Copyright 2010 Deah Curry PhD
1. Simply write like you talk. Don’t worry about getting all formal and fancy with your phrasing, because that will actually turn potential clients away. Avoid professional jargon — it’s incomprehensible to regular folk and impresses only other professionals.
2. Keep in mind that what works best is a conversational tone. That means writing from a focus on the problems of the potential client, as if they were sitting right in your office already.
3. Follow the 80/20 rule where your message is 80% about the client and only 20% about you.
4. Put your practice philosophy and credentials on your bio (About) page. It’s best to weave those into your personal story so that they serve to demonstrate to prospective clients that you’ve struggled and overcome, too. I know a lot of my clients — counselors, coaches and NDs — are skittish about disclosing personal information. I can teach you ways to write a compelling personal story without giving too much detail.
5. Use a FAQ page to house your practice policies, therapeutic issues dealt with, so as not to overwhelm web visitors with that info in their first / home page introduction to you.
6. Display your fees and package options clearly, and when possible, give people options for working with you.
7. Have a Resources page ( call it FREE or MORE or GOODIES or RESOURCES, etc) where visitors can get free, immediately implementable self-help tips that YOU have authored. Resist the temptation to only list a bunch of links that send people away from your site and promote others’ work.
Update since 2010 -- There may now be some small SEO benefit to having outbound links to authoritative resources IF they are directly relevant to your ideal client niche. I would still advise not filling a page with links, but rather integrating those into your niche specialty pages.
For example, if you work with substance addition, list 2 or 3 links to AA or Rational Recovery, or an in patient treatment facility with whom you have a referral arrangement.
If you used these tips as a self-assessment guide for your current website, how would your site stack up? What needs revision? When will you do it?
Feel like you sort of know what to do, but still think you don’t know exactly how? I can help. Contact me for some techie coaching. Or set up a single strategy consult to formulate a sustainable marketing plan, or to have your website critiqued and get specific suggestions for client attracting improvements.