of habit, so we’re used to seeing that logo at the top of websites that we visit.

When it’s not there, something just feels off.

I often see therapy websites that don’t have this important piece of their brand in place.

There will either be just text, spelling out their name, or no logo at all.

It feels like something is missing or maybe their practice is still being formed and they are still getting all the pieces in place.

I’m left with more questions, wondering why the person doesn’t have a logo, when I should be subconsciously trusting this person and their well established brand (and private practice).

And you don’t need anything fancy or expensive.

Just a simple graphic representing you and/or your practice will establish your professionalism and help your potential clients focus more on your website content instead of wondering if they should trust you.

Need a logo? Check out this post:

Logos for Therapists: The Ultimate Guide to Designing a Logo for Your Private Practice

5: Your Website Is Just Too Busy

Usability is everything when it comes to having a website that connects with your potential clients.

If it takes your users too long to find the information they need, they’re going to bounce.

Since 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive, (Source) it’s extremely important to do what you can to organize and design your content well.

This can start with the main menu for your website.

Is it very cluttered, with too many links, forcing users to have to sift through all the info in order to find what their looking for?

Start there and find ways to simplify your menu. Not every page on your website needs to be in that menu.

You can take some links and move them to the footer so that those who are looking for them can get to them, but they won’t take away from the pages want your ideal client to definitely see.

Take a look at the most important pages on your website.

Do you have a strategic reason for each element on those pages?

Or do you have a picture floating here or there just because you like it?

Donald Miller, author of Building A Story Brand says this:

“You’ve got to have a strategic reason for every element and even word on the page. If you don’t, or if the reason is just “I like it,” then it needs to go. As the artist and author Austin Kleon says, ‘Creativity is subtraction.’ So don’t be afraid to remove entire sections and cut out major elements.”

A professional-looking website is one that allows its visitors the freedom to find what they are looking for as quickly as possible.

But when a website is cluttered with too many distractions, precious seconds are lost as your ideal client tries to make sense of what they’re seeing and why they should care about what you offer.

Keep it simple. Keep it clear.

Is Your Website Helping or Hurting your Private Practice?

Your website may be the most valuable marketing asset you have in your business.

And it should work for you, bringing in new client leads while you’re in session with your current ones.

If you’re unsure about the steps you should take to improve or redesign your website so that it attracts clients, let’s talk.

Get started by filling out the form on this page and we’ll schedule your free 30-minute consultation.

A guest post by Ili Rivera Walter, PhD

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

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

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

So, what exactly is your personal brand?

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

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

1: Soul (The Reflection Stage)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What awakens your soul?

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

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

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

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

2: Story (The Writing Stage)

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

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

A Quick Story

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

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

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

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

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

How to tell your story

Boundaries

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

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

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

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

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

How to share a struggle

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

How to craft your story

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

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

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

2 | Use “I”

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

3 | Use “You”

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

What is your story?

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

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

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

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

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

  • Why do you serve the clients you serve?

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

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

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

How to use your story

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

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

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

 


Ili Walter

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

I began Create My Therapist Website in 2015 with one main goal: to help therapists get more clients by giving them the necessary resources to create a private practice website that they’re not embarrassed to show potential clients – one that’s beautiful, modern, and functional.

This all came out of our own story, when my wife began her private practice here in Atlanta.

Building a practice was HARD.

She was working toward her license and needed the right amount of client hours to get there.

But because she was just starting out, it was difficult to get those first clients on her caseload.

Which meant a lot of waiting… and hoping… and praying for those clients to come.

So I used my web design, online marketing and WordPress expertise to built her a website for her private practice.

And pretty soon, we began to see something amazing happen.

She began getting calls from potential clients who decided they wanted to work with her BECAUSE her website looked better than the other therapists.

Within about 9 months, she was seeing 12 – 15 clients a week.

Not long after that, she had grown to about 30 clients a week.

But chances are you are not married to a professional web designer like my wife is.

And at this stage of your business, maybe paying thousands of dollars for a designer to build your website is just not an option.

So you’re left having to DIY your private practice website, like so many that have gone before you.

And just like so many, you soon realize that technology can be a real pain in the gosh-darn tushy.

There. I said it.

You end up spending hours trying to get an image uploaded to your website or Googling for the answers to what seems like simple questions.

Instead of taking hours to create a website, it ends up taking weeks and even months.

All the while you’re missing out on those potential clients you KNOW you could help.

No one should have to go through that.

After seeing the impact a modern and strategically-designed website had on my wife’s private practice and our life, it’s become my MISSION to help others achieve the same.

So I launched my business and soon after created my first training program: the Create My Therapist Website Toolbox.

The Create My Therapist Website Toolbox is my start to finish website building program, designed to make the website-building process as easy, organized and as straightforward as possible.

I’ve Completely Rebuilt This Training, From The Ground Up

The Create My Therapist Website Toolbox is my start to finish website building program, designed to make the website-building process as easy, organized and as straightforward as possible.

Last year I spent a boat load of time doing research into my customers’ biggest pain points when it comes to building a website.

Overall, my students were getting great results.

Check out what Beth had to say:

“I finally have a website that feels more like me and introduces me and my practice to my ideal potential clients in a way that authentically connects with them. It helps develop a relationship with clients even before we’ve had a chance to talk.

It’s worked so well I’ve recently had to shut down my ‘Schedule An Appointment’ button on the website because so many new clients are scheduling with me that I’m running out of room for my current clients!”

But there were still a few places in the website-building process that were tripping my students up.

When I asked them about this, the feedback was unanimous:

They wanted even more specifics about using a theme and designing web pages.

With so many WordPress themes out there, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of options.

It’s also easy to choose a theme you think will serve you well, only to find it’s confusing to actually edit and build web pages.

So I began to treat this course more like a true class with even more show and tell.

I’ve used my own design process and how I work with clients to not only create websites that attract and convert their ideal clients but to make the process as streamlined and headache free as possible.

In order to provide the best hands on support to my students, I’ve decided to focus the course on using just one flexible and intuitive WordPress theme: Divi.

Now I’m able to show them EXACTLY what they will create and take them step-by-step through the process, building the most important pages on your private practice website.

And since I know Divi inside and out, I’m able to answer the specific questions that come up along the way.

A Sneak Peak At The New CMTW Toolbox Online Course

Did you skip to the end of this post, looking for the good stuff?

I like that.

Check out the video below for a behind-the-scenes look at the new and improved course.

I’m EXTREMELY excited to share this with you.

If you’ve been embarrassed to give your URL to potential clients, this course will help you finally create that modern, beautiful website that will help you get the clients you deserve… even while you sleep.

Enrollment will be open soon, so stay tuned.

The holiday season is a perfect time to slow things down (or at least attempt to!) and plan for the coming year. So, I’ve taken a break from publishing new articles for the month of December.

But I’m not going to leave you hanging. Below you’ll find some of my favorite and most popular articles in the Create My Therapist Website archives.

I hope you get to enjoy some of them while sitting by a fire sipping your favorite hot beverage.

1: The Complete Therapist’s Guide to Marketing a Private Practice

FB private practice marketing guide 1

This guide is an essential resource to anyone looking for new ideas and strategies for marketing their private practice.

From getting started to building a website, content marketing, SEO and getting more referrals, this guide has all you need to start marketing your private practice strategically and attracting more clients.

Check out the private practice marketing guide

2. My Best Articles About Pinterest

Pinterest is not JUST a place to find out how to make Christmas decor out of old palettes you found behind your favorite grocery store.

Pinterest is also one of the BEST ways to drive traffic to your private practice website.

So, here are all my articles and lessons related to growing your online presence using Pinterest.:

3. The Best SEO Resources

SEO (search engine optimization) doesn’t have to bring you pain in the new year.

If I had to sum up my best SEO advice to you, it would be this: consistently publish new content and know the most important places to put your keywords. Then, be patient.

But, if you want to dig a little deeper… below are some of my favorite SEO articles and resources to help you get found by your clients:

4. Creating A Website That Gets You Clients

Your website is one of the most important marketing tools you have.

If it’s not bringing in new client leads on the regular, then something has to change.

And that’s my passion.

I LOVE making websites and I love helping therapists create websites that propel their practice forward.

That’s why I offer one-on-one custom design services, as well as online courses… to help as many folks as I can grow their practice through their online presence.

The website we built for my wife was KEY to her building up a successful practice back in 2011 and I can’t stand by and let other therapists miss out.

Below are some of my favorite articles and resources to help you create the website your practice deserves:

4. And, Finally, Discounts on All Courses and Services

the best private practice marketing articles of 2017

To ring in the new year, I’ve created a coupon for 30% off all my online courses.

Purchase between now and when the ball drops to receive a discount on any and all trainings:

A Little Course About SEO:
10 Stupid Simple Things You Can Do To Optimize Pages or Blog Posts For Search Engines Consistently

A Little Course About WordPress:
Helping therapists take WordPress from a mysterious, scary and confusing beast to a friendly puppy, easy to navigate and use

The Blog Traffic Accelerator:
Explode Your Traffic Using A Simple Blogging System Combined With The Power of Pinterest

The Create My Therapist Website Toolbox:

Confidently Build Your Own Private Practice WordPress Website From Start to Finish… Even if you “lack the technical know-how”

Just click the links above or use the coupon code “ITSAWONDERFULLIFE2017”

But why stop with the courses? I’m also discounting my one-on-one services too:

Custom Website Design:

Ready to redesign your website or launch a new one? Just mention my favorite holiday movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, in the inquiry form and I’ll apply a 10% discount to your future project.

WordPress Maintenance & Support Packages:

Tired of wasting time keeping your WordPress files up to date or making changes to your website? Let me and my team do the work instead. Mention my favorite holiday movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, in the inquiry form and I’ll apply a 10% discount to your package.

That’s a wrap, 2017.

I hope you and your family have a blessed holiday season and wonderful new year.

For me, this year has been a whirlwind, seeing our first baby born and learning to run a business and balance a family. Quite the adventure!

I’ve also created some great friendships within the private practice community and have enjoyed so much connecting with more of my blog readers.

And look forward to creating more opportunities to connect in the new year.

Cheers to a great new year for you and private practice!

best private practice articles 2017 pin

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

When it comes to building a website for your private practice, you basically have two options: build it yourself or have someone else do it for you.

In this article, I’ll share my thoughts on when to DIY your therapy website and when to hire a professional to do it for you.

When it comes to building a website for your private practice, you basically have two options: build it yourself or have someone else do it for you. In this article, I’ll share my thoughts on when to DIY your therapy website and when to hire a professional to do it for you.

The Importance of Having A Great Private Practice Website

A website is one of the best investments you can make for growing your private practice.

And I’m not just saying that as a web designer.

A website helps you reach your potential clients by giving them the information they require in order to trust you with their challenges.

It also gives you total freedom to connect with clients, to share your personality through photography, videos or blog posts, creating a bond before the first session even begins.

A great-looking website can also give your practice a professional edge, helping you to stand out as an expert in your field, fully qualified to lead your clients through the transformation they seek.

One study showed that 94% of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website. (Source: Tyton Media)

So yeah, having a good website is extremely important!

But what’s the best route to take in order to get a great website?

Well, let’s talk about two options: building your own therapy website and hiring out.

private practice diy website

When To DIY Your Private Practice Website

If you’re thinking about building your website yourself, I think there are certain criteria that my make this the best option for you:

1: Your Budget Is Small

If you’re in a place where you don’t have the extra funds to devote to your website investment, the DIY option may be right for you.

The rise of many website building platforms (Wix, Squarespace, etc.) have made creating your own website much more user-friendly, but also much more affordable.

WordPress (the most popular website platform) is open-source, meaning you’re free to use the software for your own website, you just pay for your hosting (which is often cheaper than the monthly fee for other website-builders.)

Related: The Cost Of Building A Private Practice Website

2: You Enjoy Technology (At Least A Little)

Frustration and fear when it comes to technology is one of the most common hang-ups I hear from my blog readers.

To many, trying to create a website is like learning a whole new language.

But if you enjoy the puzzle and trying to get all your tech pieces to fit together, then DIY may be a good fit.

Because there will be those times when technology makes you want to throw your computer out the window and wish for simpler times centered on candle-light and snail mail.

So if you don’t at least enjoy it a little bit, it’s going to be a long road.

I’ve heard many a war-story from people who tried to DIY their website but just hit so many challenges with the tech stuff, it ended up taking over 6 months to create.

They can’t get that time back. Time that could have been used on other high-impact marketing efforts they enjoy if instead they hired a professional to take care of the website.

3: You Have the Time to Build Your Website Yourself

Creating a website is no small project.

Doing it all yourself means you’ll be spending a lot of time to bring it all together.

You’ve got content to write, platforms to learn, questions to Google to get it all figured out.

So, before embarking on a DIY private practice website, you’ll want to assess what’s going on in your life and business and decide if you’ve got the time to devote to the project.

How much time it takes will depend entirely on how complex your website is and your ability to set chunks of time aside each week to work on the website.

I’m a big fan of creating momentum in projects by focusing my time on one project before moving on to the next.

A website is no different.

If you don’t put ample time on your calendar each week during your DIY website project, you’ll likely lose momentum and the whole thing will take you 6 months to even launch.

So, if you’ve got some good chunks of time in your week which could be used for website-building, DIY may be your jam.

private practice website design hire

When To Hire A Web Designer to Create Your Private Practice Website

There are times in your private practice where I think it makes the most sense to hire someone to create your private practice website for you.

Here are some ways to determine if this is the right direction for you.

1: You’re Ready to Take Your Practice to the Next Level

When you’re first starting out in private practice, there is a lot to do get your business off the ground.

Your time and money is often spent on those early marketing efforts of just getting your name out there.

But once you’ve established yourself and have a steady stream of clients and referrals flowing in, it often frees up both time and money to focus on new marketing efforts to grow your income even more.

This is where a professionally designed website could be a beneficial investment.

You know your time is better spent on other activities, like writing, networking and speaking, rather than trying to get a photo to crop the correct way in Squarespace or learning HTML.

Adding a website that looks great, helps with your SEO and gives you a home-base to share your expertise can be the perfect addition to your marketing efforts, helping you attract more of the clients you love, get the rate you deserve and grow your business.

2: You Prefer to Leave Website Strategy to The Professionals

Anyone can make a website.

But it takes a professional to create something that actually solves your business problems.

A good web designer can help you identify the current challenges in your private practice and present you with a solution.

This is a HUGE asset to the future of your business.

If your online marketing efforts are not yielding the results you desire, it may be time to bring in a professional to help you determine how a new website fits in with your marketing strategy.

3: You Know Which Activities In Your Business Are Worth Your Time

In the short term, a DIY website is certainly cheaper than hiring a web designer.

But when you add up all the hours you’ll spend creating content, setting up your hosting, building web pages and a number of other tasks, it may actually be costing you more.

If you think about your hourly rate for a therapy session and apply that to the time you spend working on your website, that’s basically what you’re paying to have it created.

Instead of paying a designer, you’re paying yourself.

So if you’re hourly rate is $125 and you spend a total of 28 hours working on your website, that’s 28 hours you could have been with a client.

Or you could have paid someone $3500 to take care of the website while you focus your time on other marketing efforts and seeing clients.

In that time, maybe you could have brought in 4 new clients.

And if you see those clients 7 times then it’s fully paid for the website while also giving you more freedom to focus on the business activities you know are worth your time and result in more clients.

Then, when your new website is launched you’re set up for even more success.

4: You Don’t Understand The Nuances of Good Web Design

A website not only has to be easy to use, but it also has to look great.

In a study on website usability and design, 38% of people said they will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. (Source: Adobe)

People will judge you and your credibility as a therapist based on how your website looks and performs.

If not done well, visitors will bounce off your website before even having a chance to read your content or learn anything about you.

Whether consciously or subconsciously, our minds register whether a website is pleasing to the eye before deciding to engage with the content.

I can’t tell you how many restaurants I’ve passed up because the place had a crappy website.

If they treat their website so unprofessionally, how do they treat the food or the patrons?

I’ll take my business elsewhere.

Good design speaks of professionalism and helps potential clients take you seriously as the expert I know you are.

So if you’re not confident in your abilities to lay out your website in such a way that it looks good to clients while also communicating clearly what it is you do, you may consider hiring a web designer.

Conclusion

So, will you create your website yourself or hire a web designer for your private practice website?

I hope the thoughts above help you determine what’s right for you.

A website is a BIG project and a huge asset to your private practice.

So take your time with this decision and weigh all the costs before taking the plunge.

If you’ve decided that DIY is just not your jam and you’d like to learn more about what a custom-designed website can do for your business, let’s have a conversation.

I want to hear about your practice and your current marketing challenges and see if a website can help provide a solution.

Together, we’ll come up with a strategy that works for you and grows your private practice.

Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation here and learn more about how we can work together.

I never get tired of seeing a new website come to life for my clients.

It brings me so much joy to take their ideas, their content, and their creative input and then turn that into a website that reflects both their personality as well as the vision they have for their private practice.

private practice website facelift pin

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with Rebekka Ouer, LCSW from Dallas Rainbow Counseling.

At the time she reached out to me, she had such a clear vision for her practice; being a beacon of hope for the LGBT community in Dallas, TX.

But she didn’t feel like her website at the time was reflecting that vision and doing a great job to make her stand out the way she wanted to.

She was seeing great success in her practice, but her WordPress website needed a facelift.

She wanted a fresh, modern website that was more inviting to her ideal clients. She also wanted a website that was easy to update in the future.

You can see from this screenshot below what her homepage looked like before Rebekka and I worked together:

Dallas Rainbow Counseling

Her private practice website was simple, which I always love, but it lacked a little life and felt a little outdated.

The dark green was not giving the website that light, hopeful feeling that Rebekka wanted her new clients to feel when they landed on her homepage.

And her logo and homepage banner just needed a little love to make it feel more modern.

Giving Her Private Practice Website A Facelift

Because Rebekka had some great content, and the structure of her website worked well for her, we decided that the perfect way to breathe new life into her website was with one of the customizable Divi templates I’ve designed.

Rebekka chose the layout she liked the most from the three templates available.

Then, I got to work collecting all I need to know from Rebekka about her personal preferences for her website.

Through a questionnaire I give all my clients, I gathered info to help me customize the website to her tastes. Things like:

  • A color pallette she loved
  • The fonts she liked best for headers and body copy
  • What vibe did she want her website to give off to her potential clients (ie bold, calm, fun, natural)?
  • How did she want her header navigation laid out?
  • What websites inspired her?

Armed with the answers to the above and the great content she had currently on her private practice website, I went to work customizing her Divi WordPress template.

I was also able to bring over some of the functionality she had on her old WordPress website, such as scheduling options through vCita and a way to subscribe to her blog.

Rebekka also did a fantastic job finding some great photos to reflect both the Dallas area where she practices, as well as the community she serves.

I had a ton of fun updating her homepage image of the Dallas skyline to something a bit more modern, which you’ll see in the screenshot below.

The Final Product

After getting all her content, photos, colors and fonts in place, her new website came to life.

The colors and white space really gave the website that light and calming presence Rebekka wanted to share with her potential clients, who may be reaching out for her services in a time of pain, anxiety or trauma.

The image of the rainbow over the Dallas skyline became that beacon of hope to the community that Rebekka serves.

The Divi WordPress theme also added that modern touch to her website, making it both easy to use and look beautiful on all devices.

So, here’s the new Dallas Rainbow Counseling website:

LGBT Counseling Dallas Rainbow Counseling

There’s just something special about seeing a new website come to life, and I’m really happy with how Rebekka’s website turned out.

Here’s what Rebekka had to say about the project:

Daniel did great work for me, on time, (early actually) and with great communication throughout about what he needed and how to go about moving forward. My website looks amazing and I’m incredibly happy with his work. And his price was more than reasonable, which is a huge plus in this industry.

Does Your Private Practice Website Need a Facelift?

You may be in a similar boat as Rebekka was in before her project began.

Maybe your private practice website hasn’t had a design touch in years and you may want to breathe some new life into it to reflect who you are and where you’re taking your private practice.

I’d love to help you do just that and attract more clients with a brand spankin’ new website.

Please feel free to check out my website design packages here, and reach out for more information about what we can do together to create a new website for you and your practice.

Your About page is one of the most important pages on your private practice website. Because it be one of the most visited pages on your website, it’s vital that your About page helps you stand out.

Your About page is a place where potential clients will go to learn more about you, your practice and attempt to find the connection they need when searching for a therapist to help them with the challenges they are facing.

But writing and creating content for your own About page can be very overwhelming.

I myself have written and re-written the content on my About page multiple times!

My wife has done the same with her private practice website.

So, to help with your About page woes, I’ve gathered 10 great about pages for therapists to inspire you.

These About pages are great examples that not only share information about the therapist, but they create a sense of connection by identifying with their clients’ struggles and letting their personality to come through.

Your About page is one of the most important pages on your private practice website. Because it be one of the most visited pages on your website, it’s vital that your About page helps you stand out. Your About page is a place where potential clients will go to learn more about you, your practice and attempt to find the connection they need when searching for a therapist to help them with the challenges they are facing. But writing and creating content for your own About page can be very overwhelming. I myself have written and re-written the content on my About page multiple times! To help with your About page woes, I’ve gathered 10 great about pages for therapists to inspire you.

1: Amanda Patterson LMHC, LLC

Amanda Patterson LMHC Therapy Pembroke Pines FL

2: Jackie Flynn EdS, LMHC, RPT – Counseling in Brevard

Counseling Brevard

3: Maya Benattar MA, MT-BC, LCAT

Maya Benattar LCAT Music Therapy and Psychotherapy

Click here to subscribe

4: Liz Fava LPC

About Liz Fava Counseling Services Atlanta

5: Colleen B. Kradel

Be Well Betterment Counseling Service About

6: Rachel Rabinor, LCSW

About Rachel Rabinor LCSW

7: Healing Paths (Example of A Group Practice)

About Healing Paths Trauma Addiction Therapy

8: Crystal Glenn, LPCC, RYT, SEP

About Crystal Glenn LPCC RYT SEP

09: Katie Lynch, LICSW

Katie Lynch Couples Infertility Hopkinton

Conclusion

I tried to collect a large swath of styles and approaches to private practice About pages.

Some therapists inject their personality really well.

Others do a great job connecting with their target audience.

I hope these examples of therapist About pages inspire you as you create your own about page for your private practice website.

Are you a therapist with an amazing About page? Post your link in the comments below and add to this list!

Click here to subscribe

If you’ve read the title of this post, you already know the news: I’m starting a Facebook group.

Now, with so many groups for therapists already in existence, you may be wondering why the heck I would do such a thing?

This post will be an attempt to share my heart and my vision for a Facebook group I’ve wanted to start a long time ago, but was always afraid to do so.

online marketing facebook group for therapists pin

Because It’s Not About Me, It’s About You

For the last three months, I’ve been a part of a business coaching program called The 90 Day Year.

This program culminated in a live event in San Diego with the program’s creator, Todd Herman, and a host of extremely smart and successful entrepreneurs.

At this event, I was blessed to be a part of a small-group mastermind meeting where we shared the challenges facing our businesses and brainstormed ideas to overcome them.

I talked about my products and services and the things I want to create and BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Someone spoke up and cautioned me about making all these products and “passive income” a shiny object to keep chasing.

As I unpacked that statement and reflected throughout my three days in San Diego, a sense of conviction continued to rise within me.

I knew he was right.

You see, I’m good at getting stuff done in my business.

Creating websites. Setting up email campaigns. Launching new products.

Give me a vision and I run with it until it’s done.

But what causes me more fear and insecurity in my business is doing the harder work of actually reaching out to individuals I claim to serve, having conversations and figuring out how I can help.

It’s less predictable. I can’t control it, and I often allow my insecurity to hold me back.

I started this business because I saw my wife’s private practice grow so much because clients loved her website and I wanted to help other therapists do the same.

But each and every person’s story and practice is different and thus, their needs are different.

If I’m not intentional about serving individuals, I end up trying to help people from a distance without first connecting on a deeper level to really understand their struggles in marketing their business online.

So, I want to focus more on that connection, rather than on just building a business.

I want to help you find answers, even if the answer is another service, not one of my own.

I want to create relationships that propel your private practice forward by bringing a group of like-minded people together who want to learn more about online marketing in a fun and vulnerable environment.

Because People Are More Important Than Money

Having my first baby has also had a profound impact on how I see the world.

It’s solidified in me the things I profess to be values in my life, but don’t always find ways to express practically.

I want my boy to know that people are more important than money or business.

That’s something I’ve always believed, but beliefs don’t matter if your actions don’t back it up.

I want the CMTW Facebook group to be a place where people can find help for their private practices.

I want it to be a place where we can all grow and face the challenges of online marketing together, where no question is stupid and new solutions are discovered.

I’ll still have my own products and services, but I want the focus to be on providing the BEST products or services for each individual’s situation, regardless on whether they are mine or someone else’s.

Because Online Marketing Can Be Fun!

Call me a geek or whatever, but I truly enjoy building websites and using technology to help people market themselves online.

It’s like one huge and fantastic puzzle to me!

I’ve seen so much fear surrounding the mental health community when it comes to using technology, and I want to help remove that fear.

When you’re having fun, solving problems becomes so much easier.

So, as I learn to be myself more in my business, I’m learning bring more of that fun to the conversation.

Facebook groups allow a bit more freedom for fun conversations and connection than mediums such as an email list or blog.

Because I’m Learning To Listen More Than I Talk

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Abe Lincoln

Do you ever feel like online marketing is just you talking AT people all the time?

I know I do.

The truth is, no one just wants to be talked AT. We want to be heard and understood.

I’m learning to do this more and more.

I often do this through surveys and some of the email exchanges I have with members of my audience.

But there’s something different and dynamic about Facebook groups that I love.

Conversations are way easier and connection happens much faster.

I don’t want to guess at the types of challenges facing you and your online marketing.

I want to hear it straight from you and enter into those challenges together and help you overcome them.

A Facebook group can be both an extension of conversations started on my blog, as well as the place where new blogs and trainings will be birthed, based on what the community actually needs help with.

Join The CMTW Community Now

I couldn’t start this Facebook community without first laying out some of what was in my heart and mind, and that’s what this post is about.

If you want to walk this online marketing journey together, in a place where we are all learning to serve our clients better and be ourselves online, please join the Facebook group.

I can’t grow alone, and neither can you.

Click here to join the free Create My Therapist Website Community.

cmtw community banner

Your about page on your private practice website is a huge asset to your business. This page is often one of the most-visited pages on your website, so it’s important that you spend time making sure your about page works for you, turning potential clients into paying ones.

In this blog post I’ll give you some great resources to help you write your about page to speak to your potential clients.

Your about page on your private practice website is a huge asset to your business. This page is often one of the most-visited pages on your website, so it’s important that you spend time making sure your about page works for you, turning potential clients into paying ones. In this blog post I’ll give you some great resources to help you write your about page to speak to your potential clients.

Why Your About Page is So Important

We launched my wife’s therapy website back in 2011 and began the process of growing her practice and trying to attract traffic.

When I look back at her traffic, through Google Analytics, I can see that even after all this time, her About page is still the second most-visited page after her homepage.

Many people find her through word-of-mouth referrals or land her website from her Psychology Today profile.

So once they come to her homepage, people want to know more about her and how she can help them in their present situation.

I’m willing to bet that the same case is true for most of you reading this post.

It makes sense, right?

In therapy, we open up our lives and our hearts to strangers. It’s natural to want to find a person whom you can relate to and trust before beginning this journey.

Your about page can build that trust. It can give your potential clients the reassurance they need in order to take that next step and reach out.

You’ll want to do your best to not just share about yourself on this page, but about how YOU can help solve the problems your potential clients are facing.

Take a look at the below resources and get ideas for ways you can improve your own about page and focus it not just on yourself, but your ideal client.

5 Resources For a Therapist About Page

1. Nikki Elledge Brown’s About Page

about page nikki elledge brown

Nikki’s resources helped me in those early days when I was trying to figure out my own about page. I agonized over what to put on this page, but her simple “recipe” for an about page helped me get organized and understand the flow of the content and what to include. Check out her own about page, which identifies the various sections you can include on your private practice about page.

2. Nikki Bonsol’s Free About Page Course

nicole bonsole about page course therapists

There’s just something about the name Nikki I guess. Nicole Bonsol has a fantastic (and free) email course to help you write an awesome about page. When my wife wanted to improve her about page, I sent her to this resource and she got some great clarity to help her write a whole new page that reflected her style and felt authentic. Check it out here.

3. Melyssa Griffin’s Post: How to Write a Killer About Me Page for Your Blog

about page melyssa griffin therapy

While Melyssa Griffin’s website is mostly focused on helping bloggers increase traffic and grow their audience, she’s got some excellent advice on how to attract clients with your about page. You can check out this post here, all about about pages for some tips you can use on your private practice website.

4. Copyblogger’s Post: Are You Making These 7 Mistakes with Your About Page?

about page copyblogger

I love this post. It identifies 7 common mistakes that people make with their about page and how to fix them. Are you making any of these about page mistakes?

5. 99u’s Post: How To Write an “About Me” Page That Gets You Hired

about page psychotherapist 99u

Your about page is constantly a work in progress. You’ll write it, edit it and update it as time goes on. This post from creative blog, 99u, describes the process, along with specific ways to get clear about your passions and sound authentic on your about page.

I hope these five resources give you some of the clarity and inspiration you need to finally start your about page, or refine the one you currently have.

Your about page is something that will change over time. Keep working at it and know that it will never be perfect.

Got an about page you’d like to share? Post a link in the comments below and make sure to check out someone else’s page and give them feedback!

Check out my latest FREE training to learn the content you need in order to attract your ideal clients to your website, plus tips on driving more traffic. Just click the banner below to get started!

No doubt about it, your homepage is one the first impressions your future clients will have of you and your private practice. With just mere seconds to grab the attention of a website visitor, it’s important to know what to put on your private practice website’s homepage.

In this article I’ll give you 7 crucial elements you need on your therapist website homepage to impress potential clients and capture their attention.

7 elements of a successful therapy website homepage pin

1. Your Logo

Your homepage is the epicenter for your brand and business, so you’ll want to have a legible logo displayed on this page.

It’s often the quickest way to communicate who you are and what your website is about.

Logos are typically displayed in the upper left corner or the top center of websites, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little creative if your website theme allows it.

While it can appear smaller on your secondary pages, it’s a good idea to make sure your logo is prominent on the homepage, because this may be the first page many people see when they first come in contact with you and your private practice.

For some tips on how to create a logo for your therapy practice, check out this post here.

2. A Headline That Captures The Attention of Your Potential Clients

You only have a few seconds to let your website visitors know they’re in the right place.

Create a clear and simple headline that speaks to your potential clients and let’s them know who you serve in your private practice and the outcome you help them achieve.

This is your quick chance to convey the benefits of working with you, so think about your ideal client and what they want to achieve and write your headline from that place.

Here are some examples of great headlines in private practice:

mental wellness private practice home page 6

liz higgins marriage counseling headline

3. Clear Navigation

There’s nothing more frustrating to me than landing on a website and not being able to find the information I’m looking for.

Left to wander around the website, I end up spending more time thinking about the poor user experience than taking in the information on the pages.

One way we can minimize the frustrations of our website visitors and make our information shine is to be really concise and clear with our navigation menus.

Do your best to create a clear structure for your navigation menus, putting only the essential pages in the main navigation, with secondary pages nested underneath.

You can think about it like a well-organized set of folders on your computer. In order to drill down to specific info, it helps to have a few set of top tier folders, with relevant information within those folders.

Do the same for your navigation and keep it organized.

Let your navigation be located in one consistent location throughout your website. It’s ok to have a few links within your content to lead folks to relevant information on your website, but try not go overboard so that it becomes a distraction and people don’t know where to click.

4. A Primary Photo

When laying out or designing your homepage it’s often best to have a primary photo or graphic that draws the user into your therapy website.

What this does is gives your content weight and pulls you down the page.

We typically read left to right, top to bottom, so if you have multiple photos of various sizes and shapes, they will compete with one another and confuse your website viewers because they won’t know where to look.

It’s ok to have multiple photos, but I suggest having one “hero” image that’s larger than the others, conveys what your website and private practice are about and then follow that with other, smaller photos below.

Here’s an example, with names blurred to protect the innocent 😉

We’ve got a landscaping company with a clear, large image that pulls you into the homepage, let’s you know what it’s about and also draws your eye down the page into their information:

primary photo therapy website homepage 1

Now, compare that to another landscaping website, where the images are of similar sizes with no clear hero to give the page weight:

primary photo therapy website homepage 2

Do you see what I mean?

The first example makes me feel like I know exactly where to go and feel calm as I digest the information on the page.

The second example makes me feel overwhelmed because it’s a lot of information and images all at once.

If you can, try and use a website template or theme that has a nice flow to the homepage, with a primary photo that pulls you in and compels you to go further into the information on your private practice homepage and website.

5. The Problems You Help Your Clients Solve

You’ve only got a few precious seconds to connect with your website visitors and let them know that your therapy services can help them with the issues they’re facing.

Think about your potential clients and their state of mind as they’re searching for a therapist they can trust with their problem.

Then write from that place.

As I mentioned above, you can create a headline for your therapist website homepage that explains who you help and what you help them achieve, like an elevator pitch, to quickly let them know if they are in the right place.

Another great copy-writing tactic is to include questions to connect with your visitors and let them know you can relate to the pain or challenge they find themselves in.

Here are a few examples:

  • Is pain from your past or worries about the future making it hard to enjoy the present?
  • Do you find yourself on the brink of divorce, wondering if there’s any hope at turning your relationship around?
  • Do you struggle to find the passion and joy in your life?

So, what do you help your clients achieve? Do your best to make it clear on your therapy website’s homepage.

6. An Introduction About You and Your Practice

After your headline, include an introductory paragraph of a few sentences about yourself, your practice and some of the results one can expect from working with you.

I always like to consider this a lead-in to your more in-depth About Me page that you’ll want to create for your website.

On your homepage, you can keep this brief but use it as a way to, once again, connect with your potential clients.

Follow that with a call to action and you’re in business!

7. A Prominent Call to Action

The final element for a successful therapy website homepage is a clear call to action.

You want to frame the next step that your potential clients should take when they get to the end of your content.

Try to choose just one action you want them to take and make it prominent.

Do you have a free phone consultation you can offer? Or do you want them to simply email you and start a conversation about counseling?

My wife knows that in her private practice, if she can get someone on the phone, she’s about 90% certain she can get that person scheduled for a first-time visit.

So, she offers a free 20 minute phone consultation as her call to action.

Think about what your visitor needs to do in order to become a client after looking at your homepage, then make it simple for them to take the next step.

Conclusion

I hope these seven essential elements help you as you create or tweak your own homepage on your private practice website.

Did I miss anything? Is there something that you have on your own homepage that works well for attracting clients to your therapy practice?

I want to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below!

If you want access to more tips, advanced tutorials, videos and cheat sheets, go ahead and join my VIP list, where you’ll get FREE access to a library of resources to help you create an awesome therapy website and market your practice online.

Click here to subscribe