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Writing Effective Copy for Your Counseling Website: Share Your Hopes

Writing Effective Copy for Your Counseling Website

When creating an online presence (much like in our therapy sessions) it is essential to put the needs of clients first.

But all too often we create websites for us and our colleagues and we miss the important opportunity to create connection and trust with prospective clients.  

This is part of an on-going series to help you refine your counseling website copy to reach the right clients and create meaningful connections online- before they ever set foot in your office.  

If you want to continue the conversation about integrity-based (not salesy) marketing in private practice, join the Authentic Marketing for Therapists in Private Practice private facebook group to learn from like-minded supportive colleagues.

 

Take a look at your ongoing clients- the big successes.  Think about the growth and development you've seen in them and the changes that have developed over time.  What have you hoped for them?  What do you dream for them?

Take five minutes to free write (which means no editing, just free flow writing) on the question below.  Notice what comes up, how you feel, and what most of all what messages show up for your clients.

 
Counseling Website | Private Practice Website | Therapist Website
 

Your website is one place to share this kind of caring message with your clients.  You may not want to share your free write verbatim, but check in with yourself to see if the hopes you hold for clients are evident in your website copy.  

If they're clearly demonstrated on your site congratulations!  You're one step closer to reaching the right clients.  

If not, how can you tweak the copy to include more of your hopes for them?  Take a fre minutes this week to add in your hopes.  


About the Author:

After starting two successful private practices right out of graduate school, other therapists started calling on Gina Senarighi for marketing help.  

Today she coffers business coaching for health providers who want to build and online presence in private practice with authenticity.  Her business coaching clients appreciate her enthusiastic encouragement and unique ability to make the overwhelm of social media, blogging, and website writing easy to manage.  

Join her business coaching for therapists group, to find supportive community and efficiently fill your practice.  

 

The Four Biggest Social Media Mistakes Made by Therapists

Four Social Media Mistakes Therapists  AMplified Practice Coaching for Therapists.jpg

Lots of therapists want to start using social media to increase the reach of their online presence.  

But starting out on the wrong foot in social media can leave you spinning your wheels with ineffective strategy. 

All too often private practice counselors jump in too quickly and make one of these four mistakes in social media.  I'll outline them below to help you stay on the right track:

 

1.     Breaking Promises

Creating a consistent and credible online presence can really help you build trust with prospective clients.  This means following through on agreements can help build rapport even when you're not present.  

Unfortunately, it can also break trust and diminish credibility if you miss the mark.  

Case in point: breaking promises.  

When you create social media profiles for your business and especially when you link them to your website you are offering them as an opportunity for clients to connect.  

So if you aren't using the social media profile anymore, never have, or step away for a while it leaves a gap for the client.  

To keep your social media promises in this sense all you have to do is commit to posting daily on whatever platform you share with clients.  If you're not ready to commit to that kind of social media availability, wait until you are to move into this arena.

2.     Poor Boundaries

Boundaries are one of the biggest concerns most counselors face when considering social media marketing.  We worry about crossover from our personal accounts to our professional relationships.  

For this reason it's important you identify which accounts you want to use to market your practice and post only professional content. This increases credibility and helps keep a consistent message for prospective clients who want to work with you.

3.      Offputting Privacy Settings

The other way therapists often mis-use social media is by setting the wrong privacy boundaries.  Accounts on Twitter and Instagram you have the option for you to make your profile private.  When you are set on private others can see your profile picture, name, and that your profile is private.  

This is a great option if you plan to use the account for your personal life only.  It works well for twitter and instagram specifically because there really is no privacy on those sites if you choose to use them.  

However, if you want to direct your clients there either through links on your site or by using your therapy business name  or credentials in your account having a private account is confusing to your prospective clients.

This privacy block confuses prospective clients who think you're using twitter and instagram marketing and resource sharing.  For example, instead of using "Gina Senarighi MFT CPC" as my account name I might use "Gina Senarighi" only to help avoid crossover.  And instead of linking it to my professional website or email signature, I would only share it with friends and family.

Remember, even with your privacy set on these accounts twitter and instagram own the things you share and they can change their privacy settings anytime.  To be on the safe side I recommend you don't share anything you don't want clients to find online.  

4.     Wrong Target

The final social media mistake I see counselors in private practice making is simply not knowing who they are marketing to.  You can always create a strong presence online with social media casting a wide net, but each social media platform has a different reputation with specific audiences.  You can spend a lot of time and energy with little return this way.

If you want a more effective strategy you want to take time to research the different social media available and the audiences who engage most.  Some populations are online more than others and some platforms are more popular with teens or women while others are focused on tech professionals or social media geeks.  

 

Social media can definitely support your private practice growth.  Having a clear plan can help you use social media wisely to market your practice.  Take time creating a plan to you can make the most of your time using these great tools.  

If you want 1:1 help creating a social media plan that reaches the right clients for your practice schedule a consultation with me now.  I am happy to help.  

And if you want a supportive community to talk through marketing ideas join the conversation on the private Authentic Marketing for Therapists in Private Practice facebook group.


Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

25 Writing Prompts to Start Your Counseling Practice Website

Writing Prompts for Therapy Sites | Therapist Websites | Amplified Practice Business Coaching for Therapists

Getting the ball rolling when you start your DIY Counseling Website is not easy.  Most the clients I help with websites really struggle to create copy (writing on your website) that's engaging and clear for potential counseling clients.  

It is really easy to write boring uninspired copy using tons of jargon on a counseling site.  While it may be factual, it certainly isn't engaging for prospective therapy clients.  

Today's clients read your site- and when they do they aren't looking for the basic facts, they want to get a feel for your voice and they way you work.   

Use the website copy prompts below to get the creativity flowing.  If you can commit to spending five minutes free writing responses to each prompt they will help you clarify the messages you want to share online.  

If you want 1:1 help creating copy for your site schedule a consultation with me to see if I can help your new counseling practice grow in the direction of your dreams. 

  1. What I love about counseling...

  2. Why I started out in the field of mental health...

  3. Why I continue working as a therapist now...

  4. Three personal things I can share with clients without worrying about ethical concerns are...

  5. I went to school to learn...

  6. Counseling sessions with me are unique because...

  7. I believe psychotherapy can change people by...

  8. What I want clients to feel after working with me...

  9. I get inspired by clients who...

  10. The most incredible transformations I have seen in clients are...

  11. If I had to pick five words to describe my ideal clients they are...

  12. One truth I know about my ideal clients is...

  13. I know my clients really struggle with...

  14. When my client is up all night worrying, they're thinking...

  15. When my client daydreams about a better future they see...

  16. The change my client is seeking is...

  17. When my current clients describe counseling with me they say...

  18. My client's biggest concern is...

  19. My client's have already tried things to fix this problem.  They've tried...

  20. My client's greatest strength is...

  21. Most of my client needs to know...

  22. When we are done working together I hope my clients...

  23. Three resources I share most often are...

  24. My greatest hopes for long-term clients are...

  25. My work impacts the world by...

Try using these prompts and see how they help you re-imagine your website copy today.  

If you want a group of supportive professionals to bounce writing ideas off join the private Authentic Marketing for Therapists facebook group and share a sample!


Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

Six Resources for Online Counseling in Private Practice

Six Essential Resources to Provide Online Counseling | Virtual Counseling | HIPPA Online Counseling

So you're considering offering online counseling to grow your private practice.  This can be a great way to offer you and your clients some flexibility and ease of access to services.

But before you begin there are a few considerations and resources you're going to want to check out to be sure you're offering confidential and ethical services.  

Your Starting Place for All Things New and Exciting

As with any major change in your practice moving online has specific implications depending on where you are practicing.  Each US state and many national countries have their own unique provisions related to virtual counseling.  Without guidance it can get confusing so find the Licensing Board in your area to start on the right path.  

I highly recommend reading more on HIPPA compliance and ethics concerns from Roy Huggins at Person-Centered Tech.

Distance Counseling Training and Online Therapy Certifications

Before starting services you might want to consider getting some real training in the considerations, ethics, and technology implications for you and your clients.  Both the Zur Institute and the Center for Credentialing and Education offer Distance Credentialed Counselor Certifications to help you really know what you're doing.   

HIPPA-Ready Video Chat Platforms for Online Counseling

Once you have checked with your board and feel equipped with training there are HIPPA compliant platforms to consider as you begin online counseling.  It is essential to use a service that takes client privacy seriously.  

Check out the list below for three options on pricing and features:

Combating Isolation

Before you begin actual client work you might want to consider getting professional support in the form of supervision (check with your licensing board for credentialed supervisors in your area) and collegial community.  

There are many online professional groups for therapists working in this arena and finding one can be incredibly useful for your long-term plans in the field of online counseling.  

Best of luck to you on this new online endeavor!


Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

The Basics of SEO for Therapist Websites

SEO stands for search engine optimization- it's how you make sure clients can find you when they search for you on google (or bing, or yahoo).

If you want to connect with clients you need a website, but you also need it to be found.

Google is the best referral source you can partner with.  It will send you clients 24/7 for free without ever meeting you.  SEO is how you nurture that relationship.

Here's how:

Eleven Therapists to Follow on Twitter

Therapists on Twitter | Amplified Practice Authentic Marketing & Business Coaching for Therapists

One of the concerns I hear most frequently from therapists is how to use social media for private practice and remain professional and ethical.  

Fortunately, there are many great examples of psychologists and counselors who are using social media ethically and have built a solid following.  

I often refer to the professionals listed here as role models of great twitter use by psychotherapists.  

11 Therapists to Follow on Twitter

@DrCraigMalkin – 18.1K followers

Craig Malkin might look familiar due to his regular publications, syndication, and TV appearances. Dr. Malkin earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2000.  One of his subjects of particular note is narcissism, and his 2013 article “Five Early Warning Signs You’re with a Narcissist” ended up going viral. Malkin’s book on the same topic is scheduled for release in 2015, but in the meantime his updates can be found on Twitter.

@KimBlackham - 5.4K followers

Kim Blackham LMFT doesn't have the same large following or years of experience as the others on this list, but I felt it important to mention her.  I have been following her twitter use for some time and am impressed at the sheer volume of quality content she posts both by sharing her own and retweeting others.  I have seen her following grow enormously in the short time I have known her and I am confident her following will soon outrank the others on this list.

@STurkle – 14.8K followers

Sherry Turkle’s area of interest is particularly relevant to our current era. She discusses people’s relationship to technology, so her Twitter feed is regularly filled with interesting tech-info. Turkle has written a number of books – such as Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other – and frequently appears in the media discussing claims that our fast-paced technological world may be leaving us lonelier and less able to really communicate with one another.

@MelissaMcCreery – 15.5K followers

Melissa McCreery investigates the psychology behind overeating based on her research as a Ph.D. and an M.A. in clinical psychology from Michigan State University. McCreery set up the website toomuchonherplate.com, which provides women with a tailored program to help them have power over their relationship with food. Her Twitter feed is an accessible selection of inspiring quotes, links and updates to aid dieters on their journey. 

@PsyBlog – 22.1K followers

Jeremy Dean established his PsyBlog website in 2004, and it has since gone on to attain more than one million hits a month. It has also been recognized by high-profile media outlets such as the BBC, the Los Angeles TimesThe Guardian, and The New York Times, among others. Dean decided to launch the site after becoming aware of the lack of intelligent and accessible news with a psychological slant. 

@Julie_Hanks - 10.9K followers

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, MSW, LCSW is a self-care evangelist, author, relationship expert, media contributor, blogger, speaker, songwriter, and licensed therapist with 20 year experience counseling women, couples and families. In addition to owning Wasatch Family Therapy, LLC and serving as executive director, Hanks is an emotional health and relationship expert on TV and radio. She also authored the book The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women.

@neuropsychblog – 29.8K followers

Psychology blogger Anthony Risser can be found writing at his BrainBlog website,neuropsychological.blogspot.com. Here, he provides educational articles to his readers, many of whom are students.  Risser has many years’ experience in the field of clinical neuropsychology and achieved his Ph.D. in the subject from the University of Victoria in 2004. His twitter following growth in a short time period is truly remarkable.

@amplifiedgood - 11.3K followers

Yeah, okay this is me from my private practice site, Amplified Good, but I thought this list could seem a little intimidating, I mean, all these folks have been at it for years.  That said, I think I am holding my own, in one year on twitter I grew my following from 0 to 2100, and in the last two months with focus I boosted well past my goal of 10K.  Check out my feed to see what I am doing with the social media knowledge I have gained.  

@DrMelanieG – 36.3K followers

Melanie Greenberg has a private clinic in California and is recognized worldwide for her work on  chronic pain, trauma, stress and coping strategies. She completed her psychology bachelor’s degree in South Africa and earned her Ph.D. at New York’s Stony Brook University. She has more than 50 academic pieces to her name and played a role in drawing up national protocols for the treatment of long-term pain. Greenberg is prolific on Twitter, having tweeted over 76,000 times.  She is also known as a role model for women in the field of social media for her use of twitter.

@drkkolmes – 87.5K followers

Keely Kolmes is an avid Twitter user – which is perhaps not surprising, considering the fact that one of her key research areas investigates the clinical and ethical concerns surrounding the internet and psychotherapy. This is precisely who she makes an excellent model to follow.  Kolmes owns a clinic in San Francisco where she treats clients for anxiety, sexual concerns, grief,  and more. In 2003 she obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology. She is an advisory member of Without My Consent, a hub of information and debate on online privacy incursions.

@RichardWiseman – 132K followers

Richard Wiseman started his career as a magician before taking up a degree in psychology at University College London and earning a psychology doctorate at the University of Edinburgh. He has been described as “the most interesting and innovative experimental psychologist in the world today.” He is currently Professor of Psychology at England’s University of Hertfordshire and has written half a dozen books discussing topics such as the paranormal, self-help, psychology and luck.  Needless to say, his tweets make very fascinating reading.

 

If you're interested in connecting with other therapists about social media use and authentic marketing for private practice join our Authentic Marketing for Therapists Facebook group. 

 
 



Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.

Find Your Purpose in Counseling Private Practice

Why Private Practice Counseling | Amplified Practice Authentic Marketing & Business Coaching for Therapists

Start With Why, by Simon Sinek is a one of the best books you can read on founding your business with clear purpose.  

If you don't have time to read the whole book, use the link (image below) to watch his inspirational TED talk on the same topic.  

There are two HUGE ways I see Start With Why applying to life in private practice:

1.  If you are clear about your why clients will connect with that authenticity.

The bottom line is, the clearer you can be about your purpose, and the clearer you are in communicating that purpose to clients the more they will be attracted to your work. 

2.  If you are clear about your why you can also be clear about who you can't help (and you can refer those folks to therapists who are a better fit)

If you know who you are- it becomes clearer who you aren't.  It is unethical to tell clients you can support them if you truly cannot.  Be clear and connect them to someone who has the right fit.  There are plenty of clients out there searching for all of us.  


If you want help getting clear on the WHO associated with your WHY I made a free mini e-course that has helped hundreds of therapists get clear on who they might serve best.  Click the image below for more information.


successful therapist practice | counseling practice | find clients

Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.  

Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media. 

Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.   

Join her Daring Way for Therapists Retreat or online coaching community for therapists and start building the practice of your dreams.