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9 Shocking Habits Therapists that Need to Stop Now!!!

canstockphoto40369607Just in time for Halloween my fright night horrors that I come across when dealing with therapists and their websites.

For many years the general public have considered hypnotherapy to be a non serious profession. Yeah it is ok to use on TV when you are making fun of people but as a serious therapy the vast majority would rather get their teeth pulled out at the dentist than see a hypnotherapist to resolve their problems. Some of us are slowly trying reverse this perception by upping standards in the courses and education as well as by educating people in the media, online or even face to face. BUT there are a small number of hypnotherapists who just don’t get it and are jumping on the hypnotherapy bandwagon and trying to do things on the cheap and it still shocks me that the modern profession has training schools that send their students out to meet the general public with this attitude. Here are just some of the unbelievable things I have encountered lately whilst working with therapy marketing students.

Professionalism – I won’t name and shame but I recently booked in a newly qualified hypnotherapist for a series of marketing sessions. This was to take place via Facetime or Skype. On the morning of the session I started the session to see that they were sat ready to start the session in their car! If that wasn’t bad enough the car was located in a fast food outlets car park. What the hell!!

How on earth am I or for that matter the general public going to take a therapist seriously who thinks it is ok to conduct coaching sessions in the car park of a fast food chain? What message does that send to me? It says I can’t be bothered taking time out of my day to work on my business seriously and I am cramming you in before doing something else. If you truly serious about your profession then sessions need to be conducted in a space that is suitable for the person you are going to meet. No therapy, marketing, coaching or business meeting is suitable for discussions in a car. This goes for your clients as well. Unbelievable as this may sound one of my clients also wanted to conduct a Skype session from her car as well. It is time for this madness to stop.

Courses – Time and time again I hear on from my students that they chose a course because it was cheap. Another student of mine when questioned on their qualifications was not able to tell me if they could even get into a reputable UK professional body. They had no clue because they had gone on a churn and burn course online. No medical doctor looks for the cheapest course they can find. They look at the best possible medical schools they can get into for the best possible training as they are saving lives. In a way we are also doing the same. If we can get someone to lose weight, stop smoking, tolerate chemo or stop an addiction we can do the same. So why oh why does our industry attract people who think they have the ability to do this after a few online lessons and a tiny fee? Research your courses, talk to the professional bodies and then pick the absolute best there is!

Websites – One of my personal hatreds is seeing a website that has been thrown up by a therapist in the hope that it will do. No it won’t do as it looks awful and your clients will think the same. If your pictures are out of proportion, if you have big gaps in your template, if your fonts vary significantly or you have areas where links are broken then they need to be fixed now. Who wants to look at a website that is a mess? A website does not have to cost the earth if you know what you are doing. If you don’t then get help. My Turn Your  Therapy Website into a Client Magnet online course shows you exactly what you need on your website in order for it to be a success. This is essential information and most hypnotherapists don’t know this important information.

Another of my students started our sessions together and showed me a website that a developer had created for them for hundreds of pounds. The website consisted of one page! Talk about throwing your money down the drain. To top it all the website was on a developers system so it can’t be altered easily. In this case the website was scrapped and we will have to start again. If you don’t want to make these costly mistakes get help before you start.

Spelling and Grammar – Whilst we are on the topics of websites how many of you have really proof read your sites? You can get away with the odd typo of course but every now and again I come across a website that is littered with problems. I saw one of the worst possible yesterday where nearly every sentence had an issue. What would a potential client do if they came across the same? Well I can tell you that my first instinct would be that if a hypnotherapist can’t do basic spelling then I don’t want to see them. How could they possibly solve my problem if they couldn’t even get some basics right? Get an educated proof reader to look through your work and run everything through a spell checker online. It won’t catch everything but it will certainly iron out most of the problems.

Dress – Appearance is everything in this profession as if we are dressed right then we will inspire confidence in our clients. Now that does not mean a formal suit in every case (even though in certain clinics or locations this would be expected) but certainly smart clothing. Yet many therapists dress inappropriately. Flip flops, jeans, dirty or scruffy clothes, slippers and so on. If this is you it is time to smarten up now. Just because you are self employed does not mean you can get away with this.

Location – Many years ago I went for a therapy session at a woman’s house in North London. When I was there I couldn’t pay any attention to what she was saying because I was staring at her carpet which needed a hoover badly. I never returned for another session. I have left clinics because of problems with toilets, moths, cats and general cleanliness. Luckily I am now in the position to have my own clinic attached to my home which is spotlessly clean, spacious and quiet. You need to make sure that you have the same. If you work from home then the space has to be absolutely appropriate for the therapy to take place. So no animals, dirty washing, interruptions or general mess. If you can’t provide this in your home then find a suitable professionally run clinic and believe me they are not always easy to find.

Copyright Issues and Plagarism – I have just finished off a conversation with a potential marketing client who was looking for help to grown their hypnotherapy business in the UK. As with all these calls the first thing I do is check if the person has a website and then I went to have a look. Imagine my shock when I saw that their logo was also identical to mine, same keyword and similar colour and style.  Now I didn’t get angry at the person on the phone. They were naive sure but they had not thought to check if the work they had been given was really original. In fact I have experienced this before when a website designer had copied the wording on every single page of my website (yeah I caught him as well)! Be aware that you can’t go stealing other peoples names, content or designs otherwise you will be getting legal letters before you know it.

Lying – If you are creating a website only put in your real experience and qualifications. I have just come across another student who claimed they were a master practitioner, one of the elite in the profession and so on. This person had not seen one client. Lying about your qualifications and experience is a good way to end up in court when your clients find out that you haven’t a clue! Google in the UK certainly is coming down heavily on holistic therapists at the moment and is banning websites from paid advertising that don’t have significant disclaimers on every page where they make a claim. The Advertising Standards Agency is also waiting to pounce on those who are misleading the general public and making outrageous claims. There are ways to write content without admitting you are a novice and without lying about your experience. Use them and stay on the right side of the law.

Giving up the Day Job Without Real Consideration – A marketing client just spoke to me about how they had sunk £2000 into their website and still were not appearing in the search engines. They admitted they were not particularly literate with computers and were no sales person and the money was running out. What were they going to do? The simple answer was pay someone to teach you or go back to work. So yeah hypnosis, reiki, counselling is your passion but if you have no business skills then do not be naive. You have to get clients through the door and throwing money at an expensive website is not going to help! Many of my students can be up and running by spending less than a couple of hundred pounds at most. Talk about throwing money down the drain. Spend your money wisely on someone who can actually help rather than second guessing how you are going to make a living in this industry.

Stop your website and business featuring in my tales or horror next Halloween and get professional help to get things right. Simply contact me to get more information on how you can build an awesome business that attracts customers the right way.

How to

Citation Building for Therapists – The Complete Guide

Citation Building for TherapistsMarketing a therapy business well should involve creating a great local presence for your services. One of the best ways of doing this is building citations to your business. So what exactly is a citation? In short it is a mention of your name, address and phone number on another website page. The citation does not have to link back to your website. In some cases you will find that people use the term NAP to refer to this name, address and phone number. Citation building for therapists is a crucial marketing strategy that should not be ignored.

Building a local list of citations is hugely important for a local business as it is a key ranking factor in Google and Bing. Both these search engines use citations in their ranking algorithm and the more you have the more likely you are to rank over your competitors. Most people believe that a citation needs to be built in a directory but they can also be created in forums, blog posts, press releases and social media links. A citation is telling the search engines that your business is genuine and in the local region. The more citations you have from good quality webpages the more trust you build around your business. Location specific citations from local newspapers, your chamber of commerce or local directory links can make a big difference to your website rankings in Google and Bing.

Claiming your Therapy Business Listing

I will supply a list of some of the most best citation sites on the web at the end of this post but once you have found the site what do you do next?

  1. Before most sites allow you to create a listing you may be asked if your business has already been added to their website. This is important for a number of reasons. Firstly it prevents duplicate listings of your business and secondly it allows you to check if other businesses are registered at the same address. Many therapists may work out of therapy centres where there are a number of people working so you would expect to see many other businesses registered at your address. If however you have taken over a premises and an old competitor is registered it is worth flagging this to prevent them benefiting from your advertising.
  2. If you don’t have a duplicate business listed you will be asked to fill out details about your company. Obviously the name, address and phone number but in many cases you might also be asked for pictures, website details, social media links, hours of operation, products sold and so on. Fill out as many of the details as you can.
  3. Some websites try and persuade you to pay money in order to get a listing on their website. Where possible simply opt for the free option. The purpose of your adding your details is for the citation alone. In many cases paying to be added to a directory is a pointless exercise unless they appear extremely highly in the search engines for your keyword.
  4. Be aware that some people will add a different email for their citation links than their usual business email. This is because adding your details to these forms of sites tends to generate spam marketing.
  5. After adding your details you will usually be asked to verify a link to finalise the process. Google + Local however sends you a postcard which may not appear until weeks later. Some other websites will ask for your phone number and then call you with a pin number to confirm that you really are at that phone number.
  6. In many cases your listing may appear live after only a few minutes but in some cases the citation websites will have a review process of up to six months! Obviously if you paid them for the listing this would be up and running in a day or so.

Consistency and Citations for Therapy Marketing

One of the most important points to remember when building citations is to keep consistency. That means using exactly the same name, address and phone number on each link that you are building. Even more importantly the ones you choose should be in exactly the same format as your Google + Local page and Website address. Having different phone numbers or variations of your trading name can confuse search engine algorithms and raise red flags. You do not want any doubt to be created around your business listing so make sure that everything is written exactly the same. Moz local is a system that can be used to track your citations online and ensure that you do not have duplicates, listings that are incomplete or have inconsistencies.

Build a Booming Therapy Business with Citations

A great way of finding out what citations to use is by searching for what your competitors are doing. If you are hiding away on page three or four of the search engines then it is worth looking at the citations that your competitors are using in order to trank. Although at the end of this post I have included a great list to start you off there may be many local listings that you may miss without looking to see what your fellow therapists are using. I know that this method helped me to find a number of local newspaper listings that I would never have even known about when I moved into my new location six months ago.

The Top Twenty List of Citations You Need to Use in Your Marketing


The list I have given is based around the UK however I know that I have a number of blog readers from the US and in Australia. You can find the best lists for your regions here:

US Citations

Australia Citations

Not Getting Professional Help Is Costing You Money

Obviously citation building for therapists is just one small step in getting your business found online and getting customers in through your door. If you were unaware of its importance and had not begun the process of building your citations you could have potentially lost thousands of pounds in revenue in the past year. Thousands of pounds that you could have reinvested in your business, used to pay for a holiday or simply saved for a rainy day. My therapy marketing coaching sessions help my clients to get ahead of the competition and stop burning money following strategies that are not working for their business. Even better the cost of my business training is easily offset by just a couple of new clients. For more details simply contact for more information.

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Therapy Marketing and Voice Search – The Revolution Begins

Therapy Marketing and Voice SearchThe world of therapy marketing is changing, a revolution is going on right now but you probably haven’t been even noticed or thought about it so let me enlighten you. Last year I published a blog post about Mobilegeddon. The point at which Google decided that non mobile websites would be penalised in the search results in favour of those that were optimised for mobile. I should point out that I know that there are subscribers to this blog who still have not actioned anything following this announcement nearly a year later. That means that not only are they a year behind on their SEO it also means that they are unable to optimise on voice search.

So what exactly is voice search? Simply put it is a new way of getting information from your smart phone or tablet simply by asking questions to get information. That means it is no longer necessary to type something into a search engine to get results. Instead you can ask your question and you will get a reply back from your technology. The big players in this market are “Ok Google” and “Siri” although there are other sytems out there. The figures for this market are huge with over 55% of teenagers using this form of search and approximately 41% of adults. That means that nearly half the people who may want to use your services are no longer typing queries into search engines but are simply speaking into their phones to get the answers they want.

Getting Your Therapy Website found With Voice Search

If you are serious about your therapy marketing that means that you will need to take into account how you can get your information to the people who are looking for your services on voice search. Here are just some examples of how this can be made easier.

Long Tail Keywords

When we look for a product in a search engine we are likely to type in just a short phrase such as “Hypnotherapist in London” or “Confidence Hypnosis in Edinburgh”.  With voice search we tend to use longer phrases or sentances in order to get the information that we want such as “Who is the best weight loss hypnotherapist in Ireland?”.

Using long tail copy in your posts and content is becoming an increasingly popular way to get found in the search engines. This makes perfect sense when as there are some keywords that you are never going to be found for without the long tail version being used. For example the keywords “Hypnotherapy London” will bring up thousands of results. and so an average hypnotherapist is unlikely to ever be able to compete without for those keywords without a long term SEO strategy. However if a therapist where to define the area of London that they worked in it would reduce the level of competition. If they were also to write additional copy in a conversational style they would also be optimising for voice search.

Conversational Phrasing

When people use voice search they talk into Siri or Ok Google as if they were having a conversation. They don’t simply say “Hypnotherapy London”. They will ask “Where can I find a hypnotherapist in London?”. This more natural form of phrasing means that parts of the copy on your websites and blogs should also mimic this style in places where it is appropriate.

Use of FAQ’s in Your Content

Many therapists especially hypnotherapists already use FAQ’s in their content but I can guarantee that most have not thought how to write that section of their website with mobile voice search in mind. Now think of writing that copy again but answering the questions that people would want to know on voice search. Remember the questions asked in voice search tend to be “Why, where, when, how and what?”. The FAQ’s of course do not have to be just placed in your main content but can also be placed on your web pages or on your blogs.

The Devil is in the Detail

If you a therapist who has barely bothered to write a paragraph or two on each page of their website then you are likely to be a loser where this revolution is concerned.  Valuable and informative content in becoming increasingly important. I know that most of the students who come to be for marketing coaching have very rarely bothered to make much of an effort in their initial website attempts. They might have tried to cobble together a website themselves which is misaligned and has three or four pages with little information. When this little effort has been made there is nothing for the search engines or voice search to crawl. That means the Google bot comes along looking for words in that content that gives it clues as to what information that website contains. If the website has no information then the hypnotherapist does not get found. I spend a good portion of the time I have with my clients helping them to understand exactly what hard work they will need to put in to their web design in order to get customers from the internet.

The world of therapy marketing is changing all the time and staying on top of these changes is crucial to prevent your business model from becoming obsolete. Getting a helping hand to create therapy marketing solutions and to implement them can mean the difference between success in your chosen profession or heading back to your old day job. This is why my therapy marketing coaching helps my clients to drive customers to their door.