Since the COVID-19 pandemic has hit us, most therapists and wellness professionals in private practice that I've talked to have seen their caseloads drop substantially. And most have not had one single new inquiry in weeks.
If this is your situation, it may be of little comfort to know that others are in the same boat as you...
However, it's important to state the obvious because sometimes we may feel like we're all alone, and perhaps it's our fault that we haven't been able to keep the clients we had or to attract new ones.
Many clients are struggling financially, distracted and stressed by the shock of the crisis, overwhelmed with their kids at home from school, and have misgivings about online therapy, even if they do have the financial means to pay for it.
Still, people need support during this difficult time, and there are ways you can reach out to them via how you communicate with them on your therapy website.
Below are 4 suggestions for writing sensitively and effectively to potential clients on your therapist or wellness website during these times.
- Briefly acknowledge the crisis by showing authentic empathy for what we're all going through.
Briefly mention the crisis acknowledging the difficulties it is causing in all our lives. As you write, it's essential that you yourself feel the pain and suffering we're all going through so that your writing is genuine.
Normally, it's best to write to potential clients directly using second-person point of view (e.g., "you", "your", etc.). However, when speaking about the pandemic, it's a good idea to use "we," "our," etc.
Since we're all in this together, using 'we" and "our" can help us build a connection with potential new clients.
In addition, if you have a niche audience, it would be good to acknowledge specifically what they're going through.
For example, if you're a fitness trainer, you may acknowledge the difficulties of keeping fit since people can't go to the gym or don't have a spare moment to exercise because of everything they have to deal with right now.
Another example: If you're a therapist who works with couples, you would acknowledge some potential extra stresses that couples are facing right now - the tension created by being together 24/7, financial difficulties, and feeling strained due to the challenges of working at home.
- Write or create and share helpful free content.
If you're not already sharing free content, now is the time to start.
You can write content for an email list and blog. You can share videos, and/or create helpful content on your social media channels.
Sharing free content has been, and will continue to be, the best free way to connect with potential new clients online. It's the most effective way of staying in touch with and providing value to your audience.
Building a relationship through sharing helpful content provides an opportunity for potential clients to come to know, like and trust you.
Eventually, a percentage of people who consume your content will want to work with you, whether it is in one week, 3 months, or a year down the road.
In fact, sharing free content to build relationships with people is more important than ever since everyone is now doing everything online.
Even after the restrictions placed on us loosen, there will be no turning back. The internet will play an increased role in our lives when we return to some form of life the way it used to be.
- Let people know if you're working online and how it works.
If you're now offering therapy or wellness services online, make sure you write it clearly on your wellness or therapy website.
You could put a notification at the top of your website so that it is visible when people first come to your site.
You may create a specific page on your website where you explain how you work online and highlight the benefits of doing so and address any concerns they may have about it.
It is also a good idea to write in your call to action (CTA) at the bottom of every page that you're doing sessions online and make it easy for them to contact you.
You can either have a link that goes to your contact page or write your phone number and email directly in the CTA.
- Let them know if you're offering reduced fees or free services.
It's a personal choice if you decide to reduce your fees or offer free services. Every therapist or wellness professional has different financial circumstances. Some are doing well, some have spouses to support them or savings, and others are struggling.
So, while you should not feel pressure to reduce your fees, it may be beneficial if you're struggling to get new clients during this time.
People whose finances are tight may appreciate your kindness if you do, and will likely remember you in the future.
If you do decide to reduce your fees, you should write it on your website. You don't have to include the exact amount that you're charging.
You could simply say that you're offering reduced rates during this time and your website visitors can contact you to find out more (as I have done below).
As you know, this is an unprecedented time.
Business is NOT as usual.
Your website writing - your messaging - should reflect this. Therefore, it is a good idea to make some changes on your website.
You can book a consultation with me if you want some advice on making changes to your website.
You also might want to check out my website copywriting services for therapists and wellness professionals.