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Why does your branding need to be strategic before it is tactile? What makes the difference in marketing? How does creating a genuine brand strategy skyrocket the success of your branding efforts?
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks about how to focus on strategic versus tactical marketing with Orsolya Herbein.
Podcast Sponsor: Heard
As a therapist, the last thing you probably want to think about is doing your own bookkeeping and taxes. Heard is here to help with that. Heard is the financial back-office built specifically for therapists in private practice. They combine smart software with real humans to handle bookkeeping, taxes, and payroll.
Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned clinician or are in the first year of your practice, Heard will identify areas for growth and streamline best financial practices for your business. When you sign up with Heard, you’ll be matched with an accountant who will help you track your income and expenses, file taxes online, and maximize tax savings.
You’ll also receive financial insights such as profit and loss statements and personalized monthly reports. You can say goodbye to poring over spreadsheets and guessing your tax deductions or quarterly payments. Focus on your clients, and Heard will take care of the rest.
Pricing begins at $149 per month for solo practices and can easily be tailored to fit your business’ financial needs. Sign up for a free, 15-min consult call today at www.joinheard.com.
Meet Orsolya Herbein
Orsolya (short Orsi, but pronounced Orshie) didn’t wait long before revealing her passion for art and creativity: at the tender age of three, she won an International Drawing Competition in Eastern Europe. Once the time came for Orsolya to pick a career path, graphic design seemed a natural fit. Orsolya has a B.A. in Graphic Design from the New England School of Art and Design in Boston.
After graduating, Orsolya began her professional design career while continuing to serve various clients as a freelance designer. In 2016, Orsolya partnered with Matt Christ to run and grow a virtual branding and marketing agency called Brand3, Inc. Together they have mobilized effective brands for a diverse range of privately held businesses and organizations.
Visit Brand3 and connect with Orsolya on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
In This Podcast
- The secret to making marketing work
- The power of a great identity
- 3 brand essentials for market retention
- Personal brand versus a business brand
- Orsolya’s advice to private practitioners
The secret to making marketing work
To the average business owner, marketing is tactical … but the secret to making marketing work [is to be] very strategic. You have to have a plan and a strategy behind the brand that you push out with these tactics. (Orsolya Herbein)
SEO, social media postings, blogs, and email courses are all great marketing tools, but they are the front end of marketing.
They are not effective if you do not have a clear “why” behind why you are using them.
Your branding needs to be strategic before it can be tactile.
How do we become relevant to an audience before we go and market? (Orsolya Herbein)
The power of a great identity
As a small business, avoid spending loads of money and time to explain an idea.
Being a little bit literal is … essential, especially if your product is a little bit more complicated because the audience does not have the time, or will not give you the time [if you are new] to figure it out. (Orsolya Herbein)
For a great business identity to grow in a new, small business, go for something more literal to connect with the audience. You can explore creativity once you have an audience who is listening.
What can a customer immediately understand about you and your business as soon as they walk in your door or land on your website?
3 brand essentials for marketing retention
1 – Quality
2 – Consistency
3 – Clarity
Remember that branding is so much more than your logo because it represents your business identity. Branding is something that represents you in the audience’s mind.
If you learn this one thing, that branding is a perception, then you will start understanding why it is so essential for marketing. (Orsolya Herbein)
When you put marketing material in front of someone you are asking them to interact with your brand, and then they formulate thoughts and feelings about what they see.
So, build your brand for the audience that you would want to engage.
Personal brand versus a business brand
If you want to build a group practice now that you will eventually exit, you want to build a business brand.
It’s very important to build a brand that takes [your] values [that are] built into the brand … and [that] it invites in a team that can deliver [on those values] for you. (Orsolya Herbein)
Create a system around your values and then hire a team that can execute those values on your behalf of the group practice’s clients.
Orsolya’s advice to private practitioners
Consider where you are going, because successful brand building is about blending the appearance and approach to the clients of your business with your desires and goals.
How can you blend where you want to go and who you want to serve in a strategic plan?
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
Check out these additional resources:
Meet Sam Carvalho
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 www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding.
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!
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 www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design.
Orsolya Herbein, a partner at Brand Street knows if you don’t have a clear message and image, you could be wasting as much as 80% of your marketing budget. She’s here with some actionable ways to help business owners rethink marketing and to stop wasting time and money and accelerate business growth. With her unique perspective as a visual problem solver, Orsolya is a great asset to have with us. Hi, Orsolya. Thanks so much for joining us today.
Thank you for having me.
So can you share with us a bit about your story and how you got to where you are now?
Sure. I started out as a little girl who loves art, and I always wanted to draw, but I knew from the very beginning that I’m not a Picasso who can make it and really make a living of just messing around and having fun with art. However, I was always creative and when it was time for me to choose a career, I was thinking about creative careers such as architecture and interior design and things like that. I actually started out with exploring some courses in architecture, but I realized that, I felt too bound by the ruler. I felt too free in fine art, like too much opportunities, like things would never get finished because there’s no boundary except for what I think I like.
So there came graphic design for me. What I love about graphic design is that I get to serve clients and it doesn’t have to be boring, there’s different clients all the time. It is truly visual problem solving. I enjoy the boundaries that graphic design gives me, because it’s forcing me to be creative within walls, like what I do still has to communicate something. It still has to be beautiful. It still has to be functional whether it’s a direct mail piece or an identity. there’s a purpose behind every line, every choice of color, the type of typography, the words that come along with it. So there’s plenty of room to be creative, but there’s also boundaries that allow me to say, yes, this works. It is finished. Let’s move on to the next. So it’s to a point now that I’m almost unable to do just art. I actually joined like an artist group in in the area and we go over there and it’s a bunch of ladies and we’re like, let’s mess around with ink. I’m like, I can’t do it. I constantly comfort myself thinking could this be a Mother’s Day gift or something like, every piece like, because I feel like time is money and time has value and me sitting here, I can’t just mess around with ink.
Have to have a purpose.
I need to put boxes around everything that I do. So it’s very funny. My creative friends laugh about that all the time, like, you’re such a designer and I’m like, yep, true. But anyways, it’s really where visual problem solving came to life for me, because when you build a brand or build an identity or create something it has a purpose. Then how do I translate big ideas? It’s almost like a minimalistic game. Like, what can I take away and take away and take away? Because I know the market will not retain a lot of information, so how little I can use to say how much? So that’s really the challenge most of the time. That’s the story here.
Awesome. That’s always such a good design principle to keep in mind. I think somebody said it at some stage that you know you have a good design when you can’t take anything away from it, exactly like you said now. It’s something I always keep in mind as well, but it can be challenging, even though I love minimalistic design, but yes, definitely can be challenging. Orsolya, can you share with us a bit about how the audience can rethink marketing and what the secret is to making marketing work?
Okay, sure. A lot of times when businesses think about marketing, they think about things like website, direct mail, SEO, social media, Google. These are the things that they are thinking about, and these are marketing tactics, correct? But they’re not thinking about positioning, a brand promise, their ideal customer, their messaging, their image, the values that they deliver to a certain audience. Also customer experience is a huge part of it. Marketing in my view, so almost like, to the average business owner, marketing is very tactical in their minds, but the secret to make marketing work is really very strategic. You have to have a plan, you have to have a strategy behind essentially a brand that you push out with these tactics.
So a lot of times businesses would come to Brand3 and they’re all doing the right thing. They are doing these tactics that they should be doing. What they completely skipped over is their messaging and image that connects with an audience, like designing purposely a brand that will engage an audience. Because when you go to market, you’re essentially pushing your brand in front of people. If it doesn’t engage, then you’re wasting all those marketing dollars on tactics that you should be doing, but with the right message and image. So essentially the secret that makes marketing work is really an engaging brand that is positioned in a way that a hero can walk in and feel like they’re going to be able to get to somewhere they want to go, like a goal. They want to reach a goal or they want to become part of something, or whatever is their purpose in order to engage with you is clarified very high level and that value is evident. Then I can walk in, or then I can engage with that brand because it’s like, whoa, yes, that’s exactly what I’m looking for, versus stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff. Our brain is blocking all those things that isn’t important. So how do we become relevant to an audience before we go to market?
Absolutely. Something that I know I repeat often on my podcast as well is, many people think that branding is just about the visual side of things and your logo and your design style and things like that. But I always go back to that, it starts with the theory side of it actually. When you’re developing your brand style guide, you first starting out with your mission and your vision and your values, and like you say, your ideal clients and mapping all of that out and then developing a brand from that. So yes, that’s definitely, I love that you’ve phrased that as the secret to making marketing work is your strategy over just making use of the tactics. So can you speak as well into what the power of a great identity is?
There are some great national brands out there with lots and lots of money to throw at marketing that have almost a luxury to being a little bit cooler or more creative. And I feel like, as a designer myself, I got to watch myself not to become too creative sometimes, especially for small business who cannot spend tons and tons and tons of money to explain an idea. Even if it’s a great idea and it will eventually click and connect what audience doesn’t give your audience doesn’t give you right now is time. They’re not going to sit there and try to figure it out. So I feel like for a great identity to work, especially on a small business level, you almost have to be a little bit more literal.
I’m just saying, if your business name is potatoes, just a stupid example and you are actually doing medical practice, there’s a disconnect there. Even if your business name has to be potatoes or maybe your last name or something like that, it’s very good to have a descriptor under your logo. That’s not a tagline to descriptor, but for example, it says potatoes medical practice. Right away I can connect that this is a medical practice and isn’t a food chain or a restaurant or whatever potatoes would mean to me in other ways. For example, Nike, “Just Do It,” Nike has the luxury of being recognized by 70-year-olds, because of how much they spend on advertising.
If your small business is called Nike and “Just Do It,” I still don’t know that you’re selling sports goods. You could be whatever, like some sort of a motivational speaking coach or whatever. I mean, you could be a million things under the sun. So being a little bit literal is, I think essential, especially if your product is a little bit more complicated because the audience doesn’t have time or will not give you the time to figure it out. So a good short name that’s retainable descriptor, unless the name is already fairly, you can figure out what it is just from the name and then maybe a good tagline that hints to the values and outcomes or what a customer can expect as they walk in your door.
Very, very good. What would you say are the brand essentials that you need in order to ensure market retention?
Three for sure. That’s, well, actually three are quality, consistency and clarity. Well, quality, clarity and consistency basically. What I mean by that is, like you said, a lot of people have a misconception that branding is their logo or their identity, or it’s their website or they don’t need a brand because that’s big guys. There’s all kinds of misconception about branding, but branding is something that they have, whether they thought about it, design it, or they did not, because brand happens in the mind of an audience. So if you learn this one thing, that brand is a perception then you will already start understanding why it’s so essential for marketing. Because when you push your marketing material in front of someone, you’re essentially asking them to interact with your brand they look at something and they’re formulating thoughts and feelings about what they see whether it’s beautiful, warm and fuzzy, looks professional, looks like a mess. I don’t know what it’s saying. It’s confusing.
Whatever it is, that’s your brand. It happens in the mind of your audience and it’s a very expensive real estate to own, somebody’s peace of mind so then they’re able to retain you. That’s why simplicity matters. So there’s a quality to brand that I feel like we learn from national brands that allows us to trust a brand, so if you don’t look like a Mom-and-Pop shop or it’s messy to whimsical or whatever, especially for a medical practice, you probably want to look professional, clean, easy to understand, certain colors would resonate better. If you’re using primarily pinks and purples I might perceive you as somebody whose ideal customer is, maybe a female audience, et cetera.
There’s a lot of things that you can say with colors and how you build your brand and because brand is a perception, I want you to build it for that ideal audience. Build the brand so it invites them to engage. That’s the quality part. Clarity is also how much we can elevate and how simply we can say the value that they can expect as they walk in. It’s essentially your brand promise and has to be very visible. You can even build it into the identity with a tagline. I’m just making stuff up, for example potatoes medical practice and it says underneath conscious health. So now you are like, you’re taking me somewhere where I never would’ve thought.
Or maybe it’s like family first. So now I’m a family, I’m putting my mindset into, you can literally guide on how I’m going to categorize you in my brain so if I don’t have a family or children or whatever, and you have family practice or something about family in your identity, I’m probably not your ideal audience. So we can literally guide how we’ll be categorized. By consistency, I mean is that the website looks like the direct mail, looks like the social media, is the consistent use of brand, because what small business doesn’t have is tons and tons of money like Nike so you can literally come out of the tap and everywhere I look, I bump into your ads. But if you have a powerful brand that has a great quality, it piqued my interest because it’s clearly speaking to me and now I check you out on social media, I check you out on your website and I’m bumping into the same message and image that’s on your materials.
I’m already retaining it because I’ve seen it once and twice and three times and four times. Then I look at it again the next day and now I’m developing a trust because of that consistency use and I’m perceiving you as a professional organization because I’m learning from national brands that impeccable consistency of message and image everywhere I go; Coca-Cola will always be red, they’re not going to be green or whatever. They could afford to because they could teach you that this is the St. Patty’s version of whatever. But, as well, businesses, we don’t have that luxury of not being consistent.
So making sure that your logo shows up the same way, your main message shows up the same way, that the type of imagery you’re using is very consistent, because then I start bumping into your advertising that you can afford not like all the time once a month or whatever. I’m starting to say, “Oh yes, that’s potatoes medical practice. I know those guys because they always look the same.” So I’m building that familiarity and essentially that’s helping you build trust. Trust is a number one driver to engage. So you throwing out there a whole bunch of inconsistent messaging is actually hurting you versus sitting there and thinking about who am I as a practice, who’s my ideal audience, building a brand and then consistency, presenting it across the board is the way to making sure that you can create traction on marketing.
That’s very good. It’s so important.
As a therapist, the last thing you probably want to think about is doing your own bookkeeping and taxes. Heard is here to help with that. Heard is the financial back office built specifically for therapists in private practice. They combine smart software with real humans to handle bookkeeping, taxes and payroll. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned clinician or in the first year of your practice, Heard will identify areas for growth and streamlining based financial practices for your business. When you sign up with Heard, you’ll be matched with an accountant who will help you track your income and expenses, file taxes online and maximize tax savings. You’ll also receive financial insights such as profit and loss statements and personalized math reports. You can say goodbye to pouring over spreadsheets and guessing your tax deductions or quarterly payments. Focus on your clients and Heard will take care of the rest. Pricing begins at $149 per month for sole practices and can easily be tailored to fit your business’ financial needs. Sign up for a free 15-minute consult call today at www.joinhood.com.
Orsolya, what would you say, what’s your brand worth?
I really wish that there was a line item on the profit and loss report, when you’re looking at your business, whole brand equity, and then you could actually see a number but you can’t. And I think the only way for small business to really measure the value of their brand is buy those five-star reviews. Today’s consumer is educated. If you have, maybe you think you have a great brand, but you’re not getting those five-star reviews or you’re not getting reviews, or maybe you do have a great client base, but you’re not tapping into the voice of that customer, I highly recommend that you start asking for reviews. When a prospect shows up and sees your marketing materials and you pique their interest that they can validate what they’re seeing by testimonials.
Because I could sit here and tell you how great Orsolya Herbein is all day, and you’re going to be like, yes, okay. But if your best friend tells you how great Orsolya Herbein is, then you’re going to probably call me. So I know that testimonials aren’t best friends, but I’m much more likely to engage a business that has a lot of five-star reviews and I put them in a certain category of my brain. I think they would deliver value for me. I look it up and those testimonials and feedback is actually underlining that, yes, the experience I’m looking for as a prospect has been delivered 45 times because they have 45, 5-star reviews.
I always look at the one-stars as well, and those are very detrimental when people start leaving you bad reviews. That’s why the real secret to marketing and the strategic plan that you need to build into your brand is like a three-legged tool, brand, marketing and experience. Because you can have the greatest brand, but if you deliver a crappy experience you are just going to get a whole bunch of quick influx of people and then your business will not survive. So it has to be, your plan has to be considering all those in a holistic view and not in silos, can’t just say, let’s talk about experience alone and not consider brand and marketing. Because essentially your brand is built to engage an audience. Your marketing promises something. You’re using marketing on various avenues and channels to make that promise available to prospects.
They walk in your door and the experience is how you actually deliver that promise. That’s where you always want to meet but more likely you want to exceed expectations. So I’m always encouraging my clients make a promise that’s very doable and it’s still engaging but then add to it. When I say in Brand3, our promise to customers is that I’m going to teach you the right way to market. So when you walk through our process, you build a brand through us, and then we are, our process is very educational. So if you walk away from me and say, I still don’t know how to market the right way, then I failed you. But usually we meet that expectations when on top of it we do exceptional creative, our customers are wowed by the transformation that happens to their before and after brand look and feel and perception and the clarity of message. Then we teach them how consistency presents that.
So you want to try to exceed. And if I start with that promise and it’s harder and harder for me and my team to make that happen, but the right way to market, I know I can do, I know I can teach you that. I know I can pass that on to you. Then I think we’re exceeding that promise by just doing exceptionally beautiful and creative work within the boundaries of whatever that brand needs, that audience, the budget of the client. I mean, there’s a whole bunch of boundaries when it comes to building a brand.
Awesome. So obviously a lot of the people in the audience are solopreneuers or they run a solo private practice and it’s just them as the counselor. Some of them have group practices, some of them are looking to expand into a group practice. Can you speak a bit into what is entailed with regards to a personal brand versus a business brand?
Absolutely. So if you have the desire to build a practice that you could eventually exit because it doesn’t rely on your personal expertise in the future, okay, it’s very important to build a brand that takes the values of you and it’s built into the brand and you are inviting in a team that can deliver that for you. So you’re going to invite practitioners who do it like you, or there’s a process that you built that at potatoes medical practice, here is how we do it. There’s a whole internal side of the brand that allows you to recruit a team to deliver that experience for you. If you don’t, because there’s many ways of being successful and one is to be a successful solopreneuer, then you have more of a leeway of building your brand around your personality, your person, your last name, your expertise and there’s pictures of you and there’s interactions with you, et cetera.
Versus if you have a desire to be a larger business that can survive without you and not be owner dependent, that’s what we call it, you’re going to be using imagery with the team or maybe more of a stock imagery. Maybe you’re going to be using imagery that shows more of an outcome of happy couples. Maybe your target audience is elderly couples on there biking or whatever. I don’t know, like long lasting marriage, I’m just saying. There is a different approach if you want to be a personal brand versus a business brand that will allow you to eventually exit and or sell. It’s almost impossible to sell a personal brand. Has it been done that a personal brand grows into an enterprise? Of course. Oprah, for example, I mean, there’s a million of them that have successfully done that.
But I think that’s, it’s the exception and not the rule. I think it’s much harder to, and you know, probably if you right now have a business that’s depending on you, when you are sick, nobody’s working. That’s when nothing’s happening. And that’s perfectly okay if that’s the goal, that eventually when your business will end is when you stop working and then that’s the goal. That could be a goal, and that’s perfectly fine. But if you want to grow a business that can eventually be sold or exited or be bigger than yourself, it’s just very important to translate your own values into the brand and really think how brand affects your team building, culture building side of the business as well where you’re inviting other practitioners or other team members to deliver an experience that you would want to deliver to those future prospects and clients.
That’s great advice. So, Orsolya, if people wanted to get in touch with you, what is the best way for them to do that?
If you go to brand3.net, which is our website, there’s a “schedule a call” button that directly goes to my calendar, so people can book a call with me there if they want to. Then I’m also on LinkedIn, so you can find me on LinkedIn as well.
Awesome. We’ll have all of those available in the show notes. If every private practice owner in the world were listing right now, what would you want them to know?
Well, I would say consider where are you going. Brand building isn’t just about the ideal audience. It’s really about blending the outside perspective of your business with your desires and goals. Just think about how you can blend where you want to go and who you serve into a strategic plan. Also, one thing I always tell people that I think helps me as a branding person, but it also helps me as a business owner and my desire personally is to build a larger business and have employees and teach them how to deliver the experience I want to deliver; whether you are considering how to serve your clients or how to build a team that serves clients that are dedicated and loyal and enjoy coming in, I found that the number one skill that actually you can have and practice, I know that some of us are born with it better than others, is empathy.
if you have the power to step into the shoes of a prospect or shoes of an employee and see from their perspective on how they view the culture that you’re building or how they view the business that you build, really having empathy is what allows me to have the vision from others’ perspective. I think that’s something that, whether you’re good at it or not, you can practice, just knocking down the boundaries of what you think and really step into shoes of somebody who’s viewing and having that outside perspective, asking really good questions will help you be more empathetic; just being curious about how you are perceived, whether from the inside, from employees perspective, as a leader or whether from the outside as a customer or client perspective, what do they see when they look at your business? What do they see when they work for you? How does that experience feels to them? Investigate that and that’s how you, I think you can become a better leader, better business owner, and just be in general more in line of the expectations that the people that interact with you would have from you.
So good. Sure, you’ve provided so much great, so many great tips and advice today. Thank you so much for being on the Marketing a Practice podcast.
Thank you so much for having me.
Thanks again to Heard for sponsoring this episode. Remember that when you join Heard, you’ll work directly with financial specialists to track your income and expenses, file taxes online, and grow your practice. Sign up now at www.joinheard.com.
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 www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And 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 practiceofthepractice.com/network.
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.