Often my blogs fly off my fingers based on “current events” in my life… and by current I mean something that just happened a moment ago! I just finished the most nerve-wracking, awful cold calls to local businesses as my “practice” to get better at it. The goal is to “rescue” people who spend money on Yellow Page ads and get them more web saavy. I love this stuff and know I bring a lot to the table as a holistic business-minded, idea-generating, “grounded” web marketer who loves nothing more than connecting and building bridges with people and organizations.
This last call I made was to a mother/daughter team who do estate sales. Their website is esthetically dated, all image based (which means completely unreadable by search engines), and the biggest reason I was excited: they had a LOT OF UNTAPPED POTENTIAL. Imagine their customers are twofold: the often grieving, vulnerable family members trying to sell of mom’s old stuff but not sure how much it is worth or whether it’ll sell, and the BUYERS who love to find gems in estate sales, like antique furniture, etc.
As many therapists and others do, this woman was very clueless about her website and said her daughter did all the web stuff. She thought it was really good and that it did a lot for them. What I couldn’t get into with her on a simple call was how she could be USING THE WEB to her advantage. Showing for your own name is _NOT_ the point of web marketing. It should be EXTREMELY easy to rank high for your own name, to the point I would never even sales pitch you on that. It’s a given. She should have a robust website, categories of furniture that people often,want, videos of the homes before the sales, credit card purchases “sight-unseen” before a sale even starts, joining Facebook and Twitter to let all her shoppers know ahead of time exactly what’s coming up next. She’d also use those mediums to educate you and I on what to consider NOW, before a loved one dies and we need to consider what to do with their stuff. Lots of useful tips, tricks, everything from “make sure all the items that are meaningful to family members are well documented to reduce family squabbles or accidently sell these items.”
This is why websites excite me. It’s not about slapping up markety words. For me the fun is HAVING FUN! Now obviously therapists, unlike my educator followers, may have a harder time with “fun”, since mental health sufferers are in pain and need to be treated with delicate regard. Educators can do a lot more with FUN.
To me a therapist can have FUN within their area of expertise by, for example, drawing in the local news and media. Have you heard of the new TV showing coming out called the Marriage Ref, with Jerry Seinfield? Imagine how fun it would be to watch the show, knowing you can comment on how it goes with people who will find your thoughts valuable? This is partly how your marketing spreads..someone finds your blog with these shows, finds you a riot, and forwards to everyone they know. Week after week they come back to your blog to read your responses to the latest show. Eventually you consider offering online group classes based on the topics that bubble up. Or you decide to start a local group in person based on the show – teaching what is or isn’t right about the “referee’s” who aren’t trained professionals. And there is nothing more refreshing to a prospective web visitor than knowing your website was “touched” recently. It oddly makes them feel a connection to you as compared to a website that has a copyright date of 2007 and is clearly “collecting virtual dust.”
The reality is there is always potential out there and there are a LOT of gaps out there you may be able to fill! One thing I don’t often mention is how much I love on-the-fly consultating with people about my advice, ideas, getting their story and their goals as a professional. I have an hourly rate and can bill you AFTER the telephone session so you pay for only the time we spend. Contact me if you want to do this! It’s an honor, trust thing so I will do this as long as it’s mutually beneficial. My entire life people had said I’m so resourceful. It’s only in the last 2-3 years I’ve begun to appreciate this “talent” is something not everyone else shares. I’m almost a concierge to family and friends, getting them anything they want from any topic!