How to Make a Website? Starting a Practice | PoP 263

How to make a website

In this episode, Joe Sanok speaks about how to make a website when starting a private practice.

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In This Podcast


If you are in private practice and are under the $60 000 mark, this podcast series is for you! Joe is going back to the basics and running through the various phases involved in setting up a practice that is going to thrive! In this episode, Joe speaks about how to make a website.

Why Have a Website?

There are various ways that people will find your private practice:

  • Word of mouth
  • Google search
  • Facebook search

Therefore, having a website is extremely important. It’s also important that your website looks great because people will judge the quality of your therapy based on the quality of your website.

The Basics of Websites

  • Hosting – the foundation, where all your information is stored, the backend of your website, i.e.: Bluehost
  • Design – for example, WordPress. You can choose a theme and then include your content / images ( Try to find images that are local. Show the outcome of therapy as opposed to the reason for therapy.

What’s Involved in Setting up a Website

  • Budget
  • Time
    • The more you’re paying someone else to set up / maintain your website, the less time you’ll have to spend on it
  • Customization

Website Mistakes

  • No visible phone number
  • No CTA (call to action) to book an appointment that stands out
  • Therapy websites look more like a funeral home than a counseling practice – services are not clearly outlined

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.




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Podcast Transcription

File: PoP-263: How to Make a Website Starting a Practice
Duration: 0:14:20:25


Joe Sanok: This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session #263.

[MUSIC] [INTRODUCTION] Joe Sanok: I am Joe Sanok, your host. Welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. We are all about innovative ideas on how to start, grow, and scale a private practice., We are so glad you are here. If you are new to us, welcome. You are in the right place. We have been doing a series. We are probably seven or so in this month and this has been all about how to start a practice and I realize that I really didn’t have as much of a tutorial that I have done lately on kind of start to finish, the basic core things that you need to do to start a practice. And if you are starting a practice, we are so glad you are here. We are so glad so you are listening to this series. If you want the email course that goes along with this, it’s totally free. Head on over to the If you are confused, overwhelmed, unsure what to do next, you just want to stay organized. If you want to launch faster, this course is for you, especially if next year you really want to start and grow a practice, this is going to be your guide for that. What you’re going to get is first you are going to get a free 28-step checklist all about exactly what you need to be doing step by step as you start this practice. You are also going to then get a 5-minute video to quickly assess private practices in your town, know what look for, know if there is low-hanging fruit. Just so many key things. Simple things like how many reviews do people have when they pop up on that little Google Map. You know if people have one or two, you can start getting on that Google Map so much faster than you can get to number one on page one of your town. So if someone googles Traverse city counseling, it may take me a while to get to number one for that, but if I go to google my business and enter my business in and drop the pen for my business and then have a bunch of colleagues do reviews on me, I am going to probably show up right away at the top of everybody’s search. Super easy thing. But 99 percent of practices don’t do it. They have zero reviews. They have one or two reviews. They don’t intentionally go after reviews.

So today we are actually talking all about websites, how to use a website to get new clients and attract those new clients, especially where private pay counseling clients. You need to have a website, if you want to attract private pay clients. And we are going to just kind of keep plugging along. I can’t wait to share with you a bunch of different things today, but sign up for that email list. Also, what are you going to get is you are going to get paste out emails that walk you through those three phases. You are going to get 13 emails in a row that go through the set up phase of just kind of getting the infrastructure built the attracting client’s phase and then the systems to grow phase. And so you want to really make sure that you are on that. So that’s So, websites – let’s talk websites today. I have done a bunch on websites in the past, actually have a great tutorial over at Practice of the Practice where it’s got a full video showing you exactly how to build your own website. It’s called how to make a website. Now, I actually have that in the show notes for today’s show over at You will see that in the most recent blog post. So we’ll have a video as well.

[WHY HAVE A WEBSITE?] And websites are really important. Let’s talk about why it’s important. People really decide on who they are going to see in a private practice in one of two ways. One way is through blessing. So a friend kind of says, boy, Joe is a really good counselor. I saw him. You got to go see him. Or a doctor says, go see Amanda. Amanda is a killer. She is incredible. Or you know one insurance company even says, you know, [00:04:16.17] it’s on our list. And so someone that has authority or influence on somebody’s life says, go see this person. And that’s why next time, when we talk about networking, we are going to talk about strategically networking and how to do that. So the natural word of mouth or through businesses happens or people do a Google search or a Facebook search and they look around and they see who they connect with. And they look at who really can help them out. And so a website in particular is essential for that side of the equation and a good looking website because people make assumptions on your quality of service based on your quality of website. And since I started doing the Practice of the Practice Podcast and the blog, back in 2012, to see over this past 5 years how that shifted has been amazing to see. So many better websites that [00:05:13.03] me. Websites are much better. There we go… [00:05:17.12] English major turned therapist… The websites are much better than they used to be, where are they doing some essential things.

[THE BASICS OF WEBSITES] Let’s talk about the basics of a website. We are going to then talk about kind of three different things to consider in regards to how to make your website. And then also want to kind of cover a couple things that I see people screw up all the time on websites.

So some of the basics. Hosting. What is hosting. So hosting is like the base of, let’s use a house as the metaphor for a website. It’s sort of like the foundation. It’s where all your information is stored. It’s where basically the back end of your website is. So hosting, if you are going to set it up yourself, I recommend Bluehost, and you can go over to That’s my affiliate link for Bluehost and get hosting. That’s also going to give you your URL. And so you are www dot [00:06:13.25] like your address of your house.

Next, you’re going to want to look at kind of the design. So you get your house built, you get the website built through WordPress which I recommend because there’s a lot of functionality there. Another popular one with people, Squarespace. I am not going to talk down about Squarespace. They are beautiful websites. That’s not my specialty area, is Squarespace. Really, Squarespace, WordPress, they are both going to give you really good websites. Within WordPress, you will have to pick a theme. A theme is sort of like the skin or the structure of your website. So how you wanted to look. What I like about WordPress is that over time what you can do is you can change that theme and they will change the whole look of your website without changing the content. So then after you pick up your theme, then things are looking pretty. You want to add some pictures to it. I have recommended using It’s free. The pictures are free there. A big thing that I see people do wrong is they live in the middle of Iowa where there is like no mountains and on their website they have some dude on the top of a mountain with his hands in the air. You want pictures that are somewhat local. And so I live on the water here in Northern Michigan. So on Mental Wellness Counseling’s website we have a couple holding hands, running into the water. That water probably is a beach in San Francisco, but there is no identifying features that show that show that it’s a beach in San Francisco. It’s just a couple running into the water. It doesn’t like the ocean. Just look like, you know, a nice day in Traverse City. So you want them to feel location specific. Also, you want to show the outcome of therapy. Not the reason people come to therapy. So if you work with fighting couples, you don’t want to have two couples with their backs to each other. I have seen that picture, that stock photo a million times. That pissed off couple. People know they are pissed off of their spouse. They want to have a sense of hope that you actually can help them on the other side. So you want to sketch out what’s the dream, what’s the outcome of therapy, what’s going to happen as a result of working with you, not why are you coming here. Because it’s why you are coming here, people already know that. They know they are pissed at their spouse. And you want to show that outcome. So with which you are welcome to go look at, we have taken kind of an Instagram look, so that it feels like okay, we are kind of this [00:08:38.18] counseling practice. We are sort of counseling for the next generation. We are cutting edge. All of that comes through in our images and our style and the way that we’ve really presented our branding through our website.

[WHAT IS INVOLVED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE?] So now you know kind of the basics of how to make a website, there’s a few things you want to think about in regards to when you do your website. So first is going to be your budget. Second is the time – how much time do you want to put into creating your website versus having someone else. And then customization. How much custom do you want your website to be. So budget wise, there is lots of options and if you sign up for that free email series,, the email on websites is going to walk you through all your different options. Budget wise, super cheap, if you do it yourself. That’s going to be anywhere from $5 to $10 a month and that’s going to be mostly your Bluehost hosting. And then you’re learning how to install a theme which I have a video on how to do and that how to make a website with video walkthrough, blog post [00:09:42.27] Practice of the Practice. Also, the next kind of level up is going to be something like Brighter Vision. Brighter Vision has been a sponsor forever here on the Practice of the Practice Podcast killer websites for $59. You can check them out at Kind of the next level up in regards to budget is going to be having someone start to create more of a custom website and so that’s where it’s going to be a little bit more expensive but someone like John Clarke over at unconditional media. Makes beautiful websites. Let him know I sent you over there. They are going to be kind of just right on that $1000 range, little bit more depending on what all you want in there. And then really if you want hyper customized, then you are going to want to go to someone like Jamie Jay from Slapshot Studio. Again, let him know I sent you out, he will give you a discount or something like that. And so if you are just starting out, you usually want to keep your cost pretty low. And so you going to want your website to be a $1000 or less or do one of the monthly websites and then later you can upgrade your website.

Also time wise, obviously the more that you are paying somebody else, the less time it’s going to take for you. And so, that’s going to be a side of it whereas you bootstrap into your own website, that’s going to take up a lot more time. So when you walk through kind of each of the steps, it’s going to help you in regards to your customization, your time and your budget.

[WEBSITE MISTAKES] Let’s talk about what people screw up on their website. Often times, what people screw up on their website is one, they don’t have their phone number at the top of every page. You want in your header, like up in the upper left where your logo is, the name of your practice, you want to have your phone number. People are on there to schedule counseling appointment. Make that super easy. They shouldn’t have to hunt for your phone number. They shouldn’t have to scroll to the bottom in micro tiny print. Make your phone number font as big as the font with the name of your practice. That’s like a no-brainer and should be always there. Also, in the upper right corner, we want to have a schedule and intake or schedule your first session or call us or contact us or some sort of call to action in the upper right corner that’s a different color. Different colors [00:12:00.02] pops. People naturally look to the upper right for I want to do something, I want a call to action. So they do that. Third big problem I see with websites is that it’s more like a funeral home website and it is unambiguous and it’s not clear as to who you serve. And so I’ll say something like are you hurting. There is hope for your family. Things can be better. Well, if they could just as easily be a funeral home website as it could be a counseling website, then you’ve done something wrong. You know, one thing that you can do is to show the website screenshot without your URL above the folds without scrolling down, put on Facebook and do a guess what kind of business this is. And if people can’t say it’s a therapy business that helps kids and families, it’s a counseling business that helps couples, it’s a occupational therapy business that helps people that need home assessments. If people can determine that without scrolling or clicking, then you have done something wrong.

[CONCLUSION AND LINKS] All right. That’s websites in a nutshell. Next, we are going to be talking about networking to attract your best clients to your practice. We are going to be talking about private pay coming up. We are going to be talking about what to charge. So stay tuned. We are rocking out how to start a practice this month. Again, head on over to and you can opt in to get that 28-step checklist, five minute video and paced out emails for action. Again, this is Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. Talk to you soon.


Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for Intermusic, and this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It’s given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guest are rendering any legal, accounting, clinical or other information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

[MUSIC] [END OF PODCAST 00:14:20.16]

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