If you are trying to expand your therapy practice then you have to spend time every day marketing your practice and building your business. We recommend spending at least 1-hour a day doing this. However, if you don’t have the time, expertise, or interest, you should know that there are lots of talented people who can help you out at a very reasonable cost.
Whenever we have a business problem we log on to Clarity.fn for advice. Why? Because Clarity has thousands of business experts who are willing to share advice by phone in as little as 15 minutes.
When you are at a critical juncture in building your business, hiring an expert for advice can really be helpful. Our average cost for really smart consultation with actionable advice has been about $50.
If you are looking for help in specific tasks, like writing a newsletter, developing an AdWords campaign, or designing a logo, there are people all over the world ready to lend a hand. We have used Freelancer.com and Upworks.com to hire a wide variety of freelancers, some in the US, and others in Russia, Serbia, and India. Another one of our favorite places to get creative freelancers is Fiverr.com. You can buy work for just $5, but obviously most jobs will cost you more. Naturally you will want to do your due diligence and read all the reviews and comments before hiring a freelancer no matter which site you choose.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by small tasks on a regular basis, then consider hiring a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants are just like real life assistants, except they work in their homes instead of your office. There are quite a few sites that offer virtual assistants, but we’ve just tried one, Timeetc.com. We thought the experience was helpful and used the site for about 3 months. Another site we’ve heard about but haven’t tried is TasksEverday .com. They are a very low-cost alternative to getting some extra help, using staff in the Philippines and India.
Peer advice can also really be helpful in growing your practice, and of course, it’s free. We belong to a number of Facebook groups as we try to continually understand and respond to needs of therapists who wish to grow their practice. The groups we belong to are:
· The Private Practice Startup
· Marketing a Private Practice
· Mental Health Professional Marketing
· The Blogging Therapists
· Private Practice Builders
· Counselors and Therapists Online Marketing
Just search for these groups on Facebook and ask to join.
There is only one company that comes to mind when recommending someone to improve your website so that it generates more clients. And that is us, HelpingSites.com. Obviously, we are a little prejudiced in this recommendation, but we’d like you to judge this for yourself. Click here to get our website evaluation checklist Client Generating Machine and get an idea of the many things you can do to improve your website. And feel free to contact us to get a free consultation and evaluation of your current site.
For many therapists, there is a desire to offer information that may go beyond the scope of their website or perhaps to provide specific resources*. These are typically accomplished in the form of a hyperlink. For the uninitiated, clicking here IS a form of a hyperlink to its definition.
Hyperlinks are useful, effective ways to help your website visitors. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish different things can be achieved including:
Why is that last one an issue?
Think about how hard you’ve worked to bring a visitor to your website. If you offer a way to go to another website, wouldn’t you still want your site readily available to them? We encourage you to always have outside website links open up in a new browser tab. Put differently, you never want your website not active. This way they can easily get back on your site with a simple tab click. And if the outside site is needed again, they can easily jump back to that site by clicking its tab. Hitting back/forward buttons may cause confusion which site they’re or possibly even fail.
*Stay tuned for a discussion of the merits of using resources on your site.
Signup forms are one of the best ways to help build your practice. They can serve to accomplish different things depending on your goals.
If you're sending out periodic communications, then using a pop-up style signup form is a popular and effective way to help convert site visitors to recipients of your information.
Pop-up style forms typically show up shortly after the visitor enters your website. There are many applications that can be used to create pop-ups on your website: MailMunch and Popup-Builder are example of these. Usually, they can take the contact information and integrate it into to an email marketing system like Constant Contact or MailChimp, which also has a form builder feature that will help create the pop-up. GoDaddy offers a comprehensive email marketing system that also has pop-up forms. Pricing for these services varies from free to several levels of a paid monthly subscription, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s been our experience that if you are implementing a robust effort to build your practice, then considering those systems that offer multiple services will tend to be your best value.
Here at HelpingSites, we have created customized pop-up forms for our customers which has saved them the cost of paying for a service. In fact, we have integrated a fixed button that stays on one side of the page which, when triggered, launches the same signup form as the “on-entry” pop-up. Each time a new visitor signs up, an email is sent to the therapist with the visitors’ contact information, while automatically adding the new contact to a list that can be viewed, downloaded and integrated with your email system at any time.
Another great use of a signup form is coordinating it with resource downloads*. This will enable you to identify the type of counseling service a particular website visitor may be interested in. Armed with that information, you can then reach out to them with additional targeted communications which, over time, will expose them to your expertise and help them gain confidence with your services. It's really a simple process: have the visitor click on the description of the resource which takes them to the signup form; upon completing the form, the download is presented to them. Let’s have some fun and see this in action… just click here to receive a free download "Understanding Your Signature Strengths" (a useful rating system to help increase clients' happiness)... once done, you'll be able to use it right away with your website visitors.
We love helping therapists build their practice. A key part of that is knowing who is visiting your site and following up with them through regular communications. This lets them know how your services will help them lead to a more fulfilled life. So, start using a signup form today.
And if you know a therapist who can benefit from this information, please click on the forward link below.
*Part of our service includes a free 6 month membership to Between Sessions, the country’s largest collection of downloadable forms and worksheets. This $100+ value is included free when you sign up with HelpingSites.com.
Does your website have images that reflect who you are? Does it provide a professional look that also gives comfort to your potential clients? Does it tell the story you want it to?
For many therapists, choosing the right picture can be harder than creating their service descriptions. We are regularly asked by new and potential customers if they can upload their own images. Absolutely. Just make sure they’re good quality… especially your own headshot.
We also receive many inquiries about where they can find free or inexpensive ones. It’s important to know that whatever images you do upload on your site, they’re either your own or ones that won’t violate the copyright laws. You wouldn’t believe how many horror stories we’ve heard about lawsuits claiming copyright infringement.
In general, you can expect the sites that charge for images have a great, professional inventory. These would include: Shutterstock, iStock, and AdobeStock. They usually offer several purchase programs. Considering you likely won’t be changing images that frequently, we’d recommend either ones that have a block or unlimited downloads for a limited time, a bundle of images or even pay as you go. Be sure to pay attention to the usage rights you’re purchasing. If you intend to use them for print as well as web, then there may be a different cost structure.
There are many sites that offer free images too. The portfolios are often diversified and of high quality. Some popular free sites include: UnSplash, Pexels, and PicJumbo.
Another place to consider is FreePhotos which is like a clearinghouse that offers either free or pay images. But no worries, you’ll know which is which before you download.
Here at HelpingSites, we offer a continually growing gallery of images to all of our customers. It’s not unusual for us to search for new ones that will help compliment your message. That’s one of the many included items that distinguish our service from the rest. You can click here to find out more.
Are you like many therapists and helping professionals who are looking beyond their clinical practices for other ways to help people that can also increase their income? With your training, knowledge, and skills there are many ways to leverage your professional expertise into creating additional income outside your normal office hours… even while you sleep!
Today we’d like to talk about a way to add value to your practice and your website that is often overlooked: Teaching an online course.
Much like writing a book, teaching an online course adds to your reputation while also providing you a new source of income. There are many platforms available for you to create an online course - and all of them provide the software to prepare a well-thought out course, as well as the tools to market it. In general, these sites have a revenue sharing model. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll reference Udemy which, with over 15 million students, is one of the largest and most popular platforms.
When you create a course with Udemy, you’ll be posting it on their site. Your share of the revenue will depend on how the student discovers (and subsequently) signs up for your course. Typically, your share will be 50%. But you can also post the course on your site and keep 97% of the course tuition. According to the Udemy website, the average instructor earns $8,000, but like any business, the better you are at marketing your course the more you will earn. Udemy lists hundreds of courses in health and mental health and they are available to people in 180 countries. You’ll find courses directed to consumers (potential clients) as well as courses intended for other mental health professionals (a great idea if you are already doing supervision).
Your first step would be to take an online course yourself (there as low as $15 dollars) to get an idea of the kind of commitment you need to make. Not surprisingly, Udemy, as well as the other platforms, offers both official and unofficial courses on creating an online course. You might also want to take a course on origami, digital photography, or making your own pasta.
When you review the course outlines, you’ll see they are divided into lectures typically ranging from 3 to 20 minutes, and there is always at least one lecture you can preview for free. You’ll also notice all the lectures are taught with video that falls into one of two styles: Either an on camera instructor or a slide show with the instructor talking in the background. Depending on the platform, courses include downloads, quizzes, and even certificates of completion.
While there is no question that creating an online course is an investment of time, with diligence you can create one in a week or two. Compare that with months or even years to write a book. And once you’ve learned how to create one course, you’ll find that process gets easier and quicker with subsequent ones.
Having value-added content on your website - like an online course - will also help drive traffic to your site, encouraging people to contact you for your clinical services. Your website can be optimized around the title of your course giving it an added boost when people search for your services. You can send out a postcard or brochure about your course, again bringing people to your site. Your local paper could do an article about your course or it could be included in a local adult education listing.
Designing a great website is an important part of growing your professional practice. But the design is just the beginning. At HelpingSites.com we go beyond the traditional conventions of any website building company you’ve ever heard of or have come across. We don’t just help you build a website, we help you build a business.
Sign-up now to get your website and free marketing consultation.
HelpingSites.com: Helping you... so you can help others.
Do you know therapists or other helping professionals who never seem to worry about getting new clients? Their biggest complaint is that they are too busy and often have to turn clients away.
These professionals have reached a “tipping point” in their practice, where their reputation and referral networks are so extensive, they hear from new clients every week looking for their help.
This could be you... and it’s simpler than you might think!
HelpingSites has developed a straight-forward Five Step Marketing Plan that will help you build a reputation as an expert in your community. Today we’ll give you a brief overview of these critical steps and recommend some specific tools. We’ll dig down some more into the “best practices” for each of these steps in the next few weeks.
The Five Point Plan
Getting people who have never even heard your name to become a part of your personal community is sometimes referred as a marketing funnel and this is an essential tool in today’s digital marketing.
Does this sounds complicated? Well we can make it easier for you with a HelpingSites website.
When you sign-up for a new website at HelpingSites.com we create this funnel for you! We put all the correct code on your site and after we hear what you need in a personalized interview and, where appropriate, recommend any additional services you may desire. No other web building service can make this offer, but we can’t see any other way to do business. Simply put, your success is our success and we do not stop until you are 100% satisfied.
Sign-up for your HelpingSites.com website today or schedule your free consultation.
* Don’t forget, a 6 month membership to Between Sessions is free to all HelpingSites customers.
It’s wonderful to have a great looking website. A modern attractive website immediately engages your visitors and helps them understand who you are and how you can help them. Your website is a reflection of your personality and your professional intent.
But the design of your website is just the start. Many therapists forget that a website is first and foremost a marketing tool.
The number one function of your website is to attract appropriate clients and have them contact you. And the single most important aspect of your website is your Call to Action or CTA. Simply put, this is the place on your website where you invite your visitors to engage with you in a more direct way.
There are three basic types of CTA’s that helping professionals use, and we’d like to give you some tips about the most effective ways to use them. Here’s the first and perhaps, most obvious one.
Make your phone number easy to find and the Initial contact with you ‘client friendly’.
But don’t put off getting your website in the best shape possible. Find out how to grow your business! Click here to contact us which will include an option to schedule a consult to review of your current site.
While the trend in websites is to make them more visually appealing, the words you write on your site will always be the most important way to engage a potential client. But how can you write really great website copy that will convey your message to your potential clients if you’re not a professional writer? These four resources can help.
Start With The Basics
It goes without saying that your website and blogs should have correct grammar and correct punctuation and a program called Grammarly can help. The free version of Grammarly corrects basic punctuation and grammatical errors, and the paid version helps you correct stylistic errors and gives you suggestions to make your writing more interesting. One of the best features of this program is that you can install it as part of your Google Chrome browser, enabling Grammarly to automatically find errors in your emails, social media posts, as well as your MSWord docs.
Keep It Short and Sweet
Website copy should be direct, simple, and unadorned. Say what you mean, and say it in an honest and interesting way. Arguably, no one has mastered the art of elegantly simple writing as well as Earnest Hemingway, which is why some savvy developers invented the Hemingway app. For $19.95 you can download this app to your Mac or PC and spare your website visitors from the heartbreak of dull, complicated, and unwieldy prose.
When in Doubt, Get Help
Of course, computer programs like Grammarly or the Hemingway app only give you algorithms to improve your writing, and for many of us who are writing impaired, that just isn’t enough. If you are looking for real life folks to improve your writing, try Scribendi, a popular service that has real editors who can review your writing in 24 to 72 hours and provide you with corrections and improvements for you to consider. This service is considerably cheaper than hiring a professional editor, and their fast turnaround can’t be beaten.
When You Have Writer’s Block, Get More Help
Of course, if you are one of the many people who think about improving the writing on their website or blog, but never actually does it, then even the best editor in the world can’t help. That is where freelance services like Upwork come in. While there are many of services offering access to experienced writers, we’ve had our best results with Upwork. In addition to encouraging freelancers to create in-depth profiles, the service also provides lots of tools to help you evaluate the people who want to work for you. You can either post a job or scan their site to get the best writer for your job and your budget.
Are you looking for more ways to improve your website and attract more clients?
Lawrence E. Shapiro, Ph.D, President of Between Sessions Resources
Free 1-Hour Practice Building Consultation with Your New Business Building Website. Click here to learn more.