Websites aren't for nerds or big businesses anymore!
More and more "regular" professionals and small business owners are focusing on building a web presence to keep a professional leg up on the competition.
Before you say, "I don't have the time or technical skills" to create a website, let me assure you that there are several companies that offer easy to use drag and drop templates to create a professional-looking site in minutes. And for less than $75 a year.
So, no more excuses.
Alright, so now you know that it's quick, easy and cheap to build a website the big question is:
Do you really need one? Yes.
And here's why:
1. To Control The Information Available About You Online
When was the last time you "Googled" yourself?
Take a few minutes to see what others see when they search for you. You are probably listed on several "people search" sites that you never registered for (such as Healthgrades.com or MyLife.com) or sites that you did register for but don't necessarily want everyone to see (like your wedding site from TheKnot.com).
It's time to take matters into your own hands and decide exactly what information searchers will come across first when people look for you.
You can add a:
It's your website; you're in control of the information.
2. To Market Your Own Private Practice
Do you already have a private practice or are you considering starting a private practice?
Whether you have a free-standing brick and mortar practice or treat your own private clients "on the side" building a web presence should be an important part of your marketing plan.
With the yellow pages quickly becoming extinct, people are searching for therapy services online. Make sure you have a website so that your future clients can easily find and set up an appointment with you!
3. Share Information With The Community
Use a website to share information on:
Use it as a fantastic way to give back to the community. Parents, family members and professionals are constantly looking on the Internet to find ways to improve lives.
If you're not interested in having a website that showcases YOU consider starting with a blog as a vehicle to share your insight and expertise.
4. Showcase Your Resume
More and more people are securing a domain name using their own name and using it to post their resume. While yes, it is important to have paper versions to hand out in interviews, in this digital age, having a resume that is easy to direct people to is very impressive.
Remember to add a professional headshot or images - even videos- of yourself in a professional setting. Most online resumes are just like the paper versions (i.e. dull.) Adding images can help viewers envision you, which builds rapport right away.
5. Portray a Professional Image
I used to think of having a business card as a major identifier that someone was in fact "in business." Nowadays, having your own website gives you not only a leg up on the competition but it is still quite impressive to the general population.
Having your own website tells potential clients, referral sources or employers that you're serious about what your doing and proud of your accomplishments.
And how cool it is to say, "Check out my website…"
If you need help creating or improving your website or blog (or want to find out what services I use and recommend) check out:
The Independent Clinician Guide to Creating a Web Presence is
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Jena H. Casbon, MS CCC-SLP is a private practice consultant who helps SLPs, OTs and PTs start their own private practices. She is the author of two books: The Guide to Private Patients and The Guide to Creating a Web Presence For Your Private Practice and an online course, Grow Your Private Practice.