The Importance of Blogging for Counsellors, Coaches, Hypnotherapists and Natural Therapists
When it comes to setting up and running a successful therapy business, there are some essentials that immediately come to mind. One that may not be so obvious is setting up a blog.
This doesn’t mean writing about your clients or in any other way violating confidentiality. It also isn’t a push to bare your soul (if you feel a need to do this, do it anonymously, with an account in no way connected to your business). The kind of blogging I’m talking about is professional, not personal, even though you should put your heart into it. These are articles that will inform readers -- and bring you many benefits in turn.
Among other advantages, a professional blog…
…provides ongoing support to existing clients.
Sometimes, a client may want or need to go beyond what you’ve worked on during a session. For example, if you’re exploring the sources of their depression, they may be looking for ways to cope with and manage their condition in the meantime. Referring them to a blog post you’ve written on the topic makes it less overwhelming than suggesting they do research on their own. And knowing that the information and advice comes from you will likely make them feel more confident about trying out some of the strategies in your post.
…can attract new clients.
Most social media experts will tell you that that blogging about topics related to your business gives an impression of expertise. You can also become considered an authority on a niche subject, for example, if you use a unique treatment strategy, or often highlight a particular condition in your articles. There’s an audience for everything online, and if you find the right topics, your posts will get you noticed, and get new clients booking appointments. This article discusses the experience of professional counsellor Tamara Suttle, who got three times as many inquiries and bookings once she started blogging.
Even in terms of page views, the impact of blogging is impressive: as this interesting list reveals, sites with blogs have an amazing 97% more inbound traffic than sites without them. That’s just one of the facts you’ll find on this interesting list.
… keeps you ‘top of mind’.
Write enough compelling and informative blog posts, and you’ll soon find they’re being shared on social media. Your name is getting out there. When people start thinking about getting help, they think of your posts, and give you a call.
…is cheap advertising.
Because blog posts can give you that presence in people’s minds and social media feeds, it’s like you’re getting big-budget advertising, with pretty much no investment. According to that interesting list I mentioned before, 70% of potential clients learn about companies and services through content, rather than advertisements. If you’re not a writer, don’t despair! The American Counseling Association suggests image-based posts (for example, some soothing photos with inspirational quotations, or photos with short captions that relate to certain mental conditions), or even creating audio or video content. In fact, videos especially are growing in popularity among Internet users and advertisers alike.
...improves your website ranking on Google.
A website alone may not get you to the top of Google search pages, but blog posts can. Google’s algorithm seeks pages with a substantial amount of text that contains words and phrases related to what a person has typed into the search window. This affects where your site will be positioned on a Google search results page, and, thus, how easily people can find you and your business. You can find a more detailed explanation of Google and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) here. Even the titles of your post can impact your placement on the search results page. Articles like this will teach you how to pick the perfect title that will get Google’s – and potential clients’ – attention.
…allows you to advertise new products, services or special offers to people on your list.
Once you’ve established your blog as a resource for informative, approachable articles about mental health topics, you can also use it as a sort of announcements board - for example, if you’ve decided to branch into another area of therapy, or perhaps if you’ve decided to offer a promotional discount to your followers on social media.
In our internet- and social media-reliant society, blogging and business success are closely tied. Blogging means having to invest a bit of time into coming up with new ideas and writing (or filming or photographing or recording…) them. But do it right, and your business will be more successful. Along the way, you’ll also have reached, and probably helped, readers who are struggling with mental health issues. When you blog about your insights and expertise, everyone wins!