Does thinking about building an effective website create unnecessary anxiety and stress for you? Are you wondering how to create both a simple and usable webpage? In this video, I’ll walk you through the proper ways to structure and build a great internet home for your practice.
About the 6-Figure Practice Program:
The Six Figure Practice with Sasha Raskin, is an online program and community for helpers such as counselors and coaches, who are building their private practice. If you’re looking for a clear, step-by-step road map for creating and marketing your private practice, you’re at the right place!
Free resources to grow and market your counseling private practice or coaching business:
Free 22 minutes crash course – “How to Create a Thriving Counseling / Coaching Private Practice”: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/free-22-minute-crash-course
Free resources about marketing for therapists and marketing for coaches: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/blog
Free 30-minutes strategy session with Sasha Raskin: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/schedule-a-free-30-min-strategy-session/
Our accelerator program for creating a 6-figure business:
The 6 Figure Practice Program: https://www.the6figurepractice.com/the-6-figure-practice-program-accelerator/
More ways to connect:
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2174406112863019
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/the6figurepractice
Chat with me on messenger: https://m.me/the6figurepractice
Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCITSmYvj-vpwuWrOuwqYr5w
My name is Sasha Raskin. I’m a Number 1 Best Selling Co-Author in 12 Countries, a Doctoral student in Counseling Education and Supervision, a coach, a psychotherapist and an adjunct faculty at a graduate counseling program at Naropa University.
One of the things I’m enjoying the most is helping other therapists and coaches build their successful private practice so that they could actually help the clients they were taught to help, and thrive themselves. I’m almost always fully booked, so my ability to work with individuals is limited. That is why I’ve created this program to deliver powerful results and create a community where you will feel supported by each other!
This program’s primary goal is to help you build a thriving private practice, in a fun and authentic way. Counselors and coaches invest an incredible amount of time, money, and effort into building their helping skills. However, when their training ends, they usually find themselves lacking the business skills that are needed to start and run a successful private practice, feel isolated, discouraged and not knowing where to start.
I believe that to be truly helpful to others, therapists and coaches have to learn to thrive themselves and definitely know how to get clients whom they can help.
This is where this program comes in. If you’re willing to learn and work hard, a 6-figure private practice is within your reach in a year – 2 years. This program will give you a clear outline, and detailed instructions on how to get there.
How to Design An Effective Counseling or Coaching Website
Today we’re going to talk about your perfect website. If you’re a coach or a counselor you probably spend a considerable amount of time on building your website or probably planning to build your website if it’s not existing yet. And I get it, like this is a work in progress and it takes a lot of effort, time, figuring stuff out not just technically but also about your own services. And there’s the emotional component as well, right? You’re basically putting yourself in the spotlight saying to your potential clients and honestly colleagues as well, “Well, this is me and that’s what I do,” and as a counselor or a coach, whoever you are, good enough to actually offer those services to clients. And that can produce definitely at least I know for myself a certain amount of anxiety, which can and probably does lead to procrastination.
Now since the website is such a big part of you being found online and converting potential clients to paying clients the best thing we can do is figure out various ways of overcoming this procrastination and making sure that this process is as easy as you possibly can for you to actually get your website published and good enough, and also figure out what actually makes a good website a good website. By good website we need some measurements, right? So just to move from gut feelings to real world it basically means that your website is doing what it’s supposed to do, which is have your clients contact you, better yet – have your perfect clients contact you consistently with the amount, the numbers that would actually allow you to run a thriving private practice. So it needs to be happening consistently, it needs to be the clients you actually want to work with and it needs to be done predictably.
So when you’re thinking about a good website, the main thing about a good website is basically a website that’s completed. There is no point in creating masterpieces for years if no one can find you. And honestly, even a bad website is better than a wonderful website that is not live. So I guess the biggest goal in building your website is having it published as soon as possible. And it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece in order to do that, you can totally have a one-page basic homepage with with your phone number and a contact form be done within a few minutes honestly. And I actually measured how long it takes to build a website, like the lowest one I got, the shortest time was 17 minutes, and that’s with multiple pages. So have your website published.
Now beyond that you need to focus on three main things to make sure that your website serves you, one is the structure and design, two is the text, and three is SEO, basically search engine optimization. And we’ll talk about all three at least enough for you to get a sense of what needs to be improved or what you need to focus on. And those are three, think about it as a three-legged stool, if you don’t have all three in place you would lose balance, this is not a stool you can sit on.
So let’s talk about … let’s start with the text. And the reason I’m starting with the text is that this is by far the most important part of your website. I’ve seen situations where counselors or coaches, massage therapists or consultants, whatever, have a pretty outdated design and structure but the text is good and they still get inquiry from potential clients. We, as humans we’re connecting to stories, yes, we are very visual, but the power of story is something that can draw me in as a potential client to actually start reading and staying on the website instead of navigating away and continuing my research if I’m looking for a therapist or coach. And it can help me connect to the counselor or the coach on a deep level even if it’s just letters using the power of imagination.
So when you think about your website, by the way, this applies to whether you have a great website and you just want to improve it a little bit or if you’re thinking about building a website from scratch and you just want to know what are the main things to focus on. So when helpers are thinking about building their website usually they think about the design part as being all the tech being the most complicated part, it’s actually the text.
I’ve been designing websites probably for 20 years now at least and had a website design company designing websites for therapists and counselors. And an interesting thing would happen, we would be able to finish the website within a few hours including taking headshots and sometimes shooting videos, so the website was pretty much done up and running, sometimes even designing the logo, and many clients would actually sometimes be stuck for months because they were not able to finish their text, they will stuck with that part. And in the company we realized, “Okay, we need to do something about that and help our clients to finish their text in a timely manner and in a way that actually converts potential clients, the visitors, to people who reach out.”
Now the big thing to focus on when you’re writing your text is shifting your perspective from thinking that the website is about you, (2) understanding that the website is actually about your potential client. And that changes everything. It’s not about your certifications, your diplomas, the different modalities that you are working with. It’s great and it’s important and it has its place, but it’s definitely not in the forefront of your website.
So when I’m writing the text to the website I’ll start doing that first even before I go into web design. Once I got the text then it’s so much easier just to plug it in once the design is done or while designing it.
So how do you actually make sure that the text is about your client? First try to understand what are their biggest challenges, and that all starts with understanding who is your perfect client. Once you understand who your perfect client is or perfect clients if you’re offering a few different services, think about what are their main challenges.
Now your goal is to talk to them in a way that helps them understand that (a) you get them, (b) you know what their problems are, and that kind of shows confidence, it creates confidence because that in a way helps them to understand that you’ve been doing this for quite a while so they won’t be your first client. And it’s just basic empathy, you’re showing through the text on your website that you understand what they’re going through. So that’s kind of the initial connection with you that they actually have through your website, so in many ways your website is a representation of you, you’re just doing all this work so that the website could be doing this for you while you sleep basically, while people are looking for you.
Now also the best way to talk about yourself is not in the third person language but in using I language, right? And still have more you’s than I’s in your text website. What do I mean? Instead of saying, “Hi. I’m Sasha Raskin and I’m a couple’s therapist and I do that and that and that,” it’s good to say it once, right? But the majority of the text would be something like, “You’re probably here because you’re looking for a couple’s therapist to help you with the constant fights that you’re having or feeling lonely in your relationship,” right? So this is a very different conversation to have than just to tell people about yourself. Because the honest truth is that your website is not about you, it’s about them and their struggles, and that’s what your potential clients are actually thinking about, “Who can help me with my problems? Who understands me and who potentially has the solution?” Who can they trust?
So by talking directly to them, by the way, you’re talking to one person at the time, right? So you’re just imagining that you have a conversation with this person in a real situation would help you actually write the text for it. So by doing that it would create trust for the visitor.
Now we talked about the text in short. Think about the other part which is design. The design like the text needs to do two things, (a) first of all be enticing enough and clear and simple enough to actually keep the visitor on the website. The majority of people make decision to stay or go to a different website within three seconds, right? So those are very clear. And you do that by clear, simple design, easy to navigate, easily navigated, looks great on mobile, big fonts, easily readable, no clutter. And you can simply do some research and take notes for yourself when you’re browsing through websites of people in your industry, which features actually help you feel more relaxed or feel at ease, right? Because that usually is a sign of a good design, that things are clear. When there is clutter and confusion it probably would lead people to navigate away, by the way, before they even start reading the text. So that’s huge.
In terms of navigation don’t try to reinvent the wheel – basic pages and helping people in the menu to understand where to go right away just makes things easier. And kind of go with the traditional route of home page, services, about and contact. That’s a classic menu; it makes everything so much easier.
In terms of structure also make sure that everything works. So test out, for example, the contact form. You want to make sure that people that send you inquiries you actually get those.
Use professional headshots. The first impression is so important. Not just to to look good in the headshot, but also because people are making decisions on your professionalism based on your website. And if someone sees that you didn’t put the effort into taking professional headshots, even in kind of in the background maybe if it’s subconscious, they might make a decision that’s how you’ll treat them as well. Same thing about the design of your website, if it’s not clean and cluttered and confusing they might kind of make a decision also, “Okay, so working with this person would probably look the same.”
Now there are three different options in terms of web design. You can DIY, do it yourself, you can have it done for you or you can have it done with you.
So DIY you just learn it on or learn it all on your own and kind of mess with whatever software you’re using. I love Wix. This is not an endorsement, I just find them so much easier, the software so easy to use and reliable too. You can have it done for you, basically hiring someone to do the whole website for you based on your needs. And you can have it done for you with, for example, when you join our private practice accelerator, the Six Figure Practice, one of the lessons there is build a website in 17 minutes. So you can follow the instructions and get really clear on how to build a website for a therapist or counselor with some guidance.
So it really depends on how good you’re with that and how much your time is worth, because you’ll be paying for your website anyway, you’ll be either paying it with your time or with your money. So you can definitely shop around and see how much people charge. You can also have someone in case you get stuck and you already did the bulk of the work, and that works great too. Or you can decide, “Hey, I want to learn this stuff. It’s helpful for me,” and then you can build it all on your own. A part of done with you is also, for example, using the artificial intelligence mode in Wix that will help you generate your industry’s website or using templates, for example. So there are different shortcuts you can take.
The main thing is build the most basic website you can, usually just a homepage with enough information. Publish it and add stuff as you go, right? Then write the copy, the text, for the about me page and then add about me page, right?
So this will be a work in progress. Years later I still make changes in my website, and that’s great, right? You have the flexibility to do so as your practice changes, so that’s wonderful. It will probably never end, and that’s okay. And I think too many counselors and coaches get stuck on that I need the perfect website before I put myself out there. By the way, when you publish your website it’s not that hundreds of clients will come knocking on your door, right? You need to do a lot of work for that website to actually be found, which brings us to the third part of your work which is search engine optimization, SEO, which basically means you write the text and you build the website in a way that’s friendly for search engines such as Google, that’s the one that’s being most used today and there are others like Bing and Yahoo.
You do it in a way that, for example, your text should have text; in the text have keywords that your potential clients would be looking for. So if I’m looking for a counselor in New York it would be a good idea to use the keyword counselor in New York in the text of your website.
Your different web pages, different pages on your website also should have a good description that show description that you have when you search in Google and you have the description of the pages there, so you can actually create those versus having them to be generated for you by the software you use. And you can plug in those keywords as well and make sure the description is enticing enough for people to actually click on it.
If you want to learn more about SEO, a great place to start would be moz.com. And that’s where you can find a beginner’s guide to search engine optimization. It’s a free PDF, it would give you a great understanding of SEO for beginners and it kind of gets advanced as you go as well.
So I hope it’s been helpful. And please comment on this, I’d love to answer any questions you have.