Episode 46 How to market your practice when you offer multiple modalities with Joanna Sapir

Jan 19, 2022

Are you working in your zone of genius? Is there a difference between marketing a holistic practice to a regular practice? Is your current marketing strategy connecting you to your ideal client?

MEET JOANNA SAPIR

Joanna Sapir has been a teacher and mentor for more than twenty years — from the classroom to the gym floor to wellness practices around the world. She works with established practitioners that are doing innovative and transformational work in marketing, sales, and administration. Joanna’s special ability is helping practitioners become true leaders of their businesses. Her goal is for them to find more fulfillment and purpose in their work, serve their clients more deeply – and create predictable income and streamlined systems while doing it. She believes that when you step into leadership of your business, you show up for the world in a bigger, better, and more powerful way than ever.

A San Francisco Bay Area native, Joanna now lives in Sonoma County, is the mother of two teenaged sons, and is a national champion in Olympic-style weightlifting.

Check out Joanna Sapir’s website and listen to The Business (R)evolution Podcast. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

FREEBIE: The Client Champion Formula workshop

IN THIS PODCAST:

  • Business systems
  • Work in your zone of genius
  • Marketing versus sales

Business systems

Every successful business relies on effective systems. As the business owner, it is your job to figure out how to make things run well, and how to make them run smoothly so that the business can grow on its own while the day-to-day work gets completed.

What are the step by step … repeatable processes that you use in any scenario? Once you develop these processes and make them most effective you can automate some pieces, you can outsource some pieces, and you make them run smoothly so they can be repeated, and then repeat great client results. (Joanna Sapir)

These types of systems can be your:

  • Sales system
  • Marketing system
  • Client service system

Having slick business systems is a great help to solo practice owners and entrepreneurs because it enables the business to help the owner. Make the business work for you, not the other way around.

It makes it easier for you and it makes your business smooth and streamlined. If your business feels chaotic, or when you have those times where you are heavily booked, usually the burnout happens because of lack of systems. (Joanna Sapir)

Work in your zone of genius

Consider hiring an administrative staff member to help you run your business so that you can work in your zone of genius, instead of spending your time and energy doing things you either highly dislike or are not all that good at.

Work in your zone of genius and excellence, and outsource the rest:

  • Zone of genius: where you light up with enjoyment at doing the work and are great at what you do.
  • Zone of excellence: where you are good at the work, but it does not light you up.
  • Zone of competence: you can do the work, but you are not great at it.
  • Zone of incompetence: you are not able to do the work properly.

In all the different things we have to do in business, some things are going to fall into those lower two, and you absolutely want to outsource those for sure. (Joanna Sapir)

Marketing versus sales

Marketing is centered around getting noticed and attracting attention to your business.

Do not use mass-marketing strategies for your business, and instead market yourself by speaking directly to your ideal client. The message in your marketing will therefore change from “look at me” to “I see you”.

The sales process starts once you are in conversation with them about them becoming a client of yours. It is usually the leads who become clients.

Simple marketing process:

  • Marketing to your leads: these are the people in your email lists, who follow you on social media, and those who interact with you on an occasional basis.
  • Marketing to the public: you market to the public to create leads.

Your marketing is not selling your services, your sales process is. Marketing is just where you are talking to your ideal [clients] and showing them that you see them, [get] that attention, and [bring] them into your world … so you can invite them to take that next step. (Joanna Sapir)

Connect With Me

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Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Check out Joanna Sapir’s website and listen to The Business (R)evolution Podcast

Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

FREEBIE: The Client Champion Formula workshop

How to Use Crystals in Therapy with Teresa Cox Mayle

Practice of the Practice Podcast Network

Transcript

[CHRIS McDONALD]

The Holistic Counseling Podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like Behind the Bite, Full of Shift and Impact Driven Leader, go to www.practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, where you discover diverse wellness modalities, advice on growing your integrative practice, and grow confidence in being your unique self. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. I'm so glad you're here for the journey.

Welcome to today's episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. As we record today, it is fall here in North Carolina with 40 some degrees this morning, which actually feels good. I hope you are wherever you are getting outside to enjoy some nature this week. That's so important for your self-care, but let's get to today's episode. Do you offer multiple modalities for your practice and are overwhelmed on how to get best market these? Or are you wondering how marketing for a holistic practice might be different than a regular practice? Today's guest is Joanna Sapir, and she's here to help you clarify and discover how to take the reins to be most effective in your marketing and reaching your ideal client.

She's been a teacher and mentor for more than 20 years from the classroom to the gym floor and now to wellness practices across the world. She works with established practitioners that are doing innovative, like those listening to this podcast and transformational work in their fields. On the business side of things like marketing sales and administration, Joanna's special ability is helping practice owners step into true leadership of their businesses, finding more fulfillment and purpose in their work, serve their clients more deeply and create predictable income and streamlined systems while doing it. Joanna's a San Francisco bay area native. She now lives in Sonoma county, is a mother of two teenage sons and is a national champion in Olympic style weightlifting. Welcome to the Holistic Counseling Podcast, Joanna.

[JOANNA SAPIR]

Thanks, Chris. So great to be here.

[CHRIS]

Can you tell my listeners more about yourself and your work?

[JOANNA]

Yes, so you just said a lot of it, but what I ---

[CHRIS]

I was like, your bio is going to cut it down, but it's so good. I had to say it all.

[JOANNA]

So this is kind of my third, almost my third career. I seem to go in about 10 year phases though. I don't know if this one will actually taper after 10 years. I think this might be it, but what I do now is I work with, as you said, innovative practitioners on the business side of things. So what I discovered as the client of so many different kinds of wellness practitioners was that they were really, really good at their services. So you mentioned that I'm an Olympic style weightlifter. I've always gotten various forms of body work and of course I've had some injuries in and out of the year, so lots of different body work.

But I've gone through my own therapies as well and my own personal growth. I've just always been somebody that invests in my own personal growth. So I've always been the client of various practitioners in wellness or mental health or physical health. And I've met so many brilliant practitioners that are so good at what they do and yet are still struggling financially or have the classic kind of roller coaster income. Business can be really, really busy and start to burn you out and then it can be really slow, all these problems that can be solved by setting up your business properly. Since I learned how to do that myself and built a successful wellness business myself in the past I really wanted to help other practitioners be able to do that. So that's what I do. I do it primarily through a program called the Business Revolution Academy. That's where I take small groups of practitioners and we build these pieces in their businesses.

[CHRIS]

I know you mentioned that a lot of people think, oh, I'm good at what I do. I think this goes for therapists as well. So I know I'm effective, I do well with clients, so my business should be successful, right?

[JOANNA]

I know. It's such a sad reality. I mean, it's just a sad reality that there can be businesses that are really successful. I'm sure everybody's seen this, a business that's really successful where the person, the actual service isn't even very good. I mean, and that's because they built their businesses properly. So unfortunately that's a different thing. It's like your business success is dependent on setting up the business for success. And of course being a great practitioner is absolutely essential. It's absolutely something you want to be and it is what will bring you referrals but it's not going to smooth out the roller coaster income and it's not going to give you new clients on demand when you want. So there's just so much to it

[CHRIS]

So much more than just being good.

[JOANNA]

Exactly, yes.

[CHRIS]

Okay. You mentioned that you had a wellness business before. Can you share more about that?

[JOANNA]

Sure. Well like almost all practitioners in health and wellness, I had a calling to kind of share a service and it had nothing to do with knowing what I was doing with business. So I started a business with no business background whatsoever, which is how ---

[CHRIS]

So many of us do.

[JOANNA]

Yes, I find, all practitioners pretty much. Sometimes people come from like an entrepreneurial family or something. I did not. I had been a public school teacher and what happened was through a major life transition I went through, I decided to move to a new county where I knew no one. When I got here, I didn't come here intending to start a business by any means, but I did want to continue the type of physical training that I had found before I moved, which had really transformed my life. It was basically strength training. Strength training, I just found it amazing as far as what it did for my, gosh, I mean, it was just getting stronger inside and out. I just found it really, really empowering.

So when I moved, I had two young children at the time and looked for a similar place to train on. I tried everywhere and nothing was like what I was looking for. So I said, okay, I'm going to provide this. People need, I know it's empowering, I'm going to provide this. So I started this business, I mean, it was very, very organic. I actually started on the land I lived on and people started paying me and then I said, well, it's going to rain soon. So I better get some kind of indoor facility. It was just like, I just went and rented a place and just was figuring it out piece by piece.

I made all the mistakes that one could make. I had a few major crash and burn experiences, and I also eventually built it to be a really successful business that ran on its own. I had a staff and a few years in my goal became to build a sellable business. I wanted to build a business that I could walk away from and it would exist still without me and I could sell it as an asset. Like all the work I had put into it would mean something when I walked away. It became a goal and so that's what I did. To do that, you got to learn how to put the business pieces in place, the business systems.

So a lot of times people don't necessarily know what system means and all I mean by that is like, so a sales system or a marketing system or a client service system is what are the step by step processes, the step by step repeatable processes that you use in any scenario. And once you develop these processes and make them most effective, you can automate some pieces, you can outsource some pieces and you make them run smoothly so they can be repeated. You can repeat great client results, you can repeat great marketing, you can repeat great sales processes.

So that's what I mean by systems. Every business needs it and by no means, like I had a big business, like I said, with a full staff and employees and all the thing, but I've worked primarily with solo practitioners. So by no means, does this mean you need some big business to do this. Solo practitioners need this more than anyone else, because there is no one else to take on what goes on. So it makes it easier for you and it makes it so smooth and streamlined. If your business feels chaotic or when you have those times where you're heavily booked, usually the burnout happens because of lack of systems. You're just scrambling everywhere.

[CHRIS]

So I imagine, I know you said that you had a team that you worked with. So I think a lot of therapists are hesitant to hire help. So do you think that should be part of systems too with private practice?

[JOANNA]

So with my clients, because I work with people over a long range often, hiring somebody in the business, it really depends on the business' goals and what is the stage of the stage of the practice, the stage of business. So when I say goals you as a practitioner kind of need to know what is your vision like, where do you want this business to be in five years? I was just talking about how when I have the gym, I decided, okay, my long range plan here is to sell this and I want it to exist without me. That was my vision.

So everybody needs to come up with their own vision for what they want of their business. What is the exit plan? Do you want to do this all the way until you retire and then it's done. If so, what do you need to prepare for that retirement even? Whatever your kind of vision and goals and long range plan are. So staffing or bringing team in is often part of that but it really depends on your stage of business. So it's not something I would make a blanket statement and say, but I will say many of the practitioners that I work with will end up hiring as a first hire an administrative assistant.

[CHRIS]

Yes.

[JOANNA]

So they first learn the system. It is so important. And one mistake that people make is that they'll hire an administrative assistant, hoping that assistant will create the systems that don't exist. Like they feel like their business is a must and it's just like, okay, let me, I can afford to hire somebody to come in and fix it. You're not, it's, I mean, unless you're hiring somebody who is really, really top notch and has a demonstrated background of knowing how to build systems in a business just like yours, that would be really more of a strategist anyway. That's not really the way to go. The way to go is to build them yourself through some kind of consultant like me or somebody like me, who knows how to do this, build those systems, learn how to run them and then hire the person to be the one that runs the pieces. That frees up your time to do other parts like your marketing and of course, like seeing clients.

[CHRIS]

Sounds like it would help therapists be more effective too, overall.

[JOANNA]

For sure. I mean, when you're solo, you wear so many hats and some of those hats, some of those roles that you play, you're just not even good at.

[CHRIS]

Exactly.

[JOANNA]

Some of those roles you might even be good at, but you don't like doing. I don't know how familiar you are with Guy Hendrix's kind of zone of genius sort of paradigm.

[CHRIS]

No.

[JOANNA]

So he has, your zone of genius is where you're totally lit up and you're really good at it. And then levels below it. So we want to operate in our zone of genius. The level below it is zone of excellence. So your zone of excellence is you're really good at it, but it's not what lights you up completely. Still okay to be working in there. Below that is the zone of competence. That's where like, you can do it okay, but you're not great at it. We don't want to be doing things that we're not so good at. We usually don't like them either. Then there's the zone of incompetence, which is just really like this stuff. And the thing is in all the different things we have to do in business, you're going to, some things are going to fall into those lower two and you absolutely want to outsource those for sure. But you got to be at a stage of business to really justify that.

[CHRIS]

Because I know you said stage of business, so I'm guessing like when somebody's just starting out that they probably can't even afford to hire someone.

[JOANNA]

I mean, when you're just starting out, your whole goal should be to just try and get clients and see, and almost just test your work. You got to really gain the confidence that you know what you're doing. There's just a lot of scrappiness in the beginning. I wouldn't worry about systems at that point yet.

[CHRIS]

Yes, exactly. You try to got to get out there and meet people too, and get the marketing going.

[JOANNA]

Yes, have conversations. Exactly.

[CHRIS]

Yes. Okay. We talked about, for our topic today was about multiple modalities and how do you market that? Because I know that I offer trauma informed yoga, mindfulness, brain spotting, so many things. I know a therapist listening also have many things and a lot of us are highly motivated. And sometimes we have too many, I think. So what are the best practices for marketing these? Like, it's hard to figure out like where do I go with all this when you have so many great things you can offer.

[JOANNA]

Yes. I mean, first of all, let me just say that's exactly who I tend to attract, is people just like you and the people that you're talking to. The people listening here on this podcast, are folks who are bringing in multiple modalities particularly in trauma care. I just want to say, it's fascinating work to me. I learn so much through my clients. I actually really think it's how we're going to change the world, is through this kind of work and this kind of therapy for individuals. So it's very exciting to me. So it is very exciting to be learning those new modalities and to be bringing them to clients. I think the mistake that practitioners make is maybe sometimes even to justify like paying for another training or certification.

[CHRIS]

I think that's a whole other topic, isn't it?

[JOANNA]

Well, yes. So we can kind of become addicted to like learning more and more. I think that's not a problem unless it's holding you back from actually practicing. I mean, there are some people who say, when I get this certification or when I learn more, then I'll really be able to put myself out there. So if that's the case, we don't want to let that hold you back. It's great to be learning more and more modalities, but I think it's a mistake to think that, oh, if I learn this modality, it's going to make my business stronger because now I have something else to market because that's just not true.

So in marketing, I think, well, let me say what in my experience most practitioners think marketing is, and you can tell me what you think, Chris. Most people think we think about marketing and here we are, we live in this capitalist society. We're surrounded by marketing telling us what to buy and what to do. We're largely surrounded by, I mean, my mail just came right now. I go to the mailbox and it's these ads, these flyers for all these products. It's like, I don't know all the local stores, Target, whatever, whoever sends all that. I don't even look at it. But it's all these products.

And we go by billboards that are selling products. So we think that marketing is, because we're surrounded by this kind of mass industrial marketing for products, for mass produced products, we think that marketing is "here's the product buy it. Here's the product. Here's why you need to buy it. Here's how sexy it is to buy it. Here's how great it will be to buy it. Here's the product, buy it." So we're so rounded by that. So when we think, oh, I have to do marketing, I need clients, so I have to do marketing, we think our job is to go out and say, "Here's my service. Buy it. Here's how great my service ---"

[CHRIS]

Here it is.

[JOANNA]

Great. Here it is. This is what I got. This is why you need it. It's great. Here it is. Buy it, buy it. I just want to say don't, that's not. Don't do that. I mean, the great thing about this message, about sharing this message is that it feels really yucky to do that. People don't like that. It feels like, ugh, it just doesn't feel good to do that, "Here's my thing. Here it is. Buy it."

[CHRIS]

That becomes more salesy.

[JOANNA]

Oh, it's so salesy. So that's a good thing that I will, in a minute, if I forget, bring me back to it, just distinguish the difference between marketing and sales. It's a very, very important difference. So marketing is about getting noticed and attracting attention. That is what it's about. But the way you do it is not by saying, "Here I am. Here's my service. Here's what I got. I do brain spotting. I do trauma informed yoga. Here it is." Therapy, it's instead to actually see the client, to talk to the client, the ideal client, your perspective client out there and to say, I see you.

So instead of here I am, look at me, it's I see you. I see you, I understand what you're dealing with, I understand how it feels. I understand what you want. I understand the struggles you've been through. I see you. That's what's going to get you noticed, is noticing who your people are, is calling out directly to your people. So it's not talking about you and what you offer. It's talking to your people about who they are and what they're going through. That's it in a nutshell.

[CHRIS]

I think that's very common with therapists too, because I see a lot of profiles, we have Psychology Today where we have listings. They have very good SEO so a lot of us can get clients through there. But when you start off on there saying, oh, I have my MSW and here's my licensure and here I am and come contact me for consultation, I think that that's how a lot of new people start out with instead of really talking to the client.

[JOANNA]

Yes, exactly. So you have to know who your ideal client is. So if you are brand new, you're not going to know that yet. Just got to say that. When you're brand new, you just got to take, you want to be open and take all kinds of people to figure out who your ideal client is. But if you've been in practice for a year or more and have worked with a dozen clients or more, you've got enough data there to identify who are my ideal people. This is a bit counter to, I mean, licensed therapy, it's like when you go to school for this, you're there to help whoever wants help.

So this is a bit of a paradigm shift to kind of say, okay, to build a successful business is not going to be, I help anybody who shows up and wants it. It's going to be no, I have a really particular clientele that I work best with, that I provide the best results for. And who are they? That's how you're going to build a really successful practice, is honing in on who they are. So what I have my clients do is really quite simple, honestly. It's recall. It's look back through all their past clients. Usually it's very easy for them to identify this and I say, who are your three favorite clients ever?

Like I said, usually it's very easy. It's interesting the mixture that comes up with that is first of all, it's always people who committed, really committed to a long term process. Then there are other criteria that kind of show up. That's what they do, is identify those three favorites and then we start to list why, what made them great clients? And you end up with this kind of list of qualities. There's everything from just their commitment level to actual details around what their problems were that they were addressing. That's how you identify your niche and who your ideal client. It's by doing that. We do the same thing on the other side. We say, and then who were your three worst clients ever?

[CHRIS]

Those stand out.

[JOANNA]

Oh, for sure. You'll know who those are very, very easily. Also we list why. So what you want to be doing is actually building a sales process in your business that your marketing should attract those ideal people and your sales system should weed out the non-ideal people.

[CHRIS]

So the difference between marketing and sales, you said you're going to address that.

[JOANNA]

Oh yes. So marketing, as I said before, is how you attract attention. Marketing is just how you get noticed in the first place. So for sure, you mentioned the directory and I know from my therapist clients, that's often a source of leads, is through these directories for people who are looking for therapy and access these directories. For sure, I mean, you just said it, you want, if you get that little one liner or two lines, whatever you get to put there, maybe it's a whole paragraph, you want to be talking to the client. You want to be showing, I see you.

They already know that everyone on there is a licensed therapist. They already know that. Show them that you see them. Who is this about? Who is this about, it's about them. So that is absolutely marketing. The sales process starts once you're in conversation with them about becoming a client. So somebody can be even, I think Chris, you talked about building an email list, don't you?

[CHRIS]

I think I did. Have to remember.

[JOANNA]

Well, that's not something that all therapists are necessarily doing, but that's a form of marketing, for example. So get people onto an email list you offer something that they might want.

[CHRIS]

Some kind of giveaway.

[JOANNA]

So then you're marketing there to the list. You're nurturing the leads you have. So I call a lead anybody who gets into your domain has noticed you in some way. So you market to leads as well. First you market to the public to capture leads, and then you market to your leads. Now, a prospective client or prospect, I call it is once somebody says, "Hey, I think I'm interested in working with you." They're taking that next step. You've offered some kind of invitation and that invitation is, as you said some kind of discovery call or consultation.

I think probably be therapists do that pretty regularly, a lot of other practitioners don't. So that's just first thing. If for some reason you don't and you have like just a "book a session" on your website, I strongly discourage that because it means you don't get to vet your clients. I am a strong promoter of vetting all of your clients so that you don't have the worst clients you've ever, so you never have like challenging, hard, the bad clients again. You are really vetting people and bringing them into alignment with you and making sure they're the right fit for you to move forward. So that's the beginning, that's the sales process. That's the beginning of the sales process.

[CHRIS]

So is that considered a system too, that you have a vetting process?

[JOANNA]

It is. So I have a five-stage sales system. So just really quickly, the invitation is the first stage. The second stage is actually a filtering process, a pre-qualifying process. So that's done in various ways with a therapist. It would likely be done with a brief phone call. That's not actually the consultation. It's just the filter, the prequalification, like I said, process. The next stage, I call it prime and prep the prospect, priming and prepping the prospect. That's a little nurturing process before you actually have the consultation with them. Then the next step is the consultation. So the consultation, I will, you're getting me, Chris into what I get very, very passionate about, but

[CHRIS]

Oh, okay.

[JOANNA]

It's not even what we were going to talk about today, but I ---

[CHRIS]

You could you go for it.

[JOANNA]

Going to go for it. The consultation, this is one of things that like, plenty of people offer a consultation, but they don't actually have a process for it. They don't have a system for it. So when I talk to folks, they'll say, yes, we help on the phone. I'll tell them what I do. I'll find out a little bit about them and see if they want to move forward. When, it's funny, I just wrote my own piece of marketing about being the perspective client going through a process like this.

Recently, I had four different phone consultations with practitioners. They were executive function coaches, and I was hiring one for my son who's 16. It was just very clear. They were winging it. They know their stuff so, I mean, they had plenty to talk about, but it was not actually a clear, consultative process that led me to enroll in their services. It was just a conversation. It was winging it. So that's my experience. It's that most practitioners are just winging it and they haven't actually learned how to do a consultation.

There are elements you want in a consultation that make it a very, very clear process for your prospect. First of all, the first piece of that process is you determining whether this person is a good fit for you. You do that through an interview. That's an assessment of some sort. So you are interviewing them. That's very different than many practitioners will come in and think, "Let's see if this person wants to work with me," and you kind of let them interview you. That's not what we want.

You are interviewing them first to determine whether they're the right fit for you. If you determine that they are, then you lead them through a process of showing them what they actually need to meet their goals. You are actually laying out for them, "Here is, based on everything I just learned about you, here's what you need to do to deal with whatever your pains and problems you have right now are that you just told me about and reach your goals and desires that you just told me about." And you lay it out for them. If that process is what you help them do or what you can help them do perfectly very, very well, then you tell them that, and then you enroll them from there.

So now they completely understand what they're getting into and they can ask you any questions they want at that point, of course. But it is a really, really structured process where you enroll clients into long term services from there. The reason it's so important is for one, as I just experienced as a client, as a prospective client, I should say, honestly, it just kind of, for lack of a better word, sucks to be sitting on a phone call and like trying to really find this service that I know I need, I really need for my son that I'm looking for the relief of knowing that I'm dealing with this situation I have. And to be getting off these phone calls, like not moving forward because they weren't done so well, really is no good for them.

I wanted somebody to lead me step by step through a process and for it to feel like, yes, this is it. I've found it. Boom. And your consultation is what needs to do that. But then furthermore, for the practitioner, I mean, I talked to four people and all of them basically wasted, I'm going to say wasted their time with me. They wasted their time and they wasted my time. So I kind of wonder how many of these phone calls do they have? Are they even tracking how effective these calls are? So what you want is you want to know, you want a repeatable process, that's your consultation process that the vast majority of the time, I'd say minimum 50% of the time leads to a client enrolling in long term services.

So that's a process to learn. So, yes, that is sales. That is different than marketing. So your marketing is not selling your services. Your sales process is. Marketing is just where you're talking to your ideal people and showing them that you see them and getting that attention and bringing them into your world and into your sphere so you can invite them to take the next step. And that next step for services anyway, would be a consultation.

[CHRIS]

Okay. I found too, just building the relationships through the email list is what's so important.

[JOANNA]

Yes. So I would fit that into marketing, and in your email list to invite them. Yes, you're nurturing, that's the marketing, it's nurturing those people and then when you invite them to a consultation. Yes, there's already somewhat of a relationship built and you carry it from there.

[CHRIS]

Because I think our practice and our field is a little different than some other fields, because it's so deep sometimes with what we go into right with therapy and how we help people. I think that if you don't have that relationship, like we can't necessarily, I've found in my experience anyway, just like those mailers you mentioned, that's not good for therapists. That's not really helpful for us just to put a little add out because in my experience it does, that doesn't work, maybe it does for other people.

[JOANNA]

Oh I would say never waste your money on advertising for your services. That'd be a complete waste of money. Just, I mean, one of my kind of standard principles is don't sell to strangers. Just don't sell, you shouldn't be offering your services to people who don't know you, period. Your marketing should be talking to people and talking about their pains and problems and goals and desires, what's getting in their way and what they need, but you don't need to offer your services in marketing. That's not until you've already captured their attention. Your services are offered really only in a consultation process for sure.

[CHRIS]

So you do a encourage therapists who don't offer consultations to reconsider?

[JOANNA]

Oh a hundred percent. A hundred percent. And learn how to do it right because a lot of people will spend a lot of time in consultations, they don't do them well, they don't even know why it's not going well, but when end up in these conversations with people who don't move forward, it feels like a waste of time. So the answer isn't to stop offering consultations. The answer is to learn how to do consultations so it's not a waste of your time.

[CHRIS]

Yes. So I'm just trying to think from what you said about how to structure it better. So for therapy, would it be involving to just, here's what it would be like to work with me and here are some steps that clients who work with me need to go through and kind of go in more in-depth with that and?

[JOANNA]

We were talking about in the consultation?

[CHRIS]

In the consultation.

[JOANNA]

So actually I teach a 10-step consultation process and it has no pitch like that. There's no, as I say with marketing, it's not about you. So the beginning of the process, like I said, is an interview where you are interviewing them. The next piece of it is around your assessment. So when you talk about in therapy, how deep you go, that is a hundred percent of the practitioners that I work with, are doing really, really deep work with their clients. I mean like trauma work is deep stuff. And the consultation, you actually start to go deep in the consultation. That's the thing.

[CHRIS]

Oh, okay. Got you.

[JOANNA]

You go deep in there.

[CHRIS]

Because I think this is a different way to look at consultations, at least for me. I don't know if others might feel the same way.

[JOANNA]

Yes, a lot of clients who have learned the process and then implement from me and implemented in their businesses, what I have often heard is, oh, this is what I used to do in the first session. So to be really clear, I the consultation process that I teach, it's not a session. It is not a therapy session by any means.

[CHRIS]

No.

[JOANNA]

But a lot of practitioners have learned that the first session is like this intake process and that's the part that actually a lot of it gets folded into the consultation because you really are doing an assessment. So you are diving deep on that first, on that consultation and getting into what's going on with this person and you are giving them your assessment. You're giving them your assessment and you're laying out a plan for them.

So let's just say, I was going to use me as an example, but it's not therapy. It's like business coaching, but I will use it as an example, if somebody's in a discovery call with me and does not proceed with services with me, they're still walking away with, I've laid out what I see in their business and what they need to do. I've still laid it all out for them, this and this and this like. So it's still high value. When you lay it out for them though, you're laying out for them exactly the service that you would be taking them through. So as a therapist, so Chris, you use multiple modalities. So if you were assessing somebody and then telling them what you believed they needed, it's going to include all those and you would say that.

[CHRIS]

Yes.

[JOANNA]

"Here's what I see you need to do, from my perspective, as a therapist. You need, boom, like let's just say it's weekly therapy sessions with me where we dive into this, this, this. You need to be practicing breath work where you do this, this, this. I would recommend yoga at least twice a week for this many minutes with these kinds of ---

[CHRIS]

So you're saying very specific?

[JOANNA]

Very specific, like the plan. So if you can think of, if you could put yourself in the shoes of being a prospective client here, I came to you with my pains and my problems and my goals and my desires and you're giving me, you're telling me what you believe I should do, what a structured plan is, I'm a excited. You tell me all that like therapy once a week and yoga and breath work and do, do, do, that's exciting to me. If I'm ready to like commit to my goals, I say, awesome. Can you help me do that? It's very, very natural because you have just laid out what I need and that should be matching up with exactly the services that you provide. Does that make sense?

[CHRIS]

Yes. I'm just trying to process as you're saying. Because honestly, and I think back to when I started too, like of course I never had training in giving consultation. So it's just like, we do all kind winging and do our best with that. But I do look at too, how many convert over and how many are successful, that they're long term? And I think to me, that's one way I look at it too, for success.

[JOANNA]

That's great. So what I have my practitioners do is aim for an 80% converting rate, 80% conversion rate from consultations. Again, we have filters in place ahead of time. So this is not about like, we're trying to get everybody. It's we're trying to get the right people. So I just want to note that when I was explaining how you would lay out the plan for this perspective client, you see how there's still, there's no pitch there. You're not saying, "I'm going to provide you, like, here's the plan you need." It's really, you are advising them as a therapist, just like I'm advising somebody as a business strategist. Whether they decide to work with me to carry out that plan is completely their choice, but I've laid it all out and it makes it really quite a no brainer for people in general.

[CHRIS]

Yes, exactly. So how would marketing a holistic practice be different from marketing, like a traditional practice since a lot of listeners offer different modalities that other therapists aren't offering?

[JOANNA]

So the thing is the modalities don't even need to come into the conversation until that consultation.

[CHRIS]

Until the consultation.

[JOANNA]

Until it's relevant.

[CHRIS]

Because if they're like, oh, I can't do yoga and I'm not doing breath work, I'm not doing any of that, then it's not, then it's probably not your ideal client.

[JOANNA]

That's exactly why you have filters in place. That's exactly why you have filters in place. So for example, I've had, let's see I'm trying to think of who it was. I just remember somebody designing their filter and asking just a really simple question about what's your experience with, they put quotes around holistic modalities, like do, do, do, do, do, do, do. So that's just one way that you can find out ahead of time. So you don't have the consultation until somebody's been through the filters so that you're not wasting your time, honestly, in a consultation on somebody who's an obvious a non-fit. That's exactly the purpose of putting the filters in place.

[CHRIS]

So I guess a holistic therapist can do that and just kind of be upfront with that right away.

[JOANNA]

Oh yes. You want to be upfront with a lot of it right away. You want your ideal people, you want to attract your ideal people and you want to repel the wrong people. You really want to repel the wrong people. That's another thing I'm sure that you've experienced this, Chris, probably in your own journey and in teaching every therapist in that we, again, just like when we think, oh, I need to do marketing, we kind of automatically think of this, like screaming out, "Here I am and here's my services. Buy them." We also think we're trying to get everybody. We're trying to like be as open as we can. Like I work with anyone and all for myself, all these different problems and are you dealing with this and this and this and this and this and this and this like a million different things, which isn't one person. We don't want that. We don't want to be trying to appeal to everyone. You want to be -

[CHRIS]

Isn't it when you try to market to everyone, you get no one?

[JOANNA]

Yes, yes, yes. I mean, it's really simple. You can think of it yourself as a, if I ran a gym for example. I mean, there are lots of different kinds of gyms. Whether you would be the right client for my gym, I have no idea. There's gyms that are for meathead body builders, there's gyms that are for people who are just off the couch and really getting active for the very first time. I shouldn't even say gyms. I should say programs or something. That's just an example. Like if you've been sedentary for years, haven't exercised in years and you're finally trying to like, just get off the couch and get active for the first time, you are not going to want to go to a place that is for competitive athletes?

So you want to be seen. That's what we're talking about with the marketing. You would go to a place, you would be attracted to some place that says, "Hey, I get it. You've been sitting at your desk, building your career for the last five years, and the last thing you've done is thought about your physical fitness, but now you're ready. And shoot, I know it's going to be hard. I know it's totally intimidating and it's a daunting task and where are you going to feel comfortable and how's it going to feel in your body, and can you really do this?" That's calling out to your ideal client. So again, just put yourself in the shoes, just think of yourself as a prospective client of other services. You want to go to a place ---

[CHRIS]

That's a good way to look at it too.

[JOANNA]

You want to go to a place that's for you? You want to go to a place that feels like it's for you. So that's what you should be creating for your people, a place that's for them, not for anyone.

[CHRIS]

So what's a takeaway you could share today that could help listeners that might just be starting their holistic journey?

[JOANNA]

Well, I would say that I think most people do have a website. So a lot of times that's one of the first things we do, is put up a website and often when people are using multiple modalities, they will put all those modalities on the website and they'll put it even in like a dropdown menu. They might even make a page for every modality explaining it, thinking that well, if people are looking for these modalities, then here I am with it. Or if people are looking for therapy, they'll see all these modalities and be impressed with it. That is just taking up space and honestly confusing your perspective clients a bit, because they may have never heard of the modalities and they just have the pains and problems and goals and desires that they have and are looking for help with it.

So kind of scrap the dropdown menu with all the modalities. You can mention them. That's fine. You can mention them as far as, how I work with people in a framework, I always recommend that practitioners create a framework. That's like a visual representation for all the different modalities they use. It shows how they're integrated as well. Because hopefully you are integrating them into your services. They're not like just these standalone separate things.

So you can include those in a framework on your website, but other than that, don't market the modalities. Market to your people. Show your people that you see who they are. So offering the modalities, stop offering the service and instead talk to your ideal clients and call them out. And just like the example I gave, show them that you see them and that you understand how they're feeling and then offer help by offering a consultation.

[CHRIS]

Excellent. So what's the best way for listeners to find you and learn more about you?

[JOANNA]

So you can go to my website, which is joannasapir.com. That's S like Sam, A, P like Paul, I-R, joannasapir.com. And I do have a free training that I think your listeners might be interested in. It's called Five Shifts to Get Long Term Clients and Steady, Predictable Income. I cover a lot more than I talked about today, but more depth. You can get that at joannasapir.com/5shifts, the number 5, shifts. That's that. Then every quarter I enroll a new small group of practitioners into the business revolution academy. It's open every quarter. So if you go to my website, you can see more information about that, including how to schedule a discovery call with me.

[CHRIS]

Very cool. Joanna, thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

[JOANNA]

Thanks for having me, Chris.

[CHRIS]

This was very eye opening. I appreciate it. To my listeners, I thank you for your continued support and for tuning into today's episode. Remember to subscribe, rate, and review, wherever you get your podcast. This is Chris McDonald, sending each one of you much light and love. Till next time, take care.

If you're loving the show, will you rate review and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform? We just started this and that helps other people find this show. Also, if you're feeling uncertain about your modalities and you want to build your confidence to be your unique self, why don't you to join my free email course, Becoming a Holistic Counselor over at holisticcounselingpodcast.com.

In my Becoming a Holistic Counselor course, you'll get tips for adding integrative care into your practice, what training you need and don't, and the know-how to attract your ideal holistic clients. If this sounds like the direction you are headed, sign up at holisticcounselingpodcast.com.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

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