LIVE Mini Bootcamp: Week 6

n Lesson #6 we are going to talk about websites! Here's what you need to do today:

1) Watch the video

2) If you have a website, evaluate the current platform

3) Determine your budget for your online presence

5) Got questions or comments? Post below and we will join in on Friday, July 15th to respond!

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Website Conversion - Keys to Making Your Website Do The Work for You!

Website Conversion - Keys to Making Your Website Do The Work for You!

he key to a website is that it turns the visitors into clients, but how does it do that? Perry Rosenbloom from Brighter Vision shares a few simple strategies that can make a huge difference in how your website can help grow your business. 

Brighter Vision builds therapist websites and help maintain them - perfect for someone that wants to have a person help them with updating and managing their website. They are launching a podcast that you can check out here:

http://www.brightervision.com/category/podcast/

Brighter Vision is also a sponsor of the Most Awesome Conference and in honor of this - they have created a special deal if you want to try them out:

http://www.brightervision.com/try/mac/

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16 Reasons Therapists are Attending the Most Awesome Conference

16 Reasons Therapists are Attending the Most Awesome Conference

Kelly, Joe, and I were all together in Orlando, Fl for the American Counseling Association's Annual Conference. As we were chatting, we thought we'd ask a question to the attendees who've already signed up for the Most Awesome Conference for Therapists. The answers we received gave us chills! 

Reason #1: Connecting with Therapists Who Practice Abundance

I signed up for the conference because being around fellow business owners that practice abundance and encouragement fills me up! The greatest benefit so far is expanding and deepening the online relationships I've made. Anna Osborn, LMFT www.annaosbornmft.com

Reason #2: This is a rite of passage

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Costs for Starting a Counseling Website

Costs for Starting a Counseling Website

You want to get a website for your private practice but what is this really going to cost? Doing research online you can find sites ranging from free, to a lifetime membership fee to several thousands of dollars for a custom designed site (sometimes more than $10,000) That is a huge range, so let's break down what you need to know.

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Do you believe the lie of Psychotherapy?

The lie that tells you anyone can do this. The lie that tries to Convince you this is all an accident. The lie that tells you that you are one of a million other therapist bots?

It isn't true.

You look up to people like Irvin D. Yalom, John & Julie Gottman, Marsha Linehan, Bruce Perry, Sue Johnson- you see they are something special.

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Websites for Therapists: What You Need To Know to Make the Right Choices

Websites for Therapists: What You Need To Know to Make the Right Choices

The truth is, unless you are already established as a therapist in private practice, are getting the right referrals, and are getting ready to retire- you probably need a website. Today, I'm going to share some definitions and terms to help orient you to the beautiful vocabulary of the internet, websites, and marketing! 

Website

A website is simply a page that you access through the Internet that allows anyone, anywhere to be able to read the same material, in the same format. 

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Writing for Therapists. An Interview with Nicole

Before we start the interview, I just want to thank Nicole for doing this for us. I met Nicole through a business support group and she offered to look at my private practice website and show me how she helps therapists. I was blown away by her insights and skills. We aren't an affiliate (sometimes people wonder about that sort of thing). We simply want to share an amazing resource when we find it. Thanks Nicole! You rock!

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Nicole—I’m a writer, graphic designer and the founder of WriteBrave.com.

I help therapists (and other folks who make the world a better place) create websites that excite and inspire. I love writing, I love designing, and most of all I love helping people get more confident in their businesses by creating a website they love.

 Before I founded Write Brave, I was a non-profit manager here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I developed a therapeutic afterschool program for school-aged kids, then ran a Drop-In Center for young adults coping with serious mental illness 

Tell us how you got into helping therapists with their writing:

 I loved working at a community-based mental health agency, but deep down I’d always wondered what it would be like to be a professional writer and artist. Wouldn’t it be exciting to own my own business? So I saved up a safety net, and left my job to be free from the 9-to-5 grind.

 I’d been writing on and off as a freelancer for almost 10 years, so I decided to start my own business as a general ghostwriter/copywriter. I was in the middle of a real estate writing job when I started to feel burned out. I realized it was because I felt like my work wasn’t contributing to making the world a better place anymore.

 I was free, but I wasn’t happy.

I don’t remember when the light bulb moment happened, but I soon realized how much power I had in choosing my clients. When I realized that power, I decided to only work with healers and helpers—people who were compassionate and committed to decreasing suffering in our world.

Why do you love working with therapists?:

 Besides the reasons I just mentioned above, I get a charge from working to change things that I perceive to be unjust.

I just DON’T want to live in a world where Wall Street bankers have solid gold rubbish bins, while most counselors feel buried under their grad school debt. Therapists and counselors are undervalued today, but I believe we can change that by helping people become more confident in their businesses.

 I love your site. Write Brave. What does write brave mean to you?:

On the surface WriteBrave.com is about creating a standout website for your practice, but on a deeper level it's about loosening the chains of your perceived imperfections, doing what scares you, and embracing your guiding truths.

What is your truth? Your message? Your purpose?

I’ve found that homing in on my own purpose has been a bit of magic for my business. For the longest time I thought that to be a professional writer and writing coach, I had to be PERFECT. I had to have it all figured out before I could help people.

The truth was that I didn’t have it all figured out, but that was OK. I could still use my gifts to be of service to people. I could still “write brave”. That truth became my message and my purpose as a business owner.

 Having a clear message keeps me inspired AND attracts the people I really want to work with.

 Why is writing such an important part of owning a private practice?:

Whether it’s on your own website or on your Psychology Today profile, clients are forming their first impressions of you through your writing.

As a consumer/client, finding a therapist you connect with can be so tedious and taxing. Why not make it easy for the clients who want to work with you by letting your personality and counseling style shine through your profile?

What are some common issues that therapists have when it comes to writing?:

One of the most common myths is that injecting your personality into your writing isn’t “professional”. I think therapists believe that particular myth because they see a lot of life coaches whose websites feature a lot of swearing or “girl talk”.

 I want people to know that your writing can connect without compromising your boundaries. And I also want people to know that if you are the kind of therapist that drops the occasional F-bomb, that doesn’t mean you’re not professional.

Who do you love to help?:

My favorite clients are people who: 

  • Are expressive, soulful, and passionate about helping others who are hurting

  • have invested significant time, energy and resources into their work as a healer because healing others is not just their job--it's their life's work. Their purpose.

  • want their online presence to come as close as (non-humanly) possible to matching their warmth, and their spirit.

How do you help?

I provide free writing resources on my website. (They’re at www.writebrave.com/free-resources).

One of my favorite things to do is help people workshop their writing in real-time. I facilitate free online writing workshops once a month. Previous participants report that the most helpful thing about these workshops is that they get to create and tweak their writing right there in the moment. They get instant feedback from me and their peers. The things some people have written in that 60-90 minutes make me a little giddy sometimes. People feel supported enough to just go for it! I’m so grateful for this space.

 I’m also in the middle of launching a new all-inclusive website package for healers. I’m really excited about it because over the course of six-months, we’ll develop a website that you can’t wait to show people. During the program we’ll answer questions like:

  • How much do I talk about myself, and how much do I talk about my client on my website?

  • What is my message?

  • How do I write my Home/About/Services Pages?

  • How do I make sure I'm writing in "my voice"? How do I work through Writer's Block?

  • How do I structure my site so that client's find it easy and enjoyable to use?

  • I want my site to inspire and provide value to my clients: how do I do that?

 You’ll get graphic design services and one-on-one writing support from me. This program also has a significant peer support component to it. Space is limited to 7, and I’m currently accepting applications.

If a six-month deep dive isn’t what you need, I also provide writing support and graphic design services á la carte.

The first step to working together? Set up a free consult (www.meetme.so/writebrave). We’ll chat about what you need, and we can both figure out whether we’re a good match!

What do want to say to those struggling with their writing, or just aren't sure if their writing is doing what they want it to?:

If you’re not sure your writing is doing what you want it to do, I always encourage people to test it. Ask for feedback from your clients, an honest friend, your colleagues. Use free tools like Google Analytics to measure how many visitors come to your site and compare that to how many new clients are calling you. (If you get decent traffic, but no calls then something about your site isn’t connecting.)

 There are lots of great and FREE resources out there for small business owners who need help with their writing. I provide free templates for your About Page and a Sales Page over on WriteBrave.com. (More templates to come and I take requests!) And when I get Writer’s Block, I personally go to Alexandra Franzen’s blog to get myself unstuck.

 If you’re in a place where you can afford professional support, then hire a coach to help you. There are lots of different coaches out there, working in all these little niches: business, sales, writing, branding…the list goes on and on! Every therapist’s writing needs are different, and it’s important to work with someone whose work is a good match for what you need.

 How can people find you?:

Online people can find me at WriteBrave.com. (Come by, say hi, get some free templates while you’re at it!)

Offline? These days you’d probably find me working at a café nursing a cappuccino (could I be more of a stereotypical writer?), in my kitchen roasting some vegetables (my veggie du jour is cauliflower…yum), or just outside my apartment taking a break under the redwood trees.

4 Tips to Make Technology Easier for Your Private Practice

Yesterday, Miranda and I were in this gorgeous park, filming some kick ass videos for a new free training (Oooo I am so excited about it!). We were on a roll, laughing and chatting and really conveying some clear messages for our peeps. We were in the flow.

This morning, I rolled out of bed to find Miranda on my couch, looking at the camera. "I've got some good news and I've got some bad news." Uh oh... "The video was awesome, beautiful, and looks great!" "But there is no sound." 

Over an hour of content - rockin' content - gone. 

I had a choice. I could throw my camera out the window and stomp my feet thinking about how technology sucks. OR I could figure out the issue, get help if needed, and try again (and still punch a pillow). For the record, we are not immune to technology woes. In fact, I think Miranda has a few less hairs after trying to figure out our website issues this morning. Send her some love, willya? :) 

If you run any kind of business, you are going to need some sort of technology. For private practice owners that can include a smart phone, a computer, an electronic health record, online messaging and video programs, bookkeeping software, a website, social media tools...well you get the idea.

So how do we make technology easier in our business. Here are 4 tips just for you!

1. Do what is necessary, not what is popular. Everyone has apps they love and computers they recommend. Before you start downloading every app your friends recommend or signing up for all the latest social media platforms - how does this help you achieve your business plan? Does it serve your client? Does it make your life easier in the long run? If your ideal client is a 20 something that is artistic and creative - instagram might be cool for your business marketing, not facebook. There is nothing wrong with stopping and researching before you bury yourself under a ton of technology that just isn't what you need. Go back to your business plan, then research tools that will help you achieve your goals. 

2. Use the help desk, YouTube and Google. People may think I am some whiz kid with tech, but I am self taught. I watch videos, read help manuals, speak to customer services reps and practice until I really "get it". If I pay for a service and they have support, you bet I am going to use it. That is why I pay!! I want another expert to teach me and guide me. Did you know YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google? It has so much information AND it is visual which is awesome for those of us that need to see it to learn it. Think about this. When you started grad school, did you know how to do therapy. Sure, you had your preconceived ideas, but you could never anticipate how scary or difficult it could be at times. So what did you do, you studied and learned from others. When you graduate you aren't done learning. New research comes on the scene and we adjust our interventions. Learning technology is the same kind of thing. New tools come out all the time. You will never be done learning. Simply use the resources around you to make the adjustment easier.

3. Stop the negativity. The script in your head of "I'm not tech savvy," is informing your perspective on any technology you touch. You are capable of learning. The worst thing I see coming out of the negative beliefs are bad choices and trusting people that take advantage of naive business owners. I spoke with a therapist the other day that just trusted a person who said they could make all their internet marketing dreams come true. Instead of researching their reputation, asking questions until they fully understood what that person was going to be doing for them, and getting clear on the expectations, they got completely taken advantage of. You have done many things in your life that no one taught you how to do them. Sure, you have made some mistakes, that is how we learn. But you don't have a limited capacity for growth and understanding. By tech savvy we mean that you know when to ask for help and you don't let shame and fear stop you from finding a solution.

4. Be patient and persistent. If you are pissed off and frustrated, take a break. Come back and ask for support. Know that you won't figure it all out at once. People that go through our bootcamp and other programs amaze me. They struggle and at the end, they use new technologies that they would have previously believed they could never had understood. Have some compassion for the learning curve. Know that adding technology to your business is an investment in your business and should elevate the services you are providing to clients. 

Those are my tips. Notice how the title isn't "how to make technology easy." This is about coping better for the sake of your success. 

Oh and the reason we didn't have sound in our videos - the battery in the microphone died.

A battery.

Gah!

8 Steps to Private Practice Marketing and a Profitable Practice

8 Steps to Marketing a Successful Psychotherapy Private Practice

8 Steps to Marketing a Successful Psychotherapy Private Practice

Launching and maintaining a therapy private practice can be a bit overwhelming. There are many ways to market your practice, and different things work for different practices. So, some times you may feel like you are spinning around doing a lot of different things and not sure what actually works. 

Today, we want to give you a brief overview to the broad steps to marketing your private practice. There are different ways to accomplish each of these steps (both offline and online)- but each is integral to building a thriving, and profitable private practice. 

  1. Create a message. Put what you do into words that both your colleagues and potential clients can understand.

  2. Create a path. Make it clear what you want your potential client or colleague to do. Invite them to take an easy, next step that benefits them like chatting on the phone, watching an amazing video, etc.

  3. Focus on relationships. Most people won't connect on the first view or contact (both colleagues and potential clients). Find a way to connect initially, stay in touch, and build relationships.

  4. Get your message out. About 1-2% of people who see a GREAT message will respond. That means you need about 100 people to hear or see your message before you will get 1 contact. Want 10 calls per week? Do the math.

  5. Track it. Whether it is a post-it note, or Google Analytics, have a way to track what is working and what isn't.

  6. Tweak it. Tweak your message until you are getting 1-2% of people responding to your message. You have to track it to tweak it!

  7. Get paid. If you get phone calls but don't know how to schedule at your stated fee, you will be spinning your wheels. Develop an effective process for initial phone calls.

  8. Create change. If you schedule but aren't effective in your therapy work- even if it is because your client isn't doing the work. Learn how to create change in your clients, or weed out people who aren't ready for change.

We want to know- what steps are you focusing on this week? What are your questions? Post them below! 

Are you a visual person? We commissioned an infographic on Fivver.com and they converted this list into a little cheat sheet you can download, print, or share online. Can you see how this might help you get your message out into the world? 

Do you ever wish there was a guide just for you? 

Do you want some hand-holding through implementing each and every one of these steps? Someone to look at what you've written and give you expert feedback? Someone to look at your website and give you tangible feedback of what to tweak to make it more inviting? Someone to help you get confident about the financial planning of your business and get clear about how to reach your financial goals? We do all this and more in our lifetime access Business School Bootcamp for Therapists. Click here to learn more and set-up a free interview today with Kelly or Miranda

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!

A YUMMY new therapist website!

A YUMMY new therapist website!

Miranda here and I have to say I meet some of the most ah-mazing therapists across the country, and right here in California. Today I am going to be highlighting a website that I custom designed for a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist down in Pasadena, CA. She was actually a referral from another fabulous CSAT in Glendora, CA (Small World!)

My favorite part is that they are both amazing, passionate therapists who have a clear vision for their practices. Ninoska Montero went through our free Website 101 e-course and determined that for her- Do-It-Yourself was not the option. She had a beautiful vision in mind and really wanted support, encouragement, and technical know-how to bring that vision to life! 

And boy did we! 

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Social Media Class Upcoming

Our fabulous friends Dr. Keely Kolmes and Clinton Power have put together what we know will be a fabulous training on all things social media. Both Kelly Higdon, MFT and myself have been using (with permission) Dr. Kolmes social media policy and have found it to be an absolute necessity in the digital age. 

I think it also models for our clients ways to set boundaries with social media (as many of them struggle with how to set those boundaries with children, spouses, and friends). 

How do you become a successful therapist?

What is Success?

Do you think just starting a website is going to make you a successful therapist or business person?

Well just building a website won't make you successful... but it might... 

We love helping therapists build websites. You can probably find someone cheap to "build a website" for you, but we provide something different. Our goal isn't to help you build a website- our goal is to help you build a profitable, successful helping business. 

What does a successful helping business mean exactly? 

  • it turns a profit that allows you to live your life

  • it creates joy and balance in your life

  • it makes change in the world

  • it is something you love to go to

  • it provides for your retirement

But just "making a website" won't create  a successful business!

Why? Because a website is an extension or entry point to your business. And, if you haven't created or defined a business model that works- no amount of websites, marketing, or networking is going to help

We include business coaching in every website we touch. Why? Because otherwise- what is the point?

None of our clients went to business school, our licensing exams don't really talk about the logistics of how to keep the doors open. 

And ultimately, we want your website to be successful, so your business can make sense! 

The website design process is really difficult for therapists because it brings to the forefront issues such as: 

  • what am I really great at?

  • how do I talk about what I do?

  • what is my business plan?

  • defining clients in turns of financial revenue (yikes!)

  • what exactly is my business goal?

  • what is my operating and marketing budget?

  • how do I plan get return on my investment?

Yes, I said "return on my investment!" Spending even $50 on a website that doesn't bring you a client is a waste of time, money, and energy. 

Spending $50,000 on a website (FYI: that is usually too much unless you have some monster of an idea), that brings you $500,000 a year ongoing is a GREAT return on investment. 

Part of becoming a successful therapist is understanding the business end of therapy. Why? Because it serves a purpose- it allows you to make a great living doing something you love! 

Will you be joining us for our upcoming webinar where we will be talking more about how to be successful and avoid burnout? Let us know below- and be sure to save your spot!