Hey, I’m glad to have you here. I’m also glad to have my guest today, Kat Love. I met Kat back over the summer at the Group Practice Owner’s Summit, and just had a great time speaking with Kat about life, business, and all sorts of things.
Kat is an incredible resource for the therapeutic community or the mental health community. Kat’s specialty in web design and web copy are resources that a lot of us need. The companies that they maintain are Empathysites and Empathycopy. You can probably get from those names what they do, but as I said, Kat specializes in building done-for-you websites and helping mental health professionals write compelling copy on their [00:01:00] websites.
Kat has an amazing story. We get into that a bit on the podcast. They are very open about being a sexual assault survivor, attending therapy and how transformative and powerful that therapeutic experience was, and how going through that experience led Kat to develop the business that they have today to give back to the therapeutic community for the services that they received over the years. So I hope you enjoy this.
We talk about all things websites from the nuts and bolts to some of the more nuanced details about copy and photos and pages and so forth. So stay tuned and enjoy.
Without further ado, my interview with Kat Love.[00:02:00] Hey y’all, welcome back to another episode of The Testing Psychologist podcast. I’m Dr. Jeremy Sharp. Thanks again for joining us today. This is the first business episode that we’ve had in quite a while. So I’m excited about that. I’m really excited to have my guest, Kat Love on the podcast today. Kat and I met back in July at the Group Practice Owner’s Summit in Chicago and had a lot of great conversations over those few days. She gave a talk at that conference that was raved about, so I thought I should probably have her on the show to talk about some of these things.
Kat, welcome to the podcast.
Kat: Thank you so much for having me.
Dr. Sharp: Well, thanks for making the time. What people don’t know is that you are over in [00:03:00] Greece, right? So we have a little bit of a scheduling thing to work out, but it worked out and here we are. I appreciate that you’re talking to me in the evening when I would be falling asleep probably.
Dr. Sharp: Thanks for that. I would love to dive into it. You do a lot of things. Websites are your thing at this point like people heard in the intro, but I would love to hear just for you to talk about what you’re up to these days, your website business, and how you got here, all that sort of stuff. So, I’ll turn it over to you.
Kat: Awesome. I started doing therapist websites about 4 or 5 years ago. I decided to specialize in therapist websites because I’m a sexual abuse survivor and therapists really helped me heal from that [00:04:00] and are still helping me heal from that, I will admit. I will share anyway that I am still doing EMDR right now, and it’s amazing. And so I’m continuously grateful to the work that therapists do with people like me and people that aren’t like me, all of the different types of people that have different mental health challenges that they’re working through. It’s just such important work. Thank you for doing what you do.
Dr. Sharp: Well, I think it’s amazing that you actually took that experience, did something with it, and now you are giving back in a way, which is a funny thing to think about, giving back to the therapist community, but that’s really inspiring, right?
Kat: Yeah, it inspires me every day and makes me so passionate about what I do. I’ve thought of other niches that I could have, and I’m just like, no, why would I work with someone that [00:05:00] doesn’t do work that I’m absolutely thrilled by? It’s just so important.
Dr. Sharp: That’s super cool. Do you find that that motivates you more or in a different way? We always talk about living your passion and all that kind of stuff, but do you find that having that underlying experience with therapists is what keeps you going day to day?
Kat: Completely. I’m working on a really large website migration right now. So I’m taking content from a Wix website and I’m up-leveling their site, making it professional level. And this therapist has grown a practice around bipolar, trauma, and bereavement for children. I’m going through this content, and it’s a little bit of a painstaking process because [00:06:00] Wix is very unfriendly to migrations. You have to basically copy and paste things. Well, I’m doing a lot of…
Dr. Sharp: Are you kidding?
Dr. Sharp: Geez. Okay.
Kat: I’m doing a lot of copy and paste, but in that process, I’m skimming over a lot of the content as I go, and the whole process I’m like, wow, this is so important. This is the information that people need in order to live life. I don’t even think that it’s about optimizing life. I think sometimes it’s about having a life at all.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, I totally agree with you, biased, of course, being a mental health practitioner, but I totally agree. I think that it’s an integral part of living. Having done EMDR myself here over the past several months for the first time, I’m with you on that. It’s pretty remarkable. It is amazing.
Kat: I’m starting a fan club. So [00:07:00] #EMDRfanclub. Post all your stories on Instagram with the hashtag.
Dr. Sharp: You heard it here first.
Kat: No, I’m not actually doing that, but that would be pretty cool.
Dr. Sharp: It would be cool. Nice.
Well, that’s one of the things that really drew me to you because there are some others in this space of therapist websites, but that’s something like your story, and you’ve been very outspoken about the role of therapists in your life and how that influences your work. That’s drawn me to you much more than some of the others. I think that’s really cool.
For those who don’t know, maybe we back out and zoom out a little bit. Can you talk about your business; what it is and what y’all do exactly?
Kat: I actually have two ways that I help therapists right now. One is Empathysites, which is my website design and care solution. We [00:08:00] build sites and then we launch them and we care for them ongoing including unlimited ongoing assistance.
My other solution is one that you can use before you come to Empathysites because what I’ve noticed over the years of doing website design is a lot of therapists struggle with writing their websites as well. And so I have a tool called Empathycopy. It’s a separate service so you don’t necessarily have to use Empathysitess afterward. It’s open to anyone using any type of website solution. It’s a tool that helps you write your website.
Dr. Sharp: Oh, that’s incredible. Well, that’s a good segue too because we’re going to talk a lot about copy here today and what should be on a website. So that’s cool. Did you develop those in tandem or is Empathycopy newer or older or what? I’m less familiar with that actually.
Kat: Empathycopy is newer. It was [00:09:00] developed out of actually some tools that I’ve developed and was using or giving out for free, basically. So I actually still have a free tool on empathysites.com. It’s a blog post idea generator. The generator is basically just four fields that you fill in. It’ll ask you a question like, who’s your ideal client? And you can put like LGBT people or women or something like that. And then it asks you four of these very basic types of questions. You press a generate button and it will generate over 30 ideas for content that you can put on your blog or anywhere. You could also use it for microblogging in social media and stuff like that as well.
Based off of that concept, I started making generators that were for bigger pieces of content besides little 5 words or 6-word ideas, and it just grew and [00:10:00] grew, and it was so popular that I turned it into a full-blown service.
Dr. Sharp: That’s awesome. I have seen the blog idea generator. It makes me want to ask right out of the gate going off script, is blogging still important? I feel like this is a 2013 thing that isn’t there anymore, but maybe I’m totally wrong. Is blogging still important for people on their websites?
Dr. Sharp: Okay.
Kat: I don’t know. The reason that I hesitate or say it like that is because it depends on what you’re doing. I think that all digital marketing relies on content marketing. Blogging is one form of content marketing. So you don’t need to necessarily blog, but you will need to create content in some way and do outreach on that content in some way no matter what [00:11:00] digital marketing you’re doing.
Community marketing is a whole other story. If you’re going and knocking on doctor’s office stores and giving them donuts, obviously you’re not going to need to write a blog post about that. But for digital marketing, it’s all going to be content even if you’re looking at outbound, which is stuff like ads like Google ads or something like that. You need to have written content for that. And so all of that is the written word and can benefit from blogs if you’re going to send people to your website too.
Dr. Sharp: Sure. A lot of this stuff is going to be naive on my part. I’ll just put that disclaimer out there. Feel free to fact-check me if I say anything silly. For me, it really started out as blogging was a way to boost SEO, search engine optimization, so people can find your website, and generating fresh content is supposed to be important, [00:12:00] but the way you describe it, it’s almost like, yeah, that can be a piece of it, but it’s more just when people come to your site, they need something valuable when they get there. They have to have something they can connect with and blog posts can be part of that. But I could be totally off with that.
Kat: No, you’re pretty spot on. I think that it really all depends on your goals. So you would want to start with figuring out what your goals are for your website and fit your website into a larger strategy for blogging to be even considered as something that might reach those goals. I think a lot of therapists will do things in reverse. They’ll think of tactics and start implementing tactics before they even have a strategy. And so, they’re spinning their wheels and they’re [00:13:00] doing things that can do something, but without that overarching strategy that can plan out the why behind what you’re doing and then be able to set goals and measure results. With all of that stuff missing, it makes it hard to justify any marketing tactic at all.
Dr. Sharp: That’s such a good point. I’m so glad that you’re saying this right now. I think people do that. People say, I need a website. I’ve got to put a website together. I need to write an about page somehow. I need to blog. I need to run ads. It ends up being a shotgun approach that may or may not be helpful. Who knows if they’re measuring any outcomes related to that? So super important.
When you say just having a strategy for what you want your website to do, what are the options there for [00:14:00] people who are maybe just getting started or maybe are thinking like my website’s not working for me? What do websites do? What are the options for someone to consider?
Kat: Well, I do think that most, if not all therapists’ practices, do need to have a basic website. I would say that if there’s a base level, you need to have a website and that website needs to share who you are and how you help so that at least when people Google you or referral sources are Googling you, there’s something that’s a professional presence on the internet because people will Google you.
Dr. Sharp: I’m with you. So what do you say to the person who’s like, I’m full, I get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals, my practice is thriving and I don’t have a website, do I need one?[00:15:00]Kat: It depends on your goals.
Dr. Sharp: Okay. There we go.
Kat: I keep saying that over and over. There have been cases of people that have said that to me. They tend to be extroverts. They tend to be very good at social and community level marketing where they’re getting in front of people doing talks, they’re taking out doctors for coffee. They’re just really good at that in-person, community-level stuff. And so, once they get to a place where they have referral sources that are very rich with referrals and are sending them in a consistent way, they may feel like, oh, well, I don’t need to do digital marketing. I don’t even need any of that at all.
One warning that I would say is that I have seen some of these types of practices not being able to sustain that for years and years over time. I’ve had practices that did not modernize with the times, and then [00:16:00] 10 years later they were like, you know what? Our referral sources dried up. Our website sucks because we didn’t think we needed it. And now, we don’t have any online presence and we have to build from scratch basically.
And so, that’s a little bit of a warning. It depends on your goals. Like if you’re in private practice for the long haul, you may still want to maintain a very basic online presence, no matter what. Whether or not you’re really investing heavily into that is another story. Perhaps if you are doing really well with community-level marketing and referrals, you wouldn’t focus 90% of your marketing energy and money on it, obviously. But that’s something that has to be thought out holistically when you’re looking at all of your marketing rates and what you’re doing.
Dr. Sharp: Sure. I interrupted you a while back. We were talking about strategies and I didn’t even let you get started. Therapists [00:17:00] need a basic website. Let’s just leave it at that. So then what can that website do for them and what kind of strategy might have?
Kat: This is a good segue from what we were just talking about. One thing that even full practices need sometimes is to use their website as a tool. So instead of having their admin staff fielding all of the scheduling of appointments and all of the requests for like, oh, I didn’t get the consent form emailed to me. Can you email it to me? Your website can step in for things like this.
So one thing that I say your website can do is step in as an employee to take care of some of these administrative tasks. So things like paperwork, and scheduling- most of the EHRs will have scheduling portals that you can link [00:18:00] to or even widgets that you can embed into your website. So stuff like this. That’s a really cool goal. Office hours, maps, directions, and a whole bunch of stuff can be on your website. That just makes it really easy for your potential clients and current clients even to manage their appointments. So that’s one goal that your website might have.
The more common goal is however to get clients. So most therapists use a website for attracting new clients, letting new clients get to know them, and encouraging those website visitors to reach out and become actual in your office clients.
Another goal that a lot of therapists usually don’t think about and miss is your website can also be leveraged to grow referrals, so it can work in tandem with any community-level marketing, or it could also be [00:19:00] a portal for doing online networking as well. So if you want to grow a really big referral network, which most therapists opt to and have as a priority in their marketing, a website can also have that as a goal. And each of these goals will look a little bit different as to what you’re trying to optimize on each page and what content you need and if you blog or not. All of that’s going to change depending on what you’re really trying to do.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah. Can you talk through the difference between those options a little bit more? I get the using your website to get clients in your office. That part totally makes sense. The second one is about growing your referral sources, could you say more about how that happens and how a website can be a tool to do that?
Kat: Yeah, totally. I think it’s really interesting [00:20:00] because, like I said, it’s not something that most people and most therapists, most small businesses I would even say, think of. When you have a one-on-one service, one of the most powerful things to do is to target someone that’s a thought leader in a space where maybe they know 100 potential clients or 200 or 300 potential clients.
If you spend your marketing energy trying to build a relationship with them, that’s a better return on your marketing investment because instead of targeting the individual client who’s just one person and that person likely isn’t going to go and shout it from the rooftops like, oh, I have the greatest therapist right now. That just doesn’t happen. So they’re not going to be recruiting further clients, but that referral source would be.
Once you have a relationship with that one person that has access to many, you are building a [00:21:00] relationship that will last you a long time. And so the way that the website can help you with that is by being your professional presence. One thing that a lot of the therapists at my service, Empathysites share with me is after we build and launch their site, they’ll go out to different networking events and they’ll hand out their cards. And then they’ll actually get unsolicited feedback that their website is what helped these referral sources believe in them and send clients their way and view them as the professionals that they are.
First of all, that’s the most superficial way of doing it. So it’s like, just having a website that’s professional, that already is going to make you stand out in the field of therapists where most therapists do not have great websites. And so, having a professional site, that right there will make you stand out to referral sources.[00:22:00] But then the second way is to actually leverage that you can deliver through your website. So your website can be media distribution.
Dr. Sharp: Say more just in case… Are you talking like videos or?
Kat: Anything. This is actually part of the strategy that I was teaching at the Group Practice Owner’s Summit in Chicago. I was teaching a strategy in which you find a referral audience. Perhaps you want to target schools and your niche is eating disorders in teens. That’s why targeting teachers and principals and administration in schools makes sense.
And so, what you do is you go through this whole series of steps where you will think about what is it that these school administrators could benefit knowing about that you could write content on and then [00:23:00] distribute that content after building a relationship with these different people in the community. You can distribute the content to them through your website.
And so they start to get to know you. They start to trust you. They know of you as a leader in this space because you have a free ebook that is targeting. Maybe you could have an ebook that’s around something like the five signs that you that a child might need to see a therapist or a teen might need to see a therapist.
And so the content should be something that these administrators and teachers could use themselves in helping you get clients, but also something that they might be actually honestly concerned about because eating disorders can be really common and it can be really worrying when you see someone who you suspect might have an eating disorder.
So it’s like you’re handing them all of the answers in a nice little [00:24:00] package. And again, you’re positioning yourself as the expert in your community. They’re going to know about you. You’re not being pushy. You’re not saying, Hey, send me clients. You’re saying, Hey, I have this resource that I can help you with. Here it is on my website. Download it whenever you want. Share it with your colleagues. And so it has also a viral quality to it as well.
Dr. Sharp: That’s great. Well, let me highlight something in there. One, I think that most clinicians, myself included, tend to go down the path of writing content for clients primarily. And so this idea of really targeting our referral sources makes a lot of sense but doesn’t necessarily come intuitively to me anyway and I think a lot of other folks. So there’s that. I want to highlight that for sure.
Then my question then is, how do you get that content out to these referral sources without being pushy? I mean, it’s on your website, which is [00:25:00] fantastic. I’m just thinking about my practice. I have conversations with referral sources fairly regularly, but I’m trying to think, how would I let them know there’s new content or maybe this will be helpful, that kind of thing?
Kat: I think it really depends. One easy way to think of it is how would you provide this type of helpful content to a friend. We all have friends that are in different stages of warmth to us. So if you’ve never hung out with them and you just saw them at a conference, and you just basically got their business card and they probably remember you, but maybe not that well, maybe you wouldn’t want want to lead with here’s my stuff. You would probably want to do… like, how would you start to build a friendship with them? [00:26:00] That’s the question to ask.
For me, if I was in that position, I might reach out to them and say like, Hey, it was really great meeting you at such and such conference the other day. I saved your business card because you really made a lasting impression on me. I know you do massage therapy services in town. I wanted to know more about how I might be able to help you because maybe I have like referrals I can send your way.
So one way to get in with people is always to offer them help. That’s a really easy first step if you are already familiar with them, but there are also ways that you can build relationships with people that you’ve never even met and do that online as well. So there are all types of strategies out there for online networking, for in-person networking. What I’m trying to say is that the website and the creation of content that helps them is going to be something that will really position you to get referrals and get your best fit referrals to if you do [00:27:00] it with the intention of that.
Dr. Sharp: That makes sense. I’m just mentally cataloging all the referral sources that we have and thinking about what kind of content might be helpful for them.
Kat: You can also ask them.
Dr. Sharp: Oh no, that’s too easy and straightforward.
Kat: No, really. That’s another thing that I love. This whole process is not necessarily something you just have to sit and do in your imagination. It’s very interactive. Like if you have someone already in your network and you’re like, this person is the best referral source ever, I need to get more of them, go and talk to them and say, Hey, you know what? I want to create content for people like you, how can I help you?
Maybe they’ll say like, oh, I really want you to sit down and talk about this issue so that professionals like me would know more about it. Write down their words, [00:28:00] how they phrase it because you can actually recycle that and put that into your copy for that content that you make.
I think it’s super fun because it makes marketing more about relationships and friendships and helping people and being generous than it does about this kind of like salesy, like oh, grabby and pokey and like weirdy. Does that make sense?
Dr. Sharp: Totally makes sense. Let’s not grab or poke or be here with anybody. I’m with you. So for someone like myself who’s very, let’s say concrete and maybe analytical and linear, all those kinds of adjectives. So thinking about maybe going through your referral sources and figuring out who’s sending you the most folks and who the big, trusted referral sources are [00:29:00] and having a list and reaching out to them and just saying exactly what you just said, what do you need? How can I help you? What would be most helpful? What kind of content? All that kind of stuff. I like it.
I’ve talked with people a lot about just maintaining a list of referral sources, a nice spreadsheet, and track how many folks they’re sending you. So this is just another maybe shout out for that process that that can be super helpful in your practice too so you know. That’s awesome.
So, we’ve got this content, you can use your website to deliver that content. Hopefully, the word is getting out. What else? We’d really talked about trying to dive into copy and what should be on your website. So we’re touching on some of this maybe media, I think is what you said; [00:30:00] the media that you can deliver to them. What other components are important to have on a website? And we can maybe dive into the actual copy as we talk through this, but big picture components, what should we be looking for on our websites?
Kat: What do you mean big picture; theoretical, overarching ideas, or more like, you need to have this in your website footer?
Dr. Sharp: Okay, good. In my mind, I was like, so what pages do we need? Do we need an about page? Do we need a fees page? That was where I was going with that.
Kat: Okay. Cool. I actually have this blog post that I wrote on the bare minimum information that your therapist website needs because I kept getting this question over and over about it, basically exactly that. What do I need to have on my website? And so, [00:31:00] in this blog post, I outline the four pages that you absolutely have to have, which is a homepage, an about page, a services page, and a contact page.
The contact page is pretty easy to figure out. What you need on there is a phone number, map, a call to action- whatever the first step is that somebody needs to take to reach out to you. You definitely need that on there. But in addition to that contact page, I also do recommend at least having a homepage, about page, and a services page, and then also a well-stocked header and footer with your contact information in it as well.
Dr. Sharp: Got you. So let me go in reverse order. When you say a well-stocked header and footer, first of all, what is the header, and what is the footer on a website for anybody who doesn’t know?
Kat: The website header is [00:32:00] the persistent section of the website that’s in the top, in the head. That’s why it’s called the header. Typically, you’ll just see the logo and website navigation in this header, but what I recommend is that you also have a phone number and a very brief call to action. So for instance, if you offer a free consultation call or if you just want people their first step to sign up for an appointment with you, then you would want to have that language also in the header. And this is persistent across all of your website pages. So every page is going to have that logo, the navigation, and a call to action with your contact information.
And then the footer is the same way, but it’s in the foot of the website, which is the bottom of the website. Again, it’s persistently across all pages of your site. So it’s a really great place to put things that are really important for people and search engines to see. And so in the footer, I usually recommend [00:33:00] again, a call to action, phone number, email address, and your actual office address. And then also you can have footer navigation and a little copyright line and stuff like that. The little typical footnotes at the bottom.
Dr. Sharp: Cool. And then beyond that, so tracing backward, you said homepage, about page, services page, and fees, right?
Kat: Contact page.
Dr. Sharp: Oh, contact. Okay.
Kat: You could have a fees page as well. The reason that I frame it as the bare minimum is because it’s serving this moment where therapists realize how much there is to get done in their digital strategy and getting themselves out there. They’re doing social media profiles and they’re updating all of their directory profiles and trying to put a website together. And it can get really overwhelming also because a lot of therapists are also running a private practice at the same [00:34:00] time. And so the bare minimum is really like the bare minimum. If you have time to do more and put together a fees page, I totally think that’s a great idea. Or other pages as well. There are lots of other pages you could come up with.
Dr. Sharp: Nice. What I see folks do a lot is blend like, the homepage has information that is also on the services page and is also on the about page. Can we talk through that a little bit? How do we delineate the appropriate content for each of these pages?
Kat: One great way to know what content should go on what page is to have a goal in mind for each page. For a homepage, typically, that’s trying to get clients if your website is trying to get clients. Then on the homepage, you’re really wanting to just confirm that a website visitor is in the right place for them and [00:35:00] give them a little bit of an idea of what else they’ll find on the site. And also give them a little bit of a sense of who you are.
If that’s a solo practice, you’ll want a picture of yourself and 2 or 3-sentence bio and then a click-through to the about page so they can read more. Or if you’re a group practice, it’s going to be a picture of the group, hopefully altogether smiling and being awesome. And then something about the identity of the group practice. So it could be something about how you all help or something about your mission or something that unites you or the common outcomes or benefits that the clients of your group practice get. Again, 1,2, or 3 sentences and click through to an about us page or meet the team page from the homepage. That’s the homepage.
Dr. Sharp: Got you. So keep it brief, hit the high points offer opportunities to click through to [00:36:00] more in-depth information.
Kat: Yeah. And so that goes for the services as well. You can list all of your services and then have a two-sentence, what I like to call a pain-to-gain statement. So you can start with something like, “You might be feeling so depressed that you can’t get out of bed in the morning. With therapy, we can help get you to a place where you’re excited about life again. Click this link to…”
Well, you don’t actually say click this link. That’s actually a problem that I keep seeing everywhere, but because I’m saying it out loud, I’m trying to make up for the fact that you can’t see highlights in my words as I’m speaking them. But you could just, at that point, highlight the word depression and have a little arrow and then click through. That’ll signify to people that they can click through to the depression page.
Dr. Sharp: Yes. Cool. Okay. So that seems straightforward. What I see a lot of people do is trying to pack tons of information [00:37:00] onto the homepage. I think it ends up overwhelming potential clients or referral sources. And it’s really hard to figure out those basic things you were talking about; do you do what I’m looking for? Will I possibly like you when I meet you? Just answering those questions is really the most important thing. And to hook them in a little bit to where they’re wanting to read more on your site.
Kat: Yeah. They’re all suffering. Most people, when they’re coming to a therapist service, they’re not in the best of days of their life. And so a lot of them are looking for themselves. You’re spot on with that. Definitely, they want to see if you can help them with their exact suffering that they’re experiencing right now.
Dr. Sharp: Fair enough. So then we can move on to, I don’t know, [00:38:00] my bias, I suppose, is that the about page is one of the more important pages on the website? Would you agree with that or not?
Kat: Yeah, for sure. I think that it’s usually been, when I’ve had access to my client’s analytics, it’s usually been the second most viewed page beside the homepage. The homepage is usually the top because that’s where all your referrals go and all of your links on your profiles go there. But then second to that, people will want to go into the about page.
Dr. Sharp: Oh, that’s really validating just as an aside. I’ve been saying this for however many years when I teach these little private practice seminars or whatever. That’s been true in my experience also. So to have a real website person say that is pretty awesome. So thanks for that.
So the about page is important. What do we put on it? How do we do that?
Kat: Okay. So here’s something really important- a picture of [00:39:00] yourself. I actually do still see this often; therapists that don’t have a picture of themselves or a picture that they’re using is not really super professional or looks old.
It’s worth so much to have a professional picture of yourself and one that is taken in a way where your personality comes through because as brain people, I’m sure a lot of you may know that images are processed in the brain a lot faster than words. So if you put your image at the top and it’s really visually speaking to parts of your personality or how you help people, like that’s so important and that’s something that is so missing on a lot of therapists about pages. So I will say that, I know we’re talking about copy, but images also speak.[00:40:00] Dr. Sharp: Absolutely. Do you have thoughts or ideas on how… When you say it reflects your personality, what are some examples of that? I’m thinking, does that mean you have your dog in the picture, or am I running? What does that mean exactly?
Kat: You’re taking it very literally, which you can do if that’s you. If you’re like, I am in love with my dog or there are therapists now that have their support dogs? I don’t know what they’re called. But they have a support doggie that they have in the office with them.
Dr. Sharp: Therapy dogs.
Kat: Therapy dogs. Yeah. So if it’s you and your therapy dog in session, and you’re helping clients together, have your dog in the picture. That seems important. But for most therapists that aren’t dog people or whatever, what I mean when I say have your personality come through is trying to think through things that [00:41:00] feel good and natural to you and make sure your photo shoot is reflecting that.
So for instance, I just saw some pictures for group practice and they’re all in a gray backdrop with studio lighting and they’re all sitting in these chairs with super straight posture and they’re smiling and everything. Their facial expressions are fine, but I felt like, wow, that doesn’t really tell me a lot about who these therapists are.
Some of my examples or this example that I’m giving is the anti example. Don’t do that unless that’s who you are. But I think most therapists aren’t a gray backdrop feel. Are you the kind of person that would spend the weekend by the beach? If you are, then go have your photo shoot on the beach and have like the water behind you. Are you [00:42:00] a water sign?
I think this really comes down to thinking through what your in-session superpower is. I use this phrase a lot where I try to get therapists to think about what makes them unique in the context of helping others. So some of them are like, oh man, I know the answer to that. I’m totally super motivational. My clients are always super motivated after seeing me and it’s because they’re really high energy. So, it wouldn’t make sense for that therapist to have a gray back backdrop, but it might make more sense for them to be standing in front of the city or something like that, where there’s a lot of city energy and they’re moving. See what I mean?
So you want to think through who you are, what makes you comfortable, what matches where you are and how you help people.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah. I’m with you.
Kat: Okay. I was like, does that make sense?
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, totally. [00:43:00] I like those ideas. So even something simple like inside versus outside is maybe a good place to start. And then what kind of outside energy do you want to portray or what kind of inside energy? That’s good. Okay. So think about your personality. Try to have that come through in the picture.
I know people I’m sure are out there like, well, I can’t afford professional pictures. So a lot of folks can probably take a picture with their iPhone. iPhone cameras are decent these days. They’re okay. But then it’s like, what do I do with that? And how do I make it look professional-ish? Are there any do-it-yourself tools out there that people can use if they want to go that route?
Kat: I don’t know. I think this is one of these things where I’m like, if [00:44:00] don’t have photography skills, it may be worth it to script together the budget to hire. I don’t know that there are really tools as much as there is learning, right? So you can of course go onto YouTube. There are a ton of great YouTube tutorials about how to take photos, how to take portrait photos. And of course, you can turn the camera around and just shoot yourself instead of shooting a model or something like that. But I think most people don’t want to learn about photography; exposure, apertures, focal lengths, and all of this amazing stuff that photographers know about and are experts at.
There’s two paths if you don’t think you have the budget for a professional photo. The first path is to try learning. Try learning a little bit about photography, natural light, how to use it, what looks good. What doesn’t? Try to learn a little bit about photography and [00:45:00] start taking some photos of yourself and see how they come out. So that’s one route. I would recommend that if you are actually excited about learning photography if it’s like something that you’re like, oh, wow. I actually always wanted to pick this up anyway. This is a great opportunity for me to learn. Then go for it.
That’s how I learned how to do websites. I wanted to make my own website and I was like, okay, I’m just going to start playing with code every night. And it was so fun. But I think if it’s not so fun for you, then maybe the second option is better for you, which is to scrape together some money and shop around. You would be surprised at the affordability of photo shoots.
If you just ask around, ask for referrals from other therapists. Lots of times photographers, if they are doing shorter shoots or providing you with less photos or less looks, some photographers charge by the looks or like different outfits. So if you just want like one outfit and do like a half an hour shoot, that could be as little as like $200 or [00:46:00] something like that. That’s in the range of hopefully affordability for a lot of therapists.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah. Hope so. Got you. Good advice. I think that the DIY mindset is helpful to a point, but at some point, we just got to let go and pay for things that are important. And that piece that you brought up, we know this as psychologists. And bringing people, the images are processed faster. That’s just important to know. It’s not a place where you want to try to skimp.
Kat: Right. It’s like those articles that are in Vogue magazine where it’s like spend or save, and then they’re showing you things that you’re like, definitely spend on the shoes, but save on the dress or whatever. There are totally rules like that in private practice too.
Dr. Sharp: Got you. Nice. I’m very curious about that, but we’ll put that [00:47:00] aside for a second, spending and saving. For the about page, what else goes on the about page after you’ve got a nice high-quality photo?
Kat: In addition to a photo, you do want to have obviously written content. My top recommendation for an about page is to first speak to who you are and how you help in a very straightforward way. And when I say who you are, the who you are part is not who you are as you were saying earlier like, I like to go bicycling. I like to pet my dog. Not stuff like that. So much as who you are in the context of helping your clients. So again, you might be able to tune into your in-session superpower and that could be a draw of inspiration.
One thing that you can just start right off with is just fill in this formula where you’re just saying, this is who I [00:48:00] help and these are the services that I help them with. It can be as literal as that. I think a lot of therapists feel their about page is a piece of creative writing where it’s like trying to be poetic and eloquent and stuff, but actually, people really appreciate just getting the information they want to know in the shortest path possible.
And so if you can speak in a very literal way, like, I help LGBTQ+ people with overcoming trauma with trauma therapy services here in Portland, Oregon. That could be your first sentence. And that is so helpful because people will right away know if they are the type of person that you’re helping. If they’re LGBTQ+ person, they’ll be right away, yes, that’s me. And then if they’re struggling with trauma and they could be benefiting from trauma service, they’ll be like, yes, that’s me. And are they located in Portland? Yes, that’s me. So it’s like this little [00:49:00] kind of… Think of the checkboxes that website visitors will have in their head and make sure you speak to those and speak to them in a very direct way.
Dr. Sharp: Okay. That’s very straightforward. I think you, again, just highlighting the fact that… This is a nice theme with some things that we’ve been talking about in recent podcasts. You may know that we write these very comprehensive evaluation reports from the testing that we do. And we’ve been talking a lot in the podcast lately about simplifying those and just using straightforward language, keeping the readability very low, which means, the vast majority of folks can actually understand it. So it’s a nice parallel too for this about page and what you’re saying, it’s like, don’t get too fancy with it necessarily. Just put it out there and be straightforward and let people know what they’re getting to. It’s really cool.
Kat: Yeah.[00:50:00] Dr. Sharp: So you’ve got your topic sentence or whatever it is, your summary. Here’s who I am, here’s who I help. And then, then what? I mean for us, I see a lot of credentials because we’re psychologists, we’re board certified, we do the neuro this and brain this. So there’s that piece. I’d love to touch on that at some point, but I’m curious, where does it go from there with an about page?
Kat: I feel like what happens next after you’re pretty clear about the basics is you want to go into more about the identity and the points of suffering that your clients are in when they are searching for your services in this point.
And it’s counterintuitive because you’re like, wait, this is a page that’s supposed to be all about me. But it’s not supposed [00:51:00] to be all about you. It’s supposed to be about you and in the sense of how you help other people. And so, part of helping other people is letting those other people know that you understand them, that you see them, that you are familiar with the types of pain that they’re going through. And the about page is a perfect place to do this because you’re saying, here I am. This is who I help. This is how I help them. And these are the types of things that the people that I can help are struggling with. And so, starting your about page with that first is really important for that website visitor to read.
Dr. Sharp: I see. Okay. Very cool. So you’re speaking to your client again. And that is counterintuitive actually but good to know. Okay.
Kat: And then after that, I do also think it’s really [00:52:00] important to speak to what makes you unique as a therapist. So again, I think going back to your in-session superpower, every therapist is a little bit different. Some of them are really motivating, as I said before, as an example, but maybe you’re a really good listener or maybe people feel like you’re really nonjudgmental. You can also have some quotes here of things that other people have said about you, not your clients. That’s an ethical weird area, but maybe you have like a colleague or someone who’s also a therapist could say something to like, Kat is always so calm and I always appreciate being around them because I always feel at peace just with their energy or something.
You can throw stuff like that in there as well. Or you can just use that as inspiration to write what you are going to write about yourself because I know it’s very hard. This section is very hard to write for a lot of people because it’s hard to have that self-awareness and then it’s [00:53:00] also hard to feel like you’re not bragging or something, but keep in mind, you’re not bragging. You’re just helping people match themselves up to you so that they can get the help that they need.
Dr. Sharp: Nice. That’s a good reframe. Cool. All right. I’m with you.
Kat: I think those are the main basic points. There’s a lot of other stuff you can add to and about page. I do recommend having a small paragraph. Not two pages worth of professional background information, but a paragraph. Highlight your most important three or four professional things because most people will not be looking for it. And most people won’t know what any of it means anyway. So it is somewhat important if you are trying to attract certain referral sources that might be looking for it.
I know some referrals might have the professional background to understand like the difference between [00:54:00] IFS and CBT, but for the normal client, they’re not going to know. So, keep that in mind as you’re putting together this section of an about page.
And then the final thing that you’ll need on and about page is the call to action. Every page of your website needs to have a very clear call to action that makes sense for the point in the journey that the website visitor is in when they’re on the page.
So, by the time they get to the about page, you’re hoping that they’re already getting to know you a little bit. They’ve identified that you may be the good fit for them. So you want to definitely have a call to action that shares what the next step for them is in getting your help. So if you offer a free consultation or want them to schedule a first appointment, that would be at the end of the about page where you detail that, put your phone number, put your link to your contact page, or whatever else.[00:55:00] Dr. Sharp: Very cool. When I talk with people about websites, I frame it like our website needs to tell people what they should do next. Like assume that people don’t know where to go and make it very clear what the next step is in the website or what their behavior should be, I suppose. It’s kind of a funny way to look at it, but the way you say, put calls to action that makes sense for where they’re at.
Kat: Oh yeah. It has to be in the right context. I’ve seen people put huge schedule now buttons on the very first homepage, like the first thing you see and it’s like, okay, well I guess you can do it, but it’s taking up space that you could be using to help people get to the place where they do want to schedule now. So it’s all about weighing out these different priorities that need to coexist on a website.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah. I’d love to touch on the services page too. I know that our time is going by super [00:56:00] fast, but I think services are important, and particularly in our context, we talked a little bit before we started recording about how, a lot of our services are, to me, anyway, it seems pretty straightforward. And a lot of the services pages of my consulting clients look very similar. It’s testing. We test for ADHD, we test for autism, we test for dementia. Here’s what that looks like. I’m curious, are there ways to do that differently or is that important or is that what we should do?
Kat: Well, I actually have questions for you on this because I don’t actually know that much about the audience that is utilizing testing services. So, who is the ideal person that you would want to attract to a testing service?
Dr. Sharp: Well, I think a lot of us split into two camps. There are pediatric folks who test kids primarily, and then there are adult folks who test [00:57:00] adults primarily, some do both, but we’ll just say that there are these two camps.
With kids, I think we’re trying to speak to parents primarily, possibly schools but primarily parents. Those are the folks who are making the appointment. With adults, it might be the adult themselves in some cases but then it could easily be a family member who might be concerned that their parent is declining; cognitive decline, it could be a physician who’s looking for a neuropsychologist to evaluate an adult. I think it opens up a little bit more with adults because then it could be an attorney. It could be a spouse. So that’s a little tougher.
Kat: Yeah. So I think the one thing to start with is asking this question of who’s the audience for my service. Who’s going to be looking at this page? Once you [00:58:00] know clearly who that person is, you can actually go through an empathy exercise to discover what it is that they want and need to read about in that moment.
So I feel like testing, this is my intuition on it, is that it may be similar to other types of very specialized therapy like EMDR and DBT. The mistake that I see on EMDR and DBT pages is often that they are too educational and they’re not empathetic enough.
At times they might often even go into diagnosis mode where they’re like, here are the signs that you might need DBT, and trying to get the website visitor to self-diagnose if DBT is what they need. That’s not [00:59:00] a sales strategy. That’s an educational strategy, perhaps. That might be good content for a blog post, but when it comes to selling your service, you want to try to not do education and you want to try to not do diagnosis. Instead, what you want to do is target the pains and gains. So, the thing that the testing is going to solve for the audience is the focal point of everything that you should write on the service page.
I can ask you again. Let’s say I’m a parent and I need to get my kid tested for ADHD. What kind of experience am I going through as a parent in that moment where I’m looking for ADHD testing? Am I dealing with a rambunctious kid? What kind of things are going on in my life?
Dr. Sharp: You’re intuiting it really well. So could be[01:00:00] dealing with a rambunctious kid. My kid doesn’t follow directions. I can’t get him to listen. I can’t get her to stop moving or bothering other family members. My kid is struggling at school. I’m in conferences with teachers more than I’d like to be. I’m in the principal’s office. Any of those kinds of things.
Kat: That’s a perfect bulleted list that you just went through of like, are you experiencing these? Do these things sound familiar? Perhaps are these things that you can relate to? You can actually just make a bulleted list of the five or six top things that someone would be struggling with. And that’s the beginning of your service page.
The next part would be bridging that to the outcome they’ll get from getting the testing done. So again, I would ask you like, this parent with possibly ADHD child, when they get the test and they get the [01:01:00] evaluation done, what can they expect to get? Maybe relief- they have answers finally?
Dr. Sharp: Yeah, I think that’s a really easy way to put it. Yeah. Answers. So a path forward; a clear plan for how to repair your family. A path to better
Kat: coping or managing.
Dr. Sharp: Yeah. Not doubting yourself as a parent or feeling better as a parent.
Kat: Right. That’s actually a really good one, the last one, because again, it’s all about staying in touch with what the person looking at the page is going through. So although the evaluation is for the child, it’s also important to speak to the parents’ experience and their pain and their outcome from the service- their positive outcome. That can be the second part of your service page.
That’s a really simple way to do it. There’s more you [01:02:00] could do. But those are the core important things for any service page is to talk through those pains and then talk through the gains of what they’ll get after the service. And then also the call to action is also vital. So having it say like, to get a test done, sign up for a free consultation, click on this link, or whatever the next steps are.
Dr. Sharp: Cool. So some of the service pages I’ve seen, a lot of them will say, this is what testing looks like or this is how we’re different. Those are two separate things. Maybe we could address each of those, but do you feel like there’s value in putting that information on a services page or would that go like in an FAQ or does it belong on the site?
Kat: I think I would turn that question back to a therapist in terms of, you will [01:03:00] know best the types of concerns and objections, importantly objections, that people might have to reaching out to you or going and making a scheduling an appointment. And so, on any sales page, it’s incredibly important to counter objections. Try and anticipate what the objections might be, and then counter those in the website copy and the sales copy. This is a more advanced skill, but it’s also very important.
That’s what I thought of when you were saying walking through what the testing looks like. So depending on your audience, some of them might have some type of, I don’t know, I could imagine there being a type of audience where they feel very apprehensive about the unknown. And if you feel like they need that information in order to reach out to you, then you want to find a way to put it on that service page.
If it’s something that’s more like 1 out of every 100 parents [01:04:00] are going to be concerned about that, you can put it somewhere else. You could put in a blog post. It might also be something that you see coming up later like someone might reach out for an appointment and then ask you on the phone and it might be something you could be like, oh, we actually have a blog post on that. Give me your email address. I’ll email it to you. So this is why I would ask a therapist to sit and think about who their ideal client is who’s going to be reading this page, and what it is that they need.
Dr. Sharp: Cool. That makes a lot of sense. It just keeps coming back to that. Who is your ideal client and how do we speak to them? That’s the strategy here, which gets to another point that has come up. I’ve talked to, John Clarke. I think he’s a mutual acquaintance. A good friend of mine. He really talks about not trying to guess what people want or shoot from the hip when we put our websites together, and like you’re saying, just be very deliberate; what’s our strategy, who’s our [01:05:00] ideal client, what do they need? So it all hangs together.
I also want to highlight too this distinction that you’re making; a service page is a sales page and not an educational page necessarily. That’s all. I just wanted to say that again and then we can use other content delivery systems on our website for education, maybe a blog post or a video or something like that.
Kat: And you can also link to that content from a service page. So if somebody’s really interested to click through and find out more about what testing look or something, you could have like a link to it. And so then it’s up to the website visitor to decide how deep they go into investigating things. Definitely, it’s a sales page.
Dr. Sharp: Okay. That’s an important thing to wrap our minds around, I think. Let me see. Okay. I think we’ve touched on a lot of those important [01:06:00] components of a website that you’ve spoken about. What else? I know we’re about to wrap up, but closing thoughts or other points that psychologists or therapists might want to keep in mind with writing their sites, designing their sites, putting their sites together.
Kat: I think one thing that I witness a lot in therapists is a lot of overwhelm and anxiety and stress over creating a website. A word of advice that I give often is, go slow and start with the bare minimum. That’s why I put together that blog post I mentioned earlier. It’s like, you don’t need to have every single service that you do fully flushed out and with all of the objections and all these higher level, more advanced things incorporated from day one. It’s okay to just start with a picture of you and five sentences [01:07:00] paragraph on your about page. That’s all you need to start. And once you launch at this really simple minimal level, you can grow from there.
It’s a lot easier once you have something basic up to work on your website 20 minutes a week than it is to try and put together a 40-page website with a really complicated strategy and email marketing and all this other stuff. That’s really overwhelming for anybody to do, even people that are experienced to do that. So start small, take deep breaths, and go slow. You have time. You got this. All the inspiration and encouragement coming your way.
Dr. Sharp: You sound like a therapist, kat. What do you think?
Kat: That’s a compliment.
Dr. Sharp: That’s awesome. Really good advice. There’s so much that we can do in our practices and there’s so much to get overwhelmed with. It’s okay to just slow down and breathe and do the minimum and then go [01:08:00] from there. I like that. It’s a nice parting note.
Well, how should people get in touch with you if they would like to learn more? When we spoke in July, you weren’t taking new folks through Empathysites, which was sad for me to hear. Has that changed?
Kat: Yeah. We just reopened to open to new clients anyway two weeks ago. So we’re open and we’re accepting clients now.
Dr. Sharp: Oh, that’s awesome.
Kat: Come on over.
Dr. Sharp: All right. We’ll link to that in show notes, obviously. Is that the best way to reach out to you if people want to follow up on this interview or have questions or anything?
Kat: Yeah, they can reach out to me anytime at email@example.com. I would love to hear from any of your listeners, any comments or questions that they may have.
Dr. Sharp: Cool. This has been good. I really appreciate it. I feel like you…
Kat: I was going to say it was super fun.
Dr. Sharp: Oh, good. Well, you talk through things in [01:09:00] in such a way, I think it’s easy to understand, and you do have a very calming presence through this process, which I think is valuable in a process that could be totally crazy and overwhelming. So thank you.
Kat: You’re welcome. Thank you for having me again.
Dr. Sharp: Of course. All right. Thanks, y’all for listening to my episode with Kat Love. I hope you took a lot away from this and can maybe make some changes to your website, or if you do not have a website, you can jump into that process and feel a little calmer when you do so.
If you haven’t subscribed to the podcast, please do so. That will make sure you don’t miss any episodes when they’re released. It’s really easy on iTunes or Spotify or wherever you might listen to podcasts. And if you are feeling extra generous, I would love to get a rating and maybe even a review. I’d love to read those comments and see what people think. So I appreciate that if you get a moment.
All right, thanks as always. I will [01:10:00] talk to you next time.