I am at the Networker Symposium on DC and at the exhibit hall are Therapy Sites! I was able to talk to them for a while and one thing I was very pleased to learn was a VERY itty bitty little “thing” that I dislike about a lot of websites. What is it? Having a “hosted by…” link at the bottom of your website.
It’s subtle. And Therapy Sites says you can turn that off. (I was going to suggest they charge more for therapists to take it off, but yay for free!) If you have a Therapy Sites website, TURN IT OFF. You don’t really want clients going to that link and reading how much you pay for your website. It’s sort of like telling clients how much your office rent is. Just unnecessary and distracting.
Here’s the deal. If you run a business, and have a website, it appears much more professional to “have your own website.” I see a ton of websites hosted by Godaddy, Homestead, Yahoo, Superpages, Google, it goes on and on. I dislike those buttons and links! It’s almost as if you are given the professional space to describe you who are and what you do, but ULTIMATELY you’re just an ad for that business because they “stamp” themselves on your website. Another analogy would be having a business card but on it is written “printed by Vista Print.” You want a clean business card, NOT an advertisement for another business.
If you ever use websites like Godaddy, or Google, keep in mind “free” or low cost websites require their “stamp” on your site. This is because they will give you something free in exchange for free advertising and a link back to their website (which helps them.) And Homestead (the Intuit commercials you may have seen) starts at $4.99/month but you aren’t allowed your own website name! Egads, talk about advertising for them by having a website like TherapistMike.homestead dot com. It is a long website name and it makes clients (especially Gen X and Gen Y) wonder if you’re really that frugal you can’t afford your own website.
And one more thing. If you have an AOL email account GET RID OF IT. Now. Move to Google’s “gmail.” Gmail is free, super slick, tons of features, and a lot more hip. Even better of course is to use the email associated with your website, though if you have a brand new website you may run into some issues with emails going into junk spam folders. Therapy friends who run a premarital workshop were told this by a lot of their hip, urban clients and I strongly concur. AOL feels like the early 90’s! The nickname for it is “A. O. Hell.” It is honestly distracting and distancing.
I will be back full throttle in a week or so. Lots of ideas brewing. And sorry I haven’t updated my websites, but YES, I have website solutions for those of you who are emailing me and wondering if I have a way to help get you online for the first time. 🙂