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The best part of my job is that I get to meet amazing therapists, counselors, coaches and psychologists doing amazing work. Recently I had the pleasure of working with Karen Midyet to launch her new coaching business, Coaching Aging Adults.

What was so exciting about Karen’s project to me was that she wasn’t just refreshing an old website, but creating an entirely new business!

Karen had built a great private practice, Colorado Senior Counseling, serving her local population of adults facing the challenges of aging, working with caregivers and their transition to retirement.

She’s collected a wealth of information and resources helpful to the aging population as well as for caregivers who work with older adults.

It’s time for Karen to share those resources with the world!

Now, she has a vision for what she wants her business to look life for the future.

Karen decided she wanted to reach a larger population with resources and coaching services and be more selective about how she spent her time in her business as she gets older.

She also has a vision of starting a podcast and offering online training.

In order to do that, she launched a new business, Coaching Aging Adults, and has begun the work of building a new online platform for herself.

When Karen and I first spoke, we discussed the challenges she’d face in creating an online platform and how we could work together to meet those challenges head on.

private practice website aging adults

Click here to see a behind the scenes case study of the work we did together to create the website for her new business.

A Guest Post by Amy S. Lasseter

You have a true desire to serve, support and change the world. You have a servant’s heart because watching people live their truest life makes your heart sing. I get that because, well, me too! Yet, when you get ready to build your business, you’re suddenly in the weeds and not sure which way is up…this happens even when you’re in the middle of your business life cycle.

A Guest Post by Amy S. Lasseter You have a true desire to serve, support and change the world. You have a servant’s heart because watching people live their truest life makes your heart sing. I get that because, well, me too! Yet, when you get ready to build your business, you’re suddenly in the weeds and not sure which way is up…this happens even when you’re in the middle of your business life cycle.

No matter where you are in your business or practice, things can come at you with lightning speed and instead of taking a proactive response, you start merely responding.

Being reactive, rather than proactive, can send you down roads you don’t want to go down…and this happens when you’re setting your goals too. So, how do you build your dream business and life while showing up in the world in a way that truly feels good to you?

Here are four secrets that some of the biggest names in the business won’t tell you!

Secret 1: Know Your Values

There will be times when you have to make choices and decisions at a quicker pace than you’d like – it’s merely a matter of time. Therefore, you’ll want to be crystal clear on your values and your mission.

The smaller your practice, the greater impact staying true to your values and mission will have. Unfortunately, this also means that the farther away you get from your values, the more likely you are to build something that won’t support you or the people you so deeply want to serve.

Secret 2: Be Present

Listen, you’re a dreamer – every business owner I know is! And thank heavens, because the world needs people just like you and me.

Big visions are intriguing, captivating and mesmerizing. However, there is one thing that I learn over and over again (I’m hopeful that at some point I will finally learn my lesson…).

You can’t get to where you need to go if you can’t figure out where you are. You’ll either have no platform to jump from, or the platform you have will collapse under the weight of your beautiful dream because you didn’t take the time to fix the cracks and chips in the foundation.

Not only have I watched other business owners experience this, I’ve personally experienced it myself. Truth: It’s not pretty, and I would love to help you avoid this experience (though if you ever need someone to help you clean up the mess, I’ve got your back!).

Wondering how you get to the next level of business? Keep reading because that answer is next…

Secret 3: Focus on Stretching & Growing

Focus on stretching and growing into your next stage of business & life – don’t leap yet! Now, here’s something that not every business or practice owner will tell you:

There will be time to leap. Every business is a risk, which inherently requires leaping. However, leaping requires discernment and wisdom, and that only comes from growing and stretching yourself into the next level.

The problem with leaping too early is this: If you force yourself to leap into the next level of growth, your thought process, mindset, and behaviors will still be operating within old thinking patterns. A leap requires something totally new and different from you. Leap early, and you’ll find yourself under an intense learning curve and an incredible amount of pressure. This, my friend, is not a good mix.

Before you take the big leap, start growing and stretching yourself into the new area you’re looking to move to, and get knowledgeable on the topic. Do this by surrounding yourself with people who know more than you at least six months prior to your leap.

This will help you start shifting your thought process, behaviors, and mindset, and allow you to reach your goal when the time is right to make it happen.

Secret 4: Manage Your Energy

You’ve probably heard a lot about time management and delegation. There is an absolute place for these things in your life and business. Yet, you feel like your hands are tied when you’re still a solo practitioner and can’t afford to hire an assistant.

Perhaps you’re the person who feels like they need an assistant but doesn’t know what to take off their plate (you’re busy, you don’t have time to train an assistant).

If you discover yourself in either of these situations, stop asking yourself where or what you want to do with your time. That’s not helpful because all you’ll end up creating a huge list of tasks and ideas that you want to do (and honestly, you already have that, right?!).

Start asking yourself this question instead, “How do I want to spend my energy?” So many of my clients think that time is infinite, and it is…until it’s not.

When I start asking about where they want to spend their energy, where they want their energy to flow, I get completely different answers and the list I’m given is significantly shorter.

Do you want to guess what else my client and I learn when we consider this new perspective? The significantly shorter list they’ve created is considerably more in line with their values. Remember the first secret you read earlier in this article?

Yup, you guessed it friend, it all comes full circle!

Goals with a Pretty Bow

You now have in your possession the four secrets for living your dream life and business! Start working with these four things and you’ll achieve the level of success you’ve been dreaming about on your own terms. Does it get any better than that?

Keep going, friend because I want to see you at the top!

About Amy

Amy S. Lasseter is the founder of BreakThrough, a Growth & Success Strategist and known as the Go-to-Goal-Girl. She specializes in ensuring high-achieving women, soulpreneuers, therapists & leaders breakout of their fear, perfectionism and shiny-object syndrome so they can soar above and beyond their goals! With aligned, brave action these women experience total freedom in their business while experiencing more money, time & joy in life.

During her 12-year career, as a trained psychotherapist, has served over 195 women, been featured in numerous podcasts, contributed to Sivana Spirit, been quoted in Counseling Today, BuzzFeed and is a regular contributor to Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine where she cheers on mothers in business.

outside window

Guest Post by Nancy Gallegos

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psychotherapists are expanding their business model to include coaching services.

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Solution Focused and Future Oriented Work  

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

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

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

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

2. Passion and Soul Driven Work

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

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

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

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

3. Flexibility

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

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

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

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

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

4. Financial Growth

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

Does coaching services fit in those goals?

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

 

Nancy Gallegos headshot

About Nancy:

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

As a web designer who works solely with therapists, I look at a LOT of private practice websites. As I look at these websites, I often see one specific mistake repeated over and over.

The mistake is this: When I look at your About page I have no idea what you do or who you help.

Your potential clients will leave if it’s not clear you can help them

Yesterday I visited a bike store, looking for one of those cool beach cruiser bikes for my wife.

I had a pretty good idea for what I was looking for as I stepped into a used bike shop, but would have welcomed some guidance.

As I entered, I caught a glimpse of an employee in the back room, working on repairing a bike.

He never looked up. He never greeted me. Never asked me what I needed.

So I spent 5 minutes alone, looking at what options I could see.

Nothing caught my eye, so I left. I was probably in the store for only 8 minutes.

As I got back in the car, I couldn’t help but wonder, “what would have happened had the employee asked me what I was looking for?”

What if he asked me some questions about what brought me into his bike shop, looking to help me solve my problem (wanting a new bike for my wife)?

The SAME thing happens on private practice About pages all over the internet.

We often put what we think is the best information front and center, talking about ourselves, our training and our modalities.

But what is the client looking for?

What is THEIR biggest challenge? What problem are they looking to solve?

When I stepped into that room filled with bikes, it wasn’t clear that anything there would solve my problem.

So, I bounced.

If a potential client lands on your About page and it’s not abundantly clear you can help them, chances are they’ll bounce too.

Your Client Is the Hero of the Story

One of the best books I’ve ever read about marketing a business is Donald Miller’s Building A Story Brand (affiliate link).

I can’t recommend this book enough for it’s simple, yet powerful framework for creating solid marketing materials, including a website.

This book practically breaks down how to use the structure of storytelling to market to your ideal client.

If I could, I’d have everyone in my audience read this book!

He says that the key to marketing is making your ideal client the hero of the story.

Not YOU or your private practice.

When your potential clients can picture themselves fitting into the story of your business, overcoming their greatest challenges and getting what they want in life, they will more easily do business with you.

In his book, Donald Miller suggests these 3 crucial questions to ask yourself in order to market effectively:

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

This can directly be applied to your about page!

Instead of starting this crucial page with the headline “About Me,” begin with your client (the hero) as the focus.

What do they want more than anything RIGHT now as they’re searching for help.

What life situations, personal roadblocks or challenges are getting in the way of what they want. Why are they searching for a therapist at this time?

And then paint the picture of what life would look like once they’re able to overcome these challenges.

At this point we can turn the story toward you and your practice.

You are the guide who will help them get what they want. But before you present yourself as the solution, you must first identify with your client’s challenge.

Writing An Effective About Page for your Private Practice

So how do you actually write a great about page for your own therapy website?

Great question.

The first step is to get absolutely clear about who you serve in your private practice.

Knowing who you’re trying to reach will help you write content and know exactly how to speak and what to say.

Use the three questions above to help you craft the story of your ideal client.

Starting with where they’re at right now, your goal is to use the content of this page to guide them to their goal – a picture of what life could look like if they overcome their current challenges.

Here’s a simple outline you can use for your About page:

  1. A headline that clearly states who you help and what you help them achieve
  2. Paint a picture of their struggle – what does it feel like to be where they are right now
  3. Paint a picture of what life could look like if they overcame their current challenge
  4. Give them a plan – this is where you can explain what it looks like to work with you
  5. A clear call to action – have them contact you or schedule a consultation

Need some inspiration for your About page?

Check out this post: Websites for Therapists: 10 Examples of Amazing About Pages

Conclusion

Your clients will leave your website if it’s unclear that you can help them.

The goal of your About page should be to quickly and clearly inform your ideal client that you can guide them to the life that they desire.

I hope these tips will help you put your ideal client at the center of your marketing and focus your About page on them… and not you.

Doing so could mean the difference between a website visitor moving on to the next therapist, or sticking around and becoming your next client.

If you’re struggling to create an effect private practice website and you’re tired of DIY tutorials that don’t take into account the nuances of marketing for therapists then I invite you to check out The Create My Therapist Website Toolbox 2.0.

Click the banner below to get started and I’ll take you through my entire process of creating a beautiful website that attracts new clients while you’re in session.

desk laptop logo

In our last article, we went over what to do before you launch your private practice website and start sending traffic your way. But once your website is live, now what?

In this article we’ll go over 5 important things you can do once your website is launched to make sure you’re getting the most out of your new marketing asset.

In our last article, we went over what to do before you launch your private practice website and start sending traffic your way. But once your website is live, now what? In this article we’ll go over 6 important things you can do once your website is launched to make sure you’re getting the most out of your new marketing asset.

Just pointing your domain to your new website will not be enough to attract new clients to your practice.

There’s ongoing, consistent work to be done in order to start building traffic.

But the following list are a few things you can do right after your website is launched to help build a solid foundation by which you can begin getting found at your new online home.

1: Update Your Social Media Profiles

Make sure all of your social media profiles are up to date with the link to your website.

This is a free and simple way to drive some traffic to your website!

If you’ve added more recent portrait photos to your new website, it’s also a great idea to update all your social platforms with your new photo.

This creates a consistent brand for you across all the places you may be found online.

Even if you’re not using a certain social platform for “business” purposes, I’d still add that link.

You never know what friends or family may pass that link along to someone who may become a client.

2: Add Your Website Link to Your Directory Profiles

Your profiles on therapist directories is a gateway to your new private practice website.

If you haven’t done so already, update your Psychology Today or other directory profiles.

Potential clients will most often use your website for confirmation on whether you can help them or not.

I remember a few years ago when I was searching for my own therapist and I wouldn’t even consider one that didn’t have a website linked to their profile.

I had no way of getting a feel of their personality or creating a connection with their often dry Psychology Today profiles.

But once I found a few with that link to their website, I was able to narrow down who I thought I could or would want to work with.

So, linking your website to your profile will help get potential clients one step closer to being in your office.

3: Use Google Analytics to Monitor Traffic

Now that your new website is live it’s time to check on your traffic and see how users are

interacting with your website.

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Knowing how people are using your website, over time, can help you refine your content to reach your target audience, i.e. your future clients!

For example, is there one blog post that gets the MOST traffic on your website? Then write more blog posts like that one!

Is it coming from a specific source, like Pinterest? Now you know where to focus your marketing efforts!

I don’t want you checking your analytics each day, agonizing over your numbers, but I do want you to check a couple times a month so you can keep track of your metrics, learn where traffic is coming from and see which pages are visited the most.

Related article: Getting Started With Google Analytics

4: Submit Your Website to Google Search Console

Adding your website to Google Search Console well help Google in crawling your website and

give you insights into how your website is performing in terms of SEO.

You’ll be able to see if your website has any crawl errors, broken links and other errors that may affect your SEO.

You’ll also be able to see which search terms your visitors are using to find you.

Once you add your website and verify it, you’ll want to add a sitemap so that Google can crawl through and index your pages. You do this under Crawl > Sitemaps:

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In WordPress, to find the link to your sitemap, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin, which can automatically create a sitemap for you.

Use the link in your SEO > XML Sitemap settings to enter into the Google Search Console:

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Once that’s all set up, Google will begin to crawl your website and you can use Google Search console to check in on your SEO health.

If you go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics, you’ll be able to see what search terms lead to your website.

5: Add New Content Consistently

Consistently adding new content to your website is one of the best ways to increase your traffic.

That’s why blogging is so important to online marketing.

It allows you to rank for new keywords and also helps you showcase your expertise on specific topics.

When we first launched my wife’s website in 2011, she began adding a blog post each week.

At the end of two months we noticed that her traffic had nearly doubled in that time.

And that’s without even performing on-page SEO tactics!

You may also want to create content for specific topics you help your clients with and link to those pages from your services pages.

This will help clients find more of the information they need to trust you and view you as the expert before reaching out to you.

Conclusion

Launching your private practice website is just the beginning of a new series of marketing activities you’ll perform in your business.

The above tasks are just a starting point as you learn what works and what doesn’t in your online marketing efforts for you and your private practice.

I hope this gets you started on a strong foundation!

If you’re having trouble even getting your website project going, check out this free <a href=”” data-leadbox-popup=”CjwQyQangDPqJJwqodqsJm” data-leadbox-domain=”createmytherapistwebsite.lpages.co”>3-part course.</a>

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This is the final article in our series on what to expect when working with a website designer to build a website for your private practice.

Here is a recap of our series:

In this article, I’ll share what you can expect after your website has been launched and how you can make the most out of this new marketing asset of yours.

This is the final article in our series on what to expect when working with a website designer to build a website for your private practice. In this article, I’ll share what you can expect after your website has been launched and how you can make the most out of this new marketing asset of yours.

This isn’t really the “end” of your website project… the fun has really just begun.

Because if you JUST build it, no one will JUST come.

There’s work to be done to make sure that this investment into your marketing truly pays off.

The Designer Prepares for Handing Over the Keys

As your project nears the end of this phase, your designer may begin to gather some resources for you smoothly hand off your website and equip you to use your website.

Because I use the  Divi WordPress theme to create all my client’s websites, I can save page layouts for my clients to use in the future.

Now that the website has been launched, I’ll save the latest versions of the page layouts.

This means that when my client wants to create a new page on their website, they can load a layout from a library of pre-designed pages with the click of a button, update the content for the new page and publish it:

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Now they’ll be able to add new pages, with a consistent design, all on their own.

Another thing I like to do for my clients is create a PDF resource with information about using their new website.

Inside, I’ll include their WordPress login credentials, the color palette used on the website should they want to use them in other marketing materials, a link to their personal training video for making updates to the website, other tutorials and other helpful resources.

It looks like this:

thank you website resources

This is a helpful PDF that my clients can refer to in the future as a reference for using their website.

Personal Training: Learning To Use Your New Website

Your website should be an ever-changing marketing asset to your business.

Adding new content over time is a sure-fire way to improve your traffic and help your website rank on Google for various keywords.

In order to add content, you’re going to have to know how to make updates to your website.

When I work with my clients to build their websites, each project culminates in a 1-hour video training session.

I’ll share my screen with them via a Zoom meeting and walk them through the process of editing existing content and adding new pages and blog posts.

I’ll record this video and include the link in their PDF Thank You packet I mentioned above.

For those clients who are not familiar with WordPress, I’ll include free access to A Little Course About WordPress, my beginner WordPress course, to help them get familiar with how their new website is built and where to go to edit their website.

At this time, the baton has been passed and you can begin to explore your new private practice website and make changes to the content.

I always encourage folks to create a new web page and just have fun playing with the Divi builder to change images and content.

Once they get a feel for adding new content, they can begin to create more pages and add blog posts to their website.

Maintaining & Updating Your Website

One of the biggest differences between website-builders like Squarespace and WordPress, is that with WordPress, you are responsible for keeping your website files updated and secure.

Not performing regular updates to your WordPress files is one of the main ways hackers can gain control of your website and leave you empty handed.

There’s really three main reasons to update your WordPress, theme and plugin files:

  1. Updates Apply Security Patches
  2. Updates Can Fix Bugs
  3. Updates Add New Features & Functionality

To make sure the shiny new website you invested in stays secure and working properly, you’ll want to apply updates at least every few weeks.

At Create My Therapist Website, we include 2 months of our maintenance service completely free after your website is launched, so you don’t even have to worry about it.

To learn more about the importance of keeping your WordPress website updated and how to do it, check out this post here.

Growing Your Traffic To Gain More Clients

The final step in working with a designer to build a great private practice website that will actually impact your business is to get traffic to show up to your website.

The more traffic that comes to your website, the greater the chances of clients reaching out to you for help with their challenges.

The more people that reach out, the more can become paying clients.

You get it.

This step in the process is an ongoing one and involves a little understanding about what you enjoy doing when it comes to marketing your private practice.

Will you write blog posts to help boost your search engine optimization (SEO) and showcase your expertise?

Will you hire someone to create cornerstone content that’s optimized for search engines?

Maybe you’ll start a podcast and publish the episodes on your website.

There’s also a number of things you can do OFF of your website in order to drive traffic, such as writing guest articles for other websites (with a link back to your own), posting content on social media channels, or using Google and Facebook ads.

Try not to to overwhelm yourself with all these options, but try a couple, see what you enjoy and then make it a consistent practice in order to boost your traffic.

For more articles about increasing your website traffic, visit this page here.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed our series on what to expect when working with a website designer to create a private practice website.

Hiring someone can seem like a scary thing to do, especially when you don’t know what to expect.

But hiring a professional is truly the best way to get a website you love that actually converts into paying clients.

It also saves you a lot of time, frustration and takes the guesswork out of building an effective website.

If you’d like to chat about how a new website could help improve your business, I’d love to chat. I offer a free 30-minute consultation. Learn more about custom website design.

Guest post by Hope Eden

Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.”

Anne Wilson Schaef

Guest post by Hope Eden “Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.” Anne Wilson Schaef

It was happening.

My worst nightmare.

I could feel my practice beginning to spin out of control.

Looking back, I now realize that, somehow, I had defaulted to the belief that — in order to be authentic — I needed to “do it all.

On my own.

Just like I had always done.

Coming from that place, my strategy for authenticity was to build a mental health private practice, from start to finish, by myself, as a wholly autonomous “solo practitioner.” Admittedly, this was an unspoken and unconscious strategy — predicated on a longstanding, perfectionistic, do-it-all-myself mindset… which the sharp realities of a thriving practice had not yet punctured.

My perception was that I had arrived and was ready to work, much like a school-aged child arrives to school, pencil in hand.

In reality, my thinking was cluttered.  I was hoarding responsibilities as if they would add to my credibility… to my identity… even to my worth.

What ended up happening what that instead of manifesting my intended systems and routines, I had stockpiled an arsenal of self-limiting responsibilities and unfinished tasks, which without question, I believed only I could execute successfully.

I had also become stuck in a cycle of thinking “I’ll get to that (and then it will be okay).”

Don’t get me wrong.  “Circling Back Around” (what I call CBA) can be a very useful tactic when mindfully enacted. But, in our line of work, with so much freaking input— and so many variables — -it’s challenging to build the CBA’s into the system.

Instead, all I created was hope…

… hope that I would “catch up.”

… hope that I would never fall behind again.

… and, hope that my bandwidth would somehow match the demands that my practice would inevitably place on me as a business owner.

The reality was starkly different.

While I thought I had planted a seedling of healthy optimism, in actuality I ended up with a garden overrun with weeds in the form of unfinished tasks, burgeoning to-do lists, and missed deadlines.

This cost me energy, emotional well-being, self-care and time with family and friends.

Once I realized this, I made a different choice.

I intentionally chose to move away from my longstanding perfectionistic tendencies – again, expectations that only I could fulfill.

I empowered myself by getting help.

It wasn’t easy.

And, it was worth it.

Because when I started delegating some of these tasks, I also started experiencing relief.

I also started experiencing the freedom to focus on what I do best, and what brings me the most meaning and purpose:  being an effective helping professional; a present mother, partner and friend; and a thriving self.

This was not an instantaneous solution.  Rather, I am discovering that the empowerment that comes from delegating unfolds through a journey that consists of many baby steps.

One of those baby steps involved hiring a professional organizer to help one of my children with her room. The work expanded to include organizing my pantry, then my home office. This happened as the unfolding of my realization expanded and I began to see “getting help” as a form of “ease” being my teacher.

When I walk into my pantry – which is my organized domestic command-central — or into my home office – which is my professional command-central — I am not thinking about incompetence or inability. I am not thinking “ I have failed” just because I hadn’t organized these spaces myself.

Instead, I am thinking about how wonderful it is to be in an environment in which I am can function… where I can breathe… where I can look around and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Where I am able to experience function and routine.

The Organized Therapist is rooted in the realization that other mental health professionals may be experiencing a misleading sense of optimism about their ability to “do it all.”

Just as I used to experience.

I invite you to join me in this quest.

I invite you to empower your present self, and to support the creation of your future self.

I invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to free yourself from the burdensome notion that you must personally and individually execute all aspects of your practice in order to achieve success.

In this way… I invite you to focus on your greatest gifts, where you can have the greatest impact, while immersing yourself in the joy-filled experience of building a thriving and impactful private practice.

the organized therapist 2                the organized therapist 1

 

The Organized Therapist is rooted in the realization that other mental health professionals may be experiencing a misleading sense of optimism about their ability to “do it all.”

Just as I used to experience.

I invite you to join me in this quest.

I invite you to empower your present self, and to support the creation of your future self.

I invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to free yourself from the burdensome notion that you must personally and individually execute all aspects of your practice in order to achieve success.

In this way… I invite you to focus on your greatest gifts, where you can have the greatest impact, while immersing yourself in the joy-filled experience of building a thriving and impactful private practice.

About Hope Eden

Hope Eden, LCSW, of The Organized Therapist, has a busy private practice in Asheville, NC.  Licensed for 16+ years, her experience includes being a shelter director, adult outpatient services supervisor, school-based counselor and outpatient service provider, both in agencies and in a group practice setting. She can be found on Facebook  as host for the following groups: The Organized Therapist, the Documentation Support Group for Mental Health Professionals and the Training Resource Group for Mental Health Professionals.

 

We’re continuing our series on what to expect when working with a website designer to build a website for your private practice.

In Part I, we talked about everything that goes on before your website project actually starts: researching the right designer, the first call, getting a proposal and gathering your content.

In this article, we’ll go over the website-building phase and everything that goes on while your designer is making magic happen for your private practice website.

We’re continuing our series on what to expect when working with a website designer to build a website for your private practice. In Part I, we talked about everything that goes on before your website project actually starts: researching the right designer, the first call, getting a proposal and gathering your content.

Your Private Practice Website Project Begins

Ok, the big day has finally rolled around. It’s your project start day!

By now, you should have wrapped up your responsibilities and delivered all your content to your designer.

I like to have all these assets (copy, photos, logo, design preferences, etc.) about two weeks prior to your project start day.

I’ll spend a couple hours organizing and making sure I have all I need to get started.

If anything is missing, I’ll get in touch with my client via Asana, our homebase for the project.

As your project begins, there’s really not a whole lot that should be on your plate, other than making yourself available to answer any questions your web designer may have.

This is where the value of hiring someone really shines.

You’re free to focus on your clients and other marketing activities you love, rather than fighting with trying to build a website.

Enjoy this time and make the most of it!

Providing Feedback to Your Designer

I can’t speak for all website designers, but in my projects, we build in two milestones where you can provide your feedback.

The first time comes rather quickly, usually within the first week of the project.

I’ll present you with a homepage and an about page design for you to review.

I often like to record a video walkthrough of these two pages to explain certain design decisions and tell the story of how the design will help achieve the goals laid out at the beginning of the project.

The reason we start with just the home and about pages is because at this stage in the project we’re making sure we’re heading in the right direction.

This is where you’ll want to make sure the website feels right, is speaking to your ideal therapy clients and, yes, looks great.

I’ll create a task in Asana where you can add your comments and questions for each page.

It looks something like this:

therapist website project feedback

Then, I’ll head back to my lab (home office) and make any necessary adjustments based on your feedback.

After we’re both feeling good about the direction, the meat of the project can begin where I’ll start fleshing out all of the pages on the website and putting all the pieces together.

Depending on the size and complexity of your website, this process may take 1 to 2 weeks.

The second round of feedback comes after this phase, where you’ll be able to look over the entire website and we can discuss any concerns you may have once the content is in place.

Launching Your New Website

At this point we’re into the home stretch.

Depending on the complexity of your website, it can take anywhere from 3 – 8 weeks to get here.

Much of the work is still really in the web designer’s camp and you can continue being the amazing therapist you are while they’re hard at work getting everything in place.

They’ll be making sure all plugins are working correctly, the website looks and functions well on mobile devices and assure everything is operational for a smooth transition to a live website for the world to see.

If you have a website live currently, chances are that your designer has been building your website on a separate web host so they can work without interrupting your current website.

At this point, I like to coordinate with my clients on a good time to finally “launch” the website and move all the files to your live website environment.

I’ll make backups of both your live website and your new website (in case there are any hiccups along the way) and start moving your website files over.

Once the files are moved to your live hosting server, it can take a few minutes to a couple hours for the website to refresh and appear.

And then we’re LIVE!

Open the champagne because a new season has begun!

What Happens After Your Therapy Website is Launched

That wraps it up for what you should expect during the website-building phase of working with a web designer.

If you and your designer have planned well, your biggest task is to make yourself available to provide feedback and answer questions from your designer as they come up.

In our next post, we’ll talk about what to expect after your website is live to ensure a smooth handoff and make sure you get the most out of your private practice’s new marketing asset.

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.

A guest post by Sharon Martin, LCSW

Your website is your most important marketing tool.

Most people start looking for a therapist with an internet search, hoping to find a therapist’s website that they can relate to. Even when a potential client is referred to you by a trusted friend or physician, they probably still want to check you out online before making an appointment.

So, not only is a website a key marketing tool, it’s essential that your psychotherapy website can convert visitors into clients. Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it seems!

Like most of you, I’ve looked at a lot of therapists’ websites and know that getting the web copy just right is a difficult task.

But, you can nail it with some practice and practical tips!

When I teach therapists how to blog, I use these same strategies, so I know they are effective for writing copy that will resonate with your ideal clients.

Every potential client will check you out online before making an appointment. So, not only is a website a key marketing tool, it’s essential that your psychotherapy website can convert visitors into clients. This post contains practical tips that will help you resonate with you ideal clients.

How Therapists Can Write Effective Web Copy

1: Know your audience.

Effective web copy needs to be targeted to your niche or the very specific type of clients that you hope to attract.

So, before you start writing, it’s helpful to identify (in as much detail as possible) what clients you want to serve.

Creating an ideal client avatar (describing demographics, presenting problems, personality traits, childhood history, etc.) will help you write copy that reflects your ideal client’s concerns.

2: Keep it simple. 

Your website should be informative, but you don’t want to overdo it.

Visitors to your website are probably already overwhelmed, so don’t add to their overwhelm with an overly busy webpage.

Leave plenty of white space on the page, break up your content into short paragraphs, and use bullet points and headlines so the most important information stands out.

As for your copy, aim to keep your writing conversational, easy to read, and avoid too many clinical terms. Remember, your potential client is in pain and is looking for relief — not your dissertation on the subject.

3: Be authentic. 

It seems obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway: Potential clients need to see your authentic self come through on in your web copy.

As therapists, our biggest stumbling block regarding authentic web copy is our fear that a bit of self-disclosure, showing our sense of humor or using some curse words, will appear unprofessional.

However, if this is how you usually talk to clients, then having it in your web copy will help clients know if you’re the right therapist for them. I think an easy guideline is to aim for your web copy to align with the way you actually talk to clients in session.

4: Talk mostly about the potential client’s experience and less about yourself. 

Even though your website is supposed to highlight you and your services, it’s not really about you.

Yea, I know it’s a little confusing, but here’s the thing, potential clients are looking for a way to relieve their pain and solve their problems.

They are only interested in you as a vehicle for helping them do this. Therefore, don’t focus on telling them about every certification you’ve earned and every conference you’ve attended.

Instead, reflect the client’s experience, show that you empathize with their pain and that you can help them feel better.

They want to read your website and think, “Wow, this therapist totally gets me!”

5: Always have a call to action. 

Every page of your therapist website should direct the reader to take a particular action.

It might be to call you for a consult, schedule an appointment, watch a video, or visit another page on your website for more information.

Again, it may seem obvious to you that you’d like the reader to call you for an appointment, but specifically asking someone to take action on your website, dramatically increases the likelihood that they will.

So, be sure your web copy invites potential clients to take the next step.

Conclusion

Writing effective web copy is hard work, so be prepared to put in a good amount of time and effort.

It’s definitely a work in progress! As you work on writing your own web copy, I hope these five tips will help you stay focused and write copy that speaks directly to your ideal clients’ needs.

Sharon Martin LCSW 1

Sharon Martin, LCSW is a psychotherapist, blogger, and coach in San Jose, CA.

She loves helping therapists grow in their personal and professional development and particularly enjoys teaching them how to blog and market their practices with social media. Sharon writes the popular blog Happily Imperfect for PsychCentral and regularly contributes to other publications. You can connect with Sharon and find out more about her Blog Like a Pro program for therapists at: https://SocialWorkCoaching.com.

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