Therapy Marketing Solutions  Podcast

Therapy Marketing Solutions

Listen to Therapy Marketing Solutions Podcasts

Therapy Marketing Solutions Podcast

On this podcast, our host Heather Jensen, owner of Therapy Marketing Solutions, brings real-world applications on how to market your practice, diffuses the mystical power behind marketing, and meets with everyday clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving businesses. 

Meet our Podcaster

Heather Jensen

Mother, Wife, Advocate, StoryBrand Certified Brand, Marketing Guru, & Podcaster

About Me

As a mom with kids who have struggled with speech and one with Autism, ADHD, and anxiety taking kids to therapy has been a part of my life in one way or another for the past 18 years.

These opportunities have taught me a great deal about therapy-based clinics and endeared me to the hardworking professionals that own them.

Combining these experiences with a Bachelor's Degree in Web Design and Development, a certification as a StoryBrand Certified Guide, and many years helping small business owners build successful businesses has given me unique insights to help therapy-based clinics.

This ultimately fueled my passion to open Therapy Marketing Solutions, a marketing agency that helps clinic owners build thriving, vibrant practices.

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Therapy Marketing Solutions Podcast Transcripts

Episode 28: Jessica Myers-Adams

Heather: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, this is Heather, and you're listening to the Therapy Marketing Solutions podcast, where we are going to take the mystery out of marketing, and we're going to meet therapy clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving practices. You don't have to figure this all out on your own, because when we all work together, we're able to build something amazing and in the end, serve clients better. So let's get started. Welcome everyone to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. I am so excited to have you guys here today. We have a very special guest, Jessica Myers-Adams. She is a licensed social worker and she owns Emergent Relationship Center and therapist to coach. Welcome, Jessica. Hey, Heather. Um, so I'm excited for this conversation today because we're going to kind of dig into Jessica's story. And, you know, often we learn through other people's experiences, right? We see what they did and we thought, oh, that's kind of cool. I could do that, or I could do something similar to that. And so when Jessica and I kind of connected this, we had this conversation that turned into I was like, you know what? Let's just share this on the podcast. I think that this could be valuable for maybe someone else who is looking for, you know, to branch out to either add coaching on top of their therapy or to or to just make the transition straight to coach. Um, so, Jessica, I want you to start off by just telling us a little bit about you and your business.

Jessica: [00:01:47] Yeah, sure. Heather, thanks for that. You know, when you were talking, I was thinking, yeah, this is a this is a way that therapists can really level up and they don't have to go completely into coaching. They don't have to transition. Now that's my experience. I found coaching and found it so valuable that I completely transitioned in. My website is now just coaching versus the therapy. But, you know, I think what's important to to tell us, probably some of your listeners too, is the way that I started out was waiting for clients to come and needing your service, as you know, needing the marketing, because I remember sitting in my office just wondering when the next client was going to call with my calendar out, counting how many sessions I had scheduled for the week, and what got me out of that jam anyway was to hire a coach. I got a mentor, I did a mastermind and went to private practice completely. So I think that's the first, you know, one of the first ways the pathways to leverage time is to make more money as a, as a therapist, private pay versus, you know, being on insurance panels. So that was the first thing that I did. Right. But what I found was I wasn't super satisfied then either, because I started seeing I was grateful to see 20 plus clients a week. Right. But 20 plus clients a week, plus administration and writing progress notes and all of that is super overwhelming, you know? And I thought, how long can I do this? And here's the here's the here's the really the story, my origin story of being a coach.

Jessica: [00:03:26] And I was just talking about this on a different podcast. So I was trying to avoid notes in between sessions. And I was on the internet like, you know, surfing and doing things. And I caught this. I guess it came up in my email. It was in the afternoon and it was Eben Pagan, and he was talking about a coach that he was interviewing in. You know, it was like in ten minutes. And I hopped on this call just to watch. And this webinar changed my life. So the coach was talking about how clients need to invest in their change. And he said he sold coaching packages, like ten coaching sessions in a package and was charging $3,000. And I was like, oh my gosh, a light bulb went off in my head for two reasons. One, I think that our clients do need to make an investment in the change that they want. So that was the first thing that was super powerful. Like, you know what, if I could say to my clients like, hey, this is going to take 3 or 6 months and sell them a package. So I started investigating how to get that done. And that was really the beginning of therapist to coach when that happened.

Heather: [00:04:38] Yeah, I love that because so often I mean, I love that you're like I was avoiding doing progress notes. I have done that. Not necessarily progress notes, but many a time where I've avoided doing work and I'm like on the internet searching for something, you know, and then I find that thing that sparks an idea. Um, so I definitely love that. And then you just made the leap and jumped on and we're like, hey, what if I could do that? And I think that's the first big thing is asking yourself that question, what if I could do something like that? What would it look like for my business? How could it change my business? And the other thing is that you talked about, you know, having 20 plus clients and and how long can I sustain this? Is this really, you know, healthy for for you because or are you going to be working yourself towards burnout? Because I do think that so many therapists I mean, you guys give your all. And so, you know, burnout is definitely something that can occur when you are trying to see as many enough clients to pay your overhead and to pay yourself. And all of that's kind of this vicious cycle.

Jessica: [00:05:53] Yeah. The one thing I think one of the things that I think is really important is for therapists to know they don't have to make this jump completely. I was talking with my attorney the other week and she said, you have a higher risk tolerance than some people. The way that I started was I added coaching to my my therapy practice website. And it's not illegal to do that, but there's just some, you know, some risks to doing that. What I've come now to find out because I want to help therapists who don't, who don't want to make a huge leap. And I would say that they could do a couple of things I could say. I would say definitely learn, definitely learn this onboarding process, because as a therapist, you could sell a higher ticket, maybe like an intensive day instead of doing coaching. So that was another thing that I did too early on, was once I knew how to do a breakthrough session, and I can tell you what that means in a second. Once I learned how to do that, it was a way to offer a new service to clients. And and I wasn't a hard sell because I actually I don't really see myself as like a sales person. So the breakthrough session protocol is super valuable for that. So they don't have to make a jump from like, you know, I'm a therapist and I take insurance to I'm a coach and start all over.

Heather: [00:07:07] Yeah, that's one of the things that I, that I like that you kind of touched on is that it wasn't a hard sell kind of thing. Sometimes as allied health professionals or even just anyone that we're sell has like such a negative connotation. It makes you cringe inwardly. You're like, wait, I have to sell. I thought I was just helping my clients, but that's really when you, um, I have a friend who wrote a book, Catherine Brown, and it's, uh, when good humans sell. And the idea behind it is that selling is really about solving a problem that someone has. So when you look at it from that lens, all of a sudden it doesn't feel icky. You're like, wait a second, you wouldn't sell someone on something that they don't need. If they don't have a problem, that's when it gets icky. When you're just trying to push something on someone, when they don't need it, when you're like, hey, I see you have a problem, you have a struggle. Here's something that I have that can help you. There's nothing icky. There's nothing uncomfortable. There should be nothing uncomfortable about that.

Jessica: [00:08:18] Right? Yeah. And I think that was one of the mindset pieces that I had to work through too. You know, when I did my mastermind the first time, it was a big investment. It was, I'll just say it was $20,000 to join that mastermind, but it was life changing. And so one of the things when I was doing my mindset work later on was what if that that coach, my mentor therapist. What if she wouldn't have offered that to to the other therapists that she was teaching and helping? Where would I be? And I would actually not have the same lifestyle that I have had. She hadn't been there to offer that to me. So that's one of the ways that I can think about it now when I offer, you know, ten sessions for 3000 or 3500, like, that's that's what I think is this is going to be life changing for this client, right?

Heather: [00:09:06] Absolutely, absolutely. You're helping them with a problem that they have. So you talked about breakthrough sessions. Yeah. Tell me a little bit about that breakthrough session. What is it. How do you do it.

Jessica: [00:09:20] Yeah. So when I started out because I was just getting started, I was doing free sessions and free sessions would I would call them a breakthrough session. And it was a consultation with three parts. And this is where you don't have to sell. It's really helping the client make micro decisions towards. Investing in themselves. So the first thing it would be. Heather. What do you want to create? What? For me? I'm a couples coach. So what would your relationship look like if you had a realistic magic wand? And we start to unpack, like, all of the things that would be really great about that. And there's some questions that go with that. That's the first chunk of that. And then we want to uncover the hidden challenges that prevent them from doing it. And so the next third of that session is what have you already tried? What is the worst part about this? And it's really taking them from where they want to be at this high place down to like checking out the depths of how this feels. And I don't want to leave the client there.

Jessica: [00:10:19] So the way that we end it or, you know, bring them back up, is to start asking them what it would be like if they could have that. And do they want to talk about a plan? And at the end of that, after I ask them what was valuable, because I want to confirm that this was valuable for them and every every client that I've taken, this, this taken them through this session is super powerful. And ask, what's been most valuable for you about our time together? And they say things like, they got a lot of insight in themselves about it. They're already starting to get the work, you know, moving by doing this. And I'll ask them simply, do you want to hear about my coaching services? 100% say yes, 100% don't buy, but 100% say yes. And I would say converts about 50% even at that. Really. You know what we would think of a dramatic increase in price? They are, you know, excited, interested and know what's ahead of them. You know, at the end of that session.

Heather: [00:11:16] Absolutely. How long is the session? Is it like an hour long session or.

Jessica: [00:11:21] I tell them I book off for me an hour and a half because I want enough time at the end to wrap up loose ends to like, you know, figure out what they need to do with that. A lot of them are about an hour or an hour and ten minutes.

Heather: [00:11:34] Okay. Yeah, yeah. And that's yeah, I love that. I love that you're able to kind of walk them towards I mean. You know, I think with, with therapy, when you can look at it and say, okay, I'm struggling with this. Sometimes people are so like head down in their struggle that asking that question, what would it look like if you didn't have this? If you. What would it look like? You know, what does what does life look like? What do you want it to look like? All of a sudden they're like, oh, okay. I haven't really thought about that. I hadn't yeah, let's talk about that. And there's that hope piece that like maybe, maybe I could have, you know, this kind of life maybe or at least improve the life that I have. So what are some misconceptions that you feel like you encounter when people when therapists, you know, when you're talking to them about coaching versus just traditional therapy?

Jessica: [00:12:30] Yeah. So I think one of the biggest pieces is that there's a notion that therapy is based on past experiences, and coaching is based on future experiences. And that is a definite misconception because therapists are absolutely looking towards the future, and coaches have to be able to talk about what happened in the past. The real difference between therapy and coaching is the medical necessity and the level of functioning that the client has. If for me, I do work with couples and if they have a significant mental health issue, I don't take them on as a coach. So that's the other thing that I can find out in that breakthrough session. Now, you know, as as a therapist, I have, you know, a little bit more ability to assess what's going on before before the session. So I ask some questions. I have a form they fill out. And so I have ways to determine that a little bit before I meet them. But I think that's the biggest thing is these these funny things that therapists say. And I think there's a lot of fear. And one of the reasons that I really want to help other therapists is because, you know, we're in a time where therapy is changing and there's a lot of corporations offering therapy really cheap, and the therapists are working a lot of hours. I've talked with a few of them who have to be almost on call. They have to be able to text their clients back. They have to be able to do a lot of things and they're not making the money. I thought it was really bad when I was on insurance with all of the paperwork and stuff. But, you know, being private pay was really a liberating thing. But even that's becoming challenging, I think as as the time is going on with big corporations buying up, you know, a lot of the therapy space.

Heather: [00:14:10] Yeah, definitely. Yeah. And there's I mean, that could be a whole nother episode that we could go off into.

Jessica: [00:14:17] We could into.

Heather: [00:14:18] That. I'm sure everyone has their their emotions and their feelings about kind of where the industry is going and the goods and the bads of it, you know, um, I would.

Jessica: [00:14:28] Say one, one other misconception I'd add to it if, if it comes back to me, the misconception that therapists need another certification. Now, I did get a a coaching certification. I didn't go through an IFS or I didn't go through anything that was long standing. But as a therapist, I do not need another certification to be a coach. And so if therapists are concerned, they have to do that. That would be a misconception as well.

Heather: [00:14:53] Mm. Yeah, I could see that definitely. Do you feel like there's some and maybe misconceptions isn't the right word but some feelings towards like coaching versus therapy that, that maybe a therapist might have.

Jessica: [00:15:09] Yeah, I think, you know, I was reading on Reddit because I do a lot of research in the market, research in this, in this world, and there are a lot of stories and they're really horrible. And my heart goes out to the people who experienced this, but therapists who've lost their license and become life coaches or, you know, those kinds of things, there's not regulation for that. And so those were the couple of things that really stood out to me. If you go on to Reddit, has a therapist category and you can read about a lot of the things that therapists are really upset about, and that was the biggest thing, that it's not regulated. And, you know, people anybody could slap up a shingle for, for coaching as opposed to therapy. And my response to that would be, there's a lot of therapists who also I mean, those therapists turned coaches that were, you know, talked about, well, they were therapists before that, you know. So, you know, I think it's just really hard to determine that. Like who? I just think that's a that's a that was something that really blew my mind when I was reading it.

Heather: [00:16:10] Yeah. Yeah. So how as a coach, because I know that one of the things that you had considered at one point in time is letting go of your licensure. Um, and so how does a coach gain that authority component when working with when people are looking for, you know, therapy or, or help? Let's just say help in general?

Jessica: [00:16:32] Yes, yes. Well, I was so I was so worried about that too. Like, what if I take off my credential and take off the now I still do have my w. I supervise some therapists. I think in the future I may actually take that off. It's a really hard pill to swallow after you spend, you know, four years, your two years in grad school and then, you know, licensing licensure protocol. But one of the things that I found out that I could do that was amazing. There's two things we talked about this with the targeting, and I'll say that too. But the first is I could say I spent time as a therapist. I can't use my license, I can't use my license title. But on my website, I say as a a former therapist, right. So that's bam, I have, I have, you know, some credential with that. And then the other thing is, and I think you like this with the marketing piece is my was talking with my website guy and he said, what if we take off therapy off your website, but leave it on the back end of the SEO? So if Heather, you went on to Google and you type in couples therapy, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania I'm still coming up at the top, even though it now is, you know, addressing the same issue but offering coaching.

Jessica: [00:17:45] And I do have an explanation of what coaching is versus, you know, therapy and that kind of piece. And of course, when I talk to them on the phone, I say, this is coaching and if you need more support then I would refer you out. So I think there's some ways that you can absolutely capitalize on being a therapist that a coach doesn't have. And that's one of the things that I think I don't want our therapists to lose sight of because, you know, they're told, go get a new website, get a new LLC, get a new bank account, and start all over as a coach. And then I'm like, I'm brand new. But what about the ten years of experience that I have? And you know, all of the education I have.

Heather: [00:18:26] And even from a marketing standpoint, the traction that you've gained from your website, because launching a brand new website, you've got to kind of work yourself out of the sand pit. And whereas if you have had a website that's been out there for five, six, whatever years, you've gained some natural attraction to that through SEO.

Jessica: [00:18:48] Absolutely. Now, I think when I made the leap, when I was telling you, I was in my office crying, counting up to the appointment types, I was a sole proprietor on insurance, and I had to get a new website to go private pay. So at that point, you know it does. Sometimes if you're on insurance, I think it makes sense to get a new website. And there you might use the the use your credential. As I was a therapist and now I'm doing coaching. And I think that still gives you some, some leverage with, with people who who think they need therapy. And not everyone needs therapy. Some people do. And that's why we need good therapists.

Heather: [00:19:23] Well, I think that's a really when we were talking in a in a prior conversation, that's one of the things that I love that you brought up is that you're like, there is a place absolutely for therapy. And and you kind of touched on it even in our conversation today. But there's also a place for coaching and and recognizing that when someone comes in for that breakthrough session and you're meeting with them and you realize that you're like, okay, coaching is not right for you, then you immediately refer them to a therapist. Um, you know, if they have like some diagnosis or disorders, things like that are more complex. That's when you kind of, you know what? I think a therapist would actually be better for you, a better situation.

Jessica: [00:20:07] Yeah, I think it's absolutely I mean, with my training as a therapist and my ethical principles, which I'm not going to lose just because I changed the title, you know, I'm definitely looking out for people's best interest and making sure that they're taken care of.

Heather: [00:20:20] Yeah. Yeah. So and you touched on this a little bit. Um, how do you market differently as a coach versus a therapist? And one thing that you had said that we talked about is that, you know, as a therapist, you can't obviously have people pay ahead of time, but as a coach, you can you can do this package where it's like ten sessions for 3000 or whatever. So that is a big difference for you in your business. But so how does that how do you market differently for that?

Jessica: [00:20:53] Yeah, well, I do have the, the, um, the website, which is a wonderful thing for me. So if you've built out a website for your therapy practice, that's really powerful. You know, in the beginning, you know, I mentioned the risk tolerance and mine was I added coaching to my as a service page, and I distinguished that. So that was one way. Now you could have you could have your therapy practice and have coaching go to a different landing page, go to a different site. I don't know enough about that. But what I would say is as a coach, one of the amazing things I can do is ask for feedback about my services. I can send them a form for review. I can ask them, hey, would you do a Google review if you found this helpful? So that's a great way to because people are looking for social proof, they want to know if this works or not. So I think asking for reviews is an amazing thing as a coach. The other thing is I've started doing and we talked about this a little bit because it's a new thing for me doing $5 ads on Facebook.

Jessica: [00:21:53] Each ad is $5. Of course, it's more than $5 a day, but it's a really powerful way to get in front of your potential clients. Talking, just doing little teaching videos. There are three minutes long, then you progress them to maybe a ten minute video. So people are getting familiar with you. And I think that's another way, that a unique way that I would suggest new, new coaches can market their practice. You know, doing a webinar and doing those kind of things is so expensive and you don't know who you're trying to reach. But I think doing these smaller ads and getting people to be familiar with you, and it also can build up your pages if you have a social media page and you know, we know this, but you have no followers, no one's going to see the powerful things that you could, you know, that you can help them with. So you do have to leverage your your advertising with with some, some ads.

Heather: [00:22:46] Yeah, definitely. One of the things that I love is that mean because I have worked with many therapy practices, clinics and that is, you know, and we do SEO and that is the hardest part is that if you are working with a plumber. You know, they're a local company. So in other words, their clients are locally based. Same thing with a therapy clinic. The problem is, is that a plumber can ask for a reviews and they can. And that helps build so much traffic to their website. It's really easy. If they're building out reviews, then they are automatically building SEO and kind of moving up the ranks. But then as a therapist, you have that ethical code, that kind of that, that creates some issues. So I know for one of the things that I tell them is a workaround is to go and ask colleagues for reviews or to go and do a workshop or a webinar, and then they can ask for reviews for that, because obviously there's that ethical issue of asking a, you know, current or past client for a review, but as a coach, you don't have to worry about that. You know, you can do finish up the ten sessions or whatever and then say, hey, would you mind leaving me a review on Google, Facebook, social media, whatever. So that's definitely a benefit for helping your marketing, helping to drive additional traffic to your website. So I love that.

Jessica: [00:24:08] Yeah. One thing you just made me think of, I was talking to a therapist yesterday and she said, what if ten sessions isn't enough? Or as a therapist, I'm not sure how to tell them what results they'll get. I don't know if that falls in the category of misconceptions, but, you know, the therapists starting out thinking about coaching might be worried because we don't know how many sessions. And same thing here. I met with a couple just recently, and I said I would recommend we start with six months, which is 20 sessions. It's if you break that down, it's not every single week because we start to space them out. And I said, you know, I don't know how quickly that you're going to make the progress, but I think I do know that they're going to make some progress. Right? Obviously in six months. So I said to them, you know, we can talk about additional sessions afterwards. Same thing with the three months. So I think that just popped into my head because people might be saying like, are you guaranteeing a result in ten sessions? And I'm definitely not. I think, you know, I would say 50% of the time I offer, I recommend the six months. Sometimes I don't, sometimes I say, let's start with the three months and see how it goes. But I just popped into my head is yeah.

Heather: [00:25:12] I love that. I think it's a really good point to add in that it's like, okay, what if I, you know, say this package and, and then they I mean, you have to set up expectations, right? It's all about being clear and expectations as you go through this process. So we always like to leave that finish the podcast with some kind of takeaway or challenge. What would be your takeaway or challenge for any therapist who might be interested in in, you know, looking at this a little bit like kind of investigating a little bit more or, you know, or just wanting curious. Anyone who is curious what is your takeaway or challenge for them?

Jessica: [00:25:56] My takeaway for somebody, for somebody who's interested in coaching or maybe trying to leverage up, I would say that they could, if they wanted to expand their practice to possibly include an intensive. So that is a way that they could make some more money. I think you need to know how to do the breakthrough session. So I'll give give you some information. They can contact me on how to learn that protocol, because I think I would say the challenge could be, hey, what if you tried one of these sessions? But I think you need to know a little bit about that. If you're on insurance based, I would say start checking into and just maybe thinking about how you could leverage your time, because it's just been life changing for me to do it this way. And I really mean that, you know, genuinely, I'm not. I still one of the unique things about me being a therapist to coach and helping therapists is I'm still seeing my couples, you know, and I plan on doing that. I don't need to see more than 6 or 8 a week. And maybe that's even sounds like a lot for some people, but I think it could if I was, you know, having another whole thing going on. So, you know, I'm challenging myself with the challenge. Heather, forget what we talked about the last time we've done the challenge before.

Heather: [00:27:15] Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I think one of the things that you'd mentioned before is, is being open to charging more money and knowing what you're worth as well. Yeah. Again, there's that friction. I know that I have said many a time like you can help people and still, you know, have a very successful, thriving practice you, which means that you are making enough money to, you know, to take care of yourself and your family. They don't have to be like, there doesn't have to be friction there.

Jessica: [00:27:49] Yeah, we could challenge people. I think this is a very reasonable challenge for coming up towards the end of the year when they when they hear this, it'll be the beginning of the year, possibly. Hey, what if you up your fee? You know, I was doing $10 a year until I started doing the coaching. So I think, what if you challenge yourself in the new year for private pay clients to go up $10?

Heather: [00:28:09] Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So let's hear about your business. Let's take a second. Let's plug your business. Tell us all about it.

Jessica: [00:28:19] Yeah. So I do have the local therapy. I have one therapist that works for me, so it's technically a therapy and coaching practice. I do that I know that we talked a little bit. You'd have to censor it and pardon my language. I did write what to do when you do give a beep. This is a road map to a happy relationship. This is available on Amazon. So that came out in March. When you don't have to see 20 plus clients a week, you can write a book. So I did that this year. And of course therapist to coach is therapists with an S the number two coach. And they can find me on Instagram and they can look up the course that I run, which shows how to go through the breakthrough session and listen. Anybody who is a coach or are thinking about a coach coach thinking about coaching could do that course. I do specifically help therapists because we have, you know, to to know how to do some things. You know, we need to protect our license and those things. So that's included in the therapist coach launch.

Heather: [00:29:24] Awesome. Thank you so much. And I like that you added the natural beat for us.

Jessica: [00:29:29] I did actually I did, rather than having you to beep it out later.

Heather: [00:29:34] Oh that's awesome. Thank you so very much for being on the show, Jessica. Hey everyone. Thank you guys for listening to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. Happy marketing y'all. We're glad you could be here today. Thank you for listening. If you are interested in learning more about marketing, check out my blogs at 3C Digital Media Network dot com or Therapy Marketing You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Happy marketing y'all!

Episode 27: Heather Jensen

Heather: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, this is Heather, and you're listening to the Therapy Marketing Solutions podcast, where we are going to take the mystery out of marketing, and we're going to meet therapy clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving practices. You don't have to figure this all out on your own, because when we all work together, we're able to build something amazing and in the end, serve clients better. So let's get started. Hey y'all, welcome to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. I'm excited to have you here today and to be talking about being a guide. Now, you might be wondering, like, what do you mean being a guide? Like, what does that mean? Is this like, I'm taking someone on a trip and I'm taking, you know, and I'm guiding them through it? Well, the simple answer is, is yes, kind of you are. And that's really what I don't know if you've heard of story marketing. There's also Story Brand, which I'm a story brand certified guide. But there's this idea that if you guide someone through their own story, it can help to improve their life and to help set you up as the authority. So really, everyone needs a Yoda in their own story. So we are positioning you in your marketing as the Yoda of the story to Luke Skywalker. So I want to start off by saying, doing a quick quote by Donald Miller. And then we're going to really dig into what is a guide.

Heather: [00:01:42] Why is it important to be a guide in my marketing? How do I position myself as a guide in my marketing, all of those things? Um, so first off, he says, when we position our customer as the hero and ourselves as the guide, we will be recognized as a trusted resource to help them overcome their challenges. Positioning the customer as the hero in the story is more than just good manners. It's also good business. Now, I've seen time and time again when businesses because honestly, you don't know. They don't know better. So when they write content for their website or social media posts or whatever they're writing a blog post is that they will start to talk about themselves too much. Um, my very blunt. I guess, you know, explanation is nobody cares about your business. Or maybe I should say they only care about your business in relation to how it's going to help them solve a solution grow. Um, you know, in some way. So if your business is not talking about if you are not positioning your business in a way that is going to help them solve their problem, they don't care about it. They don't. They really don't. And maybe that's offensive. Maybe. But that's like the blunt truth of the matter is that nobody cares that I run therapy marketing solutions. You know, that helps. That's a marketing business. Nobody cares that I have that marketing business.

Heather: [00:03:27] What they do care about is how my marketing business is going to help them grow their clinic or their practice. That's the thing that they care about. And that's why it's important to position yourself as the guide. For me to position myself as the guide is because I have some piece of knowledge or something that they are seeking and need help with. The same goes true. Rings true for all of your. I mean, when you really boil it down to therapy or, you know, whatever kind of therapy someone is, is seeking and looking for is you have something they need that they are desperately, possibly desperately searching for answers. Nobody does anything in marketing without a problem first. And so they have a problem. Your services are the solution to the problem, and when you position your services, your business as the solution to the problem, they are going to be excited to work with you and they are going to be like, sign me up now, let's talk. Let's where can I, you know, where can I schedule an appointment kind of thing? So, um. Again, it comes back down to that Luke Skywalker and and Yoda is Yoda the. Is he the main character of the story in Star Wars? No, no he's not. He's a secondary character and he is brought in only to help Luke move like, grow and develop into the the hero that he needs to be. And I know we're talking about movies and stuff like that, but we could look at any movie, at least any well-made movie, and we will see where there has been some kind of guide that has helped them to to grow and develop and to give them the tools that they need.

Heather: [00:05:27] And again, same thing comes from marketing. Same thing goes for your business. When you set yourself up as a guide that and and not the hero, you are able to better serve your clients. So some of the things, some of the mistakes I see out there is, for one, I always pick on the bio page the about your bio when you go to the bout page and you see your bio on there and and you talk about, well, I have a PhD from university and um, and I've been doing this for 27 years. And then I went and got a certification in Y. And on the weekends I like going camping and walking with my dog. So, I mean, I think it's great that you like camping and walking with your dog and and that there might be a place to add that little I know, I know why I understand why people put that in their bio. They put that in their bio because they want people. They want to be relatable, right? They want someone to be like, oh, hey, I like camping and I like my dog. Oh my gosh, we have something in common. There's some commonality. Let's talk.

Heather: [00:06:47] Um, and and it's important, especially as a therapist, someone in the allied health professional that you show that you have authority by saying, I have done a Y and Z schooling, training, certification. Et cetera, et cetera. Like I understand why those are important or those are important, but it's in the way that we talk about it. That is really how we position ourselves as either a hero or a guide. If we want to. The example I gave was obviously positioning yourself as the hero. It's talking about yourself. How you would position yourself as a guide is to then say. Um, so start with a problem. For many individuals, they struggle with anxiety. I like to use the anxiety example because it's just easy to think of. It's one thing, right? So many individuals struggle with anxiety in their day to day life. I have been, you know, by in the last 20 years I have worked with, you know. Thousands of individuals and help to give them the techniques and the tools to. To cope with their anxiety. So do you see how that's different? I'm talking about your problem. I'm talking. Or their problem? I'm talking about how you come in to help with their problem, but you're still able to slip in the authority. Like. Like, yeah, I got the training, I got the years. I know what I'm talking about. I can help you. Um. Another thing that I see, another example that I see is for people to just start talking on their home page about like, yeah, I've been doing this for 20 years or I, I like to help individuals.

Heather: [00:08:50] The word that keeps that I don't know if you keep hearing is I. I. Oddly enough, I say that you need to try to to drop the word I from from any and all of your marketing and and say we or not we but but to use different words, there are ways to say what you do without saying I don't start a sentence off with I. That's what I always try to avoid is never start a sentence with I. Instead talk about the solution. Positioning yourself as a solution. Position your company as a solution. Position your services as a solution. Um, going back to that anxiety example, if you list off that you help individuals with anxiety and then you go into again, many individuals struggle with anxiety in their day to day life, or many individuals struggle with anxiety that impacts their day to day life. Through therapy. Um, through or you say through, you know, x, Y and Z. Therapy techniques. We are able to help you. To find. You know, to find. Techniques and strategies and tools to to live a fuller life. So, um, do you see that? I said, I didn't say I help you with therapy. You say through therapy. So then you're positioning therapy as or you say through. You know, our through services, through anxiety counseling or through counseling.

Heather: [00:10:45] So that gives you the opportunity to not start with I if nobody you know, like again, it's that same idea I, I we want to see how often we can drop I and instead talk about them and talk about their problem the solution that and then position yourself the guide as someone who can help them to solve their problems. Someone who can help them to find the answers to their problem almost through like a you know, I'm here as a way to guide you through this struggle. Um, when you do that, what is the benefit of doing that? For one thing, there's two different things. Again, you know, going back to that quote by Donald Miller, you set yourself up as a trusted resource. So you give yourself authority by saying that. So you're bringing authority. But then also you can often bring empathy to the situation. So not only do they know that you know how to help them, but they're like, wow, they they understand what I'm going through so they can a help me and B they can, you know, empathize with the struggle that I'm having. They, they see that I, I often avoid social situations because of my anxiety or whatever. So. When you. Use this in all of your marketing people are going to it's going to be relatable to them. They're going to understand it. There's going to be something because obviously you're starting off with this problem. And they were like wow.

Heather: [00:12:27] They get me for that. That speaks to me. It resonates with them. So I don't know who said the quote, but a quote that I heard that was really great, says brands that position themselves. Sorry, brands that position themselves as heroes unknowingly compete with their potential customers. You're competing for attention. You are not top billing in their life. They are looking for answers. They are top billing. They're trying to solve their problems. They want to know how to fix their issue, or their struggle or their challenge. And you, when you position yourself as that guide, you help them to solve that problem. Okay guys. So I'll always like to to leave with a challenge or some kind of take away. So my challenge this week is for you to go and review your website. And look how many times you start a sentence off with I and see if you can rework that sentence, rework that paragraph or that section to start off with the problem. And then you talk about how your services can help them. So remove the I from your content. That is my challenge to you. And you definitely got to be creative. I mean it, you know, sometimes it takes me three, five, ten tries to be like, okay, this is the right way to say it. Um, and that really mean the idea behind that is that words matter, words make an impact. Although the design of your website is is great, obviously you have to have traffic on your website. It's the words that you are saying on your website that matter. And when you position yourself as a guide in your in your content and not the hero, they it's going to resonate with your ideal clients. So this is another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. Happy marketing you all. We're glad you could be here today. Thank you for listening. If you are interested in learning more about marketing, check out my blogs at 3C Digital Media Network dot com or Therapy Marketing You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Episode 26: Sheri Colaluca

Heather: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, this is Heather, and you're listening to the Therapy Marketing Solutions podcast, where we are going to take the mystery out of marketing, and we're going to meet therapy clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving practices. You don't have to figure this all out on your own, because when we all work together, we're able to build something amazing and in the end, serve clients better. So let's get started. Welcome everyone to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. We are excited to have you listening today and we have a great topic. I'm really excited to talk about this because I don't think it's something that everyone always thinks about when they're thinking about their marketing. So today I have Sheri Colaluca at Colaluca marketing. Welcome, Sherri.

Sheri: [00:00:56] Hey, thank you Heather, I'm excited to be here. We've been looking forward to this. Ways to talk about helping our clients, talking about different ideas and just kind of throwing things out there, talking about things that we think about, but then go to the back of our minds and like, oh, why didn't I think of that? I've been thinking about it in the back of mind, but now I want to do it. Yeah.

Heather: [00:01:19] Yeah. And and really the idea Sherri and I had a great conversation when we were brainstorming this idea. And so I'm excited to share all of the kind of the. Oh, did I lose internet? Well, you're still there. Okay, I'm still here. Yeah. So one second. I'm sorry. We're going to have to kind of launch back into that. All of a sudden everything just went away and I'm like, what's going on? Okay, so, um. Since we're only, like a minute into it. I just want to. Let's just start it over. Okay. Okay. Welcome everyone to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. I am excited to have you guys here today. We have a great topic and with us. So our topic we're going to be talking about creating value for your clients. And I have Sherri Colaluca from Colaluca marketing on with me today and welcome Sherri.

Sheri: [00:02:26] Hi Heather, great to be here. I'm excited to talk about ideas and share thoughts and kind of just talk about how we can add more value to our clients, how they can add more, more value to their clients. So anyway, I'm excited about it. And starting to kind of put all these topics out there and see if we can help someone else and help their clients and just kind of brainstorm and put ideas out there.

Heather: [00:02:50] Yeah. And when Sherri and I met originally to kind of brainstorm ideas for this podcast got, I got so excited, I got to tell you that it was a great conversation. Um, and so I was like, we got to do this. We got to get this podcast recorded because I just feel like there's so many little tidbits and things that sometimes we miss or don't or don't even think about that can bring value to our clients. It's that it's those little extra things. So first off, I want to talk a little bit about Colaluca marketing and what you do. Um, just so that people have just some background knowledge about you. Sherri.

Sheri: [00:03:34] So I've kind of been in the sales and marketing field for almost my entire life. Um, and I kind of fell into the medical medical marketing piece, um, had a friend that had a consulting company that was basically an attorney and a CFO. They had no idea what marketing or business development did. They just say, we know we need someone, so come help us. So I did so we you know, I provided the marketing, um, piece of their consulting companies, which dealt solely with medical practices. And so I was with them for almost three years. But the only piece that seemed to be growing was my piece. So in January of 2022, I spun off Colaluca marketing that just solely focuses on, um, marketing for for medical practices. And we deal with independents that want to compete with the big the big boys. And so we by offering our services to them, we get them to be able to be, um, have a presence, you know, get their the name of their practice out there, get what they offer to patients out there. And we're always looking for different ways to make add value to their patients, add value to their clinic, their practice. So that's a little bit, you know, in its simplest place, we are basically our job is to bring patients in the door and keep them there. Yeah. So that's really what we do. And always looking for different ways to do that. Because I think post pandemic we've had challenges. There's you know the medical industry was hit really hard. The pandemic was very hard on that on that industry. So you know absolutely well.

Heather: [00:05:19] And a couple things first off is when you're, like you said, competing with the big boys, one of the big differentiators is that value that you create as an independent clinic or practice. And so value is, is probably somewhat their bread and butter. Like they have to show that value because, you know, as we all know, when we go to some huge clinic or hospital or, you know, franchise, whatever, sometimes we get lost in you.

Sheri: [00:05:50] Just, you know, and that's something that people don't realize. It's like, well, I'm just going to these big name ones. But, you know, they those doctors don't always have 100% control of how they treat the patient. They are pretty much regimented by the system who they can send patients out to. All that stuff's controlled when you're you're dealing with some of the bigger services. Whereas when you have an independent, they have complete control of how they want to treat their patients, how long they want to see their patients, who they want to refer their patient out to. So there is a really big upside in these smaller, independent practices. And that's my job. And my team's job is to really emphasize that.

Heather: [00:06:34] And you talked about Covid and really mean the medical field was kind of in a in survival mode during that time. Yes. And so like anything, when we're in survival mode for an extended period of time, sometimes some of that value gets is forgotten, right? Like all the traction we were making pre-COVID. Some of that gets put by the wayside because we're like, we're just trying to help people. We're just trying to get people in, in and out. Adore, you know, keep like, keep people healthy, all of that kind of stuff. And so now that we've kind of emerged on top or on the other side of this, now it's time to be like, okay, let's, let's we need to look at this value side again. We need to really put the focus and value well.

Sheri: [00:07:19] And I think the other challenge is so many people like got out of the medical field. So many of your entry level positions, whether it's your medical assistants, your front desk, those people, they went to other industries. So there is so much volatility in those positions that they're constantly changing. And it becomes a challenge to maintain these. You know, I think in every sector of their they have such a challenge keeping keeping keeping employees. And so you know I think that's another thing that we look at. How do we how do we incentivize our employees. How do we you know, because it's not just money anymore. Because if it's if it's only money, they're just they're not going to stay. They'll find someone else who's going to pay another dollar an hour and they'll find it and they'll leave three months later. So there's got to be some other ways that we keep those employees happy, which in turn keeps our patients happy, which is a little bit of a tangent, but it all goes it goes into like marketing to your employees. You know, it's that internal marketing to keep those people happy.

Heather: [00:08:31] Well, and I love that you brought that up because in all honesty, you know, we create these processes. We we add in these these value, this value to these processes. But when you have a high turnover of employees, your processes kind of get pushed by the wayside or you're having to continuously reteach it. And so it never really is put forth like that. It's you can't really show that value, because all of a sudden you're having to teach a new employee that, okay, well, we do this step and that step. And so having your front office staff, I mean, they're one of the big ways that we create value and how they greet people and how they work with, um, with the patients or the clients and invoicing and all of those areas, even just the setup and the overall feel when someone walks into a clinic, that is the first person they see and that, I mean, they are huge in creating value. They're a huge part of that. And so when we have turnover or we just are having, you know, struggling to get people in our office to work or to have the right people in our office working, then that kind of hurts the value as well.

Sheri: [00:09:52] Correct? I mean, and that's I think sometimes, you know, physicians, providers undervalue what a big deal that first impression, whether it be on the phone, whether it be when they walk in that office, it is a huge piece because, you know, you and I, we can drive patients to those practices all day long. But if the experience is not good, the patients don't get called back. They don't feel heard when they get there, they're not going to stay. And then that whoever sent them to us probably is not going to send anyone else back. If this is the experience. So that, you know, that first, first encounter is just so very important.

Heather: [00:10:35] Absolutely, absolutely. I've had personal experience, and I'm sure that we all have where we have felt very welcomed the moment that we walked in the door or that we called. And then we've also had those experiences where you have that cantankerous, like, you know, person on the phone or at the front door and you're like, oh, I don't really feel welcomed. It's, you know, and that really sets the tone from the get go. So having the right person in, you know who. Welcomes people, whether by phone or in person, makes a huge, huge impact on the value that you bring your clients. Yes.

Sheri: [00:11:14] And that was something that we did with one of our clients just to further get them. If they we did a Google review of course, campaign that everyone does. But if their name was mentioned in that review, they got entered into a drawing to win. Like I think it was a gift card, like a $100 gift card to somewhere or something like that, just to kind of incentivize them to give that good service, that good, you know, um, and to reward it to, to reward that great behavior and reward, you know. So and we did we did have some really good results just kind of making. Yes, we'd like you to do your job, but but we want to really say you're doing your job. Great. And so we did do some of those incentives as far as like an internal, you know, marketing campaign.

Heather: [00:12:07] Yeah, absolutely. Um, and that that's great for just keeping the energy up in the office and things like that. One of the other ways that we had discussed about creating value is really reimagining the business, reimagining their business, and looking for additional ways to create value. And what I mean by that is that just because it's always been done that way, doesn't mean it always needs to be done that way. So looking at it from different angles, maybe thinking out of the box and saying, well, what if we did this? What if we did that? Not only does it create value, but it could be a big differentiator for for the business as well.

Sheri: [00:12:46] And just, you know, that kind of goes the same thing with like internal marketing. You know, how many of your patients don't know what other services that you might offer? Are you are you getting that information out to all your current the patients that are already coming to you? Could could you get another appointment from them that they would normally not come in for? Um, I know like one of our clients is a chiropractic group and they were one of the patients were being seen for like lower back pain or something. And he was like, yeah, I've got to take my wife to the doctor. She's been having hip pain and they're like, you know, we could help her, right? And but it didn't even occur to the patient that they treat hip pain. They just were under the perception, I'm coming for back pain. That's what a chiropractic group does. They just deal with back pain. Well that's not the case. So, you know, putting on different kind of internal campaigns that go out, whether it's email or text or to those current patients like, hey, you know, are you suffering from knee pain? Are you suffering from shoulder pain? We can help you. You know, let us, let us, let us look at you. Let's see what's going on. So yeah, just a way of addressing another. You've got this patient base. How can you expand on it?

Heather: [00:14:03] Absolutely, absolutely. You know, it's I think it's pretty common for, for businesses to, to miss that. They're like they just assume that everyone knows every service that they, they provide and offer. Um, and but in reality that's not true. That's not the case. They probably came to you for one distinct purpose. And outside of that, they're not even thinking of the other ways that they could, you know, perhaps work with you. I had an SLP speech language pathologist client who, you know, they were known for articulation and for language, but no one knew that. They even did like oral facial myofunctional disorders. So myotherapy. And so really, they did a huge campaign in letting everyone know, not only through internal emails, like sending emails through, uh, you know, to current clients, but then also social media really getting that word out, even like brochures within the office, kind of just doing this blast like, hey guys, by the way, and whether it's a it's something that you're currently doing or if it's a new service that you're offering, you really need to push that awareness on on the different services that you that your service or that your clinic provides.

Sheri: [00:15:26] Yeah, definitely. And just like you said, it's the assumption that, oh, everyone knows what we're doing. No, they came to you for a purpose. They're not necessarily knowing everything. You know, all the services you got, they don't necessarily know.

Heather: [00:15:39] Yeah, absolutely. And you would hate to lose. A current client who absolutely probably loves you to someone else just because they aren't aware that you even provide the additional services. Exactly. Yeah. So I would say that, you know, probably at least once a year, maybe twice a year that you, you know, are throwing that out there. Be like, hey, by the way, in case you didn't know, because clientele is always changing and shifting and things like that. So you want to make sure that everyone is aware of of all the services that you provide.

Sheri: [00:16:15] That's almost could be like a monthly campaign too. Yeah. Like depending on how many different services you offer, you know, um, you know, it's it's, you know, obviously like in primary care, you know, is it is it flu season. Is it that flu shot. Is it, you know, vaccines. Is it you know, school school physicals. You know, just different things that, you know come up that, you know, just reminder you know, because it's also the reminder is like oh yes I need to get that done. And so yeah.

Heather: [00:16:46] And there's there is a lot of seasonal campaigns, like you said at the beginning of the school year, I know that I'm trying to get my kids, you know, physicals, sports physicals done so they can play sports at school. And, and then once, you know, around October, November, I mean, unless your kid has the flu, sometimes you don't think about it. And then they're like, hey, by the way, get your flu shot. Oh yeah. That's right. And and so that's one of those that you want to look at your business, whatever industry you are in and say, okay, are there times seasonally that make sense to to remind people not only, hey, by the way, it's time to get your flu shot, but also it reminds them that you provide that service. So it's kind of a twofold. Correct.

Sheri: [00:17:32] And even like maybe some of the other ones that maybe are a little more rare that you're doing. And yeah, I think it's just looking at your offerings and looking at timings of, you know, hey, this is a little slower time of the year. Well, in July, can we start doing school physicals instead of waiting till the end of August when everyone's scrambling to do them? Can we promote that July 1st and get some of that business to alleviate when everyone starts going crazy? So also looking at timing of things and.

Heather: [00:17:59] That would that would be huge for your front office. I mean, you know, because they know they get those calls 3 to 3 weeks before school starts where there's a mad rush and it's like, oh my gosh, I forgot the physical. And so that helps them too. It'll help with creating just, you know, a more peaceful environment at work and chaos. So looking ahead and saying, like you said, if you know it's going to be crazy in August, maybe you start pushing people at the end of June. July. Yeah, I know with like physicals, you can get them as soon as the last school year is over. Right? So I mean, as of June, July, you could really get a physical. You don't have to wait till August for the sports physical. So just being aware of what things look like. Um, also with that being said, that can really help with seasonal times in your business that are a little bit slower. Exactly. You know, I've heard from a lot of people July is a slow.

Sheri: [00:19:00] Month for people.

Heather: [00:19:01] July, January I've heard of people because everyone's, you know, insurance starts over and and so January will tend to be a little bit slower. So knowing that in advance, that's when you can make some of those pushes to, to help with those quieter. Yes.

Sheri: [00:19:20] Which kind of goes with something that you and I were talking about before we started this. It's keeping you know, what we do. It's keeping that client funnel full. Well, it's no different for a practice, you know, it's knowing, keeping that patient volume at some kind of level, knowing the ebbs and flows and keeping the ideas that, okay, these are notoriously slower months. What can I do? What service can I offer at these times, and how can I promote it so that these times maybe aren't as slow as they've been in the past?

Heather: [00:19:51] Yeah, I love that. I love the idea of what services can I push during this time. Maybe it is one of your lesser known services that you're like, you know what, really, really going to make a drive for this and get the word out because this could be something that that doesn't affect the season, you know, the seasons or the months or the periods that are a little bit slower. And with that, with keeping your funnel full. There's also this idea of continuously networking. Yes. Um, I think.

Sheri: [00:20:24] As business owners, you know, we get busy, we have a full book of clients. Things are going well. Well, you know, projects and clients, you know, go to different sources or wherever. And then all of a sudden you realize, oh, my funnel is not very full right now. And, you know, depending on how. All your sales cycle is. And you know, we're talking you know, it could be mean hours is probably, you know, 6 to 8 weeks. But it can go up to just like you said, we have one that will probably start in another year. So like you said, you had a client in a funnel for a year, but it's keeping the clients in there and keeping touch with them, revisiting, you know, revisited another client that supposedly wants to take us on before the end of the year. But it's also balancing because we do have limited resources. We can only take on so many clients at once. So it's balancing that time of, you know, when they're ready and when we have availability and then keeping that cycle going. Yeah. And it's that consistently, you know, getting, getting, getting information out about your services that you offer and making sure that people still know what you're what you're offering. No different. You know, kind of that our slow periods, we we do a little bit more. But remembering to do them at the busy periods to, to make up for when the slow periods come in.

Heather: [00:21:48] Yeah. So often I mean think it's just human nature when you're busy, you're busy. And so the things that you have to focus on top priority, like what's right in front of you and, and often let all those other things kind of, you know, go to the corners of our mind or the on the back burner. And, but really, we need to keep that ball rolling at all times, because if not, then all of a sudden we're like, well, we've been kind of slow, like the marketing you do for today or the networking or the what? The outreach that you do for today isn't for today. It's for tomorrow. Right? Everything that we are doing is for the future. And so if you want your your funnel to be full, if you want that sales cycle to, you know, to continuously be bringing in more clients than you need to be continuously doing the work. Yes. And it can be a struggle.

Sheri: [00:22:49] Yeah. Because we get it. Yeah. It's hard. I mean, it definitely happened to us and we are feeling the ramifications of it too, because, you know, we were just scrambling to keep everything, all the balls in the air. So the ball that dropped was you know, but then, you know, then you face it that okay, we're a little bit slower than we'd like to be. So now we've got to get keep that ball rolling and something that, you know, I had my talk to my team about, it's like, listen, we have got to be even when we're busy at 1 to 2 networking events, coffees, happy hours, whatever. Because they're usually you can work those work after your normal client hours. So it's trying fitting 1 or 2 a month in there. We just really have to make that a priority and keeping in touch with them. And um, and also tracking we, we we had kind of probably to my fault because I think I can remember everything. And so we've actually started track. We track everything we do for our clients, but we don't necessarily track everything we do that brings us clients. And so we start tracking, okay, who are all our leads that we have had, whether they have turned into anything or not of we need to least be tracking those and, you know, and figuring out, well, why didn't they go with us? Was it a financial thing? Was did they choose someone else? Did they bring someone in house kind of just keeping all that information and tracking it more? We have not as a as a group, as a team been doing that. So that's something that we're like, okay, we need to do this. We need to see okay, who, who who are we talking to, who seems to be interested in our services and are they going with us? Is it a not now, not maybe tomorrow, those types of things.

Heather: [00:24:41] Yeah. And really 1 to 2 events is per month is not that much. And like you said, it can be done after hours. Um, something else that's really helpful is making sure that you have automated emails going out, making sure that you have, even if it's just 1 to 2 emails a month, something needs to be going out for that internal side. And the external marketing.

Sheri: [00:25:03] Yes, absolutely.

Heather: [00:25:06] And that's really an easy way. When things are busy, you already have it in place, it's automated, it's ready to go. And so it's it's for, you know, like done and forgotten. Right. Um, and so I loved any time I can give someone something automated where it's like, this is automatically done, you don't have to worry about it. It's set up. And now, you know, you can go about and continue working. That is is a huge value to to clients, to, you know, to my clients because they get busy there. As a business owners, we wear a lot of different hats. We're doing a lot of different things. And so it might be that. You know, we are seeing they're seeing clients or patients and then they have a ton going on, like they're having to work through some like bookkeeping stuff or having to work through this. And so, you know, like I said, the ebbs and flows. So if they're able to have something automated, at least they're still continuing the contact. They're still continuing to warm relationships, reminding people they exist. That's a huge part of marketing. Like, hey, we're still here. Yes. Um, and it's it's off their plate.

Sheri: [00:26:19] Yes, absolutely.

Heather: [00:26:21] Yeah. Um, so let's talk about every episode. We always have some kind of take away, excuse me, take away or challenge to really get people, you know, here's your next step. And so what can we do? What can they do as a possible challenge or takeaway?

Sheri: [00:26:42] Well, I do think that it is putting something on your calendar. I think it is whether you're going to schedule, just like I said, you're going to schedule an email, like you said, an email that goes out at least once a month that keeps your clients patients informed about what's going on. You schedule a time that, okay, I'm going to go ahead and block my schedule on, you know, the third Wednesday of every month, I'm going to put some kind of networking thing on my calendar because you mean if anyone is like me, if it's on my calendar, I make it happen and something doesn't get in the way, because if it's not on the calendar, you know, things just fill in and then it doesn't happen. And so I think it's just making the commitment to your self, to your patients, to your clients make the commitment to schedule that and do it. And don't let something else override it, which is also hard to do. So it's that continuing continuing to service your current, you know, your current clients, your current patients, and then also reaching out to the potentials that maybe aren't there yet.

Heather: [00:27:53] Yeah. And I think something that you said is put it on your schedule and commit to doing it. Yes. You know, if you've got I'm going to spend 30 minutes or an hour once a month and I'm going to really focus in on this. Don't let other things get in the way of that. I've seen where some of my clients they'll do every Friday, just an hour long with, you know, the owner and like those that need to be there in a meeting. And they just kind of whether it's once a week, every two weeks, once a month, they sit down, they map out all their marketing out for the next couple months or so. They're always looking forward and moving forward. And and those meetings happen no matter what. And that's I mean, just making sure that other things don't get in the way of that is important.

Sheri: [00:28:40] Well, and just figuring out being okay, what's what's working right now, you know, because we know that what worked, you know, six months ago may not be working now. So that's the other thing. It's like, let's look at what is working. What are we seeing the benefit of what efforts are really working for us right now.

Heather: [00:28:57] And that's where that tracking comes in.

Sheri: [00:29:00] And.

Heather: [00:29:01] Are coming in through phone calls. Then you or, you know, I mean, even just as simple as having it on your intake form. How did you hear about us? Yes. That and then go back and actually look at it. That's yes, I know it's hard to like, oh yeah, we need to to kind of keep a tally as to where everyone is coming from so that we know what is working, where we should put our efforts 100%.

Sheri: [00:29:24] And the other thing, the one the thing that we love is self referrals. It's like there's no such thing as a self referral because you found out about us from somewhere, whether you googled it, whether you talked to a friend, there was someone that told you about us. You did.

Heather: [00:29:40] You heard about it from somewhere?

Sheri: [00:29:42] Yes.

Heather: [00:29:45] Well, Sherry, how can they find out more information about your services?

Sheri: [00:29:50] Yes. So we are predominantly in the DFW area, Dallas Fort Worth. We do have a website called Luka Um, visit us. We have Luka marketing, Instagram and Facebook. You can find out what we've been doing. We do are in the process of starting a campaign that we can facilitate outside of the DFW. We are hoping to launch that in 2024, so definitely could possibly benefit practices that are outside of our our footprint right now. So yeah, always love to help people out. If they have questions, you know, just email me Sherry at Luka and we'd love to talk.

Heather: [00:30:31] Yeah. Thank you so much for being here. I think it's been a great conversation.

Sheri: [00:30:35] Me yeah.

Heather: [00:30:37] And and what I always tell, you know, anyone who listens to the podcast, I'm like, just take a couple things like don't we can easily be overwhelmed by everything. You're like, okay, I'm supposed to be doing this. Just be doing that. Just take 1 or 2 things that, you know, little tidbits. If you take one thing from this and then move forward in your marketing just little by little, it's what you do every day that builds your marketing. Absolutely. So thank you so much for being here. And thank you for listening. Happy marketing y'all. We're glad you could be here today. Thank you for listening. If you are interested in learning more about marketing, check out my blogs at 3C Digital Media Network dot com. Harm or therapy marketing You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Episode 25: Heather Jensen

Heather: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, this is Heather, and you're listening to the Therapy Marketing Solutions podcast, where we are going to take the mystery out of marketing, and we're going to meet therapy clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving practices. You don't have to figure this all out on your own, because when we all work together, we're able to build something amazing and in the end, serve clients better. So let's get started. Hey guys, welcome to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. I am so happy to have you guys back. For this episode we are going to talk about your problems. Tell me your problems. I've always wanted to say that. So today we are going to talk about. Not your problems, but the problems that you solve for your ideal clients. Why is this important? Why is it important to talk about problems? Why? I mean, what does it matter? Right? So here's the thing about marketing is the little. Tidbit. I guess if you are not clearly talking about the problem that you solve for your ideal client, they may not be listening. If you want to get the clients that you truly want to work with, if you're working within a niche, or if you there's a specific kind of client that you enjoy working with, then. It is time to start talking about the problems, their problems, and how your business or your practice. Position themselves to solve it.

Heather: [00:01:49] So we need to be talking about problems here guys. Nobody does anything. I don't buy a pair of shoes, I don't buy food. I don't buy anything. I don't do anything unless I first have a problem. So what this really means, you know, and let's talk about it. Let's talk about on surface level. So if I buy a new pair of shoes it could be a cute pair of boots. It could be, you know, the most impractical pair of shoes ever. And the reason why I'm buying them is maybe because I have an outfit that nothing else, none of my shoes look good with. That's my problem. And these amazing shoes are solving my problem. So that's what I mean by talking about positioning your business to talk about the problems your clients are facing and how you can solve it. So there's a couple of different things you need to think about and be aware of when you're talking about problems and how you solve it. The first one really is, is that you never want to to oversell. If someone has, especially within the Allied. Health practices. And you know, you if someone has a debilitating disease or some kind of disease, you will not be able to probably solve it. If it is, if there is no cure for it. Right? So we always have to be very conscious of the problem that we solve. I cannot tell you that if I am, if I am helping you with my with your marketing, that I am going to solve world hunger, right? They just don't fit.

Heather: [00:03:39] So the problem that you're talking about, the solution that you bring forth, has to solve the problem. It has to be in direct relationship to the problem. So that's the one big thing is, is the solution to the problem, the end result, what life looks like afterwards. Does that is that actually solving the problem? Is that actually speaking to the problem? So that's the number one thing that you always want to be aware of. Make sure that you are solving the problem with a clear solution, a real solution, something that is actually tangible. I'm not tangible, but that's practical, right? Um, for example, if if you have a client that comes to see you because they have anxiety, you probably cannot solve their anxiety. They may have. If they have chronic anxiety, they may always have anxiety. Anxiety might be a part of their life. But can you give them tips? Tricks? Strategies for helping them to cope with their anxiety. Absolutely. Absolutely. So when we position ourselves in a way that solves their problem and improves their life, they're going to pay attention and they are going to say, oh my gosh, I need to talk to these people. I need to work with these people. Okay. So next thing that we always want to do is we want to make sure the problem is clear.

Heather: [00:05:37] We want to make sure that we're not solving. And with that I guess I should say we want to make sure that we're not solving too many problems. We want to let's solve one problem. For me, I have marketing solutions for therapy based practices. So the problem that I am solving is that you might need help with your marketing, or you might need direction with your marketing. And I help you with marketing solutions, whether that be that could be different things. It could be your website, it could be emails, it can be different services that I offer. But in the end, all of those are helping you with your marketing. Right. And so the problem is you need help with your marketing. I come with some with answers, with services that help you and solve a problem. Same thing is, you know, you might provide several different services within your business. Let's say you're a physical therapist. Um, you could provide service for someone who has an injury, a car accident, or just had surgery. Those are all different reasons why someone might come to you. But is the problem you're solving is helping them to get back to living a healthy life. Get back to. Being strong. Those are the problems that you're solving. So what you can say is you could say something like, you may have, you know, whether it be an injury, chronic pain or, um, or recovery from an operation or from surgery, whatever the reason is that you're that you're needing therapy, we can help you to live a stronger, healthier life or to have a body or to have to have your body.

Heather: [00:07:27] Um. To, to really, you know, have a healthier body. Something like that. So you're improving their life. It can be. But if you also work within a very specific niche. If you help someone with something that is very, very specific, you can get very. You can. The problem that you solve is going to be very specific as well. So those are kind of some of just the quick tidbits that you can think about. I know this episode is a quick one today, but this has been on my mind. Is solve the problem that your ideal client has and needs help with. If you can do that in your marketing, then you will have clients who are going to be fans, who will be amazed by you, who will be, who will do your marketing for you because they will be screaming from the rooftops that you are amazing. Um, so that's it for another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. Happy marketing y'all! We're glad you could be here today. Thank you for listening. If you are interested in learning more about marketing, check out my blogs at 3C Digital Media Network dot com or Therapy Marketing You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Episode 24: Kim Dutro Allen and Dr. Todd Houston

Heather: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, this is Heather and you're listening to the Therapy Marketing Solutions podcast, where we are going to take the mystery out of marketing and we're going to meet therapy clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving practices. You don't have to figure this all out on your own because when we all work together, we're able to build something amazing and in the end serve clients better. So let's get started. Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. We are excited to have you guys back and we are going to be talking about telehealth and how it can benefit your business and just some of the what you need to know about having, you know, a telepractice or using telehealth within your practice. So today I have Kim Dutro Allen and Todd Houston. They are both SLPs and they actually cohost a podcast that's called Telepractice Today. So welcome guys.

Kim: [00:01:14] Thank you.

Heather: [00:01:15] I'm excited to have you here and to talk about telehealth and the benefits. The the, you know, get some tips and tricks, maybe learn everything that we can need to know to help us use it in our practices. So, um, so I want to talk just, I want to introduce you guys a little bit more. Let's talk a little bit about what you are doing. So tell me about your background. Kim. Do you want to go first?

Kim: [00:01:43] Yeah, I'll do that. Um, so I am a speech language pathologist. I've been practicing since 2010, and I was Todd's grad student, and in 2009 we had a pilot study that was kind of seeing if Telepractice was viable for working with children, with hearing loss. And so that was kind of my first dip in the waters for that. And then I through my career, I've worked in I worked for a private practice in North Carolina and then for a early intervention system here in Utah. And then when my husband got done with school and I was looking to go part time and be home with my kids more, I started looking at Telepractice again. And in 2016 I made the switch over and that is all I've done really since then.

Heather: [00:02:39] Yeah, that's great. I want to jump in a little bit more into your story or, you know, kind of just what you're doing. And I love that you said that you. You know, it's perfect. It's perfect for your situation. You said that you had moved from northern Utah to southern Utah, and, you know, you continued with the same clients. Nobody knew anything differently. Maybe a few days off. But other than that. 

Kim: [00:03:09] Yep, yep. I'd moved during the summer and saw my all my school kids the next year and they kind of like a little bit batted an eye at the fact that my background had changed. But really they didn't know anything. That was the only difference. Yep.

Heather: [00:03:25] And then it's a perfect situation for you that you were able to kind of do this from a part time basis and yet continue doing the work that you love. Yeah. So that's great, Todd. So tell us a little bit about what you're doing.

Todd: [00:03:44] Well where I am now, I'm a faculty member at the University of Akron as, as you know, and did, was with Kim many years ago at Utah State University when we started doing Telepractice there. And then I left Utah State in 2011 and have been at the University of Akron ever since. And as a part of my my role there is to train graduate students in speech language pathology. And we've had telepractice as a focus. Or our on campus clinic that we have speech and hearing clinic. And then since 2014, I've been going over and working with the center and the cochlear implant program at Akron Children's Hospital, and I'm able to take grad students with me on those days. And we are doing both in-person and clinic services as well as Telepractice. So they get a chance to to participate in both. So that's sort of. My little bio. Short bio.

Heather: [00:04:56] I love that you said that you have that you've incorporated Telepractice within, you know, this graduate studies program. So often I see where sometimes the schools are a little bit behind. And so, you know, that's not really serving. And so then when people graduate, they're kind of trying to figure things out quickly. And and I love that you've just really embraced this. This is what it is. You know, this is how you use it. I mean, how I mean, that's like really beneficial for them to walk out and have this knowledge and to feel confident that they know what they're doing.

Todd: [00:05:35] Well, my personal philosophy and and there are others who believe this, too. But what's always driven me is in terms of our graduate students, in speech language pathology, and to an extent as well, audiology, is that we want them to be trained for the world they're going to inherit, the world that they're going to be working in. And and that has always been sort of in the back of my mind is how how do we set these students up for success when they graduate? And and so they they need this experience before they have to, you know, go out there and find a position and start doing it or be expected to do it. And so that is something that Covid has taught, taught us a bit of, you know, people were were placed in, you know, or having to do telepractice without any training and feeling overwhelmed. We've heard, you know, going back to when we were at together with Tim at Utah State, we've always wanted our students to to be able to do this if it was a part of their job. And now we know through Covid and after Covid, so to speak, it's even more prevalent now than it was before. And so and even through that, that sort of the Covid situation that happened with the pandemic. I got feedback from a number of my former students who were saying to me, sending emails and things about, Thank goodness we got this training then because now I'm having to train other people and I'm now the leader in setting up our Telepractice program.

Heather: [00:07:23] So absolutely.

Todd: [00:07:24] So that was, you know, really nice to hear. So so I think it's very important that this be a part of our training programs.

Heather: [00:07:33] Yeah, I think that's I think that's great. So you guys actually launched Telepractice today in May of 2020. And if any of you guys, you know, remember, that was kind of at the height of everything. Yeah. Yes. Of Covid. And, um, I love that you kind of saw that need where you're like, we're a couple months into Covid things aren't you know? I mean, let's face it, when we all started Covid, we thought, we'll be back in two weeks. We all thought that. Yeah, like just two weeks precaution and go back and and it ended up being a little longer.

Todd: [00:08:10] Right.

Heather: [00:08:11] And so I love that you saw that need. And you said, Hey, this isn't going away. I mean, whether we're in Covid or not. Let's let's start talking about Telepractice and how we can help people.

Kim: [00:08:24] Yeah, I think we were both watching each other kind of jump around in different forums and try to put out fires and tell people like it's going to be okay, you can do this. And then Todd approached me and said, Hey, do you want to start a podcast? And as being, you know, feeling like it was an assignment from my professor, I said, yes. And then in, you know, true form of it being an assignment from my professor, he said, Oh, good. Now I want you to outline the first ten episodes.

Heather: [00:08:55] I just want to know, did you get an A?

Kim: [00:08:58] Did I get an A? Todd? Yes.

Todd: [00:09:00] Yes. I thought I'd stick with it for a while.

Kim: [00:09:03] Yeah. Yeah. So and that was three years ago. So and I think at some points we've thought that we might run out of people to talk to, but it hasn't happened yet. And we've had some great conversations with a lot of people that are, you know, have been doing this for a while or content creators or have discovered it or even just things that are, you know, related to and impact Telepractice.

Heather: [00:09:28] Mm hmm. Yeah. So let's talk about a little bit of that. What have you. You know, you've had a podcast for three years. You guys have been doing telehealth for quite a while. What are some of the things that you've learned through this journey?

Kim: [00:09:42] It's interesting. I still had a friend the other day that texted me and was like, I'm kind of thinking about going into Telepractice. Is that realistic for me to be able to do it? And I was like, Well, it's all I've done for the last seven years. So yes, I think it's realistic. So I still think there is that idea out there. Is it just something that we did during the pandemic and now we can drop it, or is it something that, you know, is viable long term? And it definitely is.

Heather: [00:10:09] Mhm. Yeah. Yeah. What are some of the pitfalls that you have either experienced or heard about from others in doing telehealth or, you know, having these services?

Todd: [00:10:23] I think, you know, for some people, I think if they're trying to reach more rural families, sometimes the you know, obviously you got to have a good Internet connection. And and unfortunately, we still don't have we still have areas in the country that doesn't that don't have wonderful broadband support. So you need that. And I think as people start to plan their telepractice practice or adding telepractice to their private practice, I think they they need to be comfortable with the technology, understanding what you do in person and how to translate that to more of a digital online setting. And and that takes some planning in the beginning if you're just starting to do that. And then they they also need really strong you know support for. What they're going to use and making sure that everything works. And because with any computer, any system or any platform, you're going to have bugs at some point. So how are you going to troubleshoot that at that moment in time? But aside, you know, most of those things you can usually deal with fairly straightforwardly. And what what we've seen now really since Covid is the sort of explosion of Telepractice companies and the expansion of many of these companies. And if you just go online and look at who's, you know, they're all looking for people because they can't fill positions and and they seem to be just growing by leaps and bounds in terms of expanding their services and going into different areas and doing lots of things. And so that further reinforces that Telepractice is working and and these companies are growing and they're. You know, developing new markets and they need more people who are trained.

Heather: [00:12:30] And then there's a need and a true desire from clients or patients. They want this. Um, because there's that, you know, it's. They don't have to travel. There's mean they can receive. Um. They can receive services from wherever they're at. I know that we've done speech therapy on vacation before. It's been great. Or as we're traveling or whatever. Um, so I think one of the things that it was interesting when we were talking right before this that Kim said is that if, if you think like thinking that tele, you know, health is the same exact as meeting in person that that's a huge pitfall. Do you want to talk about that a little bit more?

Kim: [00:13:16] Yeah, I think just you know, we use the same clinical skills as far as our clinical judgment and things that, you know, selecting materials is the same clinical judgment. But I think just if you're going in and thinking that it's just going to be the same, like maybe I'll just like show the same flashcards I would or, or do the same materials in the way that I would if I was in person. I think that you're going to find it difficult to keep kids attention and to really take advantage too, of all of the tools that are there for you on the platform and just thinking about like instead of and we've talked about this in presentations too, instead of just how can I do the same thing that I was if I was in person is how can I use this tool to go beyond and make it even better and do more than I would than if I was sitting in front of them?

Heather: [00:14:12] Yeah. Yeah. What are some of the tools and and kind of tips and tricks that you use, you know, doing telehealth being on that digital because it is very different. You know, I've got kids who've been in speech therapy and for years and, and honestly, it's been, you know, if they're just flashing up the flashcards on the screen, I mean, my kids are like, Yeah, okay, what's up there? You know? Yeah.

Todd: [00:14:38] Bad, bad.

Heather: [00:14:39] To keep interest. Yeah.

Todd: [00:14:41] Poorly trained at that point. Yeah. You realize who's who's done this for a while and who who's just starting out.

Kim: [00:14:47] Yeah, for sure. I really enjoyed with it Depends on the age of the kid. And I've done everything from preschoolers to seniors in high school. So it depends on the age of the person you're working with. But I for my younger kids, green screen has been awesome and that's something that I feel like really is one of those things that bumped up a lot more during the pandemic because lots of people started creating more green screens and thinking about how would we do this and keep kids engaged. So that's a great one. And with my older kids, I just think that, you know, having the whole Internet at your fingertips is kind of what I think about using because that's the world that they are living in as well. So I will often, like I use Newsela or Newsela a lot just to talk about current events and have that be a language activity. I will have my students screen share their screen. So if they're working on something like an English assignment and it's they need an outline, then you know, I'm walking them through doing it instead of them just watching me do it and then sending it to them when the session is over. And that depends on the level of kids. I've done both of those things, but I just think, you know, thinking about like, how can I use this technology in a different way and not just do the same things I would do in person?

Heather: [00:16:11] Yeah, I've seen some fun activities out there where they've got I mean, even just like a a virtual game board and you're moving through the game board as you work through the sounds and the words. So which I mean, it's very interactive. It can be interactive. I think that's the big.

Kim: [00:16:31] Yeah, yeah.

Todd: [00:16:33] Yeah, it can. It can be interactive and engaging and fun while you're working on very important things.

Kim: [00:16:41] Yeah.

Todd: [00:16:42] Holding the card up to the camera saying, what's this? Or say this, that. That's not going to cut it.

Kim: [00:16:49] Yeah, it wouldn't cut it in person either. So. Right. But I think I think people feel more limited when like, well, I can't get down and play with a kid. I can't pull out my toys. I think they feel more limited and that might be why they go back to things like flash cards and things like that. But there's so many tools, like you said, game boards. You know, I use YouTube a lot, like wordless videos, all of these things that are there. And our kids know that they're there. They're I mean, I feel like you're really your challenge is to be more entertaining than an iPad when you're doing Telepractice, Right?

Heather: [00:17:21] Very true. It really is true. I mean, you know, kids are used to YouTube. They're used to. All of the, you know, the apps, the games, all of that stuff. And so we really need to be speaking their language. Yep.

Todd: [00:17:37] Well, it's sort of digital literacy for the SLPs, right? You know, they need to know how to find this material and know which websites work well and how to how to use them.

Heather: [00:17:51] Yeah, that sounds like a course right there. Yeah.

Todd: [00:17:56] One other quick thing I wanted to just mention. Um, going back to what we're seeing right now in terms of Telepractice and a lot of individuals maybe launching a private practice or a complete just private practice using telepractice only not doing in-person, and that's that sort of work life balance. And I think that's what has come out of Covid as well. Mm hmm. Um, and how it's affected speech, language pathology, where people were saying I can be at home and provide these services and it gives me more flexibility with my children or, or, you know, I have more control over my day or whatever the case may be. And I think that has also really, really skyrocketed in terms of just popularity and people making that kind of decision and using Telepractice for that balance.

Heather: [00:18:50] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think there's so many pros to that. There is, you know, you have to be careful because I mean, I work from home, so I see the struggle of that work life balance and sometimes work seeping into all the other parts of my life because it is at home. So you definitely have to set up some some structure, some rules, some guidelines for yourself and saying, this is when I will be doing it, this is when I won't. These are, you know, this is what I'm willing to do and what I'm not willing to do and to make to ensure that there's that, um, that separation a little bit. Because if not, then all of a sudden, you know, 8:00 at night you're thinking about work and said.

Kim: [00:19:36] Yep. Well, I think.

Todd: [00:19:38] Kim, you had a story about someone who put a cloth over the computer or something like that.

Kim: [00:19:43] Yeah. Yeah, I, I had a it was one of those social workers where I worked and I was talking to her about how to create that work life balance. And, you know, that's where some of the things that she mentioned that the only place for her desk was in her bedroom and just that that was like too much of like work is literally right there. So at the end of the day, she would take a sheet and put it over her desk to be like, okay, the day is dead. I'm creating a mental and physical separation between me and and work.

Heather: [00:20:14] Yeah, I love that. I think that's great. So I want to talk a little bit about some of the benefits of, of doing telehealth. One obviously we talked about is that wide reach that you're able to serve a larger audience, which is an actual. Another benefit is that if you you can live anywhere you want. This is the great part about being online now is that we have that flexibility to if we want to live in small town USA, we can still help people and still do the work that we love.

Kim: [00:20:50] Right? Yeah. And that's like I moved in the middle of, you know, all of my career with Telepractice and kept, you know, some of the same schools and clients and everything. When I moved and it was a little hard because I didn't have a reason to tell my husband we couldn't move because I wasn't like, but we can't leave my job because my job came with me. So. So I think that's a big benefit. And when I was starting, I had worked mostly in the schools, but when I was starting about seeing, thinking about seeing private clients, I was I was in a small town and I wasn't sure if I could get a basis of people that would be interested and have the means to pay for the services and things like that. So knowing that I could. Kind of cast a wider net, so to speak, into any of the places that I was licensed in. And I ended up one of my first online clients was actually in California, and I'm in Utah. I still am not quite sure how they found me, but I guess that was that's not a great marketing advertisement. I don't know how they found is maybe it is, but just in like I think I had just put it out on some like mom groups or something like that on Facebook. And you know, that was someone who was two states away from me and stayed a client for many years. And I wouldn't. Have had that If it wouldn't have been for Telepractice. Yeah.

Heather: [00:22:25] Yeah. So it really is. It makes therapy accessible to those who might live in rural areas. Or even allows the the therapist to live in a rural area if they want. Sure. And one other thought that I had is that it allows those that need specialty services to find them. So instead of just saying, hey, this is the only. You know, SLP or audiologist or whatever in my area, and they might just be very general or broad services. But I need someone who who is an expert in this area because we're really struggling to get the care that we need that they're able to go out and find those people.

Kim: [00:23:13] Yeah, right. And another thing that I think people don't think about as much with Telepractice is it also connects SLPs to that expert SLP too, because I do think if we're always just like, Oh, well, they know everything about that, send them to them, then we're doing, you know, that's your choice as a provider. But I think that, you know, in those areas where it's like, okay, this keeps coming up, I think I need some training in that. It gives I don't think we always think about Telepractice giving us, giving us as SLPs access to other SLPs who have that knowledge too. And that can be a great way to do that.

Heather: [00:23:51] Yeah, definitely. Yeah. And I've seen where the, you know, speech language. Kind of where things have started. I've seen a lot more specialties coming up and where know I work with stuttering or I work with Maya or I work with, um, uh, I one of the speech language pathologists for the clinic that we go to does cleft palates, and we're, they're able to offer those specialties. But I love that that thought that it also provides access for you as a therapist to, to gain additional training into helping your clients.

Todd: [00:24:31] Mhm. Exactly.

Heather: [00:24:33] Yeah. And it doesn't always have to be where you're consistently going all the time or I guess I should say not going, but where you're always doing telehealth, you know, Tom or Todd. Sorry. You had talked about hybrid. That hybrid could be an option as well.

Todd: [00:24:53] Yes. And I think there's lots of different situations. And sometimes, you know, parents who are a little reluctant to do telehealth, but maybe they are driving two hours each way to come see you then they you know, but they're kind of shy about, you know, technology and all that you can. You can sort of ease them into telepractice and that you could, you know, do some training on how to use the computer when they come in, you know, make sure they feel comfortable. And then. You can say, okay, you're going to come in weekly, but you know, this month but, you know, last week of the month, we're going to just do telehealth. You know, we're going to try to do telepractice and then you gradually get them in, you know, as they as they build their confidence and everything is working. Um, you can start to have more and more telepractice sessions versus in-person sessions if that's appropriate for the patient, for the child or whoever you're serving. And I think that's one of the things that I think, uh, sometimes we forget. Then as clinicians using both in-person and telepractice, we can really tailor the service delivery to meet the needs of the family or the child. And it may not be all one or the other. It's it could be that combination of the two. And that's why I think, you know, going back to my my grad students, I want them to be able to move seamlessly between Telepractice and in-person if that's what is needed. Um, so that's, that's sort of my philosophy in that sense.

Todd: [00:26:40] But talking about getting to a specialist, I remember one of the families I ended up working with through Telepractice, they were driving about 2.5 hours to see a specialist in person, and they had a little boy. He was about two and a half maybe. Um, and had hearing loss and cochlear implants and, and she would say by the time I get to that that big hospital and get parked and get him in, he is in no mood to do, you know, another hour of just talking or listening or whatever, you know, and behavioral problems and all these other issues would come up. And she said, Could we do something with you? You know? And I said, Well, we'll give it a shot. And so we started connecting to them in their home and coaching mom on what to do and working with this little guy. And they loved it. You know, they were comfortable being in their home. He was comfortable with his toys. It didn't have to spend all that time on the road because that's you know, if you think about 2.5 hours up there an hour. So that's 3.5 hours, then 2.5 hours back home. And that's a full day for a one hour session. And it was just such a hardship for this family. And then Telepractice was like, you know, you know, a gift from the heavens that, you know, that would really change, really change their lives because they didn't have to plan on doing all that anymore. So it worked really well. And those and can work really well in those situations.

Heather: [00:28:16] One additional benefit is, you know, there's been times where where my child just has the sniffles and I don't necessarily want to share the sniffles with everyone in the clinic. So it's perfect for that situation where it's like, yeah, we've got a cold, we're not really sick, but but I don't want to bring them and I don't want them to miss it. So let's just jump on and do telehealth. So having that option available, um, is beneficial for the clients, but it's also beneficial for the clinics because then there's not those cancellations, because we all know that during cold and flu season, all of a sudden we're like, okay, we're having a drop in numbers and attendance and, and that, that helps to alleviate some of that.

Kim: [00:28:58] Yeah. And on the therapist side too, that, you know, when my kids have that same thing, the sniffles, I'm like, okay, you lay on the couch, I'm down the hall, we'll be good. Or when I've been sick, I think like the only times that I've called out of work, which probably, I don't know, isn't the greatest example of work life balance. But when I had Covid and when I had laryngitis and had no voice and that's about it, Otherwise, other than that, I'm like, okay, I'm just sitting at home. I'm not worried about being contagious to anyone. And I can I can finish this day of work, you know?

Heather: [00:29:33] Yeah, absolutely. So I want to talk a little bit more about where telehealth is going. Where do you guys see it going? Is this is something that you guys, you know, do day in and day out? You have a podcast. You talk to a lot of people who are doing it. Where do you see it going?

Kim: [00:29:52] Um, I think one of the biggest benefits that I saw in the pandemic and that I think will continue to grow is just that people I would go into like a continuing ed training and I would be the only person in the room who had ever done patellar practice or had ever even thought of Telepractice. So I was listening to trainings and things that didn't take me and what I was doing into consideration. So I, you know, kind of go up to the presenters after and say, How do you think this would work? And for Telepractice and they're like, I don't know. I've never even thought about that. So I think just everyone creating, you know, whether it be people creating assessments or people creating materials, that they just have that in mind. And I think that that opens it up a lot more to have more things that we have access to and not just that our have been adjusted for Telepractice but built from the get go with Telepractice. And that's something that I'm really excited to see more of.

Heather: [00:30:52] Absolutely. Yeah, I think that's great.

Todd: [00:30:56] Well, as we've touched on, I think a little bit is that we're going to see more and more telehealth and more and more technology based interventions going forward. I mean, we can we're talking about telehealth and telepractice, But, you know, once we get into, you know, virtual reality and augmented reality and AI and how all that is going to also impact service delivery, it's you know, it's it's just going to keep expanding and incorporating more and more aspects of of technology going forward. And I just saw yesterday we were talking and when we recorded our podcast this week, Amazon has now extended their telemedicine efforts into all 50 states. So now and and I haven't checked out exactly what they are providing through their telemedicine program, but now they're in all 50 states. And that was a big press release about that. And so you see some of these companies seeing the the possibilities, whether it's, you know, service delivery and or diagnostic processes or different things going on and different, you know, therapies being delivered through telemedicine or telehealth. More and more are going to be doing. Cvs has done some stuff and, you know, getting into it more and more. And so I think we've all seen those commercials, you know, uh, being here in northeast Ohio, we have the Cleveland Clinic about, you know, 45 minutes north and a big medical center, you know, constant ads of. See. You see someone today, you have a problem. Here's how we can do it. And so they can talk to probably a nurse practitioner who will triage what's going on and get that person scheduled to see someone. Um, so think more and more of this is going to happen as we go forward. And I think, um, we're going to just keep seeing more and more telemedicine and within speech-language pathology and audiology even more as we go forward there too.

Heather: [00:33:09] Yeah, definitely. That's very cool. I love that you're just seeing more accessibility. And then of course, you know, Kim, what you were talking about, the the idea that. Of creating something with telehealth in mind instead of just saying, Hey, this is how we could tweak it so that we could use it within the telehealth. I think that's I think that's going to be great to see where it goes with that. And I think it'll help therapy in the sense that it's just going to become more interactive, which is going to be I mean, like you said. You know, a lot of the especially if you're seeing children, I mean, they they use YouTube. They're using the apps. They know they know technology. And so in order to be at their level, their therapists need to be using some kind of technology as well. Yeah. So rather than say, okay, it's there and put it in its little box, let's just embrace it and say, what can we do with it? How can we use it? Right.

Todd: [00:34:18] Exactly.

Heather: [00:34:19] So one of the things we kind of touched on from a marketing standpoint is that wide reach that you're able to service or, you know, provide a service to clients within a greater area. And and I want to circle back to that a little bit more, you know, because this is a marketing podcast. So and really, you know, in talking about telehealth, it's giving us a lot of good ideas that people can use telehealth within their business, but this can be a viable part of the services they provide. But also it can be helpful from a marketing standpoint. You know, obviously we got to let people know that if you provide telehealth, make sure they they know and they understand that. One of the other things that you'd mentioned is that before Covid, that there really wasn't that that those who were doing telehealth kind of struggled to get insurance companies to pay for it. And since Covid, that's been a positive benefit from there is that tele health can be billed just like any other insurance. Um, yes. Yeah. So making sure that word is out there that people understand that as well.

Todd: [00:35:39] I think we are seeing in some situations where some of the insurance companies are now pulling back. And not wanting to fund it. But I think there are things happening at the state level as well as at the federal level to to try to, you know, say no, you have to basically telehealth is equivalent or can be equivalent to in-person and you have to pay for it. Yeah. So we we have to keep pushing and making sure that it doesn't go away. The reimbursement doesn't go away. Um, the other thing that's happening right now, Heather, is, is. We have what's called this compact that's moving forward the Speech-language Pathology and Audiology Compact. And we expect it to probably in the next year or so. Hopefully it'll be fully functional, but I think we're up to about 23, 24 states that have signed on to the compact. And essentially what this would mean is that if you are licensed in one of those states, you could provide services in any of the other compact members in those states without having to get a full license in that other state. So right now, we're like Kim. She has to get she has to be fully licensed in every state that she's in and every.

Kim: [00:37:05] State that might that yeah, every state that I am physically sitting and where my client is physically sitting, which is something you have to be careful about with telling clients, like I've said, like, okay, it looks like you're traveling this week now, just so you know, I'm only licensed in California, Idaho and Utah. So if you're outside of that area, we're going to need to cancel the session.

Heather: [00:37:26] Yeah, right. Yeah. I've seen this across other I know that mental health professionals are also have a similar where and I love that because again, we live in a digital world we can have access to to people in anywhere. I mean I work with clients, you know, in Iraq, I've worked with clients in Australia, I've worked with clients wherever. And I'm not necessarily saying that you guys, you know, but why can't you work with a client in Florida? If you live in Washington, why can't you work? You know, and so I love that that this is kind of moving forward. Let's take what we learned from Covid. Let's take what we the good from it, and let's continue moving it forward, because I do think that is a huge part of, like you said, that that client that had to drive 2.5 hours for an hour, you know, appointment. I mean it's a huge strain on the family.

Todd: [00:38:26] Yeah exactly, exactly. But we so we see lots of positive things happening in the field and I think the compact happening, I think that's, that's going to change, you know, how we do business so to speak, and how we're providing services. Um, and, and frankly it's, it's been pushed, um, this kind of model has been, is being used, has been used in nursing and physicians who can do that now and, and they've been very vocal because they want to be able to work with patients across the state line if it's if that patient has driven in from across the line, they want to still be able to work with their patient. And and so they they've been pushing for this as well. So I think a lot of this will continue. And and hopefully in the next year we'll have the compact. Hopefully it will will reach all 50 states and territories eventually. Um, great. Yeah. So it's it will change how we do telepractice going forward.

Heather: [00:39:35] And so I want to wrap up just by talking about, you know, we always want to take away or some kind of challenge. And I know, you know, just I want to give someone some kind of actionable step they can take. So what would you say that that would be with telehealth in mind?

Kim: [00:39:54] And when I think about it, I think just maybe identifying one client or contact that you've had in the past that maybe you know that they're driving really far for a session or someone that's been interested to you in the past and then didn't do it because of distance and maybe just offering a, you know, free initial session to try it out. I think that gives the it's it's hard to know how to do telepractice until you do it. So I think jumping in but having that you know like this is something that's new for me I know it's new for you. Let's the first session is, you know, I will provide that just for us to try it out. And I think that'd be a great way to kind of dip your toe in and see if it's something that you could viably offer to someone.

Heather: [00:40:39] Yeah. And when love about that, it's not an all in kind of situation. You don't have to go all in. Yeah. Yeah. Try it out see if it if you enjoy it, see if it works well for your client and then if it does, then you go in a little bit more, you take the next step. Yeah.

Kim: [00:40:55] And there are some like, you know, minimum requirements. You want to make sure that you're using a platform that is HIPAA compliant, like Free Zoom is not HIPAA compliant. I feel like everyone knows that by now, but just in case they don't. But that was something to the cost of the health care. Zoom went way down during the pandemic, which it could have gone way up, but it went way down during the pandemic. So it's something that does make it viable. And you can buy a month of that just to try it out.

Heather: [00:41:28] Yeah, I love that. Well, thank you so very much. I love we've had a great conversation. I hope that anyone listening can take a couple different, you know, 1 or 2 little tidbits from this and and either decide how they can, you know, improve telehealth that they're currently offering or, or maybe decide, hey, I'm going to try it with one client and see how it goes. So I really appreciate you both being on here today.

Kim: [00:41:59] Thank you.

Todd: [00:42:00] Thank you, Heather.

Heather: [00:42:01] Definitely. Well, I just want you guys to remember that it's just one little step at a time. Every little step, every little thing, you know, grows and adds to to your marketing. And so I know that, you know, sometimes you can feel overwhelmed in your marketing, but it doesn't have to feel that way. Just doing one little thing will help your business. So I just wanted to say thanks guys for listening and happy marketing, y'all.

Heather: [00:42:28] We're glad you could be here today. Thank you for listening. If you are interested in learning more about marketing, check out my blogs at 3C Digital Media Network dot com or therapy marketing You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Episode 23: Elliot Jensen

Heather: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, this is Heather and you're listening to the Therapy Marketing Solutions podcast, where we are going to take the mystery out of marketing and we're going to meet therapy clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving practices. You don't have to figure this all out on your own because when we all work together, we're able to build something amazing and in the end serve clients better. So let's get started. Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. This is backlinks, not backstrokes. And what are backlinks? What are we talking about here? What does that mean? Obviously we're not talking about swimming today. I do not have Michael Phelps on my podcast, but I have the next best thing. I have my husband, Elliot Jensen on here who works with us on our SEO. So welcome. Hi. Um, so I kind of have a surprise for you. Crickets. Crickets. He loves when I say that I have surprises or something exciting to tell. 

Elliot: [00:01:20] I have no clue what you're talking about.

Heather: [00:01:21] He, like, grips the table and is like, Oh, goodness, what is she going to do next? So episode 23. This episode is being launched on our anniversary, not only our anniversary, but our 25th anniversary.

Elliot: [00:01:41] Oh, cool.

Heather: [00:01:42] 25. By the way, babe, in case you were forgetting.

Elliot: [00:01:45] Are you going to tell me Michael Phelps is really here? 

Heather: [00:01:47] Yeah, Michael Phelps is coming.

Elliot: [00:01:49] Or what? Um.

Heather: [00:01:51] That would be a whole different platform. A whole different podcast, Really? I wouldn't know what to talk about other than you're really cool. Michael Phelps. But okay, so we are talking backlinks today. We're not going to talk about our anniversary, although 25 years is pretty dang cool. Um, and I don't know if that means we're old or if we just were babies when we got married. Okay, but yeah. So did you guys know that over 66% of all pages on websites have absolutely no backlinks? Like, that's amazing. That is shocking. This comes from refs, who is a great resource for SEO tools. 66%, guys, that's a lot. So if you have a handful of backlinks, guess what? You're already beating them. You're already like doing better than your competition. So congratulations on that. And that's, you know, let's pat ourselves on the back because, I mean, wow, like mind blown when I saw that percentage. Um, so let's talk about backlinks. Let's talk about what we can do to create backlinks. First off, I want to ask you, what are backlinks?

Elliot: [00:03:16] Well, backlinks. Essentially what it is, it's when, um. Somebody is going on to your website or a website and they find a piece of information that they think is pretty cool and would like to share with others. So what they will more than likely do if they like that piece of information, if they are a blogger or somebody who owns a website, they'll go on to theirs and they will put a link. To your website. Hence that becomes a backlink. And then anybody else who goes on to their website will see that. And pretty much it gives you credibility and some authority because they're referring back to you saying this person has knowledge and said subject. So and also what that is, since we're talking about backlinks and there's multiple ways of getting not backstrokes what that essentially does that that what I described is a natural backlink where it you're it's passive. You didn't do anything except you have a website with great content. I was going to.

Heather: [00:04:24] Say you created great content. I mean that's, that's pretty big. That's something. Yes. So when we talk about a natural backlink, it's it's really the idea that if someone. You know, it was out there writing a blog post or quoting, you know, that they're looking for some kind of authority out there. So they may take a quote from your website on a on a blog post that you wrote. Maybe you did a research project, maybe, you know, just any kind of valuable information out there that will support them. They're going to pull that and then they're going to reference you in that blog post or on their website. Um. So really a natural backlink isn't that hard to do? It's not like I don't know. I think sometimes people think backlinks. Oh my gosh. Like, that's so much work. What could I do? Like, who do I need to. Who do I need to be? What do I like? You know, kind of like a backstroke. Do I need to do a backflip? Something? It doesn't really need to be that hard. A natural backlink is just create valuable, amazing content and people will find you.

Elliot: [00:05:36] Exactly. And if and obviously, like I said, if they like what they see, they're going to want to share it. Yeah.

Heather: [00:05:43] So there are other ways to do backlinks, though, other than just like a quote from your website. I mean, you can do things like if you had some kind of infographic or visual content, they could also create, you know, share that and have a link to you as well.

Elliot: [00:05:58] Right, exactly. And before I go there, let's just back backpedal just one second and find out there's a lot of.

Heather: [00:06:04] Back going backwards today.

Elliot: [00:06:06] It's back stroke for a second and discuss how it benefits us. Right. So what is the importance of a backlink? Why should we have a backlink other than we know that we know that there's 66% of the people that don't have a backlink, but why should we have one? The reason being is it's building and we kind of we kind of insinuated or talked about it just briefly, but it's building that authority and that credibility, and that's what Google looks for. They want to know who has the most credibility, who has the knowledge. And to them, if they see somebody was backlink to another person, it was a referral. Then they consider that to be somebody who has that authority and that knowledge and that's what you want. That's very important in today's age of SEO is to have that authority figure. It's kind of like it's kind of like looking for a mechanic, right? You're not you're probably not going to go just to some directory or lookup and do a Google search to find out who, you know, some mechanic. You want to look at the referrals, Correct. You're going to ask your neighbor or somebody, hey, who do you think is a good mechanic? And they're going to say, Hey, Joe Schmo over there is the best mechanic I've seen. Joe Schmo. He's a great guy, Joe Schmo, that great guy. And that's kind of how these backlinks work. Um, they say, yep, Google says so and so website that person. That's the guy to go to because he has about six backlinks to him. So he must have that authority and that's the benefit.

Heather: [00:07:39] And I think that's the big word authority. Google is looking to ensure that you have authority, that you have credibility before they put you at the top of the list, so to speak. They want to make sure that they are giving the best. You know, when you when someone goes in to search for therapists near me or physical therapist near me or whatever it is, they want to make sure that they are putting the the most credible websites first. And that's really the goal of a backlink, is that we're long term, is that we're the more backlinks we get, the more credibility we get, the more Google ranks us better.

Elliot: [00:08:20] Exactly. Exactly. And now now we can go ahead and move forward a little bit back Now we're.

Heather: [00:08:26] Allowed to use infographics.

Elliot: [00:08:28] You infographics.

Heather: [00:08:29] You got permission.

Elliot: [00:08:32] Yeah. So there's there's multiple and we mentioned the natural backlink correct. And that's probably one of the best methods if you have great content. So focus on your content. Obviously the.

Heather: [00:08:42] Easiest.

Elliot: [00:08:43] It's the easiest because it's passive. You don't have to do a lot.

Heather: [00:08:46] You're not having I mean, you know, unless you're a graphic designer, creating graphics can be or unless it's something that just feeds your soul. Creating graphics takes a lot of time.

Elliot: [00:08:56] So Exactly. So and the other methods you have, what Heather just talked about is graphics, so infographics, right? Um, those are charts or some cool visual graphic that makes sense to people and that because a lot of people like are visual, we're more visual than audio and we like to see something that's clear, simple, precise. And so if you see some graphic that you like, you're going to pull that and then cause a backlink. So creating infographics is one way. Also, uh, flow charts. I think I saw a website, I can't remember honestly if it was a tour or a hotel, did some kind of cool flow chart showing all the, all the amenities and all the stuff that they had and all the products they provided. And it showed in a flow chart method, which is kind of cool so that that attracts people and people are going to want to share that. And then another method is, is surveys.

Heather: [00:09:57] And this one I actually think could very quickly um, become backlink worthy as. That a thing? If it's not, then I just created the term surveys because like I just pulled that 66% of all of all pages have no backlinks from ahrefs. Guess how they got that? It's from a survey. It's from going out and doing the research. So people are looking again for credible sources to use on their website. So when you're doing a survey, as long as it's a well founded survey using like the methods, good methods for for creating a survey, then they're going to want to I mean, they don't want to go and do a survey. They're going to take your efforts and, you know, quote your surveys. And that's going to benefit them as well as you. So surveys are a great thing when you do research, if you're, you know, if you have questionnaires or things like that. And then you write a blog post on your findings. I mean, that's pure gold for for other businesses to say, oh, my gosh, look at this. This is the this is the the information, the statistic that I have been looking for that's going to support my blog post. Um. So I think that's I mean, surveys, like I said, are gold.

Elliot: [00:11:26] Oh, exactly. Like, for instance, if I've seen this before, an outdoor recreational site. Right. Um, wanted to bring in more traffic. What do they do? They got a marketing team together, got a survey done to find out what were the best campgrounds in the States. So they did that. And that is an interesting thing. You know, he likes to go outdoors and camp. And if you like to travel and check out other states, you're going to want to see who do you think has the best campgrounds? Well, that brought in a lot of traffic because there's a lot of backlinks to that as well. There's other people out there doing the same thing. So they took that piece of information and that just created a lot of traffic for them. I think it bought them up another 1,020%. I don't remember exact numbers, but so that's surveys are a great idea.

Heather: [00:12:11] Yeah, that's great. Um, one of the, the things that I really like, I found a quote. It's by Matt Cutts and he says, the objective is not to make your links appear natural. The objective is that you are natural, that your links are natural. And really, to me, that's I mean. I think that just goes back into create valuable content, create content that's going to help your clients benefit, you know, whether that's blog posts on on how to sleep when sleep methods for for people who have back pain or, you know, sleep methods for sleep apnea or whatever it is. Create content that your ideal customers clients want to read about and others will find that of value as well and link back to you. So make it natural. If you if it needs to be, you know, something where you're like, oh, I got to shove this in. It doesn't feel natural and it's just not going to benefit you that much. That much.

Elliot: [00:13:22] Right.

Heather: [00:13:23] Um, so I know that there's different things. So we've talked about what are backlinks, how do they work, how does it benefit us, but how do and then even some of the ways in how we ourselves can get backlinks. Um, what if we what if we don't have a blog? What if we're not? Um, you know, that's just not our thing at this. At this point in our business, are there other ways to have backlinks or to create backlinks?

Elliot: [00:13:53] Yeah, certainly. There's this, this a little bit more time consuming, a little bit more effort. You have to be very proactive in this, but it's pretty much building a relationship. So you need to go out and search possibly an influencer or a blogger, um, or some other website owner. You need to do a little research, find out who that individual is, somebody who's obviously somebody who's within the same industry as you. You know, you want to keep it related. Um, and then you want to email that individual and start building that relationship. And that is, um, letting them know, Hey, I've read your blog, I've read your post. I thought it was great. Um, what do you think? And then come up with an idea to kind of relate to them or write something that is in comparison to what they wrote and say, Hey, I thought of this to go along. What do you think of this piece of information? And if you like it, would you be willing to share it and say Share? Don't say backlink, just say share. And more than likely they'll share it. If you put within that email your your link to your website or your blog or whichever.

Elliot: [00:15:03] If you don't have one, just build up a website, build up something, you can put that or even if it's just a share, if you don't have a blog, that's the good thing. It's a share that's also on social media. So that will create that relationship. The one thing that's what you want to do, one thing you don't want to do, and this is kind of old school, is you don't want to go out there immediately asking for a backlink. Say, Hey so-and-so, I saw this, would you please link to my site because I have this this to show you. That's an immediate no go. They're going to say no, I'm sorry. Absolutely. That's that's not building a relationship. You want it to be a win win? That's that's like I said, it's a little bit more effort, a little bit more time consuming. But it's actually you build that relationship with that person. You can have a good thing going. Um, the other way, too is, is there's actually sources out there on one of them called Haro, which stands for helping a reporter online.

Heather: [00:15:55] There's h a r o.

Elliot: [00:15:58] H a r o just look up h a r o on Google and you'll find that and you can get onto their email list of reporters. And what they do is these reporters are going online looking for quotes for their piece that they're trying to work on looking for something. So if you think, again, this is a little bit more time consuming, you have to have some information. You have to start writing and creating something, even if it's not a website. You have to have something, a blog, a piece of information, a paper and have those available readily available, because these will come up fast and you only have so much time. You have a very short window to actually post something and give it to them and definitely don't use chat because they will smell that a mile away. So don't try to throw that at them because they know it. And they even say that online, believe it or not, they'll come up and say it right there. Please don't provide us any chat. Yep. So but you can start building a relationship with the reporter, which is great because you can end up on some of these great publications, you know, and that's fantastic authority right there.

Heather: [00:17:01] Well, and I think, you know, because when I hear you talk a little bit, it's part of me is like, oh my gosh, it might just be easier to create a blog, right? But a blog is something that you have to be consistently feeding, doing, whereas these other things can be just on occasion, um, especially if you already have, you know, there's a lot of, of you guys who have done research, who have maybe papers published you can pull from that and they, and then just refer to your paper on, I mean because that's a great resource. You've done the research, you've written the paper already on it, so why not continue to benefit from it? Right, exactly. Um, so, so it is yes and no. It is, it is more work and it isn't more work because a blog, you know, takes. Okay, well, I've got to write at least one blog article a month or whatever and get it published on my website. So there's pros and cons to both. I guess what I'm saying. Um, believe you me, I mean, if you guys have heard any of my podcasts, you know that I can, I can rant and rave about how great blogs are. So but, you know, it's not always for everyone. And timing is important with a blog because it is a commitment. So this is a little less commitment, um, for you doing something like. Reaching out to an influential blogger or, you know, even just or using Haro or one of those things can be. Can can be helpful to just slowly create the backlinks. Correct. Um, so one of the questions are all backlinks good for us?

Elliot: [00:18:46] That's a good question.

Heather: [00:18:47] For our some making us do the backstroke.

Elliot: [00:18:50] Exactly. Um, that's, that's something that there are tools in SEO that we can check to see what backlinks you're receiving and headers right on. There's some backlinks that just have nothing to do with your industry. Um, somebody thought maybe something was just cool or they're just trying to throw a backlink out there and hope that maybe you link up with them, but actually that's doing more harm to you than benefiting you.

Heather: [00:19:16] I have a great example. So one time. I was having this discussion with someone who was an SEO person and they're like, Oh yeah, we'll get you backlinks. We'll get you to the top of the, you know, the list, this and this and that. And so when I started to dig in further, um, they had a restaurant that was one of their clients that they had linked it to a veterinarian clinic. What the heck does a restaurant have to do with unless you're feeding dog, which I might get emails for that comment, but I'm like or some other animal that's at the veterinarian clinic. I they don't have anything to do with one another. They're not related. It is not going to benefit you to have your restaurant linked with some random business. It's the same thing for you if you're a physical therapist, unless you see dogs and are helping them with physical therapy on the side, probably shouldn't be linked with a veterinarian clinic. So it needs to make sense. Whoever you are linked with because you guys are all holding hands together, you know, And so you want to make sure that that you have some kind of it's relatable. There's some relationship to it.

Elliot: [00:20:33] Exactly. And Heather's right on it. And Google will know that they they will know that it's not the same industry. So in some ways, you may get penalized for that. And so you might want to ask to remove that backlink or get rid of that backlink. And like I said, there's tools to do that's part of SEO. That's part of what we do.

Heather: [00:20:52] Yeah, Yeah. So, yeah, definitely. You know, we're always looking to build reputable backlinks and to remove the disreputable, the bad backlinks because like I said, they're going to make us do the backstroke. Um, think.

Elliot: [00:21:08] See how you're tying that in. Yeah, that works. Okay. Well, I thought it was more of a dad joke at first, but now I get it. Okay.

Elliot: [00:21:14] You know.

Heather: [00:21:15] Dad jokes are the best, so. Um, so I just want to wrap this up with a couple different things. You know, SEO Refugee says the three essential elements of an effective SEO are effective communication, useful information and high quality backlinks. And again, we need to do this in a natural way. You know, we're not when you're thinking of SEO and it comes to keywords, you never want to shove keywords just in your in a on a page. You want it to be natural. Same thing with links when you're adding links. If you're writing an article on the benefits of of doing a sleep study, I seem to be on sleep. Maybe I need a nap. Um, the benefits of of sleep studies then you're going to want to find. Some kind of credible sources that are going to help you with that article. Right. To pull from there. And that's how backlinks work. Make it natural. Have it make sense and then you're going to be off. You know, you're going to be doing great again. I mean. 66%. So if you're in that 34% of creating some backlinks, you're probably winning, um, and doing better than you really think. So that's the good news. Okay, so what's our takeaway? Our challenge for this week.

Elliot: [00:22:49] You asking me? 

Heather: [00:22:51] Yeah.What's our takeaway? Our challenge? What's something well mean?

Elliot: [00:22:54] Will you pause like you want to respond? I'm like, it's going to be interesting. Okay, So.

Heather: [00:22:59] You know when you do podcasts, they don't talk back to you.

Elliot: [00:23:01] Oh, yeah, Just I thought I'm like, thought it was a pretty smart guy. And what technology do I not know about? Okay, so yeah, the takeaway, I think the biggest takeaway and we've hit on this about 3 or 4 times is a natural backlink. And by saying that you need to have really good content. So if you're going to focus on anything on here and if you're going to take away from anything when you're creating that website, just make sure you have really good content. One thing you can do is, is when you're writing it, have multiple people read it, see what they get out of it. You know, I'm sure that's what you do. You have multiple people read your content and see what it looks like and you probably read it over and over again, see if it makes any sense and if it's something good that I think that's the biggest takeaway. The number one thing.

Heather: [00:23:51] Yeah. So create good content. I mean, you're already a. You know, you already have expertise in your field and and share what you know. We're not asking you to reinvent the wheel. Just share what you know and you will be rewarded by that. Um, okay. So this has been another episode. Uh, happy 25 to us.

Elliot: [00:24:19] Yay! 25.

Heather: [00:24:21] Here's to 25 more. 

Elliot: [00:24:22] Goodness. Yeah, that's 25. Wow.

Heather: [00:24:29] Um, and we hope that you guys get something out of this. If nothing else, understand that backlinks are not this scary, voodoo like thing. It is something that you can't. It's obtainable. It's something you can do. It's something that you just start off slow. You just continue to build on that a little bit at a time. Really helps with your marketing. And I just want to leave this with you. Happy marketing, y'all.

Elliot: [00:24:57] Happy marketing, y'all.

Heather: [00:25:01] We're glad you could be here today. Thank you for listening. If you are interested in learning more about marketing, check out my blogs at 3C Digital Media Network dot com or therapy marketing You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Episode 22: Cindy Picht

Heather: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, this is Heather and you're listening to the Therapy Marketing Solutions podcast, where we are going to take the mystery out of marketing and we're going to meet therapy clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving practices. You don't have to figure this all out on your own because when we all work together, we're able to build something amazing and in the end serve clients better. So let's get started. Welcome, everyone, to a new episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. This is Heather Jensen and I am here with Cindy picked at From Light the Way counseling. We are so very excited to have her on this episode and we are going to be talking about owning a business and all the things that come with owning a business and the job training, the on the job training that comes with owning a business. So welcome, Cindy. We're glad to have you here.

Cindy: [00:01:05] Thank you. Heather. I'm so glad to be here.

Heather: [00:01:07] Yeah, definitely I, I really enjoyed. Preparing for this podcast. I learned so much and I always love having a conversation with you about your business and and what's going on. So let's talk a little bit about your background and what you do and then how you became a business owner.

Cindy: [00:01:34] Sounds good.

Heather: [00:01:36] And so what? What are you. So you own a counseling center?

Cindy: [00:01:40] Yes. Yes. Like the way counseling center in New Jersey.

Heather: [00:01:44] And how long have you owned it?

Cindy: [00:01:46] Next year it'll be 20 years. So 2004, we we became an LLC.

Heather: [00:01:53] Yeah, Yeah. And before that, what were you what were you doing? Because you kind of, you know, many business owners say, hey, okay, like I've been a counselor or a therapist or whatever. I've been doing this for a while. All of a sudden they're like, I want to open a business. But that's not that's not your journey. Your journey was a little bit different from from the typical like, let's start a business.

Cindy: [00:02:20] Correct. Yeah. I have my undergraduate in health and physical education. I wanted to be a teacher and then went to graduate school for counseling. And then then I worked in a children's psychiatric hospital for six years as a recreation therapist. So really integrating those two degrees that I had and then I did some teaching and and some other things and in because in New Jersey, they didn't have a licensed professional counselor license yet. And I didn't feel comfortable just putting out a shingle and say hey yeah I'm a I'm a therapist. And so when they did, I was able to be grandfathered in. To have my license as a professional counselor and. Just kind of started seeing people out of my church. And in 2004, the pastor I was working with decided to move to a different state. And so I thought it was a good time to really branch out and have an office and work with other people, because I do like to work together as a team, don't I don't like being a solo person. So in 2004. We we started like the Way Counseling Center.

Heather: [00:03:55] Yeah. That's so exciting that you guys have been in for almost 20 years. That's amazing. Yeah. Um, but the journey of starting a business. I mean, it was it was not all it was cracked up to be, Right? It was a little bit different.

Cindy: [00:04:10] Well, I don't have any business training or I didn't at that time and didn't know all that it entailed. Uh, except that. Okay, I had an LLC, and, uh, a friend of mine said, yes, I'll. I'll be a partner because you needed two people for an LLC. And she found a great space that was large enough that I could have other people. So a couple people I knew, I asked to come on board, so there was no sitting down with business people or other counselors or anybody to say, okay, how do we do this? Very planned out. It was very much, Yeah, this sounds like a good idea. Let's do it.

Heather: [00:05:02] Um, and that's kind of one of the I mean, even now, you know, almost 20 years later, most therapists don't have any business classes. They don't take business classes in college. That's one of those things I could get on a soapbox about. Like I'm like, just at least have one business class, just one. Because a large percentage of of therapists become business owners. And so just some kind of here's how to get started. You know, here's how to create an LLC, here's something you know is would be so helpful for for many of you and that's you know it kind of becomes this sink or swim situation where it's like, okay, I've got to figure this out real fast. I just got thrown in the deep end and now I have to figure out how to pay employees. Now I have to figure out how to, you know, navigate contracts and, um, you know, office space and all the things that come with being a business owner. Marketing. Um. And so it's a it's a it's a big jump from working for someone else or even just being maybe like a solopreneur working like doing telehealth to all of a sudden, like we're going to open up a brick and mortar building with, you know, with other therapists. And I mean, there's a lot to know, right?

Cindy: [00:06:29] And many, many people coming out of college these days think, oh, yeah, I'm just going to work for myself after I get after I'm fully licensed and it'll be great. And they don't they don't consider all the costs, really. In fact, one counselor friend I know said, working for yourself, having your own business is like after you minus all the costs, insurances, everything else. And these days the electronic health record program and and HIPAA and other HIPAA compliance stuff, it's like working for Trader Joe's. It's very, very small amount that is is a take home.

Heather: [00:07:16] Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's definitely a huge learning curve and a lot that comes with it. Um, so, you know, with starting out, one of the things we discussed is that when you first started out, you did feel some of those imposter syndrome feelings that you were like. How did I become the boss? Yes.

Cindy: [00:07:38] Yeah. And and really, because I. I thought of it and and made up the name and and had other people come join me. It's like, yes, I get to be the boss and not from anything that I really studied or earned or anything else. So it it was. It was an impostor kind of feeling. Yeah. Syndrome. What did you.

Heather: [00:08:07] Do? Was there anything to do that helped you overcome some of that, or was it just within time that, you know, after a period of time that some of those feelings kind of abated?

Cindy: [00:08:21] Well, sometimes it probably is still there. Yeah, like, what am I doing? Um, but I over the years, I found people that knew a little bit more about business. I thought about from the get go. I thought about the bosses that I had that I wanted to be like. And one of the main characteristics was their. Always finding something good. Being a very positive leader. And and so I've wanted to be a good leader. So that's been one of the things. And then and studying, I think a big thing is investing in ourselves. In our own growth, but as as a leader too. So finding different people that I resonated with that. I wanted to put into practice some of the things that they were saying.

Heather: [00:09:22] Yeah, yeah. And I love that. I, I. From personal experience, I'm the same where I had I was lucky to work with some small business owners in the beginning who were very influential and me deciding to want to be to own a business and that they took me under their wing. They, you know, nurtured my abilities, my talents, my skills. They they wanted they're like, What do you want? And then they helped me to get there. Um, and I guess seeing the qualities in others that you really admire and deciding that's who you want to be as a leader, right?

Cindy: [00:10:03] Because if you're the leader, the, the people that are working with you are going to take on some of those characteristics.

Heather: [00:10:14] And it really goes to how like the work culture, you know, like if you have a toxic work culture, I can't say that word work culture. Work culture. Um, you know, it's really from the top down. So as, as the owner, you know, the culture that you create is going to trickle down to everyone in, in the business and the practice, right?

Cindy: [00:10:43] And part of our key characteristics, our top three, is that we have a real passion and compassion for people. We just love people. That's key, I think. And and we have a passion for learning and we are always learning more and more. And and we have a positive attitude because if we have some a sense of humor is very important in our field. And for me. And so if we don't have a sense of humor, if we're if we don't have a positive attitude, um, a person would not fit into our culture.

Heather: [00:11:24] Yeah, definitely. And that's I think over time, one of those things that you learn as you're hiring or bringing on other therapists, I would imagine that you learn, you kind of start to see the the red flags in the hiring process. You're like, you know, I don't know if they would be a great fit. They may have all the credentials in the world, but but if they, you know, have a negative attitude or, you know, just can't show up, then then that might not be the the best fit. Right.

Cindy: [00:11:55] And I saw that over the years where there would be some that that just were complainers or negative attitude. And it really does seep through. To everybody else. So the group that we have are just fantastic with their attitude and and all those key characteristics.

Heather: [00:12:18] Yeah, that's great. I think one of the things when we were talking before is being the leader you would like to lead you that idea, you know, kind of do unto others as you would do unto. Um, and so really looking at like, what kind of who do I want as a boss and writing down some of those qualities or those things that you would like to see, and then saying, okay, now how can I be that leader or boss for someone else? Yeah.

Cindy: [00:12:49] Yeah, yeah. Making a list or finding a list of all sorts of characteristics and and picking the top ten and then, you know, narrowing that down and. And then how do I develop that? Yeah.

Heather: [00:13:06] Yeah. What is one thing that you wish you knew before you started your business? You're like, That would have come in handy. I made a huge blunder of that.

Cindy: [00:13:18] That's a great question and a tough one to answer because probably everything I knew, nothing going in. If I had to pick one thing, it might have been. A pay structure that benefited everybody. And yeah, that might be it, but just. Yeah, I'm being relational. I knew relationships were the most important thing and and building that relationship and building a good team and that's taken that in itself has taken a lot of time. So maybe even figuring out what were those key characteristics I wanted to focus on, I wanted to look for. Yeah. And yeah, so, uh, and we're still learning. I'm still learning.

Heather: [00:14:15] Absolutely. Absolutely. I think that's one of those things that and, you know, businesses change how we run business changes. What was great 20 years ago is obviously very different now. We have we have telehealth now. You know, that's a whole new that's a whole new game. Yeah. It's a big. Yeah. Changes everything.

Cindy: [00:14:37] Yeah. We are able. And with my personality the way it is, we were able to adjust to telehealth rather quickly because we we don't have to spend a lot of time. Planning and thinking through things, we can really much act on our feet. And so we adjusted to that. That very well, I think. Yeah.

Heather: [00:15:02] Yeah. Um, and I know that we talked about that. One of the things that was helpful to you was of course taking some business or leadership classes and then just having a really good support system around you.

Cindy: [00:15:17] Yeah, very important. Yeah. First, we are we are a Christian counseling center, but we, I think one of the things that makes us very unique is that we, we really do meet people where they're at. We we have the evidence based. The traditional therapy and integrated with our Christian faith. But we give everybody an option of, if they want, just the traditional evidence, base based counseling, which is fine. And so we've we've been able to work with all sorts of people from all different backgrounds. And that's that's exciting. And. So certainly what has helped me be a leader is what's in the Bible, how Jesus led and and other things that that are there and having those positive role models and and being a counselor, too. We have skills that help us be a a good leader and being able to listen. I have one counselor that was so thankful that I really understood one of his needs and I'm like, Well, why wouldn't I know it? He expressed what he needed and it's like, okay. And and that's fine. Without trying to disagree with him or change his, his, his need there. And, and then just studying storybrand, which is how I met you. Um, reading Donald Miller's books. There's, there's a, I guess, a success coach by the name of Darren Hardy that I've studied a lot of his materials, which have been very helpful. Uh, Michael Hyatt with the full focus planner and some of his materials or have been some of the main things that have really helped me develop my leadership skills.

Heather: [00:17:28] Yeah, I think that's great. And that goes back to the ideas of always learning. Yeah. And being open. I think you have to be very open as a leader. You can't just say this is how it's going to be and this is how it's always going to be. I mean, that's just that wouldn't work for anyone. That again, goes back to that toxic culture.

Cindy: [00:17:47] Especially my team that.

Heather: [00:17:51] Yes, definitely. So let's talk about some takeaways. I always like to leave with some kind of takeaway or maybe a challenge. And we've kind of touched on a few of them. Um, one was writing down characteristics that you admire and picking a couple that you'd really like to focus on. Yeah. Um, and then another one obviously would be following some of those, those gurus and business, Donald Miller and Michael Hyatt and all of those people because they've got some great books, podcasts, everything, even courses that that will really help you to step into that leadership role, to step into, you know, owning a business and so that you can feel a little bit more business savvy. And that goes back to that imposter syndrome. You know, often when we have that the way that at least I feel like one of the big ways that I can combat it is by education, is that it makes me it gives me the confidence to then be like, you know what? I know the answers. I may not have done this before, but I but I've found answers. I've found things that work for me and my team. Um, another one as far as creating culture, would be to create a mission statement. Yes. For your office. Because, you know, it's so important when and do it together as a team, maybe. Yeah.

Cindy: [00:19:23] We haven't done that. But that is that is a good idea.

Heather: [00:19:27] Yeah, I know. Donald Miller has a great mission statement. Course that you can go through. So and think with that is that when you can sit down and you guys can all come together and collaborate, then again, everyone really, truly understands who you are, what you represent, and how you can help your clients better. Because when there's that clarity, then everyone can move forward. Yes. With success, you know? So yeah.

Cindy: [00:20:00] I think another takeaway is don't be a boss. Be a leader. And it would not work well. My personality and the team's personality for me to be the boss. I'm a leader and we're in this together. And that works. It's very collaborative and I appreciate that. And seeing how other businesses work and and the toxic culture. Let's see if I can say that correctly. That is it's just so sad to see because it doesn't have to be that way.

Heather: [00:20:41] Yeah, it absolutely doesn't. When you guys collaborate and work together, you know, it creates. An environment that everyone enjoys and can thrive in.

Cindy: [00:20:54] Yes. And that's what we want. We want we want them to develop their strengths. We want them to be the best person they can be. And and we want to help them grow.

Heather: [00:21:08] Yeah, we want them to love their job and then to feel like they can grow, continue to grow and develop as. As a professional.

Cindy: [00:21:16] Yes. Yeah.

Heather: [00:21:18] Yeah. Well, thank you so very much, Cindy, for being on the podcast. I really appreciate it. It's always a pleasure to talk to you and I feel like I always walk away with some tidbit that I can use either in my business or my personal life. It's funny. I feel often that I learn so much from Cindy is a client, and so I feel like often I learn so much from my clients, just from how they run businesses or how they do things. It's a fantastic opportunity. Um, so thank you again for being on the podcast and sharing with us. If you guys want to learn more about Cindy or Light the way counseling, they are based in New Jersey and they are fantastic. So again, it's been a pleasure and thank you. Yes, thank you very much. I just want to leave you guys with, you know, take one of those takeaways or challenges. Don't feel overwhelmed by it, but pick something that resonated with you today and know that not every business is going to operate the same. We're all we're individuals and our businesses are going to be individual, you know, very different and be okay with that. Um, and knowing that your business can can be different and operate different, but that it can be successful as well. So I just want to leave you all with this happy marketing, y'all.

Cindy: [00:22:44] Thank you, Heather Thank you.

Heather: [00:22:47] We're glad you could be here today. Thank you for listening. If you are interested in learning more about marketing, check out my blogs at 3C Digital Media Network dot com or therapy marketing You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Happy marketing, y'all.

Episode 21: Heather Jensen

Heather: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, this is Heather and you're listening to the Therapy Marketing Solutions podcast, where we are going to take the mystery out of marketing and we're going to meet therapy clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving practices. You don't have to figure this all out on your own because when we all work together, we're able to build something amazing and in the end serve clients better. So let's get started. Welcome, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. We are excited or guess I should say I am excited. I'm you know, I'm used to having a guest on my podcast. And so when it's just me, it's just me. But you guys get the best. Okay, I'm going to start that over. That was crap. Um. Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. I am excited to be here today, you guys. The topic is near and dear to my heart. As I as maybe some of you know, maybe some of you don't know that. I initially started my venture into marketing as a web designer, and so websites have always been near and dear to my heart. They are my bread and butter. I love them. I love building them. Um, so they are one of the my, my loves, my passions. So we are talking about websites today. A question I get from a lot of people is what should I have on my website? Like, what's the purpose of my website? What should we be doing? A lot of businesses make the mistake of just slapping a bunch of information on there and then calling it good, and that really doesn't do much for you.

Heather: [00:02:01] It's kind of a placeholder, in essence, a digital placeholder, if that's the the direction that that someone takes. So there are things to have on a website that will help you to engage with your ideal clients and that will get people excited to work with you because it'll also warm the relationship. They'll understand exactly what you do, what services you offer, and when it comes time, they're going to have less questions. They're going to be like this. This is a good fit. Okay, So I'll tell you kind of a back up for half a second and tell you a story. So like I said, I am a web designer by trade, by training initially, obviously I've done more training to to offer additional marketing services. But web design is where I started and, you know, building websites, super excited about it. Love it. Gorgeous websites. Get my first couple of clients, I was actually doing contractual work in the beginning and I would meet with clients and they would be like, Well, I mean, I would ask them. I would say, Hey, if you could just send over all your content for your website, then I'll design it out. And they'd be like, What do you put on a website? And after about getting that question about five times, I just stopped and was like, What do you put on a website? Like, what is the purpose? What is actually supposed to go on there? I know how to make it look gorgeous.

Heather: [00:03:31] I know how to make it function. But I did not know what to put on a website and I am not one to to not have an answer for someone. If I don't have an answer. And I can't say that I have an answer for everything, that's definitely not it. But if I don't have an answer, I'm going to go and figure out the answer. So I actually, as some of you know, I am a storybrand certified guide, and that's where this really came into play. So I'm a web designer. I don't know what goes on a page. I can't help my clients, which I love helping people. I love, like giving people knowledge, sharing knowledge. And so that really, really bothered me. And so then I discovered Storybrand and Storybrand was a great way. It just it really broke it down into very simple terms. These are the things you should have on your website. This is how it's going to help you. Obviously, one of the big things with Storybrand is that you're not talking about you, your business. You are talking about how you solve your customer or client's problem. And so when we talk, when we are communicating on our website, we need to make sure that it's not just like I went to school and I got a master's degree and I, you know, been doing this for 25 years, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Heather: [00:04:57] Right? Because that's what people are going to do. It's kind of going to be like Charlie Brown's teacher, my mom, my mom. Okay, maybe I didn't do that, right? If you have a good Charlie Brown's teacher impression, send it to me. I'd love to hear it. So. Let's talk let's break this down in real terms. What do you put on a website? Well, there's a couple of different things that you put on a website. And this doesn't have to be like your home page. This is the website. So not all of these sections will go on your home page. Many of them will, but some of them we save for different pages, your bout page or your service page or where it makes sense. That's where we put it. So first off, on a website, you absolutely have to have a good header. You have to in some way catch their attention very quickly so that they want to continue reading. So that's number one and that goes across all pages. You need to have a good header and each of those headers for each of those pages should obviously be in line with with your core messaging. So you don't want to like go off into right field and totally be like, What? They just confused me.

Heather: [00:06:11] They were talking about you know, green and now they're talking about purple or something like that. Um, talking about unicorns. And all of a sudden we just started talking about narwhals, right? So we need to make sure that it's consistent, that it is on brand or on theme. Write your website. Everything. All of these different parts need to be consistent on theme. So we've got our header. Our header needs to very quickly do a couple of things. It needs to tell them exactly what services you offer. Tell them how it'll benefit them, what will their life look like afterwards, and then of course have a call to action. So most likely that's going to be a button. You need to have a button. Put a button. I've got another whole podcast on call to Action buttons. Check it out. I won't get on that soapbox about that today. Go and listen to the other podcast. So those are the three things they need to understand exactly what you do. Very quickly, you've got very like like seconds to engage with them, to be clear as to what you offer. Once we are done with the header or once we have that header, then we need to talk about what's at stake. This is something that a lot of websites miss out on. They miss the opportunity to talk about what is at stake. What I mean by that is they fail to to highlight what it looks like if they don't work with like if you don't work with the business.

Heather: [00:07:53] So for example, if you were a PT like a physical therapist, this what's at stake is that they may continue to be in physical pain if they do not come to you or if you want. This is an opportunity to differentiate yourself from other physical therapists. If you have some certain process or system, they may continue to, you know, maybe there they wonder what's going on or they just they get a couple of, um, physical therapy sessions without any luck. So maybe it's about the process, Maybe you have an amazing process. And so they will continue to kind of again, it boils down to that, that their life is, is they're still going to be some kind of pain. They may not understand their diagnosis. Maybe they're not getting to the root cause of of the pain. Maybe they're someone's just trying to fix the the top layer of pain versus figuring out what is actually truly causing the discomfort or pain. That because if you don't fix the root problem. Right, you're not going to fix it. So, um, there's a couple things that we need to be careful of. Obviously, you don't want to get like. Too far in the doldrums. Like depressed people and get. But you definitely need to have. Like, just poke at the pain point. Poke. We're not hitting. We're not slapping the pain point. We're poking at the pain point. If you were baking, this would be the salt in the recipe, whereas the sugar is everything else.

Heather: [00:09:35] So we just need a touch, a pinch of salt. Right. So let's talk about what terrible thing could happen if they don't use your service. That's really what we want to do. The next section is called Value Proposition. This is where the sugar comes in. This is where you get to tell them. You know, all the benefits of working with you, going back to that idea of being a physical therapist. Maybe you have a very clear process. Maybe you have an amazing diagnostic tool. Maybe you have friendly employees or fun atmosphere, whatever that is. Write down what success looks like. Write down the benefits of working with you. Just make a list and then pick three of them that support that. Your steaks that go back to the steaks. So you always want to be like making sure that you're staying consistently on brand, Right? But really talk about three of the benefits that come in working with you or that they can see in the long term. Even so, it could be just benefits working with you or it could be benefits of long term, no longer having pain, being free to enjoy activities that that they weren't able to participate in. Again, whatever those benefits look like. And then we've got the authority section or the guide section. A lot of businesses only use the authority section, authority. You you have to establish some kind of a authority, Right.

Heather: [00:11:19] We need to say, okay, yes, you know what you're talking about. You went to school. You so but this but the way you do it, you have to be very careful. It's not just i, i, i, i, i. Instead, you want to do two things. One, express empathy. And you could say, I understand that you have been in pain for years. Our our process is going to help you identify the pain, alleviate the pain and get back to living your life to the fullest or participating fully in life. Um, and then there's the second area authority. Authority is we've helped over, you know, 500 or 1000 or others who have had knee pain and been able to get back to living their life pain free. Um, that's one way of expressing authority. Another is just saying. We've been helping people since 2003 or whatever. So this is not a full on bio. It's it's very much like. In a very succinct way, expressing how you are an authority in the field, how you know what you're talking about. Um, but, but on the, the bio, let's, let's talk about that for just a half a second because. Most websites have an about page. Most websites have a bios on the about page. Again, a lot of people just start talking about themselves and they'll be like, I went to school or I graduated in school from in 2008 with my PhD in this or that or whatever.

Heather: [00:13:21] While that's important. While that is what helped you to become the professional that you are, to give you the knowledge that you need. People only care about your degree, your education, your experience expertise. They only care about it as far as it is going to help them. And so when you think about it in those terms, when you're like, okay. This is not about me. It's not about tooting my own horn. It's about. Talking about my education experience in terms of how it's helps my prospective clients. And that's a big shift in your mind when you really think about it, that all of a sudden you are saying. Um, you know, I have always been. Maybe you tell a backstory. Maybe there is some story. I've worked with speech language pathologists who they themselves were in speech therapy services as a child. And so it was very clear early on that they enjoyed. You know, being in speech so much and they wanted to help others. And so you can give that. You can give a why. But you can also say something like, um. With, you know, talk about the desire to help others. But in the you know, you could say something like okay in um. With a goal to help others live pain free. I decided to pursue my physical therapy to be to get a PhD in physical therapy so that they could live pain free and, you know, live their best lives.

Heather: [00:15:19] Or, you know, that's again a why you could talk about I had a knee injury at the age of 17 that didn't allow me to continue the sports that I enjoyed. And and while I was doing I realized that I really enjoyed the the industry and was passionate about helping. I wanted to be able to help others like like those that helped me. Um, so like I said, again, it's about telling a story, inviting them into a story of how you can help them, how you can help them, how you can help them. Is there an echo? Um, that's the, that's the thought that I want ingrained is how you help them. Um, okay, so a couple different areas that we have. One is pricing that can or cannot be like you can put it on your website or you can decide not to put it on your website. That's really a preference. Um, what you can do is instead of just like placing your pricing on your website is that you can talk about the different services that you do. So, you know, let's say that you do, um. If we're an SLP clinic. So a speech language pathologist, you could do okay. We do autism groups. Group therapy. We do Myofunctional therapy, which is a ten week program or something like that. And then we do weekly speech therapy for articulation and language comprehension. You just listed like what services you provide. You didn't put any price points to it, but you have that listed.

Heather: [00:17:10] If you're a mental health professional, you could say, you know, we do weekly. Individual therapy. Couples therapy. You could do like individual couples therapy or you could do like, what if you did, like, group therapy? You know, like couples group therapy or pre-marital group therapy, whatever it is. So you list off your services, you list off your pricing if if you want to add that to it. But that shows really clearly what services you provide. Um. And then one of my favorite. Sections on a website is the plan or the process section people really enjoy. Knowing what like painting a picture, what the next steps look like, what they should be doing. They like to follow steps. And so having steps. Very, very clearly laid out is going to help them. You know, if you were crossing a stream and if someone told you, okay, go to this stone, you know, this boulder or this or that, or, you know, this rock and that rock and this rock, then it'd be really easy. But navigating it yourself may mean that you might slip and on a slimy rock and fall into the water. Right? Um, so 3 to 4 steps. Four is the max. Once you get over four, then you confuse people. This is not every step in working with you. We are not talking about every minute detail. We don't need to be like, Hey, let's get on a consult call and then we're going to, um.

Heather: [00:18:55] You know, fill out an intake form and then bill insurance and then da da da da da da. They don't need to know this is high level. This is whatever your call to action is, is usually step number one. So let's say it's. Schedule a consultation. Step number two could be that beginning stages diagnose or assess, you know, your pain and then finally step that third step or fourth, depending on if you need a third in between step. Step number three, if you wanted it, it could be attend weekly therapy or a ten therapy. Um, or you can skip over to that to the last, the final step. The final step would be. What life looks like afterwards. Participate fully in life. Be Be free of pain, whatever that looks like. So you are painting a picture on how to get over each one of these stones. Which stones to use to get over the stream. And. And that. You know, it's so great. There's there's clarity in that and there's structure in that. And like I said, people really like to follow steps. So make sure you have your steps on getting started on how we work with you. Nobody wants to look at your website and be confused as to how to start working together. They're like, Should I call? Should I do this? Should I do that? Like what? What is it? Um, the there's a couple other areas.

Heather: [00:20:37] Obviously, we have some explanatory paragraph that really is, is what we call a one liner. It says what you do so point out a problem, how you solve it and what the end result looks like. Um, so it's, it's typically a couple of sentences, a paragraph you can. You know, when you're creating content, use that in different contexts. So you've got one on your home page and maybe you have one on your bout page that talks a little bit more about your business and the problem it solves for the client. The service page it would be very like if you have different service page, let's say you have a couples therapy and individual therapy. Well, the couples therapy is going to solve a different problem than the individual therapy, right? And so those that that content is going to be different. The final section on a website is your footer or in Storybrand, as we lovingly like to call it, your junk drawer. And you know that drawer. We all have one. I think I have three. I think I definitely have three. I think I've got one in my bedroom, one in my kitchen and one somewhere else. I don't know. We won't we won't talk about the junk drawers, but at least my junk drawers. We're going to talk about your website's junk drawer, though. The junk drawer is where you put all of the information that you don't know where to put. Now, I'm not talking about let's, like, shove it full of stuff, but you will have all of the pages that you have on your website on there.

Heather: [00:22:16] You will have social media links on there. You can have a lead generator or like an email signup for a lead generator on there. Um, you can have obviously your privacy policy or terms and condition. All the legal jargon that goes with a website is going to be on there. Your copyright. All of that kind of stuff. Because let me back up for just a second. I didn't even go into your menu because your menu shouldn't the menu on the top of your website should not have every page listed. We don't need a smorgasbord. This isn't like all you can eat buffet. You want to guide them through your website, which means catering the experience. So you present the information in the way that you feel like it is best served. Don't give them everything at once with like, here's every page that I have on my website. Here's everything you need to know. No, Instead give it to them little by little. Um. You know, feed them slowly. Let's not, you know, give them a huge platter and be like, What do you want to eat first? It's overwhelming. So hopefully this has helped you to figure out your website a little bit more. So my takeaway or challenge this week is to really work through each one of these sections. I will add some links in the bottom of this that you can go through and actually identify, you know, some of these different sections and to help you start workshopping all of these different areas for your website.

Heather: [00:23:56] Hopefully this answers the question what should I have on my website because. You know, when you have a website that really communicates and is clear and talks to your ideal client, all of a sudden the the leads you get are going to actually understand what you do. You're going to stop getting all of those calls where it's like, hey, do you do you like do this or that or random? And they're going to understand exactly. Assuming they've been on your website, they're going to understand exactly what you do, how you can help them and what the end result is going to look like. And they're going to be excited to work with you because you are going to be different. They are going to be like, Wow, this website is amazing. This is something like, I'm so glad that they're talking to me instead about them or worse. I'm so glad that it's talking to me instead of Google bots. Because let's face it, if your website was written for purely SEO keyword purposes, that is not for human consumption. Nobody wants to read that. Google bots probably don't even really want to read it. It gets pretty dry pretty quick. So go through this, you know, take one section at a time and just kind of spruce it up, work on one page at a time, whatever that looks like to you.

Heather: [00:25:24] Whatever is a measurable goal or a small goal that you can be like, you know what, I'm just going to work on my home page and I'm going to spruce it up. Um, and then there's something else. You guys, you don't have to do this alone. We have. Actually, if your website is just kind of, uh, like, I'm embarrassed to, you know, it's kind of like that mess when someone comes over to your house and you don't know that they're coming over and you're like, Oh, shoot. Like, my kitchen looks like a mess. Whatever. If you're embarrassed by your website, then we have we have started building website templates. This is a done with you program. You can check it out on our website. It is We guide you through every step of getting everything you need for your website. Like let's gather up the pieces and then you pick the template. One of our templates that we have created for those within the Allied health professionals and we build the site for you. You don't have to build the site. How cool is that? But we give you every tool you need to get you ready for us to get you a gorgeous site that looks good, that speaks to your clients and that you're going to be proud of and you're going to want to show off to everyone. So what's better than that? And at a very affordable price, because we know that this is especially geared for like startups or solopreneurs, very small businesses, because you shouldn't have to have a website that is unsightly or embarrassing or that you're hoping that people don't really actually find like you should be.

Heather: [00:27:11] You should love your website and it should look like a part of your business because I know that you provide amazing services and you should have a website that really showcases what you do, the value you bring and the services you offer. Hey guys, this is another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. I really hope that you take all of this to heart and keep marketing just one step at a time, block out a little bit of time each week to continue your marketing journey, because six months from now you'll be amazed at what you've accomplished and you're going to be excited about your business. Marketing doesn't have to be something that you're like, Oh my gosh, I need to avoid. I know it needs to be done. It doesn't have to be a root canal. It can be fun, it can be enjoyable, and it can be exciting to see what happens when you're marketing your business. We're glad you could be here today. Thank you for listening. If you are interested in learning more about marketing, check out my blogs at 3C Digital Media Network dot com or therapy marketing You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Happy marketing, y'all.

Episode 20: Mor Goldberger

Heather: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, this is Heather and you're listening to the Therapy Marketing Solutions podcast, where we are going to take the mystery out of marketing and we're going to meet therapy clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving practices. You don't have to figure this all out on your own because when we all work together, we're able to build something amazing and in the end serve clients better. So let's get started. Welcome, everyone. Welcome to a new episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. We are excited to have you here today. And today I have an incredible guest I'm excited to introduce you to. So I have more Goldberger, who is a licensed therapist on our podcast today and I'm excited to share about this topic because this is a topic that everyone within the Allied health professional therapist, whether you accept insurance or don't you know, or private pay, this is one of the challenges that you encounter in running a business, in working with clients. Um, and that is how to talk about money. I mean, you know, some of us struggle with that just in our own personal life. It's hard to talk about money. So then as a business owner, it's it's an additional challenge. Right? So welcome more Thank you so much for being here.

Mor: [00:01:36] Thank you for having me. I'm very excited.

Heather: [00:01:39] Yeah, definitely. So first off, I just want to allow you to introduce yourself. Let's talk a little bit about your background. Sure. And and what you've been doing just so that we can get to know you.

Mor: [00:01:53] Yeah, of course. So my background is quite diverse. I used to work in international development in Haiti, and then I went to business school over in Berkeley. And, um, and I always had a passion for therapy and was always interested in kind of psychology. And so a few years ago, I, you know, on the weekend in the evenings, got a master's in family therapy, got my MFA and began working as a therapist part time while also working full time in tech. So I kind of wear both both hats. But I'm really passionate about this topic, about talking about money as a therapist in particular. So I'm excited to to be on on here with you.

Heather: [00:02:38] Yeah, definitely. I did not know part of your history that you were in Haiti for a while, so that's very cool. I'd love to hear some stories. Um, we'll save that for another day, but I'd love to hear about your travels and all of those experiences. Um, and I love that you went back to school because you had that interest. We have that in common. You know, I was an English major once upon a time and then went back to school and web design, So, um, I just was interested in it. So I love that you have that as well. Um, so. Uh, and then you talked about like, you know, this, that you work in tech, but then you also see clients and, and how cool is that? Um, because I know that's a hot topic in the therapy world. And so you can kind of see both sides and the benefits and things like that. Um, so let's talk about money.

Mor: [00:03:35] Let's talk about money. Like, there.

Heather: [00:03:37] Should be like a song going on right now. Let's talk about money.

Mor: [00:03:41] Yeah.

Heather: [00:03:43] Uh, we'll we'll put that in later for sure. Um, so why is it difficult for people to talk about money, especially? Therapy based businesses.

Mor: [00:03:56] Oh, man. Of course. This is like I feel so passionate about this topic because on the one hand, I have this background in business in my MBA, and I think really analytically about like, you know, income and revenue and how we're thinking about things. And then as I got into the therapy space, I kind of learned that talking about money and thinking about money and thinking about therapy as your career and how you can make it work financially is so challenging because money is almost like a bad word in therapy. We're expected in a way to treat our clients like we just love them. And we do. We do love them. I love my clients, but it's just kind of out of us, of our hearts that we're working with them and having to navigate and and point to the fact that really it is a business arrangement in a way. And it is your your career can can, you know, feel at times at odds with being a caring therapist that is building trust, that is building that relationship that is so important for therapy to even be effective?

Heather: [00:05:04] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I've said this before, I've, I've kind of gotten on my little pedestal a little bit on social media about it every once in all. But I truly believe that it is okay to to help others and build a thriving clinic at the same time. I don't think that they have to be exclusive. I think that they can be inclusive because as you build your business, you're able to help more people, you're able to extend that. And so, you know, I want to challenge anyone who's who's had that thinking, who's struggled with that, thinking that maybe think about it in a different way, maybe thinking about it as, as I build my clinic, I can help or my practice I can help more people. You know, with their challenges and their struggles and the things that they're facing in their lives.

Mor: [00:05:57] Yes, I love that. And I also like to challenge therapists that even if it's just for you because you are valued at at that rate and because you want to spend your time with your family or and other things. And even if you don't feel like a lot of times we have to kind of find excuses that are around being serving others to assert what we need for ourselves. And I actually feel like the more we're comfortable with the real blatant truth of things and with really taking care of ourselves, the more that we signal that when we speak to our clients like it's not, there's nothing wrong with me not taking insurance. There's nothing wrong with my rate being X, This is just what I'm this is what I'm comfortable with. I think it really starts with that. Getting comfortable with yourself about what what you're going to charge, what you're worth and and not feeling like you have to make any excuses for it.

Heather: [00:06:55] Yes, I love that so much. I really I do think that is some kind of an internal struggle or conversation, at least that we need to have is what is my value and and understanding that is also and coming. I guess understanding that and being okay with that also helps you to bring more value to your clients.

Mor: [00:07:20] Totally, Totally. And I will tell you so in my in my associateship right now, I'm on like a sliding scale. So I have to have these conversations with clients all the time where they, you know, get a referral. I contact a client, they know that I'm on a sliding scale, that I'm for affordable, you know, folks that are looking for affordable therapy, but they don't know what that means. And I have to have a conversation of, you know, some people are expecting to pay $20 a session. You know, there's I have to be able to say this is what I'm starting at. Here's what I'm open to. And this is why. And at first it was really hard. And I think a big part of that for me was because I hadn't kind of clarified in my mind what was my walkaway point. I hadn't really clarified, like what I need, what I'm comfortable with, what I'm not. As soon as it was clear to me the whole way that I communicated it and the kind of assertiveness that I spoke about my rates at really changed. Yeah, I think kind of having that clarity is important.

Heather: [00:08:25] Um, so what are some of the challenges that you have encountered when talking about money?

Mor: [00:08:32] Yeah, think I think, you know, I have had all kinds of challenges this year in particular, as I mentioned, because of all of those sliding scale conversations. I think I think, you know, I actually am I'm laughing kind of remembering one of my most cringe worthy experiences was with this with this couple where I really wanted to work with them. I'm passionate about couples therapy. I'm working on getting certified with EFT, and I really wanted to work with them. They were really kind of on the lower end of the budget. Um, and I was like, You know, maybe we can just try a session, see how you feel. Because I was almost thinking like, if you try it, you'll, you'll want to do it. But then in the process, in my, in my, in my sight, I realized I couldn't really just give like a free, a freebie session. Like that's not really something you do. You have to have people sign a bunch of confidentiality forms. There's all these things and you don't want to do. Start working with someone who has a zero capacity to pay. So it's just not it's not a good idea. So I try to walk it back. Actually. I try to say, you know, actually it can be whatever you're comfortable paying, but like, I really got to collect something.

Mor: [00:09:49] It turned into this scenario where my client was like, I feel like really wronged. I feel like you going back on what you said. So before we even started therapy, we're, you know, really off to a bad start. And I remember thinking I just wanted to, like, run for the hills. Just like, never mind. But I couldn't. Like, you can't. That's not you can't do that ethically as a as a therapist. So it ended up working out. We had like a really direct conversation about it, um, you know, and we repaired what we call in therapy repaired and kind of like made the person comfortable and kind of feel heard. And now they're one of my favorite clients to work, to work with. But I think, I think there's all kinds of messy challenges that come up when you're trying to figure out like, what are you comfortable with? What are you saying to the other person? And again, I think part of that goes back to really having clarity on like what you will or won't do, what your rates are, where you have flexibility and where you don't.

Heather: [00:10:47] When you bring up such a good point that when you don't have clarity, when you aren't comfortable, maybe that's another word to when you're not comfortable with, you know, your pricing and your pricing model, people can feel that. Then, like you said, you get in trouble because you say something and then backpedal, and then there's that loss of trust. Yeah. And you're and you're having to try to repair the relationship like you said. So it's better. Which brings us really to that point of setting up some expectations from the beginning. I think that is one of the big things that needs to happen is, is that you need to be able to have that conversation right at the beginning. Obviously, you can't just like, you know, start, um. Having sessions and then just build them and then be like, What? Wait a second, we didn't have this conversation. So having all of this set up in the beginning helps the relationship to move forward in a healthy way that is going to help your clients in the long run.

Mor: [00:11:54] Yeah, definitely think think. Having that kind of expectation upfront is important. I also think another thing I've learned, I've done some research on this since since having some snafu's and the other thing that I've read about is like not overexplaining. A lot of times when you over explain why your rate is X or why you don't accept insurance, you're you're really signaling that you aren't feeling strong in your position. And so being comfortable, just putting it out there and my rate is X, you know, pause and also not expecting folks to necessarily be able to confirm straight away. Some people make the mistake of starting to negotiate against themselves after they've stated their rate because they're not hearing an immediate definitive response. But actually, if you if you let people know like go ahead and take time to think about it, check your finances, that's not a bad thing. If someone needs a little bit of time to to confirm their availability and their budget.

Heather: [00:13:00] Um, and that actually you saying that sparks a thought. You know, I'm in a, in a sales group and, and I know that's a bad word to say with anything with marketing or with, with therapy. But one of the things that we talk about, like if I'm, if I'm on a call, you know, with a prospect and things like that is pausing, you talk about the money and then you pause. And for us, it's more uncomfortable than it probably is for them because you're like, Oh my goodness. Like what's like you have this internal, like whole thought process going on. You're like, what are they thinking? I can't read them. I, you know, you don't know them that much that well, anyways, so, um, but but it's okay to have a pause. It's okay because people need to think about things. They need to be like, okay, Yes, I get it. This is where you're at. Yes, that sounds good. Let's move forward. Or like you said. You know what? Let me talk with my spouse or, you know, my significant other or whoever or let me think about it, whatever that is. It's okay to have a pause.

Mor: [00:14:06] Totally. Totally. And I think, you know, a lot of a couple of times I've had clients end up going away and talking with like, you know, whether it is like a grandparent or someone who actually helps support them, they might not have the answers to how to finance your rate straight away, but maybe, you know, if they think about it and they want to make that investment, they they will find different ways to do it. So whether it's a pause or even just a like, let me know we can talk, you know, it's not going to you're not going to get the answer on the call, right. Then you don't need to close and finalize that at the moment. And feeling desperate to do so. Actually, again, signal kind of a lack of confidence in your in your rate and in your your.

Heather: [00:14:52] Value and people can sense that desperation feel. Um, yeah. So I agree with that 100%. So so one of the, the thoughts that, you know, as I was thinking about preparing for this podcast and things like that is that one idea that I had is just, I mean, a lot of therapists put it right there on their website, so it's right there so people can find it. Another option is, is, you know, creating a flier or a handout, right when you meet with them. And by doing that, you're taking a little bit of the pressure off yourself because it's like they've already seen it or you you know, you let the flier or your website do the talking for you, at least some of it, you know.

Mor: [00:15:35] You know, that's an interesting idea. Heather. I don't know if 100% would make that recommendation. I'll tell you why. I think for me, sometimes people don't know what they want. They think they might be, you know, get the kind of potential clients who think they are just looking for the cheapest possible therapist, you know, and they're only comparing you based on on rate. But so what I like to do, I do no more than 15 minute consults when I'm talking to a potential client and I tell them, you know, I'll go over kind of where I work, how I work, my rates and everything. But first I want to see if we're even a fit. I want to know what you're coming to therapy for and I'll tell you a little bit about how I would work with you and see if you're interested in learning more. Um, and at that point, I can kind of give them a sense and a flavor for, for my work. So, for example, if it's a client that's interested in couples work, you know, there's a certain modality that has that is the only evidence based practice for couples work, which is EFT. And so I can tell them about that. I can tell them about how we structure it, how many sessions like what we do in each stage. And they can really get a sense of like, Wow, this person really knows what they're talking about. And so when it gets time to talking about the rate, they're not just comparing me on an apples to apples like number two number from their alternatives. They're also comparing how they feel talking to me and what they think their confidence about working with me. So that's why I would recommend unless you are like really just competing on rate. Yeah. Um, and you are on a race to the bottom, then I would recommend actually having that consult call, giving yourself a chance to put your best foot forward and then, and then hitting them with the cost because therapy is not cheap.

Heather: [00:17:27] Yeah. Yeah. And you bring up such a good point. I love that. Um, you know, and maybe with that in mind, maybe you don't. Maybe that's the challenge. Maybe you think to yourself, maybe it doesn't make sense to have it on my website. I know a lot of therapists like to have that on there and as a because they want to avoid that conversation. So but I agree with.

Heather: [00:17:48] You.

Heather: [00:17:49] That um, that having that conversation with them getting because therapy is very personal, you have to have someone that you mesh well with and. So having the consult first is important and then you can still have, you know, maybe you, you send them a link afterwards that or you have a flier afterwards. And so then they can see it on paper if they have questions later on or something like that.

Mor: [00:18:19] You actually bring up a really good point and want to roll back some of my pushback, which is it depends on where you are too. Like if I'm like building my practice and I'm trying to get more clients, I might be willing to have more of those conversations to pitch myself. And if you're already well established and you have a lot of clients and you're only looking for a trickle of serious folks who are within your budget, then maybe you don't mind that you might turn away those price sensitive folks and save yourself time on the 15 minute consult. So it's definitely depends. But I do think you actually remind me of something which I know we haven't gotten to yet, but we should chat at some point about the, the tool that I think we were talking about that many people embed into their website, the benefits checker that can kind of help clients assess for themselves if they can afford therapy by checking their out-of-network benefits and seeing what their true cost would be and saving the therapist from having to have that back and forth conversation. So I do think that's something else that folks can do.

Heather: [00:19:26] Yes, definitely. And I want to talk about that in just a second. First, one other thought actually as we were having this discussion is that, you know, not everyone's going to be for you, not everyone, whether that's personality, whether that's their own financial circumstances. Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera. Right. We could go off on a list. Um, so one thing I think and and let me know what's your thoughts on this? But as we were discussing, I thought would be that, you know, if I'm not the right fit, whether that be from a personality, um, or a financial here are some alternatives for you. And so never just like being like, nope, I'm not Right. Sorry. Goodbye. You know, you're on your way, but you're continuing to serve them in some capacity by saying, I understand that this might not be the right situation for you, but here are some alternatives that I that I might suggest. Here are some other people that might be a good fit for you. And so making.

Heather: [00:20:25] Love.

Heather: [00:20:25] Validations so that they're not just left in like a lurch feeling like, well, I don't know what to do. I still have my I still have a problem. I still need help. Who am I supposed to go to now?

Mor: [00:20:37] I think that's such a good point. And I actually have noticed that when I tell folks like some folks are like, Oh, that's a little out of my budget. Sometimes I tell folks, you know, think about it. If you want, I'd be happy to help connect you to someone else in my practice that could be more aligned with your budget. And I've been surprised that people really seem to take that as like, Wow, this person cares. They're not just out for like the max dollar. It builds trust. And if for me, most of the time it actually brings the, you know, the clients over the fence towards like, no, I actually do want to move forward working with you. So I agree. And even if they don't like it's, you know, it's a good it's a good practice. People are looking for help. And even if you're not the right fit, you can easily kind of have that referral list that you send them over.

Heather: [00:21:29] Yeah. And I think the big thing is at the end of the day, it's about serving them and helping them. And so whether that be that they work with you in therapy or they find someone else, you're still able to serve them by, you know, by giving to them freely.

Mor: [00:21:51] Exactly.

Heather: [00:21:53] And it doesn't. Yeah, it's one of those things. It doesn't hurt. And like you said, it builds that additional trust. They're like, wow, okay. They're not just there to maybe, you know, fill my their schedule or to add those kinds of things that might cross their mind. Instead, they're like, they truly care about me and truly care about helping me through this time in my life.

Mor: [00:22:18] 100%. 100%?

Heather: [00:22:20] Yeah. So.

Heather: [00:22:22] Um, and there are some differences. You know, one thing that we haven't really brought up is insurance versus private pay, you know, because.

Heather: [00:22:31] That's.

Mor: [00:22:31] A big.

Heather: [00:22:32] One.

Heather: [00:22:32] Yeah, Some clinics are take insurance except insurance, while others are private pay only. So having that discussion about money is different depending where you're at.

Mor: [00:22:48] Yeah. And a lot of people, you know, a lot of people do a mix of things. Some people take only insurance, some people are just private pay and then people are kind of there's that. A lot of people are actually trying to transition away from insurance and build their private pay practice. So actually, one thing we haven't touched on is, is my role. So I mentioned that I work in tech, but I lead therapy, experience and growth for men. And what we actually do is we help therapy artists grow their own private pay practice and do that by being able to step away from insurance while connecting their clients in a compassionate way to a service that will take care of all of that hassle for them and get them money back, get their clients money back on the sessions without putting the therapists on the hook.

Heather: [00:23:37] Yes.

Heather: [00:23:38] Yeah, absolutely. Um, I think what Montaya does is, is genius and great. It's so nice for. I feel like it's that that third option because for some it's like, okay, I'm only private pay and or else they're insurance. But it's kind of that third option where it's like I can I can be private pay, but I can still, you know, there's that way for clients to to be able to utilize their benefits of their health insurance.

Mor: [00:24:10] Yeah, exactly. Because I think a lot of times therapists, at least the therapists I've talked to, maybe think about it more in a black and white way. Like either I take on 100% of the insurance hassle and keep my rates like X and make it really accessible, or I'm totally leaving my clients in the lurch. If I tell them, you know, I'm not doing insurance anymore and they're going to just be hit with this huge extra cost. But the reality is there is that gray middle ground option, which is like, I'm not doing this, but here's a service like you can use. And a lot of people don't even know that they can be reimbursed with out-of-network benefits, like up to, you know, 80% of their session costs. So that, you know, knowing that actually makes clients more likely to to see the therapist of their choice instead of being on these like long wait lists and looking endlessly to find somebody who accepts insurance.

Heather: [00:25:06] Yeah.

Mor: [00:25:07] Within what they're looking for.

Heather: [00:25:09] Yes. Yeah.

Heather: [00:25:10] And then all of a sudden they're empowered because like you said, they're able to pick and not an insurance. They're able to pick the therapist that they really want or that they, you know, maybe they've done a consultation. They've decided, okay, well, from a financial standpoint, I just can't do this at this point. But then knowing that there is a way that they can be reimbursed allows them to instead of just being like, this is a therapist, you get now all of a sudden this is the therapist that you actually want to work with and and that can really help you in your life journey.

Heather: [00:25:49] Totally, totally.

Mor: [00:25:50] Think. I think that, you know, the other thing is, just like people have such an aversion to dealing with insurance, they, you know, they think about it like going to the DMV or getting like a cavity filled or something. It's just like, oh, you know, these clunky websites and having to remember your super bills.

Heather: [00:26:09] And I'm going to spend an hour.

Heather: [00:26:11] On hold with insurance company like, Oh my God, I.

Heather: [00:26:15] Just don't want to deal.

Mor: [00:26:16] With that. So, so when you're on a consult call and someone is like, Oh, I can't afford that. Um, you know, you have one of two options. You can either tell them like, okay, go call up your insurance and see if you have this thing that you maybe have never heard of called out-of-network benefits, and then see if you can understand what the information they give you and then call me back and maybe then we'll start working together and that, you know, you're just going to that's the likeliness of all of those things happening are pretty low. But then if you use, you know, like a benefits calculator, like the one Montaya has, you can say, you know, I don't I don't feel claims, but if you grab your insurance card, I can check real quick what your what your rate if you get if you're eligible for out of network benefits and then we just spit out like, okay, this is what this person's deductible is. This is how many sessions at your rate it'll take for them to meet their deductible. And then this is the percent they can expect back. And right then you can give them some concrete information and say, this is what your insurance estimate is, this is what you my rate would end up working out to for you. So even though I charge $200, you know, it would work out to 105 as the estimate and they can file your claims for you so you don't have to do anything. So at that point, our super user therapists say that like that kind of framing really helps bring people over the over the the fence and really across the finish line willing to work with you.

Heather: [00:27:51] Yeah, that's great. Um, so that actually brings us to our takeaway and challenge. Every podcast episode. We always have some kind of takeaways or challenges and we actually kind of have two for you today. Um, two.

Heather: [00:28:07] For the price of.

Heather: [00:28:07] One. Yes, two for the price of one. So you guys are getting bonus today. Um, so first off, the one is like, like Morehead said, Montoya has a benefits checker that you can embed on your website or that you can just use with while you're doing consultations, things like that. So talk a little bit about more about that.

Heather: [00:28:34] What you're. Yes.

Mor: [00:28:35] Yes. So as you mentioned, you can either just embed it into your website and folks when they go to your website before they even have a consult call with, you can just grab their insurance card, put in their information, be like, oh, okay, this would be what I would actually pay with this person or or you can complete it for them. When you're on on a call, you can just hit, check the website and enter in the information. So that's the benefits calculator. And then and then I don't know. I'm trying to think if there's another piece to that. Oh, and then the claim submission that we just do automatically if clients are interested but they don't have to, they can choose to file their own claims.

Heather: [00:29:16] Yeah. And you guys right now there is an opportunity for them to be able to try this out for free, correct?

Mor: [00:29:23] That's right. We are giving listeners to this podcast a one month free trial of the benefits calculator with the promo code TMS.

Heather: [00:29:34] And really the idea behind it is like, try it out for a month. See if it works and see if it increases your conversion. See, you know, you can see what the clients think of it. You can kind of, you know, play around with yourself, see if you like it. And then if it works, check.

Mor: [00:29:52] Your own card, your family's card.

Heather: [00:29:54] Right.

Mor: [00:29:54] It's totally unlimited use. So a lot of people have fun with it.

Heather: [00:29:58] Yeah.

Heather: [00:29:59] And if it helps your business to continue to grow, if it helps you to, you know, take away some of that, um, objections that you might receive from prospects or potential clients, then maybe that's something that you incorporate within your business. Um, and that leads us to kind of number two. So take away challenge number two that more and had kind of discussed was to create a talk, a script, talking points, something and that by creating a script that allows you to get more comfortable because we can all go based on a script. But if someone asks us like a question that we're not prepared for, you know, sometimes you don't know how to handle it. And so by creating a script about, you know, your payment, how payment is handled and you know what payment looks like, you are able to be confident in that conversation.

Mor: [00:31:02] 100%. And we will go ahead and share with you as well. Heather, the the script that we have gotten from a lot of therapists that works for them for explaining that they don't accept insurance but how they can support their clients in case folks want to adapt or use any part of that as well.

Heather: [00:31:21] Yes, definitely. So check that out in the podcast notes. That's going to be there as well. And you guys, check this out. I think the big takeaway also third takeaway I guess, is, is make a plan, get comfortable with yourself and your pricing model, whatever that is, because when you're comfortable with it, when you're confident and clear on it, then you will be able to, you know, set clear expectations from the beginning and working with clients. So anything else that you want to kind of add, throw in about min tire? Um, no.

Mor: [00:32:05] I think I think thank you so much for having me and, and folks can definitely feel free to reach out with any questions. We have a wonderful product specialist Maria who can walk you through things, do onboarding for you and answer any questions. So do reach out if you're interested.

Heather: [00:32:22] Perfect. Well, thank.

Heather: [00:32:23] You so much for being on this and I've enjoyed this conversation. Um, it's something that. Keeps coming. That comes up often, you know, as as we work with clients and things like that or as therapists work with clients. And so I hope it's of value to them, gives them some kind of little ideas, spark some ideas in their mind and how they can navigate this part of, of being either a business owner or even just any therapist. The conversation comes up whether you're a business owner or not. So thank you again so much for being here.

Heather: [00:32:59] Thank you.

Heather: [00:33:00] And guys, thank you again for listening to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. Happy marketing you all.

Heather: [00:33:09] We're glad you could be here today.

Heather: [00:33:11] Thank you for listening. If you are interested in learning more about marketing, check out my blogs at 3C Digital Media Network dot com or therapy marketing You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Episode 19: Heather Jensen

Heather: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, this is Heather and you're listening to the Therapy Marketing Solutions podcast, where we are going to take the mystery out of marketing and we're going to meet therapy clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving practices. You don't have to figure this all out on your own because when we all work together, we're able to build something amazing and in the end serve clients better. So let's get started. Hey y'all, This is another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. This is episode 19. You've got Mail. Email Marketing 101. So when I say you've got mail, honestly, it reminds me of the movie with Meg Ryan or AOL. I'm like, You've got Mail. Maybe that just dated me a whole lot. I don't know. But you know, that's just what I think of is that AOL, when, you know, you received a marketing or an email and it said that. And anyways, so let's talk about email marketing, because if you aren't sending out mail, you may be missing a huge opportunity in your marketing. Um, here, what is email marketing? Let's start with that. Let's just start with what is email marketing? So it might just be like, well, I mean it's emails and marketing. So what does that mean? You just send out emails? Well, yes and no. There's a little bit more to email marketing, but but yeah, pretty much you send out emails with the goal of nurturing relationships.

Heather: [00:01:49] And so email marketing is a very effective tool. And like I said, if you're not doing it, you may be missing out on huge opportunities to connect with your ideal clients. So there's a lot of benefits for email marketing. One is, is that you own the list of contacts, unlike social media, social media, when if you were to close your account, you would lose all those contacts. If for some reason the social media platform decided to up and quit one day, they're like, Yeah, we're done. I don't see that happening. But then you, you know, that's gone. It's just gone. All those contact. S And so while social media has a place, it is not the only type of marketing that you should be doing. And, and it may not even be the best type of marketing that you should be doing. It really depends on your business, your following, because it's great to have followers on social media, but if there are other clinics, unless they're sending you referrals, they may not be, you know, you might still not be connecting with your ideal client. So that's one of those questions you have to ask yourself Who is on your social media list? Who is following you? If they're not your ideal client, then again, maybe that's not the place for you. Um, but in our last episode that I recorded about repurposing content, you can use email marketing and social media hand in hand.

Heather: [00:03:24] That's the good news. So let's, let's again, let's talk about some of these benefits. So you own the list of contacts. Um, there's a higher return on investment, typically with email marketing. In fact, HubSpot, which is a CRM for marketing, says that they did a study and they reported that there is a 4,200% return on investment. That's huge, guys. And why why exactly is that? Because email marketing is is relatively inexpensive. So. The biggest expense in email marketing is, is typically if you hire someone, then there's that, obviously. But if you're doing it on your own, the biggest expense is your time. Um and so 4,200% return on investment. I don't know. That might mean that you might need to look at email marketing. You might be, like I said, missing something. Um, that is also 3,600% higher than the average return on investment for paid advertising. And paid advertising would be like Google ads. Social media ads. You know, any kind of ads that you are putting out there. So, wow, that's huge, guys. Again, you are getting a huge return on investment for doing it. Other benefits are that you're warming the relationship. When people go to your website, they may or may not be ready to book an appointment if they are not booked, ready to book an appointment appointment, what comes next? Do they just like, Oh, I don't want to book an appointment and they leave.

Heather: [00:05:15] I mean, you're missing an opportunity right there. Um, I tell clients and this is from Donald Miller Storybrand that your call to action button, which is like book an appointment or something like that, is asking someone. To marry you. It's that commitment level. It's a little bit more. Whereas if you have a way of collecting emails, that's a little bit more like, Hey, you want to go on a date, let's just try this out. Let's see how we feel about it. And so this is an opportunity for you to nurture relationships, to build rapport, authority. All of those things can be done through email marketing. So like I said, lots of benefits come with email marketing. Um, so let's break this down a little bit more and get into it. There are different types of email marketing for there's, I mean, there's many different types, but the types that I want to focus on today is the sales email and then the nurture email and really how you decide who gets what email comes down to understanding your goals. So if you are wanting to retain current clients, then a nurture email is the best email to be sent out to them. If you are wanting to gain new clients and nurture that relationship with with new prospects, then you're going to want to start with the sales email.

Heather: [00:06:51] And and typically how it works is the sales email has 5 to 6 emails that go out and we've got a blog post on it. I will share the link in in our show notes for that so that you can understand exactly what each one of those sales emails should contain in them. But some of them are an opportunity to overcome objections, a paradigm shift. You know, really when I say sales email, it's again nurturing the relationship. We're not just like, Hey, you want to buy, let's do this now. We are building a relationship, a rapport with your prospects. And it's not even till the last email that we really ask for the sale that we're like, Now's the time. You know, let's get the commitment. The nice thing about the sales email series is typically if someone does not. If they continue through the 5 to 6 emails and they haven't booked an appointment yet, then you would bring them over to your nurture email. Your nurture emails are more to educate. They bring a lot of authority in and it's again, you can continue warming that relationship if they're a prospect or. Bringing value to current clients. And that's where that comes in. And as far as how often those are sent out, that's really based on who you're understanding, your client and your goals. If you are wanting to if you're wanting to, the sales emails go out pretty quick, pretty within 2 to 3 days.

Heather: [00:08:38] Some will be like once a week. That would be the max time length in between emails that I would suggest. Nurture emails can be anywhere from once a week, two weeks to once a month. And and the nurture emails like are not only for nurturing the relationship, but they're also to remind people that you still exist. And that's where it's great for your prospects. Because if they are, we're on the fence about working with you and then they receive your 5 or 6 emails, sales emails and then they you drop them, they just go about their life and they forget about you. But having these nurture emails will continue that relationship. It will continue to bring value to them. And and I'm sure you guys understand this any time you bring value to someone, especially when it's of a free value, they're going to love you. They're if it's if it's great value, they're going to even if they don't become your client, they may tell someone about you. So that's the great news is is value creates a relationship. They rely on you for information. After a while, they're like, well, you got to go and see this person. They're amazing. You should you should join their email list or or, you know, if they talk to someone and they're like, Yeah, I'm really struggling with this problem. Just they'll be like, Oh my gosh.

Heather: [00:10:06] So and so I received their emails and it's it's great information. Just go book an appointment with them. So it really does create. Um, it's a great way of marketing and, and it's pretty low risk in that sense. As far as investment, as far as, um, you know, time that you have to continuously put in it. Sometimes I think people think email marketing are like so overwhelmed I can't do it. But it's, it's really, it doesn't have to be especially if you're repurposing content in your nurture campaign or your nurture emails. Like it doesn't have to be this thing, this big thing. So how do we get started with email marketing? Well, there's a couple different things. You know, first off, what I said before, understand your goals. What is the goal of your email marketing? Are you trying to gain new clients? Are you trying to retain clients? Once you have those goals set, then you can you can move on from there. The next step really is is deciding on some kind of email marketing software, some kind of platform that you want to use. There's there's a variety of different ones. Some of the ones that that I tell clients about are mailerlite, constant contact, active campaigns, MailChimp, those are some of just a handful, or you can use a CRM. So if you have a sales tool like HubSpot, you can use them for your email marketing as well.

Heather: [00:11:42] Um, so again, picking the tool that you want to use this tool is going to be a way to collect and store emails. It's also going to be a way to send emails and my favorite automate. So you're not going in there and like sending an email every week? Nope. The beauty, especially of the sales emails, is that you can go in and write 5 to 6 emails, get them all set up and then they are automated. They go out every single time someone signs up for your emails, they just go, you know, and you tell it how often to go out. So it's like, okay, I want it to go out every three days. Does it for you and you and and it's marketing for you while you sleep. I mean, people could be like signing up at 2 a.m. and you're sleeping your cozy little bed and there's no there's no work involved. Once you get it set up, I do suggest that you go in and about every six months or so that you review all the content, make sure it's up to date, make sure it's still applies to your ideal clients. Also, you know, like if you feel like you're not getting the the results that you want, maybe you need to adjust something. Maybe you've learned something, something that's of greater value to your ideal clients and that, you know, so six months you go in and you review it, but not a lot of work.

Heather: [00:13:13] Same thing with your nurture emails. Nurture emails can be anywhere from 26 to or 12, 12, 26 or 52 emails. And it really that that's based on feedback. It's based on understanding, finding your your ideal client on deciding how often you want to send them because you don't want to feel spammy. Right? You want to send them. Great. And valuable stuff. Valuable stuff that's that they're going to want to continue to read, that's going to to in some way benefit their life. So, um, and again, those nurture emails, you can write them once, review them every six months or you decide that you're going to write for a month or however many a month. So and then you just go back to it every so often and you review them and they are set up ready for you. This is, I mean, great. And it doesn't have to be new content. It doesn't have to be. You go and take posts that worked on social media. You go take content from a blog and all of a sudden you will be surprised at how quickly you can create nurture emails. Nurture emails aren't that long. They they literally could be two paragraphs. So it doesn't have to be that long to create value in someone's life. Um, so we, we've got the email marketing software set up.

Heather: [00:14:50] You're creating, you create something of value to get people to sign up. So that's, that's really the first step before you create the emails is you got to get people to sign up for your email list. What? So that's where the lead generator comes in, creating something. It can be a five minute video. It can be. You know, some kind of pdf could be a journal, like something for mindfulness. I mean, just understand your ideal client, sit down, brainstorm a bunch of different things that you think that would be valuable to them. Um, one of the things I say is what are the questions you get asked the most? Not about your business, like the day to day operations, like what time you're open, Do you offer telehealth, whatever? No. But what are the questions about the services you provide that you get asked the most and then create a lead generator about it? Um, so that is, is kind of the gateway into your email marketing. That's what's going to get people to sign up for that, create a lead generator value and then nurture these relationships. So, um. We've got that done. We've got the email, and then just make a plan like what you want your emails to look like, what you want to have in your emails. We've kind of gone through that a little bit. How many emails you want, the frequency of the emails, all of that.

Heather: [00:16:23] So the four steps understand your goals, set up an email marketing software, create something of value, a lead generator that are going to get people to actually sign up and then make a plan for your sales campaign and your nurture campaign. If I was going to pick which one I would start with first. Again, it's based on your goals. You know, if you're like wait listed for six months, maybe, maybe it's not about the sales email list. Maybe it's more about creating a nurture email campaign for your current clients. Um, but on the other side and that thing, the beauty of it is, is if you don't have one done right away, you can still have people signing up for something. Just make sure that they're receiving emails, communication from you in some way from the moment that they sign up for that email list. Okay, guys. So that is email Marketing 101. I hope that it helps you to feel excited about it because I mean, again, the return on investment can be great, the results can be amazing and it can be a huge benefit for your marketing and for your business, your practice. Um, if you want to know how to get people on your wait list. Create email marketing if you want to. If you want to have a wait list. Email marketing. If you want to send out some new offerings, some new service, let's say that you are now providing some additional service that you hadn't done before.

Heather: [00:18:02] Guess how you get the news out? Email marketing. This is direct access to your clients, your prospects, everyone. So. And even if you're doing something cool in office, email marketing, right? Okay, so here's the challenge for today. Today I want you to. Write down a list of goals. What do you hope to accomplish in email marketing? And then look for some kind of email marketing software. I've given you four different options. You can pick one of those, but look which one fits. Some of them will have introductory they're free until you have x amount of people signed up for your email list or you're sending out, you know, X amount of emails, a certain number. So do your research. Figure out which one works best for you and your needs. And then. Get going on it because it will be it'll be very rewarding to see it, to see this kind of flourish and blossom from there. So. Okay, guys, this is another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. I am so excited for you guys to start email marketing and happy marketing y'all. We're glad you could be here today. Thank you for listening. If you are interested in learning more about marketing, check out my blogs at 3C Digital Media Network dot com or therapy marketing You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Episode 18: Barry McGarrah

Heather: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, this is Heather and you're listening to the Therapy Marketing Solutions podcast, where we are going to take the mystery out of marketing and we're going to meet therapy clinic owners to discuss what is working for them in their marketing to help them grow thriving practices. You don't have to figure this all out on your own because when we all work together, we're able to build something amazing and in the end serve clients better. So let's get started. Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Therapy Marketing Solutions. This is episode 18, Finding Your Niche. And today we have Barry Magiera, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist on our show today. So welcome, Barry.

Barry: [00:00:55] So good to be here. Heather. Thanks for inviting me.

Heather: [00:00:58] Yeah, I am. I was actually really excited. It's always a great conversation with you, Barry, so I'm excited for today's conversation and then just, you know, helping our listeners to to maybe take some, you know, little tidbits from this conversation we have and, and apply it to their own businesses. So let's start off really talking let's talk about, you know, kind of your experience in counseling, how you got started and then how you started your business to.

Barry: [00:01:27] Yeah. Well, gosh, this is a topic I could talk all day about. We have, in fact, talked about counseling so much. That's how we got here. Um, so I have been married for almost 24 years. Next month. Uh, we got. Thank you very much. We got married super young, 19 years old. We were babies. Um, and, you know, marriage, as we're all very aware, is difficult at times. It's awesome. It's wonderful. And there's so much to learn. About ten years into my marriage, I realized that there was a lot that I didn't know. There was a lot that wasn't going well. And so my wife and I ended up in counseling and the experience was super life changing for me. And I kind of came out of that therapy experience like thinking if I could, you know, give my life to helping other couples in their relationships, that that's something I would totally be open to. Um, and couldn't let go of the thoughts. So I went back to school. I got my degree in marriage and family therapy. And so that's what I specifically do. I work with couples, especially couples, in kind of extreme distress or crisis. And my business is blue sky intensive therapy. So we do a type of therapy called intensive therapy, which is not the typical hour a week therapy. It's kind of like a therapy a day at a time or a week at a time, just depending on what people need.

Heather: [00:02:59] Yeah. Yeah. And one of the things that I love about your story, Barry, is that you actually didn't really want to go to counseling, right? You were.

Barry: [00:03:07] Not.

Heather: [00:03:08] You were like, being dragged by your. I think there was some claw marks on the wall as you were going in.

Barry: [00:03:14] You would love my wife if she was here. You would love her because she's so smart. She would say, I think we need to go get counseling, Barry. And I'd say, No, I think we're fine. And she'd say, But there's so many things we couldn't talk about. And I'd say, That's fine. I think it's actually normal. A lot of couples can't talk about things. And she eventually said, you know, Well, I'm going to go to counseling. Will you at least sit in the room? And I said, Well, of course, if that's what good husbands do, I will do that and you know the rest of the story.

Heather: [00:03:42] Yeah, definitely so. And I love that you took something from your life and then created a career out of it just because you realized what an impact and it made for your marriage and how that could impact others, too. I mean, because I agree, marriage is hard. I'll be 25 years in September. Hey, congrats. Yeah, we're Man, it's been a second. Yeah but but yeah. So I definitely agree that marriage can be a challenge and there are some ups and downs, hills and valleys and there's periods of, you know. Our moments. Even there, my favorite person in the moments you're like, Yeah, I don't know about that person so much.

Barry: [00:04:25] And there's some times where we need help. We don't know what to do, we don't know how to fix something. And so needing needing help is very normal. And having the guts to ask for help is a big deal.

Heather: [00:04:39] So yeah, what I love about. Oh, sorry, what were you going to say?

Barry: [00:04:43] Just feel lucky when people reach out and ask for help. I just feel very lucky to to be asked. It's a it's a big honor. Yeah.

Heather: [00:04:52] And so how long has blue sky intensive therapy been in business?

Barry: [00:04:58] So I started in the middle of Covid. So 20, 20 ish, you know, 2019, 2020. So in the therapy world where I live, um. When Covid hit and everybody was locked down. Um, the need for counseling services exploded. And so quickly, all of us counselors went from no waiting lists or small waiting lists to long waiting lists and months of like not being able to get people in. So in the middle of Covid, I had such a long waiting list and more and more people reaching out. And so I had a good friend of mine who did intensive therapy for individuals. He would work with a client for three days at a time, and they would do trauma recovery therapy. And so I talked to him about it and I said, you know, I would love to figure out how to do something like that for couples. And so I my myself and with his help, we developed a program that I created to be able to work with couples, and I would begin to work with them either for a day just so they could find some relief and stabilization while they wait to get into another counselor. Or for the couples that were really bad in crisis, we developed a week long program that couples could come to, and it's kind of like the E.R. or ICU experience in the medical field. They come in their relationship. You know, it's it's dying. And so we work to stabilize it. We work to give it a chance to live and thrive again.

Heather: [00:06:41] Yeah, definitely. I think that's pretty amazing what you guys offer. And I love the idea that you you know, it's kind of like an E.R., an ICU, um, where they come in to to get that immediate attention, that immediate help. And then from there, they can at least have some kind of plan on how to move forward or what they want to do with their marriage in the long run. So I think that's so great. Um, and I would imagine I would love to see some statistics. I'm sure they're still working on some of that. But statistics on how many couples realize there was an issue during Covid because they were stuck in the same house together.

Barry: [00:07:23] Absolutely.

Barry: [00:07:24] What seemed like manageable, like always thought about like a small cracks in Covid. Those small cracks just became extreme riffs and. Yeah. And because they're stuck in the house and they're stuck around each other. Those little riffs became really big issues.

Heather: [00:07:43] Yeah, absolutely. So. So you've been doing this for three years. Your business has been established for three years. And like you said, you do intensive couples therapy and trauma therapy. And you kind of talked a little bit about that niche and how you decided to work within that niche. Um, so let's talk a little bit more about how it how it works. Um, how do people find you? What is the process, some of those things?

Barry: [00:08:16] Yeah.

Barry: [00:08:17] Well, one of the things that I so, you know, things like Covid or things like really big kind of earth shaking experiences, they can really awaken us or there's an opportunity that lies there that can kind of awaken us to like, thinking about something that could help others, especially in the human services industry. Um, that maybe is doesn't exist or there's not too much of. So for me, you know, there the idea of intensive therapy, it's very rare. It's not in it. You can't find it in every state. For us in Idaho, from what I know, for professional counseling services, we're the only couple that offer intensive therapy in Idaho. So you'd have to travel out of Idaho to find some of these services. So Covid kind of opened my eyes to the need of people needing something soon, sooner than later, and trying to help this crisis from getting worse. And so, you know, for for people that are listening in your line of work, if there's like, um, really difficult times, those are often laden with opportunities to begin to think and consider, um, what aspects of their industry they could really silo into and drill down into and, and develop something that could be really beneficial to the industry. So specifically counseling. You know, counseling has only been around really since the 1960s. So we're in our infancy. So kind of the standard of an hour of therapy a week became kind of the standard protocol. And there's no research and there's nothing that says like that is ideal. That's what people are best impacted by. So I kind of in those moments just felt like, well, the statistics are the evidence aren't telling me that I have to stick to this thing.

Barry: [00:10:20] So if I could do whatever, what would I do? Um, and I found that I don't have to carry a whole caseload of clients if I'm just seeing a couple a day at a time just to get them stable so they can get in with their counselor that they're on their waiting list for. So I began to do that, letting go of my hourly weekly clientele, making space a day at a time to help couples. And I started. And recognizing like, wow, a day with a couple, we can accomplish months of work in a day. And they felt instant relief after a day of that for the most part. And and then, you know, I started encountering couples that needed even more. They were even more in extreme crisis. Hence the need for developing kind of a week long protocol or program to help them. So it was really the the situation of Covid and what was driving kind of business per se, that really helped me kind of begin to open my mind to consider what we could do to help more people, to really help what was going on, to get people help sooner. And, you know, the the kind of the slogan that we came up with for my business is get better faster, because that's what it all comes down to. I hate to see people in suffering. And so if there's a way we can help them sooner and get them feeling better sooner, I would love to give my life and time to that.

Heather: [00:11:45] Yeah, think that's so great. So wonderful. And I love that you talk about the benefit that as you have done it, as you've niched down it has allowed you to become more efficient and to just to do your job better, to see results faster, to do some of those, you know, those benefits you really see by doing one thing instead of, you know, branching out to every single thing or having a certificate or education and everything, it's like by focusing in you're able to to better serve. And one of the things also is that it allows you to be very specific in the kind of people you want to work with, too. So what is kind of your process in deciding who you work with and who you don't work with? Because that's one of the big parts of having a niche.

Barry: [00:12:38] Yes, correct. You're so right. You have to say no to a lot of good in order to to be able to be great. So saying no to a lot of those opportunities that you could do and just saying yes to the one thing that you really are feeling called to or dedicated to or really feeling strongly about. That was a definite a moment. I can remember the moment where I realized like, I'm going to have to say no to a lot in order to say yes to this one thing. And so that's something that's a real pivotal moment that everyone has to go through to get to these places to niche down. So in the process of developing this, I knew that there are going to be some cases that a day is not going to be valuable for. And so looking at and using the the protocols that my the therapy that I already do and I'm just doing the normal, you know, hourly weekly therapy that a lot of people get, I'm just using it in intensive doses. So I'm using the same criteria that we do in regular therapy to know if candidates are couples are a good candidate for this program. So, um, I'm looking to see if there's, you know, diagnoses that couples are coming in with, if they, you know, if I'm the 10th counselor that they've seen, There's some of these things that I watch for in the consultation that help me know if if a couple is a good match for what I'm doing or not.

Barry: [00:14:14] You know, if a couple comes in and and one of the spouses is still actively engaged in an affair, like what I'm doing is not going to be great for them. Yeah. And so we so when a couple reaches out to me, we have an hour consultation. I listen to a little bit about what's going on. I try to get a sense for what the struggles are and then I tell them a little bit about what I do and we talk about if what I do would be a good fit for what they're going through. We talk about the kind of therapy that I do and use and, um, and so a lot of couples self-select, you know, they determine, yes, this is good, this would be good for us or no, this wouldn't be good for us. And then I'll also have kind of some things in my head that help me know whether this couple would be a good fit or not for the kind of therapy that I offer.

Heather: [00:15:06] Yeah, I absolutely love that you have kind of some criteria and really, if you weren't working within a niche that might be that might be difficult to come up with that criteria. But because, you know, I have one day or five days to work with this couple, these are the things that I need to see. This is where I need to see them in their marriage or in their journey in order to actually be beneficial to them. And one of the things that I absolutely love that you said is you had to say you have to say no to a lot of good things in order to really do the things that serve you and help you. And I mean, I think anyone in any in any industry that can resonate. It with, you know, and I'm in marketing and that definitely resonates with me. It's hard to say no sometimes to the the tempting things or the things that you're like, Oh, that could be kind of fun or exciting or maybe maybe I should try it. Yep. Um, what do you do to stay kind of true to yourself in that?

Barry: [00:16:06] Well, I think a lot of us councilors, we would guess a lot of my friends that are in the counseling field, they're really, um, people pleasers. So we are, um, we are we have so much empathy and so much compassion that when somebody comes along and they need some help and it's not necessarily in my niche, there's definitely things inside that say, Oh, you can let that go for now and help them. So surrounding myself with the right people, my business partner, my wife, um, my colleagues, you know, making sure that they are there to support me so that I have a supervisor, I talk with my supervisor about my cases and my consults so she can help me, like when I'm tempted to people, please, and to let go of my boundaries and cross them to help somebody that might not be in my niche. I have people in my corner that can help me see it and help me. Um, because I'm not the only answer. So they remind me, Hey, there's plenty of other good therapists that can be a huge help for them, so let's get them connected to them so that you can stay in your lane and keep doing what you're doing. So, you know, it's not that I'm letting a person down or it's not that I'm disappointing them. I'm actually doing a better thing in getting them to connected to somebody who's great at what they do and that can help them best.

Heather: [00:17:29] Yeah, and I love that. And that's one of the things I was going to say. I'm sure that having some kind of. You know, list of people who can help with this circumstance or that circumstance or who are professionals who specialize in those areas is helpful for you as well. Just so that if you are tempted, you know, to. Yes. I mean, I your counselor, it's not just that your people pleasers that like you said, but it's that you want to help everyone that's why you went into the profession and it is very noble and honorable. But you also have to recognize that you might not be the best person for that. Um, you know, you might not be the best counselor to help that person.

Barry: [00:18:09] Yeah, I think great counselors have great referral lists, like they have people they're connected to that are great at what they do. And so when people come along needing help, we know what we're great at and we can also refer them to somebody who's great at whatever they need.

Heather: [00:18:26] Yeah. Oh, I love that. That's such a great little. I'm going to like put that on the wall or something like, thank you for that. That was just very insightful. Um, Forbes actually says a focus business concept has numerous benefits, including simple and streamlined operations and less direct competition, thus allowing you to be a big fish in a small pond. A clear focus means you can focus your audience targeting, targeting, strategy, defining and excelling with a special skill set and knowledge in a particular industry allows you to identify, claim and build on your market expertise. And I love that. It just talks about so many benefits that you're able to to really show how you're different. This is who we are. This is what we do. This is the only thing that we do. So there's less direct competition. You can create very streamlined operations. You're not having to create a process for that and a process for this. And, you know, filling spread thin and and you really are able to focus on that one target audience, which again, benefits them and it benefits you from a marketing standpoint because instead of speaking to a blurred crowd or the masses you are speaking to, you know, the Millers or whatever, whatever couple. So you're speaking to very specific couples.

Barry: [00:19:57] Yeah, I