Creating a client attractive website
After qualifying from homeopathic college in 2009, I was aware that I needed to have a good web presence to promote my new business. Having come from a background of working with websites and content management, I had a clear idea of what I felt would work well and what wouldn’t.
I tried many different systems to create my website. None quite met my needs until I learned WordPress and managed to create a beautiful website that featured well on search engines and easily linked up to social media. I was so excited and launched my new site expecting to get plenty of new enquiries about my work and for my practice to expand. In reality, I got a few random enquiries and very little else.
Up until that point, I had been doing what many people in small business do: look around at other websites in their field to learn what we ‘should’ publish, then do your own version of that. I found myself with a very static and quite boring website that really didn’t reflect who I was and how I uniquely served my clients. Sure, I was a homeopath and practised homeopathy but we all have our own unique slant on the practice that will make us stand out and attract a particular type of client. My website just didn’t illustrate that at all.
This lead me down the route of doing some marketing training. I learned about identifying your ideal client, conducting research and crafting website copy based on this. I also learned about allowing your personality shine through so people can truly connect with who you are. When I redrafted my website with this in mind, everything changed. I had lots of new enquiries, and some people even commented that they felt like I had taken the words out of their mouth.
There are many things that I could attribute to the improvement in the performance of my website, but in this short article, I’m sharing the two things that I felt made the biggest difference.
Write your content on purpose
Firstly, you must know the overall purpose of your website. This is absolutely key because it will give you clarity on what you need to have on your site and what to leave out.
When asked this question, practitioners often say something along the lines of ‘I just need a website for my homeopathic practice’. Essentially this is true, but if you go down this route you could just create a pretty page and talk about lots of homeopathic things on your site. For example, you could write about different remedies, what is going on in the profession, miasms, Hahnemann and what is happening politically. Are these topics really going to attract your ideal clients? After all, are they really interested in all of that information when their only aim may be to assess whether you are the right practitioner for them to hire?
I invite you to get even more specific with the purpose. For the majority of people practising in a traditional way, their purpose will be to attract more clients for homeopathic consultations either locally or over Skype.
Now that you have identified the end goal you can reverse engineer your content. What does your reader need to know, do and engage in before they book in with you?
Here’s a practical exercise: write down the purpose of your website. Now, consider your potential client’s journey to booking. What do you think they need to know before they book? What is the step by step process will they take to make an initial enquiry and book in with you? If you aren’t sure what someone will want to read about, ask one of your existing clients. You might be surprised what you learn when you do some research!
Speak to the right people + connect emotionally
Now that you know the purpose of your website, you’ll need to start speaking to your ideal client. This is sometimes known as niching which people can get a little uncomfortable with. Quite simply niching is about speaking to the right person and giving them the information they need to know in order to make a decision on whether they should work with you. Different people will need different information, so targeting your website with a purpose in mind, to a particular group, can be very beneficial.
Your ideal client could be someone with a specific condition or they could be someone within a segment of society you love working with. Here are some examples of niches I’ve seen in the natural health world: pregnant women, men with prostate issues, mums + newborns, menopausal women and people in their 50s approaching older age. Do you see how broad or narrow your focus could be?
Although you are speaking to one person through your website, it does not mean you only do that kind of work. You simply want to engage with the right person through your website who is actually looking for services like yours and is open to working with you. Chances are that these people will then refer you to their brothers, sisters, parents and cousins later on. Your practice will continue to grow by word of mouth.
Once you know who your ideal client is start building up a profile of who they are and what they are looking for. To do this you could consider previous cases, or even seek people to engage in research with you. You’ll want to understand why they are seeking a natural health practitioner, what problem(s) pushed them to look for this help and how are these issues are affecting their personal, family and work lives.
Knowing the answer to these questions will allow you to address this in your copy so you can make an emotional connection. Emotions often rule when making buying decisions so adding the emotional component to your website copy will make it even more client-attractive. For more information on emotions and buying behaviour check out the fascinating article on this at the Psychology Today website: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inside-the-consumer-mind/201302/how-emotions-influence-what-we-buy.
Now that you have a crystal clear profile of your ideal client you’re ready to write copy that speaks directly to them. When doing this, I like to imagine sitting in a cafe having a cup of coffee with that person. What would you say to her about her fears, hopes and aspirations? What are the main things in his life that are worrying him? Use words like ‘you’ and write in the first person – really connect to the person as if you are speaking right to them.
A practical example
I was working with a homeopath on her content strategy for her website recently, and we went through the exercise of identifying her ideal client.
Her aim was to be like a natural general practitioner to the local community. We spoke about how she could communicate this, and who she could speak to. After a bit of analysis, we found that in general it was local mums who were coming to her initially, and then they would refer lots of people once they got to know, like and trust her. They were her best clients and the ones she loved working with most.
By speaking clearly to local mums on her website, she will start to attract lots of people like that to her who will ultimately help her to grow her practice. A win-win situation.
When researching with this group, she found that mums were usually concerned about keeping their family healthy naturally and avoiding toxins wherever possible. They were also stressed and tired and actually needed to look after themselves more too. By addressing all of these points on her website she will be emotionally connecting to local mums who will in turn feel like they have found a practitioner that truly understands them and their needs.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. If you aren’t already a member why not come over to the Web Joy Community on Facebook where there are many homeopaths and heart-centred business owners talking about business, life and getting to grips with the tech. I’d love to continue the discussion with you there: https://www.facebook.com/groups/webjoycommunity/