How Design Can Make or Break Your Business

When people are meeting you by first visiting your website or scrolling through your social media profiles, having a cohesive design that consistently communicates who you are is critical for establishing a professional presence. This is why design shouldn’t be considered an out-of-reach luxury. It’s an investment that will fuel the growth of your business.

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How to Reach Your Ideal Clients Online

 
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In last week’s blog post, I talked about attracting more clients to your practice by choosing a niche. If you’ve chosen a niche - congratulations! You’re well on your way to marketing with ease and having a more consistent income.

However, at this point, you might be wondering, “How do I actually attract my ideal clients?” Maybe you have a small but steady stream of referral clients coming in, but you’d like to increase your reach and start attracting clients from Google or social media.

While it’s important to have a strong referral network as a business owner, it’s also important to start generating your own client leads organically if you want to build a sustainable (and scalable) business.

In today’s blog post, I’m going to show you how to use your website and social media channels to connect with your niche audience and convert visitors and followers into clients.


REACHING YOUR NICHE VIA YOUR WEBSITE


Design

Since your website is your business’s main hub - the foundation of your online presence - let’s start there. Before jumping onto social media channels, it’s important to make sure your website is set up to connect with members of your niche.

Let’s do a quick evaluation of your website. Ask yourself these questions:

Do new clients mention that they’re contacting you because they found your website?

Has a client ever told you they decided to work with you because they were drawn to your website’s style?

Do you have consistent, daily website traffic? Or, are people looking at your website every day? (You can track this easily by looking at the “pageviews” section of your analytics)

If you answered “no” to any of the above, it might be time to take another look at your website design and/or branding. Choosing an intentional color scheme, fonts, and a layout for your website isn’t something you should put off - because it really does have a huge impact. In fact, the sooner you set your branding, the sooner you’ll start attracting new clients through your website.

Designing a smart website is more than choosing your favorite colors and listing your services. In order for your website to do much of the heavy lifting of marketing for you, it has to be designed for your niche.

Think about how your ideal client wants to feel. Think about what kind of relief they’re searching for. Then, choose colors, fonts, and images that communicate those feelings. If you get these foundational pieces right, you’ll be able to also communicate through the visual language of your website, instead of just relying on the verbal language of your website copy.

Strategy

In addition to colors, fonts, and images, it’s important to think about your website strategy. Your website needs to have a clear action for people to take to connect with you. Because if your website’s visitors aren’t connecting with you, they aren’t being converted to a client. If you offer free 15-minute phone consultations, say it. If you offer a free resource for joining your email list, explain what it is and exactly what they’ll get for signing up.

Basically, instruct your website visitors to take an action. As long as that action leads to connecting with you in some way, your website will be doing its job.

It’s important to get the foundational design and strategy established before you dive into directing traffic to your website, because if you don’t have a clear path for folks to take once they’re on your website, what’s the point?


SEO

Before jumping into social media, let’s talk about turning your website into a magnet for your niche by way of SEO. There are several ways to optimize your website for search engines, like writing a good site description, including keywords (the words and phrases that people are typing into Google searches) in your page titles, and making sure your site loads quickly.

What I want to talk about in this post specifically, though, is creating ongoing website content that increases your chances of being seen in more search results.

When you think about members of your niche doing Google searches, there are probably thousands of different things they could be searching about as it relates to your services. How can you possibly include all of those search terms on your website?

Blog posts.

Blogging is a great way to provide valuable advice, support, and the specific guidance that your niche needs, while adding search engine keywords to your site. Not only will your website serve as a resource for the types of clients you want to see, but it’ll also start showing up more in search results so that members of your niche can find your website on their own.

Think about the words and phrases your niche is searching for on Google, and include them in your blog post titles, headings, and in the post itself. If you use Squarespace to manage your website, turn on Google Search Keywords in your Analytics panel to find out which keywords to start including in your posts.


REACHING YOUR NICHE VIA SOCIAL MEDIA

After your website is set up to convert website visitors into potential clients, you can start to direct traffic there via social media. We live in a very magical time as business owners - we don’t have to rely on ads to get the word out about our businesses anymore. We can use the wide reach of social media to connect with (and provide value to) potential clients for free.

Why does it work? Because we want to do business with people that we know. And, like or not, social media is a way to get to know people.

Many of my clients ask me, “Which social media platforms should I be using to market my business?” And my answer is always the same: it depends on where your niche is.

Online marketing is really no different than in-person marketing in this case. If your niche is first-time mothers, you probably wouldn’t give a talk at your local retirement community. If your niche is elderly adults transitioning into retirement community living, you probably wouldn’t host a workshop for the local mom’s clubs.

When using social media to market your practice, it’s about knowing where your niche is and focusing your efforts there. You don’t need to be on every social media platform to market your business effectively online, you just need to be on the right one(s).

 
 

Once you’ve discovered where your niche is primarily spending time online, focus on sharing helpful tips, advice, and guidance, but also share your personality. If you have thoughts about current events that you think will benefit your niche, make a post about it. If a certain theme has been coming up in your sessions and you have some insight to share, make a post about it.

Think about your social media channels as an extension of your website and blog. Almost like a farmer’s market - people can meet you, talk to you, see what you offer, but they can always learn more at your website or by working with you.

Optimize your social media profile/page by including the following things:

  1. Your website URL. Depending on the platform, you can include several links to different website pages or one link that leads to a series of links. Remember, the goal of your social media profile should be to send traffic back to your website - make it as clear as possible where your listed link goes.

  2. A descriptive bio. Describe what you do and who you do it for. No need to get wordy here. The simpler, the better.

  3. An image of your face as your profile picture. Even if your logo is awesome, social media is a place for people to get to know you. Making an image of you your profile picture is a great way to humanize your business and make you more accessible/approachable.

  4. Engaging content. Social media can be a great place to announce new things happening at your practice, but again, it’s a place for people to get to know you, first and foremost. Focus on starting conversations, asking questions, facilitating discussion, and encouraging feedback. Soon, folks will want to start working with you because they’ve found the type of experience they’re looking for.

Reaching your niche and ideal client online is about creating content that will be relevant and valuable to them. Instead of trying to appeal to everyone - or the entire internet - just focus on your niche. Be a resource for them; there are other people that are being resources for everyone else.

You don’t have to be everything to everyone.

You also don’t have to do it all. Just as you focused in on a niche, you can focus in on one social media channel, thereby not splitting your energy and sharing style.

If you have trouble thinking of what to post, think about your recent client sessions. What questions have people asked recently? What reframes have you been offering lately? What do all of your clients need to hear right now?

It may be uncomfortable to move your marketing efforts online, but you’ll be able to access more people more frequently, and therefore, grow your practice with more ease.

To learn more about marketing your practice online, I highly recommend checking out any of these folks:

Kelly & Miranda of Business School Bootcamp for Therapists (enrollment closing soon)
Dr. Marie Fang of Private Practice Skills


Defining a niche is a process, and sometimes it takes time and support to figure it out. If you need more support in determining the right niche for you, take my free, three-part email training, How to Become a Client Magnet, which now includes a bonus worksheet: Narrow Your Niche. Access the training here. You can also learn more at this blog post I’ve written.

Although it might feel counter-intuitive to limit your marketing focus, I know from my own experience as well as my clients that choosing a niche expands your reach and increases your ability to help the people you really want to help.

THE PEOPLE WHO NEED YOUR GIFTS ARE WAITING FOR YOU. DON’T MAKE IT HARD FOR THEM TO FIND YOU.

Some of the links contained in this article are affiliate links. This means that I may receive a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase from the affiliate. I only recommend products and services that I know or trust to be of high quality, whether an affiliate relationship is in place or not.

 

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