It’s easy to view your website as just another marketing tool. Sure, it can definitely play a big role in generating sales but it is so much more than that. I like to view it as a book cover. Like it or not, we judge a book by its cover and the same is true when viewing a website. It’s the book cover of your business. And that’s just the beginning of its potential.
In this blog series, I will be asking inspiring small business owners about what they do and the importance of their website. The series is intended to inspire you to see beyond the text and images on a page and also to relate to others who may be on a similar journey to you.
Remember, your website is worthy of time and energy to really showcase just what your business is all about.
Jacqueline of Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology shares her insights below.
How long ago did you make the trusting leap to start your business and what was the catalyst that told you “hey, I can actually do this and do it well”?
I took a chance with starting my business in October 2014. In May 2015 I had my first team member join me on the adventure. Since then we’ve grown to a team of 26 psychologists and six support staff. It’s been a wild ride expanding this quickly, but I feel grateful to feel passionate about what I do.
I can’t really think of a particular moment where I’ve thought I could do this and do it well, as such – it’s more been a case of just putting one foot in front of the other each day. Some days I wake up full of doubt (like yesterday), but like all feelings I know it will pass eventually and I’ll find my mojo again.
What is your ‘why’? What lights you up each day to continue doing what you do?
I consider myself fortunate to look forward to going to work every day (well almost every day) and a big part of that’s the case is my “whys”.
I have so many “whys” that I have actually had to resort to writing them on a giant piece of butcher’s paper (in rainbow coloured texta of course!). My central reason for doing what I do is having a strong passion for changing the conversation around mental health. Having experienced mental health issues myself, I know first hand how invaluable it can be to find a skilled therapist, who you can be open and honest with. Therapy isn’t for everyone though, so the purpose of our website and social media is also to provide resources and food for thought to people who are not wanting to go down the path of seeing a psychologist, but are interested in their mental health and wellbeing.
Each business is unique and no one marketing plan works for everyone. For you, which marketing activities have really helped to propel your business forward to attract more of your desired clients/customers?
Our website is the cornerstone of our success with marketing. When I first started out it was a significant investment of time and money to set up our website. My business wouldn’t be the same without it though (or perhaps wouldn’t even exist?!) because it’s by far the main way that clients find us. I love that our clients find us via our website too. It means they come to us informed and empowered about their decision to see a psychologist.
Building and maintaining a good website isn’t much use if you can’t drive people to the website, so the other important factors in our marketing plan are our presence on social media and our SEO. We also use traditional marketing methods like flyers, GP lunches and GP newsletters, as well as a monthly email newsletter via MailChimp.
Often we take our website for granted and think, “oh that thing, that’s just a requirement of my business”. Obviously your website plays a bigger role than this so, upon reflection, what role does your website play in your business?
Our website couldn’t be more important. It is central to the success of our practice. It’s also an important part of our broader goal of starting meaningful conversations about mental health. Most psychology practices rely on marketing directly to GPs through lunches and promotional material. Because of our website we instead have clients approaching us directly and then visiting their GP for a referral, so it’s been a reverse of the normal marketing steps.
As with anything business related (or life related for that matter) there’s a learning curve and some trial and error until we get it right. What advice would you give to your just-starting-out-in-business self about how to go about your website and online marketing?
I spent a small amount of time experimenting with a DIY logo and website, but through feedback from an old and honest friend, I realised it just wasn’t going to cut it. Thanks to her, I swiftly moved on to outsourcing my logo design and website and I am ever so grateful I did.
What are one or two things that are on your website wish list and how do you see them coming to fruition?
Thanks to Resonant Imagery, I’m actually lucky enough to have worked my way through my website wish list throughout the past year or so. Of course though, our website is a constant work-in-progress, so it’s only a matter of time before I’ll be dreaming up new items.
I guess the only thing that’s on my wish list is to have a window of time carved out each week where I can potter on my website – making improvements, tweaking things and just generally enjoying it! I need to make that happen, because my website and social media really is one of my favourite parts of running my business.
Dr Jacqueline Baulch is a Clinical Psychologist and the founder of Inner Melbourne Clinical Psychology. She’s passionate about shifting the “hush-hush” atmosphere surrounding mental illness, emotions and vulnerability. She believes honest and real conversations can spark hope and healing, and help us to feel less alone in this messy business of being human.