Therapist works on laptop to establish an online presence for her mental health practice

Do Therapists Need an Online Presence?

Most people use the internet to search for services these days, including therapy. Clients have an endless database of therapists to search for and find the right fit for them. It’s no surprise then that having an online presence can make or break a therapist’s practice.

Clients who can effortlessly search online and find what they are looking for are more likely to book an appointment, regardless of whether it may be with a therapist they have never heard of or located in an area they’ve never been to. A therapist’s online presence plays an important role in earning a client’s trust and confidence. 

Not only is having an online presence beneficial for therapists, but it’s also incredibly useful for clients to be able to find the best therapist for their needs.

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Why Therapists Need an Online Presence

1. Enhanced Accessibility

Having an online presence enhances accessibility for potential clients. When done correctly, a therapist’s online presence should make it easy for clients to look at their credentials, specialties, therapy approaches, and availability. They can then use this information to compare therapists and quickly decide which practice they want to book an appointment with. 

2. Increased Visibility

Eighty-one percent of people search for services online, and 46% of these searches are for local services. If a potential client searches online for therapy services in their area, a therapist’s practice needs to show up in those results. A client must know that a therapist’s practice exists to book an appointment. An up-to-date website, active social media, and regular blog posts are great ways to increase visibility and reach a wider audience of potential clients. Improving SEO is another way therapists can increase their visibility and garner more clients. 

3. Improved Image

An online presence is typically a direct reflection of a therapist and their practice. When a potential client interacts with a therapist’s website, online profile, or social media, they will either stay a little while and decide to book an appointment or decide that your image isn’t one they can trust to help them with their problems. 

An online presence is an opportunity for therapists to bolster their image and build trust with potential clients. This can be done through having a secure, modern website, including testimonials and reviews, and linking to social media profiles. 

4. Instant Connection

A therapist’s online presence is often the first interaction with potential clients. This means it is also a therapist’s first opportunity to build a bond with that client. Relatable social media, newsletter sign-ups, and engaging blogs give clients a reason to feel that a therapist is approachable and someone they can trust. 

5. Free Advertising

Various online channels interact with potential clients instead of manually building those relationships. Online directories, newsletters, social media, and blogs are essentially free advertisements for a therapist’s services. Therapists no longer need to mail out brochures or pay to be advertised in magazines. Instead, they can send new information to email lists with the click of a button or advertise services through social media or blogs. 

6. Stronger Credibility

In today’s day and age, many people will place more faith in a therapist who has a well-developed online presence. Having a clearly defined brand across all online platforms establishes credibility for therapists. With social media, therapists have an opportunity to become thought leaders in the field. 

When clients follow a practice on Instagram or read a business Facebook page, they start to know that therapist professionally and view them as an expert. Therapists can promote their expert status by creating and sharing content that reinforces a professional perspective, approach, and personality. 

7. Networking Potential

Maintaining an online presence helps therapists connect with other professionals. A website can act as a digital business card that other professionals visit to access providers’ contact information and details about their practice. This can help generate referrals for a therapist or open doors to other professional opportunities. 

8. Better Client-Therapist Fit

Whether it’s on a website or an online profile, therapists can clearly market the type of therapy they specialize in. This helps ensure clients are matched with a therapist who fits their preferences and saves both the client and therapist from an unsuccessful client-therapist relationship. 

Tips for Building an Online Presence

Not having an online presence can harm a therapist’s practice. However, building an online presence can be tiring, confusing and frustrating. From creating different online profiles to establishing a social media presence, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some tips on how to build an online presence.

1. Focus on the Ideal Client

Every social media post, blog post, website page, and online profile should be created with the ideal client in mind. What are they looking for? What do they want a therapist to help them with? Focusing on ideal clients and their needs can narrow down the amount and type of content a therapist can publish, making the task of creating different online touchpoints much less daunting.  

2. Use SEO

A solid online presence starts with the website. It should be the central place where clients can learn more about the practice and its offerings. However, even the most well-thought-out website won’t matter much if it is drowned amidst a sea of content on the web. And this is where SEO comes in. SEO techniques can take a website from zero to ranking on the front page of Google. 

3. Be Consistent

Whether blogging or posting educational TikTok videos, therapists should establish their chosen online platforms and consistently post to them. Posting just to post isn’t the goal, though. Each post should provide consistent value to clients. This helps therapists attain credibility and authority in the field. 

In addition, setting up an online platform and then forgetting about it can do harm in the long run. Inactivity on social media or outdated websites tell potential clients that you don’t have the desire or ability to effectively communicate with them. To offset this, therapists can start by choosing just one or two platforms that are easiest for them to update consistently. 

4. Keep Track

Building an online presence takes a lot of work. Keeping track of post likes, blog clicks, and website traffic can tell therapists where their hard work is paying off. If the results don’t indicate positive returns, it may indicate a need to change strategy.

5. Stay On Top of New Technology

Virtual reality, mobile apps, and other forms of new technology are changing the world of counseling. This means that therapists must constantly adapt to changes in the digital landscape to keep their practice relevant. Online booking platforms, such as Ravel Mental Health, are one option therapists can use to do just this.

Ravel Mental Health is a new platform that is all about matching clients to the right therapist based on various important factors such as therapist specialty, race, and gender. These in-depth filters allow therapists to create stronger online profiles and help clients get a clearer picture of who the therapist is before they reach out for an appointment. 

Want to find more ideal clients? Join Ravel Mental Health today

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