"Helping people who help people"

Process vs Problems

My Psychotherapy Networker article is coming out in the next issue.  It’s all very exciting, though I’ve learned to keep expectations low.  The most extreme publicity is Oprah, and I know a very famous author who got a $100,000 advance on a book, was going to get an entire show with Oprah to cover some really important stuff.  And then 9/11 happened.  Book tanked, nothing happened, no publicity.  Ouch!

However, assuming I get some more buzz, I’m constantly trying to find ways to balance the needs of therapists and educators with my time, interest, and abilities.  One of the biggest blocks I have, as you do in the helping profession, is having someone in front of you with A PROBLEM.  You know that by “answering the problem” you are not helping the person understand the “how and why” they have the problem in the first place, nor necessarily how to prevent a similar problem in the future.  The reality is you’re a process-expert, helping work in a circle around the problem until the “ligh bulb moment” occurs and you can then walk gently in with some professional talk once the client is ready to hear it.

This is very common with websites.  People have a problem:

  • I don’t know where my website traffic is (or I don’t know what it means)
  • I need a new website, where do I go for one?
  • I have a limited budget, what can I do with a website?
  • I’m not getting book sales, help!
  • I’m not getting clients or sign ups, help!

But underneath all that I find it so important to step back.  Every single website review I’ve done has landed on some key “housekeeping” work that needs to be changed.  One guy was totally invisible to search engines because his web person had stuck his entire website INSIDE his own.  This matters a lot because it means the search engines weren’t finding his website.  To use a library analogy, it would be like having your kids book STUCK inside another kids book!  Nobody knew it was there, nobody indexed it, nobody can find it.  Now anyone he told about his website could easily find it so he had no idea there were problems.

Other people have other problems.  One person had an entire website name with a certain image, only the image was totally blank on my computer!  I even suggested she put the image ON her website since that’s her website name.  She was shocked to learn it wasn’t showing up for me.  I don’t know for sure, but I believe her design company was really graphic artists, not website people.  They make pretty images, but putting those images together on a really solid website was not their forte (the site had many other really bad issues with it.)

What I’m trying to say is that I keep running into problems and the “consumer”, you, has no idea.  Or maybe you recognize you have issues but have no idea how to solve them.  To be being a smart consumer is half the battle.  Once you are empowered and know your options, you will be much more successful in doing what you want to do.  I may consider doing some e-books, or open up “chunks” of my time for special fees for special topics.

The ultimate marketing question is do you create the need or meet the need, or both?  🙂


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