As the main author of the Empathycopy blog and creator of Empathycopy, I thought it would be fun to share the story of how I became a copywriter for therapists.
From discovering my mission to help therapists with their websites, to noticing an opportunity to help with writing, to creating a service that has now helped hundreds of therapists, this story shares how it happened.
But First, A Question: What Were You Up To In Year 2000?
Me? That was around the time I started designing and building my own websites.
It was in the dawn of the internet for most households. And somehow, we had a computer in our house.
I loved the internet. And I was very much online.
Clinton was president. I was listening to Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” on repeat. And I was still in high school.
Even in those earliest of days, I was excited about how websites could be visited by anyone. Through them you could communicate. You could connect.
Fast Forward To 2014(ish)
And I was in the middle of a big life shift.
I knew how to make websites
I knew I was passionate about creating them
And I was ready to turn my website passion into a website business
But I didn’t exactly know how.
A friend connected me to their friend, a professional website developer in Silicon Valley. He offered to have a Skype call and share some guidance to help me on my way.
The most influential piece of advice he gave me during that call was, “niche”
- Niche because it will help you differentiate yourself from all the other website designers and developers out there.
- Niche because it makes your marketing easier. You’ll know exactly who your audience is, what problems they are trying to solve, and the transformation they desire.
- Niche because it makes your service better as you’ll be able to specialize, grow your knowledge, and then work within that zone of genius.
The importance of having a niche really clicked for me. After we hung up, it didn’t take me long to think of a niche I wanted to serve.
I Chose Private Practice Therapists As My Niche Because Therapists Helped Me Heal From Childhood Sexual Abuse
I have been in and out of therapy since I was 9 years old to heal from the complex trauma of my childhood sexual abuse and neglect.
There have been so many times in my life where I have been in the darkest days, in complete and utter crisis, in “I don’t know if I’ll be able to survive this”
And every single time I was in that place I was able to connect with a therapist who could help guide me through.
Two therapists in particular helped me overcome suicidal ideation.
I am incredibly grateful for the expert guidance of all the therapists who’ve helped me find my way.
I owe my life to therapists.
So when it came time to find a niche, I found myself answering questions like:
- Who do you admire?
- Who do you want to help?
- Who do you feel is doing good and important work in the world?
And for me, answers to all of the questions lead to therapists. I decided to niche in therapist websites.
From There On Out, I Became A Therapist Website Creation Machine
And it was a really amazing experience. Not only because I was doing something I love (websites) but also I was doing it for the types of people that I love (therapists) and for the type of change that I want to see in the world.
Beyond my own story of healing and transformation, I truly believe that mental health is everything.
Mental health is the revolution we need in the world and therapists are the revolutionaries we are waiting for.
To have people who are emotionally regulated with healthy nervous systems would make all the difference in how compassionate people can be towards one another.
Like, there’s no way to stop the cycle of inter-generational trauma if no one is getting healed. And therapists are a fundamental part of the healing revolution.
So heck yes to helping therapists do the important work they do.
Website-business-wise, I started out with creating custom therapist websites and shortly after launched an even bigger website design brand with a team.
Summary: I have created a ton of therapist websites.
But with every website project I took on, I started to notice something. I noticed that while the success of the website depended a lot on the words on that website, therapists also struggled to get them written.
Most Therapists Find Writing Their Websites To Be Really Challenging
I witnessed many, if not most, of my website design clients struggling with the writing piece.
Turns out that “writing from the heart” isn’t as easy as one might think.
It was difficult for therapists to write in a way that isn’t overly clinical, plastic sounding, or mushy.
That’s also because many therapists seemed not to know where to start, what to include, what to edit out, or how to get their voice to come through.
Therapists would share that when they sat down to type, they’d get overwhelmed, discouraged, and even if they knew what they wanted to get across, it just wouldn’t come out right.
Add in some perfectionism, impostor syndrome, and self doubt – and the task of writing a website starts to feel more and more impossible.
I Started Picking Up Copywriting Skills To Help My Website Design Clients With The Challenge Of Writing Their Websites
Gaining the skills to be a copywriter for therapists has been a gradual process of learning, implementation, learning, implementation, learning, implementation.
And I was able to do that over many many websites over a number of years.
It started out as reviewing website copy for my therapist website design clients. Next I started editing. And finally I started writing.
I incorporated therapist website writing services into my website design projects. And it was through working closely with therapists that I made a key discovery.
The Key Discovery Was That Therapists Already Know What Needs To Go On Their Websites
With all the challenges that therapists were facing with getting their websites written, I also noticed that therapists already know everything that needs to go on their website.
The barrier they face isn’t with the amount of knowledge or skills they have as a therapist. Therapists are great listeners, have amazing and deep understanding of their clients, and can hold space for both the pain and desires their clients may want.
Therapist also have a great sense of the benefits of therapy. After all, they wouldn’t be therapists if they didn’t know how transformative therapy can be.
If therapists already know what needs to go on their websites, the question I started asking is: how can I guide them towards creating website copy using what they already know?
What if I could ask therapists the right questions and simply collect their answers? Could I ask them about who they help and how they help and turn it into website copy?
Maybe if I made the process easy they could get their voice to come through clearly, concisely and in a way that really speaks to their best fit clients.
I Created My First Website Copy Generator To Help Therapists Get Unstuck With Writing
I had seen similar concepts of “generators” for smaller bits of copy around the web. The basic idea was – fill out a form, push a button, and the output could be anything the programmer programmed it to be.
To create one for therapists, I programmed a simple form that asked a therapist a series of questions and drafted copy based on their input.
To help with answering the questions, I added examples. That way a therapist could read the example and get guided towards what rang true for them or their clients.
After answering the questions they would simply push the “generate” button and my programming would compile their input together into a draft of a website copy.
The very first versions of my website copy generators were offered for free on my website. I had one for a therapist website homepage and one for a therapist website about page. And they were a huge success.
There were so many shares, so much traffic, and so many pages of copy drafted. It was thrilling.
Even in these very first iterations of the generators, I had therapists emailing me to let me know of their successes: more inquiries from their websites, more best-fit clients, more confidence.
Since my very simple generators were working, I decided to see what would happen if I created more generators to help therapists create an entire website.
Empathycopy was born.
Empathycopy Is One Of My Most Life Fulfilling Projects Ever
The most fulfilling part of creating Empathycopy has been seeing therapists getting amazing results.
- Website copy that more accurately portrays them
- Language that demonstrates they know what they are talking about (without feeling salesy, jargony, or cheesy)
- Copy that helps their clients know they are in the right place, feel understood, and say, “I’m going to reach out because this is the therapist I’m looking for”
- Clear, simple copy that isn’t too long or wordy
And witnessing therapists getting these results with my help is beyond exciting.
Years ago I set out to help therapists because I love and respect them and the work they do. And even though I started out helping through website design and development, along the way, I saw an opportunity to help with writing website copy for therapists too.
I was able to expand the scope of services I provide to care for a real problem that therapists face and it’s been so fulfilling to be able to help.
Unexpected Results: Therapists Also Started Gaining Clarity & Confidence
I expected Empathycopy to help therapists get their websites written. I programmed it to capture the input of the therapist so that it reflects them, so that it flows in a natural way, so that it is simple and concise.
And I knew it would work because therapists already know the answers to the questions. I tested it out and saw the great results that therapists were getting.
But what I didn’t expect was the positive deeper benefits that would result as well.
It turns out that Empathycopy also helps therapists get more clear and confident too. After using Empathycopy:
- They know who they are
- They are clear on how they help
- They get the exact words to use to communicate about their service
- They feel like their website reflects them
And the entire process from start to finish increases their clarity and their confidence.
Imagine being able to look at your website copy and feel confident enough to hit the “go live” button. Or going from not wanting to read your website to fresh copy you can’t wait for people to read because it’s ultra effective at expressing who you are as a therapist and the kinds of work you do.
And This Clarity & Confidence Also Inspires Therapists To Get More Clients And Referrals
When a therapist has that type of confidence in their website, they get more clients because they are excited to get their services out there and get seen.
Many, many therapists have shared with me that they felt ashamed of their website prior to using Empathycopy. Maybe it was because it came across as very clinical or cold. Or perhaps it didn’t feel authentic. Or maybe because they didn’t know what to edit out so their copy was long and wordy.
Whatever the case may be, when a therapist is ashamed of their website it affects their marketing efforts. Aka: it affects their ability to get clients and referrals.
And I have some specific examples.
One therapist shared with me that they were so ashamed of their website, they stopped handing out business cards at networking events. They figured that if no one knew the website address, no one would visit and see their terrible website.
Another therapist said they removed the link to their website from their directory profiles to stop people from visiting.
If your website is a source of shame, it can really affect how you approach your marketing and the world.
But when a therapist is able to move from website-shame to website-confidence, instead of hiding, they start wanting their services to be seen and found.
Therapists get excited to get out there, they want to connect with people, and the result is they get more clients and referrals.
It brings me even more meaning to have helped therapists get confident and get out there and help. The world needs all the therapy we can get.
My Journey To Becoming A Copywriter For Therapists: I’m Glad I’m Here
What a wild journey life can be. From wanting to design websites, to becoming a copywriter for therapists that created a service that helps therapists get their websites written in the easiest way possible. It’s not where I ever would have thought I’d be but I’m thrilled to be here.
- Empathycopy first launched in 2017
- Since then, Empathycopy has helped hundreds of therapists get their websites written
- In 2020, I was able to improve upon my service and release a fully updated version of all generators
- In 2021, I launched the group level to help group practice owners get their websites written too
Best of all: I get to help therapists do the important work they do. I get emails with unsolicited positive feedback and testimonials weekly that fill my heart. Mission accomplished.
Thank you for witnessing my story and contributing to a better world.