Posts

By Jesse Hallock

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

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

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

Should I Take Insurance?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Do I Pick Insurance Panels for My Therapy Practice?

We’ll keep this short and sweet.

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

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

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

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

What Does This Mean for My Private Practice Marketing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Will My Therapy Website Help?

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

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

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

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

Here’s where insurance and website intersect.

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some questions they are probably asking:

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

“Are they in-network with my carrier?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

Is there a right or wrong answer for taking insurance?

No. Definitely not.

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

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

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About Jesse Hallock

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

A guest post by Melody Wilding

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Psychotherapists Need Media Exposure

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

Become easier to find online through Google.

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

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

Connect with ideal clients.

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

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

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

Gain powerful social proof

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

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

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

How to Get Free Publicity for Your Private Practice

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

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

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

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

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

How HARO Works

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

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

Here’s how it works:

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

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

Discover How to Have Success with HARO

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

About the Author

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

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

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

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

The Private Practice Marketing Funnel Explained

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Source: Vendasta

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

Lead Attraction: Increasing Traffic Made Up Of Potential Clients

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

These are folks that are new to your world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s continue.

Lead Engagement: Turning Traffic into New Leads

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

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

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

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

It serves your potential client in a deeper way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s an example from another CMTW blog post:

private practice marketing funnel optimized

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

Onto the next phase!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going Forward: What To Do With Your Email List

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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A quest post by Katie May

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

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

You create a flyer, open enrollment AND… Crickets.

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

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

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

Step 0: Your Therapy Group Pre-Launch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make a List of Potential Group Clients

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

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

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

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

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

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

Create a Contact Form For People Interested in Your Group

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

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

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

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

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

Formulate Your Therapy Group Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About Katie

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

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

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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.

coaching aging adults font size blog

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.

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

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

 

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

The Power of Story in Your Private Practice Marketing

Donald Miller is a student of storytelling.

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

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

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

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

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

How would we overcome such a challenge?

How can I be the hero?!

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

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

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

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

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

Your client is the character… you are the guide.

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

Three Crucial Questions You Must Answer for Your Ideal Client

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your answers may go something like this:

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

See the type of story that tells?

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

Guiding Your Clients Toward Success and Away From Failure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click the link below to learn more:

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

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Guest Post by Nancy Gallegos

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psychotherapists are expanding their business model to include coaching services.

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Solution Focused and Future Oriented Work  

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

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

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

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

2. Passion and Soul Driven Work

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

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

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

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

3. Flexibility

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

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

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

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

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

4. Financial Growth

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

Does coaching services fit in those goals?

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

 

Nancy Gallegos headshot

About Nancy:

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

Guest post by Maureen Werrbach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3: Google AdWords, done professionally. 

I was a naysayer of Google AdWords for a while.

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

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

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

4: Community outreach + speaking engagements. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6: Checking Google Analytics for sources of potential problems. 

This one is important.

I learn a lot from my Google Analytics.

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

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

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

One that’s engaging and relevant.

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

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

8: Having an email list that’s targeted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

Screen Shot 2017 06 05 at 12.24.55 PM 1

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:

Screen Shot 2018 04 02 at 3.32.58 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If so, that’s great!

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

If not, read on.

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

Let’s get to it.

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

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

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

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

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

Remember:

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

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

YOU will be perceived as UNPROFESSIONAL.

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

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

therapist portrait private practice example lori

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2: Your Website Doesn’t Work On Mobile Devices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was 15 years old in 1997.

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

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

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

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

unprofessional therapist website 90s

I remember these types of websites.

Buttons floating in odd places.

Blinking images and colors.

Animated text sometimes scrolling across the page.

Fonts in all shapes and sizes.

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

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

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

So, in a way, websites today look simpler.

Navigation is clear as well as what the website is.

At least that’s how it should be.

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

It’s time to bring it up to date.

4: You Don’t Have a Logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And you don’t need anything fancy or expensive.

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

Need a logo? Check out this post:

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

5: Your Website Is Just Too Busy

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

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

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

This can start with the main menu for your website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep it simple. Keep it clear.

Is Your Website Helping or Hurting your Private Practice?

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

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

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

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