4 Tips on Writing for Therapists

As you are building and growing your business, your marketing takes a lot of writing (copy)- blogs, social media posts, website copy, and emails.  I know I wasn’t prepared for it. I thought all I had to do was my progress notes. Surprise! However, over time I have learned a few tricks to help.

At the heart of good copy is a story. Whenever you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, each word is contributing to a story that you are conveying to your reader. Think about it: Therapists are amazing at storytelling. We collect stories all day long in our offices, and thus I believe - we are perfect for marketing. That is why we were so jazzed to hear Melanie Gorman from Your Tango speak about storytelling and marketing your business. Click here to check it out.

To get your creative juices flowing I wanted to share four basic tips to writing good copy.

·    Speak originally – This isn’t the same as writing your thesis; you want to write how you speak. Write with contractions (cannot – can’t, do not – don’t) because that is how you actually speak. Use language you would use if you were in the room with someone. And yes, if you are sarcastic, be sarcastic. If you are funny or think you are funny, then be funny. And if you make a funny noise or crinkle your nose at something, then add that to your copy on occasion (wink). You want to appeal to people that resonate most with your authentic self. Because trust me, if you start being someone you aren’t, that is going to take a lot more effort to keep up the appearances than if you just be who you are.  Any Brene Brown fans in the house? Vulnerability and being yourself is what builds trust, not writing psychobabble or writing at a level that people just can’t digest easily.

·      Speak to someone – When I write, I imagine who I am talking to (that is you, by the way, in case you were wondering). I imagine a therapist who is frustrated but still wants their business to work, the therapist who is hungry to take in as much information as they can and apply as they go, the therapist who needs someone to pat them on the back and say “keep going, you got this.” When you write, who are you speaking to? Are you really clear about who you want to attract with the words you write?

·      Speak with purpose – Share what is important. “Well how the hell do I know what’s important, Kelly?”, you might ask. Reflect on common issues that you address or focus on your skill set and the solutions you know how to provide. Give actionable steps or some valuable support and tips for your reader. The whole purpose of your storytelling is to help them and compel them to get more help from you and to provide value along the way. You want them to write the next part of the story by contacting you, buying your book or whatever you are trying to accomplish with your writing. Have that goal in mind.  For example, we help people build their private practices, so what we write is connected to that.

·     Speak often – Storytelling and writing take practice. In fact, we suggest carving out time daily to write, without judgment but simply to start putting ideas out there. Not everything you write is going to be stellar, BUT you gotta keep digging to find the good stuff. You have something to say. I think this is where a lot of you might get stuck: You don’t feel original or you feel like you are repeating yourself. Heck, this is not my first blog about writing; Miranda and I have written about writing in the past. But sometimes we need to refresh and renew old information. Get help to get over the head trash and negativity that is holding you back from putting your message out there.