First impressions are everything.
This might be a historic cliché, but it is also a finite truth. First impressions have carried weight since the dawn of time, influencing everything from who we are attracted to— romantically and socially— to the products we splurge on when our paycheck rolls in every Friday. In fact, within seconds of meeting you, a person will even go so far as to determine whether they consider you trustworthy or not.
Even more importantly to you, first impressions are everything to the success of your private practice. They affect who picks up the phone and gives you a chance, as well as the authority that people consider you to hold as a reputable professional in your field. This is why it is imperative to have your marketing in tip-top shape, all the way from the appearance of your website to the transformative marketing message you communicate.
Fast Facts About First Impressions
Your First Impression Checklist
Your marketing is a potential client’s very first glimpse into your practice. This is especially true in today’s day and age, when people go to a business’ website or social media to determine if they’ll even give it a second thought. From this cursory glance, they will assess how good you are at your job, whether or not they find you trustworthy, and if you take your practice seriously. And remember: They’ll do all of that in less than a second.
In order to ensure that you are making your first impression the best it can possibly be, it is crucial to invest in your practice’s marketing. If you are a tech and branding wizard, by all means, set aside the time and do it yourself! But more often than not, this is going to require outsourcing to a professional who knows the art of the first impression like the back of their hand.
Here is a checklist of five things you should consider when assessing your practice’s first impression:
1. Does your practice have a clear and communicable brand? Note: A brand is more than a color scheme and two fonts that you use consistently. Rather, a brand encompasses all of the carefully-constructed elements that communicate your practice’s values, goals, aesthetic, and professionalism in a cohesive and calculated way.
PRO TIP: Make mood boards on Pinterest as guidance. Once you have a hefty mood board, look at what things each pin has in common and build a brand off of that.
2. Does your website immediately communicate your transformative message? Can a person look at the header of your home page and immediately glean your niche, your practice’s brand, and what sets you apart in a matter of 0.05 seconds? Will they read the header text and find your practice an irresistible source of potential change and guidance on their healing journey?
PRO TIP: Download our guide to ‘Crafting a Clear and Captivating Transformative Message’ to learn how to construct this crucial element. This message alone can make the meaningful difference between a potential client reaching out for help and remaining stuck in their depression or anxiety.
3. Does your website look professional and navigable? Check simple things like your navigation menu and the clarity of your images before diving into the nitty-gritty formatting. Make sure each and every paragraph of text on your site is concise and captivating, then do it one better and optimize all of that text for SEO.
PRO TIP: Consider our Basic Website Content and Page-by-Page SEO-Rich Website Content packages. Our writers are wizards with words and communicating compelling messages, and we would love to help spread the good word about your practice’s impactful possibilities.
4. Is your entire website optimized for SEO and audited to increase web performance? We talk about it so much that we might as well make it a mantra, but search engine optimization is such a key component to running a successful practice. Furthermore, one of the biggest deterrents for a web viewer is if your website doesn’t load quickly. There are a number of internal features that can be making your website sluggish, subsequently keeping potential clients from giving you a call. The last thing we want is for them to leave the website out of pure frustration without even giving you a chance!
PRO TIP: Don’t waste your precious time Googling how to locate H1 and H2 tags or embed audit codes in your site. You have better things to do, like showing up for your patients and running a successful practice. Outsource it!
5. Is your social media up to snuff? When people go to your Instagram or Facebook, will they immediately be captivated by your content? Will they read your caption copy and find you both knowledgeable and charismatic? Will they instantly want to save all of your posts and schedule their first session with you?
PRO TIP: Hire a social media manager. Social media is such a key component to a business’s success, but it takes more than one post every once in a blue moon. In fact, studies show that, in order to defeat the Instagram algorithm, you need to be posting creative and compelling content at least 5 days a week.
We have no doubt that you are an incredible therapist with a propensity for making impactful changes in the lives and mindsets of your patients. Our deepest wish for you is that you get the chance to shout it from the rooftops.
Invest in your first impression. We promise you it will be worth your while.