How can Instagram and social media content lead to a best-selling book? What are the two ingredients of being successful at posting content on social media? What lies beyond the horizon for a motivated therapist who wants to move their work beyond the therapy room?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with NYT best-selling author Nedra Glover Tawwab about growing a following and writing a book.
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Meet Nedra Glover Tawwab
Nedra Glover Tawwab is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Drama Free and Set Boundaries, Find Peace. A licensed therapist and sought-after relationship expert, she has practiced relationship therapy for over fifteen years. Tawwab has appeared as an expert on Red Table Talk, The Breakfast Club, Good Morning America, and CBS Morning Show to name a few. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Vice, and has appeared on numerous podcasts, including The School of Greatness, We Can Do Hard Things, and Ten Percent Happier. Tawwab runs a popular Instagram account where she shares practices, tools, and reflections for mental health and relationships.
In this Podcast
- Using social media as a successful tool
- The process of vetting content
- When the therapist moves beyond therapy
- Nedra’s advice to private practitioners
Using social media as a successful tool
Before moving into literature and her world beyond therapy, Nedra had her own private practice for 12 years and then her group practice for 10 years. In 2017, she started using social media as a tool to both expand her personal network as well as to build up her practice through their social media manager, but they didn’t have a set system or end goal.
In 2017 I looked at our social media and I was like, “This is not good … This is what we’ve been doing?!” So I took a shot at it … Maybe I’ll have some original thoughts that might resonate, and so I started posting under the name of my practice.” (Nedra Glover Tawwab)
Nedra posted under her private practice name for about a year before she created her own personal account, and she noticed that in 2018 when she was posting under her own name, the following and the success began to build. Through her authenticity and consistency, Nedra noticed a big difference in audience interaction and a boost happening under her and her practice’s names.
By 2019 I’d gotten to, from January, I probably had 2000 followers. By May I had 10,000 followers. By July, I had 100,000 followers, and that all happened in 2019. That was wild! (Nedra Glover Tawwab)
Nedra quietly made a promise to herself that if she hit 100,000 followers she would write a book, and by July that goal was hit, so she started to write.
The process of vetting content
Nedra has a lot of content that she will post if and when it feels right. She sometimes works ahead of time by brainstorming ideas and creating some basic edits before saving them to use in the future. Depending on the updates in social media platforms, she’ll also adjust her content, since the algorithm changes based on how it selects posts for people to view.
Sometimes Nedra feels that she herself has changed, so she may delete content that no longer resonates with her views or perspective, or she edits and updates it to suit a more modern approach to her work and community.
Sometimes it’s looking at old stuff and remixing it and saying, “Yeah, well, maybe this is how I would say this now,” so that’s very helpful to have sort of a foundation that I can build on even from the old stuff. (Nedra Glover Tawwab)
When the therapist moves beyond therapy
Nedra knew that she wanted to explore creating content outside of the therapy world when her book garnered a lot of attention because she recognized that she had a following and a community that would appreciate her work.
Therapists, in our training, we have been taught to be more reserved. We’ve been taught to retreat and to not speak up about stuff, and now I’m like, “You know what, I think we should talk about this stuff”, because people are continuing to need this level of support and everybody isn’t coming to therapy. (Nedra Glover Tawwab)
Because she knows that people all over the world need therapy of some kind, Nedra tries to write in a way that they can see themselves in her work, and so that they can utilize the knowledge that she gives them.
Nedra also knew that it doesn’t work for therapists to write like therapists, especially when they are working with and marketing to the local community of everyday people. She wanted her work to be understood even if someone hadn’t stepped into a therapy room. And, due to her content on Instagram and the engagement she had from her community, Nedra used her social media history to inform some of her book writing.
Instagram was certainly a wonderful starting place for even having the content to write a book, and I still very much feel that. So the book writing process for me, even still, is having this content I’ve already created sort of become the outline for the book. (Nedra Glover Tawwab)
Nedra’s advice to private practitioners
Sometimes when you do not have a blueprint or even know the next steps, it is still possible to achieve your goals, just by listening and watching from those around you to learn.
Mentorship from afar is still helpful and worth incorporating. So, get creative and go after your desires because it all helps to move the needle forward.
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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 who are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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