By Sean Armstrong –
Yes, the title of this post is a little provocative. It’s designed to be… for a good reason we’ll get to in just a minute! 😉
In case you missed it, a week or so before Thanksgiving, Charlie Sheen announced that he’s HIV positive.
Now, this isn’t typically the type of story we’d cover at the Therapy Marketing Institute… However, Sheen’s announcement has come up more than a few times in my conversations with clients over the past couple of weeks.
Well, if you’re regularly writing articles, blog posts, or looking for content to post on one or more social media sites, you know how difficult it can be to come up with new ideas week-in and week-out, month-in and month-out, year after year.
While it can take a commitment to stay timely in your niche, if you can pull it off, timely information is one of the most effective types of blog and social media content you can create.
So, you want to be routinely looking for issues that affect your audience and then creating content about them on your blog and social media pages while they are still timely and relevant.
You don’t need to “break” the story. But, for best results, be sure to add a perspective that your audience will find valuable or entertaining.
Fortunately, these types of articles and posts don’t need to be long. You can probably write a brief 300- to 500-word blog post about a timely event in an hour or so.
And, by writing your own thoughts and adding a perspective your audience appreciates and values to a news story or event, you’ll be able to link to YOUR website or blog and send your audience on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to YOUR site to get the story, as opposed to linking to and sending your audience to someone else’s website.
This is how you grow your audience, reach and help more people, and grow your psychotherapy practice using timely news and events!
Which brings us back to Charlie Sheen and Santa Claus…
I’ve discussed Charlie Sheen’s announcement with more than a few clients as being a perfect example of how a current news item can be used to write a quick blog post.
If the focus of your practice is on helping people with compulsive or addictive behaviors, you could write a short article or post about how diagnoses such as Sheen’s can lead to “the personal disbelief, karmic confusion, shame and anger” that led Sheen “to a temporary yet abysmal descent into profound substance abuse and fathomless drinking.” As Sheen himself said, the diagnosis put him on “a suicide run.“
This same type of post could also be tailored to an audience who is struggling with chronic pain or terminal diagnoses.
If your practice is focused on helping people overcome sexual compulsivity or sex addiction, you could briefly discuss how Sheen’s diagnosis led him to “dazedly choose (or hire) the companionship of unsavory and insipid types.”
Regardless of how you “spin” the story, I’d recommend highlighting how Sheen has come to “accept this condition not as a curse or scourge, but rather as an opportunity and a challenge. An opportunity to help others. A challenge to better [himself].“
And, of course, you can talk about how professional counseling and psychotherapy can help people struggling with these same issues do just that!
See how easy this can be?
What about Santa Claus?!?
Well, Christmas is a perfect example of a “timely” event that occurs each and every year. It may not be a “breaking” story like Charlie Sheen’s announcement… But, the good news is, this means you can plan ahead.
You can quickly and easily write a blog post on any number of holiday-related topics, such as:
- Successfully coping with the stress of the holidays;
- Moving beyond the grief and loss of a loved one during this time of year;
- Handling difficult family members at holiday gatherings;
- The importance of being mindful and spending time with those you love as opposed to focusing on the giving of gifts; or, even
- How to respond to a younger child’s growing suspicions that Santa Claus doesn’t really exist!
The list of “holiday-themed” topics you can use for your blog and social media posts is practically limitless.
And, you don’t have to limit yourself to news stories about people or the holidays. There’s Mental Illness Awareness Week. There’s that attachment conference you attend each year. In fact, there’s almost always some news story or event that you can use to reach out to more people and grow your psychotherapy practice.
So, start putting these ideas to work for you…
And be sure to combine timely, relevant, and helpful information such as these examples with powerful, compelling headlines that grab your readers’ attention and make them want to read your content.
See, I told you there was a reason for the provocative headline. 😉
Yes, Charlie Sheen and Santa Claus CAN help you reach and help more people and grow your psychotherapy practice!
Remember, when you feel stuck for content ideas, look for timely issues that affect your audience. Then create content around those issues on your blog and social media pages while those issues are still relevant to your audience. If you do so, you’ll never be at a loss for content ideas again.
Have you written any content around timely news and events? If so, on what? Have you found one type of news story works better than others for your market? Let us know your questions and comments below… We look forward to hearing from you!