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.

How Do I get Backlinks? 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.

If you’re curious to learn a little more about how to get backlinks, check out these resources:

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. https://createmytherapistwebsite.com/free-ways-to-drive-traffic-to-therapy-website/

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

3. Fast Results

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

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

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

Is Local SEO more Important than Traditional SEO?

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

The truth is, you need both.

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

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

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

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

Local SEO: What Really Matters?

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

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

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

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

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

These include:

Listings

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

Citations

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

Social Media

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

Therapists and Reviews: What’s the Verdict?

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

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

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

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

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

Help More People by Investing in Local SEO Marketing for Therapists

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

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

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

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

Enlist Help for Local SEO Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to listen

02. A Simple Online Marketing Plan For Your Private Practice

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

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

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

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

Click here to listen.

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

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

What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

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

Click here to listen.

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

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

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

Click here to listen.

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

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

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

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

Why My Wife Chose To Go With Simple Practice

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

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

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

Talk about a process!

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

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

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

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

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

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Integrating Online Booking With Her Website

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

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

Linking Directly to The Client Portal

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

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

It looks like this:

simple practice online booking scheduling portal

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

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

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

 simple practice help client portal url

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

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

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

Using Simple Practice’s Booking Widget

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

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

What your visitors will see is a button like this:

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

simple practice booking widget popup

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

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

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

Which Option Worked Best for My Wife’s Practice?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

Online booking may not work for everyone.

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

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

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

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

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

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By Jesse Hallock

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

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

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

Should I Take Insurance?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Do I Pick Insurance Panels for My Therapy Practice?

We’ll keep this short and sweet.

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

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

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

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

What Does This Mean for My Private Practice Marketing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Will My Therapy Website Help?

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

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

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

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

Here’s where insurance and website intersect.

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some questions they are probably asking:

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

“Are they in-network with my carrier?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

Is there a right or wrong answer for taking insurance?

No. Definitely not.

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

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

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About Jesse Hallock

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

A guest post by Melody Wilding

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Psychotherapists Need Media Exposure

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

Become easier to find online through Google.

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

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

Connect with ideal clients.

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

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

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

Gain powerful social proof

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

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

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

How to Get Free Publicity for Your Private Practice

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

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

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

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

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

How HARO Works

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

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

Here’s how it works:

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

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

Discover How to Have Success with HARO

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

About the Author

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

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

 

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

1: Your Website Doesn’t Look Trustworthy

Your website represents your private practice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2: You’ve Made It Too Complicated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And make sure they stand out.

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

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

5: Your Private Practice Website Just Doesn’t Work

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

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Private Practice Marketing Funnel Explained

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Source: Vendasta

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

Lead Attraction: Increasing Traffic Made Up Of Potential Clients

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

These are folks that are new to your world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s continue.

Lead Engagement: Turning Traffic into New Leads

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

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

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

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

It serves your potential client in a deeper way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s an example from another CMTW blog post:

private practice marketing funnel optimized

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

Onto the next phase!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going Forward: What To Do With Your Email List

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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A quest post by Katie May

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

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

You create a flyer, open enrollment AND… Crickets.

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

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

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

Step 0: Your Therapy Group Pre-Launch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make a List of Potential Group Clients

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

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

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

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

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

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

Create a Contact Form For People Interested in Your Group

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

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

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

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

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

Formulate Your Therapy Group Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About Katie

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

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

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