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Are Your Therapy Services LinkedIn? (Psst...they should be!)

LinkedInIf you are a therapist, LinkedIn is your friend.  LinkedIn is all about business.  It's about getting a job (and really, you are essentially getting a job with every new client), profiling your skills, networking, and spreading the word about what your business offers, all of which are integral to being a successful therapist.  Clients want to learn more about you, and they don't just stop their research after visiting your website.  They use social media to find out more about you and your services!  So, doesn't it make sense to use business-related social media tools that work to enhance your business profile?  If prospective clients don't feel they have learned enough about you before making an appointment, they may move on to the next therapist on their list of referrals.  LinkedIn was originally about connecting employers with employees, but it has evolved.  Here’s how you can employ some of LinkedIn's newer tools, as well as some of its older ones, to  assist you in developing, and maintaining,  a strong online business-to-consumer presence:

Add Showcase Pages to your Company Page.  Showcase Pages allow you to drill down your services into niche categories, and thereby communicate your expertise to clients and potential clients based on their respective areas of interest.  Create multiple Showcase Pages within your Company Page to capture each niche’s target audience.   If, for example, you specialize in PTSD, Eating Disorders, and LGBT, you can create three different Showcase Pages to highlight content for each of those specializations.  Why separate your content?  Because some people who wish to know more about your experience in working with PTSD clients, may not want to wade through your content related to LGBT and Eating Disorders.  In addition, specialized Showcase Pages may dissuade a potential client from erroneously concluding that your specialization is not focused enough to provide him or her with successful therapy.  Learn more about Showcase Pages here.  

Write comment-enticing content on your Company Page.  When you post content and updates on social media, you want to consider the type of engagement you are looking to create.  If you want to encourage interaction, you want to expressly request it.  You can't assume people will know what to do next.  Pose a question at the beginning and end of your article.  To get conversation going on your posts, share a link to a blog post, video, or industry-relevant news. 

Show your work.  Integrate your own videos, images, documents, and presentations into your page.  You can showcase work that is relevant to your services within the "Summary," "Education," and "Experience" sections of your profile.  Learn how here.

Use "Pulse" to stay current.  "Pulse” is an aggregator for all news and articles published on LinkedIn by the LinkedIn community.  Browse through Top Posts, or click on Your News to read what people in your Network are publishing.  Read about "Pulse."

Publish your own content on "Pulse."  Your connections want to read what you have to say, and so do your clients.  Use "Pulse" to publish your work and become a thought-leader in your specialty.  Last year, LinkedIn opened publishing rights on "Pulse" to all LinkedIn users.   Now you can create content that is valuable to your followers, and this can greatly assist you in the further development of your business .

Make it easy for your clients to find your LinkedIn page.  Help clients research you and your services by creating a LinkedIn Profile Badge and adding it to your website.  Then, when clients are on your site, they can easily click over to LinkedIn to learn more about you.  Customize your own Profile Badge now.  

Set your privacy settings so that everyone can view your page.  This is important because if your settings are such that your profile is limited in viewing options, your potential clients may not be able to view your profile, and they may move on to the next therapist on their referral list.  

Connect with colleagues through LinkedIn Groups.  Even if you are using LinkedIn solely for business growth, it is still important to maintain professional connections with colleagues.  Joining groups that are relevant to your business helps your prospective client know that you are active within your professional community, and this can further increase your desirability as a therapist.

Maintaining a well-written LinkedIn company page improves your Google search positioning.  To avoid any confusion, LinkedIn does not make your practice's website appear higher in Google searches.  It does, however, increase the number of Google search results that are relevant to your practice.  When someone searches your name or practice, you want to appear on page one and dominate as many positions as possible.  So, bulking up your online presence is necessary.  If you have a website, a LinkedIn Company Profile, a LinkedIn "Pulse" article, a Facebook business page, a Wikipedia page, a Psychology Today profile, a Pinterest page, a Google+ business page, and a blog, you might just dominate the top 9 search results.

Make sure to know your goal when using LinkedIn.  When you are creating your company page, make sure you are speaking to the intended audience.  As you are aware, writing to connect with colleagues is far different than writing to connect with prospective clients.



Read the complete issue: The Argonaut Navigator, October 2015

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