These days, clients have access to a never-ending list of potential providers online. To help narrow down their options, you need to make it clear right from the start why you’re the best fit for their needs. There are a lot of things that go into a well-crafted online presence, and one of the most important ones is your therapy directory listing.
What to Include in Your Therapy Directory Listing
Before your clients ever find your social media or website, they’ll probably find your information on a therapy directory. If that’s the case, you’ll want your directory listing to be welcoming, personable, and informative. Most clients are looking for quick answers to a couple of questions, and want to be able to tell right away if you meet their needs. When you’re drafting your directory listing, make sure it incorporates these five must-haves.
1. Your Telehealth Availability
Whether you’re running an entirely virtual practice or a more traditional in-person office, a permanent telehealth option is a great way to make care more accessible to people. If you currently offer telehealth appointments, make it clear whether it’s temporary or if you’ll keep that option in the future. You should also note whether you run an entirely virtual practice. Some clients may prefer telehealth, while some will want to know the in-person option is there if they want it. The therapy directory may have a designated place to indicate your telehealth status. If there’s not, make sure to add it in yourself.
2. Your Accepted Insurances
It’s just as important for your clients to understand when and how payment will take place as it is for you. Make sure your therapy directory listing clearly states whether or not you accept insurance. If you do, indicate which networks you’re paneled with. You should also note if you see private-pay clients, and what your rates are. Your clients want to know right off the bat if they’ll be able to afford your services—and the sooner you let them know, the better.
3. Your Specialties
As a clinician, you likely have a niche of clients that you specialize in working with, and that niche should be prominently displayed on any therapy directory. It’s important to include clinical information like which disorders you work with, if you work with children or couples, and what treatment approaches you use. But it’s also important to add a slightly personal touch to this section.
While you want to make sure this part of your listing is short and professional, be sure to include language like “together,” “we,” and “our.” This will reassure your clients that you’ll be with them every step of the way, and will actively work with them to find solutions to their concerns.
4. Your Preferred Method of Contact
Your clients need to do more than simply determine if you’re the right fit. They also need to know how to actually connect with you. When clients are in a vulnerable place, it can be overwhelming to learn how to navigate the therapy directory and reach out—even if they really want your help. Make this process as easy as possible for them by creating clear, actionable steps they should take to schedule a consultation or first appointment. Indicate if you accept appointment requests through an online scheduling software, or if there’s a phone number for them to call.
5. Some Personal Touches
After all of the clinical and logistical details are taken care of, your clients simply want to make sure that they’ll feel comfortable with you. It can be difficult to fully know what that connection looks like over the internet, but there are things you can do to invite clients in. Use a photo for your headshot that’s high quality and well-lit. Make sure you’re making eye contact and smiling. If you look relaxed in your photo, it can help set your clients at ease before they ever meet you.
Likewise, your bio should be welcoming, helpful, and encouraging. This is prime real estate to let your clients know that you understand what they’re going through. In short, concise sentences, lay out a few ways you can help, and then indicate what their next steps should be.
Even though your bio and photo likely have little bearing on what you’re actually like to work with as a clinician, clients often make these decisions just by gut feelings. A client might come to you because you’re in their insurance network or because you offer video appointments—or they might come to you just because it feels right, whatever that means to them. When you’re creating a listing for a therapy directory, you have to make sure you’re speaking to both the emotional and the logistical, so the people who need you the most are able to find you.