Perhaps one of the hardest parts of a therapist’s job is self-promotion.
Many therapists take on copywriting (the act of writing marketing text) for their own website or promotional material. But it can be difficult to describe your own therapy procedure and conveying your own ability to heal.
After all, how do you express the warmth, kindness, and enthusiasm you feel for your clients? Yet, present the clinical strength and authenticity of your process? Luckily, copywriting is a skill you can learn.
With this guide, any therapist (whether you’re a counselor, coach, or mental health practitioner) can begin copywriting attractive websites and promotional material for their practice.
Through our simple tips, you’ll be able to get the clients you want while empathetically acknowledging their pain. You’ll also give them a sense of how their problems, through a therapeutic relationship with you, can be eased.
3 Things You Can Expect from Copywriting
While most copywriting manuals say that copywriting should be compelling and persuasive, that might be the wrong tone to take for a therapy service.
People who need help are likely to be in a state of pain or confusion and will want a sympathetic ear rather than a sales pitch. Striking the right balance between sympathy and authority is what you need. To achieve that, good copywriting has to have three things:
Clarity means communicating clearly for an intended audience using phrasing that’s logical, well-organized, well-constructed, and with precise word choice. That involves writing only what you need to say and leaving out irrelevant information. We’ve observed that when therapists write too much, their websites and promotional material become complex and less reassuring.
Copywriting with credibility is the ability to create the perception in your audience of your expertise and authority in your profession. It can be augmented with proof of your knowledge, testimonials, and also in the self-assured way you convey your assertions with evidence and sources to back your claims. Therapists who over-sell their expertise risk harming their reputation.
Sounding genuine and authentic is one of the most important qualities of good copywriting for therapists. When you express your thoughts genuinely, people find it easier to trust what you have to say, requiring less work on your part to convince people of your competence. Being genuine does not mean being excessively emotive, which risks sounding phony.
4 Steps to Good Copywriting for a Therapist Website
Step 1: Write About Your Clients and Their Needs
Therapists and other mental health practitioners probably make the best copywriters in the world. That’s because the first thing every copywriter needs is an understanding of the person they’re engaging with. And that’s something therapists are already good at.
First, picture what your clients might be going through. Then write about it with empathy using “you” and “your” to make them feel heard.
- Highlighting their experiences is going to assure them you have a good grasp of their feelings and a genuine concern about their state of mind.
- To maintain clarity, write within their frame of reference and at their level of knowledge so that you can make that vital human connection.
- You should not be exceedingly effusive with your words so that you can come across as professional and credible.
Step 2: Start General, Then Dive Deep
Only after you have made that human connection should you explain how their pain can be addressed. Speak about your approach in general terms and try not to use jargon too early. Jargon can introduce confusion and potentially alienate potential clients.
If you have a website, you can always highlight the uniqueness of your approach on other webpages. As the reader explores your website, other webpages can dive deeper into the technical aspects of your services and your abilities.
Tailor your more technical webpages to the needs of your clients. Add context to the technical terms and organize them in the order that would be most relevant to them.
Step 3: Set Expectations and Give Hope
Clients want to know that their investment of time, effort, and money can pay off. While making promises on the outcome of therapy can be tricky, you can and should set some expectations.
Help potential clients understand what potential outcomes can be and outline how your services can help with their pain. Be nuanced and focused to prevent over-promising. When you characterize your services, be sure to put the clients in the driver’s seat of any description.
But don’t shy away from building hope that they will get better. Sometimes that hope gets them through their pain and discomfort.
Step 4: Edit for Communication Effectiveness
The last step may be the most important since editing well can enhance a therapist’s credibility, genuineness, and clarity. That’s because editing can reduce miscommunication while improving clear and effective communication.
Here are some editing tips to achieve communication effectiveness:
- Stay focused on what your client needs to know to make a decision
- Use only phrasing your client can likely understand
- Use only as much technical lingo to convey your expertise and authority
- Choose words with precision and avoid cliches or overly casual language
- There is no ideal length: just say what you need to say then stop writing
- Break up long sentences into shorter ones to make them more concise