It is a well-known phenomenon that pregnant women “nest.” Many women become fixated on preparing their space before the baby comes.
Having worked with new moms for over a decade, nesting usually plays out as decorating the nursery in the weeks before the baby comes or fanatical cleaning just hours before labor hits. A couple of times, I’ve visited houses that were practically obliterated because “extreme nesting” hit at the beginning of the 2nd trimester when it was decided that the house was completely inadequate for having a baby. How could they possibly bring a child into this world without an open concept kitchen?
For me, nesting happened even earlier. I was only 6 or 7 years old — I would pour over the Sears Catalog baby section, making lists of the hundreds of things I would need for taking care of a baby, right down to the knobby-railed Jenny Lind crib with the walnut stain — definitely NOT the oak stain.
I did this for years. If you had asked me, I would have told you I hadn’t even thought of being a mom. But every season when the catalog would come, I’d be back at it.
(And I did buy that crib right out of the window of a used furniture store in Auburn, Indiana. I Googled it just now, too. Wow, that’s a LOT of safety recalls. Yet somehow that baby is 21-years-old and a strapping 6 foot 2).
Nesting becomes Nurturing
It wasn’t until I had that tiny baby in my arms and could nuzzle his fuzzy little head that THE THINGS became less significant and took their rightful place as tools.
But until I held that baby, gathering those tools was how I nested. My poor student-husband was so chagrined. He’d encourage me to check out Goodwill for baby stuff to save money only to be met with rage and tears — because Goodwill did not fit into my carefully orchestrated plans.
After all, I’d been thinking about what my baby would need way before I even considered who would be the father.
At least I didn’t grow up coveting the things in the Pottery Barn catalog (Then he really would’ve been screwed). Besides, I WORKED at Sears while he was in school. Employee discount, baby!
For most things, I’m a “take life one day at a time” type of gal. But when it comes to how I care for people, I want to be as prepared as I can be so that I can do as much as I can.
That applies to how I care for my clients, too.
The Difference Between a Copywriter and a Web Strategist
Simply put, a web strategist is more about the nurturing — we come along for the ride.
I help you prepare your nest for your clients by writing engaging content. But then I go a step further and make sure that engaging content ends up where it should be — on your web page, in your social media feed, or in a convincing white paper. And then, through SEO, advertising, email lists, or other approaches, I help people find you.
I don’t just leave you to “cry it out.” I give you the whole package.
A brief introduction to copy or content
Content and copy basically mean the same thing and the terms can be used interchangeably. They both refer to the writing part of anything a business puts out for communication, including, but not limited to:
- internal communication – memos, training programs, conference materials, information on your health insurance, etc.
- business to consumer (B2C) – websites, email lists, brochures, landing pages, advertising.
- business to business (B2B) – when your business exists to support other businesses, the material that you send to them (all the stuff under B2C but also white papers, case studies, reports, PowerPoints, etc.)
So a copywriter and content writer are the same thing?
That depends on who you ask. Some writers say that all content is copy and all copy is content. Others say that copy has the specific purpose of leading to a sale. So sometimes a writer chooses to call themselves a copywriter because they are maneuvering for a sale.
But in the end, all content or copy is supposed to inform and build trust to draw clients.
But some writers consider “content writing” to be a less direct, more nurturing route.
Why would I need a copywriter? I can write things.
After training in this area and continual studying, I can tell you that the adage “you don’t know what you don’t know” proves true. A couple of years ago, I would’ve believed the same thing, had I even bothered to give it a moment’s thought.
Copywriting has a different approach, structure, and style than other forms of writing. The research and preparation are different. Good copywriting has intricacies that the average person doesn’t notice. Just like poetry, technical writing, and short stories require unique writing skills that need to be sharpened, so does copywriting.
A content writer or copywriter is a skilled artisan. An artisan creates something stunning, yet functional — a quilt, a pot, a well-honed knife. It does the job — beautifully. An artisanal creation is worth the investment.
Remember, You’re in the Business of Caring
Individual entrepreneurs such as therapists make the mistake of ignoring the fact that they are “in business,” including setting their marketing budget way too low (because marketing is icky. It doesn’t have to be — good marketing is simply helping people find you).
Most business people struggle when they are starting out, but most successful entrepreneurs muddle out of their “struggle phase” by putting 10% of their income goal into their marketing efforts on a consistent basis, and those that devoted 20-30% often have reported faster results. Mental health professionals should do this too, but in a specific way that nurtures prospective clients in the process.
Even 5% would make a difference. Consider it nesting.
- A quality website that accurately portrays who you are, what your strengths are, and how you will serve your clients. This is like having a beautiful and well-equipped nursery.
- Making sure that you have solid content is like having that whole layette stocked, right down to the burp cloths and cozy warm footie pajamas.
- A social media and advertising strategy that points to that website is a good parenting book. It points the way forward. When people need answers, they find you.
Most successful entrepreneurs muddled out of their “struggle phase” by putting 10% of their income goal into marketing efforts on a consistent basis.
But while I spend a lot of my time writing copy, “web strategist” describes more of what I do.
A couple of years ago, I wanted to be a “simple” virtual assistant — typing documents, scheduling, creating newsletters. At the end of the day, I could close my computer and be done. A virtual assistant is like a childbirth instructor: a finite set of tools, no calls coming in the middle of the night.
But the clients who found me wanted a doula. I was always asked, “Do you do websites?” “What about Facebook ads?” “What’s SEO?” My clients didn’t want someone who would accomplish a task and then walk away. They needed a guide through the whole process.
So I plunged into courses in web design and digital marketing. I studied the ins and outs of the business side of running a practice because you need to focus on nurturing. I am continually honing my skills and learning more.
Because I have a Master’s degree in counseling, I know that you aren’t taught these things in grad school. And it’s really hard to learn how to create a good web strategy when you need to focus on your clients and getting paid.
A Nurturing Approach
However, I also know that the generic template website that so many counselors throw on the internet doesn’t cut it. They don’t convey who you are why a visitor should choose YOU to help them through their crisis. The website is where you start that nurturing relationship. You go through so much work to do what you do — a template website is like bringing baby home in a used car seat. And that’s a no-no.
And just throwing an ad on Psychology Today and waiting for clients to come doesn’t help, either. It’s very difficult to stand out as the perfect choice in a field of hundreds, especially if all it says is that you are a jack of all trades, master of none.
Let me help you set up what you need so the people who need you hear: “I care. I’m capable. I’m ready for you.” That’s nurturing.
Strategy: It’s a Necessary Part of Nurturing
Just like a new mom and dad figure out who is going to wake up with the baby and who is on diaper duty, starting out takes work. We’ll figure out those systems so that you can handle all that is before you.
With your web strategy in place, there might be other things you want to do. Webinars, ebooks, courses, workshops. Who knows? A web strategist can help with those things, too.
I’m not going to sell you a fancy Pottery Barn product — as nice as it is — if Sears will meet your needs (or lets at least update to IKEA or Target). I’ll make sure you have what you need.
Do you want to revisit your approach and see what we can do? Contact me here for a free, no obligation website audit.