Hello, my name's Lindsay, and I'm a new SEO evangelist.
I'm a financial therapist who helps people get their minds and money in balance using shame-free financial psychology.
As a social worker with a unique and relatively unknown niche, I knew I needed to get online to get the word out about what financial therapy is. What made my niche tricky was folks weren't searching for "financial therapy," nor did they know that they even needed it or could be helped by it. Given my unique niche, I did what many private practice owners did to educate myself about marketing.
I listened to therapist podcasts, attended a bunch of bait-and-switch webinars and masterclasses, downloaded all the freebies to try and cobble together my online presence.
I joined Instagram in late 2018 and grew my audience to over 8k organically in under three years. I have over 60 episodes of a podcast ranked in the top 3% of podcasts globally. I wrote a traditionally published book, The Financial Anxiety Solution, that has sold over 1,000 copies. I have almost 500 YouTube subscribers. I've been a guest on over 50 aligned podcasts. My email list is hovering around 1,500 strong as I type.
I'm confident that if all of those things went away, my business would be ok as long as I could keep my financial therapy website's SEO going.
I reached out to Kristie of TherapieSEO in the winter of 2021. I told her what I imagine a lot of "successful" private practice owners told her. "Kristie, I love my practice, but I'm spending so much time and energy on marketing that I'm starting to burn out. How can I make my content work for me?"
Kristie listened to me and helped me create a strategic plan to make my content work harder for me. I'm comfortable writing (and enjoy it, too!), tracking my metrics, and optimizing my financial therapy website for SEO. With an SEO-optimized outline for all of my blog posts, a keyword bank, and an understanding of tweaking my writing style, I was able to write financial therapy blog posts that helped folks from across the globe discover me.
Much like investing, SEO is the long game. With investing, when you put money into the stock market, you are hoping it gains interest over time, but you don't expect to earn interest right away. The same goes for SEO. A blog I wrote in February 2021 picked up steam in May of 2021. A different blog written around the same time picked up traction a bit later in July 2021. But unlike social media, where a post might last 24 hours if you are lucky, SEO keeps your content alive for the long haul.
My SEO was doing so much heavy lifting that when I took a month off of Instagram, my financial therapy website traffic grew, and aligned clients reached out to work with me. Without me worrying about posting at a specific time, being on an app for 30-60 minutes after a post to "engage" with others, or wondering if I'd used hashtags that would get me shadowbanned. With SEO, my marketing plan became streamlined and simple. Two words anyone dancing and pointing on social media apps will tell you is NOT the case.
The key is to write keyword-rich posts tailored to your target audience consistently. (And don't panic, "consistently" doesn't mean 3-5x a week, it means 1-2x a month).
I believe SEO worked so well for me and my practice because people aren't searching for "financial therapy" on google. Nor are they going to Instagram or Tik Tok and scrolling #fintherapist. They don't know they need financial therapy because they don't know it exists. Instead, they are turning to google and searching for real-life stressors. Things like "financial shame," "lifestyle creep," and "how to change my relationship with money."
I have a consulting arm of my practice where I help other private practice therapists rewrite their money stories to charge sustainable rates and grow their practice in alignment with their energy and values. While entrepreneurial therapists might be searching #PrivatePracticeSuccess on Instagram, I've learned they, too, turn to google for help. They search for things like "how many clients should I see each week?" "How to set a fee in private practice?" and "sample therapist schedules."
SEO has made reaching and helping my target audience easier. I believe SEO has made my services financially accessible. While I don't offer a sliding scale or pro bono services in my therapy or consulting practice, I offer lots of helpful, rich, content at no cost through my blog and podcast. SEO, to me, is a pillar of financial accessibility. The private practice therapists I coach and consult often express worries about financial accessibility. In the past, I've been able to help them reframe their accessibility by thinking about the populations they serve. For example, BIPOC, queer, and non-Christian therapists have the advantage of helping marginalized communities be validated in their experiences. Disabled therapists who practice teletherapy offer accessible therapy for clients in the comfort of their homes. Therapists who provide group services can serve more clients at once, with a lower price tag for group participants. Now I can confidently state to my therapist clients that SEO is another measure of financial accessibility.
Therapists have all the skills to write for SEO and make SEO work for them. It involves a little bit of research, following a structure, and creating a plan. Good content is content that helps your ideal clients feel seen, heard, and validated. If you are overwhelmed with developing an SEO strategy, I couldn't recommend Kristie enough!