One of the more unusual traits I've noticed among my colleague psychotherapists is the strong tendency to strive to be just like every other clinician, to NOT stand out from the pack, to market in ways that aim to blend in rather than to distinguish themselves as having something unique to offer.
This tendency seeps through website design, page content, marketing message, downloadable reports, and SEO.
Perhaps this is due to a dire lack of marketing education in grad school. Maybe it's the fault of overly conservative and fear-based risk management continuing ed. Could be that it's a deeper, psychological, issue of low self-esteem, low confidence, or feeling of not being good enough to dare to be different.
Making matters worse, clinicians often go from school to internship to agency work, and only midway through career life are they confronted with having to figure out how to get clients without an organizational system filling their daily schedule for them.
Whatever the reason, the results are sabotaging to client attraction and private practice success.
The tendency to hide in the crowd takes numerous forms, with some of the most common including:
wanting a website just like someone else's
believing you don't need a website, that "word of mouth" will work
using a Facebook page to substitute for a website
thinking a generic, kitchen sink marketing message will attract more clients
fearing that defining an ideal client will result in lower income
not using your personality in your marketing content
introverts trying to network in an extrovert-geared world
listening to opinions that aren't backed by knowledge and experience
thinking a recitation of credentials will attract more clients
putting more faith in referral sources than direct outreach to potential clients
not having / not following through with a marketing plan
being reticent to blog due to thinking everything has already been written by others or worrying that colleagues won't approve of what you have to say
Hopefully any website designer worth their salt will advise, and coach, and persuade clinicians as well as other clients about what makes a website the most valuable piece of your marketing. A good designer can help you stand out, and create rapport with potential clients.
At least, when psychotherapists hire DeWriteSites to create a website, you get not just my techie skills but also the advantage of my experience with marketing to attract clients and fill a private practice while still observing the ethics needs of a clinician.
An additional invaluable resource is CJ Hayden's Get Clients Now! books and system for crafting and using a marketing plan that really works and is easy to keep up with. I'm a fan because my own client load increased 75% the first time I used it. Ask me for a consult in this system if you want a plan that can be customized for your needs.
A lot of therapists worry about search engine optimization (SEO) and whether a Wix site is good in that regard. (The answer is yes it is, and often faster at getting indexed by Google that WordPress sites due to an innovative arrangement between Wix and Google). But SEO is success can't make up for self-sabotage like a combination of some of the 12 ways listed above.
SEO is more about computer algorithms than it is about touching the human mind and heart. SEO just helps bring people to your website. But SEO alone can't make a meaningful connection, begin the process of cultivating trust and rapport, and create the conditions in which potential clients feel seen and heard even before getting into your office. If your websigner doesn't know how to do the human part, no SEO tricks will convert your site visitors into clients.
So how many of the 12 ways of sabotaging your client attraction efforts are you currently using? I'm here to help if you need some feedback and suggestions on what you can do instead.