One of the biggest mistakes I see in private practice today is believing the myth you can have a prosperous therapy business without a website.
While that may be true for businesses fifteen years ago, it is simply not realistic for counselors in private practice today.
Even if you have a robust facebook page or psychology today profile, a website is essential to a successful practice.
There are a number of reasons you need a website. I'll outline those below.
Why you need a website:
1. To reach more clients
Modern clients use the internet
Clients use the internet to search for everything now. They are going to use it to find you. If you don't have a site you are missing hundreds of opportunities to connect with prospective therapy clients.
Although you may not be on call- your web site is. A site never stops working for you. Even if clients are searching for you at 3:00 A.M. they can find resources you've shared and ways to connect during business hours.
2. To increase your credibility
Having a website is a great way for your to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to prospective clients and referral sources.
Give information generously
One great way to support prospective clients (even those you never work with) is to provide useful information on your website. Having a site creates a space for your to offer tools, links, and other resources for folks who are suffering- even if you never meet!
This is one way to help people who cannot afford counseling, or who may not engage for quote some time to try implementing change in their lives on their own. You can support them well before they decide to become a client.
Demonstrate your training and expertise
Sharing information so generously allows potential clients to see all the tools and resources you know about specific topic areas.
Clients come to us because they want tools- so share some! Blogging, offering worksheets, recording meditations, sharing resources all demonstrate the wealth of training and knowledge you are able to share with new clients.
3. To create clarity with new counseling clients
You want your clients to have a clear idea of what your work is like, and what to expect from sessions.
Provide expectations, forms, guidelines
One of the best outcomes of having my website updated is having clear expectations for new clients outlined. All my forms and professional disclosure information is easy to find and my specializations are clear for referral sources and colleagues.
The more specific I became in my site- the better fit the clients were who found me.
4. To build trust and rapport with therapy clients
Offer consistency to build trust
We all know, building trust is essential with clients in therapy. Having a clear and reliable website, branding blog, and social media plan allows clients to see consistency in your message and grow trust before you ever meet.
5. To demonstrate empathy when your clients need it most
Let your clients know you understand
If nothing else, you want your potential clients to leave your website feeling understood. Get clear about who you want to work with (and who you work best with) and what they are most looking for when they search for you.
Use the copy (writing) on your site to express understanding and offer tools and resources that will help then with the problem they are focused on.
Building a website doesn't have to be difficult- or cost a ton of money. If you'd like help building an easy to use private practice website contact me for a consultation- I would love to help!
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.