How to Create a Compelling Online Therapy Profile
Imagine the nerves you may feel leading up to a big job interview. You’ve been on the hunt for a while and after a few previous interviews didn’t pan out, you’re a bit discouraged. But, you’re still hopeful that this is the one because the company looks great on paper and the role fits all of your professional interests.
You then show up and not only is the interviewer not well groomed but they don’t seem well versed on the company they’re advocating for. We don’t want to lose you, so let’s get to the point.
Therapy looks good on paper and finding a therapist that fits your needs takes work. And because it’s still considered a stigma, those who are searching for your services aren’t fully sold on all it has to offer.
Your online profile is what’s sitting across the table from potential clients. If it’s unkempt or if you aren’t properly telling your brands story, you’re allowing that potential client to leave the table feeling confused, discouraged and drained about the thought of getting on the “job hunt” again.
Creating a compelling profile for your online therapy business is vital to reaching and building lasting relationships with college students who are millennials and generation z’ers.
So, about that bathroom selfie you uploaded. Delete it and implement these key tips for creating a profile that connects.
First Impressions Matter
The first thing potential clients will be drawn to is your photo. What will lock them in is an image that conveys things like trust, authority, warmth and approachability. If you’re using an icon, how can they trust you? If you’re using an ill cropped family photo, will they take you seriously? The list can go on but we hope you get the “picture” from those examples.
If not, keep these tips in mind:
Color: If the color or print of your outfit can potentially be an eye sore, just keep it in your camera roll. This isn’t the time to show off that cool neon windbreaker you got in the 90’s. It’s best to stick to black, white and solid workwear.
Yes, we know it’s boring. But the goal here is to look professional; busy colors and prints can detour someone who’s looking for a therapist that seems stable and reliable.
Background: Think less is more when it comes to your background. Keep it professional because again, your goal is to convey trust, expertise and to represent your brand. No bathrooms, no friends out for drinks, or any other background that looks too personal.
Glare: Stay mindful of the reflection that comes off of your glasses. That can create a visual barrier between potential clients and you.
Size: For photos think “headshot” (shoulders up) and for videos waist up is best. Make sure the size of the image and video is large enough to avoid issues with blur and distortion, and be mindful that it isn’t too large to upload
Perfect Your Messaging
Remember the trust, authority and approachability you need to convey with your photos? Be sure to keep this in mind when creating your description and video. You are running an online therapy practice after all. Your inability to create a quality video will cause potential clients to question your ability to run quality video sessions.
So, here’s what you need to do:
Be Specific: It will be valuable to your practice to hone in on what type of client you’d like to work with. Being clear about whether you want to work with clients with mood disorders, substance and addiction issues or anxiety will sharpen your messaging for those individuals.
- Don’t: I work with college students who are experiencing mental health issues.
- Do: For 10 years I’ve worked with individuals experiencing concerns around alcohol and drug use.
Skip Jargon: Official diagnosis terms or clinical symptoms can go over the heads of students who may be new to therapy and seeking professional care on their own.
- Don’t: Do you have Bipolar disorder?
- Do: Are you feeling overwhelmed with managing your school load?
Perfect Tone: Tone and jargon can play off of each other in this case. Keeping it friendly, sincere and digestible will hit the perfect balance between academic and relatable.
Too clinical can come off as high-and-mighty and too casual conveys a sense of unimportance. Use the sincere tone you’d use in a session to express your desire to assist them. Be real, be yourself.
- Don’t: College is stressful, many people your age experience feeling overwhelmed.
- Do: Did you know at least one in four college students are overwhelmed? You aren’t alone and I’d be happy to help you work through it.
Adopt The 80/20 Rule: Liberate them from the countless Google searches they’ve done to find the answers to their symptoms. They are taking a life-changing step to getting a handle on their mental health and want to feel hopeful that their search ends with you.
Give them that security through personalizing your messaging to be 80% about them and 20% about you.
- Don’t: I…I…I…My practice…My approach…
- Do: It’s great that you took the first step to explore how to reduce your sadness. Are you finding it difficult to get out of bed and go to class?
Call-to-Action: It would be baffling to go from a sincere and authentic tone to coming across as an aggressive salesman. Keep it simple and again sincere. Your wrap-up statement should feel like they’re being asked to finish what you’ve started.
Don’t “tell” them. Invite them to decide for themselves.
- Don’t: Call me now for your free consultation. Don’t miss out on this deal to get the help you desperately need.
- Do: I’d like to invite you to connect with me on chat for a free consultation. You can share your concerns with me and we can work together to decide if my approach is best for you.
Ultimately, if you’re looking to have a thriving practice that targets college students, you have to adapt to the tech savvy world we live in. You want to meet them where they are and prove to them that your online presence is reflective of the quality of service you pride yourself on offering.
Make a good enough impression and they’ll be happy to sign on the dotted line to start a business relationship with you.
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