Believe it or not, how your counselling profile presents to prospective clients makes a huge difference in the interest and contact you get from people online.

In online marketing, when a person takes a desired action, this is called a conversion. The goal of your counselling profile is to convert people from perusing and reading your profile, to taking an action like calling you, emailing or booking an appointment.

Your conversion rate is the number of people that take an action divided by the number of times your profile has been viewed. Typically, an average conversion rate is about 1%. This means 1 in a 100 people will contact you after viewing your profile. While this may seem very low, it helps put into perspective how important it is to have a client-attracting profile.

A number of other factors are important in increasing your conversion rate. These are all aspects of your counselling profile that you can edit and modify easily through your account. By making some small changes to your profile, it can mean that you experience a big increase in prospective clients contacting you.

Here are my top 10 tips for creating a client-attracting counselling profile:

Counselling Profile Tip #1:  Have a professional photo

This is a really simple aspect of your profile, but easily the most important one. Australia Counselling works by having people search for location, area of practice or therapeutic approach. When your profile comes up in searches, it’s in list format. So the counsellors who fit the search terms come up under one another.

Your photo is the first image that people see in a search, and it plays a big part in whether the prospective client clicks through to your profile. What’s more, we know that people project onto our image and imagine we are all manner of things such as caring, strong, firm, masculine, feminine etc.

All this adds up to the importance of having a professional image that represents you and your brand accurately. Whether you like it on not, you are your own brand when you are a counsellor in private practice.

Counselling Profile #2: Have a compelling headline

After your photo, the next most important aspect of your profile is having a headline. Research says that 80% of people read a headline on a webpage, but only 20% continue reading. So it’s vital that you have a compelling headline that grabs the attention of your prospective client and compels them to read further.

Make sure your headline is focused on your niche area. You want the reader to ascertain from the headline whether or not you’re the right counsellor for them.

Headlines can be solution focused or problem focused. e.g. You Can Create a Loving Relationship (solution focused) or Are You Exhausted from Constantly Disciplining Your Teenager? (problem focused).

Counselling Profile Tip #3: Be clear about your niche and who you work with

The other way to use your profile is as a filter. You can filter out the types of people you don’t want to work with by being very clear about your niche and the area(s) of focus that you work with.

For example, if you’re a relationship counsellor, but don’t want to work with addictions, you can make this clear by stating the types of people you work with under demographic speciality. In the long run, this saves you lots of time and frustration. You also end up attracting exactly the types of clients you want to work with.

Counselling Profile Tip #4: Optimise your profile with your niche keywords

Your profile will get the best results if it has a niche focus. The reason that having a niche works from a marketing perspective, is that you’re making it clear the types of people you work with, your areas of passion and interest  and you position yourself as an authority in your field. All these elements add up to prospective clients wanting to work with you.

Once you know what your niche is, make sure you have the keywords for your niche sprinkled throughout the copy on your counselling profile. The Google keyword search tool is vey helpful for giving you information on the search terms with the highest volume of traffic in your area. You can use it here:

https://www.adwords.google.com/select/keywordtoolexternal

When you have 2-3 keywords throughout your page, it increases the chances that people will come across your profile when searching for those keywords on Google.

Counselling Profile Tip #5: Offer online appointments

Research suggests that businesses that offer online appointment bookings increase their business by 30%.

My own counselling business increased significantly when I started offering online appointments, and for this reason, I wanted to have this feature in the Australia Counselling profiles. I think there are several reason why online appointment bookings work:

  • Clients can take immediate action when they are in pain and viewing your profile.
  • Added convenience for the client.
  • Helps portray a professional image of your business.
  • Phone tag is a thing of the past – scheduling can be done when you are unavailable.
  • You have complete control over your availability, the times you offer and which bookings youconfirm.
  • Clients get automatic confirmations and reminders, so no-shows become a thing of the past.

The other advantage is once sign up to offer online appointments, you can place the buttons on any other online pages that you choose. If you want to start a free trial, visit our partner company Full Slate and read our article: 5 Full Slate Video Tutorials: Online Appointment Bookings. If you have reservations, you may want to read our article: The 10 Most Common Myths About Online Appointment Schedulers.

Counselling Profile Tip #6: Offer a free product to grow your list

The cornerstone of any successful business is building your email list. This means collecting email addresses so that you can market specifically to the people that are interested in your information and what you offer. This is a proven way to build a successful business today.

One way to build your list is to offer a free product, such as a report, an article, a video or an audio. The visitor to your page signs up to your list to receive the free product.

The benefits are two-fold- 1. The prospective client, who is not ready to book with you, gets a flavour of you and how you work, your philosophy, your approach.  2. You get the prospective client’s email address, so that you can continue to build relationship with them through your newsletter and events. Then, when the client is ready to start counselling, you are front-of-mind for that person.

Counselling Profile Tip #7: Write compelling copy that’s client-focused

A big mistake that many people make on their counselling profile is that they write in the 3rd person about themselves and/or the client issues. This is an impersonal way of writing and distances you from the prospective client.

When writing your copy, make sure you talk about yourself in the 1st person, and write as if you are speaking to the reader. Use the pro-noun you instead of one or people. This makes your copy more warm, inviting and personal, thus promoting greater connection with the reader.

Counselling Profile  Tip #8: Have a YouTube video introducing yourself and your services

A powerful aspect of marketing that many counsellors don’t use is video marketing. Video marketing is using the medium of video to get your message out there and help people connect with you. Video gives the viewer more information about you, how you look, speak and express yourself, and consequently facilitate a person feeling greater trust and connection with you. This then leads to an increase in conversions from your profile.

Your video does not need to be professionally filmed or edited. Just create a short 1-2 minute video introducing yourself and your services. Or you may create a short video answering some frequently asked questions that clients inquire about. Read our counsellor help menu to learn how to create and upload a video to YouTube and embed it on your profile.

Counselling Profile Tip #8: Offer a short, free telephone consultation

Another easy way to connect with prospective clients is to offer them a short consultation on the phone. The purpose of this is to hear about the issue, connect with the client and provide information about your services.

There are several benefits of offering a short, free telephone consult:

  • The client tells a little of why they want to come to counselling and feels some relief.
  • You can connect empathically before you meet and establish a connection.
  • You begin to build relationship and trust before you meet.
  • The client can ask you about how you work and your approach.
  • You can screen the client to see if there is a good fit for your services.
  • The client is much more likely to make an initial appointment once you have spoken on the phone.

If you decide to offer a short telephone consult, make this clear in your profile to encourage prospective clients to take action.

Counselling Profile Tip #9: Describe why you are different to other counsellors

There are many counsellors in the field, but you are unique. However, the prospective client doesn’t know this. So it’s essential that you say in your profile WHY you are different from other counsellors.

Perhaps you have some unique skills or training, a passion or interest in working with a particular issue or you have great outcomes when working with a certain type of client.

All of this needs to be made explicit in your profile, so that the reader can choose you because of your uniqueness and what you offer

Counselling Profile Tip #10: Have a call-to-action

This is an incredibly simple tip that most counsellors forget to do. Research has proven that when you tell someone what to do in your copy, the likelihood of them taking that action is much higher. For this reason, it’s important that you have a call-to-action at the end of your profile.

For example, you may have: ‘Call now for a free 10-minute consultation’ or ‘Visit my website to download your free report on communication’. Both of these calls-to-action tell the ready succinctly and specifically what to do.

Having a call to action increases the number of prospective clients that will then take the action you want them to and increase the response rate to your profile.

What are your thoughts about these tips? Please leave your comments and questions below.