Hello, and welcome to episode seven of the inspiring psychologists podcast where we are breaking the mould of private practice. I'm Wendy Kendall. I'm a psychologist and a private practice coach. And I wanted to spend this time with you today really coming back to a fundamental activity in our private practices. And that is the thorny issue of marketing. And there's been a huge amount of content written that is available out there on the internet, about marketing generally, and about marketing for mental health marketing, for private practices, and so on. I know I've created a huge amount of content myself, and I'm not even like, you know, a full-time professional marketer, I talk about this topic from the point of view of, you know, thinking about my clients who are growing their private practices who are innovating who want to move towards having a thriving private practice. And what I really see is that there is an intersection that we don't talk about a lot, which is the fact that psychologists, this is a skill development tissue, that we are not going to become marketers, but there are marketing activities that we need to, that we need to implement in our private practices. And so, you know, from the point of view of our practices, how can we balance that need for marketing, with all of the other roles that we carry out in our practice, you know, we might be a therapist, we might be a coach, we might be a consultant, we may be a supervisor, we may be, you know, working with the accountant, we may be doing the bookkeeping, there are just so many different roles that we play in our practice. And getting out there and being visible is just one of them. So with all that said, I wanted to speak today about a much more simplified and stripped-back version of marketing in your practice that I call creating a simple marketing rhythm. And this is really about honing what can be, you know, a way of building for you a felt sense of safety when it comes to being visible when it comes to connecting with your clients, and even with potential partners and colleagues and associates in the online space. So, you know, obviously, as private practice owners, we want to help as many people as we can and do that in a way that still allows us to thrive. And so, you know, we want to be able to create new opportunities for ourselves, we want to, you know, not only constantly be out being out there trying to get new clients in, but also speaking about topics that we really care about, you know, sometimes we, and especially the people that I work with, actually have really got off on a real mission and purpose around their private practices. And so, being visible. Getting our work out there
and communicating the different perspectives that we have, are really important facets of our practice, as psychologists and therapists. So, essentially, that means that marketing is core to what we do. But it comes with obstacles. So, you know, when I think about I mean, you may have heard if you've been listening to this podcast for a while now. You know, one of the things that really occurred to me is that you know, the business models and the best practices that we get taught about business don't necessarily gel very well with creating a thriving innovative, you know, private practice with impact and so um, you know, private practice that is doing good in the world trick. Traditional marketing is one of those approaches, that doesn't necessarily gel very well with how we show up as psychologists and therapists and you know, traditional marketing is full of the use of triggers and transactions. And we are trying to build a transformational relationship with our clients. And we're also trying to, you know, not rely on triggers to move them, like we're trying to rely on connection, building, understanding, you know, creating a container that's full of compassion, where people feel safe to do their work. And so, you know, triggers, manipulation, scarcity tactics, they can themselves become barriers to working with us. So, you know, rethinking a lot of what I've talked about with respect to marketing private practices has been rethinking that paradigm, and shifting our marketing so that it's more about creating that sense of safety and connection between you and the people that you want to connect with, you know, your, your clients and your future clients. In addition, as psychologists and therapists, we learn a lot of negative messages around visibility, you know, even in our professional lives, apart from, you know, any kind of negative messages around being visible, that we might pick up, just through life generally. In our professional contexts, we also learn messages around, you know, oh, let the work speak for itself. And other things that I've seen include. I just remember, once, I was really struck by someone who was talking about marketing on a psychologists group somewhere online. And this, there was this just really strong statement from someone who said, I didn't go into psychology to be a business person or a marketer, though, you know, those things were absolutely diametrically opposed to one another. Also, you know, we receive messages in training around being really careful about what clients might think. And often I think we're putting things in, you know, I'm not sure how realistic those messages are. And so, you know, got to think about the short, you know, turning up in a way that is, that is appropriate, that is ethical that is that is coming from a place of service, as opposed to China, I don't know, you know, press on those traumas in order to get people to take action. It's just a nonsensical mindset, I think. Instead, we need to be thinking about how we help ourselves to become comfortable being more visible and opening up or using the online space as a place to develop an offer connection with people. So for me, you know, when I think also about social media right now, and the fact that mental health is a topic, well-being as a topic, personal growth and transformation, as a topic, is so popular, and you know, so many people are talking about it, which is, which is really awesome. And on the other hand, we know that there are a lot of things going on a lot of things being said, that are not necessarily useful advice. And so, as psychologists, as therapists, as people who spend a lot of time working with, you know, through traumas, through the challenges of growth, you know, even working in organisations with all of the complexities of that system and holding space for all the different parts within that system. My perspective on marketing and the role of marketing in our practices is that staying invisible is not neutral. You know, there is a need for your voice and your presence to be out there as well. You know, removing ourselves from this space means that people who would otherwise be connecting with someone who is informed, experienced, etc. They're not going to get the opportunity to do that. So I kind of feel like we have both an opportunity and a responsibility.
Let's get practice marketing in its proper context. So, you know, coming back, this is my occupational psychologist kind of coming into the room here, because I'm thinking about this whole role. And then, you know, what, what is our working life, like, as a psychologist or therapist in private practice? As I mentioned earlier, you know, private practice is demanding goners it is, I always say, one of the emotional most emotionally and energetically demanding things we can do. Because not only are we holding space for our clients all the time, but we're also dealing with all of these other hats, roles, tasks, etc, that we need need to hold. And more than that, not only do we have to do all that, but we have to role-switch frequently. So, you know, on a daily basis, you might come in the office, and the first thing you might be dealing with is, you know, admin tasks. So Secretary hat, next, therapy, next, coach, next management meeting, next leadership conversation. And who knows, on a daily basis, you might also be the cook and the cleaner. And you know, the person in the prep room that's just on one day and shifting emotionally and energetically and psychologically and cognitively through all of those roles. Each shift takes a little bit more energy and a little bit more energy. So when we have to also put our visibility and marketing hat on. In all of that, I think it's just, you know, we have to think about that role in the context of all of the other things that we're doing in our private practice. In addition, visibility is often challenging for us. Visibility means putting ourselves out there, it means, you know, sometimes letting go of some of this, you know, the ivory tower of academia, and the ivory tower of expertise is also a place where we can feel safe, right? Because it's hard for people to, it's hard for us to be challenged when we stay in our ivory tower of academia or expertise. So getting out there, getting back to the grassroots and connecting in, you know, that much more uncontrolled space of the online world, you know, no therapy rooms, in our coaching rooms, in a, you know, Zoom rooms, it's all quite controlled, there's a lot of control over those variables. But when we're out there, online, it can feel like the Wild West. So, you know, knowing that and knowing we deal with a lot of issues that feel vulnerable, that are tender to hold that we also bring our own vulnerabilities and tenders and trauma, tenderness, ease and traumas. And, you know, visibility is a challenge, right? Visibility is a big challenge. And it's often at the top of people's list of challenges in their private practice. So, what I wanted to offer, and the reason for creating this particular podcast episode is I started thinking to myself, how would it be if marketing your practice could feel as natural as a heartbeat? And the reason this occurred to me is because I've said for a while now that I feel like marketing is at its heart, just an extension of things that we are really good at doing anyway. So when I think about, you know, connect our ability to connect with people, our ability to build relationships, our ability to build trustful relationships, even with people who have all the reason in the world to not trust other people. We have a lot of skills and a lot of superpowers in this area. And so, you know, bearing that in mind and thinking about how can we get to a place where we have a steady rhythm of marketing activities that we do on a regular basis. And that feels natural to us in No, can we create a rhythmic and repeatable plan that feels natural when it comes to connecting through our marketing? And so that's what I called it, it suddenly occurred to me that what I was talking about was something that I call a simple marketing rhythm. And when, when this popped into my head, this idea of a simple marketing rhythm, it made me laugh so much because the initials of it are ASMR. And I don't know about you, but have you seen all of those YouTube videos about ASMR, which is this? And to be honest, I can't, I should have written it down. I can't remember what ASMR stands for in that in that context. But it's this, this, this, this quality of an audio track that is very soothing, and nurturing to our nervous system, so that we get into this state of relaxation. There was an element of a simple marketing rhythm, that was also a kind of a sensation of ASMR, in our marketing with them. So that just cracked me up, frankly, when I wrote it down. So getting over my amusement too, you know, this, this acronym, thinking about how we resource people and communities using our own simple marketing rhythm, and really stripping that back and paring it back and simplifying it, what would that look like? And I think there are three things, three elements that are at the core of what we do, as psychologists and therapists. And they're at the core of effective connection-based marketing. Those three things are conversations, sharing, and connecting. That's what we do. We do this every day, in our practices with people, we do this every day as human beings. And you know, just thinking about it, it's kind of a mindset shift. So as opposed to this very natural way we have of having conversations sharing and connecting with people, what we're doing is we're approaching the online space as a place to do that, at scale. To do that, in a way that is not just one-to-one, but one-to-many, not just direct, but synchronous. In other words, we might put a post out on social media, we might make a comment, or participate in a conversation. And that lives out there on social media for a while, you know, and so other people at a later date can come back to that's, that's that kind of, you know, nonlinear aspect to it. So just three things, conversations, sharing, meaning sharing content. And in fact, what I've done, as I, as I was writing this podcast was I've created a carousel of prompts to help you think about the kind of content that you might want to share. So if you go to our website, and I will also link to it in the show notes, there will be a link to this carousel that you'll be able to get ahold of, with those content prompts to help you think about what you share on social media. And then connecting and connecting is helping folks to take the next step.
If someone, this, this happens to psychologists and therapists as well, you get into conversation with people at a bus stop or in the queue, you know, you know how it is, it's always happening to us, right? Before you know it, we're in a conversation with people and they are sharing all sorts of things with us, right? This is it. We kind of refer to it as an occupational hazard. There's something about us as people that you know, we obviously show interest in people and they end up sharing things and we end up having these conversations. And it can be the case that depending on the context, obviously, and depending on the person that the next step that we take naturally, is actually an invitation to connect. So let's say you know, you might be at a networking event, you end up in a condo session with somebody, they, they're telling you some things, you know, whether you're a therapist or an organisational psychologist or an educational psychologist or whatever it is, but you're at this, you know, space, a lot of people, their conversations, you end up sharing, you build that connection. And the next thing you do is invite them to connect. That's how business works, right? And so, really, this is what we're talking about in terms of a simple marketing rhythm, how can we make that both a strategy and a tactical plan for being visible and present online in a way that feels still safe and contained for us? Now, that's, you can get far with that, right? If especially if you're not being visible on social media, or in your digital marketing already, those three things will take you a long way, in your social media, in your marketing, they will take you, they'll certainly take you much further than not being visible. So getting into an irregular rhythm and bent around those. I see it as foundational, I see it as being the core, the essential marketing strategy for us, as psychologists and therapists, and also a platform from which we can build. So it's not that, you know if you want to become and develop and you you find yourself become much more confident about the kind of content that you're creating and getting out there. Maybe you create a podcast, maybe you write a book, you know, nevertheless, so so you can expand this, you can, you know, build on this, you can have an SEO strategy, you know, search engine optimization, you can have all of those things. But coming back to the foundation of conversations, sharing, and connecting. So, you know, why do I think these, this is really important, and why do I, I mean, when I look back at a lot of my marketing efforts, you know, I've been on LinkedIn, I've been using LinkedIn for my marketing. Since I think 2008, I think it was 2008 2009. It was the first time that I had my profile optimised and that was like a brand new thing, getting your profile optimised at that point. I was actually, a little anecdote. I was one of the very first private customers of a lady called Donousa, a doula. Donousa doula me and her optimise my LinkedIn profile for me. Donousa Doula then went on and became this Maven, of LinkedIn, and LinkedIn optimization, and you can't even work with Donousa Doula privately anymore. That's how long ago it was that I had my LinkedIn profile optimised. And, you know, from that point, the three things that I did that ultimately led to me building a six-figure global talent consultancy, were conversations, sharing, and connecting, it can really take you far. Now. You know, one of the things I learned when I trained in internal family systems is how the protective parts of ourselves want to avoid overwhelm and exhausted. And they don't want our wounds to be triggered. So when it comes to having this simple marketing rhythm, it is you know, this meaningful foundational strategy, but the key is it helps those protective parts of ourselves as therapists and psychologists to grow a felt sense of safety alongside growing your practice, and I feel like, I feel like that's the bit that sometimes marketers really mess It's, I mean, the tactics, the techniques, the content, strategies, all of those things are wonderful. But if we don't feel safe doing it, it's not going to happen. So I feel like as practitioners from a, you know, a learning process point of view. If you just concentrate on this simple marketing rhythm and helping yourself have to feel safe to be visible and to connect with people online using conversations sharing and connecting. And, you know, that can be incredibly powerful and healing in itself for you as well. So, I'll share a kind of generalised example of how this can work because this is something that I use with the people who come through both the Psychology Marketing Academy and also the psychology practice accelerator, which is our development programme. And, you know, I, I always recommend LinkedIn as a platform for psychologists and therapists, if you are interested in self-paying clients, and if you're interested in working with other companies, you know, so So for anybody who wants to have a thriving, innovative, diversified practice, LinkedIn is a great platform for that. It's also a relatively safe platform in terms of visibility and terms of comments. So even though there are still some trolls on LinkedIn, there are still some people who can be, you know, a little bit niggly for want of a better word, it's not the same as going to somewhere like Twitter, which is essentially the Star Wars bar of the internet, you know, where there are all kinds of creatures, and, you know, all the way from the Jedi guys, too, you know, the storm troopers to Jabba the Hutt. And I know, I, you know, forgive me if you are a Star Wars buff, and I'm getting it completely wrong. But back to social media platforms, you know, Twitter and some of these other platforms can be really quite well, they can be, let's say, robust places, there can be places where robust exchanges. And LinkedIn, a lot of people out there not going anonymous, LinkedIn doesn't really allow anonymous posting. And so people are much more measured, and there's, you know, much more sense of accountability for what they say. So, I think LinkedIn is a good place to kind of build your comfort levels before you maybe graduate to you know, one of the other social media platforms that's a little bit more spiky.
So, a generalised example of how to implement a simple marketing rhythm with LinkedIn. The first thing to think about linking with LinkedIn is that LinkedIn is like the water cooler of the world, you know, the company water cooler, is a place where people are having conversations about things to do with their working lives. And it's almost like there are millions of water coolers around. And what you need to do when you get to LinkedIn is to find the water coolers, and the conversations happening around those water coolers that are of most interest to you. There are a couple of ways that you can do that. You can search in the search bar. And so you know, maybe, let's say, for example, that you want to talk about executive coaching, you put executive coaching into the toolbar, I mean, first of all, you're gonna get millions of conversations that come up. And so you know, you can narrow that search as well. But really easily just searching in the search bar at the top of the homepage, for the kinds of conversation topics that you're intrigued about, that you're interested in, that you're inspired by, gives you conversations, and it's, you know, it's a little bit like arriving at a water cooler, you just kind of snuggle into the side, get involved in the conversations that interest you. You might also be really interested in certain people, you know, there are influencers. You know, Brene Brown, Adam Grant, there are all kinds of people that are, you know, authors that you may follow podcasters that you're interested in academics that you love working with business people and business leaders where you vibe with their business, you can follow them and you can ring the little bell on their profiles. If you go to someone's profile, you follow them, you'll see that a little bell on the right-hand side of their profile goes dark. And that means that you're going to get most of their posts. And that's how you strike up a conversation. ins just get involved in conversations. It seems like the simplest thing in the world, but I have had clients whose relationship with social media marketing is their practice, and who have just been transformed by that very simple tactic of getting into conversations. The other thing is, through those conversations, you start to have such connections and creativity that come out of that, you know, you can really learn a lot about the kind of practice that you want to develop. So they're incredibly powerful. When it comes to then sharing, so as opposed to, you know, trying to find somebody else's conversation that's going on, starting to prompt a conversation. And this is where I created these five prompts to help you think about conversations that you can create. So five areas, common issues or questions that clients have. So if you're an executive coach, it might be the you know, one of the common topics that clients generally are talking about is to do with burnout in the workplace. And, you know, starting to have conversations or our share your perspective information, what you do about that, what you think about that, your opinions about some of those topics that are common issues or questions for clients, that's one of the things that you can share practical tips, you know, just as reminders, you don't have to come up, you don't have to come up with like brand new practical tips every week. These can be things that maybe you've seen in other places, things that you know, that you use, often, you know, what do you use yourself? What are your Go Go to Tools, so you know, practical tips, and another really easy way in which you can start to share your expertise and your knowledge, and your insights? Number three, demystifying psychology, what people really intrigued by psychology was a lot of stuff out there that is, you know, myths and misunderstandings, your ability to explain with clarity. I mean, one of the phrases I have is, clarity is magnetic. So people are attracted to clarity. And just being able to do that in a very simple way and explain a misunderstanding or a myth gets people really intrigued and kind of opens up conversations, which then leads to connection. You could also explain your unique approach, how you see or understand or approach things differently, you know, what are the things that kind of bug you? What are the things that you don't agree with, you know, what, what are the things that we think are the way that things should be done? And you're like, Nah, I'm opposed to that, I'm gonna go in the opposite direction. Now, you can, you can see that as we progress through these prompts, you might be developing or expanding your comfort with having an opinion and sharing it on the internet. But yeah, there you know, people are really interested in how you see things differently. And all of us have this really valuable, unique lens that we can share with people. And even if they don't agree, they'll learn something more about what they think that might not be the same as yours. That's fine. That's the normal stuff of life. And then I think the fifth thing that you can do within this context of sharing on the internet, is about what to expect when people work with you helping them to understand what to expect. One of my favorite authors around marketing, there's a guy called Donald Miller and I did story-banned story brand guide training story brand is Donald Miller's training for marketing, story base narrative base, I really dug it. I did the training. And one of the things that Donald Miller said is that people don't move forward into the fog. We know this as psychologists, right? If people don't know how to move forward, they tend to stay stuck. And one of the things that we can do that helps people to take the next steps from getting coaching to getting therapy to working with you to getting supervision or whatever it is, is demystifying the process of how you work. demystifying the process of how to take the next steps. So that's another, you know, that's number five in that list of five content prompts that you can use to then start sharing your perspective and your own opinions and building your visibility muscle. And then, again, you know, thinking about this in the context of LinkedIn, that third element of the simple marketing rhythm is connecting. And what that looks like on LinkedIn is in your About section, helping people to connect with you in a little bit about what you care about. A little bit about your journey, if you want to look at an example, have a look at my LinkedIn profile, at my About section, you'll see some of the storytelling that I've done there, you don't have to do as much as that mine has been quite developed over the years, whatever feels comfortable for you, but use that as a kind of template an example. And in your About section, you want to help people to connect with you to connect with your website. Put that in there too. And an invitation to connect with you. So whatever feels is right for you. For me, it's a 15-minute coffee chat. I love having coffee chats and people, but yourself a coffee chat, and just disturb my day, I love it, there's nothing better. But having that invitation to connect with you. And the reason why that's so important is one of the things that people fear on LinkedIn is getting rejected if they asked to connect. So so be open to those connections, let people know that you're open to connection, and let people know how you would like them to connect with you so that they feel safer and confident to do that. And those are your foundational tactics. So again, just thinking about how we build safety and comfort with marketing and being visible, it comes down to these three elements that I call a simple marketing rhythm. They're foundational to everything, you know, the rest of it is the Chantilly cream but this is the cake.
And so doing that on a regular basis, you know, just sharing things once or twice a week on something like LinkedIn, you know, some of the other platforms to get the algorithm working for you, you need to be a lot more visible and present and share a lot more content. But the LinkedIn algorithm is really forgiving. From that point of view, it's really, you know, your your content will have a lot of longevity. On a daily basis, if you can manage it, using something like the app on your phone, connecting with one or two conversations, somebody called Gary Vaynerchuk, you may have heard of calls it... I think he calls it his $1.80 strategy. And we talk about it. And in fact, I've just remembered Module Two of the Psychologist's Marketing Academy is all about conversations that connect. But back to Gary Vaynerchuk, one of the things that he recommended and popularised and he's got millions of followers, His thing was, go into the comment section and be useful every day. And he called it a $1.80 strategy because it was something like, do it, you know, connecting with the top 10 conversations in your niche with the top nine people that's 90 connections and putting in your two cents. So that was the $1.80. But it's incredibly powerful. When you do that if you are part of that community and having those conversations and you're you're there delivering value. It's not. You're not there to be on constant promotion, you're there to have natural conversations with people. As therapists or psychologists, we, we know, you know, keep the same boundaries in those conversations as you would do. If you were conversing with somebody at a party, if someone starts to have a conversation with you, or you know, in a party or at a work meeting, someone starts to have a conversation with you. You don't use that as an opportunity to demonstrate your therapy or your coaching, right so this isn't it's not what we're talking about here. You know, I'm trying to showcase how you work with people because no contracting has gone on, right? But getting into those conversations, you learn a lot, you start to develop your sense of safety doing that, you start to develop also a little bit of, you know, a little bit of kind of a tougher skin around some of the rough and tumble of that. You know, so getting used to the normal kind of rupture and repair that also happens in relationships and conversations online. But yeah, conversations are aware it's app sharing on a regular basis, once or twice a week conversations and on a daily basis, something that you know, whatever feels comfortable and appropriate to you. And then letting people know how to connect with you putting that on just in your about section. And before you know it people will be anyway DMing you sliding into. I know that's a whole other thing, isn't it sliding into the DMS a whole other topic? Goodness. So I hope this conversation has helped you or helped to also demystify what it means to have an effective marketing strategy for your therapy or psychology private practice. We can you know, I'm hoping that you feel as though having something like a simple marketing rhythm can work for you that can help you to feel comfortable connecting with people. You know, bringing, and unlearning how you're bringing the right people, the people you really want to work with the people you can serve most effectively, to your practice without it feeling as though it's like a brand new, a whole new world that you have to learn. Actually, it can be an extension of the skills and the things that you're good at already. So thank you very much. That's everything that I want to say. I'd love to hear what you think about this idea of a simple marketing rhythm. Or maybe you already have some tactics that are around this that feel really comfortable for you. I'd love to hear about those two. I'm Wendy Kendall, and thank you for listening to this podcast.