When I met Amanda, she was in a rut. She was paying a phone answering service every month to field calls about availability she didn't have. Lots of potential clients is a great problem, but sifting through them was affecting her ability to be an incredible therapist for her existing clients.
But by effectively positioning her website, Sterner Stuff was able to help Amanda ensure she was only talking to excellent prospects. She was able to fire her call answering service while still staying booked and without fielding those calls herself.
How? Better positioning, and getting rid of calls.
As a business owner, you should always be considering your "best buyer". Who are the people that represent the best opportunities for you? The first task for Amanda was to determine who those best buyers were for her.
We could play off some common traits and desires of people in Eugene and the Pacific Northwest (outdoors-ey, striving for diversity), and got more specific from there. We developed user personas that would help us make sure every aspect of her website was geared toward the right kind of people.
This led to two best buyers. Here's a little about them.
Lauren is hyper-driven and always on. She works for a digital agency, but that constant grind has caused her to forget about the things she loves—yoga, hiking, and more.
After a failed application for a new job in Portland, she had a minor breakdown. She decided she needed to refocus on what's important to her and accept that there is no "perfect". She's seeking out Amanda's help to do it.
Lauren is motivated by an internal fear of not being "good enough" and the social pressures that have come with networks like Facebook. But she also has an intrinsic attachment to growth for its own sake.
William started an innovative yoga studio right after college. It took off—every class is full, and he's in a great position to expand his model to new studios.
Two years in, his goals of opening a second studio still haven't developed. Not that it isn't feasible, but more of a lack of effort. What happened?
Will has also found himself coming off as shy despite being a people person.
This developing introverted attitude doesn't feel natural and is hampering both his business and personal life. He's looking to Amanda to help him get back in the game.
Remember, these are both totally fictional people, but we developed them to represent Amanda's best clients. In addition to these bios, each persona has motivations, brands they're drawn to, personality traits, and advertising channels they respond to. All this information kept our efforts focused on the clients Amanda is best at helping.
As a therapist, Amanda's credentials are important, sure, but her clients are looking for a space where they're the focus. A chance for everything to be about them for a moment. Amanda wanted a website that set that scene early. So we slimmed down the branding to focus on Amanda in just two places— the home page, and an about page that many people might not even see.
Even the logo becomes less intrusive when possible, keeping the brand strong but shifting attention away from "Amanda". Notice how after the scroll, Amanda's name disappears from the logo.
We also used a lot of client-focused phrasing, like "Love Your Life" and "Rediscover Your Best Self". These are the sorts of things that our personas, Lauren and William, are trying to accomplish.
There's also a technical side of what makes Amanda's best clients, well, best. She only takes certain insurances, specializes in specific areas of psychiatric health, and uses a holistic approach that avoids prescription medication when possible. This meant that people seeking emergency access or a quick 'scrip weren't worth Amanda's time to talk to.
To make sure she could screen clients effectively before spending time on an introductory phone call with them, we created a form that took the place of her contracted phone answering service. Her phone number is still available on the website for providers who need it, but people seeking to become clients are steered toward this form to get a quick response. This form took the place of an existing form. How's it doing?
Despite the form being longer and requesting more information, the conversion rate doubled from the original form! Over 10% of people who make it to the form fill it out.
This says a lot about the messaging on the website—it speaks loudly to those it speaks to at all, and someone who makes it to the new client form has already made up their mind that they're going to be a client.
And the form itself has proved very effective. Amanda can know quickly whether or not someone contacting her will be a good fit. She has the resources available to direct them to more appropriate providers when possible, and can bring on the people she feels she can help the most.