Are you clear on the message you want to deliver across your social media platforms? How can having an end goal in mind right from the very beginning help boost your social media success? What is the best use of your time when it comes to using social media for your practice?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok does a live consulting call with Tammy Roche about how a therapist should use social media.
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Meet Tammy Roche
Tammy is a Registered Social Worker through the BC College of Social Workers, she is also registered with the Australian Association of Social Workers.
She is a Holistic Social Worker currently based in Canada. Tammy focused on wellness, not just the presenting problem. She takes into consideration several areas such as social, physical, and spiritual wellbeing.
In This Podcast
- What is the end goal?
- What do you like?
What is the end goal?
Ask yourself what the purpose of your social media platform will be – is it to direct potential clients to your practice? Is it to increase your online exposure? Is it to drive people towards your website? Or is it simply to inspire people to take action in their lives?
Once you know what you would like the end goal of your social media presence to be, you can more clearly set up the online experience of your social media platform in the way that would best execute this end goal and connect with potential clients.
If we don’t know the outcome that we want to get from it then it’s really hard to know what the actions are that we need to take to get there. (Joe Sanok)
Having your end goal in mind not only helps you know where to begin, but it also helps you sort out a timeline and keep you on track by not letting you get sucked into the black hole of social media.
When you use social media with a purpose, you are less likely to get lost for hours on it or use it to stroke the ego.
If you’re going to do something, I’d say let’s figure out how we do it in a way that it helps you do it for the long-term, but it also helps those followers know that you’re going to be around for a really long time. (Joe Sanok)
What do you like?
You can experiment, be curious and play around with your social media too. Try out new things and publicly state that you are to your followers to include them on the journey that you are on.
You start with: “I think my why is this, it might shift over time. I’m just going to get started” and the getting started part and that journey part is probably going to be as big of an education or as big of a prep as sitting and journaling for a couple of days and figuring your KPI’s and your why and all that. (Joe Sanok)
Give yourself six months to try it out and if it is not for you then you can put it down and try something new, or keep going with it if you are enjoying yourself.
Imagine your ideal follower – what are some of the struggles they are going through that you can help them with? What do you have to offer that can help your followers more than other therapists?
Engage your audience and give them more of what they want. You can shift into different mindsets like this and imagine what your ideal client would like to see on social media. Having a specialty and curating your content to connect with the needs of your ideal client will help you stand out.
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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.
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This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session 536. Welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I am Joe Sanok your host and we have been doing a series where I’ve been doing live consulting with people that have all sorts of questions. I don’t know the questions ahead of time so I am hearing them for the first time, just like you are. And it has been a very fun series to do to just engage with people, hear where they’re at, help them get to that next level. It’s been really exciting. Today we have Tammy Roche and I’m so excited to have Tammy because she’s on the newer end of just getting her master’s degree. So Tammy, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[TAMMY ROCHE] : Thanks, Joe. Happy to be here.
[JOE]: Yeah. Well, tell us a little bit more about kind of where you’re at, you said you’re in Canada, you told me that, but tell us a little bit about, just in a few sentences kind of your career and what you’re up to.
[TAMMY]: Okay. Well, I started my private practice and teaching and facilitating, I did that for 10 years in Australia, but then during the well, a year before the pandemic, we decided to move to Canada and we had sold all our stuff and moved over. So, we had come to Canada and that’s where we are now. I just finished my master’s in September and I got a brick and mortar commercial space and decided to set up my counseling practice. Boom.
[JOE]: Wow. That is a busy period of time. And then little did you know, it was kind of ahead of you.
[TAMMY]: I know, right. One of my specialty areas is building resilience. I am practicing that quite well.
[JOE]: Wow. Well what a year or period of time to open a business and to do all that? So, what’s your question in regards to kind of where you’re at? How can I best help today?
[TAMMY]: Okay, excellent. So just a little bit of context, for 10 years I had, I taught, I facilitated. I’m not a shy sort of person when it comes to sharing myself, however, moving over here now I’m in a small, beautiful town that we’ve chosen, and my question is how to use my voice as a therapist on social media.
[JOE]: Well, and tell me a little bit more about that. Are you hoping to have that fuel kind of into your practice, or are you hoping to just use it as kind of social advocacy or like what’s the main purpose for you of using your voice on social media?
[TAMMY]: So what I want to do is I want to normalize mental health and I used to have a YouTube channel. I’ve got a podcast, I love sharing my voice and I love sharing stories. However, coming over to Canada is quite a different space and then receiving my masters. It’s almost as if that’s occupying that social media aspect of it. I feel as if it’s almost like there, it’s a very, very hard one for me to kind of articulate, and this is probably the third time I’ve asked this question. It’s hard for me to take away that past post-grad experience of you’re a therapist, just post quotes, nobody wants to hear anything else. And that’s not where I want to sit. I want to talk about mental health and normalize therapy and asking for help. My area’s helpers. So, people that are helping people, there’s a lot of people that are helpers, but yet tend to put themselves last. And I watched burnout what’s self-care. What’s that in the field was so different than what I was experiencing in the university setting?
[JOE]: And why is that important to you to challenge some of those stigmas around mental health?
[TAMMY]: Well, I believe that with what’s happened with COVID particularly is we’ve got, I put up my, I basically decided to delve into my masters. I had already started and I was like, “Well, hang on a second here.” I could continue and push my podcast and sharing and helping people and being able to remind them that they’re the wisest person they know, but I decided to kind of step back. And from that, I gained so much energy from just focusing on where I was at. So to get back to your question, I think it’s just the more voices that are out there that normalize mental health and that seeking help, even though you’re a therapist, even though everybody has issues, everybody has things going on. And let’s talk about how that sort of happens and what we can do about it.
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[JOE]: So, I would say I would start with like, what’s the end goal. So is it to use social media to then drive people to make different decisions in life? Is it to drive them to your practice? Is it to drive them to a website? Is that the goal or is it that social media kind of in and of itself that that’s just the goal, that I hope people feel inspired by what they read and then it ends there? Do you have a sense of, if it’s more kind of sending someone somewhere to take further action, or if it’s more that the social media engagement of the content is the action.
[TAMMY]: I guess it’s probably, I would say more of the social media is the engagement, like, as in they sort of maybe shift perspective. So, I have like a website and I have things like that and I have my therapy practice, but now I’m in a small town, right? So it’s like that, “Oh, should I be talking about mental health in that way and then showing up as someone that’s sharing not too much content, but sharing little tips? Does that answer your question, Joe?
[JOE]: Sort of. I mean, I think that because I like to categorize things into, is this more of a business venture? Is it more of a venture that is doing some social good? Is it more of a hobby? Because if we don’t know the outcomes that we want to get from it, then it’s really hard to know, like, what are the actions we need to take to get there? So for example, if you wanted to be nationally known in Canada as a mental health speaker, writer, influencer, that’s kind of a different approach than if it’s, I want to fill up my practice or I just want society to know that they matter and that they can make different decisions. They don’t have to beat themselves up over mental health issues. So each of those things. And there’s lots of different directions that we could go in, but if we don’t in our own minds, say, “Here’s why I’m on social media.”
And so, for example, for me, I’m on Facebook, I’m on Instagram, I’m on different platforms because I want to help private practitioners to grow their practices. And so, I don’t really go on Facebook for fun. I go on there with a very particular mission and that’s to inspire people, to connect with people, to keep our groups going and at the end of the day, I don’t really want to be on social media because I’ve been doing tech work all day long. And so that allows me to then know the boundaries on my time and energy to very clearly know what’s the purpose that my social media is serving me because it can become such a black hole that just sucks you in. And if it’s a hobby that you just want people to know, “Hey you’re not alone in the world.” Like that’s one thing, but if it’s going to serve a business purpose or an influence purpose or a book or writing or any of that, we kind of want to figure that out, at least the general direction before we dive too far into kind of the strategy side of it. Does that make sense?
[TAMMY]: Yeah, now that makes absolute sense. And I think you’re so right about that because I think what that’s about is sort of not sort of giving myself permission to be seen and not. And I really think what you’re talking about because it isn’t about filling up my practice. I know that will come. I’m doing the work for that. It’s more about getting out that message and being that person that when they see like for instance that the general public, as a general rule, a lot of the times they don’t even know what a social worker does. And that amazed me. I was like, “Really, oh, I had no idea or a therapist.” Like they just assumed you were a mental health expert, but they didn’t know. So I want to think, it’s really clear that I need to get more clear on my outcome for what I’m hoping to achieve with that. And if it’s wider, than maybe pulling it back, that’s going to be relevant to my business goals as well. So that’s what I’m thinking.
[JOE]: The reason that I really pushed that is because I’ve seen people with a big heart do this before, and then they just burn out because, so you go into it, for example, you’re saying, “I really care about this topic.” And so you’re not monetizing it. And you’re saying, “I just want people to hear this. I want them to know this about themselves.” And so what happens when people aren’t engaging, what happens when people aren’t liking or hurting and you have 200 followers and you expect to have 2000 followers or 200,000 and you have 200 people that are following you. And you’re just putting all this time into something you care so much about and really the only kind of currency you’re getting back is people’s affirmation of saying, “Thank you so much. That was so helpful.”
If we base our time on other people’s affirmation, that’s more of ego strokes. And we don’t, I’m not interested in that as much as how are we really going to help the world and how do we define what that looks like? Because if it’s purely based on likes or follows or people giving affirmation to you, like that only goes so far.
[TAMMY]: I know.
[JOE]: And so that’s where I don’t want you to get in that trap from the beginning, because when you’re excited right now and you have all this, you don’t want to be six months, 12 months, 24 months into this. And it’s like, is this worth my time? Because that then for followers that then is let down to them. And of course everyone has the right to leave and come into social media how they want to, but, if you’re going to do something, I’d say let’s figure out how we do it in a way that it helps you do it for the long-term. But it also helps those followers know that you’re going to be around for a really long time.
[TAMMY]: So like a secure start because I’ve had that before and I don’t really care. Everybody assumes that I want like the likes and all that. I’ve done that when I traveled around Australia in a caravan and I had a YouTube channel and that sort of stuff. It was never about that for me, ever. It isn’t even now. It’s more about, okay, how can I be consistent in my approach? And how can I have something that’s a little bit bigger? You know that why am I doing this? Because essentially in about a year’s time, I mean, my practice is already have full and I’ve been open for about five weeks. And I look at it and I’m like, “Okay, end game group practice, right? That’s where I’d like to be at.”
But my group practice isn’t to fill it with people so I can go, “Oh, I can sit back on a laptop somewhere and sit on the beach.” It’s so I can share my leadership skills and have some really good practices out there, because you know, some group practices that actually fulfill the people that are working underneath me. And so it’s like this bigger sort of picture and I’m finding it really hard to reign it in, to actually go, “Okay, this is why I’m showing up. I wish that I actually had a bit of drive of, oh, I can get this many followers or whatever, likes, whatever subscribers.” I don’t really care about that. And that’s, I think half my problem. I wish that I had a bit of that in me, but I just, yeah, I don’t. And maybe that’s because I need a bigger why towards why I’m doing it so I can actually show up and let this be sustained.
[JOE]: Well, and I think that’s great that that’s not the fuel. I think that’s a good thing. One of the things early in kind of a social media career, or even an actual career, that’s good is to be able to see what you like. And so you’re in a perfect position to just get started with things and to just be able to say, “I’m going to try a few things, I’m going to experiment. I’m going to see what people resonate with. I’m going to publicly say, I’m not sure what I’m doing, and I’m going to try to explore different topics and then when I land on one, I’m going to stick there.” There’s nothing about what you’re saying that couldn’t be done publicly, where you start with, “I think my worry why is this. It might shift over time. I’m going to just get started.” And the getting started part in that journey part is probably going to be as big of an education or as big of a prep as sitting in journaling for a couple of days and figuring out your KPIs and your why and all that.
I’d say, just get started with it. Make sure, obviously, you look at all of the licensure rules and every state and province has kind of different ways they approach it, and in regards to professionals on social media. So you want to make sure that you understand that. You want to make sure that kind of the basics of making sure that you’re saying this is not professional advice. This is not a replacement for therapy. You want to do all your due diligence, but then you need to do that. I mean, I would say get started and then see what resonates with you as just a big experiment. And don’t set a time that you have to keep doing it. If you don’t like it after six months, don’t keep doing it. There’s plenty of times that you say, “I’m shutting this down. It’s not for me anymore.”
[TAMMY]: Yeah, I got that because there is a lot of therapists that don’t engage in that social media that I’ve met. They’re like, “Nope, not at all.” And I’m like, “Well, why do I feel this push towards that?” And I think, well, maybe that’s because I don’t want to be seen as a therapist. Like, is it because there’s that conflicting? Because over here in Canada, compared to Australia, it’s quite different for me. It’s almost like a different hierarchy over here as opposed to what I experienced in Australia. It was more, I don’t know, easygoing. Here, It seems like there’s a very big professional, which I agree with. I a hundred percent agree with the professional side of it. But, yeah, for me, I think it’s just kind of made me a bit frozen in my approach because I’m like, I don’t want to come out as not professional, but yet I really value my worth. I know I’m really damn good at what I do. So that’s, yeah.
[JOE]: I mean, I think that, there’s nothing wrong with being a disruptor, especially if the culture hasn’t had people that were doing that. And so, to just realize that it’s going to be different within kind of the Canadian culture, but so what, like, as long as you’re following the laws, you have to follow in the ethics you have to follow and you know, all of your liability, to really try some new things. I think some mindsets as you go into it, it’s you really think my ideal kind of follower, like what are the pains they’re dealing with and why would they follow me over the thousands of other people that they could follow? And that can be very disheartening at first. I’d be like, “Oh man, I’m competing with all these people.” But I don’t think you’re competing with anyone but yourself, but the idea of why do people care about this and really getting in the eyes or the ears of the people that are, watching or following. And to make sure that you’re engaging with them to figure out what are topics that they want, you have some good content planned out, try some different things, see what gets the most response and then re-engage your audience, as to what they want more of.
[TAMMY]: Yeah, got you. So you said the word disruptor, Joe. So with that, is that like the norm is you don’t, is there, because I had asked a question about like, is there any other therapists or social workers or anyone that’s like nailing it on social media, not talking about business concepts to other practitioners, but more so like as a social worker? Is that something that you see in the industry is just like, as people that want to actually be seen as opposed to just see clients, do you see that as like a disruption?
[JOE]: Yeah, absolutely. I think they’re two different things. I think disruptors are people that are going to follow their own path, bringing their own uniqueness and not conform for the sake of conforming. And that can be podcasts that can be social media. That can just be how you run your practice locally. So I think that’s an important thing to think of how do I stand out in a way that’s authentic to me? And that you’re not just, for example, when I was in Traverse City, everyone took insurance. I chose not to. And I was told over and over you’re not going to be able to make it. I didn’t realize at that time that there was a whole kind of private pay movement that was out there. It just was, I didn’t want to deal with insurance. And so that can be disruptive, to say, “I don’t want to put my little bit of time that I have for this practice into billing insurance. I want to see clients.”
So I would say that’s the disruptor side. The question of who’s successful on social media beyond just helping practices grow, I think about like the peaceful sleeper. That’s a therapist that she’s out of Las Vegas, Chrissy, and she came to Slow Down School, she was in a mastermind group, and so she’s continued to grow her social media, where she helps parents that have young children to have their kids sleep better using psychological principles, but also she’s a mom of kids and she has lots of kids and has gone through all of that. Oh, there’s other accounts that are talking about kind of money mindset, but from a psychological standpoint, there’s other ones that are more over, kind of overcoming your childhood trauma.
[JOE]: And so I think having a specialty really helps you stand out. The ones that I see that kind of limp along are the general mental health ones because they’re so broad that they don’t speak to anybody. And so, not that you’re not going to be successful with it, but I do think that it’s very helpful to say what are a couple areas that I really want to dig into the, I care about, that I can say these are the things that I’m so passionate about. It doesn’t matter if I have a hundred or a thousand followers. I would really kind of figure out that, and then see what other people are doing in that space just to have an idea of kind of who you’d want to spotlight or partner with if people don’t want to partner with you or don’t want to help connect with you there’s so many people that do and so just move on and find other people that you can create a mini community around that topic.
[TAMMY]: Yeah, got it. So maybe what I’m hearing from, because like what I’m hearing is maybe I’ll just go back to where I am right now, instead of going to the bigger grander vision, kick back a bit because my areas like resiliency and mindset and self-compassion and all that sort of stuff. So maybe just focus, just like I see it here with my clients here. I only really see local people. That’s really why I chose this community and I’m private pay. I don’t do any at anything else. So maybe just kind of step back a little bit is what I’m hearing and yeah, play with it. Be a bit more curious.
[JOE]: And I would take those words, like resiliency? Like what does that look like to a parent dealing with kids at home that are doing online school in the middle of a pandemic? What does resiliency mean for a couple that are both working from home right now there’s so many. The application of resiliency or of the thing is that’s what people want. And that’s what people follow. I think we use these words as clinicians and then it’s like, well, what should the average person, they hear resiliency and they’re like, “Okay, I don’t really know what that means.” So taking words like resiliency, really breaking it down and saying, “This is what resiliency looks like. Here’s an example of it, or let me give you some tips around it.” And of course within the demographic you want to work with. But I think that application of these words is so important. So I would focus in those areas, and yeah, I mean it’s needed in the world right now.
[TAMMY]: Yeah, now, that’s brilliant. Thanks Joe. I think it’s, I had to ask this question three bloody times to get it out, but you know what, like the more you chip away at the same question, eventually you get closer to the real answer. So thank you for your time.
[JOE]: Well, if you’re listening to this and you’re like Tammy, and you’re just getting started and you want to grow private practice, you want to get to that next level, you want to have some influence, some income, some impact, some innovation in your community. Next Level Practice is probably the next step for you. If you aren’t making a hundred thousand dollars right now in your private practice, we have e-courses, we have experts. We just confirmed we’re bringing in Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman as one of our experts to do an hour Q&A with our members.
And so if you aren’t a part of Next Level Practice, I want to encourage you to go read about it and you can make your own decision. Over at practiceofthepractice.com/invite, you’ll be able to read all about Next Level Practice. If you ever have a question in the bottom right on our Practice of the Practice website, you’ll see a Chat With Us. And Jess is hanging out there answering questions all week long if you’re stuck in your practice, or you’re not sure what to do. Thank you so much, Tammy, for being on this show today. And thank you all of you for letting us into your ears and into your brain.
[TAMMY]: Thanks so much, Joe.
[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 have trainings, they’re just the best. So, head on over to therapynotes.com/Joe, so that you can get three months totally free to check them out. Again, that’s therapynotes.com/Joe.
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.