As a therapist, your online profile is the first way potential clients get a feel for who you are as a clinician. This short checklist will help you review your Mental Health Match therapist profile for the areas that have the biggest impact on helping you generate referrals.
Even though Mental Health Match matches potential clients to you and shows you as a top match for their needs, your profile can determine if the client contacts you or if they scroll past and consider another provider.
You will benefit from this checklist if:
- You are new to Mental Health Match and just setting up your online profile.
- You are shown as a match to many clients, but have few clients clicking through to your profile or contacting you. (You can check your data by logging into your dashboard here.)
- You are refocusing your practice on a new niche or particular demographic.
This checklist will give you quick tips and suggestions for creating a profile that really resonates with potential clients and increases referrals coming to your practice.
Make sure your listed specialties match what you write about in your profile
Your listed specialties are one of the ways Mental Health Match matches you to potential clients. This means that the clients coming to your profile are looking for help with the specialties you’ve listed.
Your profile should thus reflect these clients’ specific concerns. If your specialties are depression and anxiety, then you should discuss how you help clients break through depression and gain control over their anxiety. If your profile discusses areas that are not listed in your specialties, then your profile will not resonate with the clients who see your profile as a match.
For example, if you list anxiety and depression as your specialties, but talk about self-esteem and body image, you will likely not receive many contacts because the clients who see your profile will be seeking help with anxiety and depression and not body image.
Suggestion: Look for terms or issues you mention in your profile that you don’t have listed in your specialties, and add them to your listed specialties.
Use the ‘Goldilocks’ analogy and focus on specific clients without being overly broad
Potential clients are looking for a therapist who can help them with specific concerns. When they see your profile, they want to feel reflected in what you say. They want to know that you can help them with what they are experiencing.
If you are too broad, potential clients will not feel like you are speaking to their specific needs.
For example, some therapists on Mental Health Match say they specialize in children, teens, adults, and senior citizens. Or some say they focus on people who are single, divorced, married, or in a new relationship. These are all too broad. By trying to speak
On the other hand, sometimes therapists on Mental Health Match will be too focused so that their profiles do not resonate with many people seeing them as a match.
For example, some therapists on Mental Health Match list couples counseling as a specialty, but then describe their practice as focusing on newlyweds exploring open relationships for the first time. While this description may resonate with the occasional client, most of the clients who see their profile will not feel reflected in this description.
That is why we recommend the ‘Goldilocks’ approach – find the middle ground between being too specific and too broad. You can learn more in our step-by-step guide to defining and communicating your niche.
Suggestion: Limit the number of specialties you have to 6-10.
Dozens of specialties create confusion for potential clients, and give them the impression that you do not specialize in their specific needs. If you need to narrow down, look for specialties that aren’t your primary focus, or find specialties that feel redundant. If you have expertise in a certain area, it is fine to have both the general term and a more specialized version included (for example: anxiety and health anxiety), but try not to be overly repetitive.
Answer all the prompts in your profile
Therapists who fully complete all the profile prompts have much greater success in being contacted by potential clients vs. therapists who just finish the first three prompts.
Clients come to Mental Health Match with the hope of learning more about a therapist than is available on other directories. The more you share about yourself, the more connection you make with a potential client.
Suggestion: use ‘words of hope’ and ‘words of connection’ when completing every prompt in your profile.
Words of hope are words that show clients what is possible when working together, such as heal, grow, discover, practice, relieve, develop, and understand. Words of connection are words that create a bond between you and a potential client, such as together, we, and you and I. Be sure to proofread your responses and check for spelling or grammar errors that might come across as unprofessional.
Provide additional information, such as modalities and demographics in the “About You” section
This information helps Mental Health Match show you as a top match when clients look for a therapist like you. Many clients come to Mental Health Match seeking a specific modality (such as CBT or EMDR) or a therapist with a specific cultural background such as race, gender, or religion. Modalities show on your profile, while the information about you is private and only seen by our matching system.
Suggestion: Edit your profile to complete the information in the ‘About You’ and ‘About Your Practice’ sections.
Check your profile photo for the four key ingredients of a therapist profile photo
We know that prospective clients often look at your photo first and make a quick decision if they want to learn more about you.
Take a look at your profile photo and ask yourself: Is my profile picture welcoming, well lit, and making eye contact with the viewer? Does your photo reflect your niche? For example, if you work with primarily business professionals, do you come across as professional? If you work with teens, do you come across as approachable to younger people?
If you’re curious to see examples of profile photos that work well and those that don’t, check out our helpful guide: 4 Ingredients of a Perfect Headshot.
Suggestion: View your profile and take a look at your photo.
Ask yourself if your photo is:
- Making eye contact with the viewer
- Not distracting
- Reflective of the clients you like to see
How do you know if these changes are working for you?
Great Question. We recommend using the Mental Health Match matching tool as if you were a client you would like to work with to see if you are shown as a top match in those results.
Finally, if you’ve gone through this checklist and the profile prompts guide, and still feel as though you’re struggling to connect with the clients you most want to work, then our “What’s in a Niche” guide might be your next step to helping you get a better grasp of the big picture of your practice and improve your marketing.
Thank you for being a part of the Mental Health Match community. If you have gotten this far and still have questions about how Mental Health Match works or the best way to improve your therapist profile, please email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to answer them!