I’m amazed at how few counselors put their phone number in the header of their website. The #1 reason people come to a counseling website is to make a counseling appointment! Why make it more difficult? What do we want the person to do? This question should be the leading one.
What Are You Doing?
Every page, blog post, social media post or networking connection, we should ask ourselves, “Why am I doing this?” If we don’t look at why we are spending our time there, it’s harder for us to know what we want the person to do. Here are reasons you may be on social media, writing a blog post or updating your website:
- Clients to call and make an appointment
- Clients to email and make an appointment
- To build your perceived expertise
- So people know that you exist
- To be educated on a specific topic
When you know the why of a situation, it makes it easier to create the “how.”
Make Counseling Referrals Easy
Here are a few tips to make it easy for people to refer to you:
Give your referral sources your personal cellphone number. If they ever have a question, if they ever need to consult on a case, you know what, they’ll call you!
I have a handout that I give to doctors that’s for them to give to their clients. When they give it to their patients, it basically walks them through how to make an intake appointment?
- Have a scheduler that can quickly get someone scheduled.
- Get involved professionally with other counselors. Counselors refer to each other.
- Work with other professionals. Get involved professionally with your local counseling social work, psychology group so that they can refer to you and know what types of people to refer and what types of people not to refer. Remember that networking is your job at this point.
Put In the Time
The biggest reason that people don’t get results when they are first starting, is that they don’t put in the time. It’s not easy to rank high in Google, get referrals and connect locally. But here are a few first steps:
- Blog three to five times per week around your keywords
- Meet weekly with one new referral source
- Set up a Psychology Today profile (email me if you need a referral for a free 6 months)
- Update your website with your phone number at the top
- Get to know other counselors locally
Overall, the big thing that you’re trying to do is to develop a network of people that know and like and trust you.
Business card photo available from Shutterstock