How Having an Online Presence Builds Trust with Prospective Clients

Imagine there was a way to not only connect with more potential clients but digitally create genuine confidence and trust so you become the only — and best — choice without lifting a therapy finger.

It is possible and that’s what I’m going to share in this article. (Strap yourself in and get ready for a game-changing five minutes!) See, as you know, trust is key to a successful therapeutic relation-ship. This once took valuable in-practice time to cultivate, yet in our cyber age we can bolster trust prior to meeting, shortcut the journey to clinical success and harness efficiencies allowing practi-tioners like you to both gain better results and consult with more clients, and therefore increasing your bank account’s bottom line and offering.

How?

You need to understand trust from a client’s perspective.

“Trust is letting go of needing to know all the details before you open your heart” - Anon.
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When a potential client is considering their options there is a certain level of vulnerability. After all, if they were not worried about a health concern there’s a good chance that consulting a health professional wouldn’t be in their conscious sphere.

Consider this scenario. Who would you choose?

You are experiencing headaches, and with a family history of brain tumors you want an expert opinion.

  1. You look in yellow pages and find a listing of a general health practitioner

or

  1. You do an online search and find a doctor specializing in brain tumors. She has been featured in USA today and Google News, has advanced training in this field and has been quoted by Dr. Oz. In fact, she’s even written a book on this very topic. And although she’s on the other side of the country, she offers online consultations.

Can you see how instant trust and connection can be created in a moment? And how price melts away from prime consideration in a paragraph?

In this day and age, the Internet is where people first turn for insight. Well-known marketing and research company, Fleishman-Hillard, has shown that, “The Internet is eclipsing the persuasive power of family, friends or colleagues when it comes to influencing purchase decisions [and that] when choosing healthcare products and services, 75 percent said they rely on online information.”

Now, back to trust. Having a carefully crafted online presence through a professional and engaging website and social media platforms is key. How would you discover the credibility given in the second example? Through her digital footprint, summed up eloquently on her website.
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Now…

Let’s look at four ways an online presence can build genuine trust with potential clients, and how this can maximize your practice profits.

1) Build Relationships, Don’t Sell, Sell, Sell

It is estimated that by 2020, a prospective client will need 20 ‘touches’ — or brand exposures (yes, your practice is a brand) — before they act. This means you need to become a known entity, share powerful and actionable articles, remain front-of-mind, continue to share valuable and relevant content, and after being consistent in your delivery, your are likely to garner a new client.
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And as with any relationship, it takes time to build trust so be patient and strategic. Efficient systems and automation enable this to be done smoothly in a set and forget manner.

As you build trust, you become the go-to person. People will seek you out as opposed to you needing to find and market to them.

2) The Future Is Here and It Is Telemedicine

“Telemedicine is the use of telecommunications technology to provide real-time health care to patients at a distance.”

We have seen considerable progress in the technological developments of telemedicine to a point where this option is here, perfectly developed and already changing people’s lives. Distance concerns are eliminated and providers like Doxy offer HIPAA and HITECH compliance with the innovative expertise to offer therapists and their clients simple and easy-to-use accessibility, regardless of age or ability. This means you are able to care for clients from your city, state, around the country and even overseas.

For example, a 2017 study highlights the role of advances in digital mental health and clearly out-lines opportunities and implications for the spectrum of e-mental health services as “mobile health, telemedicine and other technology-based services facilitate mental health service delivery and may be considered part of an e-mental health spectrum of care”.

A professional website combined with telemedicine provides a seamless offering that boosts trust and gives people what they want and need.
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Note on HIPAA Compliance: There are several issues like patient safety, technology service provider professionalism and technical competencies of the staff on all levels. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is aimed at protecting the privacy and security of health information. It has two types of rules:

  1. HIPAA Privacy Rule: aims to protect the personal health information of patients and speci-fies which data needs to be recorded.
  2. HIPAA Security Rule: aims to protect “Electronic Protected Health Information” and speci-fies how that recorded digital data is protected.

Potential clients are empowered by increased access to providers through telemedicine. Choosing a company that both ensures HIPAA compliance is met and keeps you best prepared to embrace new technologies is critical.

3) Online Trust Is Built Through Content and Community

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”. — ALBERT EINSTEIN.

When you share a strategy that is useful, a blog post that makes a difference for the reader, a video that answers an important question… when you offer valuable insight to your potential clients, you build trust.

When you appear on the website of a local or larger celebrity or the feed of mainstream mass media, their respective communities and the influence they carry, sprinkle you with instant virtual credibility.
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Plus, through high quality content you can create a chain of events in which a reader, being satisfied — even moved, shares the piece with others and you gain a reputation boost similar to old fashioned word of mouth.

All of this is accomplished with helpful, engaging content and through building your community.

Note: There are many complex ways to build your online presence. It’s easy to become confused and so not to take action, and inaction won’t create the impact you want. So keep your strategies simple and authentic, use cyber tools that you are able to easily manage (like a professional website, blog and cloud hosted telemedicine) and do what you do well.

4) The Cyber Super Boost (It’s Your Website!)

Therapists are trusted with a person’s deepest thoughts, their strongest fears and sincerest hopes. Finding the right fit is a big decision for a potential client. The more they can read about you, your expertise, your approaches and your knowledge — in other words the more they get to know you — the easier this decision becomes. A great website allows you to share this information before you even know that person exists. It’s relationship building by stealth!

Think about it. You can share your:

Values
Mission
Education, accreditations, affiliations
Connections
Brand
Professionalism
Client forms
Information about your consultations and your practice
Books you have written
… and educate specifically on your blog

You can collect email details so you can contact these people in an ongoing way, further building your relationship and marking you as the only choice.

All while not directly talking to them yet.

Your website also makes sure you are find able, and correctly optimized pages (via something known as search engine optimization [SEO]) helps the big players like Google and Bing share your site with searchers.

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When you combine an authentic online presence with a strategic and professional website, like those we specialize in at Brighter Vision, you increase your ability to reach and engage with prospective clients, build trust and maximize your personal, therapeutic and financial returns.
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We know how important this is for Doxy clients so we’ve organized a complimentary consultation and a free month of Brighter Vision’s website solutions services to see how we can help your practice thrive.

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Courtney Larson

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