Who are you?Posted: October 31, 2012
While I was fiddling with something blog related on my laptop, my son asked me “Who is your audience?” I paused, I hadn’t thought about this in a while and answered “I don’t know.”
Who are you people that read these words? these sometimes silly, sometimes helpful and sometimes thoughtful or profound words?
When I started this blog, it was for marketing purposes. I linked it to my website and hoped that a potential client might read a post and think “I like what she has to say, I think we would be a good fit.” I try to give the client a sense of what a therapy session with me would feel like; my approach, my style and my humor. I want a client to feel safe and supported and I hope that I convey that through my blog posts.
Linking my posts to both my professional and personal Facebook pages gave me some more exposure. Unbeknownst to me, people other than my mom and my friend, Shaniqua (pseudonym for confidentiality purposes), have been reading the posts. A friend from college reached out after one of my earlier posts and commented about how much she enjoyed reading the blog. She asked how she could be notified when a new post was written and not risk missing it on Facebook. I played around with the blog settings so that she would receive email notifications each time a new post was published (I am so technologically challenged that simply knowing the word “settings” gives me a little thrill, the fact that I can actually adjust them has got me believing that I am a full on techie genius). My audience had thus became my mom, Shaniqua and my college friend.
Slowly, more feedback from various friends on my Facebook page began filtering back my way. I was thrilled to learn that people were not only reading the posts, but relating to them as well. Neighbors, moms from my daughter’s school, acquaintances from the community would let me know that something I had said was helpful, or that they could relate to whatever parenting calamity I was ranting about in a given post. I was recently at a networking meeting of one of my therapist groups. About ten women gathered at Einstein Bagel in Fairfax to network and discuss therapy related topics. During the meeting, a colleague introduced me and said, “Have you read her blog? It’s great”. I later got a call from one of the women from that meeting asking advice from someone who “excels in social media”. Once I clarified that she had, in fact, intended to call me, I told her I was honored to help in whatever way I could (high-fiving myself about my new techie genius status).
I also started sharing blog posts on a professional group’s Facebook page. This page is viewed by therapists all around the Metro DC area; we exchange referrals, post articles of interest, and discuss topics pertaining to our clinical work . My hope is that my colleagues can get a sense of my work via my blog and will feel comfortable referring clients to me that they see as a good fit for my practice.
I have a little secret: I am finding that I enjoy this writing. I sit for hours seeking the right word or trying to make a sentence be meaningful. It is only when I realize that a child for whom I am legally responsible might need some dinner that I pull myself away from the keyboard and return to manic mom. As I write, I am able to carefully put words to what has become automatic in my therapeutic work. I retell a story about educating a parent on how to set firm limits with his angry teen or I disclose how I replace strength and esteem back into a woman whose spirit has been beaten down. This process is showing me how far I have come in this work; how my skills have improved and matured and how I continue to develop as a therapist. My growth as a clinician enables me to nurture and heal my clients, heal them to grow into the people that they aspire to be.
To answer my son’s question I have realized that my audience is wide and varied. My audience consists of friends, family (mom, at least), clients, colleagues and, honestly, ME, a lot of this is just for ME.