If you’re reading this you probably realize that your therapy profile and professional bio are your most powerful tools in connecting effectively with the right clients.
To put things in perspective, at Timewith, we estimated that in 2019 about 10 million private psychotherapy & counseling sessions took place across the UK with an average of 1 million web searches around therapy, finding a therapist and general counseling information.
And where are all these searches funneled to? On therapists’ profiles.
Getting traffic to your page is difficult as it is, so once a good fit visits your profile there is one goal: To get them to connect with you.
So a common question is this: how do I create a great therapist profile?
Before we discuss that, let’s talk about the things that won’t help your profile.
The notion that your fees are steep and changing your price will make a difference in conversion. Let me tell you off the bat: It doesn’t. How do I know?
We analyze both qualitative and quantitative data all the time and we know that within each range (e.g. £60 - £80, £81 - £100, £101- £120) the conversion rate, that is the number of people reaching out from those who viewed a profile, is not positively correlated with a lower price.
We looked across 5,000 matches and we couldn’t establish a relationship.
We also looked at the conversion prices in relation to price AND:
No correlation whatsoever between price, any other variable, and conversion.
Finally, we put this to the ultimate test. We run a campaign to sponsor therapy where we offered FREE therapy. Of the 5,000+ matches in 2019, we had no one(!) booking for £0. Zero. We then increased the price to £9. We noticed some uptake. Then allowed clients to choose their own therapist and we would discount the price for the first session. That was the best converting campaign but still nothing groundbreaking which would establish a relationship between uptake and price.
This might sound counterintuitive but there are a few economic principles that explain that.
Therapy is not a commodity service. It’s not dry cleaning. If you choose to do dry cleaning you aim for convenience above all. Is it close by? Is the price ok? Pretty much all dry cleaners deliver the same method and end result. They dry clean clothes.
The client’s expectations are not set before they meet the therapist. This is key and we will come back to that. In a commodity service, like in the dry-cleaning example, I know what to expect. When it comes to therapy, it’s extremely difficult to understand the difference between one therapist and another for the simple reason that the value is experiential.
Therapy is difficult to measure and so in the absence of hard data on recovery rates price can signal quality of service rather than deter clients.
So, lowering your price is definitely not the first thing you need to look at.
A client will read in detail 2.4 profiles to make a decision. However, some therapists will successfully convert 2% of clients viewing their profile while others 16%.
What is the common theme across the low performing ones? They’re generic. It’s impossible to understand who is the person behind the profile or how therapy with them would really be like. Conclusion? Be specific on who should reach out to you. Profiles for everyone are profiles for no one. You might get a lot of views, but little to no enquiries.
Instead, try full transparency. Whilst transparency might polarize, polarizing profiles are also the most successful.
Firstly, you filter out bad matches and only engage with people who can be a good fit and you can help.
Secondly, polarizing profiles seem more genuine, thus reducing the anxiety of ambiguity which in turn makes the right people feel more comfortable reaching out to you.
So if you are getting a lot of views but no clients, think to yourself: Is this a transparent view of how I practice?
Finally, you need to remember; your prospective clients don’t have the professional knowledge to appraise your profile clinically. Not only does this mean that they won’t be able to appreciate technical words, your extensive education, and continuous professional development but they might also be deterred by it. What we don’t understand scares us.
With that in mind, here are the 5 things you need to cover.
1. Your profile tells a story where you help your client change
People simply don’t buy products or services, and definitely not nowadays when they’re bombarded with information and products.
People buy stories. Stories they can understand, relate and be inspired by. This is why branding is important and as a business of one, you have a personal brand to build. With that in mind, your profile should not be seen as a set of modules (e.g. about me, approach) but a story about your client, their life and the positive impact of your work together.
Want another statistic? Clients spend more than 1 min on therapy profiles they’re interested versus 4” on the ones they don’t. So having a story to tell here is paramount.
2. You are the guide, not the hero of this story
When you are writing your profile the first thing to keep in mind is this: When someone is looking for a therapist, they are not browsing profiles like cars. They’re looking for a Guide. They are looking for someone wise who is going to lead them in the transformation of their lives. What does this mean in practice?
Your profile should not open with a focus on you, your accolades or your therapeutic approach. It should be about the impact your therapy has. Why you do it. What are your beliefs. This is the point where you are persuading a client to give you more than a glance.
Sections of profile it maps to: Therapist “About me”
3. You understand the problem and can help them get to the root cause
Remember, you are the expert talking to an individual who is likely to be in a state of distress. At least something is bothering them, otherwise, they’d not be looking. Often, they don’t know what the problem is. This might come out as “I just want to talk”. Other times they will come and present a condition and say “I am feeling stressed at work”. That is the symptom, not the cause. You know it. They might not.
So it is crucial that you unveil your thinking. You explain that you have an understanding of their specific problem (your area of expertise) and explain common causes or other findings you have been led to in your career. The client is starting to feel they’re getting insights. They’re seeing they’re not alone. Someone else is thinking about their issue and indeed, in a deeper way than they do. Perhaps this is the person to help them move on?
This might be specific to us but this is why on Timewith we offer a background input field. Your background experience reinforces your understanding of the problem. Our inspiration came from a therapist whose husband was a veteran and as such, she also had personal experience. She spoke extensively and vividly about it, expressing deep empathy and mentioned details that completely mapped to her clients’ experiences. Needless to say, the profile ranked in our top 10.
Sections this pertains to: Background
4. You also have plan to solve it.
Personally, I think this is the most crucial bit. The approach. The plan. For evolutionary reasons, our minds are wired to be afraid of the unknown. To be intolerant to ambiguity.
So you need to manage expectations. Think about cases of depression, where reality is distorted. The ground between the person’s feet is shaky and they are given up. They need their guide, who knows their pain to come with a plan, with a philosophy they can embody and can follow. You lay the steps and it’s up to them to walk.
Explaining to your prospective clients what they can expect in their first session with you, what will happen afterwards and how you will structure your therapy with them to combat their problem is where you can actually call them to action and get them to start working with you.
Section it pertains to: Approach
5. Show them how therapy is life changing.
Therapy is life-changing. Full stop. I have no idea where I would be without therapy in my life. So why reduce it to “I will help you treat your anxiety”? If therapy can literally rewire the brain pathways, change established behaviors and set a new horizon in someone’s life, how come we are not all talking about it this way?
Focus on the specific outcomes of the next day and try to delineate as much as possible what that looks like.
Therapy is human... all too human. And as such, the best therapy profiles are the most human ones as well. The ones that tell a story engaging the reader in imagining their better future. Minimize therapist terms, go light on credentials and focus on your client’s story. Who they are and where you can go. Together.