Many times counselors and coaches struggle with writing text about themselves for their websites. Were you ever in the same boat? I know I definitely was.
There is one main reason why counselors and coaches get stuck with their text:
They think that the text needs to be about them. It’s not. The text should be about the clients, and it should take the reader, the potential client, through an emotional journey. Reading through it, your potential clients need to feel that you:
a. Get them
b. Have empathy for their struggles
c. Can help them
The paradox is, that you do it by writing about them, not about yourself. Even your “about me” page should be really about them.
In this video conversation with Tammy, we look at the challenges of writing a good marketing text, and discuss some helpful guidelines to overcome the difficulties of connecting to a stranger through text.
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 Write A Content For A Counseling Or Coaching Website
Sasha Raskin: Hi, Tammy.
Tammy: Hello, Sasha.
Sasha Raskin: Hi. So the reason we’re talking today is because you shared in the private practice Facebook group that you’re having some challenges talking about yourself on writing your content, correct?
Tammy: Correct, yes.
Sasha Raskin: So just talk a bit more about what’s the most difficult thing about that for you?
Tammy: Well, talking about myself one of my challenges is I want people to see me as a person not just a professional. But I also want to be a professional person, right? So I want to appear relatable but not feel like I’m disclosing information that’s inappropriate. I want people to understand that I’m very well-trained in the areas that I specialize in, but not be intimidated by that either. So I feel in word it’s very difficult to convey that relatability mixed with professionalism. I think that’s easier face-to-face but not in written content, it’s more difficult.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, so the challenge is achieving a balance between you want to be authentic and present yourself as a human being that people can relate to and not a therapist on Mount Olympus, right?
Sasha Raskin: But also you want your potential clients to feel that you got it, right? That you are trained, that you know what you’re doing and that you can actually help them.
Tammy: Right, confidence in my competence.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah. And it’s difficult because you’re not having a conversation in person, right? You can’t pivot when you need to, right? It’s a ready-made static text that you’re writing, that should work for you without you being there and having a conversation.
Tammy: Exactly, yes.
Sasha Raskin: And I think I reply to you that the good news is that it’s not about you, it’s about your clients. And I think it probably had like a response for you, maybe it’s …
Tammy: No, no. No, actually because I do have like my “dream client”, right? I kind of have an idea of like who I want to work with, but trying to find a way to convey that as well. It’s in my head, but getting it out in …
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, totally. It’s huge. So I want to show you a few examples on how to maybe overcome those obstacles. And of course, take it or leave it. Some of those things might be helpful for you and for the therapists who are watching, and some of it won’t be, so that’s totally fine. But my goal is maybe to accelerate this thing.
And just starting the recording I started sharing with you that in the accelerator program that I’m running for counselors in private practice one of the main goals is to get the website published as soon as possible, for many different reasons, one of them is simply because a website that’s good enough, that’s already out there and people can find is better than a masterpiece in the drawer, right? It’s kind of the author who writes a masterpiece for 20 years. I actually had a client like that …
Sasha Raskin: … and the relief he felt within two hours, we took everything he did, it was already edited and we just converted it to the Amazon format and published that Kindle book, it’s amazing. He’s like, “Oh, I don’t need to work that hard. It’s okay. I can give birth in a way,” metaphorically speaking, and that’s important. So one of the reasons why it’s important also to publish your website is because Google scans your text, it scans the content and other search engines to see if it’s a good fit to rank it higher, maybe even on the first page, when people are looking for keywords like counselor, right? And they have the secret sauce that they don’t tell anyone that has many ingredients how they decide that the website is important enough, one of them though is for how long the website has been existing, published, right? They think, “Oh, okay, if this website is up for three years now, probably it’s maybe a business or a person that still exists,” right? And it’s still relevant. That’s why it’s important to click that publish button.
By the way, if you feel like it’s not perfect yet, it’s okay too, because it’s not that you build it and they will come, because they won’t. You need to do a lot of things to actually be found, right? So it’s not that it’s going to be found right the way. So it’s okay. In the way it’s published and it’s public but people won’t be able to find it right away. So I hope that’s helpful with at least the publishing part. So it’s in a way …
Tammy: Manage my expectations.
Sasha Raskin: This is the biggest challenge for therapists I think, they rent their office or prior to Corona at least, right? And they finished their counseling program or move from a group practice of an agency and the clients will be knocking their door, and there’s some sobering experience that’s happening when that’s not the case. Even with a lot of marketing efforts, it takes time.
So coming back to what I said in my comment that it’s not about me as a therapist, it’s about my clients – I think the best example would be let’s say we’re friends and we’re meeting each other, maybe this whole Corona went for too long, maybe a few months from now, who knows, we’re meeting each other, right? And I’m saying, “Tammy, I did this training and this training, and I feel like I’m very, very comfortable with helping people.” And then I start talking about myself for half an hour, right? What would be your response as a friend? And I don’t ask you anything about you, how would you respond?
Tammy: That you don’t care about me.
Sasha Raskin: Exactly, right? So a shift can happen I think for therapists who want to market their private practice, if they start thinking about just marketing-wise not therapy-wise, not in the office, about their potential clients as good friends and talk to them as if they were good friends not weird people that like reading third person texts all about the other person.
How would you feel if right away your friend would say, “Hey, Tammy. How’s it going? I know this whole Covid thing like has beat on the emotional well-being and relationships. I bet it’s isolating. How are you doing?” How would you feel about that kind of approach with your friend?
Tammy: I would feel cared for.
Sasha Raskin: But don’t you want your friends to be competent and intelligent and feel like you’re in good friend hands in a way?
Tammy: Yes. But I think that comes through by caring about me.
Sasha Raskin: Exactly. So they’re showing instead of telling, right? They’re actually asking how are you doing. And even more, in that example, they made an educated guess how you’re doing before you even answer, right?
Tammy: Okay, yes.
Sasha Raskin: Oh, they get me, right? They really understand what’s going on for me and they care. And probably maybe 10 minutes later after you’re done talking about yourself, you’ll probably asked about me, how am I doing too, right? So it should be a two-sided conversation. It’s just me missing the point if I’m leading with it’s about me, me, me.
Sasha Raskin: Does that make sense?
Tammy: It does.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, so let me show you a few examples with you. And my websites are work in progress, so this is just an example that might be helpful. So this is a couples’ therapy page that I have, and I give a few details about myself right away, right? But I’m asking them, so right away it’s a question, right? They need to make a decision right away – should I stay on the website or should I go? Is that website going to potentially help me with my problems? Before they even start reading your text, right? So you need to keep them on the website right away, right? I’m giving a few details about myself, but it’s all related to how I can help them.
And then I start having a conversation with a friend, right? Instead of talking about myself in third person, for example, “Sasha Raskin has done …” And honestly I’ve done pretty much all the trainings in couples’ therapy but I’m not leading with that because no one cares. All the years in our private practice I’ve been asked maybe less than 10 times about my credentials by potential clients, and my diplomas and my trainings. And usually the people who ask are couples who are therapists as well, right? They care.
Tammy: That makes sense.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah. So I just have a real talk, right? No fancy words, I get it, relationships are not easy, normal times, during a pandemic. By the way, this is important, sometimes counselors get stuck with their perfect text because they think it’s going to be set in stone, right? “This is going to represent me for life, I need to make it perfect.” Not true. It’s totally okay to change and add stuff as you go, even if it’s public, and no one’s going to say, “Hey, Tammy. This is not congruent. Why your website is very different right now?” People are not going to view your website like that.
I’m trying to think what they might be thinking even, right? All your potential clients want to know is do you get them, are you compassionate enough to care about their problems, and can you potentially help them, and also how it might feel after working with you? So you’re actually taking them through an emotional journey of really seeing the gap between where they are right now and where they can be after working with you. And Dan Kennedy said, his big marketing guide, by the way, marketing is not a bad word for therapists, right? It’s just a way to have conversation with your potential clients, one person at a time. And if you’re doing it as a friend you got it, right? And you’ve been trained actually to do conversations, right? So if you can translate that training into writing your copy as a conversational copy, you got it. So I’m showing them I get them, right?
So reviews are super important because you’re breaking kind of the pattern of, “Okay, I’m reading this text by a person I don’t know,” and then you have other people talking about you, right? That helps. And about your services.
How we’re going to work together? And some creative ways of showing that you’re competent, right? That you said something that’s very important for you, correct? So just showing a photo of me doing a training with Stan Tatkin, for example, right?
What we’ll be doing? And another maybe a photo. At the end not a problem to have … and probably very important too, maybe towards the end to show how and what makes you competent.
Tammy: I love the picture of you in the Gottman’s.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, thank you. So by the way …
Tammy: Kind of fangirling over here about that, I got to say.
Sasha Raskin: What?
Tammy: I’m kind of fangirling over here about that.
Sasha Raskin: So what’s your impression seeing that … maybe imagining yourself as a potential client, seeing that flow?
Tammy: I like that flow because I feel like as a potential client I’d be able to identify if the things I’m experiencing are a good match for the things that you work with.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, totally. Now it’s wonderful to separate, and it’s actually expected you talking about your services and your clients mostly on your service pages and on the home page from the about me page – that’s where you talk about you. But the best way to do so is to break the myth that we’ve been taught in counseling programs, the self-disclosure. I think it’s very important because for counselors who are just at the beginning of their journey you don’t want them to talk about themselves, it’s not a friendship conversation, right? So it’s important. And I know this, I’m an adjunct faculty in a counseling program, yeah, it’s important too break that pattern – therapy is not a friendship conversation.
And I think I learned a lot of models of supervision, and the therapist journey is kind of like learning, learning, learning and then unlearning, unlearning, unlearning. And an important thing to unlearn, I believe at least, is start using self-disclosure as a powerful intervention. And the best way I think to start doing that is on the website. Why? Because, and that’s how you stand out too from your competitors, you will show them that you’re a human being and you’re expecting them to be vulnerable and share with the stranger their life, even on the phone call, and you’re kind of modeling it’s okay to do so, right?
So I’m sharing some pretty vulnerable things here on healthy life choices. I’m not saying I took pretty much every drug on earth when I was a teenager, that might be too much, right? Even though there are places where I’m doing that. But I’m saying, “Well, I’ve been there too.” And that’s important for them, because they want to relate.
I’ll show you an example of my coaching website, and one of my specialties is ADHD coaching. Can you see the page?
Tammy: True next step, yes.
Sasha Raskin: So that’s the ADHD coaching. And look at how I start – full disclosure, I have ADHD. I know how it feels to space out during each one of the classes, be constantly late, have 20-plus amazingly balanced piles of stuff everywhere in my bedroom, right? So I’m taking them through my own story, but meanwhile they’re thinking about their own story, right?
And usually when I ask people on the phone consultation, well, at the end, “Do you have any questions for me?” Many of them will say, “No, how can we start working together?” Many times I also ask them why did you choose to contact specifically me, many times they will say, “Well, you just get it.” And that’s such an important sentence, right? I get it because I say you might be thinking about them, but I also say that I went through a very similar journey. And you said you know your perfect clients, I bet you have many commonalities with your perfect clients, right?
Tammy: I do.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah. It’s not a coincidence. Your perfect client looks at you in the mirror, that’s a big one. Isn’t that true, right?
Tammy: Yeah, it is.
Sasha Raskin: So you’re building a bridge of connection. I get you and in a way I’m a little bit at least father ahead down the journey, I know the road ahead so I can help you, dear potential client.
Do you have any questions so far?
Tammy: I just would like to review to go back a little bit. So you put the part about your ideal client on the home page, and then you talk about yourself in the about page, am I right?
Sasha Raskin: Yeah. And I separate the services pages. And would it be helpful if I show you templates for content generation, for a good authentic marketing content generation?
Sasha Raskin: So this is something that I actually teach in the program, in the Six Figure Practice program. And I’ll just take you inside and I’ll show you something out of, I think it’s in the third week module. So we have a lot of workbooks here, and those are designed to help you make this whole marketing journey easy step-by-step.
So an easy one and very helpful marketing text template for your about me page is the hook story close. I kind of tweaked it and maybe improved it a little from Dean Graziosi. And the hook, draw attention, right? I get it, full disclosure, I have ADHD. They’re right in, “Oh, my God, someone that is not like a psychiatrist who tells me what to do but they don’t get it. This person gets me.”
Then the story, right? We’ve been telling stories around the fire for thousands of years, right? And that’s the best way to, I think for humans, to get information. And pretty much everyone, the majority of the people, have the experience from childhood listening to their parents reading to them stories, bedtime stories. That’s a very powerful experience that we are used to. Use it to your advantage, instead of dry text with facts and laundry list of all your trainings take them through your journey of before and what the struggle was for you and the after. The hero’s journey. By the way, when people listen to other people’s stories they actually, I don’t know if that’s your experience, but many times I’m imagining my own story. So again, showing not telling.
But if you do this it has to be related to the services you’re offering, right? So if I work with depression I’m talking about, “Yeah, I know how it is to sleep in bed for 18 hours a day and not wanting to leave my house.” And I talk about the struggle. “And I went to a therapist and it’s been so helpful for me. That therapist showed me blank, blank, blank. And right now after I’m …” Just use a personal example, “… doing PhD in English which is my third language and teaching at the university with some severe ADHD,” right? “And what really helped me is working with therapists and coaches. And that kind of led me toward doing that work, because I realized it’s so powerful.”
And then the close, and that’s very important, that like, “Okay, you can do this. My clients found that working together has changed their lives in those areas. Let’s talk now. Call me and let’s have a conversation.” So you are leading them towards taking action, that’s the only actually goal of your text and your website. It’s not about representing you nicely online or making you feel good, which are just symptoms but they’re not the goals.
Sasha Raskin: The goal is to have people contact you, right?
Sasha Raskin: Is that helpful for writing the about me page?
Tammy: Yes. Yes, it is very helpful. And I think it gave me directions to tweak, that I think I’m not as far off as I maybe thought I was.
Sasha Raskin: Yes, totally. And when I think about this balance between sharing human story, my own, and showing competence, a good compass for me is be slightly uncomfortable, slightly outside of my comfort zone, in terms of sharing vulnerable stuff but not too much that it means that this is way too much, right? Just a little bit out of their comfort zone, that’s a good compass.
Tammy: So when I started the about me, like just my general background, I started with the fact that my bachelor’s is actually in accounting. And pretty soon after I graduated with the bachelor’s in accounting I realized that was not the field for me. So here I am starting with a whole bunch of student loan in a career I hated and how I kind of made the journey to find my calling as a therapist and how that was meaningful, so that doesn’t sound like it’s too much self-disclosure.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, it’s wonderful. I have something very similarly, you can go to the sixfigurepractice.com, and this is a new version of the about me page, I actually called it about me and you just to say this is not … so in a way this photo is a hook, right? Like a childhood photo, right? And humorous line too, right? You’re breaking the pattern of this … this therapy thing doesn’t have to be suffering and too serious, right? You can have fun as a client doing that. So I’m sharing the different challenges and different challenges with financial anxiety, right? And by the way, it’s totally fine to have different websites.
Tammy: Oh, really?
Sasha Raskin: Yeah. I have probably like 10 websites, one for therapy, one for coaching. By the way, definitely, if you have time I would go to the sixfigurepractice.com blog. And I have several talks that I did, a bunch of free resources here on how to grow your practice, some of them are why therapists should also become coaches, how can counselors become coaches and also a talk somewhere here with PhD students about differences between counseling and life coaching. I think counselors are incredibly powerful coaches as well if they had some goal working and maybe some active that are way better trained than the majority of the coaches out there. And it’s just another way for you to get clients and help different population.
And it’s actually really nice to balance. I have half-half, half marketing, well, I guess it’s third-third now – 1/3 helping counselors and coaches with marketing their practice and coaching also, business coaching and ADHD coaching, and therapy, mostly couples’ therapy. And it’s just so nice to have also like high achievers, high functioning individuals to work to balance the people who talk about depression or fighting all the time. Just as a self-therapy, I think it’s so nice to have that balance.
So coming back to the about me page, on the coaching website I have a different about me page. And coming back to your story, if you’re not sure what your next step should be let me tell you that I’ve been in your shoes, for years I chose was not essential, focused on things that I didn’t really care about much. And after six years of changing my majors in undergrad school – so it sounds like that kind of relates to your story, right? I learned accounting, was it, in bachelor’s?
Sasha Raskin: Yeah. So many people that will see you as a therapist they’re on a cross road, right? “I don’t know if that thing that I’m doing right now or was doing before actually relates to my life right now,” whether it’s a relationship or a career, whatever it is. “Maybe I need to change something.” So you’re saying that, “Well, I’m not a stranger to change. I’ve done it successfully, but I also encountered a big challenge during that,” right?
Sasha Raskin: “So I get it. And therapists helped me.” I bet you worked with a therapist yourself as a client. So you’re normalizing that and you’re showing that you’re practicing what you preach too, that’s important.
Sasha Raskin: Now in the program we do a lot of other … we have other templates like building your service pages, something like the homepage and much more that we don’t have time to go into it right now. By the way, if you want to get like all the … some shameless speech here, if you want to do a short 20 minutes crash course, this is free and it will show you all the marketing strategies that exist. And one of them you can today before you even have a published website, to start getting clients.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, so I would definitely do that. I think it’s been like just such an important journey for me to have helped counselors, because the majority don’t have any business skills or marketing skills. And I think that the system failed you honestly. Three years of counseling master’s program, zero about how to run your own private practice part probably, right?
Tammy: Right. And maybe that’s where having a bachelor’s in accounting comes in handy.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, that’s … Yeah, I have this math of a Six Figure Practice in the first model, really, literally the first week. Six Figure Practice, by the way, not being … like no one’s here to make … to become rich, but there are so many expenses as you know as an accountant in running your own business that to have … to cover all your daily expenses and also to cover all your business expenses and gradually move towards comfortable living.
No one’s paying your pension when you’re a business owner and you have to pay taxes and marketing budget and insurance, all of that. So 100,000 a year is a really good place to be at, to cover all of that and also not to work 40 hours a week and be burnt out too.
Sasha Raskin: So it’s just kind of I guess a way to assess where … like that you’re in a good place with your practice.
The main thing, I guess like a good summary of everything we talked about – if you can have a clear sentence using this structure to summarize what you do, this is a good assessment that you’re very clear in your text, right? This is distilment of all these things. So for example, I’m a couples’ therapist and I help couples who are dealing with communication problems, with improving their relationship, for example, right? And this is a good way to connect … the story about you and your clients.
I’m wondering what are the most important things that you’re taking away, something that’s been helpful for you in terms of insights from all of that.
Tammy: The hook. Like, and you have a very succinct catch line that grabs people’s attention at the beginning of a paragraph to let them know do they need to keep clicking or is this the page to be on. And honestly, if they do need to keep clicking that’s a good time to find out, right? So I mean, I would rather have my practice filled with clients that I’m a good match with than have people come to me looking for something in therapy and I’m not the right person for it.
So I mean, that is something I typically address in my intake, like I start off the intake by saying, “We’re going to talk. This is how I run through my intake. And then at the end we’ll talk and see if I’m the right fit for you. And if I’m not the right fit for you, that’s okay. That’s nobody’s fault. But I would like to help you get what you need and help you find a therapist who would be a good fit.” But this kind of helps filter that out more before that even initial intake.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, that’s so important. This whole idea of be careful for what you wish for because it might come true, right? So if you put the time and the effort and hopefully you follow a system to build your private practice, whether my accelerator or any other, I don’t know, there are probably others out there, and you will create a successful private practice. But the thing is you want to fill it with your perfect clients, otherwise you’ll find yourself just burnt out. And honestly, you won’t be doing your clients any … it won’t be a good service really if you’re not feeling connected, not for you, not for them.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, so that totally makes sense.
Tammy: Okay, thank you.
Sasha Raskin: All right, I hope it’s been helpful, Tammy.
Tammy: It has. It’s been very helpful. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
Sasha Raskin: You’re more than welcome.