PoP 114 | Discovering your Message and Voice an Interview with Nicole Bonsol

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In this podcast session, I talk with Nicole Bonsol, all about finding your voice and matching it with your branding. She gives clear tips on engaging potential clients and building pages that convert!

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PoP Culture Meet Nicole Bonsol

nicole bonsol headshotHere’s what Nicole says about hereself:

Hi! I’m Nicole Bonsol. I’m a content-writer and graphic designer, but you might also call me:

  • a brand healer,
  • a website whisperer,
  • or a blog birther.

(I love bringing things into being.)

I help healers who long to feel confident about their websites, but never quite feel like their work is good enough. I guide them through the (sometimes challenging, but always cathartic) process of creating their brand, so that they can’t wait to share their work with the world!

What parts of your brand can I help heal?

Your “brand” is communicated through many facets of your business. Here are the three things I can specifically support you with:

1. Your Message: What do you stand for? What’s the heart-felt mission statement that rallies your tribe? Figuring this out is the foundation for creating great written content AND a stunning website.

2. Your Voice: What is it about your personality – your essence – that helps your message connect with the right people? How you consistently deliver your message is just as important as the message itself.

3. Your Visual Brand: Do your website and marketing materials make a visual impact that matches the power of your healing work? Having a website that instantly communicates your warmth and your spirit is a wonderful way to welcome potential clients into your practice.


Resources Mentioned on the Podcast

Nicole’s Free Mini-course on writing your About Page.  $50 off the course

Meet Joe Sanok

consultant headshot JoeJoe Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is one of the world’s leading private practice consultants. He is the owner of the Traverse City counseling practice, Mental Wellness Counseling. Joe helps counselors to start private practices and grow them.    



Podcast Transcription

Pop 114 | Discovering Your Message And Voice An Interview With Nicole Bonsol

[0:00] Music.

[0:27] Welcome to the practice of the practice podcast with joe sanok came so glad you are here number one fourteen you know that number fourteen.
That was always my number in basketball when i played hoops in middle school i picked it because i thought it was.
One of the pistons numbers and it actually wasn’t it was not one of the pistons numbers that was benny johnson at the time,
for back from the bad boy is when mc hammer’s double hammer back this,
i was on the basketball in middle school with an adjustable basketball hoop and so like my friend and i would literally like dunk basketballs for like,
hours in the summer time and try to do three sixties and like all the cool basketball hoop stuff that michael jordan is doing at the time and larry bird and.
Oh man i was so into it i knew i was gonna become a professional basketball player and then,
puberty did not make me grow as tall as i should’ve and i never even played high school cuz i just wasn’t a good cell basketball dreams crushed but it’s okay,
it’s okay those are those are fun days actually broke my shoulder,
with a basketball hoop in six grade help you never told us i had never dunked on seven foot seven and the little pipsqueak of a sixth grader and of today’s the day but first see if i can grab the rim,
so i ran towards the basketball hoop jumped up to that seven foot seven my finger tips just barely got over the top of the basketball hoop and i flipped backwards and then landed like.

[2:06] Because the land flat on my back but i reached back with my left arm and horribly broke my shoulder and opinions of a big scar on my left shoulder broke my wrist,
i’m having surgery on my arm was in a sling for a while.
I couldn’t go on this trip that the six grade classes had planned it to camp hill one time.
And i remember being so hyped up on drugs saying i can go mom but instead i sat at home and watched like two or three movies a day while i was like pain meds and.

[2:41] Yeah that was that was my first major scar and regulator had back surgery and you know i am i brow rings at that scar me,
come from here people scars there’s always some interesting stories behind scars so i think it’s cooler talk about scars and about you may think that’s super weird and,
my sister has no shoes like that stuff makes my butt tingle and like it as soon as i see blood and want to.
Anyway hope days going awesome that’s totally random and hope you just doing great today his fell like a day that’s just.
It’s been a little bit off a when i dropped my daughter off at school we got there a little bit late cuz like she changed her mind about socks and,
why different socks in the funky in seattle little bit late and then i realize in my headphones to go workout so i went back home which likely was on the way got headphones,
then when workout and,
i was a i will do this a political thing and then a swim a couple of laps nelson hot tub for a little bit and say and also not in my towel.
And my lock won’t open like my phone my clothes everything but the towel and flip flops i have and my bathing suit are in this locker and i’m like what am i gonna do.
And like i’m putting the number on my thing it’s the right number is the right locker i keep trying and finally,
like it clicks and is not all lock of a brand new like six months old and i was like panicking cuz i’m thinking i had forgot till just now that i actually still have my bathing suit.

[4:19] Was gonna have to walk naked into like the lobby and then i realize that i left my microphone for the podcast schedule back home to go back home my wife sorry out and about and.
You know and then realize i didn’t wear a belt today and if you have a few again warm belt sixth,
it’s just funny and he is just ridiculous sometimes is these days and you just gotta laugh at and say i’m gonna keep moving forward and i can get all we’ve got about,
not wearing a belt in,
forty five minutes i’m chatting with marie and kelly about the most awesome conference with me every other week to play on the awesomeness.
If you haven’t signed up the most awesome conference and we have some really cool stuff coming out i mean the tickets there around three grand but you get professional head shots videos about your practice.
We’ve got a swag bag that depending on if a couple of things go through looks like it’s gonna be worth six to seven hundred dollars potentially.
And then like a full day of sleeves are coaching with us and then to full days of teaching action.
It’s really like the cheapest way to get some crazy momentum in your practice the most awesome conference i come.

[5:36] Today’s sponsor is simple practice ensemble practice of electronic medical records,
billing that’s at a group function on if you’re doing electronic medical records wanna send invoices have hit the compliance software for all of that,
simplepractice.com for session joe howard actually put together,
is top tips for private practice so even if you don’t need to practice however the simple practice that come ford slash go and see howard top tips how was the owner simple practice is a great guy and interview them on the podcast.
Just incredible company c and i and kelly marie and,
we are in seattle went to the seattle yacht club cuz we’re yacht club members here so we can go any club in the world usually,
it was super fun to feel like also winkie at the celiac club with all of us and we’re totally random stuff so most awesome conference coming up in may of nineteen to twenty first it’s just gonna be so much fun,
and today it i have nicole,
on the podcast and she is actually one of our most awesome conference sponsors on but even more than that but we only taking sponsors that we love their work nicole,
is so freaking amazing i can’t believe i haven’t heard about her until she came out of the sponsor kelly miranda newman netflix but not close like this big secret.
She does content writing graphic design in a lot of ways she’s like a brand.
You are a website whisper a kind of blog birth or she just loves bringing things into being and i just love that creative spirit and your i mean i mean these ideas i just wanna like starting smells take over.

[7:16] I am the cold that’s a really awesome job partnering with therapists in private practice with the writing the branding graphic design,
just do it just a beautiful job in just making their brand amazing,
and she’s gonna give away some things that usually cost money at the seven ask my gas to do more so you guys need butter free stuff i know you like free stuff.
No chris bust money but you got like you guys are bootstrapping and all out of you are just like hustle and so hard and i want you to be able to continue to hustle continue to learn really cool things so anyway.
Without any further ado i give you the one the only nicole bansal.
Nikki bands are welcome to the practice of the practice podcast think he’ll hi joe i’m so glad you’re here nikki this is awesome,
me too i’m excited to get to know you better talks more than your house your new year kicking off good yeah really good and i’m glad that,
stuff has slowed down a little bed i can think about what my new you’re willing until now you are new year’s resolution person are you not new year’s resolution person,
i’m new year’s word person you’re one of the word p and it’s do you have your word already yours is like it forms and emerges,
i have a hundred percent committed to it yet but.
What’s the word right now is in negative words i’m trying to figure out how to make it more positive but why twenty sixteen to be.

[8:53] Yo where i feel more not because like i’m messing up but because.
I’m taking more risks language none of them or so maybe not risk risk isn’t the word either healthier and you’ll know when you arrived awesome yeah i had some friends that did that and college and,
i just was a good thing they didn’t all of a sudden like all these other people are like yeah you have my word of the year and like should i have a word of the year and,
i don’t know how i can have my like focus of the year like last year was to build consulting more and then in my practice in my consulting practice then.
With my private practice it was to get more clients for those folks this that is inspirational it’s more like outcome so he while cool yeah i’ve heard that something like,
crazy like ninety two or ninety four percent resolutions like,
fail so he could give it well i guess if you’re trying to feel like something is possible nicki and so that your on the practice the practice pa,
cast we met three you coming out as a sponsor for the most awesome conference and i am amazed that we haven’t met,
for that like you align so well with my audience is looking for an associate have you on here,
so let’s just give a quick snapshot for people i don’t know nikki like who are you what do you do has really to counseling check so i am,
a writer and a designer and i specialize in working with people who identify as healers so lot of the time that is there pests in private practice that’s actually how a.

[10:25] Started my own business i was.
Wanting to i was in the mental health field and not a clinician by started out as a case manager,
at a nonprofit here in the san francisco bay area and worked there for seven years and wanted to do something.

[10:46] More creative with my life and mean but no.

[10:52] I won’t be mailed out with deadly creative meeting with,
is everything okay with different person everyday there was a new problem this something else to jump into but i wanted something different so i started a writing business,
a copy writing business and am i started out just serving everyone.
Real estate agents a lot of real estate agents real estate agents at some healers here in the bay area and then i realize that.
Doing like sales copy for people.
And i feel that i wasn’t really passionate about was not fulfilling me my doing real estate.
Sales copy is not a friend and butter so.
I realized with my background and passion for working in mental health that.
Working with you guys might be a great fit at the time i was like.
Their pastor not going to pay for anything what does the little scared but i ended up meeting kelly higdon through an on-line course that we both temperatures like no the changing the world,
so i am so yeah i jumped into.
Pulling in to the snitch and let me tell you healers the best people in the world work for her what do you say that.

[12:24] Well one and they’re like the best actor of,
me supporting them just ripples out into the world hundred fold with other people’s of all the lives that the touch but you must most dealers are really.
I understand he and i am self aware and.
And my job really bad.
Realize on people giving honest feedback on and like on the designs that i make for people on the copy that i added or put together for people.
And for the most part the people that i have had the pleasure of working with.
I upfront about what they.
Resonate with and what a dog and were able to create some good stuff together so like let’s talk like your.
Typical like person that’s got a counseling website i know that fifty one percent of people that listen to either starting accounting practice or they just started one so much talk to those people so they,
maybe just launched a practice website what kind of things should they know about the copy on their website.
So the first thing that comes to mind is that it should be scannable.
I am and what i mean by that is well when i forget with the number is it’s high it’s in the high nineties i think.

[13:56] Maybe it’s in the seventies there’s a seven and or nine at seventy nine ninety seven and yes those is more.
It’s definitely the majority of you don’t read every word on a website.
And so when you’re writing a copy.
A lot of people might right in the way that the rate e-mails or sc is like lots of or you,
lots of paragraphs,
no headlines kinda in the weather looks really dense and it’s hard to scan through so pulling out headlines you keeping shorter paragraphs.
And keeping more football appoints apple appoints.
Use of bold and that is great for,
for weather reading and i would guess maybe the psychology behind the is it but we’re so overwhelmed with information that,
that we want to decide quickly what is this even like what i’m looking for and then i’ll spend the time to do it cuz if you read every word of every page you accidentally went on like you would be reading a bunch of junk that you still need to read.
Yeah well i i.
Want to live in a world where we’re spending more time with the things that we read so that i mean the fact that like people are always saying seven you have seven seconds to make it a good first impression on-line like that.

[15:27] For a lot of people is really constructing and fix them out a little bit i wanna live in a world where people are giving things more time before the judge them as bad or good or like i’m never going to read this again,
am but for now but for now headlines well it’s just it’s kind writing,
kids like plot plan so that says something really making sure that,
you’re headlines represent and your bullet points involved represent what you want a person to get in there first kinda skim through yet,
so you do that the website and then what usually comes next in the copy to make sure that it’s optimize to get clients in the door and scheduling at first appointment,
well making sure that you have what i call a call to action.
What a lot of people call a call to action does that say will you invented that the one the only making it,
yeah you are the inventor we could just telling people that like mickey invented call to action like something,
any of the so-called action yeah have a call to action at the bottom of your copy.
Basically that is telling people know after they have read your awesome content.
Know and they’re all jazzed up and connected with you what do they do with energy what do they do first get connected with,
i was just talking to a consulting client like an hour ago and he just started blogging regularly and so is just like this blog and then always at the bottom of the leave a reply.

[17:07] And so we switched where he had a little bio at the end of every blog post that change based on the blog post office talking about marriage and his bio from a marriage standpoint that has a call to action of,
but wanted the next steps you email me or call me and we can talk about it cause it would be a good fit for you that plays there so much can i put into that the.
And it feels kinda settle to wear with the people that wanted omar can read it but it’s not super in your face and.
Yeah okay so scannable call to action what else in regards to copy should we make sure the people the people do.
I’m well a lot of.

[17:47] A lot of healers and their purpose that i encounter really scared of.

[17:55] Putting too much of themselves out there for fear of seeming and professional.
And we think that your own personal boundaries are super important like what you want what you choose to self disclose and what you choose not to definitely respect that but.

[18:16] But the people should not have to fear.
I mean i see this myself and it whenever i put something out on my end i am afraid of people writing back and be like that stupid or.
Why did you like sentences don’t begin with and write you know and.
If a million things people can criticize me for some afraid of a deadly am battling my own fears of putting stuff out on my own.
And that i wanna encourage people to fight that fear and put as much.

[18:54] Of their own personality of.
Their own vision for the world of why they are passionate about doing the work that they do on their page because that is what connects with people okay.
So and i think that’s something a lot of counselor struggle with that or.
For so long under grad school it’s like you read a draft you revise until it’s perfect you make sure there’s no errors like if you forgot a comma are you didn’t do the correct citation like.
I am looking for it so it’s like our whole professional lives up to we graduate yeah is you gotta be perfect just turning and even though we’re polish you know your paper to be polished but like logging websites like.
It’s important obviously have good content out there but you also you can get so paralyzed by perfection and that you don’t get the content out there and people don’t see your blog posts,
i don’t i find it’s really cute when people reach out to his you know you miss spell this they all thanks so much for reading that carefully really appreciate you put about me as long as they do in a nice way,
minister big jerk but i like thanks yeah my email is do you really.
But i think you so it’s in such contrast to what we’re taught in school that it’s a big mind shift for people to do that yeah for sure so when you work a double of what hope has been paralyzing people like yeah.
Creating a website that gets a lot of traffic and gets and build a relationship with.

[20:31] Well that was crazy welcome back you just making a scratchy and then all of a sudden you are there any more so when,
what’s the starting you’re just talking about how you wanna build that relationship and how different that is from what we learn in school.
Yeah i think i was saying that,
that your website by putting a website up and building an audience and building trust with people on-line takes awhile it doesn’t just happen.
I mean sometimes you land on somebody’s web site and become a god i’m in love with this person right away that they usually buttons and cracks the practice haha.
I bet building a relationship through your website takes time so the earlier you can put something up and have it interacts,
with people in the real world the better gas and food i think there is so much more for just get content out there,
then to refine refine so cu you got into designing can helping people with their businesses but you’re telling me before we started that you had a boyfriend that was given on tripping miller,
tell me a little bit more about this lad well case this was.
And i want to college here in the silicon valley so a lot of the entrepreneurs here like start-up tech people engineers and in my head i thought that was.

[22:03] All doors where so he just be like you would spend hours on.
On his business like learning about will when doing the engine like the engineering staff so he was building.
Thank you robotics stuff,
i am and its been hours on that and hours learning like game theory and negotiation tactics and stuff like this does not,
i do not wanna do this with my life it seems to produce fruit so that was like what you thought of when it came to the world of entrepreneurship,
yeah so i can have some more of reference toy sold vacuum cleaners door-to-door and gas and it like for me that was like,
that was what business was like that and like roommates that i had in college that are business students that they are just about the bottom line in,
took a long time for me overcome that how did you cannot overcome the boyfriend on shipping me where.
And realize there’s more to business and that led to a long time and i was.

[23:14] Like of fifteen mexico or something,
and i was working as i said for mental health agency here in the bay area and helping basically,
i ran after school program and also dropping center for sixteen to twenty five year olds and helping them everyday like.

[23:41] T like telling them you need just go for when you want and we will like it might take a really long time but we are going to work on this together.
And eventually i was like haha well with what i really want is to be.
An independent creator of and i’m not doing that here.
How can i be telling kids to go do it they really want.
So and part of me was super guilty about leaving like jobs and mental health agencies that.
Yeah served populations that really need that kind of dedicated support.
So important and i was like i need to stay here because my work is here.
I can’t even do my own thing that selfish and stupid but eventually.
I just know he wasn’t it wasn’t like come to like a quick aha moment and it took a while.
Yeah i think that’s true of a lot of people that they feel like they go into private practice at this.
The training yeah baby like so i was like a foster supervisor where i work in residential facilities and sometimes those kids like you’re the only adult that they’ve ever had that’s been stable and happy that i think there’s that pressure of.
Like if i leave this foster care java cooler have and for me i think wrestling through that for me saying a private practice on the side made it a lot easier to do that rather than just jumping ship.

[25:17] I think a lot of people i be interested to hear from our audience to feel free to email me or drop me a tweet or something.
But he be interesting to hear how you’ve kinda sorta through that sneaky like when you were saying to feel this like.
Itching believe did you plan it out like you say was it wasn’t super like there’s a moment but at what point did you know like okay i gotta i gotta get outta here and do this thing this calling me,
yeah i plan it out so i had an awesome supervisor.
And who is more interested in who is really interested in your growth personally so it was.
It was hard to tell if it is also easy to tell her that i wanted to move it and the more independent direction so we started planning our my transition like.

[26:10] Maybe a year before last while yeah i am.

[26:16] Because i had a thing i was like six months into this new position and.
I hate you really want to make sure that you know the work that i was doing would.
Would still continue sell like i have enough time to train find a new person one train a new person in my job.
And also.
Just like schedule out the year so that all of the initiatives and the projects that i had wanted to implement would.
Like we will paralyze them and get the ones done that really needed to be finished before i left,
yeah i was in a manager position that’s why it hurts when you were doing that with your supervisor which is awesome your supervisor is that approachable.
So what do you do during that year for launching what you are leaving for like what can marketing what kind of get your name out there did you do to,
rev up for that well and that point i a.
Was wanting to do a song writing business when i first started i wanted to leave and,
pursue music full-time,
and you know before i would be able to get paying gigs for stuff cf rating like writing songs for people’s anniversaries and stuff was a good business idea.

[27:49] And so he’s paying for that i realize that writing a love writing songs to writing songs for other people.
Wasn’t such a good fit and i didn’t and up.

[28:05] Preparing for my are they doing marketing stuff for anything for my copy writing business and tell just after i had already left.
My job but i had saved up i think twenty thousand dollars to like to tide me over for,
seven months ideally would’ve lasted a year but on the top of the year here in the area,
i love to hear that though because like when my wife and i was two thousand six we were down in kalamazoo and we knew we wanted to move back to traverse city which is where both is that the parents are system being beach town in northern michigan,
i mean it was home to us and we just save money and paid off day and we had to say six months of living expenses and.
Move without having a job secured but it was like you were gonna like save up and i give ourselves a long runway as john lee dumas calls and,
mom i love that idea of just can hoarding your money for a while you can go after your dream and give it a whirl wind.
I wanna know if you guys,
had the same feeling that i did when you started spending the money and watching it i don’t maybe you didn’t want to go down maybe started well i mean so what’s the we left,
so in may of two thousand and nine was when i answer is when we when we left kalamazoo and a six-week road trip out west,
so like i had no job she was in grad school like we had no identity other than travelers so now we did that just kinda like.

[29:39] Purge the old life off of us and then we got back to traverse city and we moved in with christina parents in their basement and so.