I get it. When you’re a brand new therapist and you’re trying to think of copy for your new website, you feel stuck. You don’t know what to write. You think that you’re not a good writer. That someone else can write it better than you. I know I felt that way when I first started, too. And I still feel that way today, but I challenge those thoughts and write my own copy anyway.
When creating my first website I did look at other therapist sites to get inspiration for my own. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you need to ENSURE that you are using other therapist’s sites as inspiration ONLY. Don’t be tempted to copy and paste, even though you are telling yourself that you will ‘clean up’ and ‘edit’ the copy later. This only sets you up for plagiarism.
In Your Own Words
I’m here to tell you that your website needs to be in your own words. Or at least in your expert copywriter’s words. A copywriter that you have consulted with and that understands you, your practice, and your ideal clients. A copywriter that doesn’t just copy and paste text from the inspirational websites that you provided them.
There are many reasons that your website copy needs to be written in your own words, but the top two are:
-It allows your potential clients to get to know you – the real you. Write your copy how you talk in session. You’re a therapist. You know how to be kind, compassionate, and empathetic. Write like that. You know the struggles of your clients. Write about that. You know how you can help. Write about that. You don’t want your clients to be shocked after their first session with you because you sounded nothing like the therapist they “met” on your website.
-If it’s not in your own words, then it’s in someone else’s words, and that’s likely plagiarism (unless you are hiring a legitimate copywriter). This one speaks for itself.
Know that, with time, you will find your own voice. The voice that will speak to your ideal clients. But, until you are clear, don’t use other people’s words. I know it can be intimidating to write copy for your first website. It’s scary to put yourself out there. I’ve updated the copy on my website several times over the years as I have came into my own as a therapist and further developed my voice. You will get there too.
My advice: sit down to write, put in the effort, and be yourself.
It’s Not Flattery
Applying Oscar Wilde’s quote, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” completely misses the mark in the situation of plagiarism and copyright infringement, and discounts the hard work and effort that the original content creator put in to their personal and unique message to their clients.
It’s not just a sentence (or a complete paragraph) that you stole. It took thought, years of experience, a deep knowledge of my ideal clients to craft that exact sentence (or paragraph), and you take 2 seconds to copy and paste it onto your website and pass it off as your own.
I’m not going to share many specifics about my experience of having my content plagiarized, but I do want to address something that is quite unnerving. Recently, there has been a wave of copyright infringement instances in the therapist community.
As I reached out about my case, I was told that the infringement was at the hands of an unnamed copywriter/webmaster. And when I inquired further about this person or company there was silence. I only asked for the contact information of the person responsible so that I could address the situation with them directly. No response.
Many other victims of copyright infringement that I have spoken with have been met with the same response: that an unnamed copywriter or webmaster is responsible. And when the contact information is requested there is radio silence.
Want to see if you’ve been plagiarized? Visit Copyscape Plagarism Checker. You can get a certain number of free searches per month.
Remember, don’t be a copycat!
I Want You To Be Successful In Private Practice!
Happy Climbing, Cindy