Hi, I’m Todd from Openhill. I want to show how we move your anonymous website visitors to action. We want to get them to actually pick up that heavy phone and schedule their first session with you. Most of our therapist clients start out asking how to get more visitors to their website. While this is important, it’s equally important to increase the conversation rate so more of those who come to your website turn into paid sessions.
When does therapy really start?
To analyze this, let’s take a look at another type of business. I want you to imagine you’re visiting a spa, one that’s anticipated your every need from start to finish. From the lightening in the waiting room to the hot tea they pour prior to your massage, it’s all been planned out. For spas, treatment starts as you walk on the premises. But for YOUR clients, for those Googling how to save their marriage or how to cope with crippling anxiety, their journey starts alone behind their mobile phone, sometimes at 2am.
Meet clients where they really are
Meet clients where they are. That’s a lesson of psychotherapy, right? Well, that’s a lesson in marketing, too. So, let’s put ourselves in their shoes. They’re feeling anxious and alone. They are not sure where to turn. For better or worse, in today’s world, they start Googling. They’re taking ownership of an important first step in their journey to mental health. Our analytics show they often reach your website in the middle of the night, perhaps when they’re most unsettled and can’t sleep. Compared to other types of consumers, they spend an extraordinary amount of time in your website.
A Mind Shift
Here’s the mind shift: I contend that, for them, therapy with you starts right then and there. They are INSIDE your clinic for all intents and purposes. The problem is that they are all alone because you and any staff you have are at home sleeping, of course. The next morning, it’s a steep step for them to call you. They have to admit to a stranger they have a problem. And, they have all sorts of questions: Can their marriage even be saved? Will therapy help? What does “being in therapy” mean anyway? Will they be comfortable with you in particular?
Build an On-Ramp
Let’s lower the height of that first step. The next shift I want you to make is to think of your website not as a sales tool, but as a preparation tool–an on-ramp to ease new clients into appropriate treatment. Your website is an extension of your clinic and the first step in your modality of care.
Demystify the Process
Several years ago when my wife was pregnant with our son, the birthing center at Hinsdale Hospital gave us a helpful tour. Now, I’m not an anxious person, but this was my first birthing experience. And, I was feeling nervous! The nurse showed us the room where we’d labour. I got to see the color of the wood floors, the soft lighting, and the birthing pool. They pointed out their high tech equipment in case of an emergency. They even instructed me about details, such as where we'd park and how we’d enter the hospital if we arrived after hours. I envisioned us there and how the process might play out because they got specific with the details. If you demystify the process, you open the pathway to your clinic. I want your website visitors to see themselves in your office with you. This decreases their discomfort and lowers the barrier to call you.
An effective method to spell out your process is to make a video, one that we’ll post right in the top of your website. We call these orientation videos. A clean, simple video of you talking right into a camera, looking your prospective client in the eyes, just like you do in therapy. This video can be made low budget with your iPhone or more professional like this video of me you’re watching now. The objective of the video is help your website visitors prepare for treatment with you. The way you do this is to empathize with them, and then walk them through the process. Tell them how the first session unfolds and why you structure your sessions the way you do. Tell them about some of the homework you assign in between sessions, and the purpose of subsequent sessions. I want you talking to them as though they are already a client so they feel as though the belong with you. I believe this approach equips them for therapy, and generates more calls than if you make a tradition commercial-style video. It’s more persuasive because it is real.
We’ll help you write your script and give you tips to produce the video yourself. And, my team can do all the post production to make it look professional. Consider us your movie director. A less technical way to go is to produce a slideshow with the audio narrated by you. Or, we can interview you which will record using a professional mic.
We often advise our therapist to hire a photographer to take pictures which show a prospective client what they'd see the first time they visit you. We have the photographer take pictures of the outside of your building, the door clients enter, the waiting room, and the chair where they’ll sit in therapy. The intent is to provide enough details to take some of the worry away from that first client visit.
There are many other methods we can use to help prepare your website visitors for therapy with you. For instance, therapists get good results using online assessment forms. We design a web form which we place right in your website. Anonymous visitors can fill it out and give their approval for the results to be shared with you. Online assessment forms give them something constructive to do while they await their session, and move their mindset closer to being under for care.
Schedule a Marketing Session
I share these concepts to give you a sense of what's possible. If you want a new website or just want your existing one to be more effective, we’d love to work with you. If our genuine approach to relationship-based marketing resonates with you, schedule your first session with me.