A counselor’s website can make or break their practice. A good website attracts clients to the counselor’s practice, while a bad website loses or even repels potential clients. Don’t be another good counselor with a bad website. Here’s your inside scoop on the top 5 counselor website mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mistake # 5: Forgetting That The Website Is For The Client, Not The Counselor.
This is a problem with the focus of the website. When a person is in pain, they aren’t interested primarily in hearing about your degrees or how many certifications you have. They just want to know – quickly – how you can help them with their problem. Wouldn’t you, if you were in their position? If you can convey to the client right away what changes you can help make in the client’s life, you will greatly increase your chances of getting a phone call and eventually securing an appointment.
Mistake #4: Not Including a Blog
This is a problem of connecting to the client. Before a client is ready to pick up the phone, they want to know who YOU are. There’s no better way for a person to get a sense of that than to hear your voice. Write about your techniques, your successes, your philosophy of life – just let them hear YOU. The number-one reason that my clients tell me they chose to call me is that they read and liked my blog.
Mistake #3: Not Linking To A Mailing List.
This is a question of timing. A person might spend just a minute on your website, and then be gone forever. Many people have to consider visiting a therapist several times before they make the decision to go. But if it in that minute that they are on your website they respond to an inspiring offer to sign up for your email list, you can continue connecting to that client long after that first moment. That way, when they are ready to call someone, you will be the person they think of. (Check out MailChimp, AWeber, or MadMimi for your email marketing needs.)
Mistake #2: Not Having A Personalized Domain Name
This conveys a lack of professionalism. Whether it’s the name of your company or your own name, creating a personalized domain name is the easiest way for a client to remember how to find you. It also tells clients that you’re serious about your business. The alternative is to include some kind of a tag from your web provider in your domain name, like so: yourname.webprovidersname.com. That’s not acceptable. With domain names costing less than $10 these days, there’s no excuse not to get one for yourself!
And the NUMBER ONE Mistake Counselors Make When Creating Their Own Website: Paying Too Much For A Basic Website.
This is a huge financial mistake! Money that is wasted on a website cannot be invested back into your business or distributed through more effective forms of marketing. The only exception to this rule is if you want custom design services – then you should hire someone with web design expertise. But for a good, basic, website with a blog you should never pay more than $35 in start-up fees and a minimal hosting fee per month. It’s just too much! These days, even a person without advanced computer skills can easily create a professional-looking website.
Want to know how you can learn how to build your own client-attracting website – without spending a lot of cash? Check out my live webinar on Thursday, January 26, 2012 or purchase the recording of “How To Build A Killer Counseling Website For (Almost) Free.” In it, I will share my easy, 8-step formula for creating a fantastic counselor website, my list of the only three things you should ever pay for on a basic website, which pages are necessary for counselors (and which AREN’T) as well as more insider tips and tricks! Don’t miss it. Sign up here!
Stephanie Ann Adams, M.A., LPC
Beginnings Counseling & Consulting http://www.stephanieadamslpc.com
Author, “The Beginning Counselor’s Survival Guide” NOW AVAILABLE http://www.stephanieannadams.com
Site Owner, BeginningCounselor: Growing Happy, Healthy New Counselors @ http://www.beginningcounselor.webs.com
Blogger for the American Counseling Association @ http://my.counseling.org
Tweet Me @BeginCounselor
These are some great tips that can help me improve my website. I have thought about blogging for so long. I need to stop thinking and get acting! I’m going to ask my web consultant about a personalized domain name. Unfortunately, I can’t attend Stephanie’s webinar as I have grad school on Thursday nights. I’m going to contact her and see if I can get a copy of the webinar to view at my convenience.
Keep these good ideas coming!
Be sure to contact Stephanie — she might be able to help you out with a re-broadcast! Good luck with the blog.
Hey Maureen and Deb! I told Maureen if she or anyone else would like a recording, just let me know. The invitation includes the live webinar and the recording afterwards!
Thanks again for hosting my post, Deb!
@ Stephanie — that is great to know! This is an amazing value for what you are offering; thanks so much for offering this webinar to us Stephanie.