Can you draw creativity from your spirituality? How do you start to cultivate and harness your creativity for the benefit of your practice? What does it mean to practice being actively creative?
In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with Ernesto Segismundo about becoming Spiritually Creative in your Practice.
Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision
It’s Brighter Vision’s biggest sale of the season!
With the holiday season in full swing and the new year right around the corner now is the perfect opportunity to think critically about your future marketing initiatives and consider what improvements can be made to ensure you’re attracting the clients you need to grow your practice.
If you find yourself in need of a professional website that’s properly optimized to rank well in online searches and targeted to speak to your ideal client, Brighter Vision would love to help.
Best of all, as a Faith in Practice listener, you can get your first month completely free.
So, if you’re ready to get started or just want to learn more about how Brighter Vision can help you grow your practice, head on over to brightervision.com/joe
Meet Ernesto Segismundo Jr.
Ernesto Segismundo Jr. is a marriage and family therapist licensed in the state of California. He is the founder and owner of FYLMIT.com, which he started because he wanted to help other clinicians market their practice through video and social media.
In order for him to have a successful private practice, Ernesto had to learn not only the business side of owning a practice, but master the marketing skills as well. Out of his own struggle to grow and market his practice, came the idea of forming a videography company (i.e. FYLMIT.com) that creates engaging, inspirational, and authentic promotional videos for therapists.
In This Podcast
- Getting creative in your business
- Harnessing your creativity
- Ernesto’s advice to Christian counselors
Getting creative in your business
I think we harness the creative part once we understand that we are just more than walking human beings. There is a part of us that, when we are inspired, does not come from us. It comes from some higher being above us. (Ernesto Segismundo)
According to religion, people were made in the image of God and God is creative. Therefore people can tap into that shared source of creativity and bring it forth into their daily life.
To be creative in your business means to combine the source of your spirituality, God, with an enjoyment of life and an alignment with your passions. You are creative in your life to be creative in your business.
Harnessing your creativity
Look for things that inspire you. You do not have to “be” creative innately because it is a skill that you can cultivate simply by being mindful and observing the world around you.
One of the things about creativity is that it needs to be active. What this means is that you can take a walk in nature [and] be mindful about the beauty of the creation of nature. (Ernesto Segismundo)
Active creativity means walking around, observing the world, being mindful of what you see, and being curious about how it was done and what it means to you.
Provide yourself the opportunity:
Set aside some time and space to explore things that interest you. There is a lot available to you online and within your community. Follow the nose of your interests and see where it takes you. Ask questions, be curious, and be open.
Ernesto’s advice to Christian counselors
You have God-given creativity that you can tap into. It brings you confidence, and there is power in the spirituality of your creativity. Allow your faith to lead you instead of having your fear lead you.
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- Visit FYLMIT.com
- Connect with Ernesto on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Youtube
- Check out the Faith in Practice Conference
- Join with the Faith in Practice Facebook Group and subscribe to the email list
- Visit www.brightervision.com/joe to receive your first month free
- Email Whitney: [email protected]
Check out these additional resources:
- Hiring a Bookkeeper with Greg Higdon | FP 110
- Next Level Practice
- Join the Faith in Practice Mastermind
- Practice of the Practice Podcast Network
- Group Practice Boss
Meet Whitney Owens
Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.
Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.
Thanks For Listening!
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Welcome to the Faith in Practice podcast. I’m your host Whitney Owens recording live from Savannah, Georgia. I’m a licensed professional counselor, group practice owner, and private practice consultant. Each week through personal story or amazing interviews, I will help you learn how to start, grow and scale your practice from a faith-based perspective. I will show you how to have an awesome faith-based practice without being cheesy or fake. You too can have a successful practice, make lots of money, and be true to yourself.
Hello and welcome to the Faith in Practice podcast. I appreciate you taking the time to be with me today. If you’re new to the podcast, welcome them. You got a special episode that you’re going to enjoy today And if you’ve been listening for a while, thank you so much. It’s because of you that I keep doing this. Would love to hear from you. Feel free to drop me an email, [email protected] or rate and review the show. Would love to hear what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling, what you’re loving about the show, or maybe you don’t love so much that can make it better for you.
I am looking forward to sharing this interview with you with Ernesto, because I think it is fabulous. He also brings a faith-based background, which I always love when people not only have an amazing business, but they also have a faith that impacts the work that they do. So you’re enjoy that on so many levels, but it reminded me of the importance of connection. Ernesto’s one of those people that right when I started into this line of work, I mean, probably even before I became a consultant, I had heard his name multiple times, because he’s doing so many cool things in the communities that were in.
So I was really excited when somebody said, “Oh, I know Ernesto. I can connect you with him.” I was like, “Yes, I’d love to have him on the show.” So it’s through connections that we make incredible relationships that take us to different places, maybe physically, as far as going to conferences or maybe with our business, getting new ideas, but even emotionally and spiritually. When we connect with people, God does something within us and changes us, brings things to life. So that’s something that I really love about doing a podcast and about the connections that I get to make.
So I wanted to talk a few minutes before we get into the episode about ways that you can connect. I want to get to know you better. So there are so many ways for you to become a further part of the Faith in Practice community. First of all, we have a Facebook group called Faith in Practice. It’s got a beautiful mountain in the background. We have links in the show notes for it. Would love for you to join that group. We have to answer a couple of questions making sure that you have faith-based background or that faith is part of your business, because we want to have like-minded people in the group.
We also do ask for your email. Now I do have an email list and I will add you to the email list. I think you’re going to find a lot of value from it. Most people do. If you don’t, you can always opt out of that, but would love to make you a part of that. We send out information about building your faith-based practice. I give tons of tips, different, fun things that I’m doing. Go out to those people. And it’s in the Faith in Practice Facebook group, as well as the email list that when I’m doing something really cool, I let you know about it first, if we’re running a cool deal or something, even for free, you’re the people who are going to hear about it. So please join this that you can hear about that.
Another way to join the email list is to go to practiceofpractice.com/faithinpracticeresources. There, you can download a PDF on the five pitfalls between counselors and churches so that you obviously get that amazing PDF, but you also join the email list and that way we can continue connect through that. Now, other ways to connect with me to let you know, I’ve talked about this little bit already, but we’re going to talk about it more over the coming month, is we are having a Faith in Practice conference. That’s going to be in April 21st to the 24th at Jekyll Island, Georgia.
If you’re not familiar, Jekyll Island is one of those little islands right off the coast of Georgia. There’s a lot of really fun ones. You maybe have heard of St. Simons. It’s very close to it. It’s be beautiful. It’s about an hour from the Jacksonville Airport, so it’s pretty accessible and we are having it at one of the hotels right there on the beach, tons of amenities and it is gorgeous. Like literally you can sit in the conference room and see the beach. It doesn’t get better than that. So that’s another way that you can connect with me. So having your eyes and ears open because we’re limiting that conference to 100 people and that’s for lots of reasons, but definitely COVID related. Who knows what COVID is going to be when April comes?
So I want to make it as easy and safe as possible, but also allow it to be an in-person event, which who knows what it will be, but that’s what we’re hoping for. There’s a lot of outside option in with that conference. Then I’ll be sharing a lot more details about that as we get closer. So that’s another way that you can connect with me. Now, how you’re going to hear about the conference is you get on my email list so that you can get emails about that or you can head over to practiceofthepractice.com/faithinpracticeconference. There, you can join the email list. That way when information comes out, you’ll know it, first thing, and you can learn a lot more about the conference on that page.
So I’d love to connect with you. Find a way to connect with me, get to know me. I want to hear about your practice, your struggles and ways that I can help you. I didn’t even say this, but I do consulting as well. So if you are looking for maybe a mastermind group of other like to conditions to connect with, or you’re wanting to some one-on-one coaching with me, just email me, [email protected] or you can go to the Practice of the Practice website, practiceofthepractice.com/apply. You can apply to work with me. We can talk about that further on a pre consulting call. So lots of ways to connect and I hope you’ll take advantage of those. And I appreciate that you’re taking advantage of this free podcast resource.
So on the podcast though, I want to talk a little bit about Ernesto. He has a last name that I’ve been working on the pronunciation and we laugh about it at the beginning of the show, but it’s Segismundo. So Ernesto Segismundo is a marriage and family therapist licensed in the state of California. He has started a website called fylmit.com, but just to make sure you understand F-Y-L-M-I-T.com. I love the creativity there, fylmit.com because he wanted to help other clinicians market their practice through video and social media. The thought of getting in front of a camera and shooting a video for himself brought up lots of anxiety.
So in grad school, he never taught how to market a mental health practice. He never had learned that. So through his own experiences, he’s learned about filming and he’ll tell you the story about that in the podcast episode. He also does have a private practice, around 15 or so clinicians in Orange County, California, and he also hosts some amazing conferences I have never personally been, but I know people who have been, who have said wonderful things about his conferences. Today we’re going to talk a lot about the whole video idea and how that can help your business, being creative in your private practice. We’re also going to discuss spiritually, like how the Lord is a creative God. So we’re going to jump right into this episode today with Ernest on being spiritually creative in your practice.
Today on the Faith in Practice podcast, I have Ernesto Segismundo.
[ERNESTO SEGISMUNDO JR.]
Yes, you got it.
All right. All right, baby steps. Well, welcome to the show Ernesto.
I’m so happy to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me.
Well, when I was starting in the consulting world, you were one of the first names I heard of because you have all these really cool conferences and you’re always doing cool stuff. So today I want to talk about just being creative and unique in your business and in your consulting. But before we get into that, could you share a little bit about your background with the audience?
Yes, absolutely. So I am a licensed family therapist here in Southern California and I’ve got three things going on, three businesses. Whitney, you know as far as entrepreneurs, we’ve got multiple things going on. So I am one of those individuals. So I own a group practice. We have about 15 clinicians in this group practice called family therapy. I also am a videographer and I specifically create promotional videos for therapists. I’m a retired therapist, so I don’t see clients anymore.
The third thing that I do is I host conferences all over the United States, especially in Hawaii where I’m originally from. So these are the three main hats that I wear and that’s what I do. Now many of the things that I’m doing is hosting these conferences because many of the clinicians out there are really, really dying for wanting to be together in places where they can bring their families. So I’m hosting two main summits next year, one in Nashville and the other one in Koana, Hawaii.
Awesome. I had heard about the one in Hawaii and my heart was going out for it, but it just didn’t work out sounding wise, but I hope to make it at some point. Nashville’s much closer for me and it’s just such a fun town.
It really is. The first time I actually visited Nashville I just put out on social media, “Wow, would it be nice to have a summit out here out here?” Next thing the comment section just blew up. So within an hour and a half, I was like, all right, I’m doing a summit out here.
Yes, that’s awesome. Well, Hawaii’s definitely on my bucket list for sure. Well, let’s dive into kind of creativity. Do you have any tips for people that are listening? How do you become more creative in your business?
So Whitney, because your podcast is faith-based, I want to connect all of that together. My upbringing is, this is a funny story, before I chose any college I was actually going to be a pastor, before anything else. So I actually went to a university called Biola University here in Los Angeles.
I know it.
So I actually went into college wanting to be a pastor. So I actually minored in biblical studies and Christian theology. So maybe halfway through had a conversation with my pastor and my pastor was like, “I wonder if you can go another route.” Basically he just said that my gifts are in different areas, but this was a soft way of him saying you create your own path, you do things that are different and I think you should go into another route like counseling. I didn’t even know what that was, so I studied psychology. Then after I graduated I went into grad school called Vanguard University, another faith-based university out here in Southern California.
So that’s where I got my clinical psychology degree and next thing I’m integrating in many of my aspects, any work that I do, my Christian faith and also the way that I work with other people. Now, how does this comply or how does this intertwine with creativity? Well, Whitney, you, and I know that it’s more than strategies. It’s more than all the things that we do, but we have a God-given creativity about us, that once we understand how powerful that is, you can basically create any type of businesses and you can come up with all types of innovation anywhere out there when you understand and you tap into that.
So anything that I do at this point, as far as what I do, I tap into my God given creativity, and it’s just like that. And many for folks don’t talk about this piece. I really do think that we harness the creative part once we understand that we are just more than walking human beings. There is a part of us that when we are inspired, that does not come from, that comes from some higher being above us. So that’s what I believe.
I totally agree. I mean, God is a creative God and He created us and then He gives us the ability to also create. And that’s kind of, what’s so exciting when I think about ideas God’s given me or come to me, intuition, whatever we want to call it, like we get to be a part of what God is creating in the world and that’s a really exciting thing.
Oh, absolutely. So two years ago I actually visited Rome and the really incredible part about Rome is that the arts, the textures of the city. I had communion in the Vatican where I had St Peter below in the tomb and I have above me, a beautiful, beautiful depiction of the crucifixion and the resurrection. It was just an incredible, inspirational, spiritual time for me. Then I visited Florence and, I’m going to get this wrong, but Florence is where the David is at, right?
Yes. I’ve actually been there twice. I love Florence.
I went to Florence and I stood in front of the David and I was, how could anybody do this magnificent structure made of this marble in front of me? So I that’s, when I, when I visited Rome, that’s when I had an appreciation of people’s true inspiration for people’s creativity. It was really powerful for me to just be there and experience that. So in my line of work, it actually validates my videography, it validates how I run my businesses and how I inspire my 15 employees in my group practice to be creative themselves. So I give them as much autonomy in my group practice to create their own program. Of course I approve them, but I have a conversation with them and ask them, so how can you integrate your creativity into the practice so that the practice becomes your own as well? So that’s my way to kind of harness that creativity with anyone that I come across.
I just love it. And actually, I’ll be honest with you, creativity is something I lack. I’m very structured in my thought process. I like to have a little plan and follow it. So I always have to challenge to myself be creative because I’m not the best at it.
I’m glad that you mentioned that Whitney, because one of the things that really, to harness that creativity is, number one is active inspiration. And I tell a lot of my coaches this, that they say that to me all the time like, “Oh, I’m not creative. I don’t have the eye for this. I don’t have the eye for that.” But one of the things about creativity is that it needs to be active. What this means is that you can take a walk in nature, but you just have to be mindful about the beauty about the creation of nature. You can be in places like, I was just in Chicago this past weekend and I walked around these towers, these beautiful buildings and I was present. I was actively creative at that time. I was noticing the structures of the buildings, noticing the patterns, the creativity and what it might have taken for someone to create such beautiful structures and buildings. So active creativity actually means, let you just be mindful and walk, walk around, be curious about how they did things, and then you can actually tap into that creativity.
That is so true and that’s what the struggle is, being mindful of the things we’re doing when we have so many things on our plate and slowing down and paying attention.
That’s right. So people ask me, you create these promotional videos for clinicians. You must have taken years and years of schooling for that. I say, no, I just went on and I looked and was mindful of all of these young content creators who were just teaching certain ways on how to do video marketing. So I spent a lot of time in that. In fact many of the clinicians that I’ve had before were giving me the opportunity to be creative. So many of the therapists that hired me, they were like, “Hey we don’t know how to do this. You just go on and do it.” So that allowed me to be more creative and therefore, when I hire anyone in my group practice or any of the coaches that I have, I give them the opportunity to be creative. I’m just there to provide that platform for them.
It’s Brighter Vision’s biggest sale of the season. With the holiday season in full swing in the new year right around the corner, now’s the perfect opportunity to think critically about your future marketing initiatives and to consider what improvements can be made to ensure you’re attracting the clients you need to grow your practice. If you find yourself in need of a professional website, that’s properly optimized to rank well in online searches and targeted to speak to your ideal client, Brighter Vision would love to help. Best of all, as a Faith in Practice listener, you will get your first month completely free. So if you’re ready to get started, or just want to learn more about how Brighter Vision can help you grow your practice, head on over to brightervision.com/joe. That’s brightervision.com/joe.
So let’s talk about the videos. How long have you been doing that and kind of what do you find to be the return on investment for people when they use your services?
So I started fylmit.com in by accident. So I was a supervisor at that time, MFT intern and my clinical supervisor invited me to a conference with real estate agents who were already video marketing. So one of the assignments that evening was create a video off of whatever camera that you have. I had a really old camera, Canon camera at that time and I recorded a parenting video, which was 10 minutes long. There were a lot of misinformation in there and visually it was not nice. The audio was horrible, but I talked about parenting.
At that time, I was seeing about maybe 10 clients a week and within two months when I put it up on YouTube and on our website, I was up to 21 to 25 clients a week than two months. That’s when I knew I had something. So I took it a bit further. A friend of mine who is a therapist here in Orange County called me and said, “Hey, can you do a video for me? I saw your video on YouTube.” So I went there, I bought a Nikon camera and mic lapel and then I went to film her video and then she writes me a $500 check. I was like, hmm, there must be something here. So then I started advertising on social media. Many of the clinicians that I’d done promotional videos for started posting their videos online. And in fact, our friend Joe Sanok was one of those individuals that I went to a conference with and I did all the promotional videos for the therapists there at that conference and they started sharing their video and that’s how I started fylmit.com.
That’s awesome. My question for you is how did you get people to watch your YouTube video? Because I have YouTube videos for my practice and no one watches them.
So what I did was I went ahead and started emailing them, posting them on social media, putting on my signature on my email. So any time I did a reply, people clicked on it. I even a call-to-action on the videos and they started seeing it. At that time, not very many clinicians were actually using videos. So I caught it at a time when it was still really new. So I would email it to my church and then they would pass it along to other people. So it just started this networking event or routine reaction and people started sharing it and sharing with their folks and it became my virtual business card. That’s what videos are.
In fact, Google actually in this day and age is favoring videos. If you look at social media platforms, they’re favoring live streaming video. If you have a video on your website, it’s 55 times more likely to end up on the first page of Google. So the return on investment for a promotional video on your website is huge. Now there’s the SEO. You put the copy in your video or your website, make sure that people do the keywords, and then you’re found on Google, but with videos it takes it to a whole new level, because people, with content copy, they’re reading things, but with video, they’re actually engaging with you through visual, through audio and also throughs emotions.
So with copy it’s reading, emotions, and then you are left to your own perception with your mind. But you and I, here, we’re recording this podcast through Zoom. So I can engage with you through your visuals. I can see your facial and therefore you can engage with something within me a little bit more. Now I kind of know you more not knowing your history, but I know that you’re giving me a lot of warm vibes with your facial expressions. And that is what video does. It takes it to a whole new engagement.
It sure does. So when you are making these videos, let’s say someone hires you and you go out to their town and you make a video for them, what do you tend to see as the byproduct of that for the practice? Does it make a difference?
Yes, it really does. So one thing about promotional videos is what it does is that it helps with conversion. So one of the things about videos is that when people go on, I mean website, when people go on your website, sometimes they’re still not sure whether they will hire you as their therapist. But with a video, what it does, it helps with the conversion. It helps with the, “Wow, they sound warm. Their organization looks great. Their office looks awesome as evidenced by and based on the look and feel of the video.” “Wow, she has a voice that is soothing to me and the message comes across great.” So now with the videos, you can actually help them become actual paying clients, because of the conversion rate that is increased with videos.
So that is more powerful than ever. I really encourage people to have a video. It doesn’t have to be a professionally done video with fylmit.com, but you can film a video off of your dang cell phone, these days. These cell phones like iPhones and Galaxy, smartphones, just have camera system in there or tips in there and visuals that are just incredible. The new iPhone 13 that’s coming out now, and I’m pretty sure that this podcast is going to on forever, so there’s going to be probably iPhone 25 by the time … But the camera capability is just insane. It’s just beautiful what technology can help us with our practice these days.
Most definitely. Well, if somebody’s listening today and they’re thinking, maybe they’re thinking they want to work with you or maybe even a lower level of that, do you have courses about creating videos that they could take? What kind of options do they have to more about this?
Yes, absolutely. So on fylmit.com, there’s a membership site where you can sign in. I have videos in there that teach you how to use Zoom for marketing, to do side by side interviews and how to record and edit all those things. Now folks that have seen videos get so overwhelmed, like, “I’m not an editor.” So no problem. You can send your videos to us so we can help you edit. And the way that I run promotional videos or record promotional videos is that it’s narrative style and interview style. If you want to venture into my website, you can actually see the different styles of videos there. I also once a year, I teach you how to do promotional video off of your cell phone. Nothing fancy, nothing like that, but I give you strategies on how to create simple unedited videos, but still rich in content.
You make it sound so easy. I love it. I’m not a tech savvy person, as you can tell when we started all this recording. So anytime that someone can make it easy for me, I really like it.
Whitney, the thing is, circling back to the creativity piece, we are given in this day and age the technology. All we need is to tap into our creativity and use this. Like I said, I learned videography by watching teenagers on YouTube.
Oh, that’s so funny. My daughter, and people will judge me when I say this, but I’m going to say it anyway, she’s eight and she’s obsessed with YouTube. She tells me about all the cool people. So recently I started watching. Have you ever heard of this guy, Mr. Beast?
So he’s got these videos with these competitions and I’ve always wondered why does my daughter always want to do competitions? They’re so cool and I’m like, so into it. I’m like, well, I just feel like YouTube, when I was growing up, it was like, eh, but now it’s just like what everyone’s doing and I’m always blown away how many people are watching YouTube?
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. During the pandemic when we had the lockdown on shutdown many of our colleagues were using TikTok and Instagram Reels and they were getting businesses. They were getting signed on the news to be interviewed because of their TikTok videos. It’s insane how videos can really propel your brand to a whole new level.
Definitely. Well, I want to ask you what I ask everyone on this, what do you believe every Christian needs to know?
One of the things that a Christian counselor needs to understand this day and age is their creativity, your God-creativity. And many of the people that I coach through the group practice or private practice, or even taking their business to a whole new level, one of the things that comes up is the insecurity, the imposer syndrome, all of the fears, all of the things, Whitney of the barriers to be a counselor or to have a business or to be entrepreneurial. Now, one of the things that I want you all to understand is that those things are real but on the other end of this too, is that you are not alone and tapping into your God-given creativity is incredibly powerful.
You can feel all the insecurities, the fears, the imposter syndrome. You don’t have to abandon that. But integrate the power of the spirituality piece of your creativity, integrate that into your business. And I think that’s a really, really good way to exercise better on how to work with others, with how to work with other people. So lead into and allow your faith to lead you instead of your fear leading you.
That is so important. I’ll be taking that with me today. So, well, thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show. It’s been a real pleasure and really helpful, I think for the audience.
Absolutely. Thank you for having me again, Whitney.
Thank you again to Brighter Vision for sponsoring this podcast episode. If you want to get that special deal on your website, head on over to brightervision.com/joe.
Thank you for listening to the Faith in Practice podcast. If you love this podcast, please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. If you liked this episode and want to know more, check out the Practice of the Practice website. Also there, you can learn more about me, options for working together, such as individual and in group consulting, or just shoot me an email, [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guests are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.
Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.