It’s likely you became a therapist to help people in some way, whether to offer support through the process of improving mental health, addressing relationship difficulties, or adjusting to challenging life changes. But to help people, you need to be found: that’s where marketing meets your therapy practice.
During the process of marketing your practice, you may have discovered that written content is one of the most important elements of connecting with people searching for a mental health professional online. Whether you’re writing a bio for your profile in an online therapist directory or creating an “About Me” page on your professional website, you’ll want to make sure the information you include serves as a solid first impression for people seeking your services.
Below you’ll find tips for writing a good bio as well as a writing exercise to help you complete a first draft if you’re having trouble starting or if writing isn’t your forté. Remember, a good bio can be anywhere from 50 to upwards of 1,000 words, depending on the context. An ideal bio length for many GoodTherapy profiles or professional therapy websites, for example, might be around 500 to 600 words.
You’ll want to be succinct without omitting any important information. It’s always okay to start with a longer draft and then whittle it down into a solid bio.
Technical Aspects of Writing a Good Bio
Before you start the writing process, consider these guidelines. Once you understand the building blocks of a good bio and how to format it appropriately, you’ll be ready to begin.
- An engaging introduction, or "hook." The hook of your bio should be no more than two sentences and motivate your audience to keep reading.
- Grammatically polished. A good bio will be proofread and free of misspellings and other errors. If editing isn’t your strength, reach out to a colleague who can help. Errors will only erode any rapport you’re trying to build with your potential client.
- Easy on the eyes. Online searchers are not known for their attention spans. Keep your sentences to the point and your paragraphs relatively short. In some cases, a three- or even one-sentence paragraph is standard.
- A photo. A photograph isn’t technically involved in the writing aspect of your professional bio, but a picture is worth one thousand words. Get the most mileage out of those words by following these guidelines for a professional headshot.
- A call-to-action (CTA). Increase your chances of connecting with a potential client reading your bio by including a call-to-action, or CTA, at the end. The CTA should invite readers to contact you to learn more about your services or schedule an appointment with you. This is most likely why you’re writing a bio in the first place, so don’t forget to include a strong CTA!
Bio Writing Exercise: Answer These Questions
It’s easy to feel stumped when it comes to writing a bio about yourself from scratch. If you’ve been staring at a blank screen for too long or can’t seem to find the right words, start by writing answers to any or all of the following questions. Then, take your answers and use them to craft a standout bio.
- How long have you been practicing?
- What education do you have?
- What certifications do you have?
- Do you have any areas of specialization, and what are they?
- How does your personality influence your approach to therapy?
- What issues do you have experience treating?
- Describe issues you work with in therapy and your approach to helping with those issues. (For example, “My approach to treating anxiety is typically x, y, and z.”)
- What therapeutic methods, approaches, or philosophies do you use/have experience using?
- Are there any recurring themes or issues you’ve noticed as you treat people in your area of specialization, and how has this insight guided your approach to helping?
- What do you view as a key component of the therapeutic alliance/relationship?
- How do your life philosophy and treatment philosophy overlap?
- What’s the most profound, insightful, or interesting thing you’ve learned as a mental health professional?
- Which beliefs play a large role in your life?
- Which roles do you play in your own life?
- Why did you choose to become a mental health professional?
- What do you love most about being a mental health professional?
Use Your Bio to Connect with Your Reader
One final tip for writing good profile content is to address the reader’s needs in the second person (“you” language) versus speaking to the reader about yourself in the first person (“I” language).
For example, instead of writing, “I work with people who often struggle with feelings of anxiety and loneliness,” you might start out with something like this: “Do you often feel weighed down by feelings of anxiety?” or, “If you find it difficult to make friends and experience loneliness regularly as a result, come talk to me. Together, we will work on strategies that allow you to address the root causes of your difficulties and build meaningful social connections.”
Addressing the reader (and potential client) directly can help them feel a more genuine connection with you from the beginning. Your professional bio is an opportunity to start building rapport early, so take advantage of it.
Writing a professional bio is a truly effective way to get found online, communicate which services you provide, and start building an authentic connection with individuals seeking your services. If you’re a GoodTherapy Member and need additional help crafting your profile text, our team is happy to help! Reach out to our customer support team at 1-888-563-2112 ext. 2 or click here.
If you don’t yet have a professional website, you could be missing referral opportunities. Find out how you can quickly create a beautiful and easy-to-use website for your therapy practice with TherapyWebsiteBuilder.
Kistler, P. (2018, October 1). 11 tips on how to write a personal biography + examples. Retrieved from https://brandyourself.com/blog/how-tos/8-tips-on-how-to-write-a-personal-biography