PROMOTING YOUR PRACTICE ONLINE
By Sara K. Sims, Director of Business Development
This eighth in the series* of “Promoting Your Practice Online” articles focuses on some of the finer points to good website marketing. Specifically, just how valuable it is to have a photo of yourself on your website.
People like to look at images, both because they are visually stimulating and because they break up text. However, for marketing a counseling practice, not just any picture is going to attract potential clients—a photo of you is the most important one they will view.
When seeking out a therapist, your potential client wants to see you. A picture is a great way to make that first valuable impression and to show who you are.
Putting your picture on your website shows you as the unique person you are. Your picture not only shows if you are Christopher or Christine and your general age, it conveys any number of subtle insights into your personality. In short—it shows that you are you.
Your picture doesn’t need to “be” professional so much as “look” professional. If it just so happens that a candid snap from a cell phone is clear, captures you well, has decent resolution, and doesn’t show a cluttered desk or your kids making faces in the background, great! But odds are, you will want something better planned than you will get using your webcam or taking a self-portrait at arm’s length.
Remember, you’re presenting your best face, not just enough visual detail to enable someone to pick you out of a crowd. The more thought the better about what you want to put into an image that conveys exactly what you want clients to see and know about you.
If you’re not a solo practitioner, do you have a group photo of everyone in your office? If your practice includes four providers working together, do you have four individual photos that look like a set, or does each of you have a unique picture? If they are unique, do they look like they are supposed to be unique—each picture depicting that person’s personality—or do they look disjointed?
Knowing how to crop a photo is an art as much as a science, but you want your face/head to be the clear focal point of the image. If you can’t see the full contour of your head, your picture is probably too closely cropped. If you’re taking up less than half of the image, and it’s not an aesthetic statement or showing you in front of something you want the viewer to see, you probably need to crop more.
Finally, if you are tired of working with an expensive Web developer who charges you too much to make these small but effective changes to your website, take advantage of AMHCA’s partnership with TherapySites.comto create an easy-to-edit, affordable, and effective website in less than an hour.
With a TherapySites.com website, you can contact our SEO experts to take advantage of techniques to grow your practice online. Plus, AMHCA has negotiated a special deal for you to receive your first month free with TherapySites. Visit www.therapysites.com/AMHCA, and sign-up using the promo code “AMHCA” to enjoy a free month.
If you have any questions, please email me at YourCyberGuru@gmail.com.
* Previous “Promoting Your Practice” articles have run in several issues of The Advocate this year:
- November (on sidebar content, page 16),
- October (on targeted landing pages, page 18),
- September (on good content, page 23),
- July/August (on effective title tags, page 12),
- May (on search engine optimization, page 16),
- April (on networking your website, page 15), and
- March (on why you need a website for your practice, page 14).