Sh*t Therapists Say To Avoid Getting Sh*t Done: Part 1

Sh*t Therapists Say To Avoid Getting Sh*t Done: Part 1

A silly title... but a true and real issue. Today we are going to let you into the mind of amazing therapists, who are self-aware enough to let you know the ways they convince themselves NOT to do the things that they know in their heart they need to do to live a happy life and run a happy practice! 

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Starting a Counseling Practice - A Beginner's Guide

Starting a Counseling Practice - A Beginner's Guide

"Give me anything you can to help me start my private practice."

Every week we receive emails from therapists asking about how to get started in their practices. There is great value in getting information from someone who has been there and done that. Yet, we all have our own unique journey. What works for one person, may not work for another. This is why we created a 10 part series that was featured on Pro Psych Central. It is a great compliment to our free trainings and most articles come with a free download to help you integrate what is taught.

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5 Simple Ways to Make Your Next Blog Post Readable, Shareable, and Worth Everyone’s Time

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Next Blog Post Readable, Shareable, and Worth Everyone’s Time

You’re doing this 21st century therapist thing right.

You’ve established a niche. You’ve set fair fees and confidently ask clients to pay you what you’re worth. You’re building relationships as your build professional expertise.

And, of course, because you’ve embraced the internet and its unprecedented ability to connect people with solutions, you’ve launched a website and started a blog.

Congratulations! You started a blog! Um, pardon me for prying, but are you sustaining that blog?  

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Love Your Writing Style - Guest Interview with Nikki

There are people you admire and then there are people who make you go gah gah crazy when you learn from them. For me, that person is Nikki, Communication Stylist and all out amazing human being. In this interview she shares a wealth of information about finding your style, overcoming your writers' block and learning to enjoy the creative process.

Take notes - this girl is on fire!

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Therapists how NOT to start blogging

TherapistsStartingABlog

I built a beautiful website for a client. It is gor-geous. It has amazing information, and it even pops up for keywords in her area that don't have high competition.

However, it doesn't get as much traffic, and convert as many clients as it could. Why? There is no blog.

Well, there is a blog, there is just no content in it. When people ask me how to improve their SEO, or become more findable, the first thing we talk about is writing, aka blogging. 

Therapists and Blogging

What is interesting is that many therapists I know are beautiful communicators. Whether it is in a spoken or written format, they have a beautiful way of talking to people. 

I mean, they are therapists...  a lot of the job is communicating and exploring ideas with people. If I was to ask them to develop a worksheet to help their clients, they might jump at the chance. If I asked them to do a 5 minute educational chat with a group of ideal clients (especially if it was a small group)- they would be excited... but blog... 

Blogging is just communicating ideas. 

I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but before the word blogging, it was just called writing. In some cases, it was just called "journaling." And therapists- aren't you the ones trying to get everyone to "journal?" (Couldn't resist tossing in a silly therapy joke). As therapists, we get to stop elevating the idea of "starting a blog" or "launching a blog" and just call it what it is... we need to write. 

Why do Therapists Need to Blog? 

Because our world would transform if it could take in even .5% of what you have stored in that noggin of yours! There are things you know, do, and teach that you take for granted. Our world needs guides, mentors, sherpas, people to help them see things from a new and different perspective. 

However, if you are determined to never blog, we can help! 

Here are some great tips to make sure that you never get that blog started: 

1. Overthink your blog.

Sit down and spend hours, weeks, months researching platforms, options, tips, tricks, etc. If you spend too much time thinking about this endeavor- it will start to feel like a bigger deal than it actually is. 

2. Strive for blog perfection. 

The perfect title, the perfect tagline, the perfect biography, the perfect article to launch... It is so easy to go down the rabbit hole of trying to make each detail perfect, and never make any progress forward. Yes, we want your blog to be wonderful- however, we all start somewhere. Odds are, no matter how much planning or perfection you begin with- you will continue to tweak and refine over time. 

3. Aim to impress colleagues

Yes, you should have a little process you go through to make sure you aren't doing anything illegal or unethical. Thinking about what colleagues would or wouldn't do, or seeking consultation can help you avoid ethical or legal issues. However, most of the time- I see therapists terrified of being judged not for doing something unethical- but for not being "good enough" in the eyes of their colleagues. Newsflash: Almost every therapist feels this way about blogging (and private practice marketing). The people who might actually judge you the hardest are often the ones that are overly critical of themselves. 

Remember: Your colleagues probably aren't your audience- your potential clients are! 

4. Focus on all the possible horrible things that could happen. 

I hate to break it to you, but you don't hear about many people's lives ending over a blog. In fact, you hear more stories of healing, redemption, and community building based on blogs. It is normal have anxiety about something new. It is good to think briefly about the "what ifs" and make some informed decisions. But, if you find yourself coming up with nightmare scenarios: my practice will close, no one will refer to me ever again, this will trigger a stranger's suicide- take a moment to regroup. Get an outside perspective from someone who knows blogging that you trust. 

5. Surround yourself with negative nellies. 

Mari A. Lee, LMFT, CSAT talks about Negative Nellies, Fearful Freds, and Envious Ermas. It makes me smile every time she says it out loud. If you find that every time you feel energized or inspired, you have people around you that are telling you everything you can't do- you might need to dig a little deeper. Explore whether you might just be running with the wrong crowd. Surrounding yourself with ethical, successful individuals is powerful, motivating, and inspiring. If you aren't feeling inspired, motivated, or powerful- take a good look at who you spend your time with. 

I hope today you feel inspired. If you feel inspired to never blog that is great. If you feel inspired to let go of the barriers to blogging as a therapist- that is wonderful too! 

One more word about blogging and therapists

If you believe you are incapable, have nothing to say, and can't overcome the technology fear- you will make that your reality. The truth is, the technology isn't much more difficult than tying a letter nowadays. And, I very rarely meet someone who doesn't have an amazing, inspiring story. (Of course- we tend to attract awesome therapists so my sample might be skewed!) 

There you are! if you never want to start blogging- there are your easy steps! If you find yourself stuck in those steps and really do want to start blogging as a therapist-post your commitment below! We want to hear from you!

Did you know that posting a comment, and having your commenting account link back to your private practice website can improve your SEO? Crazy huh? It is considered a "link-back" and a completely legit one! 

Miranda Palmer

I have successfully built a cash pay psychotherapy practice from scratch on a shoestring budget. I have also failed a licensed exam by 1 point (only to have the licensing board send me a later months later saying I passed), started an online study group to ease my own isolation and have now reached thousands of therapists across the country, helped other therapists market their psychotherapy practices, and helped awesome business owners move from close to closing their doors, to being profitable in less than 6 weeks. I've failed at launching online programs. I've had wild success at launching online programs. I've made mistakes in private practice I've taught others how to avoid my mistakes. You can do this. You were called to this work. Now- go do it! Find some help or inspiration as you need it- but do the work!

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.