You may be wondering how important therapist website copy is.
Have you done all the hard work to create a private practice website and not gained the momentum in attracting new clients as you had hoped?
Did you know that making a change in how you write copy for your therapy website can make a big difference?
I want to teach you one simple trick to make your website more appealing to potential clients.
My Own Private Practice Website
A few years ago, I undertook a total overhaul of my private practice website. Like, I deleted the whole thing and started from scratch kind of an overhaul. It was time.
In fact I just ran straight through my own course on how to DIY your therapist website, and I’m pretty happy with how things turned out.
There is one thing that I made sure to do on my website that I want to share with you today. This one fix will make it FAR more likely for folks visiting to want to book with you.
Therapist Website Copy Error
One of the biggest mistakes I see therapists make on their website copy is writing the text as though you’re going to submit your website to an academic journal. I’ve been guilty of this too!
It makes sense, because this is how we’ve been taught to write in grad school for an endless amount of written assignments.
This is a mistake because:
- When we use professional language in our writing, not only does it come across as stiff and cold, it also doesn’t draw a connection between us and the person visiting our website.
- We tend to focus on our credentials on our website. This makes sense at face value because we want potential clients to know they can trust that we’re qualified to help them. But this only extends the perception of there being a gap between us and our website visitors.
Example of What NOT to Write
Let me illustrate with an example:
Let’s say you’re a therapist who specializes in working with couples. And let’s say you’ve gone through the Gottman training in order to be best equipped to serve couples. Imagine you say something like this on your website:
“I’ve worked with couples for over 10 years. I’m a Gottman Certified Therapist and I completed a specialized couples training course focused on affairs….etc.”
Why Is This Website Copy a Problem?
This is a pretty common way we talk about ourselves on our therapist website copy.
But imagine you’re that potential client who’s been through an affair and is visiting this therapist’s website to see if they can help.
Here’s how that statement reads:
- This therapist is focused on themselves
- They are an expert on relationships and will judge me for my issues.
- They have no idea what I’m going through.
None of us intend this, but focusing on our expertise and using academic language tends to ostracize folks.
Quick Fix for Website Copy
So instead, here’s that easy fix for how to write on your website:
Pretend you are sitting in your office working with your ideal client, and they’ve just told you everything that’s going wrong in their life. In this example, the client may have divulged the details and pain surrounding an affair in their relationship.
When your client has shared their deepest pain with you in-session, how do you respond?
I imagine most therapists would not respond by listing out all their credentials. At least not right at the beginning.
Instead, you most likely will validate their pain. You’ll congratulate them for taking the step of seeking therapy and sharing so vulnerably with you. You’ll assure them that you’re committed to helping them heal and recover.
And yes, after you’ve run through all of those things, you may eventually acknowledge your specialized training, such as how you’ve helped X amount of couples recover from affairs and that you have access to evidence-based training that’s proven to help couples recover.
But that’s not the first thing you say. You start by sitting with the pain.
Write Copy Like a Therapist
When you go to write literally anything for your website run through this exercise: Imagine your ideal client is sitting in front of you and has just shared all of their deepest pain and other concerns with you.
Imagine how you would respond to that client in session. Write it down. This is how you want your writing to sound on your website.
In this example of the couples therapist, they might start by saying something like:
“If you’ve experienced an affair in your relationship, you may be questioning whether your relationship can ever heal and recover from it. You might feel like your whole world is falling apart. And you may wonder whether anyone is able to help you. I’m so glad you’re here. I know it takes a huge amount of courage to even begin searching for a therapist…”
Why Make This Change?
At closer look, when we speak directly to our clients on our website rather than focus on our expertise, there is one major difference that shows up between the two:
In the first scenario, you’re primarily talking about yourself
In the second scenario, you’re primarily speaking to your client
The is the critical difference that shifts your writing from sounding self-inflated and disconnected to empathic, engaged, and trustworthy.
Now It’s Your Turn!
So go ahead and give it a try! Run through your therapist website copy and ask if you’re speaking directly to your client or not.
If you’re not sure, check to see how often you say the word “you” relative to “I” or “me.” Ideally, you should see the word “you” showing up far more often than you mention yourself.
Instead of writing it down, record a voice memo on your phone of your response to the question, “If my client just divulged all their deepest pain to me in session, how would I respond?”
Your spoken response will sound more genuine and is likely a more accurate reflection of how you’d actually respond. You can then transcribe what you recorded into written text for your website.
You can use this same tip across all your marketing materials: on your therapist directory profile, social media, and even YouTube like me!
If you are in the midst of creating or tweaking your own private practice website, along with the tip above, I have many more tools and resources that might prove helpful.
As mentioned earlier, I have a course that leads you step-by-step through the process of building a beautiful therapist website that fills your practice.
Until next time, from one therapist to another: I wish you well!
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