Most of the people I’ve seen, who have paid for a Professional ‘Rebranding’, have closed down.
Having said that I don’t think that’s much to do with the actual rebranding, but more to do with therapists using it as a last resort roll of the dice when they are really struggling.
Therapists who are close to giving up usually don’t know what they should and should not be doing. Then they find a branding specialist who, for thousands, spices up their image online and in print and they expect it to work.
The problem isn’t our look, it isn’t the name of our business, it’s not how nice our cards are, or how sharp and beautiful our website is.
They are all nice things to have, but they are less important than the big thing: Do the people who need your help understand what you help with?
That’s the number 1 disconnect for clients and therapists.
Essentially, we speak different languages. We speak the language of change and methods, while they speak the language of suffering. Communication is frustrating and difficult.
No matter how nice your branding is, it won’t matter unless you’re reaching and connecting with the people who need help.
I’ve seen hideously ugly websites deliver clients every week while beautiful ones accomplished nothing. Beautiful is nice, but connection is necessary.
I know the temptation. When I was struggling and didn’t know how to find clients and earn enough to live on, I would have raided my savings (I pretty much did setting-up my practice) and thrown money at what I felt was my last hope.
Be careful of that thinking. It’s often pushed by emotions of fear and panic as much as hope, and they are not states conducive to creating positive energy or actions.
I see the same thing done time and again by therapists who are not busy and who are worrying about paying bills, or feel they may have wasted all their time and effort training and starting a practice, or who simply feel they aren’t making the difference they want to in life.
Whether it’s spending thousands on a new website, a brand overhaul, moving clinic location etc. they rarely solve the big issue:
“Why are clients not coming in?”
There are two main reasons – 1) they don’t know about you and 2) they don’t relate to your offer.
There are more than enough people suffering out there who need help. Think about it - do you know anyone whose life could not be improved with what you do? Most people would benefit. Within that pool are plenty for whom it is important right now.
If they are unaware of you then the new brand or website doesn’t matter – the issue isn’t how nice it looks it’s that they’re not seeing you.
If they are aware of you but are not connecting, then those things might help IF they incorporate the right psychology of connection.
Before doing anything ask yourself “when someone suffering sees this, will they understand how I help?”
If the answer is no, then that step might be nice, but it won’t be useful.
We nearly always fall into the trap of creating a barrier between us and the client by talking about therapy when what they need to hear is about their life.
We can only meet someone where they are at.
Most people who need help are stuck in some form of suffering. That’s the easiest place to connect with them, then lead them towards the solutions.
However, we’re all about the solutions, and often the labels: I’m a counsellor, or I do Reiki, or I’m a chiropractor, as if these titles connected with someone who is stuck in suffering.
Most people don’t know what any therapy type is useful for.
We massively over assume they do.
Even if they are familiar with the title it doesn’t give enough information even then.
If someone understands counselling and sees an ad for it, it will rarely spell out what issues that counsellor works with.
As a therapist we assume people want ‘counselling’ at that moment, but when we are using labels like that we don’t speak usefully.
Is that counsellor a relationship counsellor, do they help with anxiety and depression, PTSD, stress reduction, grief, etc.?
This is where our wall of titles, qualifications, and efforts to be seen as credible are lost on the person suffering. We don’t say what we help.
Change this before spending on the branding, the new website, or moving location.
Then when you’re busy and can afford to, you can avail of all three of those from a position of strength where you incorporate that psychology of connection and know you’re making a difference and a good income.
Don’t just roll dice and see did you win.
Build the win, then make things nicer.
Have a great week,
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John Prendergast is an award-winning Success Coach and and Psycho-Trauma Anxiety Therapist.
He is also the Founder of Therapy and Coaching Success that specialises in helping Therapists, Coaches and other Wellness Practitioners, connect with those in need, build their diaries and earn the income they need.
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