26 June 2009

1 Big Easy to Fix Language Mistake that Can Cost You Clients

Therapists and life coaches -- and some NDs -- have developed a way of speaking with clients that is rooted in the notion that it's best to help people explore their own truths and discover their own insights. I'm all in favor of that when working on psychologically transformative issues.

I'm not in favor of it in marketing.

The problem with insight oriented language construction in marketing is that it comes across as vague, insecure, lacking in confidence, and inexperienced. Your prospective ideal client is looking for specific, grounded, self-assured help. Insight oriented language fails to connect with their needs at the moment they are ready to hire our services.

Taking a brief look at a number of websites for self-employed professionals in the healing arts, I've found phrases like the following that aren't drawing in clients:
  • if you feel I can help, give [private practice name] a call
  • if you choose me as your therapist, I will be honored to walk with you in your journey
  • I believe I can help
  • it's hard to choose the right therapist, I'd like to help you sort out the best fit
  • please browse my website and feel free to contact me if you have any questions
It almost sounds like you're begging for permission, or worse, begging for business.

What works better in marketing is conveying a sense of certainty, and giving a bit of direction. The easy fix is: direct, specific, short sentences.

For example, rather than
please browse my website and feel free to contact me if..... a more client attracting call to action would be See the free tips at [your website url].

Take a look at the phrasing on your website and online profiles. Is it direct and compelling? Does it give the impression that you are sure about your own abilities? Can you feel the confidence exuded from every sentence?

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