In last week’s installment of the Full Client Experience, we talked about the importance of establishing a live and in-person presence to attract your ideal clients. But I would be remiss to not mention the immense value of your online presence in today’s world.
Your online presence provides clients with a unique opportunity to get to know you...and whether you believe it or not, they are looking. Some clients will find you via online directories. Others may learn of you through word of mouth, but believe me when I say they will turn to the web to learn more about you. It’s a knee jerk reaction to Google everything and everyone in our digitized world.
Even if clients do not at first find you online, the web will be their first source of information as they begin to check you out. Not having anything online is a huge mistake.
If you don’t take advantage of the opportunity to establish yourself through an online presence you’re missing out on a real opportunity to introduce yourself and share your gifts with the world.
So how can you make certain your online presence is speaking loud and clear?
It all starts with having a website.
Click here to read an article about how your website can be your new best friend when starting a practice. If you don’t have a website, it is easier than you think to build something that can be your practice’s home in cyberspace. There are a variety of platforms that make it more feasible than ever to design and build your site. If that’s still out of your wheelhouse, hire a professional. There are virtual assistants out there who would be happy to help.
Get noticed with online directories
Online directories are great because when people need information, they tend to go online first. Online directories, like Psychology Today, tend to rank very high in search engines, so having a well thought out professional profile is essential in building your brand and establishing your presence. Be sure to use a professionally done headshot (no pet pictures allowed) and a well-written description of your practice and your philosophy. Increase your credibility and visibility and watch in amazement as your name comes up over and over again when potential clients search for counselors in your area.
Develop a Social Media Voice
The world of social media is vast. Each platform has its own unique feel and requires a different strategy for success. Some sites feel very professional and polished while others are all about current events and trends. When done properly, social media can add value to your practice. Not only does social media allow you to share helpful content that reaches your core audience, it always acts as a way for clients to become more familiar with who you are and what your practice has to offer.
Did you know that the ACA's 2014 Code of Ethics has a section on Social Media? Visit page 18 of the code and let me know what you think.
Stay in touch with Blogs and E-zines
Having an email list is a great way to nurture relationships with current clients AND clients who are interested in what you have to offer, but who are not yet ready to schedule an appointment. Sending out e-zines and posting to blogs that are helpful to your clients establishes you as an expert. It also lets your clients know that your practice is a place where people are able to heal and grow. Use online writing platforms to your advantage. Define your niche, gain visibility, and watch your practice grow.
Really think about your website, personal brand, and reputation from the perspective of a potential client. Are you showing up the way you want to? Do the people who need you most know that you’re out there awaiting their arrival? Is your online presence as strong as it can be? Are you maximizing these things in order to attract your ideal clients?
There’s always room for improvement. Take an honest look at these things, and if there is any way you can improve, now is a perfect time to get started.
Want more? Stay tuned as next week we move on to the next phase in our Full Client Experience Series.
***ACA 2014 Code of Ethics can be found at...