I had a bit of a freak out last night. I saw an email advertising a new website marketing for therapists class.
My heart dropped and raced at the same time. I went to stalk the website of the therapist referenced. (It’s not really search engine friendly and more focused on text-sales pitch, and the therapist pays for many therapy directories where likely most of the traffic is coming from.)
I had to try calming myself down. We all want to be the expert in our niche. We all like to think we offer the “best” within our speciality. So how do we deal with people raining on our website parade?
It’s complicated, obviously. And for me it’s even more complicated because my target market, YOU, often tells me, “I don’t know what I don’t know!” And my competitors talk really well. They are masters at marketing, even if they aren’t EXPERTS in the content they are marketing. (That is the most frustrating part.)
Here’s my education of the day for you.
There is “sales and marketing pitches” that you should use on your website pages. And there is GETTING people to your website to even see the great sales pitch. There are plenty of people to help with a sales pitch. And there are lots of expensive firms you can hire to “get” website traffic. But I’m just not wired for all that sales talk and my husband (also a Gen Xer) and I agree those sales pitches can seem a bit too drippy. We agree there is a fine line between “feeling your pain” as a therapist, and being a professional. I don’t want a gushy therapist. I was a professional therapist who loves what they do, who I feel could connect with me, but who maintains some “professional distance.” It’s a hard wire act to be sure! I will share some examples as I run into them online. My husbands own website is probably an example of what we are talking about, since this is obviously our own personal bias in marketing. See what you think of the tone of his website, which clients react very favorably to, at Minnesota Couples Counseling.
Where is the bridge? How do you know your sales pitch ITSELF is drawing new clients? How do you know if “submitting your website to all those directories” is resulting in anything? How do you know who to trust and what to do? AAAH, this stuff is just exhausting, isn’t it!
Then add an important wrinkle. The vast majority of “help” out there are people 50 and over. They all say ‘the next generation” is more web saavy, but they themselves are immigrants. I am convinced everyone over 40 LOVES newsletters and thinks they’re the best things ever. I wonder if they haven’t gotten the memo that people under 40, and basically EVERYONE under 25, doesn’t check email anymore? They are on Twitter. They are on Facebook. They are text messaging. They are IM’ing. (Instant messaging.) They can’t be bothered with newsletters and sales pitches. Everyone I know (I’m 33) hates to give websites their email. We are the “spammed generation” and we are very leary. Most of us create fake emails that we never check to register for things we are forced to register for. In fact it was a HUGE deal last week because I gave my hair salon my “real email’. The receptionist and I agreed we NEVER give out our “real email” so she laughed, agreeing it was a very big deal for me to do that. And I just got a website CD sale today and the person is going to mail me a check because he doesn’t want to sign up for yet ANOTHER account (Google checkout.) I don’t blame him!
So read between the lines if you can. And figure out what your website problem is, exactly. My particular interest is not the “sales pitch”, but getting the write words that Google likes, written in a way that expresses YOU (not generic Therapists R Us). And I want you to know how to figure out your website name and why it’s so important, why and how marketing your website can make or break your free search engine traffic, how to generate intelligent, Google-friendly (and reader friendly) content, and how to organize said content in a way that helps Google and your reader. To be blunt, I see mostly horrible therapy websites and it makes me very sad because the bad websites may be misrepresenting the AMAZING therapist who has passion, energy and a real calling to therapy. But the “gap” is so huge and the therapist has nowhere to turn for help. (This is where I offer one hour personalized website reviews as well as trainings.)
See more on my website, www.ThomasConsultation.com/buy.php and DOWNLOAD a free Introduction to Search Engine Optimization.