website

Is Your About Page Helping People Hire You? Or Are They Clicking Away? FREE TRAINING

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A well-written website can profoundly change your business. When the writing is working, you’re receiving inquiries from clients who say “As soon as I read your site, I knew I needed to see you.”

What do I mean by “a well-written website”?

Great copy (words on your website pages) is different from the great writing you might have done in grad school or in articles you’ve written since.

Website copy works differently from other kinds of writing. We read quickly online. Rather than taking in every word patiently, we tend to scan and judge. Your website copy needs to communicate some important things to your potential clients in just a few seconds.

What pages on your site matter most?

Your Home page and your About page are often the first two pages your potential clients will visit.

A visitor lands on your Home page, and if they like what they see, they click over to your About page. What they find there will help them decide what to do next.

Is your About page helping your ideal clients decide to call you? Or are they clicking away to another site?

I’ve created a brand-new free training for you to help you make it better and more effective.

Grab my video and worksheet for step-by-step instructions. I’ll teach you how to use your Superpowers (the things that set you apart from other therapists) to make your About Page more effective.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create effective language that reaches your potential clients.
  • Decide what to include and what to leave out of your bio.
  • Articulate why you’re the right therapist for your ideal client.
  • Edit out some common mistakes.

Grab it below and let me know how it goes.

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How To Write (Ridiculously Effective) Pages For Your Therapy Website Part 3

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In this series, I’ve been walking you through 11 keys to writing great copy for your website pages. Great copy helps your conversion rate, meaning more of your website visitors will turn into clients. Here are all eleven keys.

 

  1. Identify your Superpowers
  2. Find your authentic writing style
  3. Write to a person (or a small group of people)
  4. Identify their pain
  5. Identify their hope
  6. Express what you believe about therapy
  7. Make each page simple
  8. Use headlines, not greetings
  9. Give a clear call to action
  10. Create a logical structure for your site
  11. Edit out any professional jargon

 

In this post I’ll walk you through the last 5 keys.

Make each page simple

When you write a page on your website, it’s tempting to include a lot. You don’t want to leave out anything that your potential client needs to know about you, your therapy practice, or the issues you help with. There’s so much you want to share with your potential clients!

 

Step away from the keyboard.

 

We read web content differently than we read print content. Assume your readers are skimming. Rather than reading through the content in order, your visitors read across the top of the page, then quickly read only some of the rest of the words on their way down the page.

 

Visitors tend to engage on a website by clicking through to view more pages rather than by reading entire pages.

 

Give your visitors a comfortable experience on your site by keeping it clear and simple.

 

Focus on making one main point per page.

 

Got more to say? Add a blog to your site and start writing articles for those visitors who want to go deeper.

 

Use headlines, not greetings. 

 

Don’t use a greeting such as “welcome to my website” or “This is a safe place.” Those kinds of headlines waste precious real estate.

 

The headline is the first thing your visitors will read, and for some it may be the only thing they read. Use your headline to say something important about your right-fit client or the way you help. In part 2, I told you that you need to identify and name 3 things: your potential client’s pain, their hope, and one key that helps them heal in therapy. Your headline should be a statement or a question that focuses on one or more of those three elements. Don’t try to summarize your entire practice in your headline. Say something simple that pulls your visitor to read further.  

 

Give a clear call to action. 

 

What do you want the visitor to do? Make that clear on every page. Your call to action may be to set up a free phone consultation, call you, or schedule online. Tell the visitor exactly what to do. Even if you have a contact page, you’ll also give a call to action on every page.

 

Create a logical structure for your site. 

 

There’s not one right way to structure your site. Imagine the journey of your right-fit client and consider what pages you’d most like them to see. Make those pages easy to find and linked at the top of your home page. Is there one specialty you want to focus on more than all others? Place that front and center so that your right-fit client can’t miss it. Ask a few different friends to look at your site while you’re sitting with them. Watch how they navigate your site and see if there’s anything you need to shift to make it easier or more logical.

 

Edit out any professional jargon. 

 

Who is your right-fit client? Unless they are a therapist, you’ve got to edit out the professional jargon. As therapists, we’re so used to talking about our work that we forget how much we’re speaking therapist.

 

Do a jargon audit, looking through every page and finding places where you’re using words most people don’t use often.

 

The one place on your site where some of those jargon words may belong is on your about me page. When you talk about your training and experience, you might use some words the average person wouldn’t be familiar with. When you use those words, explain what they mean. After your jargon audit, invite a friend who doesn’t speak therapist to read your copy. Ask them to point out any jargon you’ve missed.


 

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How To Write (Ridiculously Effective) Pages For Your Therapy Website, Part 2

writing pages for a therapy website

In my last post I went through the first 2 keys to writing ridiculously effective pages for your website. Let’s tackle 4 more. First, here's the whole list. 

  1. Identify your Superpowers
  2. Find your authentic writing style
  3. Write to a person (or a small group of people)
  4. Identify their pain
  5. Identify their hope
  6. Express what you believe about therapy
  7. Make each page simple
  8. Use headlines, not greetings
  9. Give a clear call to action
  10. Create a logical structure for your site
  11. Edit out any professional jargon

Now I’ll focus on the keys 3 through 6.

 

Write to a person (or a small group of people)

 

You’re trying to speak to everyone and you have to cut it out. When you write to everyone, you reach no one.

 

You invite an entire imaginary committee into your head as you write your website. You’ve got past clients, current clients, imaginary future clients, colleagues, mentors, family, friends, and even frenemies, all in your head, voicing their opinions about everything you write. You’re trying to please all of them and offend none of them.

 

You’ve got to write to a person or a very small group of people every time you write, and you’ve got to be willing NOT to please everyone else.

 

It’s ok if some of your friends or family members read your site and say “this site would really put me off.”

 

When my mother looked at my therapy site with its mention of “cutting edge therapy,” she said it would scare her away. That’s ok! She is different from my right-fit client. My center works with couples in the Bay Area who insist on the cutting edge for just about everything in their lives. My mom lives in a small town in Wisconsin, and she’d be looking for a different therapist.

 

Please ask your committee to leave your head. Instead, try writing to just one person or a very small group. In my Superpower program I take you through an in depth process called “the right-fit client exercise” to identify exactly who you need to be speaking to and how to speak their language. In that process, you choose actual people to design your business around and write your web copy for.

 

You may worry that you risk limiting yourself and excluding important potential clients if you get too specific.

 

That’s not likely. You are at risk though: for standing out. (See what I did there?)

 

Once you’ve figured out exactly who you’re writing to, and you’ve kicked everyone less helpful out of your head, you can try the next keys.

 

Identify their pain

 

Your right-fit client is asking: Does this therapist understand what I’m struggling with?

 

Write down what your right-fit client is struggling with. Don’t name every problem you can think of. Choose the things they are most distressed about when they choose to call you.

 

Describe that struggle in the words the client would use.

 

Let’s imagine a client named Becca. She’s in the middle of a break up and she’s in a depressive episode for the first time in her life. She’s feeling alone and hopeless.

 

Becca looks at 2 websites.

 

Website A names depression among a long list of other issues and then focuses on the methods the therapist uses.  Becca may keep searching and plan to come back later.

 

Website B talks about about what depression feels like and gets it right. Becca may go ahead and take the next step to make an appointment.

 

Take some time to sit with and write about the pain your right-fit client experiences when they are getting ready to make their first appointment with you. Use the words they would be likely to use.

 

Identify their hope

 

What’s on the other side of therapy? If the pain you’ve described is the before, what’s the after?

 

We’ll use Becca and her depression as our example again. If she’s struggling with depression now, what’s the hope? It’s not just a lack of depression.

 

Maybe she hopes to feel alive again. Maybe she hopes to enjoy the simple moments of life that feel flat for her right now. Maybe she hopes to find motivation to get important things done.

 

Think about the people you’ve helped work through their pain and come out the other side.  Write about the relief your work brought them.

 

Never oversell or guarantee results. Describe what is likely and possible.

 

Express what you believe about therapy

 

You’ve got strong opinions about therapy. You’ve got stuff to say about why therapy works and how your clients get better. Grab your laptop and write about one of those beliefs. This doesn’t have to be ground-breaking, and you don’t have to be the only person who holds this belief. Brene Brown wasn’t the first person who thought vulnerability was an important aspect of mental health. (Not that you have to be as compelling as Brene Brown. You really don’t.)

 

Make it simple and focus on one belief or opinion rather than several.

 

For example, perhaps you believe that one key to recovering from depression and awakening health is to speak one’s truth. In therapy, you give a lot of attention to helping your clients find and speak their truth. Name that.

 

I’m not done! Next time I’ll cover the final keys. If you ignore the last 5 keys, your copy might be pretty terrible. That’s not a scare tactic. I’m telling you because I love you and I want you to reach the clients who need you.

 

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How To Write (Ridiculously Effective) Pages For Your Therapy Website, Part 1

This is what you want to hear from your next client:

 

“As soon as I started reading your website, I knew you were the right therapist for me.”

 

When you hear this, you know your website did its job. Its job is simple: to convert your potential right-fit clients into actual clients.

 

You might be wrong about what it takes to get your website ready to do that job for you. (No offense. I used to be wrong about this too.)

 

You understand that you need to choose the platform (wordpress, squarespace or another). You know you need to choose a pleasant visual design and a great photo. If you haven’t done those things yet, you may be overestimating how much time and energy they’ll take. You can either create a simple and professional DIY site or you can hire someone to put it together for you. For my ideas on what to spend on your website, read this.

 

What you may underestimate is how much work it will take to write great copy (words) that will speak directly to your potential right-fit clients so that they understand that you are their ideal therapist.

 

Great copy is what it takes to hear those wonderful things from your next clients. Great copy is what your website needs to do its job. 

 

Without great copy, your website will be just ok. It hopefully won’t scare clients away, but it won’t convert many people either.

 

You could hire a copywriter. You could pay someone talented and experienced to write your pages for you. Before you do that, you should know that:

 

  1. A good copywriter will cost a lot.
  2. Even if you hire a copywriter, you’ll need to go through an extensive process to prepare the writer to take over the job.

 

Given the cost, most therapists choose to do their writing themselves. I’m dedicated to helping you write great copy. It’s a huge part of what we do in The Superpower Method For Therapists™ Program.

 

So let’s dive into HOW to create great copy for your therapy website:

 

The keys to writing a great therapy website

  1. Identify your Superpowers
  2. Find your authentic writing style
  3. Write to a person (or a small group of people)
  4. Identify their pain
  5. Identify their hope
  6. Express what you believe about therapy
  7. Make each page simple
  8. Use headlines, not greetings
  9. Give a clear call to action
  10. Create a logical structure for your site
  11. Edit out any professional jargon

 

I’ll go through the first 2 keys now.

 

Identify your Superpowers

 

What are your Superpowers?

 

What are the qualities that set you apart from other therapists and other people in general? When you’re in your zone of genius, what are you doing and how are you being with clients?

 

We dedicate an entire 2 weeks in my course to helping you identify and talk about your Superpowers.

 

A couple of the questions we explore in the course are:

 

  1. What would people who know you and love you the most say about how you relate to people?
  2. What do you stand for?

 

Describe what you’re like to work with and what sets you apart from other therapists. Emphasize what makes you different rather than what makes you better. You’ll say most of this on your about me page, and you may sprinkle it in other pages too. You’ll use very little real estate on your site to talk about yourself, so choose those words well.

 

(It’s your website so why will you say so little about yourself? Because 90% of your website should be about your client’s struggle and journey.)

 

Use your authentic voice

 

Copying someone else’s writing style won’t work.

 

Have you ever observed someone else communicating in a certain way and thought, “That is working really well for them. I should communicate that way.” If you’ve tried it, you know it just falls flat.

 

You do you.

 

The words on your site should be written in your authentic voice, the way you communicate when you’re at your best. Maybe you’re funny, emotional, mindful, concrete, calm, or fierce. You might stand up passionately or speak gently. When you communicate with your authentic voice, you’re powerful.

 

Here’s an example of two therapists who specialize in working with clients struggling with depression. (I made these folks up).

 

Tina is a goal oriented, energetic therapist. On her site she says:

“You shouldn’t have to wait any longer to feel better. If you’re ready to jump in, take action and make some real changes, I might be the therapist for you. ”

 

Tarika is a gentle, thoughtful therapist. On her site she says:

“You’re suffering. It’s time to slow down and stop pushing. I will help you lean into your natural wisdom.”  

 

There are as many authentic voices as there are therapists.

 

Before you start writing or overhauling your website, find yours.

 

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Tips For Creating A Great Therapy Website, Video Interview with Kat Love

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If you're creating or revamping your website, you want to hear what Kat Love has to say. She's a web designer who builds sites just for therapists, and she was generous enough to allow me to pick her brain.

 

Warning: You’ll wish you’d seen this before you created your website!

 

Below are some gems from the interview. 

 

One common misconception:

 

A common misconception is that your web designer will create your entire site. Web designers don’t create the written content for your site. You need to have your content prepared before the designer begins. You can work with a copywriter who will create the content for you, or you can go through the process of creating that content yourself.

 

Therapists usually underestimate how much time and energy it takes to write even one good page for a site. Strategizing, writing, and editing good content is time consuming.

 

Mistakes Kat sees therapists making over and over again:

 

Many therapists have a lack of clarity about what’s necessary in terms of both design and functionality on your website. For example, having share buttons on a services page distracts the visitor from reading about how you can help them. It sends the wrong message to ask the visitor to share your services page on social media. It’s important to think carefully about what you want to invite your visitor to do.

 

More is NOT always better.

 

When your visitor is pulled in many directions on your website, they are less likely to take the right next step. Having too many calls to action leads to paralysis. You as the professional need to guide your visitor to the next thing they should do on your site.

 

Your website is often the first impression a potential client has of you.

 

If they arrive on your site and experiences chaos and overwhelm, they might expect to feel that way in therapy with you. If they go to your site and find the experience clear and comfortable, they will expect to find therapy with you clear and comfortable too.

 

Advice about images:

 

Images are really important. They communicate on a different level from anything else. Colors, layouts, spacing, and copy matter, but images are in their own category because they are so quickly understood and felt. We need to be thoughtful when we choose images.

 

Three categories of images to use on your site:

 

  1. Images that validate their experience: For example, if you’re working with people who struggle with depression, you would use images that connect with what depression feels like.

  2. Destination images: These images represent where the visitor wants to be. For the example of depression, you might choose images that bring up feelings of calm, balance, or freedom. Feel into what your ideal clients desire in their life and choose images to reflect those things.  

  3. Calming images: These are more emotionally neutral. They promote a sense of trust and don’t elicit emotional activation. One example of a calming image would be a beach.

 

From these 3 categories, choose images that speak to the entire journey your potential clients travel through in therapy with you.

 

The process you use when choosing your images is similar to the process you need to use when you write your copy. You need to identify the pain your clients experience, the gains your clients hope for, and the solution you offer.

 

Before You Hire A Designer:

 

If you’ve got a do-it-yourself website and want to work with a designer to bring your site to the next level, here are some things you can do to prepare and have a better result.

 

  1. Clarity: Get clarity around what it is you do and who you serve. If you’re clear on who you are trying to attract and how you serve them, you’ve got the foundation for everything you create in your business, including your website

  2. Copy: Assess what’s working on your current site and what isn’t. Evaluate whether your copy is actually speaking to your ideal client. Answer these questions: Is your navigation easy or difficult? Is your organization of content logical? Look at what’s on each page from the visitor’s point of view. (and remember you can hire help for this!)  

  3. Design: Think about the color, images, and layout. See what’s working and not working with the design on your current site. Research by visiting other websites and tracking your emotions when you see different things. (How do you feel when you look at a website that is bright red?) When you hire your designer, you’ll be the best client ever, and they’ll really be able to help you create an effective site.

Links

You're gonna want more from Kat. 

Here's her article about how to choose images for your website. 

Kat Love's website: KatLove.com

 

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Copy On Your Therapy Website: Less Is More

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When it comes to copy on your therapy website, less is more.

 

When I say “copy,” I’m talking about the words on your site, such as your home page, your about me page, and your services pages.

 

I know it’s hard to keep it simple. You do so many things as a therapist. You help people with so many different kinds of problems, and you’re trained in so many methods.

 

It takes a lot of words to describe all that.

 

Luckily, describing everything you do is NOT the job of your website. 

 

The job of your website is to help your right-fit clients get a sense of whether you will understand them, whether they will feel comfortable with you, and whether you will be able to help them.

 

One way to help a potential client feel comfortable is to give them a clear and simple experience on your website. 

 

What if you have a lot to share with your potential clients?

 

There’s room for that in the form of articles or blog posts. Some potential clients like to read more. You can give them a chance to access more content if you have a blog or articles on your website.

 

That’s where you can tell your potential clients all about the different issues you work with, the methods you use, and everything that you think they might like to know.

 

If you follow my advice and start editing down the pages on your site, save everything you edit out on a separate document. You might find that you’ve got enough left over content to start writing some articles right now.

 

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Free Webinar: Improve Your Website Now

You want to fill your practice. You've got a website or you're ready to create one. There's so much information out there about how to build an online presence for your psychotherapy practice, and you don't have time to weed through all of it. I'm going to help you get started in just 30 minutes. You'll walk away knowing how to start making your site better. Will you learn everything you need to know about creating a great online presence in 30 minutes? Of course not! But let's get started.  

Make your website more effective at attracting YOUR ideal clients right away.  

In this free webinar, you'll learn how to 

  • Create an effective headline for your site
  • Fix the most common home page mistakes
  • Create the kind of language that helps YOUR clients know you're their therapist
  • Get more potential clients to become actual clients

Get your most burning questions answered too! 

 LET'S GET THIS DONE TOGETHER.

You can build a private practice full of motivated, cash paying clients. This is one important step in that direction. 

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Need A Better Home Page For Your Therapy Practice?

When you write the copy for your therapy practice website, especially your home page, you should always speak directly to your ideal clients. The entire purpose of your home page is to convince that person in his or her moment of need to take the next step to work with you. Get comfortable with ignoring everyone else. Focus on what your ideal clients are thinking and feeling in the moment when they are ready to hire a therapist.

 Here’s a little exercise to help you get started in creating that language.

Think of one therapy client you enjoyed working with or were fulfilled by working with. If you could work with someone like this every day, you would love your practice.

 1.    How would that person describe the pain she was in or the problems she was experiencing when she realized it was time to find a therapist.

2.    How would she describe the hope she had about how therapy could help?

 Answer those questions for at least 3 different clients until you see patterns or trends. Use your answers to help you create your home page.

 Your home page will speak to two main things: PAIN and HOPE. You’ve got to cover those before you describe anything about you or the therapy you offer.

 Which one should you start with: pain or hope?

Think about which your ideal clients tend to identify with. If you treat depression, your ideal client is extremely aware of pain, and will likely feel understood by seeing pain described first. If you provide premarital couples therapy, your clients may resonate more with hope.

 Why shouldn’t you focus on you or your services on your home page?

Your ideal client isn’t going to your page because they want therapy. No offense, but almost no one wants therapy. What your client wants is relief from pain or increased happiness or fulfillment. When she has read through half of your home page, before she does any scrolling down, she should feel more understood. When she feels that you get what she’s going through, she’ll breathe a little bit more easily. Then she’ll be ready to find out a little bit about you and what you offer.

 Do you need some help creating a great, client-attracting website? Apply for a free consultation now.  

The Top 10 Questions Therapists Ask Me...#8

This is part of a series of blog posts: The Top 10 Questions Therapists Ask Me.

#8: What kind of website works to attract clients?

Once your potential client is on your site, what works to attract them to your practice? (You also need to be concerned about getting people TO your site, but that is a different topic). I’ll give you 5 places where therapists often mess up, and how to do them right.

1.     A great headline

You need to reach your client in the moment when they are in pain, looking for a therapist. You need to know who you work best with and enjoy working with the most, and create your headline to speak directly to that person. This headline will be a question or a statement that speaks to what they are feeling or needing in the moment when they are searching for you.  For example, you don’t want your headline to be “My office is a safe place.” That’s not speaking to their pain. Your headline will be something closer to: “Do you feel like depression has taken the energy and hope out of your life?” Your headline as well as the rest of your website will NOT speak to everyone, and it shouldn’t.

2.     A great photo

The photo is even more important than the headline. Your photo should be warm, welcoming, and show that you’re happy to be doing this work. Look at the camera and smile in a way that is natural. Think about someone or something that makes you happy so that you capture your real smile. Hire a photographer who has some headshots you like. It is an investment, and it will pay off. If you’re in the bay area, check out Portraits to the People. They photograph a lot of therapists and make the experience painless.

3.     A clear call to action

Tell your potential client what to do next. Make it clear that the next step is to sign up for a free consultation, or to call you or email you. Make that bold and easy to follow. Don’t hide your phone number at the bottom of the page in fine print. I recommend having a clear place they can click to set up a consultation. It can either lead them to an online scheduler or to a contact submission form on your site. These are actions people can take in the moment when they are on your site.

4.     The 80/20 rule

Eighty percent of the content on your site should be about your client: their experience, their pain, and the hope they are looking for. Only twenty percent of the content should be about you: your methods, your credentials, and why you’re the best therapist for them. They want to know that you get them and what they are dealing with.

5.     Your superpower

Your site should reflect who you are. Your superpower is that thing that makes you different from every other therapist out there. Make sure that your site reflects that. Let it come out in the way you write, in your photo, in your about me page, and even in the colors you choose.  Don’t avoid turning some people off. That’s part of attracting the clients who are right for YOU.

 

Next week I’ll answer the question: What numbers do I need to track in my practice?