This week we interviewed web designer Kat Love, who graced us with her presence via Google Hangouts (from Greece!). Read on to hear more about how she got into designing websites for therapists, in addition to some quality advice she has for promoting your private practice.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m an American ex-pat living in Greece, originally from the Bay Area! I started creating psychotherapy-specific websites a year ago… yeah wow it’s been a year.
How many websites have you worked on so far?
As an estimate, I’d say 6 or 7 websites. When I say “website”, this includes website strategy, web design, and the website build. Website strategy also includes content planning and reviewing content. I help plan intentional content that’s effective and conveys the messages of your psychotherapy solution.
The other part of this is the conversion aspect of actually getting website visitors – getting them in the door, on your email list, whatever your primary calls to action are. I always tell my clients not to fret – content marketing is difficult for anyone to figure out, especially if you’re not coming from a marketing background.
Websites for psychotherapists is a very specific niche. How did you come up with that?
I had a very positive experience with therapy throughout my life, ever since I endured abuse as a child. Even making my way into adulthood, I’d encounter these crisis situations, and every single time, I was able to find a therapist that would totally support me through that crisis.
It started with the idea that I wanted to make websites. And then when I started thinking about it even more, I asked myself who I wanted to make websites for. Everything seemed to converge into this idea of “I want to help people that are helping other people…and who’s helping other people? Therapists.” It all kind of just fell into place. I think that therapists tend to be underserved in terms of technology and web design.
What’s your favorite part of working with psychotherapists?
I love working every day with people who are so compassionate. I think that compassion is a really important trait that is hard to find. Especially with everything going on in the world right now, with all the terrible stuff on the news every day, I appreciate so much what therapists do for other people. Their hearts are so big.
Why are therapists, and people in general, so afraid of web design?
I think it goes back to the fear of being seen as stupid, the fear of being vulnerable, the fear of putting themselves online and in the public eye, fear of disclosure and opening themselves up to judgment. I definitely see that with the older generation of therapists. The technology piece can be intimidating and overwhelming. Not to mention there’s so much to learn.
The younger generation of therapists is much more comfortable putting themselves out there on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram. There’s a different attitude that younger people have when it comes to exposure and putting themselves online.
What’s the single biggest mistake therapists are making with their websites?
It’s so hard to narrow it down to one. There’s a huge resistance to professional design. What ends up happening is that many therapists end up going with DIY websites or with a cheaper option that ends up looking messy and outdated. The problem with that is that your website visitors won’t trust you. There’s a lot of evidence around how design influences credibility, and if you have an unprofessional looking website, you’re not going to be seen as a professional running a business.
This is something crucial for therapists to understand, since the foundation of healing with a therapist depends on trust. The very first time a prospective client googles you, finds your website, and sees a website that looks really template-y, off balance, unprofessional, with mismatched colors (all unprofessional design giveaways), it’s going to start you off on the wrong foot… or not start it at all. There’s a chance that people will see your website and run the opposite way.
I’m not saying that you need to have an expensive professional design. My aim is for psychotherapists to attract more clients and the right clients. The more therapists that have good websites, that attract their ideal clients, the more people that are being helped. Road to world peace right there (laughs). Ah, my new tagline!
What would you say are essential design aspects of a psychotherapist’s website?
- Professional design
- Contact info on every page of your website
- Client focused copy (very important!). You don’t want your about page to only detail your credentials, you need to also speak to your future clients about their needs, and what they can gain from your solutions.
You have a really great collection of content on your blog. How do you come up with your blog post ideas?
When I first started blogging, I really didn’t know what I was doing at all. I think my biggest guide for what I blog about are my current clients and my potential clients. FAQs, things that I notice people are struggling with. I also use my website stats to see what’s popular and what’s most helpful. I grab data and metrics from what people are clicking on in the emails I send out to my list. I check open rates, and test subject lines, I’m constantly listening to my audience! I think listening is the best technique for content creation ideas.
There’s definitely some risk taking in having a blog. You can’t be afraid of making enemies, you have to be sure of yourself, and be okay with not everyone liking you.
So how’s Greece?
Wonderful! You must visit. I recommend early fall, around September. It’s still warm enough to swim, and you get that Indian Summer feel which is super beautiful!
…and the Gyros?
Gyros! I’d say they’re the equivalent of an American hamburger. They put french fries in them… french fries and meat. I don’t actually know since I’m a vegan. But apparently it’s the stuff you get at 4 a.m. after a night of clubbing.
You can find Kat at: