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How the Copy on Your Website Converts Leads to Clients: And Why You Really Need a Niche

I hate to say it, but as clinicians, we can be a little slow on the entrepreneurial uptake. We’re often so focused on serving our clients well, that we struggle to come up for air and think about the professional side of our practices.

And, because we sometimes forget that we’re running a business as well as serving others, it’s not uncommon for those in the psychotherapy profession to neglect business-building activities.

I hate to say it, but as clinicians, we can be a little slow on the entrepreneurial uptake. We’re often so focused on serving our clients well, that we struggle to come up for air and think about the professional side of our practices. And, because we sometimes forget that we’re running a business as well as serving others, it’s not uncommon for those in the psychotherapy profession to neglect business-building activities.

For instance, the idea of incorporating or even relying on technology in our practices is still a bit scary and there is a definite tension when it comes to clinicians embracing modern ways of networking and marketing.

In fact, I literally get questions daily about how online marketing works and whether or not a fellow therapist actually needs a website.

As 2017 draws to an end and we approach 2018, the answer is an unwavering and astounding YES!

Yes, you need a website. But not only that, you need a well-designed website that is both visually appealing and speaks directly to your ideal client.

Now, I’m “technically” a millennial so my willingness to embrace technology may be a bit skewed, but I’m being really honest when I say that even my 90-year-old grandma has an iPhone.

This goes to show that no matter your ideal client population, they are online.

Your website is your greatest business asset.

It’s inexpensive to maintain and it works for you 24/7. Sure, there is an initial cost to set up a website properly, and whether you hire it out or create it yourself, there is a large commitment of either money or time up front.

But take that money you spend and divide it into an hourly wage, and you’ll see that your website is actually your most underpaid employee.

Your website is also your greatest gatekeeper.

When your content is written in a way that speaks directly to your ideal client, you will not only attract them to your practice but repel those that are not a good fit.

The same goes for posting your hours and fees online. Those who cannot fit into your schedule or afford your fees will move on. But, the calls that do come will be serious and motivated inquiries.

Perhaps the best thing about having a well-designed website, however, is the fact that it is a marketing machine.

I’m a big fan of in-person networking and believe it’s essential to growing and scaling any practice.

But, it’s just not possible to meet in person 24-hours a day. What’s more, a client in need whose anxiety has him up at 3 in the morning can’t go in and see his primary care doctor.

So, who better to turn to than good ol’ Google?

Having an attractive website allows you to still be available despite the time of day or circumstances. It also provides you with an internet home base which acts as the hub of your online marketing.

The Truth About Content and Online Marketing

By now, we are well aware that we must market our practices to see any kind of success.

There are just so many professionals in our field, that without a concentrated effort, we will never stand out from the crowd.

However, many of the traditional ways we are taught to promote ourselves: in-person networking, business events in the community, forming partnerships with doctors and psychiatrists, hosting open houses, etc. all demand so much effort that they leave little time for us to concentrate on what we do best – therapy.

The truth about internet marketing is that any AND everything that is posted online counts as content.

This includes the raging rant we posted five years ago after being pulled over for a broken taillight when there are “real” criminals out there. And, it also includes the picture from last week where we are shaking hands with the police chief after implementing a mental health system in the county jail.

Though hilarious (or mortifying – however you want to look at it), what’s difficult about marketing in 2017 and beyond is that nothing ever disappears from the internet.

If it’s been posted somewhere, whether immediately “deleted” or not, it is accessible by someone, somehow. This means that all of the content we have ever created contributes to our online reputation and our web presence.

The fortunate thing, though, is that content is cumulative. So, the more positive things you post about yourself personally and professionally, the better your reputation becomes.

This strategic curation of online content that highlights you and your practice in a positive way becomes what is known as your “brand.”

Positioning your brand’s message so it is easily accessible by those that most need your help is what is known as content marketing.

Content Marketing is an extremely powerful tool for attracting clients and building a practice with much less effort and overhead than ever before.

Utilizing blogs, videos, images, and website copy allows therapists to highlight themselves among all other clinicians in the area and position their practice as the one that is the best match for those needing services.

What’s more, recent surveys show that technology such as the internet and Smart Phones are not commodities.

Regardless of their socioeconomic status, clients are online.

Therefore, content marketing is one way to reach populations that might not ever find their way to therapy through traditional channels.

Lastly, content marketing is a fervent way for us to build practices we truly love and are excited about showing up to every day.

How Your Website Fits into A Content Marketing Strategy

Like I mentioned above, your website is the hub of your presence online.

It is where your brand lives and where all of your potential clients should be going to find out more about working with you.

The first impression, which is almost always visual, is what keeps these potential leads from immediately bouncing away from your site.

However, it is the web copy (read: content) that draws the reader in and converts them from a prospect to a paying client.

There are a few different ways a lead might land on your website.

They may find you directly by putting keyword phrases into a search engine, they may find your website listed on a directory, or they may stumble across your business or rack card.

In each of these cases, the prospect is what is considered a “cold” lead. They do not know you, and they have not received your name or contact information from anyone they trust.

Once they have found you online, the only thing cold leads have to go on when deciding whether or not you are a good fit for them is the copy on your website.

How you speak to potential clients has a profound effect on whether or not they pick up the phone to schedule with you. Talking directly to leads in a language that resonates will cause them to have an emotional reaction and believe that you truly understand what it is they are struggling with.

Ensuring that your website is filled to the brim with such tailored content is the quickest way to earn a prospect’s trust and encourage them to get in contact with you.

And it’s not much different for warm leads.

These are the people who come to your website through a referral. Whether they receive your name from a trusted doctor or loved one, in this day and age, the majority of people will still go to your website to learn more about you.

While warms leads are a bit more primed to schedule with you, they can still be turned off if they don’t believe that you are the right fit for them.

Talking in too general of a way is just not helpful. Without reaching leads at a core level, you will always leave readers of your website in a lukewarm state.

But, if you’re able to get to the core of the prospect’s struggles, and speak to them on each and every page of your site, you can elicit an emotional response and motivate them to pick up the phone.

So, what’s the key to speaking in a way that resonates with potential clients?

Choosing a niche.

What is Niche Marketing and Why Should Therapists Use It?

The idea of defining your niche is still a bit controversial in clinician circles.

One reason for this is there are some that think niching down is unethical as therapists who prefer a certain population are essentially denying services to some who may be in need.

The idea, however, is not to deny services, but to offer therapy at a higher skill level.

In fact, defining your ideal client allows you to hone your skills and become a specialist. So long as you are providing legitimate options and alternatives to those outside your niche, such as genuine referrals, you are not violating any ethical guidelines.

Another common hang-up about niching down is that some therapists believe it to be too restrictive to build a thriving practice.

It’s true, the second you decide to niche your practice, you are basically choosing to alienate a large segment of potential clients. By narrowing your focus to one slice of the population, you are effectively telling others that you do not serve them as well as you serve your chosen demographic.

This can be really scary, especially when clinicians are new to practice or do not have a full caseload.

But the reality is, defining your niche is the quickest way to fill a practice with clients you are excited to work with and that leave you feeling professionally fulfilled.

Incorporating niche marketing into your practice is the best way to write “tight” website copy.

Copy that is too loose or that has too many holes in it will not speak to your ideal clients. It gives them too many opportunities to turn their attention elsewhere.

However, web copy that is written with a niche in mind becomes sharp and provocative and resonates with readers at their core.

A Five-Step Niching Process

So now that you know the importance of your website and also how integral your web copy is to attracting your ideal client, it’s time to figure out how to go about defining your niche.

A lot of clinicians make the mistake of having a niche that is too wide.

Again, this probably goes back to the fear of repelling too many clients and operating from a scarcity mindset.

However, there are enough clients for every therapist to build a profitable practice, so there should be no fear about learning to attract a very narrow segment of the population.

A great tip is to imagine the act of defining your niche as building an upside-down pyramid.

The objective is to work from a wide scope and funnel the concept of your ideal client down until it becomes narrower and narrower.

At each stage, ask yourself questions about your ideal client like “what is at the core of their presenting problem” “what is underneath this complaint” and “what is really going on here” to help you really learn how to target them.

I always recommend going through this process five times so that you essentially narrow your niche down five levels.

An example of this is:

  1. Teenagers
  2. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped
  3. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped because they have developed test anxiety
  4. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped and who have developed test anxiety because they are worried about getting into a good college
  5. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped, who have developed test anxiety, and who are worried about getting into a good college because their older sibling graduated Suma Cum Laude from an Ivy League school

By the time you get to the fifth level, you have a completely clear idea of who you are marketing to and trying to attract to your practice.

Now, that does not mean that this is the only type of client you will see.

Some of your marketing will appeal to 20 or 30 somethings with anxiety or the parents of high-performing teens, but the core of your marketing message will resonate with a certain segment of the population which is the whole point.

This exercise isn’t always easy to do right off the bat and takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it can be fun to brainstorm different ideal client populations you’d like to serve.

If you need a little guidance when it comes to refining your niche, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

If you’d like to take your content marketing even further, by defining your ideal client, finding your ideal clients online and generating strategic, tailored website content, download your FREE 8-page workbook here >>> bit.ly/cliniciancontentworkbook

About Marissa Lawtonmarissa lawton portrait sm

Marissa Lawton is a licensed counselor, national board certified counselor, and member of the American Counseling Association. She is also an avid content marketer and lights up helping female clinicians build their private practices through strategic and tailored online marketing.

Marissa is the creator of The Clinician’s Guide to Content Marketing, a comprehensive system of masterclasses, concierge strategy calls, and boutique writing services that helps therapists identify their niche, find them online, and generate content that speaks directly to their ideal clients.

You can learn more about Marissa at risslawton.com

Private Practice Websites: DIY vs Hiring A Web Designer

When it comes to building a website for your private practice, you basically have two options: build it yourself or have someone else do it for you.

In this article, I’ll share my thoughts on when to DIY your therapy website and when to hire a professional to do it for you.

When it comes to building a website for your private practice, you basically have two options: build it yourself or have someone else do it for you. In this article, I’ll share my thoughts on when to DIY your therapy website and when to hire a professional to do it for you.

The Importance of Having A Great Private Practice Website

A website is one of the best investments you can make for growing your private practice.

And I’m not just saying that as a web designer.

A website helps you reach your potential clients by giving them the information they require in order to trust you with their challenges.

It also gives you total freedom to connect with clients, to share your personality through photography, videos or blog posts, creating a bond before the first session even begins.

A great-looking website can also give your practice a professional edge, helping you to stand out as an expert in your field, fully qualified to lead your clients through the transformation they seek.

One study showed that 94% of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website. (Source: Tyton Media)

So yeah, having a good website is extremely important!

But what’s the best route to take in order to get a great website?

Well, let’s talk about two options: building your own therapy website and hiring out.

private practice diy website

When To DIY Your Private Practice Website

If you’re thinking about building your website yourself, I think there are certain criteria that my make this the best option for you:

1: Your Budget Is Small

If you’re in a place where you don’t have the extra funds to devote to your website investment, the DIY option may be right for you.

The rise of many website building platforms (Wix, Squarespace, etc.) have made creating your own website much more user-friendly, but also much more affordable.

WordPress (the most popular website platform) is open-source, meaning you’re free to use the software for your own website, you just pay for your hosting (which is often cheaper than the monthly fee for other website-builders.)

Related: The Cost Of Building A Private Practice Website

2: You Enjoy Technology (At Least A Little)

Frustration and fear when it comes to technology is one of the most common hang-ups I hear from my blog readers.

To many, trying to create a website is like learning a whole new language.

But if you enjoy the puzzle and trying to get all your tech pieces to fit together, then DIY may be a good fit.

Because there will be those times when technology makes you want to throw your computer out the window and wish for simpler times centered on candle-light and snail mail.

So if you don’t at least enjoy it a little bit, it’s going to be a long road.

I’ve heard many a war-story from people who tried to DIY their website but just hit so many challenges with the tech stuff, it ended up taking over 6 months to create.

They can’t get that time back. Time that could have been used on other high-impact marketing efforts they enjoy if instead they hired a professional to take care of the website.

3: You Have the Time to Build Your Website Yourself

Creating a website is no small project.

Doing it all yourself means you’ll be spending a lot of time to bring it all together.

You’ve got content to write, platforms to learn, questions to Google to get it all figured out.

So, before embarking on a DIY private practice website, you’ll want to assess what’s going on in your life and business and decide if you’ve got the time to devote to the project.

How much time it takes will depend entirely on how complex your website is and your ability to set chunks of time aside each week to work on the website.

I’m a big fan of creating momentum in projects by focusing my time on one project before moving on to the next.

A website is no different.

If you don’t put ample time on your calendar each week during your DIY website project, you’ll likely lose momentum and the whole thing will take you 6 months to even launch.

So, if you’ve got some good chunks of time in your week which could be used for website-building, DIY may be your jam.

private practice website design hire

When To Hire A Web Designer to Create Your Private Practice Website

There are times in your private practice where I think it makes the most sense to hire someone to create your private practice website for you.

Here are some ways to determine if this is the right direction for you.

1: You’re Ready to Take Your Practice to the Next Level

When you’re first starting out in private practice, there is a lot to do get your business off the ground.

Your time and money is often spent on those early marketing efforts of just getting your name out there.

But once you’ve established yourself and have a steady stream of clients and referrals flowing in, it often frees up both time and money to focus on new marketing efforts to grow your income even more.

This is where a professionally designed website could be a beneficial investment.

You know your time is better spent on other activities, like writing, networking and speaking, rather than trying to get a photo to crop the correct way in Squarespace or learning HTML.

Adding a website that looks great, helps with your SEO and gives you a home-base to share your expertise can be the perfect addition to your marketing efforts, helping you attract more of the clients you love, get the rate you deserve and grow your business.

2: You Prefer to Leave Website Strategy to The Professionals

Anyone can make a website.

But it takes a professional to create something that actually solves your business problems.

A good web designer can help you identify the current challenges in your private practice and present you with a solution.

This is a HUGE asset to the future of your business.

If your online marketing efforts are not yielding the results you desire, it may be time to bring in a professional to help you determine how a new website fits in with your marketing strategy.

3: You Know Which Activities In Your Business Are Worth Your Time

In the short term, a DIY website is certainly cheaper than hiring a web designer.

But when you add up all the hours you’ll spend creating content, setting up your hosting, building web pages and a number of other tasks, it may actually be costing you more.

If you think about your hourly rate for a therapy session and apply that to the time you spend working on your website, that’s basically what you’re paying to have it created.

Instead of paying a designer, you’re paying yourself.

So if you’re hourly rate is $125 and you spend a total of 28 hours working on your website, that’s 28 hours you could have been with a client.

Or you could have paid someone $3500 to take care of the website while you focus your time on other marketing efforts and seeing clients.

In that time, maybe you could have brought in 4 new clients.

And if you see those clients 7 times then it’s fully paid for the website while also giving you more freedom to focus on the business activities you know are worth your time and result in more clients.

Then, when your new website is launched you’re set up for even more success.

4: You Don’t Understand The Nuances of Good Web Design

A website not only has to be easy to use, but it also has to look great.

In a study on website usability and design, 38% of people said they will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. (Source: Adobe)

People will judge you and your credibility as a therapist based on how your website looks and performs.

If not done well, visitors will bounce off your website before even having a chance to read your content or learn anything about you.

Whether consciously or subconsciously, our minds register whether a website is pleasing to the eye before deciding to engage with the content.

I can’t tell you how many restaurants I’ve passed up because the place had a crappy website.

If they treat their website so unprofessionally, how do they treat the food or the patrons?

I’ll take my business elsewhere.

Good design speaks of professionalism and helps potential clients take you seriously as the expert I know you are.

So if you’re not confident in your abilities to lay out your website in such a way that it looks good to clients while also communicating clearly what it is you do, you may consider hiring a web designer.

Conclusion

So, will you create your website yourself or hire a web designer for your private practice website?

I hope the thoughts above help you determine what’s right for you.

A website is a BIG project and a huge asset to your private practice.

So take your time with this decision and weigh all the costs before taking the plunge.

If you’ve decided that DIY is just not your jam and you’d like to learn more about what a custom-designed website can do for your business, let’s have a conversation.

I want to hear about your practice and your current marketing challenges and see if a website can help provide a solution.

Together, we’ll come up with a strategy that works for you and grows your private practice.

Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation here and learn more about how we can work together.

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.

Private Practice Website Spotlight: Allison Davis Maxon

One of the most exciting parts of my job is seeing a client’s website come to life. It’s thrilling to me to take an empty canvas and turn it into a space that reflects my client, communicates what they do and helps to grow their business.

What was once a parked domain is suddenly a way for my client to be found and reach the people she feels called to serve.

Today, we’re showcasing the internet’s newest addition, Allison Davis Maxon.

allison maxon therapy website home 1

Allison has dedicated her more than 25 years of clinical work as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist to expert programs and practices in children’s mental health, attachment family systems, adoption and trauma.

Not only is she a therapist, but she’s an educator, speaker and consultant dedicated to helping children, families and organizations connect, heal and thrive.

Why She Needed a Website

When Allison and I first met, she didn’t have a website.

An impressive feat, given the scope of work you’ll find in her resume and list of experience!

As Allison’s vision for her business grew to reach more audiences through speaking, consulting and writing, she knew that a website was needed to showcase her past experience and build authority for the future.

She was also in the process of writing a book and knew that a professional website would be key to a successful launch in the future.

Allison’s vision for the future of her business relied on having a website now in order to get where she needs to be.

If she wanted to attract more speaking opportunities, get more clients and share her passion and expertise with the world, (Allison is an expert in the fields of child welfare, adoption and children’s mental health) she needed a website.

The Website Design Process & Our Work Together

As with all of my clients, Allison and I started with a conversation about where she was at in her business, where she wanted to go and how a website could help her get there.

Then, I gathered a whole bunch of information from Allison, via a questionnaire I send my new clients, that gives me an idea of their design style.

I ask things like:

  • How do you want visitors to feel when they come to your website?
  • What type of fonts and colors are you drawn to?
  • What websites inspire you?

Allison had no problems telling me that she had looked at hundreds of websites to find inspiration and disliked just about all of them.

“I honestly can’t stand the cookie-cutter looking sites that are out there,” she said.

As the designer, I loved this type of honesty because it helps me know what my target is.

So my challenge was to take Allison’s impressive work and organize and showcase it with a website that was original, unique, easy to use and looked great on all devices.

Game on!

I got to work on her homepage and about page. These two pages would set the tone and design style for the rest of her website.

To be honest, I was a bit nervous when it was time to get Allison’s first round of feedback on the work I’ve done.

But it turned out she loved where I was taking her website and felt it truly captured her personality and preferences for her website.

allison maxon therapy website about 1

allison maxon therapy website about 2 1

allison maxon therapy website services 1

After the Launch: Marketing her Private Practice & Business

Now that Allison has a place her business can call home, she’s got a platform from which to market her vast experience and services.

I use the Divi WordPress theme for my custom therapy websites, which gives my clients the power to easily make updates in the future.

Allison has jumped right into content marketing and is now posting her own articles on her website and sharing those articles on her social media channels.

And since she now has a website, any other place she contributes content can be linked back to her website.

She’s got full control over how she drives traffic to attract new clients and opportunities.

allison maxon therapy website articles 1

 

“Daniel was professional, responsive and engaged throughout the process. I appreciated his feedback and input; as it allowed us to co-create a website that I think was better than what I had envisioned. I wouldn’t hesitate recommending Daniel to others.”
Allison Davis Maxon

 

Does Your Website Match Your Vision for Your Private Practice?

It was so much fun to see Allison’s website come to life and I’m honored to play a small part in getting her closer to her vision for her business.

Your website is one of your most important marketing tools and I take pride in creating these tools for my clients.

If you think your current website (or lack of website) is hurting the growth of your private practice, I’d love to talk.

Click here to learn more about how we can work together and to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Why you MUST Keep WordPress Updated (and How to Do It)

Using a self-hosted version of WordPress for your private practice website means that you are in complete control over all the files, plugins and themes. It also means that you’re responsible to make sure things are up to date and running smoothly and securely. Not performing regular updates to your WordPress files is one of the main ways hackers can gain control of your website and leave you empty handed.

In this post we’ll talk about the importance of keeping your WordPress up to date and go over how to do it.

Using a self-hosted version of WordPress for your private practice website means that you are in complete control over all the files, plugins and themes. It also means that you’re responsible to make sure things are up to date and running smoothly and securely. Not performing regular updates to your WordPress files is one of the main ways hackers can gain control of your website and leave you empty handed. In this post we’ll talk about the importance of keeping your WordPress up to date and go over how to do it.

The First Time My Website Got Hacked

Kinda like remembering the first time you saw The Lord of The Rings (geek alert!) or your first kiss… some of us (the unfortunate ones) remember the first time we were hacked.

For me it was my very first WordPress site that I built; one for my church.

It was almost 10 years ago and I knew nothing. But they were kind enough to let me practice using the church website as my guinea pig.

I remember waking up and getting an email from the secretary saying something was wrong with the website.

I opened my laptop and pulled it up to find that links to porn sites (yes, porn sites… on the church website!) were appearing throughout the website.

The worst part was, I couldn’t log in to fix it.

I eventually did some crazy MacGyver moves and was able to make changes to the database and regain access. It took me all day.

Want to avoid a similar situation? Keep your WordPress up to date!

The Importance of Updating WordPress

The good folks at WordPress work hard to keep their software secure, fix bugs and also provide the best experience for their users.

They release the new updated code in the form of updates that you can apply to your website.

Here’s why it’s so important to perform these updates:

1: Updates Apply Security Patches

Hackers gonna hack, yo. That’s what they do.

They look for vulnerabilities in code and try to find a way in to gain control of websites.

Each time a new version of WordPress is released, it comes with a nice list of all the vulnerabilities that they fixed in the code.

Hackers wait for that info, then search for websites that have not been updated so they can attack.

So, if you keep your website updated, you patch those holes and limit the ways hackers can attack you.

Applying updates quickly, when they are released, will cut down on the amount of time you’re open to these malicious attacks.

2: Updates Can Fix Bugs

Sometimes when updates are released for a theme, plugin or WordPress itself, bugs can arise.

With any software, when the creators make changes, it can affect other aspects of the software they were not anticipating.

So more updates are released and on goes the train of progress.

Having the latest releases for your themes, plugins and WordPress means that you’ll have the most stable version that works and takes into account any bugs that come up along the way.

This is also a great reason to make sure that you’re using plugins that get updated recently.

3: Updates Add New Features & Functionality

So much has changed since WordPress was first released back in 2003.

Back then, it was a platform primarily created for bloggers.

Now, according to Manage WP, WordPress powers 26% of the internet!

With each update comes more functionality to make operating your website a better experience while giving you more options to make your content shine.

The same goes for plugins and themes.

One of the reasons why I like the Divi WordPress theme so much, is that they are constantly improving it, giving you more features to create beautiful websites.

Using the latest versions will give you access to new features you can use to make your private practice website even better.

How To Perform Updates in WordPress

First, Create a Backup

Before you make any updates, make SURE you create a backup of your website first.

Sometimes updates can conflict with a plugin or theme and crash your website (scary stuff).

But having a backup means if your site crashes, after the initial freakout, you can get to work restoring your website to the working version.

Some hosting services offer daily backups of your files, but if not, you can use a plugin like UpdraftPlus to schedule automatic backups of your site.

Making Updates in The WordPress Dashboard

Once you have a backup of your website, head to the WordPress dashboard.

If you have updates that need to be performed, you’ll see an circle with a number in the top left, under the Dashboard menu:

updating wordpress private practice therapy

Click on “Updates” and it will take you to the WordPress Updates page where you can view the latest updates.

wordpress updates

On this page, you’ll see your updates broken down into three categories: WordPress, Plugins and Themes.

Start with your WordPress version and make sure that you’re always using the latest version.

If not, click on the update button. The latest version of WordPress automatically applies minor updates automatically, which is a great thing to have.

Moving onto Plugins.

Before updating plugins you’ll want to make sure that they are compatible with your version of WordPress.

Look for this sentence:

“Compatibility with WordPress 4.8.1: 100% (according to its author)”

If you see that, you know that you can safely apply the plugin’s update without causing any issues.

You can check off each plugin you want to update, then click the “Update Plugins” button.

Lastly, you’ll see your Themes.

Finally, the last thing that may be updated are any themes you have installed on your WordPress.

Like with plugins, you can select the ones you want to update and click the “Update Themes” button.

I recommend keeping all themes up to date, even the ones you’re not using, just to be safe.

How to Always Make Sure Your WordPress Files are Updated… Let Us Do It!

While keeping your website up to date is extremely important, all this WordPress maintenance can eat up a lot of your time.

You’ll want to spend time each week making sure your WordPress, plugins and themes are using the most current version in order to keep your private practice website secure and running smoothly.

If the thought of this constant maintenance doesn’t get you up in the morning, check out our new monthly WordPress maintenance service.

We’ll offload all your maintenance tasks, such as daily backups, constant updates to WordPress, plugins and themes plus scans of your website to make sure you’re not open to any malicious hacking attacks.

Learn more about the WordPress maintenance and support packages here to get started.

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Why Your Private Practice NEEDS To Be On Pinterest

Pinterest isn’t just for recipes, workout plans, and dream weddings. It’s actually a great way to drive traffic to your private practice’s website.

Did you know that Pinterest is the second largest driver of traffic, second only to Facebook?

So, if you’ve been weary about trying a new social media platform, below are 5 reasons why you need to be using Pinterest to your advantage.

Pinterest isn’t just for recipes, workout plans, and dream weddings. It’s actually a great way to drive traffic to your private practice’s website.

Reason #1: Pinterest has over 150 million users (and growing) who are providing details about their psychographics.

Whether they’re looking for inspirational quotes or have a board dedicated completely to self-care tips, your ideal clients are identifying themselves daily.

Using attractive graphics and optimizing your captions with keywords specific to your niche will draw your future clients directly to your site.

Your potential clients are using Pinterest already, so use it as an opportunity to attract them with content relevant to your private practice and expertise.

Reason #2: Your clients are open and receptive to your message.

In fact, they’re looking for it.

By being consistent with the design of your pin images and consistently providing content that will serve your ideal client, you can stand out as an expert in your field.

And as they become receptive to your helpful content, your target audience may be more likely to contact you, set up an appointment, and become a regular client.

I can’t promise this is going to happen overnight, but as traffic increases over time it does increase the likelihood of converting visitors to clients.

Reason #3: Pinterest can increase traffic to your therapy website exponentially.

When someone pins a post, it’s shared to their friends and followers. This means an entire network of individuals will be seeing your content.

The best part is that this can work exponentially in your favor to bring you loads of traffic.

For example, if you pin an image that links to your blog post and you only have 400 followers, it has the potential of being seen by those 400 individuals.

But if one of those 400 individuals REPINS your content and THEY have 4,000 followers, well you have the potential getting your pin (and clicks to your website) in front of 4,000 more people.

And on and on it goes.

So, more eyes means more traffic. More traffic means more prospective clients.

Reason #4: Your audience is looking for the inspiration and content that you can provide.

Since 66% of people on Pinterest are using the platform for that purpose, give them what they’re looking for.

You see, Pinterest is really a search engine… NOT a social media website.

Pinterest is a place where people go to find answers and it’s a great place to provide answers by pinning your blog posts there regularly.

Ensure your messaging is both inspirational and actionable, giving your future clients a roadmap to follow that ultimately leads directly to you.

Whether they’re numbered lists or how to’s, providing the right content to the right audience on the right platform could be a game changer for your private practice.

Reason #5: Pinterest can help with your SEO

One thing that search engines pay attention to is something called “social signals.”

Social signals do play a role in organic and local search engine optimization. Search engines want to show their users the most relevant and engaging content.

As people interact with your pins and traffic increases over time, it can cause a positive impact on your local search engine rankings.

So when potential, local clients search for services related to your practice, Google will be more likely to show them your website, as it sees that Pinterest is sending many other engaged users to your content.

And beyond local search, your pins can (and probably will) pop up from time to time in Google search results, eventually leading traffic back to your website.

Is Your Private Practice on Pinterest Yet? If not, read on…

Personally, Pinterest is my FAVORITE way to drive traffic to any website.

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).

In fact, using Pinterest led to a 15x increase in traffic to my own website… in just 6 months.

It required a little bit of strategy (but ANYONE can do it)

I’d like to share this Pinterest strategy with you inside this challenge

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.

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.

The Ultimate List of Online Directories for Therapists

Online directories are often the first place a therapist will go to get their services out into the world. They can be a great source for new clients coming into your private practice especially when starting out.

Online directories are often the first place a therapist will go to get their services out into the world. They can be a great source for new clients coming into your private practice especially when starting out. In this post you’ll find nearly 100 online therapist directories where you can list your services.

Even before she had a website, my wife had a Psychology Today profile. It was through this that she was able to get a couple of her very first counseling clients.

Once we launched her website, she linked to it from her online profile, and she had a tag team of online marketing that really let her personality and her services shine.

In this post you’ll find nearly 100 online therapist directories where you can list your services.

General Therapist Directories

  1. 1-800-Therapist
  2. Africanamericantherapists.com
  3. All About Counseling
  4. Alternative Therapists Directory
  5. American Therapy Association
  6. BetterHelp.com
  7. CatholicTherapists.com
  8. Christian Counselor Directory
  9. CounselChat
  10. Couples Therapist Directory
  11. EMDR International Association
  12. Ethnic Counselors
  13. The Family & Marriage Counseling Directory
  14. Find-a-Therapist.com
  15. Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA)
  16. GoodTherapy.org
  17. HelpPro Therapist Finder
  18. Hypnotic World
  19. International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals
  20. The International Society for Neurofeedback and Research
  21. International Therapist Directory
  22. Integrative Medicine for Mental Health
  23. IVY
  24. Licensed Therapists
  25. Life Quality Improvement Center
  26. Marriage Counseling & Therapy Network
  27. MentalHelp.net
  28. My Therapist Match
  29. National Board of Certified Counselors
  30. National Directory of Family & Marriage Counseling
  31. NetworkTherapy.com
  32. Online Counselling Directory
  33. Online Therapy Institute’s Directory
  34. PsychDirectory
  35. Psychology.com
  36. Psychology Today
  37. Right Therapist
  38. Self Growth
  39. Talking Therapy
  40. Talkspace
  41. The Therapists Directory
  42. TherapistLocator.net
  43. TherapySquare
  44. TherapyTribe.com
  45. Theravive
  46. Wecounsel

Location Specific Therapist Directories

Asia:

  1. Psychology Matters Asia

Australia:

  1. Associated Relationship & Marriage Counselling Sydney
  2. Australia Counselling Directory

British Columbia:

  1. CounsellingBC.com

Great Britain:

  1. The British Psychological Society
  2. CounsellingBC.com

United States:

Alabama:

Alaska:

Arizona:

California:

Colorado:

Connecticut:

Delaware:

Georgia:

Hawaii:

Indiana:

Kansas:

Kentucky:

Massachusetts:

Michigan:

Minnesota:

New Hampshire:

New Jersey:

Oregon:

Pennsylvania:

Texas:

Washington:

Did I Miss Any?

Let me know in the comments below if there are any online directories for therapists that I missed and I’ll make sure to add them to the list!

How To Diversify Your Income for Private Practice Success

Guest post by L. Gordon Brewer, Jr., MEd. LMFT

How To Diversify Your Income for Private Practice Success Pinterest - L. Gordon Brewer shares tips and strategies to diversify your income as a therapist in private practice.

All of us want to be paid for what we do.

When a therapist goes into practice, there are essentially two basic ways a person can be paid for what they do.

One is to be employed by an agency or other provider of services for what you do. The other way is to be self-employed and get paid directly for the services you provide. And, of course, there are pros and cons to either way of doing it.

With being employed, for your income to increase, you will have to get a raise in pay each year.

This might happen if you get a merit increase or you somehow advance within the organization. Either way, it is highly dependent on the organization when and if you get an increase in pay.

But what about being self-employed; AKA private practice?

In most cases, what you get paid is determined solely by you. And of course there are a lot of factors that go into this: your average rate per session, the number of sessions you have, the cost of keeping an office open, vacation time and time off all affect your bottom line and ultimately what you get paid.

For anyone that is solo and in private practice there are limits as to how much you can make if you do not diversify your income.  

In other words, there is only so much you can charge per session and only a limited number of session you can have. There is only so much time in a day.

For a solo practitioner there are three “traditional” ways to increase you income in private practice:

  1. Create a higher level of counseling income for your time (increasing your rates) or
  2. Spend more time with clients (more sessions) or
  3. A combination of these two approaches

Just seeing clients can be limiting.

It is not “scalable”. You can fill your practice and spend a lot of time seeing clients. But you will quickly reach a limit as to what you can do. That is why it is important to find ways to diversify your income. By diversifying streams of income, you can increase your income without having to spend more time having sessions.

Generating More Income with a Group Practice

One of the best ways to “scale-up” is to move from being a solo practice to a group practice.

In other words bring in other clinicians into your practice in order to duplicate your efforts. Group practices can be structured in several different ways. And from an income perspective the practice owner(s) get a portion of the income produced by each individual in a practice.

Group practices can be structured in any number of ways.

A common way though is for the practice owner to hire the clinicians as a contract provider and do a “fee split” with the clinician. In other words, the practice owner keeps a certain percentage of the total fee collected for each session. (Ex. 60/40 split; the clinician keeps 60% of what is collected).

Other ways to do this is for the clinician to simply pay a flat rate each month to be part of the practice.  In many ways it is simply them paying “rent” or subleasing.

A third way of doing group practice is to make the other clinicians employees of the practice.

This requires more of the practice owner in terms of providing the required benefits and meeting employment regulations.  And there are some states that limit you from doing split fees, so it is something that needs to be researched for your area

Other ways therapists can diversify their income

Being able to diversify your income as a therapist or counselor is something that is very doable.

It does require thinking outside the box and looking for ways to bring in either passive income or more income for the same amount of time.  In other words, getting more money for the time spent.  Time is limited.

So in order to increase income, you have to get more money for the time spent.

Here is a list of other ideas for increasing or generating other streams of income  for your practice:

  • Group therapy sessions- brings in several counseling clients at once without you having to spend the time on individual sessions.
  • Offering or being trained in services outside the clinical realm.  For example, mediation services.  Family mediators are something that is always needed and in high demand from courts.  Most states require a certification in this, but it does create the potential for charging much larger fees for your time.
  • Community workshops or classes that you charge for; again this allows you to concentrate your time for a larger amount of income
  • Creating online courses or webinars you can charge for; ideas would include parenting or anger management
  • Writing a book or creating other materials to sell;  workbooks or guides for clients are good ways to generate income; self-publishing on Kindle.
  • “Monetizing” your website or blog; using affiliate marketing links to generate income when people purchase books or other items you recommend. (Affiliate links are when someone clicks on a link you provide and then get a commission if they buy something from that link):

Check into Amazon Associates – https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/ . Amazon provides a way for you to create an online “store” to sell books and products your remmend on your website.  You will need to know how to embed code on your website, but it is simple to do once you learn how to do this.  It is simply a matter of copying and pasting some code that Amazon provides.  Here’s an example of an Amazon “Store” on my website: http://practiceoftherapy.com/recommended-reading/

  • Start offering “concierge services” (retainer services); people pay in advance for sessions that they may or may not use. In other words, you could offer a “package” in which people pay a specific fee or “membership” for you to be available to them for therapy sessions.
  • Related to the previous idea, start a local or mini EAP.  With this idea a clinician would set-up an agreement/contract with local businesses to see employees that wanted or needed services.  Really modeled after traditional EAP (employee assistance programs).  The businesses or client would pay a fee to “join” the service and then a specific reduced per session rate when they use the services. The additional income for the clinician would come from the “membership fees”.
  • Offer products within your practice.  For example, being able to sell books, meditation products or health products can bring in additional income.  Be careful about this in that having these products in your office. It could turn-off some of your clients. But if these “products” fit with what you are doing in sessions, it could bring in additional income.

Diversifying Your Private Practice Income is Doable!

As has been mentioned already, being able to diversify your income in private practice is absolutely doable.

It does take a bit of creativity and being able to think outside having a strictly “fee for service” business.

Ultimately it means being able to learn how to get more for your time and ways to bring in income that do not require your time.

 

Gordon Brewer - The Practice of Therapy