Your Private Practice Website Is Not About You

You’re proud of your private practice website… and you should be! It takes a lot of decision-making and sheer hard work to build your site from the ground up. And it feels personal, because it’s a website about you—your training and background, your therapeutic interests, your personality and counseling style.

But here’s the thing. Your website isn’t actually about you.

It’s about your clients.

Unlike any other type of website or portfolio you’ve had in the past, your private practice website doesn’t exist to showcase your accomplishments, or even to “sell” your services to prospective clients. The sole purpose of your website is clarify who you treat and what those clients can expect from you.

Some therapists make the mistake of treating their websites like a resume. On one level, that makes sense—your site might contain a lot of the same kinds of information as your resume. And a resume is designed to get you hired (by an employer), just as a private practice website is designed to get you hired (by a new client).

But the similarity ends there. Why? Because employers, when they hire you, are operating from a place of power. They might ultimately make a hiring decision based on “fit” or personality, but that happens after logically weighing all the relevant factors. Information about your background, credentials, and career highlights is extremely relevant to an employer’s decision to hire you.

In contrast, when potential clients come to your website, they are in pain. Clients in pain may make an effort at logic-based comparison shopping, but if things don’t “feel right,” they leave and look elsewhere. In short, clients shop intuitively, not logically.

Think about the decisions you made when you were setting up your office space and waiting area. Sure, you chose furniture and artwork that you enjoy—this is your workspace, after all—but there’s a good chance that you were also thinking about how each element would make your clients feel. You set up your office in a way that (you hope) will put clients at ease.

Your website needs to be thoughtfully curated in the same way. Yes, it offers information about you and your services, so that potential clients can discern whether you’re the right therapist for them. But ultimately, clients don’t choose a therapist based on information.

Clients choose a therapist based on how that person makes them feel. Potential therapy clients are looking for the person who will make them feel better as soon as possible. Here’s how they know they’ve found that person:

  • They feel hopeful.

  • They feel witnessed and acknowledged.

  • They feel affirmed as an individual with unique needs, but also relieved that they’re not the only one going through this.

As a therapist, you know that what happens in therapy sessions is designed to meet the client’s needs, not yours. The same holds true for your website. 

Your blog isn’t about you, and neither is your website. Even your “About” page isn’t really about you. It’s about what your ideal clients need to hear so that they know you're the one.

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