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Are you interested in getting to know the more advanced side of Google Analytics? How does automation on your website improve the user experience? Do you make decisions with the bigger picture of your business in mind?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok does a Live Consulting with Laurie Groh about Optimizing Marketing and Increasing Visibility.
Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision
When you’re in private practice it can be tough to find the time to review your marketing efforts and make improvements where needed.
Whether you are a seasoned clinician whose current website needs to be revamped, or a new therapist building a website for the first time, Brighter Vision is here to help.
By first understanding your practice and what makes it unique, Brighter Vision’s team of developers will create a custom website catered to your specific marketing goals. Better yet, they provide unlimited technical support to make sure it stays updated, and professional search engine optimization to make sure you rank high in online searches – all at no additional cost.
To get started for $100 off, head to brightervision.com/joe.
Meet Laurie Groh
Laurie is a level 2 RLT marriage counselor and co-owner of Shoreside therapies. She works with individuals that want to improve their relationships. This includes not just marriages, but parent/child, friendship, and co-worker relations. Her typical clients include women who are business owners, perfectionists, and people learning to be more vulnerable. She’s married with 4 little kids, so she also likes working with moms that are trying to juggle it all!
Visit the Shoreside Therapies website. Connect with them on Facebook and Instagram.
Connect with Laurie on LinkedIn and Psychology Today.
In This Podcast
- Explore advanced marketing
- Think big picture
Explore advanced marketing
Within Google Analytics you can observe the user experience of potential clients that browse your online profiles.
This is an extra tool that is not integral to marketing, however, it can provide you with a deeper understanding of how people interact with your social media presence, and what you can tweak to simplify or improve their online experience with your company.
[In Google Analytics] under the user flow area you can see the top pages people land on, and where they tend to go after that … it is important to know what your top five pages are or so because we want to make sure those pages have clear calls to action. (Joe Sanok)
Having some form of automated communication can be beneficial to your website.
- Consider having a page or tab available on your website that addresses some frequently asked questions and provides answers in the way that you as the owner would have written them.
- Hire a virtual assistant who can answer any chat-box-related questions about your services or company. This helps clients remain on your website instead of them leaving your page to Google something they required an answer for.
We want to make sure that at every level we’re optimizing because … it doesn’t seem that great when you make those minor changes but then by the end of it you’ve got a 20% growth in your practice. (Joe Sanok)
Think about how, at each level, you can make it a little easier for clients to book.
Think big picture
For you to be learning how to do all of this at this phase is just a huge waste of your time. You need to be thinking big picture, and that’s the transition when you go from being a solo practitioner to having a small group practice … that tendency to want to know everything … that’s one of the biggest challenges and developmental milestones of this phase of practice. (Joe Sanok)
As the growing group practice owner, you need to start taking hats off as the company develops.
Your job then shifts from doing everything to doing one thing and you hire staff to assist you so that you can focus on growing the business.
Protect the value of your time and hire people that you trust to handle smaller issues so that you can focus on the bigger picture of your business.
Books mentioned in this episode:
Useful Links mentioned in this episode:
- Check out brightervision.com/joe for three months free!
- Find out more about Thursday is the New Friday
- Visit the Shoreside Therapies website and connect with them on Facebook and Instagram
- Connect with Laurie on LinkedIn and Psychology Today
Check out these additional resources:
- Live Consulting with Anisha Shah: Should I Sell My Practice Or Start A Group Practice? | PoP 624
- Apply to work together
- Pillars of Practice
- Sign up for Next Level Practice
- Events – click on the event’s dropdown
- Sign up to join the free webinars and events here
- Podcast Launch School
- Practice of the Practice Podcast Network
- Free resources to help you start, grow, and scale
- Apply to work with us
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
Thanks For Listening!
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Well, I am so excited that you are here today. Welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. So a lot of things going on in the Practice of the Practice world. We had Killin’It Camp, my book launch, you can still get my book if you haven’t bought it over at thursdayisthenewfriday.com or you can just go on to Amazon. Or your favorite local bookstore probably has it. They’ve distributed it all over the place. So we’re super excited about that. As well Next Level Practice is right around the corner. So November 8th is the last day that you can get in there. Just for that week you’re going to be able to get into Next Level Practice. So that’s going to be our membership community. It is our membership community of people that from that moment that you think to yourself, I want to start a private practice all the way until you’re ready for your first hire, that’s the membership community for you.
We have membership communities for every phase of practice. So then when you’re at that point, when you’re like, I want to grow a practice. I want to add my first 1099 or W2, well, we’ve got Group Practice Launch. That’s a six-month program that Alison and Whitney run. Then we have Group Practice Boss. So wherever you’re at in your practice, we can help you. Next Level Practice, if you want to be a part of that, you can go read more over practiceofthepractice.com/invite and request your invite to make sure that when that opens up, that you can jump right in. We have some amazing people that have been through Next Level Practice, and it’s really helped them out. So we’d love for you to join us there.
Also if you’re new to the podcast, welcome, I’m super glad that you’re here. Glad you found us and feel free to do a rating or review if you want to. Well, we’re doing a series of live consulting with people that earlier in the year we hung out with. And it’s pretty awesome to do consulting with someone, they go and they take some action and then when it’s time to actually come back and we talk, we hear kind of how they grow. You’re going to be hearing a whole lot of these coming up. So today I’m really excited that Laurie Groh is back. Laurie is the co-owner of Shoreside Therapies, which is a boutique counseling service and works mostly with women, teens and adults, relationships, communication, anxiety, and self-esteem. Laurie, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I’m so excited to have you here.
[LAURIE GROH] Well, thanks, Joe. I’m very excited to be talking with you again today. Thanks for having me.
[JOE] Well, let’s talk about what your question was last time and kind of what you’ve been working on. It’s so fun to kind of hear when people take the action and kind of some of the results they got. What was your question last time and what did you work on after our call?
[LAURIE] So the main reason I was wanting to talk with you is just to increase our visibility in the community and get more clients. We, at that point, I think we just had hired a new therapist and so we were looking to fill her up. So one of the things that you had recommended was because, she’s an AODA counselor would be to make a program really geared towards professionals and almost like an IOP program. So we have started to talk about that and in fact we are going to using, not just her, but we’ve hired a few more therapists, which is really exciting. So we’re hoping that there would be a combination of a couple of drug and alcohol counselors willing to work together to create a program. So it’s not up and running yet, but we are definitely in the works of doing that. So it was a great idea. I’m really excited about that
[JOE] Oh, that’s so exciting. I mean sometimes those ideas you have to kind of bounce them off people and make sure that you want to put all that time and energy in it. Don’t just do it because I said it. You want to make sure that you really think it through.
[LAURIE] Yes. And that’s, what’s been really nice though, is talking to the other therapists and what they really would like to do. And they want different things. Some want to do more group, some want to do more individual and seeing if we can work together on it. But yes, so I’m excited about that.
[JOE] That’s really cool. Well, where are you at now with things and what’s your first question?
[LAURIE] So a lot of things have happened and I just want to just briefly point out that the Group Practice Boss has also been just incredible with helping me keep on track. I think last time too, we talked about website changes and we did do all of the changes that we talked about, which is really cool and it’s helping us more people in. So we actually hired more therapists in order to really meet that need of the community and get people in to see us.
[JOE] So how many therapists are you up to right now?
[LAURIE] We have seven therapists and a nurse practitioner.
[JOE] Wow. And in what period of time did you hire seven people, over what period of time?
[LAURIE] Well, we had originally I believe five before the pandemic. So we hired, I think three during this time and now we are actually looking to hire one more in the next couple months. So we’re kind of looking again to put one more person in there in. And just to kind of go over all the things that have helped was the website changes. I think you had suggested making it easier for people when they’re trying to look for a therapist and trying to find like, what am I looking for and then who’s the therapist that works with this issue or this problem and having that right there in that first page so that when they click teen adolescent counseling, the therapist comes up right away. So they know who they’re talking to. That I think that really helps people coming in.
So that’s one change we made. So the other thing too is bringing new people in and getting our name out there. We started using Streamyard for our Facebook lives and that’s been really great as well. Some of the things just in group practice that we’ve been doing is Google ads. We just started to try it out, see how we feel. We’re doing some more blogging and doing more Facebook lives and doing some in-person, so lucky that we’re able to do some in-person networking as well. So that’s what we’ve been up to lately. We did an open house recently and that was fun out on our deck. It was a beautiful night. So that’s where we’re at right now.
[JOE] That’s awesome. So it’s great to kind of hear where you’re at to have a better idea as we talk and do some consulting. Tell me what your first question is.
[LAURIE] So at this point I am, we’re still in that area of wanting to get out there more and we have these new therapists and they aren’t entirely full right now. So one question is, along the idea of bringing more people in, we’re doing all these things and we’re, I guess I’m just wondering if there’s any other ideas on how to get our name out there and how to get people to know, hey, this is a great place to come. This is a warm, inviting environment. I didn’t know if there was something else I was maybe missing or if there was some other ideas.
[JOE] Well, tell me a little bit about, as you’ve done some of the marketing in the website, are you looking at first kind of your Google analytics of if more people are coming to the website?
[LAURIE] Yes, and they are. They are. So that’s really great to see that that has shifted just with the blogging and doing more videos and things on our site. So I feel like that’s in a pretty solid space.
[JOE] Okay, and then within Google, your analytics, you can watch kind of the user experience, and this is a little bit more advanced and if you don’t know how to do it’s not a big deal because most people are like, I don’t even know about Google analytics. But you can see it’s under the user flow area where you can see the top pages people land on and then where they tend to go after that. So if you pull that up then what it’ll tell you is, okay, my main page is typically number one. My about page is number two. Maybe you have a services page, that’s number three. It’s important to know kind of what are your top five pages or so because we want to make sure that those pages have very clear calls to action, to pick up the phone and call or schedule online or whatever your thing is.
When I did this a number of years ago with Practice of the Practice, I discovered that my number two page was this blog post that I had written about how to name a private practice. I was accidentally ranking number one for how to name a private practice. So all these people were coming to that page, but there wasn’t as clear of a call to action. So I added some things to that page, about like who is Joe Sanok? So yes, they learned to name their private practice, but I want them to get to know me and to get to know Practice of the Practice. Then I wrote other articles that were about naming a practice, like things you should consider before naming a practice or how to buy a URL after you name a practice.
So you want to find those top couple of blogs, those top couple of pages, and really scan through them and think through a user experience. Even to the point that you may have friends who kind of aren’t in the clinical world, look at your top couple of pages and just say like, what do you notice? What do you like? What do you hate? Which pictures feel cheesy? What do you wish was here? That kind of extra eyes on it could really be helpful.
[LAURIE] Yes, that sounds great. I am just starting to try to understand that piece of things. We’re going through it in Group Practice Boss as well and just trying to figure out what this all means and what do the numbers mean. But that makes sense of having that call to action on each of those pages so people know what to do. Otherwise, I guess, to just stops.
[JOE] Tell me about automations. Do you have any sort of chat with the front desk or a way for people to schedule without having to call you or send an email?
[LAURIE] Yes. Right now we use Theranest. So they are able to schedule right online, which is really great but we also talked with someone that was doing the Google ads for us, and they also suggested that we had too many buttons and that there was maybe too many choices. So we did change that. So it’s a little easier now I think for people to schedule right online. But what are your thoughts on doing, having those chatbots or having something like that? What are your thoughts on that?
[JOE] I think you want to definitely make sure that they follow HIPAA compliance because a lot of those plugins store a lot of protected health information in ways that are not considered ethical. So you definitely want to make sure you look at that. It’s nice to have a chat bot that has some frequently asked questions that are written in a way that you would answer them, not in the way a robot would. But we at Practice of the Practice, we have in the bottom right corner Chat With Us. Jess just leaves that open on her computer all day long and as she’s working on other stuff, she gets a little popup chat and then responds to it. It’s amazing how many people are just like, “Hey, like I’m looking for an article on this. Do you know where that might be?”
So instead of leaving our website and then going and Googling it Jess is right there. Like, “Hey, I’d love to help you.” So if you have a virtual assistant already say answering phones or doing things it can just be something that if you’re already paying them, maybe it’s not 12 hours a day, maybe it’s just like four hours a day and the rest of the time, it just goes kind of to that person later on. So that’s a great way to engage a little bit more, especially when someone’s already at a computer.
[LAURIE] Ah, I love that. I love that.
[JOE] What we’re really looking at doing is if you can just, I mean, look at how many people per month are coming to your website, so say a thousand people a month me through your website and then a hundred people a month make a phone call, then we have a 10% conversion. We want to boost that and just be able to have that number to say, okay, what’s our big macro number of visits? Some of those visits are people that aren’t looking for their be and so there’s a quick, what’s called bounce rate. And that’s fine. If they were looking for dog food, you don’t want them to waste your staff’s time. So, but over time we want to see that bounce rate go down where you’re attracting the right people.
Then you want that percentage of who books to go up. Because I would rather you have 500 people come to the website and have 50% conversion than have a thousand people and have 10% conversion. So really that’s why I think I’m digging into this; is we want to make sure at every single level we’re optimizing, because imagine if 5% more people stay on your homepage because it looks really slick and it’s very clear who you help and then 5% more end up calling and because of that user experience, 5% more end up booking. Then you start adding those layers of three to 5%. It doesn’t seem that great when you make those minor changes, but then by the end of it, you’ve got a 20% growth in your practice. So really kind of at every level saying if we just made it a little bit easier to book, how could we do that? If when they try to book, we try to make it a little easier. If when they finally got on a phone call or an email, it just was a little bit easier. Every single step you want to just try to optimize that as much as you can.
[LAURIE] Yes, that makes sense. I mean, that’s why I go on Amazon so much. It’s nice and quick and easy. That makes sense. So having some like friends and maybe coworkers kind of look and see what it would look like if they were looking on our site, how easy is it for them to actually schedule and find what they’re looking for and give some feedback.
[JOE] Yep. So we want to have those people that are just Googling and end up on your website and we want to think about them. We also want to think about referrals that come from your top referral sources. And then in the same way we want to think about, okay, our top referral sources, if they just sent us one more client a week or one more client a month that could really help. If we kind of replicated those top referral sources and said we’ve got three doctors that always refer to us, what if we found a fourth doctor? How many doctors do we have to talk to get another qualified person that will refer to us? So we start to run those numbers where we say, okay, if I send 20 emails to pediatricians, two of their front desk staff will respond and one of those front desk staff we’ll get a meeting with.
Then if we do five meetings, then we know that we’re going to probably get one good referral source out of it. So if we know it takes 20 emails to get one meeting, we have to have five meetings. That means we need to do a hundred emails to get one qualified referral source. So being able to just look at those numbers and say it’s not that these people don’t want to network. It’s not that they don’t want to connect with you. It’s that they’re busy and that your business is not their priority. So if you’re looking to build those things, we want to know each of those numbers and how it works and how to optimize it kind of along the whole way.
[LAURIE] Yes. That sounds great. And thinking about it that way, instead of getting maybe disappointed that I could be getting a lot of responses
[BRIGHTER VISION] When you’re in private practice, it can be tough to find the time to review your marketing efforts and make improvements where needed. Whether you are a seasoned clinician whose current website needs to be revamped or a new therapist building a website for the first time, Brighter Vision is here to help. By first understanding your practice and what makes it unique, Brighter Vision’s team of developers will create you a custom website catered to your specific marketing goals. Better yet, they provide unlimited technical support to make sure it stays updated and professional search engine optimization to make sure you rank high in online searches, all at no additional cost. To get started for a hundred dollars off, head over to brightervision.com/joe. Again, that’s brightervision.com/joe.
[JOE] Are you doing, what kind of ads are you doing either locally or online that you’re paying for?
[LAURIE] We just started with the Google Ads and I don’t think that they’re quite up yet because unfortunately there’s some issue with addiction, because we do work with addiction that Google ad kind of blocks that for a while. So we’re in the middle of like refuting some of that, but it is really directed to our new eating disorder therapist, which is something we actually talked about in our first consult as well, where we were getting some calls for eating disorders. So we hired a wonderful eating disorder therapist. So it is focused just on her more as a trial on, is this going to really work? Are we going to get our money’s worth with this? So that’s one thing. Then we do typically boost our Facebook lives and then also some blog posts. We do tend to boost those on Facebook.
[JOE] Oh, that’s awesome. And how do you decide whether or not those are working? Like, do you do any AB testing or is there any way you track whether or not it’s worth it to boost those?
[LAURIE] Not as much as I probably should. I do look at some of the numbers as far as how many people are clicking or engaged, but I don’t really know what is a reasonable percentage. So I’m looking at some of that, but I don’t know exactly like what number should I be looking at as far as how much people are in engaging it.
[JOE] Well, I mean, do you want to learn all that about Facebook Ads and Google Ads? Is that a priority for you that you just, you love Google Ads and Facebook Ads?
[LAURIE] Not really, but I also really like to learn new things. So I’m torn sometimes with that of like, it’d be really great to just know and understand everything.
[JOE] I mean, if I said to you okay, one afternoon, a month, you get to learn something new, I mean, between pottery or standup paddle boarding or like curling and Facebook Ads, like would Facebook Ads be the thing that you’d say that’s going to fill my bucket for learning something new?
[LAURIE] Probably not.
[JOE] Okay. So, I mean, my point is why not take one of your virtual assistants and just put them through some sort of Facebook Ad training or some marketing training? It could be through the community college. There’s lots of great online programs. Long term, you want to be able to look at a dashboard and know what’s going on. Okay, how much do we spend? Are we getting more conversions from this? What are the big picture to decisions you want to make, so that they can say to you, hey, this is working. If we put another thousand bucks into this, we’re probably going to get 10 clients and that’s going to make us $10,000. You want a big picture like that to just kind of sign off on it. For you to be learning how to do all of this at this phase is just a huge waste of your time.
You need to be thinking big picture. And that’s the transition, when you go from being a solo practitioner to having a small group practice to now you’re into kind of a little larger group practice, that tendency to want to micromanage everything and know everything when you’re spending especially money on it. That’s one of the biggest challenges/developmental milestones of this phase of practice, is learning to take hats off aggressively, learning to put things back onto other people’s plates. So, for example, even today, we had a staff meeting with our team in South Africa and then all of our consultants. One of our consultants pointed out some things about the Killin’It Camp page that they wanted changed. So right away, I just said to Jess and to Sam, “Okay, can the two of you work with Dana, our conference planner to rewrite that, get it all put onto the page and let me know if you need anything from me?”
That took me 15 seconds to assign it to somebody else and to have me not have to think about Killin’It Camp pages. Because for me, what’s the big picture stuff I should be thinking about is I should be trying to recruit awesome speakers. I should be thinking about how do I really use this to sell more of my book? How do I do this in a way that I connect with people so that they can have the best possible private practices, how it can help the business, but also help everyone’s world. That’s what I need to be thinking about, not the copy on a website. So same with you, aggressively taking hats off is going to allow you to have so much extra energy that is genuinely like is this leveling up my group practice? It is okay. Then I need to spend time on that.
[LAURIE] Yes. I mean, that has been my biggest struggle throughout. I’m doing so much better, I promise on that, but it is always challenging because I’m like, ah, yes, I could do this. I could do this. And I’m like, just because you can doesn’t mean you should and I have to keep reminding myself that.
[JOE] I mean, I would suggest that you set some really clear boundaries for yourself because when you own your own business, there’s always a million things you can do. I could work all day every day. There’s never an end to that to -do list, but if we schedule in, like, for example, after this in an hour, I’m going to improv and I’ve been in an improv troop for two years. So I’m not going to no-show on my improv troop, for one, because it’s hilarious and it makes me laugh and it’s just so fun, but I’ve committed to this thing, that’s social, that I’m going to go do improv. So to even just schedule in those things, whether it’s a date night with a friend or that you’re going to do some class that you’re going to learn; or even just every Thursday I go for a walk. When you have those things in your schedule, it makes it a lot harder to say I’m going to just keep working all day.
[LAURIE] Yes, that makes a lot of sense.
[JOE] It just happens to be a book that’ll walk you through that called Thursday is the New Friday.
[LAURIE] Well, I’m glad I bought some already. I bought five.
[JOE] Oh, so you got the Killin’It Camp ticket then too?
[JOE] It’s a good way to go. Awesome. Well, Laurie is there maybe one more question that we could dive into that could help you kind of continue to get to that next level?
[LAURIE] I think we went over my main ones. The one thing that I brought up last time and I thought it was really helpful was I was thinking of doing a podcast myself. I really love just talking with people and I thought you gave me really good advice of like do this part first and then move into that. So I’m hoping actually, I guess it’s not necessarily a question. But I’m hoping like during Killin’It Camp that at that point I can be exploring some of that and I have other things I want to do. So I mean, once you think like that’s all filled up and all the therapists are in a good spot, like that would be a good time to start moving in a direction of adding some of my side passions.
[JOE] Yes, I think that’s really smart. I mean, giving yourself between now and Killin’It Camp, which is happening in October, and at the time this airs that’ll already have completed yes, to have those systems set up so that you aren’t doing as much. And setting that as a goal that by Killin’It Camp, you want to be thinking about podcasting. I mean, you’ll be able to meet like Brandy and a number of other podcasters that we’ve helped launch their podcast. You and I can talk more about that. So yes, I mean, I think there’s going to be a lot of really cool opportunities and we have that whole track that’s on multiple streams of income. That’s going to can help you think differently about a lot of that too.
[LAURIE] Oh, I love that. I love that.
[JOE] Awesome. Well, Laurie, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast. I can’t wait to talk to you again in a bit to see what you’ve done with all this.
[LAURIE] Thanks again for having me. This is great. So great. So helpful.
[JOE] Well, I am so excited to be doing these consulting calls and to catch up with people and hear what they’re doing and just hear their breakthroughs. I mean, to hear what Laurie did, where she’s really kind of focused on the marketing, she’s thinking differently, she’s taking hats off. That first phase when you’re starting a practice, oftentimes we put on so many hats where the accountant, the bookkeeper, the lawyer, the trash person, we do it all but then we’ve got to move away from that, to do our highest and best work. That doesn’t mean that when someone else does that they’re lesser than us. It just means that you’re saying here’s where I want to spend my time. I’m choosing to have my career go in this direction.
I mean, even, I realized that I really hate gardening and I’m privileged enough to have some extra money to be able to hire a gardener. So to just say, I would much rather go do a bunch of extra podcasts and to make money that way than to garden. I don’t mind putting wood chips down, but I don’t want to just be digging it all up and weeding and all that. So figuring out for yourself, what are those things that give you life, they give you joy, that helps the world, that helps make money, but also helps your brain. It’s so important for us to take those hats off and to continue to level up and do your best work. So I’m so excited about this whole series that we’re going to be doing here.
Also got to thank our sponsor today, Brighter Vision. Brighter Vision is the place to get a website. If you want a great website, go get a Brighter Vision website. If you go to brightervision.com use promo code [JOE]. So if you go to brightervision.com/joe they’re going to give you some months for free. They have been a sponsor for years and have done a really great job. They were a sponsor at Killin’It Camp and have been so supportive of the therapists community. So again, that’s brightervision.com/joe.
Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing day. I’ll talk to you soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. And 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, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.