How to Convert, Not Convince, in Your Business with Kate DiLeo | MP 96

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On this marketing podcast, Kate DiLeo talks about how to convert clients, not convince clients, into your business.

Oprah or Ryan Reynolds, which celebrities would your brand sound like? How do you create a brand trifecta to boost your marketing efforts? Are you currently converting your clients, or convincing them?

In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks about how to convert clients, not convince clients, in your business with Kate DiLeo.

Podcast Sponsor: Therapy Notes

An image of Therapy Notes is captured as the sponsor on the Practice of the Practice Podcast, a therapist podcast. Therapy Notes is the most trusted EHR for Behavioral Health.

Is managing your practice stressing you out? Try TherapyNotes! It makes notes, billing, scheduling, and telehealth a whole lot easier.

Check it out and you will quickly see why TherapyNotes is the highest-rated EHR on TrustPilot with over 1000 verified customer reviews and an average customer rating of 4.9/5 stars.

You’ll notice the difference from the first day you sign up for a trial. They offer live phone support 7 days a week, so when you have questions, you can quickly reach someone who can help, and you are never wasting your time looking for answers.

If you are coming from another EHR, they make the transition really easy. TherapyNotes will import your clients’ demographic data free of charge during your trial so you can get going right away.

Use promo code ‘JOE’ to get three free months to try out TherapyNotes, no strings attached, and remember, telehealth is included with every subscription free. Make 2022 the best year yet with TherapyNotes.

Meet Kate DiLeo

A photo of Kate DiLeo is captured. She is a brand manager and marketing strategist. Kate is featured on Marketing a Practice, a therapist podcast.

Kate DiLeo is an “accidental brand strategist” who originally intended to pursue a PhD in Anthropology, yet discovered the power of branding during her first sales job. In the pursuit of making quota, she realized she needed to cut through the noise with a message that would compel prospects to want to have a conversation.

Her brand-pitch, which she calls, “The Brand Trifecta,” is rooted in her firm belief that brand is the path of least resistance to revenue. Kate has worked with more than 200 brands across 20 sectors, and she is passionate about partnering with founder-led organizations that desire to craft an authentic, purpose-driven message.

Visit Kate DiLeo’s website and connect with her on LinkedIn.

Pre-order Kate’s book here.

In This Podcast

  • What do you do?
  • How do you solve someone’s problem?
  • How are you different from the competition?
  • Niche your services and clients


What do you do?

A tagline is supposed to answer a customer’s question about what a company does, so a great and effective tagline will help a customer to understand right away what this company is about, and how it can help them.

The tagline leads to the follow up which leads to “tell me more” because a great tagline starts the conversation.

How do you solve someone’s problem?

Now [the customer] is going, “Expand on that, tell me more?” So, the follow-up to that in the brand trifecta is a strong value proposition statement. (Kate DiLeo)

Your value proposition statement essentially says, “Here’s the pain that I know you, the customer, are dealing with, and here is how I solve that pain”.

How are you different from the competition?

When the brain takes in new information, it often makes a comparison to assess this new information against what it already knows.

This is a good thing! And it provides you with your chance to describe exactly why you are different from the comparison, and from the competition.

When you go through a brand trifecta in only 15 to 20 seconds of someone reading it, or in a conversation between 30 to 40 seconds… what you’re helping people do as quickly as possible is to get to the point of conversion. (Kate DiLeo)

The point of conversion is the moment that the client has understood you, your business, and its mission, and is ready to work with you. This is the goal that you want to achieve through using a brand trifecta.

Niche your services and clients

I recommend you really try to nail down one to maybe three groups that you serve. I find that it’s smart to niche in on who you serve, just as you niche in on your products, services, and offerings. (Kate DiLeo)

Ask yourself:

  • Who gets the most value from the work that I do?
  • Who keeps coming back?
  • Who keeps referring me?
  • Who purchases additional add-on services or wants to build a relationship?
  • Which group is naturally drawn to you?

We are not in the business of convincing, we are in the business of converting, and so our job is to select the one or two audiences … that naturally convert into clients because they heard our message and resonate [with it]. (Kate DiLeo)

When you niche, you attract your ideal clients, and therefore you do not have to convince anyone to work with you. You only need to convince people if you are marketing to the wrong audience.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Kate DiLeo – Muting the Megaphone: Stop Telling Stories and Start Having Conversations

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

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 If you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design. Kate DiLeo’s branding approach is rooted in her firm belief that brand is the part of least resistance to revenue. She teaches you how to eliminate complex and ineffective brand storytelling by delivering a simple yet provocative message that tells prospects what you do, how you solve their problem and how you differ from the competition, the outcome? Brand conversations that convert. Kate is honored to have partnered with more than 200 brands across 20 sectors. She’s passionate about helping organizations craft messaging that brings more prospects to the table, more users who click and more customers who buy. Her book, Muting the Megaphone: Stop Telling Stories and Start Having Conversations is set to be released in July, 2022. Hi Kate, thanks so much for joining us today. [KATE DILEO] Well, thank you for having me. I am appreciative. Thank you. [SAM] Can you tell us a bit about your story and how you got to where you are now? [KATE] Sure. I think, I’ll start by just saying that I’m an older millennial, I’m 36 years old and probably like many millennials and many other entrepreneurs and founders who might be listening my path to where I am today was not a straight line. I think many of us experience more of a zigzag pattern. For me, that was really the case. I dove into branding because of a necessity of having to get a job after college. So my story is actually I planned to pursue a Ph.D. in cultural and linguistic anthropology, which really focuses on this concept of how does language shape culture and how does culture shape language? When the market crashed in 2008, I had a tipping point. I had a professor that said to me, Kate, we know that you love this, but before you really dig into all of your graduate and doctorate studies, I actually recommend that you go get a job and just try to pay off your debt, because we don’t know where this field is going to be in the next few years. I did, I left academia and of course my father was very happy for me to leave his house as well and go get a job. He was like, please leave. He’s like, I love you so much, but it’s time. [SAM] Get out. [KATE] Right. So I left academia and what happened Sam is I fell into sales. I got a sales job. It was probably the dumbest decision I could have made in the sense that I took a job to cold-call IT professionals and sell them $2,500 training classes. Not smart because clearly IT people love to be called and love to be sold to but here’s the thing, it was actually in that job after they had given me two weeks of training, they of course tell you here’s how we’re going to subscribe all of your leads to this complex marketing campaign that interestingly enough, nothing they gave me worked. So I had to make a decision. I was either out of a job before the job really started. If I followed their way or I had to figure out how to save this. So I threw everything out and I thought to myself, logically, what are the things that somebody would want to hear to be able to want to have a conversation with me and stay on the line? So all I did is I tested this out. I called people up and I would say, “Hi, my name’s Kate I’m with such and such company. This is what we do. This is how we solve your problem. This is how we’re different.” Then I would just go quiet. Interestingly enough, it worked. It was the impetus for me and I ended up running a 1.2 million annual quota, just knocking it out of the park and it was through that process of really refining my “brand pitcher sales pitch” that I was giving over the phone that I got recruited out. That then fast forward, moved into the marketing agency in corporate world to build brands and for about seven or eight years, I was building brands on the side as a side hustle. It was not until 2019 that I actually left my full-time corporate career and took this business full-time but yes to date, actually, I think it’s almost 300 companies internationally that I’ve worked with. That’s how I got here. [SAM] Amazing. That is such an awesome story and true to your point it never is a straight path. It’s always a zigzag but I think that’s where you learn all the lessons and I mean, yes, it makes you who you are today, so that’s amazing. Thanks for sharing that. You make use of a few phrases within your book, I’m assuming, and within just your messaging. So one of them is building the brand trifecta and yes, this is with regards to developing three key messaging components of a brand that wins more work. So can you share, or can you just elaborate on that? [KATE] Certainly. So if you recall back in that story, I had said, well, I had to experiment and I realized there were three things that I just needed to get across as quickly as possible. Those three things are, tell somebody what you do, tell them how you solve their problem and tell them how you’re different from the competition. Interestingly enough, that is really the crux of creating your brand message. Now I happen to call this the brand trifecta, but what I’m really getting at is there are three key messaging components that you may have heard of that deliver those key content points to your prospect or buyer. So for example, a tagline for a company supposed to answer the question, what you do, a great tagline should immediately get at the heart of what do you do? I build brands that win more work, tagline. The second thing that follows up is once somebody hears that they’re probably going, okay, that’s interesting. Hold on. Tell me a bit more. And the follow up to that, whether they read this on your website or they’re in a conversation with you is now they’re going, we’ll expand on that. Tell me more. So the follow up to that in the branch trifecta is a strong value proposition statement. Now we hear of this term all the time, by the way, in the world of marketing, but really a great value proposition statement is supposed to really do this big thing. It’s supposed to say, here’s the pain that I know that you’re dealing with and here’s how I solve that pain. Imagine you’re in a room with somebody and they say, tell me what you do. What do you do, Kate? Oh, I build brands that would more work. Well, interesting. Tell me a bit more about that. Oh, well, what I mean by that is I’m a brand strategist. My job is to help you build conversations that convert something of that nature. I shortened that. But essentially those are the first two pieces of the brand trifecta. Now here’s what I don’t want people to miss. Most of us at this point in the conversation or in our brand messaging would say, perfect, congratulations. That prospect is so ready to know all about our products and services. That’s actually incorrect and it’s based on very simple psychology. Here’s the thing, at this point, if somebody’s reading your brand message and they’ve heard the first two points, or they’re in a conversation with you, their brain’s taking in a bit of new data. They’re going well, I’ve never really heard this before. This is different. So do you know what the brain does when it’s trying to make sense of something new that it’s never heard? It’s actually going to make a comparison. It’s going to compare what it just took in and compare you to something it knows. This is actually good. We want to comparison moment to happen. So the response that I often get in a room is, okay, you’ve told me Kate, that you build brands that win mark, and you can help my audiences buy for me. Are you like a graphic designer or a copywriter or a marketing agency? You see at this point, they’re trying to almost clear the noise and I go, oh my gosh, that’s such a great question. I’m a little different and here’s how, 1, 2, 3. That’s where the third part of your brand trifecta comes in. It’s a set of differentiator statements, sometimes called the three uniques. It’s really the 1, 2, 3, maybe four that says, hey, here’s how we are different and better than the rest. Here’s what I want people to understand is when you go through a brand trifecta only in 15 to 20 seconds, if somebody’s reading it or in a conversation maybe 30 to 40 seconds. What’s fascinating is that the psychology works every time and what we’re helping people do as quickly as possible is get to the point of conversion, get to the point where they go, oh, that makes so much sense. So can you tell me, how do you work with people or what does that look like? That is that point of conversion where somebody is finally going, okay, I’m ready. Tell me now about your products and service. Tell me how the pricing works. That’s where they would click to go to your services page or your approach page. Does that make sense? That’s the brand trifecta. [SAM] Yes. That makes a lot of sense. I love it. I think it’s super powerful and something we often say to therapists is because of their education, a lot of the times they made the mistake of listing their credentials and everything they’ve studied, as opposed to, like you said, first listing their clients’ pain point and then getting straight to how they can help them. I mean, you can list your credentials later, but essentially people want to know how you can help them. They don’t necessarily care what you studied. [KATE] Yes, I think that’s spot on. What I would add to that, this is brilliant is I think that most of the founders or entrepreneurs or business owners that I work with, this is so common, including for myself that we naturally have this fear. Let’s just call it out. We naturally sometimes have this fear. Well, if I don’t list my credentials or I don’t list all of the features and benefits, all of the details, well, gosh, this, person’s not going to really value what I do and they’re going to miss the memo and they’re not going to want to work with me or choose me. All we’re saying here is, no, don’t throw out all those details, but this is about a formula. This is about an order of operation. If we can get comfortable saying, okay, so long as you start the conversation telling them with the branch trifecta, this is what I do with a tagline this is how I solve your problem, couple sentences for a value proposition statement and this is how we’re different, 1, 2, 3 big bullets; then they’re at the point of readiness where they want to then go to the next level. You can talk about, this is my proprietary approach and oh, and I have this education background and I specialize in this particular type of medicine or field. See, now they’re ready. All we want to do is help free you up as the owner to recognize, oh, once they’re ready in that first 30 seconds, we can have this amazing organic, deep dive conversation. But the job of your brand is can we get them there? Can we get them there in 30 seconds? [SAM] Amazing. So it’s warming them up through the brand trifecta? [KATE] That’s right, not replacing it. [SAM] So another one of your phrases then is refining the road, and this is with regards to positioning your brand for prospects who have the highest probability of converting? Can you elaborate on that? [KATE] Sure. So this is a really important piece in the process. Whenever I work with somebody on refining brand, or if I coach or teach one of the things I talk about is, okay, step one is, of course you must know who you are and at a high level, why you’re in this business and what you’re driving toward, what’s your purpose. However, I think it’s really important that you take the time before you start to write your brand, that you actually evaluate, well, who am I going after and why? Technically speaking everybody could use you in value from you. However, not everybody’s going to buy from you. So there’s a rule in branding, which really just states your brand has a couple key principles. Number one, like attracts like. If you own who you are, the right people that are naturally aligned with that are going to like you and find you and want to work with you. But the second piece that we talk about is what I call the rule of 70%. It’s really saying, listen. Let’s say you have an entire pie for a hundred percent of your revenue. Great brands do not try to speak to everybody. What they do though, is they speak to where you think 70% of your revenue comes from. With full acknowledgement, that 30% may come from elsewhere because they heard about you, they found you, they love you, but do you actively target them? No. In my world, what that means is I predominantly serve smaller businesses. Does that mean I don’t work with enterprise clients every year? No, I do. Do I actively go out and try and find them? No. In your business that may mean I predominantly serve women between the ages of 30 and 45. Does that mean that you’re not going to take a patient in her fifties? No, however, I think it comes down to where then do you show up to deliver your brand and have you written a brand that directly speaks to the pain of that particular 30 to 45 year old to say, I get where you’re at in your life. I understand what you’re going through and I’m here to help. [SAM] That’s a lot more powerful than general messaging. That’s trying to appeal to everybody. So something that we always say is specialists can always be generalists, but generalists cannot be specialists. So rather, specialize in your marketing but then as you say, if somebody slightly outside of your ideal client comes along, you can still serve them, but you focus your efforts on your ideal client. Absolutely. [KATE] Absolutely. I think the last piece I’ll share on this is when you’re thinking about who your ideal customer or customer types are, I recommend that you really try to nail down one, two, maybe three groups that you serve. I find that it’s really smart to niche in on who you serve or niche in and just as you may niche in on your products for service offerings, for example, like we talk about specializing. Here’s the thing, I think the questions you can think about to help you make that decision would be things such as who gets the most value from the work that I do? Who keeps coming back, who keeps referring me, who has the fastest buying decision, who purchases additional add-on services or wants to just build the relationship with me? Who naturally is the group that goes, oh my gosh, I’m so in love with you? Because I think it’s important for us to remember there’s probably one, maybe two audiences that are just going to clinging to you. They love you. We are not in the business of convincing. We are in the business of converting. So our job is to select the one or two audiences that maybe we go, wow, they’re just going to naturally convert into clients because they heard our message and they resonate. That’s such a fun, easy, sales-free pressure-less conversation that many of us want versus if we’re trying to convince somebody who’s not our ideal target audience to work with us, how does that go? Not very well. It often puts us as the practitioner in a position where we go, I didn’t get into this business to be a salesperson. Well that’s when you feel, that is, if you’re going after the wrong audience. [SAM] That’s so great. I love that term of not being in the business of convincing, but in the business of converting. Like you said, that’s then where you are putting your energy where you need to put it, not in convincing people to work with you. It also, then I think circles back to being confident in who you are and what you do, and that you can add value and that there is an audience out there whose lives you can change. So that’s perfect [THERAPY NOTES] Is managing your practice stressing you out? Try Therapy Notes. It makes notes, billing, scheduling, and tele-health a whole lot easier. Check it out and you will quickly see why it’s the highest rated EHR on Trustpilot with over a thousand verified customer views and an average customer rating of 4.9 out of five stars. You’ll notice the difference from the first day you sign up for a trial. They offer live phone support seven days a week so when you have questions, you can quickly reach out to someone who can help. You are never wasting your time looking for answers. If you’re coming from another EHR, they make the transition really easy. Therapy Notes will import your clients’ demographic data free of charge during your trial so you can get going right away. Use the promo code [JOE] to get three months to try out Therapy Notes, totally free, no strings attached. Remember telehealth is included with every subscription free. Make 2022, the best year yet with Therapy Notes. Again, use promo code [JOE] to get three months totally free. [SAM] The final phrase that you have is honing the tone. This is with regards to defining your brand’s tone of voice and personality to better engage your target audience. So can you tell us more about that? [KATE] Yes. So, okay, here’s the rule of thumb. Have you ever tried to write a tagline or a piece of your message or write your bio before? Isn’t it really frustrating that often it just feels like you’re writing these paragraphs upon paragraphs a very corporate sounding content, and you read it back to yourself and you go, this sounds nothing like me. Often you just go, oh my gosh. Or if you are a technical expert, let’s say, you’re very experts in your field, have you ever gone back and looked at what you’ve written or you’ve asked somebody to review and they go, I have no idea what you just said there? This is very common for us when we try and write our story, write our brand. One of the things that can help us is by making sure that we’ve nailed down our brands’ tone of voice. Now, if you are a solo entrepreneur, it’s just you, sometimes there is synergy between your tone of voice versus the brand if you are the brand. However, if you have a practice that, for example, you have multiple practitioners or providers, then I would say, I want you to think about wholly for the brand, more holistically for the team in the brand as a whole. The question that I start everybody off with is this if your brand were a person who would it be? Now the tendency, if I ask that question is someone says, well, I’m kind, I’m smart, I’m knowledgeable, people trust me, all these things. But what I want you to do when you think of that question is actually ask if my brand were a public figure or celebrity, who would it be? What we’re getting at here is how they sound. If you were to close your eyes what Oprah sounds like. You may know what actor Ryan Reynolds sounds like. You may know how Zendaya or other famous artists or people in the media sound like. So what we’re getting at is by honing in on the tone of voice, it ensures that you then shape the rhythm of the language. For example, if it’s a Ryan Reynolds’ brand we may have some dry humor in there. We may use emojis on the homepage. We may use shorter sentences. We may use a lot more words, like thankfully at the end, some of these mic drop words that feel like, boom, boom, boom. If it’s for example comedian Kevin Hart, if it’s a Kevin Hart brand, it is very short sentences and they’re often like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. It feels different when you read it out loud or you listen to it or you read it to yourself. So refining your tone of voice does two things; it gives you a backbone to make sure that you go, yes, this is how we show up in the world and that’s great and it makes sure that you write the language in such a way that it’s not only true to you, but going back to that target audience piece really ensures that the rhythm and the tone of voice of the language and the way that it’s structured is going to naturally attract your ideal target audiences. [SAM] I love that. I love not basing it on you because also, if even if you are a solo practice now you may not always be a solo practice in the future. So it’s possibly a mistake to place the branding and the, even the tone of the branding on yourself and your personality when in the future you’re going to grow and as you say, then welcome more people into your company. So I think that’s such a great idea of basing it on celebrity. That’s really awesome. [KATE] Thank you. It’s a fun exercise we love to have. [SAM] Yes, definitely. So Kate, can you tell us a bit more about your book and where people can find out more about it if they’re interested in getting a hold of it in July? [KATE] Certainly. So my book is called Muting the Megaphone: Stop Telling Stories and Start Having Conversations. The entire precipice of the book is what we’re talking about today, how do you actually write your brand? So this is a very small but mighty, tactical brand book. It’s going to walk you through creating your right tone of voice, selecting the appropriate target audiences, actually writing your brand trifecta and then how do you deploy that across all of your marketing materials, whether that is signage, printed materials or digital. That’s the book and it’s coming out July 18th, 2022, and you can find it on Amazon. For more information on the book and around my approach to branding, two ways to find me first off, find me on LinkedIn. Please, if you’re listening today and you would like to have a brand conversation or reach out by all means connect with me, you can find me Kate DeLio. The spelling of my last name will more than likely be in the show notes. Secondly, you can also find me on my website, [SAM] Amazing. Yes, we will have all of that in the show notes. Kate, we always end off with if every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know? [KATE] I want you to know that you are not in the business of convincing you are in the business of converting. So I want you to focus on owning your brand in such a way that it is number one, authentic to you and your tone of voice, number two speaks to the one or two, maybe three audiences who really need you the most and have the highest probability of buying. Number three, I want you to create a brand that really gets to the bottom line as quickly as possible by telling them this is what we do, this is how we solve your problem, and this is how we’re different. [SAM] Amazing. Thank you so much for all of the value that you have provided today and thanks for being on the Marketing a Practice podcast. [KATE] Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. [THERAPY NOTES] Thanks again to Therapy Notes for sponsoring this episode. Remember to use the primary code, [JOE], that’s [J-O-E] to get three free months to try out Therapy Notes for free, no strings attached. 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 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 . 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.