5 Steps You Need to Take To Unify Your Marketing with Bear Wade | MP 95

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On this marketing podcast, Bear Wade talks about 5 steps you need to take the unify your marketing.

Do you need an ultimate start-to-finish marketing guide? Which business systems do you need to have in place to continue nurturing great client relationships? How do you get clients to come back to you again?

In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks with Bear Wade about the 5 Steps you need to take to unify your marketing.

Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision

An image of Brighter Vision Web Solutions is featured as the sponsor on Faith in Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Brighter Vision builds all in one websites for therapists.

When you’re in private practice it can be tough to find the time to even review your marketing efforts, let alone to make improvements where needed.

By first understanding your practice and what makes it unique, Brighter Vision’s team of developers are then able to create you a beautiful website that will attract your ideal clients and get them to contact you. Better yet, they also provide unlimited tech support to make sure it’s always up-to-date, and professional search engine optimization to make sure you rank high in online searches – all at no additional cost.

But best of all, we’ve worked with them to create a special offer just for Marketing a Practice listeners. Get your first 3 months of website service completely FREE. To take advantage of this amazing deal, head to brightervision.com/joe. 

Meet Bear Wade

A photo of Bear Wade is captured. He is an award-winning filmmaker, author, and CEO of Unify Creative Agency. Bear is featured on Marketing a Practice, a therapist podcast.

Bear Wade is an award-winning filmmaker, author, and CEO of Unify Creative Agency. Bear understands there is an order to building a successful brand. From his own personal experience, he saw the mistakes brands were making in their attempts to connect with clients, and so he created the Unify Brand Steps to help brands connect with their clients.

His recent book “Unify Your Marketing: 5 steps to build your marketing in the right order so your business can soar”, empowers business owners in working with their team to build their marketing in the right order, so they can save time, money, and heartache.

Visit Bear Wade’s website, and connect with him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

FREEBIE: Access Bear’s Free Marketing Resources!

In This Podcast

  • Defining
  • Building
  • Growing
  • Ongoing
  • Scaling
  • Bear’s advice to private practitioners


  • Defining your brand script: this is essentially your elevator pitch. Define exactly and clearly what it is that you do, and how it can help someone.

[Your brand script] is the set of words that you use to describe what you do, and how you benefit the person that is listening. (Bear Wade)

  • Define your brand identity: this is your brand style guide, the document that contains every aspect of your marketing aesthetics, from font to color.
  • Express your brand media: collect testimonials from people who you have helped to help you boost your brand.


  • Set out your pricing structure
  • Defining your online platform: a clear, easy-to-remember domain name, a website, and social media channels that look similar to build cohesion and trust.
  • Organize your print media


  • Keep track of your customer lists: people are more likely to work with you again if they have already purchased from you before.

Keeping your customer lists and [continuing] to communicate with them and support them is very helpful, so you want to make sure that you have that database. (Bear Wade)

  • Define your lead-generation spigot: how are people finding you, and how can you connect with more?
  • Describe your campaign initiative


Now you’ve defined what you’re doing, you’ve built it, you’re growing, now it is just about maintaining it. (Bear Wade)

  • Establish your content pipeline and roles: who is making the content for your practice? Who is proofing and posting the content?
  • Demarcate your content schedule: establish your content creation and stick to your schedule. How often are you going to send emails and post to social media?

[Your content schedule] is really up to you. You can do it once a day or once a week, whatever that is, just defining that with your team is very helpful. (Bear Wade)


  • Analyze what is working: focus on your strengths, and reevaluate or change things that are not working well yet.
  • Define your project management system: how do clients book with you, how do you run your sessions, and how do you follow up with clients afterward?
  • Hire employees, train them, delegate to them, and monitor their progress.

Bear’s advice to private practitioners

Focus on the order in which you are building your practice. Doing your steps in order will save you time, and money, and save some business heartache.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Sam Carvalho

A photo of Samantha Carvalho is captured. She is the Chief Marketing Officer and Designer at Practice of the Practice. She is the host of the Marketing A Practice Podcast and helps therapists successfully market and brand their private practices.Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.

She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!

Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work. To work with Sam, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[SAM CARVALHO] Welcome to the Marketing a Practice podcast with me, Sam Carvalho where you’ll discover everything you need to know about marketing and branding your business. To find out more about how I can help you brand new business visit www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. If you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design. Bear Wade is an award-winning filmmaker, author and CEO of Unify Creative Agency. He specializes in empathy. Being a business owner can be tough at times, and when it comes to marketing a business, it can become overwhelming and costly very quickly. His book, Unify Your Marketing: 5 steps to build your marketing in the right order so your business can soar empowers business owners in working with their team to build their marketing in the right order so they can save time, money, and heartache. Hi Bear. Thanks so much for joining us today. [BEAR WADE] Hi, thanks for having me. Appreciate it. [SAM] Can you share with us a bit about your story and how you got to where you are now? [BEAR] Sure. Like my bio says there, like you just mentioned, I am an award-winning filmmaker. I got into video really early, out of college and been self-employed for 20 years and now own a marketing agency, which I’ve had pretty much for the last 20 years. But I have been doing filmmaking and advertising agency to help pay for my filmmaking habit. But have really enjoyed it. [SAM] Amazing. We mentioned obviously in the bio as well, that you’ve written this book on unify your marketing and obviously, there’s five steps that you discuss in that book on how to build your marketing in the right order. Can you share with us what those five steps are? [BEAR] Yes, sure, sure. Well, I’ll step back for just a second. I should have mentioned that because people know me as a filmmaker or a video specialist, I would always get hired to do that for a client that is new and when that happened, I’d always have this pre-production meeting where we talk about what’s going to be in the video and I’d always say, well, at the end of the video, we’re going to have your domain name. At the end and we’re going to go, go out and reach people and bring them back to your website. So how is your website doing? Is it converting viewers into paid customers? Most of the time a client would go, well, we have a website, but it does need some work. We both would look at each other like, well, we shouldn’t do the video yet until we have the website figured out. So we start, we take a step back and start working on their website. Every good website as you know has a clear, defined logo, color scheme, authentic photography, some call-to-action. A lot of times those things weren’t defined either for the website. So we had to take another step back to get those things squared away before we got to the website. Then I realized after doing this for 20 years, that I kept doing it out of order, which means there is an order to doing your marketing and to build out your marketing. So I finally, one day in a fit of rage, well, having to say the same thing to educate a client that here’s the order. So I like had 99 things. I wrote out this whole thesis on here’s the order it should be. But over the last couple years I’ve been distilling it down into something that’s more digestible and everybody’s in different steps, but it’s really about just making sure that you check this box before you move on to the next thing so you don’t get overwhelmed. A great example is if you have, sometimes when you’re a small business owner, you might have somebody do a video for you and you might have somebody do your website for you and somebody design your brochures for you. Those don’t look the same, or they don’t look related to one another, so defining your style guide and all that is very helpful. [SAM] So that’s, I think the audience is probably sick of me saying it, but I’m such an advocate for brand style guides specifically for that — [BEAR] You have mentioned that and I think your message has been really great at that. I think you have illustrated that very well, but I wanted to get into the five steps. So the first one is defining and that first, every of all these five steps, they’re broken into three parts, so it’s a little bit more digestible. The first one is defining your brand script, which is just your set of words that you use to describe what you do and how you benefit the person who’s listening. Some people call that an elevator pitch, other people call that, it’s more than a tagline. Sometimes taglines are more vague, but I realized that this was a very valuable thing. When I was out making my documentary, people would come out and ask, I’d be at a dinner party or something and somebody would ask, so what’s the film about? Documentary is weird because you don’t know the full story until you’re finished. You’re still discovering it as you’re going through it. But I had a rough idea. So I’d always looked down at my shoes and stumbled through it because I was pretty insecure about really what the story would be about. I was in the middle of making it and finally my wife, who’d been sick of staring at me, watching me bubble through this over and over said, what we got to do, let’s just sit down for a second and write out what you should say when somebody asks you what this this is about. This is 10 years ago and I realized that that this is what a brand script is. So I knew that we wanted to say, because this was about a road trip that happened in 1920 throughout all the national parks at the time. This group of 12 people traveled 5,000 miles. I knew I had these like key things that I wanted to say, that it was 1920 and the national parks people really attached to that and 12 people. We started rearranging what those things would be to create, to make sure we got it in there, but make sure it was fluid. And 10 years later, I can still say paving the way, The National Park to Park Highway is a documentary, a historical documentary about a road trip that happened in 1920 to all 12 of the national parks at the time before there were even paved roads or air conditioning or maps. Could you imagine doing that? That’s my little script for the thing. So I can spiel off every time and I still remember it, so having, if you’re in a practice trying to figure out what your specialty is and how you can communicate that and what they get out of it after working with you has been very beneficial. [SAM] Yes, I think that that’s so important as well. I think a lot of times with branding people just jump straight to the visual side of things and they forget the theoretical or the messaging that the visual action needs to be based on. I think the visual always comes off a lot less impactful when you haven’t properly identified your messaging first. [BEAR] Totally, totally. As a designer, I’m sure you understand that. You have to talk it out with your client or with yourself to try and figure out what am I actually trying to communicate here? So after that is your brand identity. That’s the second part of step one. Then the third one is your brand media. Once you have all your logo, signature, your brand colors, your fonts, and other design elements in your style guide, then you take photos and make a brand video and collect testimonials, which is very helpful to help so people understand that it’s not just, you don’t have to just take my word for it that I’m good at my practice, that I’m good at helping people, but also that these people — [SAM] Think so too [BEAR] Also have benefited from it. That’s step number one, defining. What is step number two? [BEAR] Step two is building, and it’s all about defining your pricing structure now. You probably have that figured out already, but after that it’s defining your online platform, so make sure you have a clear, easy to remember domain name. You want to have some sort of website so people can test you out before booking with you and then have all your social media channels set up. And they should all look alike, which some people might think it’s boring, but you want to have it all unified. You want to make it look like you’re one thing. So if people see you on Facebook and they come back to your website, it’s already related there. They feel comfortable with you. [SAM] Absolutely. I’ve told this story before on the podcast, but I have a set template that I make use of on my social media. I do get bored of it sometimes, but I had somebody come up to me at one stage and say that they love the look and feel of my Instagram and that before they, even if they scrolling on their feed before they even check to see who the post is from, they know it’s from me because they’ve come to know my look. That was so powerful when I heard that. I thought, yes, this is why you keep things consistent and why you keep things the same because you build that credibility and you build that trust over time. [BEAR] That is so true. After looking at your website all of your thumbnail images look related. They all are different because you have different people that you’re featuring your podcast, but they all look and feel the same. I think that’s great. We also, an example is if you, if you’re in America, maybe if you’re around the world, we know a McDonald’s commercial when we see it even before they show the logo at the end, because of the fonts and the colors they use. As much as we might not like that, every brand wants to emulate that to speak that message real quickly. So the last thing for building is your print media. You want to have any brochures, postcards, handouts, business cards. You would define that next. [SAM] So we’ve had defining, building, what step number three? [BEAR] Step number three is growing. You want to define your customer list. For the longest time, I’ve been in business 20 years and I just hardly ever kept track of who I helped, which was crazy? It’s so much easier to resell to somebody that is already paid you before. So the idea of keeping your customer list and communicating, continuing to communicate with them, and support them is very helpful. So you want to make sure you have that database and if you use some sort of database software, that’s great, but even a spreadsheet is a great place to start [SAM] Absolutely. Is there other points within the growing step? [BEAR] Yes, there are. The next one is, define your lead generation spigot, is what we call it. So how are people finding you and what ways can you bring, how can you reach people, sign new customers or clients, and then turn that off if you get fully booked? But then, or if you have to take a break or whatever, let’s say you’re on vacation or whatever that is and then when you come back, can you turn that spigot back on and get new people coming in now? I think a lot of people in practice, the idea of having repeat sessions and customers and clients makes a lot of sense, but if you’re trying to fill that up, then defining how they come and find you is very helpful. If the referrals, then you want to make sure you keep reminding people that you’re looking for referrals or nurture that relationship too. That’s next. Then after that is defining a campaign initiative. So if you have, I don’t know what a great example would be here, but if you have something that you want to communicate, let’s say, we have Mother’s Day coming up here in America. I don’t know if it’s the same in Africa. [SAM] Yes, we do too. [BEAR] Okay, great. That’s really heavy on my mind. Let’s say your practice wants to help support bombs because that is a big mental burden, I mean gift. [SAM] I mean, your mom, I get it. [BEAR] Right. Oh yes, exactly. Congratulations and sorry. So the idea of maybe offering a couple sessions to a mom for a gift. I mean, I’m spit balling here, but that’s really maybe that is your campaign initiative. So you think about how can we communicate something that looks and feels like mother’s day, but also when I’m reaching out to prospective customers and clients how could I make that initiative, like we’re having a a three pack sale for sessions to try it out? That could be an initiative. So it’s just defining what that is and giving that a look and feel, and then promoting it as much as it can before the date. [SAM] I think from a design perspective, what’s nice with that, and for those who are creatively inclined that are listening, is like we said before, in terms of maintaining consistent branding, it can sometimes feel a bit boring from a designer’s point of view because you’re always having to use to the same font and the same colors. But then with campaigns like this, you obviously maintain brand consistency to a certain point, but that’s then your opportunity to play around a bit and to introduce some different elements or some new trends. Because that’s something that’s short lived. It’s not like an evergreen piece of your branding. It’s something that just comes and goes. [BEAR] It’s interesting as somebody who, like you and I are both creative people and sometimes we want to find those ways to try something new and express ourselves and try. That sometimes just gets in the way of keeping it simple and unified. So it’s really hard to, I think you’re right, that the campaign initiative can be that moment of trying something new. That’s funny. That’s great. I never thought of it that way, but I love that. [BRIGHTER VISION] When you’re in private practice, it can be tough to find the time to even review your marketing efforts, let alone to make improvements where needed. Whether you are a seasoned clinician with an existing website in need of a refresh or a new therapist, building a website for the first time, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. By first understanding your practice and what makes it unique, Brighter Vision’s team of developers are then able to create you a beautiful website that will attract your ideal clients and get them to contact you. Better yet, they also provide unlimited tech support to make sure it’s always up to date and professional search engine optimization to make sure you rank high in online searches all at no additional cost. But best of all, we’ve worked with them to create special offer just for the Marketing a Practice listeners. Get your first three months of website service, completely free. To take advantage of this amazing deal, head to brightervision.com/joe. Again, that’s brightervision.com/joe. [BEAR] So next is phase four and it’s all about ongoing. Ongoing is the step that now you’ve defined what you’re doing. You’ve built it, you’re growing, now it’s just maintaining. So these three parts are, the first one is defining your content pipeline and roles. So who is making the content for your practice? Who’s proofing the content, who’s posting or publishing the content? You might have a website person that you work with or a social media manager or whatever, graphic designer. So it’s just finding those stakeholders and defining that stuff and who’s doing it and getting everybody’s buy in and ideas out there. [SAM] I think that’s where virtual assistance can also come in super handy. A lot of the people listening may try and do it themselves obviously to save money or things like that, but it’s often not something that is a wise decision of spending your time and also can be draining for some people, because it’s not something that they’re actually interested in. So I would definitely suggest then outsourcing it to obviously either someone in-person or virtual assistant can be handy. [BEAR] Right. Don’t forget you can always hire Sam to help you. [SAM] That’s right. Thanks for that. [BEAR] No, that’s, I mean, that’s really, the point is if you’re a specialist in counseling or any practice that you’re undertaking, you’re the specialist in that and to leave some of that marketing to a professional. That really will help you. Even in my own marketing agency, I’m the front person. I’m on all the videos and stuff, but my team helps me move it along because the last thing I should be doing is sitting here editing video or spending a bunch of time with a social media scheduling software. It’s like, I don’t need to be doing that. I need to be, it’s below my pay grade, so to speak. It’s not worth my time. It’s not as valuable to the company to have me learning how that software works. I highly, I totally agree that a great place to start is with a VA or somebody like yourself who can really get started and get you moving forward without having to do it all. The last, no, I have two left for ongoing. Defining your content schedule. So I’m big on posting. You want to make sure you’re always out there to people. I’m big on making something once and putting it everywhere. Some people are focused on just growing their TikTok or just their Instagram but I’m under the, I like the idea of creating quality content and then putting it everywhere. I just have a better chance of people finding me instead of being so channel specific. Now that might go against what other people are saying, but that’s just my deal. If I’m going to spend time turning on the lights and getting the camera going, I might as well put it everywhere. So for me, it’s, the next step really is just about defining your content schedule. So how often am I going to post and send out an email to my list and how often am I going to be on social media? That is really up to you if you do it once a day or once a week or whatever that is. Just defining that with your team is very helpful. Then last is create and deploy your content. Now you’ve defined, who’s helping you and your schedule now it’s about saying, what am I going to do? How often is it going out? So it’s all about sending it out, running it through your content pipeline. [SAM] Yes, on that, I actually agree with the repurposing of the content, and I think it saves a lot of time as well. Like you say, you can then focus on producing a few quality content pieces as opposed to a lot of, run of the most stuff. I think if you actually sit down and spend time thinking up a really great content piece, and then, like you say, I mean, you can repurpose it into blogs, YouTube videos, podcast episodes, social media posts, whatever, whatever, whatever. As you say, you’re then more findable, is that a word? [BEAR] That’s what I think, I mean, yes. [SAM] On a bunch of different platforms, definitely. [BEAR] Some people go at it the other way and I don’t think it’s necessarily bad and I’m interested in trying it sometime about just like focusing on growing my TikTok channel or something and posting 10 times a day. But for me at this point, it’s really about just making the one video and putting it everywhere as much as I can. [SAM] I think we always say, when I say we, at Practice of the Practice, we always say, start with the social media channel that you’re most comfortable with. If you don’t enjoy Facebook, then don’t be on Facebook, especially initially. I mean, if you’re someone that’s happy on all the platforms, then by all means go mad. [BEAR] Right. I think you bring up a good point and I have also said that to people, but there’s a difference between what you use to receive information versus posting information. To be honest with you, I’m not on LinkedIn that much, and I probably should be more, but I post on LinkedIn because it’s business to, I’m a business-to-business marketer. So that idea makes a lot of sense to me. Is that my preferred, like go to app that I get go on when I am hanging out? No, but that doesn’t mean that somebody can’t find me there, so I should be posting there. There’s a little bit of a difference between — [SAM] Yes, definitely. [BEAR] Like my, if you’re of an older age, you are probably more used to Facebook and just because you’re used to, it doesn’t mean that’s necessarily where you should be, but also maybe that’s where your prospective client should be. So you have to think about where would people find me or most likely find me? If you’re selling something for a younger generation then something more like a TikTok or an Instagram might be the place to be over, at Facebook. Anyway, all these different ways. The real thing is I don’t really know what the best answer is, so I put it everywhere. I’ve already made it, so yes, it’s a little, why not. The last step is scaling. We touched on this a little bit with like hiring VAs and other team members, but first you want to analyze what’s working, focus on your strengths and adjust what isn’t working. Then define your project management system. So this is, you probably already have this built in if you’re in a practice already, but just managing who, how people book with you and how you run your sessions and how you do follow up, but just make sure that you don’t lose track of somebody, that you’re taking care of your people, your current customers and clients. Then lastly hire, train, delegate, and monitor. If you can hire a VA or somebody who can help you out with booking or follow-up, whatever that is or your marketing, find somebody, then train them on what you’ve done in the past and then let them be a specialist and enable them to run with it and let them. You don’t necessarily have to generate an SOP for it or a standard operating procedure. Let them work on it with you and see what they come up with. Then also if you have a team and you have different ideas or whatever new tasks just continue to delegate, so it’s not, try and get as much as you can off of your own shoulders and focus on your specific thing of helping people. Then monitors what’s working. [SAM] Amazing. So I am a type A personality, and I love the way that you have laid this out and just made it more digestible for people. So we will definitely have a link to the book in the show notes, if you’re interested in grabbing a copy of Unify Your Marketing. I would definitely highly recommend it. I think it’s, yes, it gives such a clear outline of how to go about it and it can definitely add value to you and your business. [BEAR] Well, it’s defined in a way that, or it’s written in a way that’s really digestible for business owners. It’s not, I tried to write it in a way that you could read it on the plane, now that we’re traveling a little bit more. But it’s really, there’s even some takeaways on if you’re working with a graphic designer. I know you just had an episode about this, but if you’re working with a graphic designer, what things do you want from them when you’re done? So getting your logo and brand colors and all that. We just have a sheet in there that says, here are the things that you need to get from them. So you’re set up for success. There’s lots of great handy tips and little bit of work, workbook and worksheets to work on to help you get your messaging out and define all your stuff. So, yes, appreciate it. [SAM] Awesome. And I believe that you have a free gift for our audience over and above your book, which they’ll have to pay for, but can you share more about the free resources that you have available as well? [BEAR] Yes, we have a lot of really helpful materials that we’ve been putting together over the last few years, but all of them you can get at bearwade.com, B-E-A-R W-A-D-E.com. You can do slash free, so bearwade.com/free. That’s where you’ll get all the free resources, but a lot of handy things like a push record checklist, this checklist of things that if you’re going to start making videos, content for your social media channels, what that checklist is so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. It’s already overwhelming to shoot video. I think I’ve been doing it for 20 years, but now that I’ve been in front of the camera for the last few years, it’s still, like, I got the light pointed at me. I have the camera pointed and action and then you’re like, what was I going to say? Just having that this checklist has been very helpful. It’s a quick, easy download, and you can just type it out or print it out and set it on your desk right before you record and just go, okay, I got to remember to format my media cards and make sure there’s nothing in the weird, in the background that’s sticking out of the back of my head or whatever those things are. So that little list has been helpful. There’s a lot of cool things there. I hope you check them out very helpful. [SAM] Awesome. We’ll have a link to that in the show notes as well. What is the best way for people to get in touch with you? [BEAR] Yes, just through the website, bearawade.com. I’m on every social media platform. If you look up Bear Wade, you’ll probably find me and I’m sure you will find me. I appreciate you having me on the show and I hope that listeners get to grow their practice even more through these steps. [SAM] They definitely will. Bear, we always end off with if every private practice only in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know? [BEAR] Well, if it isn’t obvious enough, it’s really focus on the order of which you’re building your practice. For me, I think a lot of times as specialists in what we do, you focus on the counseling part, and I think that’s excellent. You’d need to be great at that but if you’re talking about growing and sustaining a business, you have to think about all these other things. I think marketing’s a big part of it, how you’re going to get people in the door and paying customers. So doing your steps in order will save you money, save you time and reduce a lot of heartache and so check out the steps for sure. [SAM] Amazing. Thanks so much for being on the Marketing a Practice podcast. [BEAR] Yes, I appreciate it. Thanks Sam. [SAM] Thanks again to Brighter Vision for sponsoring this episode. To get your first three months of website service completely free, head on over to brightervision.com/joe. [SAM] Thanks for listening to the Marketing a Practice podcast. If you need help with branding your business, whether it be a new logo, rebrand, or you simply want some print flyer designed head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. If you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design. Finally, please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast on iTunes if you like what you’ve heard. Talk to you soon. Marketing a Practice podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like Beta Male Revolution, Empowered and Unapologetic, Imperfect Thriving, or Faith in Practice, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network. 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.