Stop Lying to Yourself (and Start Getting Your Full Fee as a Private Practice Therapist)!

A guest post written by Liz Miller, LPC, LMHC, NCC

You did it! You hung out your shingle and started your private practice counseling business. And at first, it’s great just to start seeing your new clients. A private practice! You’re doing this thing!

Except that your list of “reduced fee” clients is growing, or your full fee was never exactly that “full” a fee to begin with. Why? Because deep down you’re afraid that if you charge what you’re worth, the phone will stop ringing. Or worse, you don’t know what you’re worth as a therapist.

In this article I’ll share with you 3 questions to help you value your private practice and get paid your full fee.

In this article I’ll share with you 3 questions to help you value your private practice and get paid your full fee.

Fear of failure leads new private practice clinicians to devalue their services, creating a vicious cycle.

When you ask for lower fees, you get them. Then you struggle and the fear of failure increases.

As a clinician, you’re used to helping clients realize that we “teach people how to treat us.” But, the same is true of you as a business owner! The problem is that you don’t realize what therapy is worth to your clients, so you set low fees based on faulty assumptions and create self-fulfilling prophecies.

What if you challenged your own assumptions the way you ask clients to challenge theirs?

When you work with clients who don’t see their own worth and aren’t getting what they want out of life—in their jobs, in their marriages—you teach them to challenge their self-limiting or distorted beliefs and assumptions, don’t you?

What if you did the same thing for yourself in your business?

You have razor sharp CBT skills as a therapist. Use them!

What are the self-limiting—and business-limiting—beliefs that cause you to undervalue your work?

First, brainstorm all the reasons you tell yourself you can’t raise your rates or ask your clients to pay them.

If I raise my rates or require full fees:

  • Clients won’t be able to afford therapy.
  • Other therapists will believe I’m greedy or only profit-driven.
  • I’ll be violating my own desire to help people.
  • The phone will stop ringing, clients won’t come, and my business will fail.

Next, ask yourself some tried-and-true CBT questions as if your own therapist was asking them, and get brutally honest with yourself as you answer:

 

Am I examining all the evidence, or only what reinforces my belief?

While some clients might struggle to pay the fee I need to create a successful practice, it’s also true that many self-pay therapists have thriving businesses, so there is evidence that many clients can pay full fee.

 

Could my belief be an exaggeration of what’s true?

It’s true that a few individuals could look down on me for creating an abundant lifestyle through my full-fee private practice, but many more will understand that my successful business will allow me to give generously within my community.

 

Would others have different perspectives on this situation? What are they?

Many business owners in other fields—from law and architecture to plumbing and home building—understand that a successful business allows them to extend pro bono services to more people, not fewer. And, a successful business helps them employ others, too.

 

Is this thought black and white, or is it more complicated?

If others have created successful private pay practices, could my reluctance to charge well for my services be about more than a simple marketing analysis? For example, if I’m assuming no one in my smaller community will pay my full fee, and I find that other private pay therapists in small communities are charging more than I am, what are they doing that makes it work for some, but not other therapists?

 

Did someone else impress me with this belief, and if so, are there others I respect who would challenge it?

Where did I get my own money stories, anyway? Are my doubts and fears really my own, or have I willingly adopted someone else’s narrative?

 

Finally, get crystal clear on what you are really providing for your clients.

 

When you’re talking to a prospective client, and the lump in your throat is threatening your ability to state your full fee with confidence, remember:

You are NOT charging your full fee for one hour of psychotherapy. (Please repeat that!)

You are giving the human being on the other end of the line the skills and self-knowledge to:

  • Recover from the addiction that’s been ravaging their life for years so that they can restore their family and live to see their children get married.
  • Restore a loving, life-giving, fruitful bond with their spouse, which is empirically proven to increase longevity, health, well-being, and even financial security for themselves and their children.
  • Exchange anxiety or depression for a confident and joyful life, with all the implications that holds for their careers, families, and ability to serve their communities.

You are providing the opportunity for nothing less than a changed, restored life. This is what your full fee covers.

Are these outcomes worth the price of a semester of college, a weeklong trip to Disneyworld, or selling something on Craigslist while cutting their cable service for a few months?

Are these outcomes worth it to your reduced fee clients who are able to access your services because your thriving full-fee practice supports them? What about all the other outcomes that result from your philanthropic giving as a successful entrepreneur?

 

Take these 3 steps to change your perspective and start earning your full fee:

  1. Put on your CFO hat and get serious about understanding your finances. There are lots of resources available to help you understand what your gross income—and fee—needs to be to support the life you want, based on the expenses and needs of your business.
  2. Once you know the fee you need to charge, get ruthless about focusing on the evidence that supports your goals, not just your fears. Interview other therapists, get peer support in an online forum, and find out what successful full-fee therapists do to create a thriving practice.
  3. Finally, practice stating your full fee with confidence, reviewing first what your fee really provides both you and your family, and your clients.

Remember:

It’s as scary to face a struggling practice every day as it is to take a deep breath and state your full fee with confidence.

If you’re going to be out of your comfort zone whichever way you go, why not go for it? You might just get the practice of your dreams!

 

About Liz Miller

Liz Miller, LPC, LMHC, NCC is a private practice therapist in Moscow, Idaho, who is passionate about helping committed couples repair painful marriages, and helping individuals heal from trauma and create courage, meaning, and freedom in their lives. When she’s not working, she can be found walking her dog, playing guitar, or camped next to a river.  She is happiest outdoors in places where she can see the Milky Way.

Visit Liz at lizmillercounseling.com

How to Convert Private Practice Blog Readers into Paying Clients

Blogging is a great way to increase the traffic coming to your private practice website. But how can you turn that traffic into paying clients and grow your therapy practice?

In this article, I’ll share with you 5 ways you can increase your chances of converting blog readers into paying clients.

Blogging is a great way to increase the traffic coming to your private practice website. But how can you turn that traffic into paying clients and grow your therapy practice? In this article, I’ll share with you 5 ways you can increase your chances of converting blog readers into paying clients.

1: Consistently Create Blog Content for Your Potential Therapy Clients

Sometimes I feel a bit like a broken record on this one… but that’s ok.

Consistency is key!

You must be consistent with your content marketing (blogging) in order to see true impact on your traffic.

As your traffic increases, so do opportunities to create new clients.

When you’re constantly adding new content to your website, you’re doing a few crucial things:

  1. You’re increasing the amount of pages that Google is indexing on your website. This could mean an improvement in search rankings.
  2. You’re also increasing the amount of keywords you’ll be ranking for which, once again, can improve your chances of being found in search engines.
  3. You’re demonstrating your authority and trustworthiness by sharing a wealth of knowledge on subjects that your potential clients are concerned with.
  4. You’re giving potential clients more reasons to stick around on your website and form a connection with you.

I must also stress that consistent does not necessarily mean weekly.

Consistent means what works for you, so long as it becomes part of your routine for marketing your private practice and adds new content to your website over time.

If you’re finding it difficult to stay consistent, it’s time to come up with a game plan.

Schedule some time into your calendar where you can focus on coming up with new ideas for blogs as well as time for writing them.

If you want to learn how I’ve managed to stay consistent with my own blogging, check out this post: Blogging for Therapists: 3 Simple Steps to Blog Consistently

2: Include A Bold Call To Action on Each Blog Post

Your website content should take users and potential clients on a journey.

What do I mean by this?

You want to lead your users through stages of familiarity with you and your services.

When they first come to your website or find one of your blog posts, they may have never heard of you.

So, they read your words, click around your website and get a sense of your services and who you are… they get to know you a bit.

Then, when they decide it’s time to reach out and learn even more, they’re taking the next step in getting to know you and actually beginning a relationship with you by calling or emailing you.

Hopefully that conversation leads to them becoming a client.

In order to get a potential client to take that next step, you have to give them the opportunity to do so.

People need direction.

So, give them a clear and simple call to action at the end of each blog post.

Encourage them to take whatever next step you’d like them to take to move your relationship with them to a new level.

Many therapists like to offer a free 20-minute phone consultation while others give away a free resource in exchange for an email.

Here are a couple examples of bold calls to action from a few recent clients of mine:

call to action private practice

cta lori buckley

cta liz miller

3: Give Something Away

A great way to build trust, serve a population and nurture potential clients is to offer them something of value absolutely free.

This is where being generous pays off.

If you truly want to help your population of ideal clients, find ways to serve them whether they become a client of yours or not.

This can create a great connection with potential clients and showcase your expertise, which may keep you in mind for when they are ready to reach out for therapy.

Some things you could give away to attract potential clients:

  • A PDF checklist on a topic
  • An e-book
  • A video that teaches potential clients about a topic they are concerned with
  • Free consultation calls
  • A PDF resource with lots of information on a specific issue your clients may be dealing with

You could get very creative with what you could give away.

The key is to make it something that your potential clients can’t ignore.

It should be something that would be very valuable to them and meets them right where they’re at – which is often struggling to overcome a certain challenge in their life.

You can help them get one step closer to freedom and give them a reason to call you when they’re ready to go even further by becoming your client.

4: Offer Solutions to Your Clients’ Pain Points

Why even have a blog in the first place?

Is it just to get more clients?

That’s certainly one of the main reasons we jump into blogging and content marketing.

But just like the last tip, at the core of what you do must be a desire to help people overcome whatever it is that’s holding them back.

Isn’t that why you got into therapy in the first place?

So, when you write blog posts, focus on the specific pain points and issues you love to help your clients overcome.

Use your blog as a way to educate potential clients and showcase your expertise.

If you help someone, whether they’re a client or not, this creates an appreciation and affection for you as a person.

That could certainly lead to more clients in the future.

With every blog post, try and focus on a specific lesson, skill or bit of information that can help your potential clients overcome a pain point in their life.

Create small wins for them now so you can hopefully create big wins for them later when they come in for therapy as your client.

5: Eliminate the Distractions

As a web designer devoted to folks in private practice, I’ve reviewed many therapy websites.

One of the biggest mistakes I see therapists make with their websites is having too many distractions.

We live in busy times, where people’s attention spans are extremely short.

When presented with too many options, people will often choose none of them.

So if your amazing blog posts are surrounded with lots of ads, a very busy sidebar, or multiple calls to action… people may bolt.

Which means they won’t even read your blog posts.

They’ll get overwhelmed by the work they need to do to even read your content and just move right along.

So if you want to attract more clients with your blog, you need to make sure they read your content in the first place.

Choose one main call to action to include in your blog post and that’s it.

If your sidebar is jam-packed with images and buttons, try and eliminate what isn’t essential.

And if you want to make sure your text is more readable, I actually wrote a blog all about it!: Blogging for Therapists: How to Increase The Readability of Blog Posts

Conclusion

Blogging still remains one of the best ways to increase traffic to your private practice website.

It increases the amount of keywords you’ll rank for on Google and offers you a great way to serve your potential and current therapy clients.

You can use the tips above to make sure you’re using your blog posts to their full potential in order to attract clients to your private practice.

You may want to take a look at the blogs you’ve been posting and update them with calls to action or make them more readable.

And you can keep these tips in mind as you write future blog posts and come up with new ways to bring in more of the clients you love to serve.

I’d Love To Chat With You About Your Website

I know what it’s like to try and build a website and figure out this online marketing stuff on your own. Oh the Googling, the questions and all the roadblocks that can come up along the way!

So, I offer Skype consultations as a way to help you overcome any challenges you may be facing with your therapy website and keep you moving forward.

Got a problem or just want to pick my brain? You can draw from my 15 years of web design experience and we’ll come up with a plan to improve your website, bring in more traffic and attract more clients.

If you’d be interested in scheduling a Skype consultation, you can click here to sign up.

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The Ultimate List of Podcasts for Building Your Private Practice

In recent years, the popularity of podcasts has simply exploded. If there is a subject that you want to learn more about, chances are, there’s a podcast for it. This includes podcasts about building your private practice.

In this article, we’ll round up some of the most popular podcasts for building and marketing a private practice.

The Best Podcasts to Help Build Your Private Practice Pinterest

How Podcasts Can Help You Build Your Private Practice

A few years back, before I decided to help therapists with their websites full time, I found myself commuting 1 hour each way to downtown Atlanta.

I had big dreams of being an entrepreneur and stepping out (and NOT fighting traffic every day).

While many days I found myself exhausted from the commute, I was determine to use this time to my advantage.

So I found a handful of podcasts, all about online marketing, entrepreneurship and being a great leader… and I devoured them.

It’s like I was going to school.

Every day I got to learn something new from experts I felt drawn to and trusted.

So much of what I learned in that stressful time I’m now applying to my business today.

You may not have an hour-long commute, but you may have some time during your day where you can listen to a podcast.

Podcasts give you access to experts who have gone before you so you don’t have to make the same mistakes they did when building your own private practice.

Often, communities form around podcasts where you can connect with colleagues in a similar stage of business as yourself and get support for your own private practice journey.

When it comes to running your own business, it’s so easy to feel like you’re alone and the struggles you face are unique to you.

But I know from experience that listening to podcasts, especially the ones with interviews with people like myself, have helped me realize that I’m not alone.

So, if you’re feeling like you need some support for your private practice, some fresh ideas on marketing or new inspiration for your business… check out some of the podcasts below!

Podcasts For Building Your Private Practice

 

1: The Abundance Practice Podcast with Allison Puryear

abundance practice podcast

In The Host’s Words:

“Practical advice for counselors starting and building a private practice.

On “Consult Mondays” Allison Puryear of Abundance Practice-Building will consult with a therapist who needs help building their practice.

On “What I WIsh I’d Said Wednesdays” she’ll chat with another consultant about the therapist’s conundrum to get more support for them.

On Follow Through Fridays” Allison will provide clear homework for anyone else struggling with the same problem.”

2: The Ask Juliet & Clinton Show with Juliet Austin & Clinton Power

ask juliet and clinton show

In The Hosts’ Words:

“The Ask Juliet & Clinton Show is a marketing podcast for therapists and natural health businesses. Each Tuesday an audio version of the show is published here where we answer questions related to marketing. Video versions of the show can also be viewed at www.askjulietandclinton.com.

Therapists and health business owners can submit questions that they would like answered at www.askjulietandclinton.com/ask-questions Any question related to marketing a therapy practice or holistic health business can be submitted to the show. Both beginner and advanced questions are welcome.”

3: The Online Counselling Podcast with Clay Cockrell

online counselling podcast

In The Host’s Words:

“The Online Counselling Podcast explores the world of online counseling and therapy and those that practice tele-medicine. By interviewing those who have taken their practice to a global virtual audience, we have created a rich resource for therapists, counselors, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists. Thinking of taking your practice online?

Learn from those that have gone before you as we explore the benefits and challenges of online counseling.”

4: Practice of Being Seen with Rebecca Wong

practice of being seen

In The Hosts’ Words:

“Everyone is driven by the basic human need to be seen, heard, and understood. What does it means to really see ourselves and the people and events around us? How does that influence how we show us and how we ask to be seen?

Teaming up as a relationship therapist and a storytelling coach, we’ll be diving into how our stories shape our relationships and how our relationships shape our stories. Through interviews and solo sessions, we will be opening a space for discovery and healing.”

5: Practice of The Practice with Joe Sanok

practice of the practice

In The Host’s Words:

“Joe Sanok from the www.PracticeofthePractice.com blog covers everything it takes to make your service-based private practice more awesome. It’s what you wish you had learned in graduate school.

Learn killer ways to grow your referrals, save tons of money, and have some fun along the way.

Joe has been featured on the Huffington Post, Yahoo Health, ZynnyMe, PsychCentral, and Sirus Radio.

Joe has an extensive background in several clinical settings including foster care, residential, home-based, college counseling, and private practice. As the owner of Mental Wellness Counseling in Traverse City, MI he has grown his practice and taught others to do the same. As an expert in the field of growing counseling private practices, Joe exposes all he knows to help you with marketing, branding, consulting, and a deeper level of awesomeness.

Joe knows that we’ve all been there, we dream of our small business taking off and we know that it should…but it doesn’t. We want more referrals and the independence that comes from a small business.

Through marketing, website developments, and other business-focused tips, Joe helps you to grow. There are simple changes that you can make that will ensure your grow as a professional, expert and as a small business owner. Joe engages and encourages listeners through real-life examples of failure and success.

These discussions are for the 21st century counselor who wants to be on the edge of technology, marketing, and expanding their private practice or small business! Plus, there is super sweet music throughout the podcast. http://www.practiceofthepractice.com”

6: The Private Practice Startup with Kate Campbell, PhD, LMFT & Katie Lemieux, LMFT

private practice startup

In The Hosts’ Words:

“The Private Practice Startup is owned by Kate Campbell, PhD, LMFT & Katie Lemieux, LMFT, two therapists who built their 6-figure private practices from the ground up.

We’re passionate about inspiring mental health professionals on their private practice journey from startup to mastery!

On our podcast, we interview entrepreneurs, experts in the mental health and business arenas and successful private practitioners to provide a wealth of information for our listeners!

We LOVE interviewing all of our guests and most importantly we have fun doing it. We hand pick everyone we interview as we know each and every person will bring value to you and your business assisting you in reaching your goals and dreams!

We also offer webinars, online courses, in person trainings, attorney approved private practice paperwork, and are CEU providers in the state of Florida.”

7: Private Practice Talk with Kelly & Miranda

private practice talk podcast

In The Host’s Words: “Help for creating a happy and full private practice for mental health professionals.”

8: Profiles in Private Practice Success with Jennifer Sneeden

jennifer sneeden podcast

In The Host’s Words:

“Profiles in Practice Success showcases the most successful and innovative professionals in practice today.”

9: Selling the Couch with Melvin Varghese, Ph.D.

selling the couch

In The Host’s Words:

“Selling the Couch is the #1 podcast for aspiring, new, and current mental health private practitioners.

Psychologist Melvin Varghese interviews successful therapists about the business side of private practice (e.g., how they get referrals, their best tips and strategies, and their daily habits, etc.) as well as the world’s top business, marketing, and social media experts.

What you get are bite sized and highly actionable tips to guide your private practice and entrepreneurial journey.”

10: Therapist Clubhouse with Annie Schuessler

therapist clubhouse podcast

In The Host’s Words:

“Therapist Clubhouse is the podcast where you’ll get support in being a private practice entrepreneur. I’m Annie Schuessler, therapist and business consultant for therapists. In each episode, I talk to a therapist who’s built a business only they could create.

You’ll hear about how they figured out stuff like online marketing, networking, identifying their niche, setting their fees, creating new services, and developing an entrepreneurial mindset. We’ll get real and talk about what it takes to create a unique and profitable private practice.

Get the inspiration and information you need to make your private practice better, starting now.”

11: The Therapist Experience Podcast from Brighter Vision

the therapist experience podcast

In The Host’s Words:

“The Therapist Experience Podcast is the podcast where we interview successful therapists about what it’s really like growing a private practice.

The Therapist Experience provides you with a full MBA in private practice building, and it’s everything you wish you had learned in grad school but they never taught you.

We discuss everything from private practice marketing, the entrepreneurial journey, income streams, the importance of niching down, what to charge per session, how to use technology to grow your practice, and the roller coaster of being a business owner. Learn from other mental health professionals about what worked for them in marketing their private practice and their overall entrepreneurial journey, so you can grow a thriving private practice yourself!”

Conclusion

The thing I love the most about this list is that as you get to know the hosts and their guests, you’ll start to see how connected this amazing community is.

Each host brings their own stories and perspectives on growing a private practice and they all want to see you succeed in your business.

I hope this list leads you to some fresh inspiration for marketing your own private practice!

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How To Write Amazing Blog Post Titles That People Actually Click

The titles of your blog posts are detrimental to the success of your content marketing. In a sea of Google search results and social media, the title of your post can mean the difference between a reader clicking for more or just brushing you aside.

In this post we’ll talk about 5 ways you can write catchy blog post titles that people can’t help but click on.

The titles of your blog posts are detrimental to the success of your content marketing. In a sea of Google search results and social media, the title of your post can mean the difference between a reader clicking for more or just brushing you aside. In this post we’ll talk about 5 ways you can write catchy blog post titles that people can’t help but click on.

Why Blog Titles Are So Important to Successful Content Marketing

Your blog headline is the first impression a reader will have with your content.

It can be their reason for clicking or their reason for brushing your post aside.

How sad would it be to slave over a blog post for hours, getting the content just write and then slapping a title on it that doesn’t draw people to the value they’ll find within the content?

We live in fast-paced times where the amount of information we see each day is astounding.

People are flying through their Facebook feed while waiting in checkout lines or scrolling through Pinterest while watching TV.

It’s become increasingly harder to make your content stand out and reach your ideal audience in this noisy sea of information.

But a catchy headline could cause someone to pause, pique their interest and make them hungry for more of the content they’ll find in your blog post.

It’s also one of the most important factors for your search engine optimization (SEO).

Combine SEO with a catchy, intriguing headline and it’s content marketing gold!

Let’s get into some tips for writing blog headlines that get clicked, shall we?

1: Keep your Blog Post Titles Short and Unique

55 characters is your target for the length of your blog post titles.

This is amount of characters that Google will show users in their search results. Anything longer will get cut off.

Shorter headlines also tend to get more clicks because they’re easier for readers to digest and know exactly what they’ll get when they click.

Get creative here. Don’t just write generic titles.

Include a keyword but also put some emotion into it that will make your title stand out from the rest of posts flying through the internet.

2: Focus On Keywords

Powerful headlines always focus on a keyword.

This is how people may find your blog post and let’s search engines know what your blog post is about.

Decide on what words your audience may type into Google to find your blog post and work that into the title.

3: Get Emotional

A catchy blog post title will have a healthy dose of emotion that will grab the reader’s attention and lead them to click for more.

You can use power words to not only make your post titles unique, but also give a sense of urgency, curiosity and emotion.

You want to stay away from common words like best, awesome, or great.

Go for the jugular here and get creative!

Use words like:

  • Ultimate
  • Greatest
  • Fascinating
  • The Truth About…

For example, a generic headline for blog post may go something like this:

“How to Set Boundaries in Marriage”

It’s not bad, but unless I’m really interested in that topic, it doesn’t really intrigue me much.

But what about:

“The TRUTH About Setting Boundaries in Marriage”

You see the difference? The second title creates a bit of intrigue and makes me feel like everything I’ve heard up to this point about boundaries in marriage was incorrect.

I just gotta click!!

Here’s a great list of 317 power words you can start using today.

4: Use Numbers

There’s something about numbers that increase engagement with blog post titles.

When you say “10 Ways to Set Boundaries in Marriage” as opposed to “How to Set Boundaries in Marriage” it conveys the value of the post and exactly what the reader will gain from checking out your content.

I enjoy creating these types of blog posts myself because they provide a clear outline for the content instead of a giant blank slate.

The same mentality gets passed along to readers, because they can more easily wrap their head around a list of short tips rather than one long “how to” post.

When it makes sense, try and include numbers in your headlines to drive engagement.

5: Write and Re-Write To Get Your Blog Post Titles Right

I had fun with the word-play on that subtitle, not gonna lie

Writing effective and engaging blog post titles takes a lot of practice.

Rarely will you ever use the first title you came up with.

I like to have a working title for my blog post to give me some direction for what I’m going to write.

But as the content unfolds, it may make sense to re-write the title.

Finally, once the blog post is complete, I’ll spend time focusing solely on optimizing my title.

One of my favorite tools to help me do this is CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer.

You can put your headline into the form and CoSchedule will analyze it, score it and give you tips to improve it.

Here’s the analysis for a working title I had for this blog post:

blog post headline analyzer

You can see I’ve got some work to do get the right balance of words and structure for my title.

It will also give you some other scores to help you improve your headline, such as analyzing the length:

blog post headline analyzer length

Conclusion

Writing blog post headlines that stand out and get clicks takes time and practice.

It’s a skill, like blogging, that you’ll grow in over time.

Take note of the types of headlines you see in Google and social media and think about why they stood out to you.

Using the tips and resources above, spend time trying to recreate that feeling of urgency or curiosity you felt when you read those headlines.

Keep at it and, over time, I have no doubt you’ll see an increase in traffic to your blog posts.

Want more blogging tips? I've created a FREE checklist, 11 Things You Should Do To Every Blog Post Before You Hit Publish.

Inside, you'll get 11 simple things you can do to optimize each blog post. You can print it out and refer to whenever you write your next amazing piece of content.

I've created a free checklist for you to reference when writing your next blog post
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How To Set Up Pinterest Rich Pins for Your Private Practice Website

Rich Pins allow Pinterest to display extra information about you and your website when pinning content from your website. It’s a great way to stand out on Pinterest and makes it easier to drive traffic back to your therapy website.

In this post we’ll go over what Rich Pins are exactly and how to get started using them on your own Pinterest profile and private practice website.

Rich Pins allow Pinterest to display extra information about you and your website when pinning content from your website. It’s a great way to stand out on Pinterest and makes it easier to drive traffic back to your therapy website. In this post we’ll go over what Rich Pins are exactly and how to get started using them on your own Pinterest profile and private practice website.

What Are Pinterest Rich Pins?

Rich pins are a way for Pinterest to provide some extra information about your website along with pins that link back to your pages and posts.

By enabling a bit of code on your website, it allows Pinterest to gather a little information about any content pinned from your website.

A bold title, your website name and your profile picture all appear with your pin to let pinners know more about who they’re repinning and where the content came from.

Here’s an example of what Rich Pins do:

pinterest for therapists rich pin

All this extra info will help you stand out in the busy Pinterest feed.

Notice how Rich Pins display your blog titles clear and gives your ideal audience more chances to click over to your website.

And tests have shown that Rich Pins have been proven to increase traffic.

So you’re going want to set up this functionality if you’re using Pinterest to promote your private practice blog.

You may be wondering, what does a NON Rich Pin look like?

For comparison’s sake, here’s an example:

pinterest non rich pin

There’s no extra information, such as a bold title for the content, a “read it” button, or “Article from” highlight of the author’s Pinterest profile.

This can result in less repins, fewer follows and less traffic back to the original website’s content.

Getting Started With Rich Pins for Your Therapy Website

Setting up this extra Pinterest functionality does not take long and has tons of benefits.

And you can set it up once, and then any content pinned from your website will display as a Rich Pin.

In order to enable Rich Pins, you have to have what’s called “Open Graph” code on your website.

This is the same type of code that Facebook uses to pull in information for links you share on their platform.

The process is a little different depending on which website platform you use. So I’ll cover a few of the most popular ones below.

Using WordPress to Set Up Rich Pins

The process to enable Rich Pins is extremely easy when using WordPress.

Step 1: Install the Yoast SEO plugin

Step 2: Click on “Social” under the Yoast SEO settings

rich pins yoast 1

Step 3: Click on the Facebook tab and make sure Open Graph is enabled

rich pins yoast 2

Step 4: Validate your Rich Pins with Pinterest using their Rich Pin Validator

rich pin validator

Once validated, Pinterest will show you the information they see for your website:

rich pin pinterest validated

Using Other Website Platforms to Enable Rich Pins

Wix: Setting up Rich Pins with Wix

Squarespace: Already supported when you link your Pinterest account from within Squarespace settings. Once linked, run the Rich Pin Validator here.

Weebly: You’ll have to first add the Open Graph code to your website’s “Head” code. Check out the instructions here.

How Using Pinterest led to a 15x increase in traffic to my own website… in just 6 months.

Rich Pins are just one of many simple strategies you can use to help drive lots of traffic to your private practice website using Pinterest.

Now, I’ve spent the last couple years testing what works and doesn’t work for driving traffic to websites.

And Pinterest can be a game changer.

It currently accounts for more than 90% of all traffic to this here site… and all without having to pay for my content to be seen (like you have to do on Facebook).

And after just 6 months of using Pinterest strategically I saw a 15x increase in my traffic!

I’d like to share this Pinterest strategy with you…

Because what I’ve learned is that it’s not rocket science, so anyone can follow this system to see an uptick in their own website traffic.

So I’ve compiled together my favorite traffic-driving tactics, combining blogging with simple Pinterest strategies to help you grow your website traffic quickly into a free, 10-day email challenge.

Ready to use Pinterest to explode your traffic, grow your audience and attract more of your ideal clients? Join the free 10-day Kickstart Your Blog Traffic Challenge by clicking the banner below:

Click here to join the free challenge

 

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Blogging for Therapists: How to Find Your Niche

When you begin to create a blog for your private practice, your first question may be “What on earth should I write about?” quickly followed by “Where do I begin?”

But when it comes to blogging, there is another question that’s an even more powerful place to begin.

Who are you writing for?

Once you know the answer to THIS question, the rest falls into place.

In this post I’ll share with you some simple steps you can take to help you get clear on who your ideal client and blogging audience is to make writing blog posts easier.

In this post I’ll share with you some simple steps you can take to help you get clear on who your ideal client and blogging audience is to make writing blog posts easier.

Understanding who your ideal clients are and creating content specifically for them is key to driving traffic to your site.

Though casting a wide net and writing in generalizations can be appealing in the beginning, it actually shuts out the opportunity to provide the best content to the specific type of client you’re looking for.

Related: 5 Tips To Increasing Your Website Traffic by Choosing a Niche

How to Find Your Blogging Niche

Take some time to go through the exercise below to help you uncover the focus of your blog and your ideal audience.

Step 1: Take a step back and ask yourself “What clients do I really love working with?”

Really think about that and try and describe your ideal client.

Think about their lifestyle, their age and career. What does their family look like?

Try to describe the in as much detail as you can.

Step 2: What are some common challenges that you love to help your clients overcome?

Think about some of the things you’ve worked together to overcome and the outcome of your work together.

What type of therapy work really excites you?

Do you love helping newly married couples start their marriage off with solid communication skills?

Or is it helping someone move past a trauma in their life?

Step 3: How can reading your blog posts help this population?

What transformation can you help your clients achieve?

Why should they read your blog and what can they expect from reading your blog?

Step 4: What impression do you want to leave on someone after they’ve read your blog?

Think about how you want an ideal client to feel after reading one of your blog posts and describe it.

Do you want them to feel inspired to connect with their family in new ways?

Or maybe you want your ideal client to feel proud and unashamed of who they are.

Do this for each client that has energized you to discover what marketers call your “Target Audience.”

An Example of Defining Your Blog’s Focus

Because I like to be a little more show than tell, here’s an example of what it looks like when you define your blog niche and ideal client:

“I’m energized by the work I do with young professionals, aged 25 -30 years old. They are primarily unmarried, focused on their career and have an active social life.

They often struggle with insecurity, poor boundaries and overcoming shame from past and present relationships.

My blog posts can provide this population with ideas and knowledge that they can apply to their lives today in order to understand their boundaries, improve their communication with others and begin seeing a positive change in their lives and relationships.”

See how descriptive you can be?

Then, every time you have a new blog post to write, you can sit down and picture your ideal client.

Pretend like you’re talking to just one person, and I know your blogs will become packed with extremely valuable information that will attract your ideal clients to your private practice website.

Download the Free Find Your Blog Focus Worksheet

To help you navigate through finding your blogging niche and establishing your private practice’s voice and tone, I’ve created a worksheet for you to download here.

This worksheet is from a future course (tease!) I’m creating all about driving traffic using your blog.

With this Free PDF, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify your ideal client
  • Create a list of blog categories and subcategories (topics) to write about
  • Break through bouts of “writer’s block” with ease

Every client you see is unique, but chances are, they have several things in common.

That is your specialty. It’s what you’ve trained years for and are now spectacular at it. The same practice should be used when blogging for your private practice.

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Getting Started with Google Analytics

Understanding your audience is critical to the success of your private practice. Web traffic stats give you a clear picture of who is visiting, where they’re coming from, how long they’re on your site, and so much more. And with Google Analytics, all of this information is free!

Getting Started With Google Analytics Pinterest. Understanding your audience is critical to the success of your private practice. Web traffic stats give you a clear picture of who is visiting, where they’re coming from, how long they’re on your site, and so much more. And with Google Analytics, all of this information is free!

Getting started with Google Analytics can be a bit daunting at first, but after a few simple clicks, and some basic knowledge of how to read reports, you’ll be ready to refine your content to reach your target audience – your future clients!

For example, is your traffic peaking at a specific time? Then that’s when you know to post new content!

Is it coming from a specific source, like Pinterest? Now you know where to focus your marketing efforts!

Here’s how you get started:

 

Step 1: Create a Google Account

This one is rather simple, especially if you already have a Google or Gmail account!

Just click on the Google Analytics Sign Up page and either register or login, if you already have an account.

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Step 2: Sign up for Google Analytics

Once you’ve logged in to your Google account, you’ll see this screen. Click on “Sign Up” to start your Google Analytics account.

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Step 3: Set up your website tracking

The following screen will prompt you to enter some information regarding your website. It gives you the option of entering information for a Website or a Mobile site.

VERY IMPORTANT – Choose “Website”! Then enter the information requested.

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Step 4: Get your tracking code

Once you’ve gone through the aforementioned steps, Google Analytics will provide you with your own unique tracking code.

Once that code is entered into your WordPress site, ideally through a plugin, data will bounce back and forth between the two tools, providing you with all the information you need about your audience!

The tracking code page looks a little something like this:

gatrackingcode

Not Using WordPress?

Click on the website platform you’re using to view instructions on where you’ll need to place your Google Analytics tracking code:

Useful Reports:

Now that Google Analytics is up and running efficiently, you’re going to want to monitor your reports.

The ones I find most useful are:

  • Audience Overview (bird’s eye view of what your audience is doing)
  • Audience Demographics (characteristics of your audience including age, interests, gender, etc)
  • Acquisition Overview (where your audience is coming from)
  • Acquisition Social (what social media platforms your audience is coming from)
  • Behavior Overview (what your audience is doing while on your site).

Here is the Audience Overview Dashboard:

Screen Shot 2017 06 05 at 12.24.55 PM

Here, you can see how many new visitors there are vs returning visitors, the total number of people visiting the site in a given time period (May 29-June 4), and on average how long they were on the site.

The metrics you monitor can be changed in the drop down menu under “Overview”.

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If you ever get stuck, Google Analytics has a built in tutor to walk you through reading reports in each section.

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Conclusion

The more you know, the better you can serve your prospective patients.

Using Google Analytics on your private practice website is an easy way to learn all you can about your audience in real time, make necessary changes, and draw even more traffic to your business.

Join the Free Facebook Community

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Why I’m Starting A Facebook Group for Therapists

If you’ve read the title of this post, you already know the news: I’m starting a Facebook group.

Now, with so many groups for therapists already in existence, you may be wondering why the heck I would do such a thing?

This post will be an attempt to share my heart and my vision for a Facebook group I’ve wanted to start a long time ago, but was always afraid to do so.

online marketing facebook group for therapists pin

Because It’s Not About Me, It’s About You

For the last three months, I’ve been a part of a business coaching program called The 90 Day Year.

This program culminated in a live event in San Diego with the program’s creator, Todd Herman, and a host of extremely smart and successful entrepreneurs.

At this event, I was blessed to be a part of a small-group mastermind meeting where we shared the challenges facing our businesses and brainstormed ideas to overcome them.

I talked about my products and services and the things I want to create and BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Someone spoke up and cautioned me about making all these products and “passive income” a shiny object to keep chasing.

As I unpacked that statement and reflected throughout my three days in San Diego, a sense of conviction continued to rise within me.

I knew he was right.

You see, I’m good at getting stuff done in my business.

Creating websites. Setting up email campaigns. Launching new products.

Give me a vision and I run with it until it’s done.

But what causes me more fear and insecurity in my business is doing the harder work of actually reaching out to individuals I claim to serve, having conversations and figuring out how I can help.

It’s less predictable. I can’t control it, and I often allow my insecurity to hold me back.

I started this business because I saw my wife’s private practice grow so much because clients loved her website and I wanted to help other therapists do the same.

But each and every person’s story and practice is different and thus, their needs are different.

If I’m not intentional about serving individuals, I end up trying to help people from a distance without first connecting on a deeper level to really understand their struggles in marketing their business online.

So, I want to focus more on that connection, rather than on just building a business.

I want to help you find answers, even if the answer is another service, not one of my own.

I want to create relationships that propel your private practice forward by bringing a group of like-minded people together who want to learn more about online marketing in a fun and vulnerable environment.

Because People Are More Important Than Money

Having my first baby has also had a profound impact on how I see the world.

It’s solidified in me the things I profess to be values in my life, but don’t always find ways to express practically.

I want my boy to know that people are more important than money or business.

That’s something I’ve always believed, but beliefs don’t matter if your actions don’t back it up.

I want the CMTW Facebook group to be a place where people can find help for their private practices.

I want it to be a place where we can all grow and face the challenges of online marketing together, where no question is stupid and new solutions are discovered.

I’ll still have my own products and services, but I want the focus to be on providing the BEST products or services for each individual’s situation, regardless on whether they are mine or someone else’s.

Because Online Marketing Can Be Fun!

Call me a geek or whatever, but I truly enjoy building websites and using technology to help people market themselves online.

It’s like one huge and fantastic puzzle to me!

I’ve seen so much fear surrounding the mental health community when it comes to using technology, and I want to help remove that fear.

When you’re having fun, solving problems becomes so much easier.

So, as I learn to be myself more in my business, I’m learning bring more of that fun to the conversation.

Facebook groups allow a bit more freedom for fun conversations and connection than mediums such as an email list or blog.

Because I’m Learning To Listen More Than I Talk

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Abe Lincoln

Do you ever feel like online marketing is just you talking AT people all the time?

I know I do.

The truth is, no one just wants to be talked AT. We want to be heard and understood.

I’m learning to do this more and more.

I often do this through surveys and some of the email exchanges I have with members of my audience.

But there’s something different and dynamic about Facebook groups that I love.

Conversations are way easier and connection happens much faster.

I don’t want to guess at the types of challenges facing you and your online marketing.

I want to hear it straight from you and enter into those challenges together and help you overcome them.

A Facebook group can be both an extension of conversations started on my blog, as well as the place where new blogs and trainings will be birthed, based on what the community actually needs help with.

Join The CMTW Community Now

I couldn’t start this Facebook community without first laying out some of what was in my heart and mind, and that’s what this post is about.

If you want to walk this online marketing journey together, in a place where we are all learning to serve our clients better and be ourselves online, please join the Facebook group.

I can’t grow alone, and neither can you.

Click here to join the free Create My Therapist Website Community.

cmtw community banner

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How to Use Facebook to Market Your Private Practice

Last week I sent out an email to my audience asking one simple question: what would you like to know about using Facebook to market your practice?

Well, I was amazed at the response and the questions that came back were just SO good!

Many of you want to know if Facebook is even relevant for marketing your therapy practice.

Some folks were concerned over privacy issues and how to separate your personal Facebook account from a business account.

So many of you really wanted to know more about how to use Facebook ads to market your private practice.

I really needed an expert to answer all these great questions, so I reached out to Jennifer Spong Sneeden, from Thriving Therapy Practice, for some help.

Jennifer has seen SO much success in using Facebook to market her private practice that it’s actually become her number one source of new clients.

She’s since taught hundreds of other therapists to use Facebook effectively in their own practices.

To help you out, she decided to create the video below just for the CMTW audience, answering some of your most common questions about Facebook.

Now, Jennifer is taking this one step further…

Because she’s so confident that Facebook is one of the best ways to grow your own practice, she’s agreed to host a free, exclusive live training just for the readers of this here blog.

In this virtual training, she’s going to show you her simple 5-step system to build your Facebook following, engage your fans, and increase your income.

If Facebook seems like a waste of time because you’re not getting the results you want, this FREE training is for you. Just click the banner below to claim your spot:

Learn how to use Facebook to market your private practice

This Facebook training will take place, January 19, 2017 at two different times: 1PM and 8PM EST. Sign up now to make sure you get a spot.

We’ll see you there!

Blogging for Therapists: How to Increase The Readability of Blog Posts

Fact: The people reading your blog are busy, distracted and their attention spans seem to be growing shorter by the day. So, how can you help these busy people get the most out of your private practice website and actually read your blog posts?

One way to keep readers around is to ensure your blog posts are organized and easy to read. In this article I’ll give you 5 tips to make your blogs more readable.

blogging for therapists increase readability of blog posts

1.  Use a White Background on Blog Posts

If you want to guarantee that your blog is hard to read, add a bright or dark background to your blog posts.

Personally, when I land on a blog that has gotten a bit too lively with the background colors, I just leave.

It hurts my eyes and drives me a bit batty.

You want your information to stand out, not fight with the other design elements on your therapy website.

Using a white background will help do just that. It will make sure the text and photos within your blog post draw attention and (most importantly) can be easily read.

2. Use a Clean Body Font

For the main body text of your blog (and website) you want to use a simple font that’s easy to read.

Save script or fancy fonts for bold headers, which are usually larger and thus, easier to read in a decorative font.

It’s also best practice to make sure your font is black or a darker gray. These shades are easiest to read on a screen.

3. Use Paragraphs… Lots of Them!

Have you ever visited a blog post, let it load and you were met with a WALL of text.

You wanted some information but now you feel like you have homework to do by having to read this novel before you.

Breaking text up into more paragraphs is one of the best ways to make your blog posts more skimmable and the information easier to digest.

A blog is different than a book. In a book, paragraphs can go on for most of the page. But with a blog, you have to be more succinct with your info.

People are often reading on their phones or doing a number of other things. So they’re just not going to read a two paragraph blog post that’s 1500 words long.

You can see in this blog post that I try to stick to two to three sentences at the most for each paragraph.

4. Break Up Content With Lists, Images and Headings

Having breaks in your content (especially long blog posts or web pages) gives the reader’s eye a break.

It creates anchor points that provide a sense of organization and stability, making the reading process so much more (albeit often unconsciously) pleasing.

Here are some other benefits to breaking up your content (see what I’m doing here??):

  • Images and video have a way of improving the perceived value of content. It makes it seem more thorough and Google likes this.
  • Use keywords when using headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) within your content and this will also help with SEO
  • Bullets let you get straight to the point, making the info easier to digest

5. Kill The Clutter

This tip is more about the design of your blog, rather than your content…

Sometimes we just get too excited about our websites and we want to include EVERYTHING.

We cram the sidebar or footer with every social profile we’re on and everything we’d love our readers to click on.

Try and simplify it to remove distractions.

Think about your ideal client and reader and what they are thinking and feeling and make sure your design helps them get the most out of your content and not overwhelm them.

Keep it simple.

Conclusion

The next time you sit down to craft your next stellar blog post, keep these 5 tips in mind. Doing so will help ensure your readers can truly get the most out of your blog and read all that great information I know you’re giving them.

What? You’re having trouble staying consistent with your blog? I have you covered… Check out these tips here.

Check out my latest FREE training to learn the content you need in order to attract your ideal clients to your website, plus tips on driving more traffic. Just click the banner below to get started!