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Are you sick of working with agencies where it’s a constant process of feedback and revision? Do you know how to create a new niche for your brand? Does your business stand our from the rest?
In this episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Pia Silva about badass branding.
We’ve created a lot of stuff, i.e.: opt ins, PDFs, e-books. At Practice of the Practice, we’re constantly developing things and making them accessible to you. But, sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of it all. So we’ve set up a landing page, practiceofthepractice.com/resources, where we have put all of our free stuff. We have five free e-books there: the ‘Practice of the Practice’ e-book; the ‘HIPAA and Security’ e-book that I wrote with Roy Huggins; the ‘Adding Insurance to Your Practice’ e-book; the ‘How to Start a Group Practice’ e-book that Alison and I created; and the ‘How to Start a Practice That Thrives’ e-book.
Also, we’ve got checklists there galore! We’ve got your ‘Website’ checklist, your ‘Pinterest’ checklist, your ’28-Step Checklist for Starting a Practice’, and your ‘Group Practice’ checklist. Also, we’ve got some guides there: there’s ‘A Guide to Creating a Website’, ‘Comprehensive Guide to a Kick-Ass Content Strategy’, ‘A Guide to Start a Private Practice’, and tons more infographics, and worksheets. We have over 20 different, free resources there for you! It’s over at practiceofthepractice.com/resources. Go grab them before we start charging!
Meet Pia Silva
Entrepreneur, speaker and author Pia Silva is a partner and brand strategist at Worstofall Design where they build “Badass Brands without the BS” for 1-3 person service businesses in 1-3 day intensives. She is also a Forbes contributor and author of Badass Your Brand: The Impatient Entrepreneur’s Guide to Turning Expertise into Profit.
- Website: http://badassyourbrand.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/PiaLovesYourBiz
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pialovesyourbiz/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pialovesyourbiz/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pia-silva-86b2723/
Pia Silva’s Story
In This Podcast
In this podcast, Pia Silva chats to Joe Sanok about her company ‘Badass Your Brand’. She shares her journey of entrepreneurship and how she went from freelancing to starting her own business based on her husband’s expertise. Pia also speaks about how her company stands out from the rest within her industry.
Things Pia had to Figure out When Starting a Branding Business
- How to get clients, i.e.: Craigslist, networking.
- Mimicking what everyone else was doing, became another ‘Me Too’ brand. Realised they needed to form their own niche.
Process of Working With Typical Design Agency
- Identify brand
This process can often take months and months and is not very efficient. ‘Badass Your Brand’ sits down for an interview with potential client and gains comprehensive understanding of brand. Pia will then put together brief including requirements and deadlines, streamlining the process as much as possible.
Signs of ‘Terrible’ Brands
- Work with anyone
- Lower their rates
- Offer free consulting sessions
- Provide long list of services (opposite of niching)
- Not willing to say ‘no’
Tips to Make Your Brand More Professional
- Email address is consistent with website URL (not Gmail)
- Professional footer on website including logo
- Contact information available on website
- Consistent look and feel across all branding elements
- Scheduling / automation
- Take credit cards (with no fee)
Download your Brandshrink to help you get clarity on your Badass Brand and receive chapter one of ‘Badass Your Brand‘
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!
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!
PIA SILVA TALKS ABOUT BADASS BRANDING
Whether you’re just getting started or you’re scaling a million dollar practice we have resources for you over a practiceofthepractice.com/resources. Over there we have checklists galore, e-books, all sorts of other things that we’re developing and we’re actually going to be developing some courses that are going to be totally free that are going to be all about how to rank in Google, how to improve your Google My Business, Psychology Today, and Facebook business page. You want to head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/resources because we’re going to be updating that every week with new resources that are totally free for you. practiceofthepractice.com/resources
This is the practice of the practice podcast with Joe Sanok: Session Number 289
I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and if you are just joining us, I am so excited that you are here. We continue to hover right around that 100,000 downloads per month and it’s just mind-blowing that that many people are tuning into this podcast.
Thank you so much for subscribing, rating, reviewing, all of that. We are here if you are starting, growing, or scaling a practice and even beyond scaling, we want to help you become the owner of a practice and not just an owner but an owner that doesn’t have to show up as much and moving from just a CEO mindset to an owner mindset is a big jump and we’re going to be covering that in the future.
We have a webinar coming up with Kasey Compton who has a million dollar practice and I’ll tell you about that at the end of the show. But today I have an awesome interview with Pia Silva, who has an amazing brand I will tell you about in just a minute. Do want to warn you that there is a little bit of language in this, in some of Pia’s branding. They use some terms that if you’re around kids you may not want to have it around them. Just want to give you a heads up there if you couldn’t tell from the title. With no further ado, I give you Pia
Well today on the Practice of the Practice Podcast we have Pia Silva. Pia is an entrepreneur, speaker, and author, and is Partner and Brand Strategist at Worst of all Design, where they build bad-ass brands without the B.S., for 1-3 person service businesses in 1-3 day intensives. She’s also a Forbes contributor and author of Bad Ass Your Brand: The Impatient Entrepreneur’s Guide to Turning Expertise Into Profit.
Joe: Pia, welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast.
Pia: Thanks for having me Joe. Great to be here.
Joe: Yeah I’m really glad to have you here. Well, I always love hearing how people got started in the work that they do. You obviously have a very clear and in-your-face branding. Tell me a little bit about your story as someone that works with businesses around branding and marketing.
Pia: Thank you for saying that. Yeah I actually said it was accidental that I got into this. I’ve always been very entrepreneurial and always wanted to kind of do my own thing and that was manifested in lots of freelance type of work for years. And when I met my now husband, then fiancé, we decided that we were going to, I was going to build a business around him. So he was a very a very creative and talented graphic designer. He’s also an artist. So brings a lot of talents to the table. Artists are creatives and tend to not be great at business. So I said, “Man, honey, I’m going to make a lot of money off you, just let me do the business side of it. You know let me figure this out and even though I hadn’t really run a business like this before, I have a background in it. So that’s how we got started.
So I came into design and branding with no background in branding or design or agency or anything and really I learned everything about the business. And then out of a need, developed our brand because we needed to differentiate ourselves. And as I did that and saw the fruits of my labor, I realized how critical it was and how poorly everyone was doing it and then turned around and kind of built our business to also offer that. So that’s how we evolved from graphic design to branding because we just saw the need and how powerful it was for our own business
Joe: And over how many years did you guys make that transition?
Pia: That was about three years.
Joe: Wow. And during that time, what were things that you discovered having not had that background?
Pia: Well first I had to figure out how to get clients. I have no idea. So you know we started on Craigslist, then I went to networking and networked like crazy for about a year and a half. Then I did more higher level networking and all that while was refining what our value proposition was, why us over anybody else, what makes us different? So we were kind of evolving our brand in the meantime and then what I also learned was that that whole time I was kind of mimicking what everybody else was doing because I didn’t know any better and that’s what you do, right? You go into a new space and you kind of watch everybody else. Oh that looks good, that looks good.
And what ended up happening is we ended up with what I call a me-too brand. We were just another little agency saying the same stuff, trying to say we were better, saying “Look, our work is better, that’s why you should hire us.” And that is like a losing game, that is a horrible way to try to convince someone to become a client of yours, because you end up commoditizing yourself. So again, as I learned that we started to find our way into our own niche and our own way of doing things and we built this brand and this business structure that is very unique. And that’s when it really went from a huge struggle to very profitable and much more fun and fulfilling.
Joe: It reminds me of that book, Blue Ocean Strategy, where everyone’s kind of fighting in the ocean and the water is all red and then people find something that differentiates themselves and they just kind of go to a different part of the ocean all by themselves.
Joe: So when you were going through that transition of just looking like everybody else to finding your own brand what were some things that helps you figure out like what was your story, your model, differentiate yourself especially being new to space. I would expect that that would be hard but I guess I would also probably help because you hadn’t been there for very long to just differentiate yourself. What helped you through that process?
Pia: Yeah, actually, I think that not having come from the agency world was really a value add for me in retrospect because I came into this industry and I saw what everyone was doing and we kind of copied what the little agencies were doing and it really sucked. I mean, the process that they go through, I just wasn’t enjoying it at all. But I was doing it because it seemed like how it had to be done but also because I wasn’t bringing the baggage, I think, of really believing that this is how it should be done and also bringing my own innate need for efficiency and desire to make things better and easier and you know whatever, that’s my own thing. I was like, “We don’t have to do it like this.” Or how can we not do it like this because I really don’t enjoy this. And that’s you know that’s a nice summary of what was kind of a long process.
That third year I really pushed our business to be something that was more higher end for bigger clients and it landed us in debt. So I was actually kind of a rock bottom moment where we were maxed out on our credit cards were forty thousand dollars in debt which was our credit card max and I had to make a change and that’s when I said, “OK, my partner Steven and I looked at our business and we said, “Well, this is not working because we’re competing with other people who, to be perfectly honest, have been in this longer and maybe they just have more clients, more reputation, whatever where we’re the Davids to the Goliath so we need to think about what our strengths are.
And we looked back at our favorite projects and our favorite clients and we found a pattern in that. And we decided to model and our business just around that. So we really niched down and focused and that’s how we ended up, as you mentioned in the beginning, we build bad ass brands without the B.S. And without the B.S. What I mean by that is we build them in 1 to 3 day intensives. These are not 6-8 month projects. And I think that stuff is a lot of B.S. That was B.S. for me and I think it was B.S. for the clients, too. So we can do that in a way agencies can’t and that’s using our weakness as a strength. We’re not huge, but we’re very nimble and Steve and I both bring a lot of different expertise to the table, so we got rid of our employees and we focused in this in this niche instead and it was the best thing we ever did.
Joe: I love that you said David and Goliath. That book by Malcolm Gladwell where he talks all about how in every way David actually had the benefit and how often times these small, nimble companies can just go so much faster without the red tape. I love that you use that analogy. So the B.S. What’s a typical kind of agency that works with practitioners going look like over six months? What would that look like for someone who’s never even thought of having someone help with their branding identify their branding? What would the typical way be? And then tell me about kind of what their intensive typically looks like?
Pia: Sure. Well, it’s it’s like any small business hiring either a brander or or a graphic designer and a copywriter and you know, potentially a whole host of people or an agency to do all of this. You know you go through a process of okay first we’re going to identify what your brand is and then we’re going to create a brief for that and then we’re going to start designing logos. We’re going to show you logos you’re going to give us feedback. This is like month 1, month 2. OK next week you give us feedback. Ok, next week we’ll give you revisions. OK, now we’re going to show you the mockup of the home page of a website. Now we need revisions. Now we’re going to, you know, and that’s what takes so long and it’s a combination of the agency model being: Presenting work and getting feedback and then taking time to make those revisions and then showing it again and then getting feedback and then the client taking time and this stuff just ends up taking months and months and months.
So, to me, it’s like it’s spread out in a very unnecessary way and I personally have found that, because I’ve done many projects like that, because of how it’s spread out, a lot of things just end up taking longer, too, as the person doing the websites and the branding. Often clients would be responsible for photography, the writing, and then they would drag their feet because they don’t necessarily know how to write website copy, so you know when you’re tasked with something that’s not your forte you tend to put it off and these things also take a lot of time. So that is that typical agency model, even if it’s a small agency and even if it’s a one stop. It’s a one person shop. They still they still usually operate in that model because that’s how everybody does it.
Joe: I think it’s slow also. Whenever you’re kind of in the flow of a project, if you step away from it too long, then you have to kind of have a reboot time. And what was I working on here again? And you know what was the Web site? Who’s the project manager? And it seems like if you’re able to focus in with just a couple days with the client that you would have less of that kind of startup and landing.
Pia: That is such a great point. And if you’re familiar with like chunking your time…
Joe: Oh yeah, that’s how I do my podcasts. I record a whole month or two, like the beginning and back end after I do the interviews and get eight of them done in an afternoon and then I don’t have to worry about it for two months.
Pia: I love it. And you have momentum when you do that, you don’t have to get your head back in that space. I also do a lot of work in chunking and this is very parallel to that. So you’re totally right. Our process is two steps. Step one is something called a brand shrink. It’s an interview with me and my partner. This is the download of, let me hear everything about your business and what you think your brand is or not. I really ask questions more about the business, the goals, the past, previous clients, all of that and then I deliver a brief that says, based on your goals and what you’ve said, this is what your brand is. This is where you should focus your messaging. Maybe this is how you should niche. This is how you should price. I mean, I’m often giving people, you should productize your offerings. I’m really against trading dollars for hours. Practitioners currently do that a lot.
Joe: Oh my gosh I have a mastermind group called Next Level Mastermind and it’s all for people that have found themselves in that trap and they’re growing to a group practice. They may have a big idea like doing a podcast or keynotes or something like that. It’s amazing to see when people get out of that mindset of one hour equals this amount of money, how fast they scale.
Pia: I love it and creative pricing is like a big a big passion of mine, may I say that? I really enjoy finding creative ways to to price things while keeping an eye on the value. So how can we, instead of trading dollars for hours, how can we package this, productize this, and actually add value by doing that? So the client ends up with better value and more clarity around the value they’re getting and the service provider ends up being able to make more profit in less time.
Joe: So what is one example of that? If someone has a private practice, it’s going pretty well, they’re maybe grossing sixty or seventy thousand dollars. They’re seeing 25 clients a week, say their focus is on people dealing with anxiety or panic attacks. You’re talking to them about, they know their ideal client, people know about them in the community. What’s one example of how they could start to turn that into a product?
Pia: So imagine instead of having somebody come in for a session and then saying, “OK, well let’s just start seeing each other weekly.” Which, from the client’s perspective, it’s much like when you go to lots of practitioners that operate like that – physical therapist, chiropractor, therapists are the same. It’s just like, “OK, this is just going to go on indefinitely until we see results.” Imagine if you completely repackaged that into, I’m going to put you through a three month program. You’re going to come in once a week. But there’s also going to be extra things in it. There might be resources that I want them to do. I’m actually going to put them on some sort of program that, maybe I did maybe I edit exactly the steps that each person is going to take based on their situation, but I but I have kind of tools in my tool belt to add value to it.
So it’s not just that we’re going to spend the hour and that’s it. Maybe I’m giving them the exercises they’re going to do in between. Maybe I already have created work sheets I can use over and over again, maybe I also give them certain kinds of access to me in between. Maybe I have office hours where all of my patients can call in and get some midweek support. I mean there’s there’s lots of different ways you can add value into it, so that the the perceived value and also the experienced value is much higher and also the price per hour is much more difficult to calculate.
Joe: I love that you say that because I remember when I first started consulting, people would say, “Well, what’s your rate?” And I just say oh it’s 300 dollars an hour and they’d say OK. And then they shop around some more. But then when I started saying you know I only do six month packages, I need to jump on the phone with you for half an hour to hear about your goals, make sure that they align with what I want and what you want and how can I actually help you.
And then I started adding in extra things like a private Facebook group or if you have a quick 5 minute call between questions or you can text me and you’ll have my personal cellphone number. And here is these digital downloads and I’ve found these common things are you. Are these the infographics for you. And it’s amazing how then when you look at the perceived value. So this paperwork package is usually $195, but you just get this as part of your consulting and then you get to come to this conference for free and maybe they wouldn’t have come to the conference. It’s amazing how then the amount I could charge per month for those consulting packages was so much higher and provided so much value to people outside of just the one-on-one time.
Pia: I love that. Yeah. So you’re the perfect model for that and everybody could be doing it. I didn’t know they did it like that, but that’s exactly what I’m talking about and that’s brilliant. You know, and having a conference. That’s brilliant too. Yeah you can. I mean, there’s endless things that you can create and the purpose is to add value to the initial offering. And for me, as a buyer specifically, I kind of like seeing that it’s being thought of in a timely manner, that I’m not just going until I realize, wait a second, should I still be paying? But, oh we have a goal to achieve.
I did a pilates physical therapy thing with someone years ago and all she did that was different, but it made a world of difference, was that the first day, the intake, she really took in all this information and very specifically every part of my body. How does it feel? And then we like looked at it every month and and and we really looked at it three months later. So she kind of put me on a three month program and it’s not that she promised me everything would be fixed, but I got to see my progress which is important because if you’re just going every week you don’t really feel your progress. So even that alone can change the value that you perceive.
Joe: Yeah. Yeah, I think that that’s something that oftentimes therapists just take for granted that the value is there rather than – yes we do treatment plans and your checking on that – but to think creatively, what would that look like to have a genuine change in a different way?
Pia: Because the client is feeling that change is part of the value, too. I mean it increases the value – the actual value – you actually aren’t getting as much value. I mean there is kind of a placebo effect, don’t know if you call that a placebo.
Joe: Well take me through, what do terrible brands, the worst of all brands out there, what do they do and then what do the bad ass brands do? What are things that they do different that we can have our listeners have some practical takeaways that are at the start of phase, the growth phase, and the scaling phase.
Pia: OK, so I guess terrible brands, well, they are everything for everyone. They’ll take anybody, anybody who has money they’re willing to lower their rates, you know. Oh I can’t pay that. Oh will you pay this? You know they trade dollars for hours. They often offer this is going to rub people the wrong way – maybe you too – offer free strategy sessions.
Joe: No no you and I. Oh my gosh. I’m with you on that. I feel like, when people have this little pop up that says, have a free 30 minute session with me for counseling. I’m thinking my primary care doctor wouldn’t be like, “Hey, come and do that for free.” He wouldn’t or she wouldn’t even return their own phone calls they’d have someone from the front desk do it. And so to me I think there’s a couple of cases where I think that it may make sense, but I think you can brand it differently. So for example, we do a pre-consulting phone call, it’s half an hour. There’s no charge for it, but it’s more us making sure we’re a fit rather than just free advice for half an hour.
Pia: Exactly. And I do that too. I mean, I have to speak to you before you purchase something because I have to make sure that I’m a good fit for you. People do buy my brand shrink off my Web site and as soon as I see the payment come through, I email them, woah, woah, woah let’s just pop on a quick call. Let’s just make sure this is good before I agree to do this, because the last thing I want is for somebody to pay me a couple of thousand dollars and then have me not really the best person to help them. Maybe they’re just not the right and a company and you know that doesn’t do anybody any good.
Joe: No because then you have people out there that are saying Pia is terrible and I can’t believe, it’s just that you are the wrong fit for them or they were the wrong fit for you.
Pia: Exactly and that’s what I really try to coach people on is, because a lot of people will tell me, oh well that is what the free strategy session is. Well then just call it that because you’re actually watering down and undermining the value of your own brand when you position it as… I think it’s actually more sales-y. Because it’s a little disingenuous.
Joe: To say it’s a free strategy session, but within it there’s a pitch, versus we’re just going to call it a pre-consulting session or whatever you end up calling it, and then you know, Ok, – and I always frame at the beginning, and not sure how you do yours, but I say, “So in this call I want to give you some practical takeaways you can actually use, so it’s actually worth your time and want to share with you the best use of your time and your money and at the end I’m going to say here’s where I think you should spend your time and money. And if we’re a fit, awesome and if not, I’ll tell you that too and send you over to someone that would be. So then by the end of it they know, OK at the end I’m going to get Joe’s recommendation and I’m going to get a price and then I’m going to decide then whether or not that works for my goals. So they know right from the beginning that this is the flow that we’re going to have.
Pia: Exactly. And it’s hard to execute that when mentally, it’s hard to fake that. So another piece of it is that you have to genuinely be looking for a good fit. So some people are in the position where they’ll take anyone. And so it is hard to position yourself that you’re looking for a good fit when you actually aren’t. So that’s a really important part.
Joe: I think at the start-up phase, when you’re first getting going, keeping those costs low so – subleasing an office until you get some regular clients going, keeping your website costs down, you know you have time on your side and so if you automatically know, oh my gosh I have to you know spend $1,000 or $2,000 dollars a month but I have no clients, that’s really tough to not have that desperation come through. Whereas on the front end if you keep it down I think that that’s really smart to do. But then as people start to grow they can then invest that money back in and really upgrade faster.
Pia: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense and I agree, I mean keep it keep yourself nimble. I mean we kept our overhead very low for as long as possible just so we had room to play and space to do things. The more your overhead is, the more you are at the mercy of needing a certain number of sales.
Joe: Yeah. What else do terrible brands do?
Pia: What else do terrible brands do? They don’t, like I said, they do everything for everyone. So they list a long list of services.
Joe: That’s a good one.
Pia: I specialize in a long list of things, which is an oxymoron.
Joe: I’m hyper-focused on 50 different things!
Pia: There’s an auto body shop near our house and it’s you know we specialize in domestic and international.
Joe: So which cars would that not be? Space ships. We’re not into space ships.
Pia: But I see a lot of people doing that. So they’re using the word specialize incorrectly, so actually not nourishing and then I you know one of my biggest pillars is you have to be able to say no to clients that are not perfect fits for you and so I always say bad brands are not willing to say no. They’ll take whatever and that doesn’t just hurt you, it doesn’t just hurt the client who’s not a good fit for you, it actually hurts your brand and reputation. It doesn’t put you in a good position to position yourself as an expert and to be seen as an expert in only when you’re seen as an expert as a premium offering, are you going to be able to charge premium prices. So you’re really shooting yourself in the foot long term.
Joe: So what do the badass brands do?
Pia: So the badass brands do the opposite. They own their niche. They do specialize. They focus who they’re working for. They’re ready to say no to everybody else. They build their reputations around that niche and they understand that every new client that they bring in that is a perfect fit for their niche is only going to beget more clients like that and that any client that’s outside their niche is only going to be fast cash. It’s just cash in your pocket. It is trading dollars for hours because that person is not going to be a great referral source for you because they’re not an ideal client. So they really own that that’s really badass, they say no to the wrong clients and then they own it in their marketing and in their brand copy. So they own their voice. They say things that they’re about and they’re not afraid to – I say on my home page bad ass brands are are okay being misunderstood or even disliked by some because they know that they’ll be loved by everybody else.
Joe: Yeah, I feel like when I get I see people unsubscribe from my email list. I used to get really frustrated, like I tried so hard to get them on there. You know, I paid for Facebook ads or however they ended up on the email list and now I’m like thank you. I’m glad you’re gone and don’t feel like I’m a fit because that just means that if I send out some promotion it’s going to be more effective because it goes to the people that really want that and they say, how do I level up my practice and willing to pay for it or maybe it’s a free training, whereas having to justify myself to people that are like well I know that’s kind of expensive. I’m not just going to like you know push all that stuff out to people all the time, but when I do, I have to make a living too. And so, knowing that the people that are on the list are the ones that they really want to be there, they want to learn and they want to grow and they’re ready to level up. I now get excited when people unsubscribe.
Pia: I love it. It took me a while to0 to not feel so offended.
Joe: I know, it’s hard! Especially when you send an email that you feel like is really well crafted gives good value as an offering that you see unsubscribes you’re like, dang it!
Pia: Yeah there’s all kinds of people on your list for all kinds of reasons and you really don’t need them. And as your list grows, you start to pay different levels. I’m constantly deleting people. You know, if you haven’t opened my email for a couple of months I delete you.
Joe: I go through and delete the people that have unsubscribed, of course I delete them. I think that’s smart to go through and if people haven’t opened it for several months like delete them. Although, you know, I heard Donald Miller from the story brand podcast, he had a hypothesis about that. He said if someone hadn’t opened the e-mail, he thought that it was still good because there at least seeing your name come through. I see value on both sides.
Pia: I actually have like a little e-mail hygiene campaign, so when they haven’t opened it for a certain amount of time, they get a last chance, like I’m about to unsubscribe you. So right before I subscribe them they actually get that and some people will just click and say, No don’t subscribe me and things like that. And I have e-mails that I get them, newsletters I never open, but for some reason I’m not on subscribing because there’s something about seeing that person’s name and just reminding me of certain things or I know I’m going to look back on them some.
Joe: I know I want to buy that couch someday but it’s not affordable yet. Yeah we just did a home renovation, so I’m on all these different renovation lists that I never open stuff, but I am like, I know we still need to get a mirror for the bathroom and I know we need to get this…
Joe: So what are other things that practices can be doing to build their brand, to take it to the next level?
Pia: So, I think really identifying the specific problems that certain people are having. I mean, it depends on your level of comfort, but I think the more specific you are the more badass you are. I think there’s a lot of different kinds of challenges that people face in the world today and there are a lot of opportunity to really own different spaces and you know you don’t want to craft this out of nothing. You want to look back on your favorite clients, people you’ve really helped, and look at the patterns. But I think there’s a lot of opportunity in that space still to specialize around a certain focus or topic and anyone knows, you go to therapy for one thing and other things always come up. But you have to think about your brand as the entry point. It’s like it’s like the door, you know, and everything you do behind the scenes, like your whole estate is, you can be huge and rolling hills, but this is like the gate to get into the estate.
So it’s just about what you’re gonna own and if you really own a space, there’s a lot of opportunity to really build your credibility and expertise by – for example – constantly blogging about it, writing a book about it. You know, for example, having a practice and again, I wouldn’t pull this out of the sky willy nilly. I would really think about, oh I do see a lot of this, but maybe anxiety that comes from a group of a certain age and their interactions with social media and technology. I mean that is like a real trigger point for a lot of people and I could see a practitioner really owning that space. Now, of course other things are going to come up once you’re working with somebody, but what a great brand.
Joe: Right. And if you’re that focused on, you know, millennials that are having anxiety from social media and connectedness to technology, you then slowly become the go-to person around that. And so you can respond to help a reporter out and you can respond to people that write for Forbes or other places and say, hey, I’m the person that does this. And here’s where I’ve been cited. Here’s the blog post and then that builds that credibility where people are more likely to quote you.
Pia: Absolutely. And as you’re seeing more and more people are expecting to pay you more.
Joe: Yeah, absolutely. Wow, what else can practice practitioners do within their practice to evaluate their brand or to reinvent it?
Pia: Well, I think that these are – the things we just discussed are really the basis for that. I think that there’s another level that you can add on that which is thinking about OK, if that is where I’m focused and this is how my messaging and my brand is going to be positioned, what am I doing with every single touchpoint in order to support that and to and to reinforce that? So everything from – and I’ve seen this – I mean it depends on what level of business you are. But everything from making sure that your email address is your website address and a Gmail account. Making sure that your footer is a professional footer and your contact information is always available, making sure that your visuals are always consistent. I mean, that’s an easy one, but a lot of people get that wrong you know. Is your logo in your footer or is your, I really love scheduling apps, Schedule Once, something like that. Do you utilize technology to make the experience seamless?
Because everything that makes it harder – I’ve worked with people where they are texting back and forth with me to schedule things – that’s not as professional. It is not only not as professional, but it’s also at a ton of your time unnecessarily. So take the time to set up the processes to give the entire experience a really professional and seamless feel. Not to mention, take credit cards, don’t charge a fee on top. You know, I eat the fee, just include in the price. Just make it easy. You know, grease the wheels, I have an article on my Forbes column somewhere that’s grease the wheels to make the sale. Like everything you don’t do, that makes it harder, you’re losing people.
Joe: I did the math. You know if you’re charging or get charged like 3% for your credit card, if one out of 33 times somebody pays when they wouldn’t have – so say they forgot their their checkbook or cash and they’re like, oh all I have is a credit card and you’re like, oh I don’t take credit card. And then they either don’t come back or you know they feel guilty so they end up having one less session or they don’t want to have the double payment. If one out of thirty three times someone pays when they wouldn’t have it pays for itself.
Pia: Yeah that’s great. And you chasing that payment. Now you have to think about it. I’ve got to e-mail you and I have to follow up. There’s a lot of there’s a lot of good arguments for it.
Joe: Pia, I feel like we could just go on and on, but if every practice owner in the world were listening right now what would you want them to know?
Pia: I would want them to know that you might feel like you can help everybody, but you can definitely help some people better than others because of your unique and special approach, point of view, experiences. And if you find that own it, you will have a more flourishing practice and your clients will get more value out of you.
Joe: Oh that’s so awesome. So Pia, if people want to connect with you, how can they do that? Also you told me that you’ve got a free gift for them, so I’d love to hear about that too.
Pia: I do. So I would love to gift you guys my Brandshrink interview. So this is that interview, that first step that I do with clients, I charge $2,000 dollars to give the interview, I’m going to gift you guys the interview questions. It’s long. There are about 80 questions on this Brandshrink. But if you take the time to answer them, you definitely will find some aha moments in your business. And I’m happy to gift that to your listeners so I put that up that badassyourbrand.com/joe. And if you go and you download the Brandshrink, you’ll also get the first chapter of my book, BadAss Your Brand. So you can enjoy the little story of how we went from $40,000 in debt to $500,000 in sales just by repositioning our brand doing a lot of the things I shared today.
Joe: I love it so that’s badassyourbrand.com/joe.
Pia: You got it!
Joe: We’ll have that in the show notes, as well. Pia, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice Podcast.
Pia: My pleasure. Thanks so much for having me, Joe.
Joe: Well, thanks so much for tuning in. Wasn’t that amazing? Pia had so many great takeaways on what terrible businesses do and what badass businesses do.
On our next podcast we’re going to have Kasey Compton, who grew a 1.3 million dollar practice in three years from nothing. And this is actually one of the live webinars that we had with Next Level Practice for our private community. If you want to be a part of that, you can head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/invite and then our next cohort starting, you can jump into that. We give you access to mind blowing people like Kasey. So here’s a clip from next week’s webinar that we’re going to share with you a little behind the curtain for Next Level Practice:
Kasey Compton: What financially I would bring? I don’t like saying this, but I knew how much I would make off each therapist that I brought into the practice. So for 2017, our goal was to hit a million dollars and we were at 1.35 million. We went over our goal.
Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. I’ll see you next week.
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