Guest post by Kimberly Sandstrom, MFTI
Have you ever have a long day at the office and wanted to vent your frustration to someone? Me too! We are containers of all sorts of confidential information and sometimes our containers get full, or we get triggered by something that happened during the day. It’s hard to hold it all in at times—especially when it touches or triggers some reaction in us. Yet, we are called to an oath of confidentiality, and sensitivity to our client’s information. For most, venting to a trusted colleague or a relaxation activity can be enough. Yet, some therapists use their personal social media accounts to release stress about their clients. Can’t believe clinicians do this? Read on.
Do you know where your website visitors come from? If not, it probably a good idea to start. I use Google Analytics to find out which sites are the top referrers to my private practice website WasatchFamilyTherapy.com.
The following statistics reinforce what I’ve already known. They illustrate that:
Take a look at my year-to-date website traffic stats.
According to Pew Research, 80% of internet users look online for health information, making it the third most popular online pursuit following email and using a search engine. Additionally, 44% of internet users look online for information about doctors or other health professionals.
Since the majority of people are looking for your services online, your website is the heart of your professional web presence. All other online efforts should focus primarily on directing potential clients to your website where they will get to know who you are and how you can help them. Your website is your first impression, your “billboard”, and your best chance to build trust with potential clients. I suggest these 5 C’s when building your private practice website.
According to PCMag.com digital content creation is “The development of newsworthy, educational and entertainment material for distribution over the Internet or other electronic media.” It falls under the umbrella of content marketing which is a narrative form of sharing information that speaks to a potential client’s need while sharing who you are and the benefits of what you do. Content creation is a way of building trust online and with potential clients by being a valuable resource without asking for anything in return.
Consistently creating compelling and relevant content is the primary reason my private practice has continued to grow in spite of the economic downturn of recent years. Not only has my clinic grown, but since I started regularly blogging, writing, producing videos, and doing media interviews amazing opportunities have come my way. Publishing offers, national media interviews, conference invitations, consulting business, and over 25,000 social followers across multiple social networks are just a few of the incredible doors that have opened to me since I started focusing on content creation.
I presented my very first webinar ever yesterday (and I survived)! Sponsored by National Association of Social Workers the webinar was titled “Building Your Private Practice In A Digital World: Creating A Strong Online Practice Presence.” It is crucial for private practitioners to have an online presence in order to attract clients to your practice because the internet is a main source of health information.
One of my favorite therapists to follow on Twitter is DeeAnna Nagel, co-founder of the Online Therapy Institute. She and co-founder Kate Anthony are well-known online therapy innovators and experts. A few months ago I was delighted when DeAnna invited to submit a feature article for their November Issue of TILT Magazine (Therapeutic Innovations In Light Of Technology) on the benefits of conventional media for practice building. Regular media interviews fave been a big factor in the continued growth of my practice Wasatch Family Therapy during an economic downturn. Here’s a snippet from the article…
I’m a mother of four children. My first two children were born during my educational journey and my last two were born while I was in private practice. Being in private practice provides many perks for balancing work and family life. The flexibility of being my own boss has been wonderful. However, taking time off for extended periods of time, like maternity leave, can prove to be tricky. Unlike working for an agency, in private you don’t get paid leave in private practice, you still have expenses to pay even when you’re not seeing clients, and you have unpredictable income as you “wind down” to take time off and then build your client load back up after taking family leave. Becoming pregnant while in private practice and planning for the new addition in your family requires some extra planning, coordinating, and saving.