The Ultimate Copywriting for Therapists: A Beginner's Guide
In this post, I'll learn the basic copywriting skills to help you attract clients and build your reputation online. For therapists, copywriting is an effective marketing tool with which you can present yourself as an expert in your field, build trust with potential clients, generate referrals, and book more clients. This beginner’s guide was created to teach therapists the fundamentals of copywriting for marketing a private practice.
Why focus on copywriting for therapists?
Chances are you've written a lot during your school days and career. If you've written research papers, notes, and professional articles, you may be an experienced writer. But that doesn't make you a copywriter.
The difference between scholarly writing and copywriting is in the purpose. The main goal of copywriting is to convince the reader to take action.
For therapists, effective copywriting is the type of writing that urges the reader to book an appointment, inquire about additional information or subscribe to an email list. Fundamentally, it's the complete opposite of writing for colleagues or professional publications.
Many therapists struggle with this distinction. And because of that they often write copy that's too long, complicated, and too cerebral for a potential client to connect with. But by understanding the goal, nature, and necessary elements for effective copywriting, your copy can grab your reader's attention and urge them to take action.
Here's where you can apply effective copywriting for promoting your private practice:
The blog on your therapy website.
The written content for your website.
Your social media profiles and activity.
Online directories like Psychology Today, Google Business Profile, and more.
The landing pages on your website.
Your email marketing campaigns.
Your paid ads on Google, Meta, and publications.
Printed materials such as brochures, flyers, and print ads.
Understand Your Audience and Identify Their Pain Points
Before you dive into copywriting, you need to understand who you're writing for. Focusing on your niche can be helpful, but creating a profile of your ideal client can help you create copy that speaks directly to your potential client's needs.
The secret to writing persuasive copy for the type of client that you want to attract is really going deep into understanding their mindset and circumstances. Take the time to think about the type of questions this person would be asking themselves. Here's a helpful list of questions to consider before you start writing:
What are my ideal client's specific challenges and pain points?
What is this person looking to overcome?
In what way does my ideal client want o improve their life?
What may prevent them from seeking therapy?
What may motivate them to schedule an appointment with a therapist?
By answering these questions and identifying all the possible pain points for your niche, you'll be able to start seeing your services from your audience's perspective. This information will lay the foundation for a persuasive copy that speaks to them on a personal level.
Set a Goal for Every Piece of Copy
As I mentioned in the previous sections, the purpose of your copywriting is to convince your readers to take action. That's why each piece of writing needs to have its own goal.
It's your job to determine what action you want your reader to take when they're reading your copy. The action doesn't necessarily need to be big, like scheduling an appointment. In some instances, the action can be the understanding of your policies so your potential client wouldn't have to email you several times for details.
In other instances, your copy may have a more promotional character. If you're announcing a new service or a special event, your copy will determine if your audience will sign up and look into your offers.
In the case of website and blog writing, your copy needs to convince your ideal client that you're the best therapist for their needs.
To help you get ideas of what phrases you might want to use for your copy, you might want to do basic keyword research. Here's a guide that will help you get started.
Outline Your Copy Before You Start Writing
Your keyword research can also help you outline the main topics for your copy. Keywords can also be incorporated into the subheads of your copy.
When you set out to write on a particular subject, listing all the relevant topics that you want to cover can help you create a quick outline relevant to the search queries online. Additionally, an outline can help you ensure that your copy covers all the necessary points in a way that is easy to understand.
To save yourself writing time, you can quickly jot down a list of key points, and call-to-actions that are important for the copy prior to writing any content.
Perfect Your Call To Action
A call-to-action (CTA) is one of the most important pieces of your marketing copy. Without CTAs people are less likely to take action, no matter how convincing your writing is. A CTA for your therapy website can be as simple as:
Schedule an appointment
Request more information
Download this guide (or checklist, or worksheet)
A CTA gives people direction and tells them what they need to do to take action for their mental health. To make sure that your CTA is visible, you need to place it in strategic locations on your website, blog posts, and even social media posts.
Write For Different Types Of Content Platforms
Different people use different platforms to access the content that interests them. People who have the time to read a blog post may be looking for more detailed information than people who are being active on social media.
Similarly, people who land on your website in search of a therapist, are more motivated to book an appointment if they think that the fit is right.
Writing for each platform needs to take into consideration the audience, their state of mind, and their availability to read your writing. For example, a long-form blog may include more detail and call-to-action buttons compared to a short Twitter post which should typically be pithy, intriguing, and direct. Make sure that your copy and CTAs fit the intent of the different platform users.
Copywriting for therapists is an important skill that can absolutely be learned. To be an effective copywriter, you need to approach your writing from the audience's point of view, plan in advance and lead the reader to action. Use language that your potential clients can easily understand and add relevant examples to create an emotional connection.