Live Consulting with Nicole Goudreau-Green: How Do I Fill Up My Counseling Practice? | PoP 537

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What power lies in a successful blog post? How can networking with other therapists who have different specialties benefit your referrals? How can you properly recycle your content for SEO?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok does a live consulting call with Nicole Goudreau-Green about how to fill up her counseling practice.

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Meet Nicole Goudreau-Green

Nicole is a New Hampshire Native, living and practicing as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Westchester County, NY. She is a wife, mother, and cancer survivor who has been working in the mental health field for 15 years; and despite a couple of unsuccessful tries to launch into private practice, has successfully transitioned into building her private practice full time.

Nicole specializes in work with adolescents and families, is passionate about social justice, and loves to camp!

Visit her website, and connect on Facebook and Instagram.

In This Podcast


  • Imagine your ideal client
  • Referrals and writing blog posts

Imagine your ideal client

Think about your ideal client: where would they be spending their social media time? If you are wanting to target adolescents, your best bet would be TikTok. If you are wanting to connect with their parents, you could try Instagram and Facebook.

Having an idea where your ideal client spends their time scrolling will help you structure and navigate a pathway to them.

Referrals and writing a blog post


Consider connecting with fellow therapists who would be referring out to your ideal client, so that they can be directed towards you.

As the ideal client is a teen girl – most male therapists (especially those who work with teen boys) won’t be working with teen girls, so there is a high chance they are looking for someone to refer out to. Connect with these therapists and set up a coffee date to talk about how you can work together.

Keep in mind that this is a numbers game, when you have emailed 10 people, maybe four will get back to you and one or two will confirm but do not let this put you off. Keep trying and you will have referrals sooner than expected.

Blog posts

  • Start your blog posts with titles that connect to the decision-maker.
  • Give advice to the decision-maker that connects directly to issues that may be suffering from, or issues that their family members struggle with.
  • Give some short, constructive feedback and tips to the decision-maker about how to deal with these issues in small ways that they can manage.
  • State your call to action.

Using blog posts, hyperlinking them to your website, and promoting keywords are all important and beneficial to your SEO success. You can utilize your blog posts not only to connect to potential clients but also to increase the exposure of your practice within the online community.

Promote the blog post, talk about the blog post, talk about what you’ve talked about in the blog posts. You’re recycling that content, so you write a blog post and then you talk about that same thing on social media and do some Instagram stories around it. (Joe Sanok)

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Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

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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Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK]: 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 of trying out Therapy Notes for free, totally free, no strings attached, including their very reliable tele-health platform. Make 2021 best year yet with Therapy Notes. Again, that’s promo code [JOE] at checkout to get three months totally free.
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok session 537.
[JOE]: Welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I’m so glad that you’re here today. I’m really excited. We’re going to have Nicole Goudreau-Green with us, but before we jump into her question, we have been having a huge series of people from our community that are getting free consulting. I’m doing these 20 minute or so phone calls with people, just helping them out, wherever they’re at, and the variety of questions has been awesome. So if you haven’t gone back to any of those kind of previous ones, and you’re just jumping in now, make sure you do, we have put live consulting the person’s name and then the person’s question to make it super searchable for you. Also, if you ever have any other questions for us, you can always come over to and in the bottom right you’ll see the chat box. Jess, our director details, she’s just hanging out there all day long. And if you have questions about private practice or past podcasts or resources, we have tons of resources over there for you totally free. So make sure you access that stuff so that you can get up to that next level with your practice. Well, Nicole, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[NICOLE GOUDREAU]: Thanks Joe. Thank you so much for having me.
[JOE]: You know what? I forgot to read your bio. So Nicole, you are a New Hampshire native living and practicing as a licensed clinical social worker in Westchester County, New York. You’re a wife, mother, and cancer survivor, who’s been working in the mental health field for 15 years. Well welcome. I’m so glad that you’re here.
[NICOLE]: Thank you.
[JOE]: Well, what’s your question? What do you want some help with today?
[NICOLE]: So I am really struggling with feeling blocked when it comes to marketing. And I’ll explain that a little bit further. So I know all the things to do. I know blogging is important and social media can be important reaching out to people and making connections to the people that my specialty are connected to like schools. My specialty is working with adolescents and families, and I often get stuck and can’t move forward with like blogging, or even just knowing what to post on social media. And I think I’ve done some reflection on like some of the barriers that get in the way, and it seems like the biggest ones are imposter syndrome and comparison traps. Like looking at what other people who are, have been in the field for a little bit longer, as far as in private practice, on social media, that’s a big trap and then even getting emails. So lately I’ve been kind of unsubscribing to some of them. So I don’t do so much of the comparison trap.
[JOE]: Let me just start with the comparison trap and imposter syndrome. It isn’t going to go away. So just get used to it. Even so like my friend Kelly Higdon, we’re out here in California at our big mega road trip. It’s been awesome to see my friend Kelly, who she owns ZinnyMe with Miranda. They do business school bootcamp, they do all these amazing things. She’ll talk about these systems that they’ve done and ways that they’re changing things. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, she is such a better business professional than I am.” Or when I get the Harper Collins book deal, I feel like the bottom’s going to fall out and they’re going to be like, “Oh my gosh, we hired the wrong writer.” Like you’re terrible.
Those things are real and you have to power through them anyway. So everyone deals with it and those that don’t are either so successful, like Tony Robbins, that, you know what, like, okay, good on them. But the majority of people are constantly seeing what other people are doing and they’re saying, “Oh, I wish I could be that good.” So let’s just normalize that and put that on the back burner and realize yep, you just power through it. So tell me a little bit about why you want to market, like, are you not full? Do you want to expand into a group practice? Like why market?
[NICOLE]: Both. I’m not full and I would like to potentially expand into a group. I’m not positive about that yet, but I want to grow bigger, definitely.
[JOE]: And so when you say you’re not full, how many new clients would it take to be full?
[NICOLE]: Four.
[JOE]: Four. Okay. So that’s great to have that number because now we can say we are not marketing to thousands of people in my community or state. We’re not marketing to and networking with a billion different counselors. We are trying to find four people that resonate with us. And so when you think about four people reading a blog post four people reading a social media post, four people seeing something you do, and saying, “Oh my gosh, Nicole is awesome. I want to work with her.” Four people feels way different than thousands, right?
[NICOLE]: It does. Totally, I’m already feeling relieved in thinking about it way.
[JOE]: Okay, so let’s picture your four favorite clients, like four people that you’re like, “I can’t believe I get to work with this person and get paid for it.” So describe that type of person.
[NICOLE]: So it would be an adolescent, they would be probably a 16-year-old girl who’s struggling with self-worth, some anxiety, peer relationships and really struggling to communicate with her parents about what she needs.
[JOE]: And so when we think about social media, if you’re aiming to target a 16-year-old girl’s parents, you’re probably going to be on Facebook or Instagram. If you’re directly aiming to connect with her, it’s probably going to be TikTok right now until all the adults end up on TikTok, then it’s going to be whatever the next thing is. But we’re looking at getting four people. And so is social media a good use of your time to find four people? Probably not. I mean, really realistically, like you think how much goes into having a solid TikTok channel that is going to attract 16-year-old girls to feel inspired by you. That’s a bunch of work. So I would actually give you permission to not worry right now as much about social media, other than having a Facebook page maybe posting content once a week on that, that is aimed at teen girls. It could just be articles you find on Huffington Post that you have a paragraph of comments on, or different things that you think match your brand. But I wouldn’t spend your time there nearly as much as marketing to people that have teen girls.
[ALISON PIDGEON…: Are you looking to start a group practice in 2021? If so, we have a great program for you called Group Practice Launch. Practice of the Practice business consultant, Whitney Owens, and me Alison Pidgeon are going to be leading you through the step-by-step of how to start a group practice over a period of six months.
[WHITNEY OWENS]: Yes. So if you’re interested in starting your group practice this year, don’t delay, you can head on over to\grouppracticelaunch to get all the details and to opt into our email list. This first cohort is going to start March 2nd through the eighth with an early bird special the second and third. So don’t wait to join, go ahead and get that early access by opting into that email list\grouppracticelaunch.
[JOE]: And so, when you think about your referrals of 16 year old girls, how have they found you in the past?
[NICOLE]: In the past it’s been through insurance, which I am not accepting right now and nor will I. And Psychology Today, which I am having much success with right now and professionals that I have a relationship with. Just so like a natural, like I know them from social work school or from working with them previously, or I met them at a meeting, something like that.
[JOE]: I mean, I would say going through psychology today in your area and looking for all the male counselors, because in general, male counselors tend to not work with female teenagers. Not that that’s always the case, but for the most part, like, I wasn’t a specialist in that area. I worked with angry teen boys frequently and so I would almost always refer out a teen girl unless it was more of a family issue. And so to reach out to male therapists that most likely are going to be referring out, especially those that work with teen boys that seems like a very kind of synergy relationship where say the older sisters seeing you and then a 12-year-old boy also needs some help. You can then refer to that person so it goes back and forth.
So I would start there and schedule some Zoom coffee dates with those people just to get to know them a little bit and tell them, “Hey I don’t,” like if you don’t serve teen boys, for example, to say, “I don’t serve teen boys. It looks like you do serve teen boys. I serve teen girls. I don’t see in your Psychology Today if you see teen girls, but I would love to have a virtual coffee date with you to hear more about your approach so that I can really refer to you knowing that you’re going to serve the clients that I refer in the same kind of way that I do.” And so kind of frame it around, you want to help them get more clients and expect that 60% of them won’t even return your email or phone call. Like therapists are terrible at even if it comes through psychology today at returning emails and phone calls, but just persist on.
So of those 10 emails you send six, probably won’t even respond, the four that do maybe one or two might schedule. So just realize that it’s a numbers game that if you send 20 emails, you might get two or three phone coffee dates, or Zoom coffee dates with those people, and that’s okay. I mean, they’re just busy, they’re not focusing on you as much as they’re focusing on their clients. So as long as you just don’t personalize that and see it as them having to be an assault on you in any way, it’s just how it is. So it starts there because I mean, you’re looking at four referrals. Tell me about your blogging, how has that gotten? You said that that was a bit of a block for you.
[NICOLE]: So, I’ve written three blogs, so far. Three blog posts. I’ve been open for about three months now and I have a hard time.
[JOE]: Wait, let me just pause you right there.
[NICOLE]: Yeah.
[JOE]: We’ve been open a few months and you only need four more people to be full. Let’s celebrate that. That’s amazing. So I think we also should put, Nicole, don’t be so hard on yourself because you’re doing a great job. Okay. So you can continue, but with the spirit of I’m already rocking it out and doing a good job. So, okay, continue, blogging.
[NICOLE]: Thanks. So I have done the three blogs and they’ve taken me hours. Like the first one probably took me a whole week to do. And a big part of it is, I am hard on myself and I feel like it needs to be perfect, and I worry about, I think I focus too much on the general population and maybe don’t narrow in, on my niche. And so I feel like I’m all over the place in my blog. And then I gradually narrow it down, but it takes me so long to do that. I actually started the blogging course in teachable that is offered through next level practice. And it’s been incredibly helpful. I’ve actually written them a little bit faster with that. And I noticed that when I get towards the end, I’m like, “Oh.” I’m afraid to finish it and hit publish.
[JOE]: Well, we’ll talk about the emotional side of it, but let’s talk about the practical side first. So, I want to write a blog post with you right now in like two minutes. All right, and you can come, you don’t have to write anything down and this is all getting recorded, but let’s just think through who you want to attract for 16 year old teen girls dealing with stuff. What kind of stuff are they dealing with?
[NICOLE]: Dealing with body image issues, they’re dealing with friends maybe becoming closer with other peers and not spending as much time talking with them feeling left out.
[JOE]: Let me pause you right there. So, typically is it the 16 year old girl that picks up the phone or sends a message or is it a parent or a guardian then?
[NICOLE]: Usually, It’s the parent.
[JOE]: Okay. Is it usually the mom or the dad?
[NICOLE]: I would say 90% of the time, it’s the mom and 10% is the dad.
[JOE]: Okay. So this is what I want you to do, even though your target audience is our target client is a 16 year old girl, the decision maker is the mom that has a 16 year old girl. So blog, post number one, what every mom needs to know their daughter is dealing with or their teen daughters dealing with. All right. So body image, tell me three things about body image that moms need to know about their teen daughter.
[NICOLE]: Oh gosh, that it is somewhat of a normative experience in adolescents and it can become problematic if they start to restrict or purge and, or over exercise even like exercise bingeing, that, I’m trying to think of other things.
[JOE]: Well, and what can a mom say or do if she notices those things happening in her daughter?
[NICOLE]: I usually give the advice to validate their emotion and to actually go against their, sometimes go against their instinct and not say, Oh, well, you look great because they don’t feel that way. They may, it may be obvious and they may be a normal weight. However, they’re feeling that way. And so getting the teaching, like validation skills and maybe talking with them about, talking to somebody else outside of the family, like a therapist.
[JOE]: All right. And then you said that there’s also some social things going on with teen girls. Tell me three things that moms maybe don’t know are happening with their teen girls.
[NICOLE]: I would say that well, social media, the impact of social media and this actually now I’m thinking about this ties into body image. What the teens are seeing on TikTok or Instagram or Snapchat is impacting their level of anxiety. It impacts their ability to kind of relate to peers while it is definitely a plus it’s there’s ways of like right now we can connect through social media and through technology. And at the same time, they fall into potentially a comparison trap. And then also read into maybe some of the posts and personalize what their friends are posting and start, especially if they’re dealing with anxiety or depression and start to withdraw from their peers.
[JOE]: And what can a mom do if she notices that happening with her daughter?
[NICOLE]: I would say very similarly, maybe reach out to a professional, ask their daughter if they want to talk to somebody. If they, or even just have a conversation about how they’re feeling about their relationships with their friends. Ask if they know one of the peers. Maybe say, “Oh, how is this person doing? How’s it going with them?” Just open a conversation with them.
[JOE]: You just wrote a blog post, a really big blog post. Okay, so let’s just break it down so you can do it without having to call me each time. So, we take one topic. We take one topic and just say, what are two or three things that moms need to know about this topic? And you rattled off body image and social media and friend groups. What are three things that a mom needs to know under that? And then what can she do about it if she notices those things? And so, yes, we want to inform, but also people want to take action. They don’t want to just read something and say, “Great, my daughter is suffering.” They want to know like, what’s the next step here as a parent and woven in there is therapy, but it’s just good content. And then each of those sections could be its own blog posts too.
So even when we started talking about social media and you’re like, wait, this connects with body image. So maybe something’s there for another blog post. And even just how TikTok can positively and negatively affect your teen girl. That just TikTok alone could be a blog post. And then just body image alone just over exercising alone. So you just came up with 12 different blog posts that all spin off of that one kind of mega blog post. So, then we have some kind of internal linking where after you write those other blog posts, you can co link them together based on keywords. And now you’re building out some robust SEO within your business and within your website. So let’s say you’ve got a bunch of content now that you can write up view it like we just did that. You’re just talking to these moms, you’re getting it out there every day, Nicole, that you don’t get a blog post out there is a day that a mom could have information and she doesn’t.
And so realize that your being paralyzed by perfection, it’s hurting other people. And so when you start to think that way, like, “Oh my gosh, like I got to get this information out to the world.” It’s like, if there’s a fire, you’re going to say, get out of the movie theater. Well, if we could go to movie theaters, but we can’t because of COVID you know what I mean? Like this is information the parents absolutely need now. And so when you start saying, my heart is big and it’s full of information and me being paralyzed by perfection is actually hurting people because they aren’t giving the information they need. So I’d start there. Then I would say that if you’re going to focus on moms, Instagram’s probably going to be the place. Do you like Instagram or do you, are you someone that doesn’t really like Instagram?
[NICOLE]: I’m becoming a little bit more familiar with it, and then I’m probably scrolling that actually more now than I am Facebook, but I’m still very new to it.
[JOE]: I mean, so I would continue to kind of learn that culture we have some different tools and kind of best practices within Instagram within Next Level Practice. But I would say, putting some of that in there, even just like having images with the titles of the blog posts. So eight things every mom of a teen girl needs to know. Link to blogs in my profile. And so you can only have one URL in your profile in Instagram. So you can use either a link tree to have multiple links, or I would just have it go to your blog posts for a while, and then promote the blog posts talk about the blog posts, talk about what you’ve talked about in the blog posts that, you’re recycling that content. So you write a blog post, and then you talk about that same thing on social media.
You do some Instagram stories around it. When you see it in the media, you talk about it. You don’t really have to go that broad. I mean, we’re looking at four people, we’re looking at just kind of talking to moms, they have teen daughters, and then just doing that over and over. And then lastly, I’d say it might be worth it once you get some content to boost some of those Instagram posts and focus specifically on your area. And so look for moms in the certain age demographic that would have 16 year old daughters. So women in their late thirties, upper forties, somewhere in there in your area. And then, I mean, that’s not going to be very expensive per click. It’s probably going to be $2 or $3. And if you get four moms for a hundred bucks, like that’s going to fill your practice for a hundred bucks.
[NICOLE]: Yes. Oh, that’s really helpful.
[JOE]: Pretty simple. We’re just saying, shoot some blog posts, promote them on Instagram and then maybe do some paid advertising and see how that goes. I think you’re going to be able to fill four people pretty darn quick. Oh, and the networking with male therapists.
[NICOLE]: Yes. Yeah. That’s a great idea. And I think I’m really, and I’ve been kind of have this mantra lately of do it scared and I need to do it scared. I need to, it’s not going to go away. I need to kind of just sit with it and work with it and think about, like you said, this is my heart. This is what I love doing. This is my passion and it needs to be out there.
[JOE]: Absolutely. Well, I’m excited to see what you come up with, brag about it in the Next Level Practice Facebook group, get lots of feedback from people. If you are listening to this and you’re like, Nicole, and you feel sometimes that you’re paralyzed by perfection or that maybe you got some imposter syndrome it’s normal, but we have a whole community of people that want to surround you. We have around 300 people in Next Level Practice that are practice owners that are growing, that are scaling that want to help guide you. You know, Nicole talked about the blogging course, we have over 30 e-courses inside of our teachable content that you get full access to. And one of them is a, I think 10- or 12-part blogging course that walks you through how to blog so that you rank high in Google but then you also connect with your ideal client.
If you want to have access to that, access to the community, head on over to We have some cohorts starting soon, and we would love to help you grow your practice and get it to the next level.
Nicole, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast. And thank you for letting us into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing, I said awesome and amazing together. Have an awesome day.
[NICOLE]: Thanks Joe. You too.
[JOE]: If you aren’t a hundred percent satisfied with your electronic health records, it’s time to explore Therapy Notes. Therapy Notes has a whole team of people that will help you transition out of whatever system you’re in now that you just don’t like. They have live support, they’ve trainings, and they’re just the best. So head on over to so that you can get three months totally free to check them out again. Again, that’s
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. It 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.