Where in the world is business development going? How can you prepare yourself to be in the right place at the right time? Can positioning yourself well in business cause opportunities to fall into your lap?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Tony Guarnaccia Talks About creating a results loop to level up faster.
While there may still be a lot of uncertainty about what this year will have in store, there’s one thing we know for sure – your services as a therapist have never been more essential, making it the perfect time to ensure that your private practice website attracts your best-fit clients and gets them to call you.
Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. During the month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year!
From now, until the end of the month, they’re completely waiving all setup fees and only charging $39/month for your entire first year of a new website! Head on over to brightervision.com/joe to learn more.
Tony Guarnaccia is the founder and CEO of Big Fish Results and author of Small Steps to Big Profits.
Tony has used digital marketing strategy to help Ford and BMW grow profitably, and he can share the secrets to making big profits! He leads entrepreneurs through steady growth in their businesses. From homeless to Google, Tony’s got quite a tale to tell!
In This Podcast
- How to get out of a business rut?
- Tony’s 6-factor steps and 15-minutes of planning
- How private practice owners can get more clients
- The future of business
How to get out of a business rut?
When you find yourself at a crossroad in your business, a tipping point, or even a full-blown failure, how do you move through it? Ride the existing wave, whatever it is right now.
The easiest way to have success is to position yourself for that success. Look no further than the famous Wayne Gretzky quote: “You wanna skate to where the puck’s going”, because that’s the easiest way to get to it. (Tony Guarnaccia)
Keep an eye on where the industry is going, where is your industry going, where is the world going to position yourself in advance to be at the best place at the right time.
Tony’s 6-factor steps and 15-minutes of planning
- Your markets: Define specifically who you are going to be serving.
- Your offerings: The products and services you are going to be providing them.
- The value: This is the value that you are providing to those markets by and through your products and services.
- Increasing the number of new patients, or new buyers.
- Increasing their lifetime value: this is how much revenue they are driving in profit over the lifetime of the relationship.
- The loyalty: how many referrals your buyers produce, and how frequently they return to your services.
How private practice owners can get more clients
The most important thing Tony recommends is to look at factor number 3 above, which is value. All business is an exchange, and by observing this phenomenon through an idea of a funnel, one can understand how the exchange works.
At the top, you exchange some information about yourself for attention. At the second stage, this is where people become more familiar with you and this is where you begin to differentiate yourself from the crowd. This is where you work to build more trust by giving them higher content value in exchange for, typically, contact information.
The last stage is the buyer, or a patient, which is the exchange of money for a result.
The problems come in when practice owners only focus on the third step, just getting the lead. What differentiates you is the content you provide to increase trust and authority between you and the potential patient.
The future of business
In Tony’s assessment, the future of business dealing will all be virtual, this is where the puck is going. Podcasting is growing exponentially, even more so than Facebook and other popular sights. Remember that you do not have to be great at it, you just have to be well-positioned.
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Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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Well, we did it. 2020 has finally come to an end. And we have made it out on the other side. And while there still might be a lot of uncertainty about what this year will have in store, there’s one thing we know for sure, your services as a therapist have never been more essential, making it the perfect time to ensure your private practice website attracts your best fit clients and gets them to call you. Whether you’re a seasoned clinician with a website in need of a refresh, or you’re fresh out of school needing your very first therapist website, Brighter Vision is the perfect solution. And during the entire month of January, they’re running their biggest sale of the year. From now until the end of the month, they’re completely waiving all setup fees, and only charging $39 a month for the entire first year of a new website. That’s a savings of $240 for your first year of website service with Brighter Vision. All you have to do is go to www.brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal. That’s www.brightervision.com/joe.
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 520.
What a great title to kick off the New Year. Happy New Year 2021. We’re talking all about kind of getting results to loop level faster. And so when we’re talking about looping, we’re gonna talk through some of that today with Tony. But getting up to the bigger levels faster. It’s amazing when I think about the things that have helped me get there. When I was first starting out, I think my partnership for Most Awesome Conference with Kelly and Miranda from ZinnyMe, the two of them. And just putting on that conference, that was a big level up for me, reinvesting in developing my website, committing to doing the podcast at least once a week, committing into doing some Pay Per Click funding to get people onto my email list, lots of partnerships, those things that just really give me a great ROI. I’m so excited for us to talk today even more about that to help you plan out 2021. And if you are really kind of thinking about 2021 and you want to get to that next level, we are in February going to be opening up Next Level Practice which is our membership community specific for people that are just getting started all the way up to six figures in their private practice. So if that’s something that you want to be a part of head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/invite, and you’ll be on that waitlist and then when it opens up, you’ll get all sorts of emails helping you get all signed up. So without any further ado, here’s Tony.
Today on the Practice of the Practice podcast, we have Tony Guarnaccia. Tony is widely recognized as an authority on digital marketing and has grown over 10,000 small businesses, and a dozen Fortune 500 companies, including ADP, Ford and AutoNation. Tony has managed over $400 million in advertising spend. And in 2009, he earned the prestigious title of Google Partner of the Year. Tony, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
Thank you so much, really happy to be here today.
Yeah, I am so excited to have you here. I feel like digital marketing for a lot of our listeners is this black box where they might put some money into a Google Ad and then next thing you know, they’ve spent $500 with no results and or, you know, Facebook Ad and they want to learn it, but they aren’t sure. So I’m really excited to have you here today. Tell me a little bit about how you got into this work because you’ve been doing this since before 2009. And so that was before I even really knew about digital marketing. How did you land in this world? And then we’ll dive into some techniques.
Sure. So I’ll probably really sound old because I started in ’97. But, um, so I started off, you know, my journey really started when I was 12 years old. So my parents had a small Italian bakery, and they’re fantastic bakers. Unfortunately, they didn’t know what they didn’t know about growing a business. And so we lost everything. It failed. We lost the car, we lost the home, and even had to give up my dog to my oldest sister. And so, you know…
Even the dog.
Yeah, even the dog. It was very trying. So one of my sisters took the dog and we ended up moving into my other sister’s. My sisters are all older than me, thankfully. And so we had to move into her basement until we could rebuild ourselves. And so that’s where my journey started. Years later, you know, I went to business school to kind of redeem the past, study entrepreneurship and then left college after graduating to start another bakery. This time it was an online bakery. This was in the late 90s, like I mentioned. And so what we did, we created a company called Image Cake. So we could take a photo, put it on the cake, and mail that cake anywhere in the country. And so with that, we actually had a great amount of success initially. We won best new product at the New York Incentive Show, and ultimately ended up mailing cakes to Jay Z, to Jennifer Lopez to IBM, to Microsoft, to amazing companies.
And, you know, here I am, in my 20s, upper 20s, thinking, wow, I got this entrepreneurship down, you know, this is a piece of cake. And then that’s when I learned that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And that business failed. So here I am at 28, newly married with a baby on the way and kind of in the same position. I had to move in to one of my other sister’s basements, and kind of rebuild. And that’s when I said, You know, I don’t know what I’m doing. Who does? And that started me on a 10 year journey to work with the absolute best companies in the world. You know, Google, Ford, Sunrise Senior Living, ADP, just amazing companies all around, General Motors. And then I left that after the ten year stint, to go [unclear].
Let me pause you there.
So you went from you got a baby on the way, the cake business is failing, to then working with those companies. What did you learn during that phase to be able to start working with them, where you actually kind of understood that world? Like, what were some of those key points during that time that helped you get out of that rut?
Yeah, well, what I found is, the easiest way to get success is to ride the wave that’s existing. And so back then, the way that was coming out was search engine optimization. So I was one of the initial people doing SEO. And I learned it from the best people in the world, and actually in New York City. The week actually, ironically, the week before 911, I was in New York City learning programming in SEO. And that was, you know, was that in the late 90s, before that, that’s how I optimized the cake business. And so when I went to the corporate world, those businesses were desperate to find people that actually knew SEO, I happened to know it. And so I was well positioned for the future. Years later, I kind of rewrote that script again, the next time I rode the adwords wave, Google AdWords. Then you have social media. And now of course, everything is going virtual.
So what I’m doing, I’m focusing on areas like podcasting, like we’re here, today, virtual summits, so the easiest way to have success is to position yourself in advance for that success and, you know, look no further than the famous Wayne Gretzky quote, right. So you want to skate to where the puck’s going, you know, that’s the easiest way to get it. And so you always want to know, where is the industry going, where’s my industry going, where is the world going and positioning yourself in advance to be there. And then you don’t have to be a great business person. Just by the fact that you’re in the right place at the right time, you’re going to have a measure of growth. You may not have the growth of the business expert that’s doing the same thing. But you’re going to have success just because the demand is overwhelming the supply.
Yeah, you know, I want to zoom out a little bit because I know you have tons of skills in strategic planning. And then if we have time, we’ll zoom back in. So many therapists, business owners, they just don’t even think about where they’re headed. They don’t, the idea of strategic planning, having a five or 10 year plan, even for myself, having a five year plan, I think there’s no way I’m going to know in five years what I want to do. Now I have one year plans or two year plans, month plans. But when you think strategic planning, you have this idea of the results loop, take us through that and then maybe explain how that interacts with strategic planning and helps people get better results.
Absolutely. So one of the biggest differences between what the best companies in the world do and what the average businesses do, and really everyone else from there is they have a strategy and a plan. And so at the corporate level, you’re in a room with dozens of people, you know, spending weeks on end with a spreadsheet that’s 30 tabs long, planning all this stuff out. Now that’s at that level. The average small business owner spends more time planning their wedding, their birthday parties or their, you know, vacation than they do their business. And so I thought about that. I said, well, what’s the difference? And how can I help that? And so what I realized is, you can plan in 15 minutes. And so my whole goal was to create a framework where people can plan, you know, in a way that’s easy to understand, and really simple to execute. That was the whole goal. And so what I found is there’s really six factors that matter. If you just focus on those six factors, you’re gonna have success in whatever you do, and just to prove this point, last year, I actually took my daughter’s Girl Scout troop through it, and they were able to dramatically increase their cookie sales just from that 15 minute process.
Wow, well what are those six factors and what goes into those 15 minutes?
Sure. So what I created, and anyone can download this off my website, but I created a results loop. So it’s essentially like an infinity symbol, because planning is always an ongoing process. And the six factors are starting with number one, your markets, you have to define very specifically who you’re going to be serving. That’s followed by your offerings, which are the products and services you’re going to be providing them. Number three, is the value you’re providing to those markets by and through your products and services. And then finally, factors four, five and six are increasing the number of new patients, new buyers, followed by increasing their lifetime value, so how much revenue they’re driving in profit over the lifetime of the relationship, and then finally, the loyalty, which is how many referrals they drive and how frequently they come back. That’s really the key to growing any kind of business.
Well, you know, I think that when we think loyalty in the counseling world, you know, we’re not, because of our ethics, allowed to say, hey, will you refer somebody to us? Or can we have a testimonial? But how can just the quality of our work inform that loyalty? That loyalty factor?
Well, the nice thing about loyalty is there’s really two facets to focus on. So if you can’t drive the referrals, you know, the other thing is getting people to come back again and again. And an area like this, it might be just a fear, you know, getting people, understanding your show ratio. So when people have appointments, what percentage of the time do they show up? And how can you work on that number? So working in, you know, the medical field, health care, etc, that was an area I found that was typically lacking. And a lot of times, you can get great ideas by looking at other industries. And so a lot of times people kind of just circle, you know, think in like a circle, what’s the guy across the hall doing, you know, I’m going to copy what they’re doing. But in fact, the biggest innovation and growth comes by looking outside of your industry. So a lot of times what I’ve done is borrowed from, you know, the automotive industry, because they have a great show ratio and apply that to healthcare. You know, that’s something that you can really study. So looking at all aspects of loyalty. And if you can’t work on one, work on another.
No, that’s so important to look outside of your industry. I forgot what book it was but there was a book that was talking about how there was this ER in, I think it was England, that was having some major issues with just things like the handoff between kind of ER and then the beds. And there was just a lot of issues that were preventable. And I remember they sent a team of people somewhere to Europe, to look at race car driving teams, and to look at what they did differently. And so they were studying these race car teams, you know, a car pulls in, they change out the tires, and you know, 20 seconds, and then it’s off and running again, like and if you do that wrong, if a tire comes off, that’s not a good thing. So yeah, [unclear] done that same sort of idea. I forgot what book that was from.
Yeah, it’s actually The Checklist Manifesto. That’s a great book.
Yeah, yeah. So I mean, that idea that, that we can look outside of our own industry, because I think a lot of times, also in the therapy world, the people that are local, that are your, quote, competitors, which I don’t even really believe in, but people that you might perceive as a competitor, are often playing so small anyway, that it’s not even worth it to say I’m going to try to be like Jim down the hall, and to really kind of look outside the industry and look for those new ways of doing it.
Yeah, absolutely. So true.
Now, I think one of the biggest areas I get questions is that factor of new buyers, so kind of top of funnel, new leads that are coming and saying, hey, I want to do counseling with you. Let’s drill into that one a little bit around some digital marketing and ways to get those new leads that want to do therapy with people. What would you suggest for the average private practice owner to think through when they’re looking at wanting to expand the amount of new people contacting them?
Yeah, so the most important thing is to look at factor number three, which is value. And so you want to understand that in business, there’s always an exchange. And so you can look at this through the lens of what’s called funnel. So you have a sales or marketing funnel. And there’s different stages. So at the top of that funnel, is folks that don’t know who you are, you know, they have no idea who you are. And your job is to drive some sort of awareness, and hopefully build some authority and trust. And a great example is what I’m doing right here. So you know, most people in your audience, if any, probably don’t know who I am, right? And so here I am, exchanging some knowledge, some insights, and that is in return for some attention. And so at the top of that funnel, you’re exchanging attention for some sort of content, typically, or knowledge, insights, etc.
The second stage is where people are getting more familiar with you. And you want to essentially differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd. And there are other options. So there might be other options, you know, maybe they can take medication, maybe they can get counseling, maybe they can, you know, have alternative medicine, whatever those options are, you’re competing with that. And so this is where at that second stage, what you want to build is more authority and trust and give them higher value content, that’s in exchange for typically contact information, which we call leads. And so you’re exchanging better information for their contact information.
And then the final stage is a buyer or a patient in this case, and in that case, you’re exchanging money, they’re exchanging their money for some sort of result. That’s the easiest way to think about it. Problem is, most practices focus just on the bottom of that funnel. Maybe they want to go right to the sale, or they want to get the lead. And so the easiest thing to do, and the thing that differentiates you is looking at what content can I provide? Can I provide something on a blog post that builds more trust and authority, educates my market or handles objections? So if you have a lot of objections for someone moving forward with you, that’s a great thing to put in a blog. Or you can also have downloads, you know, it could be a white paper, it could be a guide, those are three key things that drive the leads. So instead of just asking for someone for a phone number when the person knows it’s just basically a sales pitch and they’re just giving their information away, always try to lead with some sort of value.
Man, that that’s such good information, I think about a lot of the therapists that I follow on, say Instagram, they’re providing just amazing value, even through Instagram. And so thinking about if I wanted to work with that person around a specific topic, they would stand out in a way much differently than the average therapist that just has a website or isn’t putting that content out there.
Absolutely. So everything wraps around value. And there’s really the other thing to keep in mind is there’s two kinds of value. So the first kind of value is real value. This is what I talked about before, this is delivering that result that you promised. The second kind of value, which is really the biggest opportunity for practices is looking at your perceived value. So how to increase the perceived value? Well, this goes back to again, being an educator. When you educate, you build authority, you build influence, you know. So the more you can build your stature in the community, the more you can command a higher premium, the more you can command people choosing you as your competitor, it’s what differentiates you.
So you want to look at what I call points of value. So how do you separate yourself so that you are the obvious choice in your market? And so this comes down to your authority, your trust, all these things we’ve been talking about. But what other, you know, ways can you drive affinity? Do you have, you know, are you in similar groups, clubs? Do you have, you know, your academic credentials, all these things build up your resume, your so called, you know, your quote, unquote, resume of who you are. Not resume from, like, you know, getting a job perspective, but your body of work that builds your authority, and makes you a much easier choice.
Yeah, so when someone’s more advanced, so they have a group practice, and so they have lots of different clinicians that are working with them, they have a lot of different specialties. What would you recommend when you start to scale to a larger business more than just a solopreneur?
Well, the practices are the same, you know, in the sense that even, I mean, I’ve worked with some tremendously large groups over the years in health care. And, you know, it’s the same problems, like, the content strategy is usually what’s missing. And so there’s no thought to doing, you know, content on a blog or downloadable white papers. And even if they do, it’s, you know, not every physician is doing it, you know, not everybody is actually taking part in that. And so the more you can drive that across the organization, the more leads you’re going to drive ultimately,
Yeah, so when you work with larger companies, take us through kind of that assessment process of what they need, because I know that you have a lot of skills outside of just digital marketing. And I know a lot of our clinicians and people that own practices, they have a lot of skills that they may want to move into consulting as well. So just to kind of know what that bigger business world is looking for. How do you assess their needs? How do you help them figure out their direction? Take us through that process.
Yeah, well, the good news is I actually have an online assessment that you can look at yourself, if you go to resultsscore.com it will give you an assessment on the six factors that drive growth. And so that’s usually where I start. And so I look at how they are doing across those six factors, how they define their market. And so you know, for instance, with the market, are you segmenting you know, by geographic location, by challenges and issues, because that starts the rest of the process. So if you know that you’re having success in certain markets, well, gee whiz, this is what you got to write your content about. Right? It drives everything else. And so taking the assessment in that fashion, just by looking at those six factors, that then cascades down into the tactics of what you’re doing for SEO, what are you doing for AdWords? What are you doing for Facebook? Wherever you’re doing, wherever channels you’re using, comes from the plan, that’s the whole idea is to start strategy first. Again, not making it complicated, you know, literally spend 15 minutes on it, that’s going to drive all your direction.
Because at the end of the day, here’s something I talk about all the time, at the end of day you are where you are today, as a result of the decisions you made in the past. And so the planning process, the plan itself isn’t the magic. It’s the process that’s the magic because it makes you prioritize, and prioritize what? Well, prioritizing your time, your money and your resources, because we all have only so much of those three. And so where you put your attention is what’s going to ultimately drive your success. And you want to make sure the attention is on the right things.
Now, when you think about kind of where, whether it’s just general marketing, or lead generation, where that’s headed, you kind of said, at the very beginning, go where the puck is going, that famous Wayne Gretzky quote, talk a little bit about virtual summits, talk about where you think things are headed in the next year or so, so that people can be prepared for that.
Absolutely. So I think the next wave, like I mentioned, you know, my success has come from riding the various waves. I definitely think the next one, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. It’s all virtual, right? So look at the growth of Zoom, look at the growth of podcasting. I mean, why am I doing podcasts? Well, if you look at the marketing channels out there, most of them have declined or projected decline over the next year. There’s a recent study by Gordon Borrell, Borrell Associates, and he looked at it and noticed that, you know, AdWords is going down and Facebook, everything is going down. The one that’s growing is podcasts. And in fact, if you look at podcasts, the number of podcasts has doubled over the past year. So I think it was roughly 800,000 last year, over this time period. Now it’s one and a half million. And so the growth is tremendous. And so going in those channels that are having growth, like I mentioned before, just by riding that wave, you’re gonna have a level of success. Because you don’t have to be great at it, you just have to be well positioned.
Yeah, awesome. Well, the last question I always ask is, if every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
Yeah, so one of the great lessons I learned. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I used to be a violinist, professional violinist. And so what I learned is that you have to slow down to speed up. And so when I was in Conservatory, my teacher would, you know, I would try to play a hard piece of music, blow through the hard stuff, and then just get to the melodies. And what he taught me is to take each note, learn it bit by bit, and then speed it up. And so this is a lesson I take into life and in business, you have to slow down to speed up, because when you do that you avoid mistakes. So how many times have we hired the wrong person, put the wrong money into advertising, hired the wrong agency, etc. A lot of times, if we just took a moment to inventory where we’re at and what we actually want to accomplish, that would avoid so many problems and costly mistakes.
So awesome. So if, Tony, if people want to follow your work, they want to learn more about you. What’s the best way for them to find out more?
Yeah, well, I mentioned on here the results score. So if anyone wants to take that, that’s free, you just go to resultsscore.com. A lot of the stories I talked about today are in my Manifesto, and that’s at smallstepsmanifesto.com. If you go there, you can download templates for the results loop absolutely free. Again, I don’t even ask for information. So no lead form or anything. You just go there, you can download it, and hopefully you get some value out of it.
So awesome. Well, Tony, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.
My pleasure. Really enjoyed my time today.
Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. What a great way to kick off this year by having Brighter Vision be our first sponsor of the year. Brighter Vision website solutions has been the best solution for websites. At only $59 a month, you are able to get an amazing website, IT support, hosting, everything all in one. I mean, if you add up all of that and just the time and hassle, it’s just such a no brainer. So head on over to brightervision.com/joe and you’ll get their deal that they are giving you right now during the month of January, kick off the year right with Brighter Vision. Again, that’s brightervision.com/joe. And if they ask for any promo codes, make sure you use JOE so that they know that you found out about it here and that their marketing dollars are working. Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music; we really like it. This podcast is designed to provide accurate, authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.