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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.

A guest post by Sarah Leitschuh

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Ways Therapists Can Reduce Overwhelm By Maintaining Boundaries

1. Clearly Define and Communicate Your Work Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About SarahBaby Love Sarah 2 S 1 768x509 1

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

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

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

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

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

What is A Psychology Today Verification Badge?

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

It looks like this:

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

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

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

Where to Put Your Psychology Today Verification Badge

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

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

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

Not just sending them away from your website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s just my opinion!

How to Embed The Psychology Today Verification on Your Website

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

1: Log into your Psychology Today profile

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

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

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

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5: Paste the code into your website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get your first six months of Psychology Today for FREE.

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

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

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

Rhythm is a pivotal part of our bodies, our relationships and our lives.

Rhythm is more than a drum beat, more than a conversation – it’s in the way we walk, talk, breathe, interact, push ourselves, and soften into stillness.

In many ways, therapy is about rhythm – helping people regulate, helping them communicate, and helping them slow down meaningfully.

Private practice can keep you in your head a lot of the time – figuring out technology, putting systems in place, blogging, networking, tracking client numbers and income, and much more.

All of this is important. All of this matters.

But so does rhythm.

Rhythm is in the packed client days, and the empty hours to fill. It’s in the days when you do too much, and the days when you get mad at yourself for not doing enough.

Internal vs. external rhythms

Tuning into rhythm is a way to come back into your body, to re-inhabit your breath, to ground into yourself a creative being.

As rhythmic beings, we are constantly being influenced by both internal and external rhythms.

Internal rhythms are those that originate within ourselves and affect how we show up in the world. These include: breathing, walking, talking, energy levels, our thoughts and so many more.

External rhythms are those that originate from outside ourselves and affect our internal state and rhythms. These can include: other people’s energy levels, seasonal shifts, the news cycle, collective stress/trauma and much more.

Take a moment and notice one internal rhythm and one external rhythm that’s present in your life, right now.

Try to notice without judging or criticizing. Rhythm is information.

Do your internal rhythms tend to be slow, medium, or fast? Do the external rhythms that surround you (including clients!) tend to be slow, medium, or fast?

Take this opportunity to get curious about the rhythms that both surround you and are expressed through you.

Rhythm and self-care

You may already have self-care practices in place that connect you to rhythm. Yoga, meditation, exercise, art-making and so many more can connect us to rhythmic flow, to a give and take energy.

These (and other) self-care practices are an important way to come back to yourself and back to your own rhythms.

Remember that connecting to rhythm through self-care can also look like going out with friends, a group hike or other collective experiences.

Find what self-care practices work for you – remember that rhythm can be both an exuberant and subtle experience, so your self-care practices can mirror that range.

Tuning into your practice, right now

It can be easy (too easy some days!) to just power through without slowing down. My personal experiences and my work with helpers & healers has taught me how deeply helping, hustling and doing are ingrained in many of us.

There’s nothing wrong with any of those qualities.

But I bet there’s some part of you that wants to feel a different way. To find the sweet spot in between hustling/pushing and checked out/burned out.

Either you’d like to feel that building your practice could be just a teensy-bit less hard, or that you’re finally where you’d like to be practice-wise, but you’re feeling a little tapped out.

In order to shift anything, tuning it has to come first.

A quick mindfulness exercise

So, pause. Take a moment to tune into your breath, your body, and your thoughts.

Notice anything there may be to notice, with as much gentleness as possible.

Now turn your attention to your practice. Notice how your body feels and if anything has shifted.

The rhythm of your practice

Ask yourself – what’s the rhythm of my practice? Of my days?
You might tap out a gentle rhythm, tune into a body sensation, or think of a color or image.

Notice anything that may have come up – in thoughts or in physical sensation – when you get curious about your practice in this way.

The rhythm of your ideal practice

Now, tune into the rhythm of your ideal practice.

Notice if that pragmatic voice comes up inside with protests over how many more clients you need, or how you’ll pay this month’s office rent, or some other practical concern.

Kindly ask that voice to step aside for a moment (while still honoring that it showed up).

How would you like your practice to feel, rhythmically?

Lean into how it would feel in your body, in your breath, in your schedule.

Think of a song or piece of music that expresses the way you’d like your practice to feel.

There’s really no right or wrong – you might think of a song that helps you feel energized, one that connects you to a specific memory, one that relaxes you.

Allow your choice to “bubble up” spontaneously, rather than being a purely cognitive exercise.

Take time to listen to it – feel the rhythm of the song in your body, let it sink down to your bones. Invite your body and breath to shift into a different way of being. Songs can be powerful touchstones, so revisit it often. Let it be a reminder that reconnects you to the rhythm of your ideal practice.

Conclusion

Mindfulness and rhythm go hand in hand with private practice – and life.

When we can drop in the present moment and notice what is, while also holding/embodying the rhythm of how we would like things to feel, we give ourselves permission to build our practices in a way that feels nurturing and satisfying.

Ultimately, this allows us to serve our clients – and ourselves – so much better.

Maya Benattar build a practice that feels good

Maya Benattar, MA, MT-BC, LCAT is a music therapist and psychotherapist in private practice in Midtown Manhattan (NYC).  In addition to her clinical work, Maya offers online and in-person Reclaim Your Rhythm workshops for helpers and healers and individual Reclaim Your Rhythm consultations. She loves supporting helpers and healers in showing up for their clients – and themselves – in bold and clear ways.

For more information about Maya and her work, visit www.mayabenattar.com/professionals/

You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook.

{Instagram}: www.instagram.com/mayabenattar

{Facebook}: www.facebook.com/mayabenattarlcat

“Niching down” is a term you may often seen thrown around when it comes to marketing a private practice. Focusing on very specific populations of people or services is a great way to be the go-to expert in an area of therapy you love. But what if you’re just starting out or enjoy working with many types of people? How can you reflect that in your website and still attract clients?

“Niching down” is a term you may often seen thrown around when it comes to marketing a private practice. Focusing on very specific populations of people or services is a great way to be the go-to expert in an area of therapy you love. But what if you’re just starting out or enjoy working with many types of people? How can you reflect that in your website and still attract clients?

In this article, we’ll talk about ways to approach your website marketing when you haven’t yet found your niche.

Do I Even Need A “Niche” In My Private Practice?

When it comes to any type of marketing, I truly believe that each business is unique.

What works for one therapist, may not work or even feel good to another therapist.

I encourage you to try new marketing approaches, test them for a time and see what works for you.

And it’s not just about the number of clients. If you’re doing anything in your business that drains your energy or doesn’t feel right, I encourage you to drop it.

I think that also applies to niching as well.

I’ve spoken to many therapist that work with all kinds of people in many different modalities and their practices are doing just fine.

The place where finding your niche can be so powerful for your marketing is when you want to really focus your practice and attract more of a very specific type of client.

When I started my website design business, I had many conversations with friends and family that thought that focusing ONLY on doing websites for therapists meant that I was limiting my growth.

But I knew that if I wanted to really help people, I needed to understand the challenges of my clients, inside and out.

If a restaurant came to me and said they’d love to work with me, would I turn them away?

Probably not – I’d love the challenge – but my understanding of what a restaurant needs in a website is much more limited than what a therapist would need.

For me niching has helped my provide a better service and product to my clients.

So what’s the point?

If you want your caseload to be filled with a very specific type of client, because that’s the work you love to do and you want to grow your expertise in that area… then go for it. Niche down!

But if you’re still finding out who you like to work with or just enjoy seeing all types of clients, then don’t try and force it.

How To Handle Your Private Practice Website Copy When You Don’t Have A Niche

Ok, so you’re not yet ready or feel the need to niche down in your private practice.

How can you use your website to get more clients?

While you may not be able to have an uber specific headline on your homepage like “I help new moms cope with anxiety and become the moms they’ve always dreamt they’d be,” I think there are still some strategic things you can do to make sure you’re connecting with potential clients.

1: Get to The Core of What You Love Doing

My wife went through the same struggle of wondering how/if she should find a niche in her private practice and market toward it.

She loves seeing a number of different types of clients – male, female and couples.

She also loves helping them with various challenges such as anxiety, family of origin and discovering their identity.

So when it came time to write copy for her website, we were a bit unsure where to begin.

But the more we peeled back the layers of what she loved doing – the more she listened to what made her feel alive in her work – the more she realized it all boiled down to one thing: relationships.

My wife loves helping her clients have better relationships.

So on her homepage, we created this title:

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It’s broad enough to attract many types of clients (individuals and couples) but just specific enough to connect with any potential client who is struggling in their relationships.

So I encourage you to pay attention to the type of work you love doing. Think about the common denominator and use that as a headline on your homepage.

You’ve only got a few seconds to entice someone to stay on that page, so give them something to connect to.

It doesn’t have to be calling out a specific population (i.e. dads in their 40s who own a business) but it should give a sense of what you do.

2: Focus On The Types of Services/Specialties You Offer in Your Private Practice

Another way to attract many types of clients and work in your private practice is to give each potential client they need in order to feel comfortable reaching out to you.

To do this, you can create individual landing pages for all the services and specialties you offer.

If you enjoy doing some couples therapy, then create a specific page just for that. Really give them all they need to know about what therapy will look like.

Take them from a place of struggle (the reason they’re looking for a therapist in the first place) to a place of hope.

Another thing you can do is focus on the various specialties you address in your practice.

For instance, if you learn many people are coming to your for help with anxiety, create a specific page all about that.

These pages can help convert all sorts of clients. Plus they’re great for search engine optimization (SEO).

Check out this post to learn more about creating specialty pages that Google loves: How I Used SEO to go From Zero Clients to Too Many Clients

Tips For Discovering Your Private Practice Niche

I’ll be honest… having a specific niche makes marketing a lot easier.

It allows you speak directly to people and really connect with them.

You can use the tips above to get started creating website pages and copy, but if you think you’d like to eventually narrow your niche, I’ll leave you with a few tips:

  1. Think about the clients you’ve been working with that you REALLY love. What is it about them that you love so much? Write it down.
  2. Think about the types of challenges you love helping your clients with and what really excites you. Make a list.
  3. Identify how the type of client intersects with the challenge you really want to be known for.
  4. Keep a spreadsheet of notes on how your favorite clients describe their challenges so you can use it in your marketing copy.
  5. Practice writing some headlines that capture who you help and what you help them do. You can use the best one on your homepage.

Conclusion

Having a niche can certainly simplify your marketing message, however, you can still be successful with your marketing without niching waaaay down.

If you don’t have a niche or even want a niche, I hope the tips above give you some direction as you think about the copy and marketing on your private practice website.

At the end of the day, you have to do what feels good and what works for you!

Writing great copy for your private practice website is one step toward attracting more clients. But the other step is presenting that information – through your website’s design –  in a way that’s easy to read. This is why the size of the font on your website is so important.

Writing great copy for your private practice website is one step toward attracting more clients. But the other step is presenting that information - through your website’s design - in a way that’s easy to read. This is why the size of the font on your website is so important.

In this article we’ll talk about a few things to consider when choosing your website’s font size and answer the question, “what size font should I use on my private practice website?”

Some Things to Consider

Like the colors you choose for your website, your fonts and font size have an impact on the way your brand and practice are viewed by the end user.

If your practice is geared toward the parents of young children, your brand may be more bold and upbeat.

So, you may use larger, more creative fonts for headlines and brighter colors as compared to a website whose primary audience is, let’s say, older adults over 60.

And as a general rule, it’s best that your fonts be too big than too small.

Research has shown that small font sizes & low-contrast are the #1 complaint for web users as it relates to reading online. (Source)

This means that you’ll definitely want to take into account your ideal client.

Example:

I recently worked with an amazing client, Karen Midyet on her new coaching website www.coachingagingadults.com.

Because her practice is focused solely on aging adults and their caretakers, we had to make sure that fonts were easy to read.

This meant bolder headlines, a larger font for body copy and high contrast design.

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If we didn’t know her ideal audience, who she wanted to reach and how they’d be using her website, we wouldn’t have gone with such large fonts.

So, step one to deciding the size of your fonts is to know who will be using your website so you can create the best user experience possible.

Headline Fonts vs Body Copy Fonts

There are typically two main categories of fonts on your website: headers and body copy.

Header Font Sizes

You’ll have a font for various headers (these are your H1, H2, H3, etc.), which help to create organization and a hierarchy for your page content.

With headline fonts, it’s best to stick to what’s called modular scaled font sizes.

What the heck are those?

“[Modular scaled font sizes are] a series of harmonious font sizes that have the perfect proportion that the general public view as “beautiful.” (Source)

This includes the following font sizes: 8, 16, 24, 32, 48, 64, 95

So when you’re setting the font size of your headers, you can use a hierarchy, like so:

  • Your H1 (usually the page title will be in an H1 tag so it’s the most important): 48 pixels
  • Your H2: 32 pixels
  • Your H3: 24 pixels
  • Your H4: While 18 is not in the list above, if you need a subheader slightly larger than your body copy, you can use 18 pixels here.

Body Copy Font Size

The next category of font that you’ll have on your website is the body copy.

This is the main group of text that will make up the content on your website.

It’s the meat and potatoes. The bulk of your blog posts, informational pages and will carry most of the important details you want to communicate to your clients.

With body copy, you want to make sure the size doesn’t hinder your visitor’s ability to read it.

On average, the ideal size of your body copy font, according to our modular scaled font sizes above, is 16 pixels.

This size is not too big and not too small for the average reader.

It’s the font size I use on 90% of the websites I design.

But, like with most things in design, rules can often be broken WHEN it makes sense.

In the case of the Coaching Aging Adults website I mentioned above, we knew that the audience for this site would be aging adults that may have vision challenges.

We made the body copy size a whopping 18 pixels to make sure that the target audience would have no trouble reading the content on the website.

Again, knowing your audience will help you make the right design decisions on your private practice website.

Conclusion

There you have it! A simple guideline for setting the font sizes on your private practice website.

The best thing to keep in mind is who your ideal client is, how they will use your website.

Take them into account with any website design decision to ensure you’re making it as easy as possible for them to read your content and use your website.

A guest post by Jo Muirhead

Have you noticed that there is a lot of talk about being an Entrepreneur when you are the owner of a private practice?

If you are a clinician in private practice for yourself, do you think of yourself as an Entrepreneur?

I certainly didn’t.  I initially thought of myself as self employed and over the past 7 or so years I have thought of myself as a business owner, but an Entrepreneur, hmmm I didn’t think that fit me.

Isn’t an Entrepreneurs someone who is on Shark Tank, aren’t they people who make a gazillion dollars and have investors? Don’t they take massive risks with other people’s money, time and lives?

Health professionals by training and practice, and because of the incredible importance of the work we do with people, are by nature risk averse and process oriented.  We have many checks, balances and compliances to ensure we maintain standards of patient care.

 

A guest post by Jo Muirhead Have you noticed that there is a lot of talk about being an Entrepreneur when you are the owner of a private practice? If you are a clinician in private practice for yourself, do you think of yourself as an Entrepreneur? I certainly didn’t. I initially thought of myself as self employed and over the past 7 or so years I have thought of myself as a business owner, but an Entrepreneur, hmmm I didn’t think that fit me. Isn’t an Entrepreneurs someone who is on Shark Tank, aren’t they people who make a gazillion dollars and have investors? Don’t they take massive risks with other people’s money, time and lives?

Entrepreneurs are risk takers.

To be successful in business there must be a level of risk taking which means a level of being ok with failure and making mistakes.

Make mistakes as a clinician and people can be harmed.

Make mistakes as an Entrepreneur and you may end up changing the world for good.

Health professionals and Entrepreneurs appear to be on two different ends of the mindset spectrum.  Being both an Entrepreneur and a clinician at the same time is difficult.  The health professional who is a business owner must bring these two conflicting paradigms together.

We know successful Entrepreneurs and business owners are all risk takers; often throwing caution to the wind and making decisions and taking opportunities quickly.

Successful Entrepreneurs can change in a split second and turn on a dime when new information is presented to them.

Further, successful Entrepreneurs make decisions with maybe 65% of needed information and just work the rest out along the way. This somehow feels incompatible to clinical decision making when we are talking about our client’s. I don’t know about you, but I want a whole lot more certainty than this when making recommendations for my client’s.

What happens when the health professional (the clinician) and the entrepreneur collide?

This appears to be at the core of why some health professionals can become successful Entrepreneurs and business owners and others get so stuck in the process of trying to build a business.  How do we manage the internal conflict between?

  • Risk averse and risk taker?
  • Caution and courage to make change quickly and often?
  • Being conservative and being radical?

This is where I see many health professionals give up and get it wrong – they apply their clinical decision-making model to their business, to Entrepreneurship.

It simply can’t work for long.  It will get them so far, but it’s terribly limited.

They will be limited to selling time for money or training sessions for a fee.  They will be stuck in transactional service delivery.  I don’t want this for you, because you have more in you than that!

How do you learn to be an Entrepreneur? 

To get good at this you need to practice.

You need to hang out with people who think differently, who don’t make clinical decisions all day long.

You need to place yourself in an environment where you can learn to take risks in your business; where problems can be solved as they arise, because problems will come. It’s just what you do to solve them is the difference between success now and success later.

You need to learn to take risks and learn that risk taking is not bad. However, you need to know what you can risk and what you shouldn’t risk. This is where having the right supports around you is imperative.

Myself, and many of my clients are examples of how health professionals can become successful Entrepreneurs and business owners.  Now, I will admit not all my clients have made it.  There have been a couple who have become stuck in the need to be safe – and that’s OK.  Being a business owner or in private practice isn’t for everyone.  But there are a lot more of us who could be successful in business.

It’s time for us to stop thinking old school.

Like the old school clinician. I am NOT saying it’s time to stop practicing clinical decision making, nor am I saying it’s time to stop being professional or ethical. No in fact we need to be all these things, AND more.

We need to understand that Entrepreneurial thinking in western workplaces is a new literacy.

Just like reading, writing, clinical knowledge and the use of digital technologies, Entrepreneurial thinking is now an expected mindset for employees as well as business owners.

Entrepreneurial thinking is not just for those internet business owners’ who dream of a laptop lifestyle.

I’ve been working through the concepts of being a clinician and an Entrepreneur as I write my Book, The Entrepreneurial Clinician (working title😊).

Here are 5 of the 10 mindset shifts I think we can make to help us be more Entrepreneurial while maintaining our clinical integrity.

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When we engage in entrepreneurial thinking we will notice some incredible results:

  1. We will become confident in differentiating ourselves in the market, allowing the client’s we are best suited to work with to find us and engage with us.
  2. We will feel happy and fulfilled in our work because we are doing work we love, the way we love to do it, while helping the people we are best positioned to serve.
  3. We will start to experience the FREEDOM and flexibility that we have dreamed of for so long.

If we are going to be different and make a difference in the lives of our client’s and their communities, we all need to start thinking differently. We can’t solve the problems we are facing, with old thinking.  What is exciting is that all of us know how to think and think critically. That was one of the most powerful gifts we received through graduation.

It’s time for the change, and you can do it, one mindset shift at a time.

Go back over that list of five I’ve included in this blog post, choose one, and have a go at practicing it for the next month. Just 1, for a month. You won’t always get it “right” and you won’t always get it wrong, that’s way we call it practice.

If you’re keen to be one of the first people to know when my book is completed and available, head on over the JoMuirhead.com and sign up for the guide “ How to Find Freedom in your private practice”. Once I have your email I will be able to let you know how you can be one of the first people to get your hands on this book when its done.

As always, here’s to your success!

Jo

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Who is Jo Muirhead?

Jo is a Consultant, speaker and business mentor for the health and wellness industry. As the owner and principal rehabilitation consultant at Purple Co (www.PurpleCo.com.auhttp://www.purpleco.com.au/), Jo understands the challenges and obstacles faced by health and wellness business owners first hand. She applies the learnings and successes she has had in her own business to that of her clients, showing them that they can effectively market their business, increase their revenue, and enjoy the work they do. For more information visit www.jomuirhead.com.

Blogging can be one of the best ways to boost traffic to your private practice website. But simply putting a post on your website isn’t enough to ensure people actually read it. So what can you do?

Blogging can be one of the best ways to boost traffic to your private practice website. But simply putting a post on your website isn’t enough to ensure people actually read it. So what can you do? In this article we’ll go over five ways you can boost your traffic with blogging while ensuring that visitors stick around and actually read your posts.

In this article we’ll go over five ways you can boost your traffic with blogging while ensuring that visitors stick around and actually read your posts.

1: Write Content Your Ideal Clients Actually Want To Read

5 ways to get more readers therapy blog 1

The first step in increasing your blog readership is to write posts that actually serve your ideal clients.

Your blog should not be a repository of “deep thoughts” or vague reflections.

I certainly encourage you to use your experiences and reflections to inspire your blog posts.

But a blog post titled “My Morning Hike” will get faaaaaar less views than one titled “How A Simple Walk Can Help You Set Goals and Decrease Anxiety About The New Year.”

When we use vague titles and long ramblings, it’s extremely unclear to the reader what’s actually in it for them.

Starting with your headline, you give your website visitors a reason to read each blog post.

Don’t know where to begin?

Start by thinking about why clients come to you.

Make a list of the challenges their facing and the topics you’ve been discussing in your sessions.

Then write about it!

Think of your blog as a way of serving your current clients as well as website visitors that may not even become your clients.

Over time, this will help increase connection with your readers, foster a positive perception of you and your practice, highlight your expertise and hopefully turn into more clients.

2: Be Consistent When Publishing New Blog Posts on Your Private Practice Website

more readers therapist blogging counseling calendar

Google loves seeing fresh content on your private practice website.

When you consistently add new blog posts, this lets Google know that your website is growing.

It says, “Now here’s a website that is constantly growing in resources. I like that!”

Plus, the more you write, the more words are on your website.

This means that your chances for ranking for new keywords is increasing constantly, so your ability to rank higher in Google for various phrases goes up and up over time.

When we first launched my wife’s website back in 2011, we saw her traffic double after she began blogging.

She added one new blog post each week for a few months.

And she didn’t even use social media to share the posts!

So, if you want to increase traffic to your blog, find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.

For tips on how to maintain a consistent blogging schedule, check out this post.

3: Use Social Media To Drive More Traffic to Your Blog Posts

5 ways to get more blog readers therapist marketing social media

If your clients don’t know your blog post exists, how will they ever read it?

Plus, your blog posts may or may not be ranking well in Google, making it hard to even find some of that great content you’ve been working on.

So, another way you can get your blog posts in front of potential clients is to use social media.

When you use social media to create a following, it’s another way to get your content in front of people.

And if people are liking your private practice Facebook page or following you on Pinterest, then they’ve already expressed some interest in what you’re doing.

This makes them more likely to read your posts when they show up in their feed.

Heck, even if it’s your friends and family that see your blog posts on Facebook, you never know who will read it, share it and get it in front of your next client.

My favorite social network for driving traffic is DEFINITELY Pinterest.

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Did you know that Pinterest is the second largest driver of traffic, second only to Facebook?

Because of its traffic-building potential and nature of finding helpful articles on the platform, I believe it can be a powerful marketing tool for any therapist with a blog.

Related article: Why Your Private Practice Needs To Be On Pinterest.

But no matter what platform you love to use, social media is a great way to take your blog post a bit further and drive a little more traffic to it.

Some tips for using social media to promote your blog posts:

  • If you’re just starting out, choose ONE network and learn how to use it effectively before adding another
  • Be consistent. Just like how you should frequently publish new blog posts on your website, you should frequently be sharing on social media
  • Try and balance 1 post about your business to every 4 posts that are not promotional, such as quotes and helpful articles from others
  • Use Google Analytics to check in from time to time and see which platform is bringing in the most traffic and then focus on that platform to drive even more traffic

4: Use Email Marketing to Let People Know When You’ve Published a New Post

5 ways to get more blog readers therapists email marketing

Just like social media above, using email marketing is a great way to send your blog posts to potential clients who have already expressed interest in your work.

One of the first questions I hear from people starting out with email marketing is “what do I say to people on my email list?”

Letting people on your email list know that you’ve published a new blog post is a great way to keep in touch with your list.

Once your blog post is published, you can write an email summarizing it and include the link back to your website.

I encourage you to link to your website, rather than just send the blog post in an email.

This way, people can visit other pages on your website if they want to – continually learning more about your services – and hopefully lead to scheduling a session with you.

Your email list should be filled with people who have already enjoyed your content enough to even give you their email address… so this audience is really the best target for reading your blog posts.

When they continue to get helpful and insightful articles a couple times a month, it warms them up to you, creates trust and helps remind them that you can help them.

You never know when someone will respond to one of those emails asking when they can schedule their next session!

5: Include Images in Your Blog Posts

private practice blogging tips

So here is a stat that is pretty crazy:

Blog articles with images get 94% more views. (source)

94%!! Wow!

In our fast-paced world, photos help get our attention and drive engagement.

If you want to increase the amount of views your blog posts get, be sure to include at least one photo with each one.

This will help your posts stand out, especially when shared on social media.

Including images can also help you optimize your post better for search engines.

To learn more about how to optimize images for SEO, click here.

Conclusion

If you’re wondering why more people aren’t reading your blog posts, I encourage to give the five tips above a shot.

Test it out over time and see if your traffic is increasing.

Remember, just publishing blog posts is not always enough to increase your traffic.

You just may need to give people a reminder that your new blog posts exist. The more chances people get to hear about your post, the more clicks over to your website there will be.

And the best part about all the tips above is that they’re totally free for you to try!

A guest post by Maelisa Hall

Many therapists say that the paperwork related to the client intake process takes twice as long as other therapy sessions, but here’s a secret: It doesn’t need to.

A guest post by Maelisa Hall Many therapists say that the paperwork related to the client intake process takes twice as long as other therapy sessions, but here’s a secret: It doesn’t need to.

There are some key things you can do to simplify and organize your client intake process so that you save yourself time before and after the first session with your clients.

And when implemented well, these strategies will actually help you build rapport with clients more quickly and more easily, all while improving your professional perception within the community.

1: Have clients fill out an assessment before you meet

One of the best ways to save time AND get some amazing clinical information is to have your clients fill out the intake assessment form, not you. Right when their appointment is scheduled, make sure they know there is some paperwork they need to fill out beforehand.

Explain the paperwork in layman’s terms and keep the questions simple, but don’t be afraid to go deep. For example, in my intake assessment form I have questions/sections like:

“Reason for contacting me about therapy”

“Goals you want to accomplish in working together”

“Who currently lives in your home?”

There are a lot more questions diving into all biopsychosocial areas and including the basic demographic information you need, but there aren’t so many questions that the form is overwhelming to complete.

There are a couple huge benefits to having your clients fill out the form. First, you get to see how they phrase the problem and what language they use to describe themselves. This gives you a kickstart to building rapport and getting to know your client.

Second, you are able to focus on what is most important during the intake session… actually getting to know your client! You can ask follow up questions based on what they already wrote and you don’t waste time on things like writing family member’s names and phone numbers.

Lastly, you save yourself time. Most of the intake paperwork is already done before your client even walks in the office.

2: Send automated reminders

Yes, some clients will forget to fill out paperwork before an appointment. That’s reality.

But we have these awesome tools like text reminders, email reminders and calendar invites that can help your clients avoid this problem.

Some therapists have strong opinions about these reminders and believe that clients should take responsibility for their treatment and that it is not the therapist’s job to send reminders.

While I agree with the responsibility part, I also encourage you to consider that clients rarely begin therapy at a time when things are going well in life and they feel organized and on top of their game.

Clients usually start therapy when they are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or like things are spiraling out of control.

Automated reminders are cheap and easy to set up… and they’re automated! These things weren’t readily available 10 years ago but today it’s a great resource for both clients and therapists.

3: Keep your forms with you during intakes

Have that intake form your client filled out with you during the whole intake session and add your notes to it as you ask about details. Since your client has already written a lot of the base information, you won’t be writing (or typing) during the whole session.

This can take some getting used to but is one of the most important things I recommend doing during intake sessions… because your intake is done when the client walks out the door.

And trust me, your intakes will have much better information than they normally do.

Most therapists grossly overestimate how much they’ll remember about their clients. Combine that with the fact that many therapists avoid completing intakes after a session because they are so time-consuming and you have a recipe to create mediocre intakes that miss a lot of the important nuances your client shared or presented.

4: Talk to your clients about the process

One of the common responses I get about about #3 is that therapists are worried they will be too focused writing and not able to establish rapport with clients.

The key to building rapport is communicating with your clients about the whole process.

Let them know if you need a minute to finish writing something because you think it’s important. Tell them what you’re writing and why.

Most importantly, set the expectations from the beginning that this first session is a bit different. You want to get to know them and make sure you’re a good fit to work together. Explain that you don’t usually take notes during sessions (unless you actually do) but since you’re just getting to know one another, you’ll be jotting some things down.

I have done this dozens, if not hundreds of times and I’ve never had a client complain. In fact, most clients seem to appreciate that I’m taking their information seriously and genuinely want to help them.

5: Create (or copy) templates for notes and treatment plans

Yes, there are things you want to include in an intake note that you don’t normally include in other notes. Things like obtaining consent for treatment and reviewing potential limits to confidentiality.

Having a template so you don’t recreate these with each client is very helpful. Many electronic health records (EHRs) will allow you to create your own templates so you can save time on common things you write.

Even if your EHR doesn’t have this ability, you can create a template on your computer and then copy and paste that information in to your intake notes. And if you use paper records, just print it out and have some copies ready to use.

6: Use a practice management system

A practice management system (also commonly called an EHR) serves as your filing cabinet, payment processor, automated reminder service, email provider, shared drive, scheduling service, calendar, template holder, task reminder and so much more.

This is a whole other blog post in itself, but using a practice management system can help you save a huge amount of time… as long as you make sure to invest time up front setting it up with all your preferences and templates.

At this point, most systems offer a client portal, which makes things like sending forms to complete and accepting payments a very easy process. In the long run, this is one of the most affordable and effective ways to improve your intake process.

7: Get a non-therapist friend’s opinion

The best way to find out what doesn’t make sense or needs improvement is having a non-therapist friend go through your entire intake process.

Yes, if you have good friends they will gladly do this for you! Of course, you might want to offer to pay the next time you have lunch together.

Here are some questions you want them to answer:

  • What did you think of the whole process?
  • How did it compare with going to a doctor’s office the first time?
  • Does everything on the forms make sense?
  • Was any part of filling out the forms confusing?
  • Were there any words you didn’t recognize?
  • Did you feel like you knew exactly what was expected before the appointment?
  • Did you know how to get a hold of me if you needed to reschedule or were running late?
  • Did you know exactly how to get to the office for an appointment?
  • What parts felt time-consuming or “clunky?”
  • How much time did it take you to complete everything?

You will get so much valuable information from this task! Yes, this takes a bit more work (and might cost you a lunch), but it will help you see your blind spots in a way no other task can.

What to do next…

Implementing all of these things might seem overwhelming, so pick one thing to do this week and put it in your calendar. Evaluate how that works, and then try another strategy.

A lot of these things will be trial and error to see what process works best for you and your clients so be open to feedback and don’t expect that everything will work on the first try. It’s a process but it is so worth it to save yourself time and stress.

Plus, having a streamlined and easy-to-complete intake process will ultimately benefit the people it should- your clients.

maelisa hall

About Maelisa Hall

Maelisa Hall, Psy.D. specializes in teaching therapists how to connect with their paperwork so it’s more simple and more meaningful. The result? Rock solid documentation every therapist can be proud of! Check out her free online Private Practice Paperwork Crash Course, and get templates, cheat sheets and tips on improving your documentation today.

What’s one of the quickest ways to encourage a website visitor to leave your private practice website? Make it hard for them to understand who you help and what you do…

In this article I’ll share with you some tips to create a clear and concise sentence that will let your potential clients know they’re in the right place.

What’s one of the quickest ways to encourage a website visitor to leave your private practice website? Make it hard for them to understand who you help and what you do... In this article I’ll share with you some tips to create a clear and concise sentence that will let your potential clients know they’re in the right place.

 

Content Clarity Wins the Day

Far too many private websites fall short of their mission to get more clients because there’s a lack of clarity when visitors arrive.

I see this all the time…

When landing on a homepage, I often have to struggle to understand what the therapist does and who they help.

And if I’m having trouble finding that information … well, then so are your potential clients.

One of the quickest ways you can correct this is by writing a clear and concise sentence, or “one-liner.”

When website visitors arrive, a one-liner that explains your private practice or any of your services can be extremely helpful in the marketing of your business.

Why?

Because it lets your potential clients know they’re in the right place.

Marketing expert, Donald Miller, explains in his book Building A Story Brand (affiliate link) that your one-liner should contain the following elements:

  • The Character: Who you help
  • The Problem: What you help them overcome
  • The Plan: Can you include HOW you help them overcome the problem?
  • The Success: What does success look like?

Here’s an example of a one-liner someone may have on the top of their homepage:

“I help new moms cope with depression and overwhelm so they can be the mom they always dreamed they’d be.”

You can see how quickly this can get the attention of a website visitor if they were a new mom looking to find help with depression.

It gives them a chance to say, “That’s me! I dream of being a great mom!”

You can do this on your homepage, your about page and certainly on all your landing pages for specific services you offer in your practice.

Write a Headline for Those Most Likely to Work With You

There will always be that small percentage of potential clients who are totally on board with your service.

And it’s good it’s a small percentage! That’s exactly who you want to reach.

Remember, you can’t make everyone happy. The best copywriters know this, so they write headlines and content for those who are most likely to favor the service they’re writing about.

Know your clients and gain insights from the people you work with in your private practice.

Trying to write for 100% of the people will hamper your conversion rate.

Listen to how your clients describe their challenges and write it down in a notebook to use as inspiration for your one-liners.

Write 20 Headline Options and Let Your Creativity Flow

I know, it’s a challenge, but it releases your own creativity. Don’t delete as you go. Allow creativity to take over. Play around with shortening and lengthening your one-liner.

Try elevating the benefit to increase intrigue with potential clients visiting your website.

Twenty variations should be enough for you to turn your ideas into the ultimate headline.

Open up and don’t be afraid of any variations that fall flat. You’ll end up with your share of good ones.

You can start by focusing on a one-liner for your homepage that encompasses your private practice.

From there, you can do this for each of your service pages.

Trim the Fat from Your Content

This is the stage where you trim the fat and delete any obvious junk content. Like any endeavor in the world, there’s always a lot you can learn from your mistakes.

Don’t be hard on yourself for having to toss out junk. It’s all part of the process.

Your ideas that fell short can serve as a springboard for new ideas.

Remember, your physical therapy or mental health practice is about solving problems and providing solutions for them. It’s not about you.

Related Article: Your About Page is Not About You

What The Rest of Your Private Practice Website Copy Should Contain

In addition to that amazing one-liner on the front page of your website, there are other critical elements that your site should contain.

1. Homepage

This is where you want that main one-liner to live. Quickly tell your clients what your private practice is all about. You know the old saying about “first impressions.”

Your homepage is the first impression, and likely the greatest impression, that a potential patient will receive. So make sure you convey that your business has the answers they’re looking for.

A visitor’s attention span will be around eight seconds. Attention spans are growing shorter and shorter.

Make their first impression count. Get right to the point and don’t give the reader too much information or require them to make too many choices.

Focus on the one major thing you want visitors to know, and don’t deviate from your theme.

Also, include an action that you want them to take.

Related Article: 5 Homepage Mistakes Therapists Make & How to Avoid Them

2. About Page

This page should address your ideal client or patient. It doesn’t have to be a mind-blowing page. Just make sure that it has relevant information about your practice.

Write content as if you’re talking directly to your clients. It’s not a bad idea to offer up a glimpse of your life outside of your practice.

Keep it simple and focused on the ideal client you’re trying to reach and think about where they’re at when looking for your services.

3. Services Page

This page is the one where you introduce your services.

Break it down into the categories that your practice addresses. Be specific and informative.

When we design websites for clients, we like to make this page “your practice at a glance.”

You can provide some short introductions to all your services so a visitor can quickly scroll through and see what you offer.

Introduce the service, then link over to a page for each one.

4. A Page for Each Service Offered

These pages expound on each service you have listed on the Services Page.

This is where your content can go into greater detail about each service. This is also where you get to elaborate on your expertise.

You can create a one-liner to go on the top of each of these pages to quickly grab the attention of your ideal clients.

5. Blog

Your blog is where you can really show your expertise on very specific topics.

Google’s algorithm also likes the idea of refreshed and relevant content on websites. So try and write consistently, even it’s just one blog post a month.

It will definitely help your traffic!

Conclusion

It might be difficult at first, but you’ll get used to writing your private practice website copy as time goes on.

Practicing crafting your one-liner can be a great exercise that can help you simplify how you speak about your services and how clear and concise your copy currently is (or isn’t).

Got an idea for a one-liner for your private practice but need some feedback?

Head over to the CMTW Facebook group and post it there. We’ve got a bunch of your colleagues in there who would love to help you out.

And for more tips on writing simple and effective marketing copy for your private practice, check out the book Building A Story Brand or read my review here.