Build A List On Your Site Now

List building made simpleThere are many aspects of website design that are easily overlooked and could potentially be very useful.  One of these areas is list building, something that I caught onto quite quickly as a result of reading how useful it can be on other blogs.

What is list building?

List building is a way of capturing the email addresses of people who may be interested in products or services you offer.  Usually this is done using list building software (which I discuss below) and involves offering something for free that people can download.  In order for the person to download the ebook, course, or whatever other offering you have, they sign up to your list and give you permission to email them on future occasions.  Once signed up to your list, people can easily unsubscribe by clicking a link on your email if they get tired of you.

Why build a list?

List building can be great if you have a service or product that you want to offer to people.  You have built a list of people who have signed up to hear from you so you can just type one quick announcement, click a button and everyone on your list will get a copy.  Imagine that you have a training course to offer on a how to work with children therapeutically.  Previously to designing your course you have offered a free eBook on the same topic and linked this to your list building software.  You can see straight away that the list you have built will probably be very receptive to your course offer and you may even be able to fill your course through your list, depending on how many people are on it.

You can do the same for videos you may create, books, workshops etc.  This is why people who use the internet to market their products exclaim;

“there is power in the list”.

How to build a list

Here is a quick step by step guide………

  1. Write something that your potential audience would want to download.  If you blog you can easily just stick all of your blog posts into one easy to read PDF and offer that as a download.
  2. Convert your writing into an eBook.  This makes it easy to download and easy to read.  eBooks are usually in PDF format and can have a pretty front cover to really pull the punters in.
  3. Upload your offering to your website.  In a WordPress site you will use the media section of the dashboard.
  4. Attach your offering to your list building software.  The two main list builders are Aweber and Mailchimp.  the difference between these two is small and both can be useful depending on what you want to do.  A quick Google of “aweber vs Mailchimp” will fill you in on this.  Briefly, if you do not see your list getting very big then Mailchimp will do it for free for up to 2000 subscribers.  If you want to go all out with the list building thing then go with Aweber – the tool most of the big boys use.
  5. Design a sign up form in the software package you chose and insert it into your website for people to sign up through.  This way, people put their details into the form, have an email sent to them to verify that they want to sign up and then they receive the freebie you designed and you have them on your list.

That’s it!  simple as 1,2,3 (er, 4,5!)

Next steps

There is nothing tricky about any of this but it does take time.  My advice is to get stuck in and do it early on your site so you can capture emails from the off.  If you really can not find the time to do this then I offer a range of list building services that you can find by going to this page.  All you have to do is supply me with the information you want to use as your freebie (step 1)as a Word document,  I will do the rest (steps, 2,3,4,5) if you have a WordPress website.  If you don’t use my contact form to send me a message and we will sort something out.

Conclusion

Your list can be a great resource that you can utilize to sell products and services to people who will more than likely be very interested in what you have to offer.  Start early with it, even before you know what you have to sell, because then when you have worked it out you have an audience that is ready to hear what you have to say.

The Therapists Guide To The Internet – The Website

There is no doubt that the internet is now a major part of our lives. It’s in over 90% of homes in the UK, it is vital for many businesses and we can even access it on the move with our mobile phones. When people want to access a service these days then they will probably type what they want to find into Google and have more information that they can possibly handle within tenths of seconds.

This opens the world up completely for therapists. We can communicate with a global audience and get our message across whilst sat in our front rooms (like I am doing now with you!)

My intention over the next few weeks is to explore the possibilities of the electronic age for therapists and counsellors. Where can it take us? What is the best way to ride this monster without getting bitten or stomped under foot?

Along for the ride is my friend and colleague Mark Stipanovsky. Mark has used the internet successfully to promote his business and is king of LinkedIn, running pretty much all of the TA based groups that exist (apart from the European based one which slipped out of his grasp!)

Your website

We are going to start at the beginning. Your cornerstone. The most important asset you have on the web, your website. Had a look at your website lately? You do have a website don’t you?!

If a potential client wants to find a therapist then the chances are very high they will go to Google and type in “therapist in (city name)” and see what comes up. That client will then look on page one of Google and click onto the first three or four websites they see. Here’s some statistics for you from the Search Engine Optimization guys at Articlesontap.com. The person who is number 1 on Google will get 56% of all business for the keyword. The next two or three businesses will pick up the rest of the business. Most people won’t bother to read past page one. Most people won’t bother to click on the second website if they like what they see on the first.

What’s this tell us? Firstly, that it’s important to optimize your website so it crawls up the Google rankings – that’s a whole article in itself. Secondly, your website has to communicate its message instantly.

10 seconds and counting!

When your prospective client clicks on your site you have about 10 seconds to convince them that it’s worth spending time on. Within that time they have decided either to investigate further or to click off and go to the next site on Google.

A client of mine once talked to me about therapist’s websites from her perspective. I say talk but it was more of a rant! Her message was clear. Many therapist websites are truly awful! Sorry to say it but sometimes we need a bit of tough love to help us grow!! This client’s complaint was that the sites she saw were dull, unimaginative and gave her no information that she could understand. A typical sentence looks something like “I have a Diploma in Counselling and am a CTA. I am registered with the UKCP and bound by the ITA and ITAA code of conduct”. Eh? What does this mean? How does this help me sort out my feelings of depression? Here’s another one (not taken off anyone’s real site I hasten to add, but easily could have been) “I use Transactional Analysis as my main modality though also have experience of person centered counselling and am trained in CBT”. Exsqueese me? Transactional Analysis? Are you an accountant or a therapist? CBT? Isn’t that something to do with motorbikes?

I’m sure by now you get my drift. From the second that prospective client clicks onto your site you have 10 seconds to CONNECT. That’s what us therapists are trained to do isn’t it? You are not writing to impress your therapy mates with how many courses or qualifications you’ve got – CLIENTS DON’T CARE, they just want someone they connect with to help them with their depression, anxiety, or other hurdle.

Now your turn

So here’s your first task. Get yourself over to your website and rewrite the copy you have on there. Go with Eric’s principles and if an eight year old can’t understand it, delete it. When you feel tempted to launch into therapy speak give yourself a slap and realise that doing that is the best way to get prospective clients to click off your site.

Haven’t got a website? Make one. It’s easy and I have a complete guide to doing it completely free on my website build site soulhealerwebsites.com If you get stuck just email me and I’ll give you a hand. I have a good friend who has used the guide and her site is now number one on Google for the term “Stockport Psychotherapy”.

I also encourage you to discuss what I have said here by getting involved with my new project http://therapiser.com. My plan is to have therapists and counsellors from all modalities come share their ideas and learn from each other here – if you want to write a post on anything therapy based that I can put on the site, even better!

Over to Mark for his input…….

I love the way you put it across Ian, I am also sitting in my front room and am able to talk therapy with people from all over the globe (clients and fellow therapists).

I now get most of my work via my website, number one on Google if you type in “Mark Hypnotherapy” (why you would want to type in Mark Hypnotherapy is another matter so I won’t go into that here as again that is another article – yet to be written).

Using the internet effectively

One of my aims when I first began training was to become one of the top clinical hypnotherapists in the world and I am on my way to doing that. I have access in person and electronically to fellow therapists who are at the top of their respective professions and this is mainly due to the internet and attending conferences. I love it!

I decided to talk TA on LinkedIn and helped set up some groups that are specifically TA and every week we get new members. The feedback I get from fellow trainees is that a lot of them are reading the discussions and want to join in but are unsure of how to participate or feel less than qualified – as Nike says – Just Do It – or even better as one of my learned colleagues says – Just Fxxxng Do It, (very unlike me to swear as anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting me in reality rather than cyberspace will testify…). As for the more qualified amongst us, it is wonderful to be able to talk TA with people I had previously only read their articles or books so a big thanks to all you published authors and writers who are currently participating in spreading the knowledge that is so lovingly called TA (you know who you are).

My website

As for websites, people either love mine or wonder “what happened there?” A bit like meeting me I suppose! (If you meet me you will definitely remember me!) People create or pay others to create websites for very different reasons so decide what you want your website to do for you and your business (yes, therapy is a business), and like any other business nurture and grow it.

I use my website as a tool to direct potential clients to and also to do a bit of psycho-education with people who are interested in learning more about therapy. I update it every month or so and change the wording slightly depending on my latest learning or readings.

The Internet is here to stay and your website is an integral part of your marketing strategy. Prices to have one built for you range from free to thousands of pounds, dollars or Euros so set a budget and make sure you include marketing. It’s no good having the best website in the world if only you know about it! You can also have more than one website. Sometimes it is more cost effective to be on someone else’s and also more effective full stop. This brings me full circle to Ian’s latest project http://therapiser.com. Collectively we become stronger and more effective – As One. Have a look and get involved.

Check out Mark’s website at www.markthehypnotherapist.com

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How Blogging Can Improve Your Business

This article examines how blogging can make a massive impact on the number of customers you can get for your business. It may seem peculiar to some, but I have found that writing a blog has made a huge difference to the number of people who see my website and want to work with me.

I am therapist working in Manchester, UK. I have been running this business since 2008 and have used a whole range of marketing strategies to promote my business. I have tried local advertising, leaflets and websites on the internet. Blogging has made the biggest difference to the amount of clients I have.

Why does blogging help?

There are a number of reasons why blogging works so well. Here are some of them:

  • Before blogging people would find my website and very often click through to the next site. Now, people click on my website and hang around for a while. They read a few articles and start to form a relationship with me there and then. Many therapist websites are cold places lacking in much depth. The traditional model is to state the type of therapy that is delivered and a few facts about the qualifications the therapist has. There’s a problem with this though. The potential client cannot really get a feel for who you are and what your opinions are on anything. Qualifications probably mean very little to them. What your potential client is looking for is someone they can work with and feel safe with. This applies whether you are a therapist or a motor mechanic. Trust is key.
  • Blogging allows you to show off your expertise in an area. If you are a great interior designer and blog about it, potential clients can quickly see you know your stuff and are more likely to hire you. This has happened to me, especially in the area of couple’s therapy. I blog about it with passion because it’s an area I love to work in. The result is people want to work with me because I show that passion.
  • Blogging improves your website ranking with Google. Google loves fresh content. When you write a weekly (or more frequent) blog post you keep your site up to date and Google starts moving your site up the rankings as a result. Your post may even zoom to the top of the rankings for its keyword simply because it is so new.
  • Blogging increases your knowledge base on your subject. As you read around to gather ideas for blogging you accumulate knowledge which makes you better at whatever your specialist field is.
  • Blogging increases content for your site. Good posts add authority to your site which could move you up the rankings.

If you don’t currently have a blog on your business site how should you go about getting one? Well, there are lots of free platforms out there but the one that shines brightest is WordPress. This is free blogging software that allows you to design and maintain a site easily and quickly. There are plenty of guides out there telling you how to build a site, including the one I have written called “The only guide you will ever need to build your first blog” (catchy title eh?!). If you want a free copy of my e-book just stick your details in the box on the right of this article.

Blogging took my business from struggling to oversubscribed. It can do the same for you. Go for it!