What print material should you include in your marketing? Which materials are crucial to have? How can you take your print marketing to the next level?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Samantha Carvalho all about print materials, rack cards, business cards, banners and what to get to brand a practice.
Meet Sam Carvalho
Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.
She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!
In This Podcast
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Samantha Carvalho all about branding a practice with print materials.
Isn’t print dead?
It’s definitely important to focus on digital marketing but there is still a place for print. It’s a way to stand out and is an extra way to be professional. It shows the effort you put into your branding and marketing. With your business cards, think of embossing, which is indented text, or foil print. It doesn’t have to be a normal, ‘boring’ business card.
What should you get right away?
A business card and a rack card are the most important. Especially when you are speaking at events you can hand these out. A flyer can be a simpler version of a rack card.
Figure out how you can make flyers go a step further. Consider print books or infographics that can also work to stand out and share information easily.
Banners can also kick your brand up a notch. In your print materials, rack cards, business cards, and banners, make sure all your stationery is consistent.
What are some next steps to take with your print materials?
Make sure they are well designed. Be consistent in what you’re communicating, making sure your brand shows in each material. Take it to the next level and use more durable materials (like cardboard) and not flimsy material. Think about having a book or magazine printed.
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This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 420. Well, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. Today we have Sam Carvalho who is our chief marketing officer here at Practice of the Practice. How are you doing, Sam?
[SAM CARVALHO]: Good. Thanks. And you, Joe?
[JOE]: Oh, awesome. This is just so much fun. I love branding. I don’t know why I love it. I think it’s because it’s like art and science come together in one thing where there’s some smarts to it. But then it’s also that just artistic and creative cool stuff. It’s just so fun.
[SAM]: Couldn’t have said it better myself.
[JOE]: Oh well then, I am glad that I said it. Like I still remember this time when I was on vacation and you took a bunch of inspirational movie clips and it was like, I didn’t even have the idea and you just put them together as a way to kind of inspire people and posted it on the page. Just that idea of being able to take what your purpose is as a brand and as a business and then say, well if this were a video or if this were an image, what would that look like? You know, counseling is this face-to-face thing that you sit down and you chat through life issues. Like what does that look like as a video? What does that look like as a business card? And so, making that jump I think is a really fun and creative and it’s a big task to do.
[SAM]: Definitely. That’s what excites me. Like even just you saying that now, it’s like itching to create something that represents everything you just said. So, yes, it’s awesome.
[JOE]: Well, even, I think being able to come up with creative ways to do it. So, you know, we did our Star Wars series of Star Wars characters going to therapy. That was purely just out of ridiculousness, but it also shows that Practice of the Practice is fun, that we don’t take ourselves too seriously, that I’ll dress up as Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca and turn it into a ridiculous YouTube series.
[SAM]: Yes, absolutely. And I think that’s the power of branding that a lot of people underestimate. It’s just how much you can communicate through your branding. I think a lot of people don’t give it enough thoughts and they’re communicating things that maybe they don’t even mean to, but like that’s the feel that people are getting from the way it’s visually represented.
[JOE]: Yes. And I think that as people start to really identify what are they excited and passionate about even outside of their clinical work, how do you bring that in? Because for so long it was okay, there needs to be a clean cut between your professional and your personal and whether it’s social media or your website. That’s starting to blend a little bit and I think that there is an appropriateness to that where people want to know that you’re passionate about paying down debt. They want to know that you’re passionate about dogs or going and start a paddle boarding. Those are the things that if someone looks at, a clinician or a coach and they say, “Holy cow. I want that life. That seems like a really well-balanced life. I want to work with them to work through my issues so that I can just go for a walk with my dog and not feel guilty about how I’m not mowing the lawn.” So, I feel like it all can start to blend together in a really positive way if done correctly.
[SAM]: Yes, definitely. I think just a testament to that is that even the biggest corporations these days are kind of using that personal aspect in their advertising or their showcasing behind the scenes or the team members that make up the organization. So, I think if they’re doing it all the more reason for clinicians to be doing it because it is such a personal service. So, someone that is looking to go to therapy, I want to know before I even go for therapy, what kind of person is going to be on the other side.
[JOE]: Yes. Well, which also, you know, you think about if someone posts on social media, “Oh, I’m so drained. I can’t imagine doing three more clients today.” Probably not what you should put on social media. Like imagine your client is reading, your next client is reading what you just posted. And so, there is a balance there as well. Or at the end of the day if you’re like, “Boy, I had a really rough day of clients.” Like, don’t put that out there.
[SAM]: Rather use like a private message group for that.
[JOE]: Right. Cool. Well we have covered a lot of ground already. In the first episode we talked about logos, first impressions and brand style guides. Then we talked about websites and the user journey. Last time we talked about social media, we forgot to talk a little bit about how you have a course within Next Level Practice that walks people through exactly what to do for each social media.
So, all of you Next Level Practice people that are listening, make sure you go through that course when you’re ready. And if you haven’t joined Next Level Practice, the next cohort is coming up soon over at practiceofthepractice.com/invite. You can go over there and check that out and read about Next Level Practice. So, it’s today, though, we are talking about print. So, I thought print was dead. Why are we talking about print?
[SAM]: Well I was, —
[JOE]: I said that after just spending like [inaudible 00:05:56] dollars on Vista print yesterday.
[SAM]: Yes, I’d say definitely initially focused on the digital side of things. Obviously that is like where I will just add, but I definitely still think if there is a Facebook print, but I think it’s become more of like a way to kind of take your business to the next level, to stand out as like an extra way to be a professional kind of thing. So, I mean, a lot of people these days don’t even use business cards. They’ll just put the number in your phone or whatever it is, but I just think it’s still professional and it just kind of makes you stand out and makes you seem, yes, a little bit better when you present someone with a really well designed business card. And same goes for rack cards, kind of aid-type material I think is just taking your branding to that next step. And yes, also just showing the effort that you’re putting into your branding and your marketing.
[JOE]: Yes, and I think because fewer and fewer people are using business cards, when you have one, it makes you stand out, especially if it’s well designed. When I first started my practice, there’s these, they’re called MOO minis. So, MOO is a great website. I think you’d get a discount of use practiceofthepractice.com/moo, (that’s M O O). But they have these mini cards that are like half the size, and so I didn’t have a logo yet for Mental Wellness Counseling. And so, I just had these little statements like ‘We help angry kids’ or ‘There’s hope for your family’ and, like ‘Your marriage isn’t dead.’ Things like that that were just kind of a little controversial and I would give them to people, but then also, like there’s, in men’s bathrooms there’s like a urinal and then on the wall there’s often advertising.
And so, at bars I would often put the ‘Your marriage isn’t dead’ ones, sometimes at like music festivals, I’d put them in outhouses. And I actually had a client tell me, they found one of my business cards in an outhouse and called me. And I was like, that was, like I was hustling hard back then. It was like, I didn’t know anything about SEO or websites or kind of the other tactics, but by that, just like bootstrapping, hard work makes you stand out in a way that other people aren’t bootstrapping it.
[SAM]: Yes, and I think there’s so many exciting alternatives with print as well. Like I know with business cards nowadays, it’s like the embossing that you can do. So, it’s not even necessarily print design. It’s like that your logo gets embossed onto the card, and —
[JOE]: Is that like laser cut into it, sort of?
[SAM]: Yes, sort of like indented, So, yes, it’s like a different domain, almost like 3D, but not really. And then the other thing is foil printing. So, you know, having like your logo appearing like a metallic gold or metallic silver. So, I think there’s just some very exciting possibilities. You know, sometimes when you think of a business card, you think it’s just like normal print on a white cardboard. But I mean, there’s just so many possibilities out there that you can make it really cool.
[JOE]: Yes. I had a business card once that it was so thick that, I gave it to a friend of mine. She was kind of going in and out of the parking garage and she said she just reached in her purse and pulled out what she thought was the parking garage little like thing that you wave in front of it because it was so thick and the same size. She was like, “Darn you Joe Sanok with your thick business card.” So, let’s talk through it. So, rack cards, business cards, banners, what would you say people should get right away? Like would you say business cards? People should get those right away?
[SAM]: Yes so, I think we had something like the corporate business package, I think we called it, which had things like your letterhead, your business card, rack cards, flyer, but then it also had some digital things like your email signature. So again, this kind of goes back to the first episode where we said create your logo and then set up your brand style guide and then when you’re designing these sorts of things, it’s easy to then just go back to your brand style guide and be like, “Okay, cool. This is our look and feel. This is what we want to communicate.” So, then kind of making use of that look and feel across all your platforms.
So, I’d say making sure that all your stationary is consistent. But yes, I’d say first and foremost a business card and probably a rack card are the most important items. A flyer is usually just a simpler version of the rack cards where you kind of put a lot of information. Well if it’s the same promotion, if it’s the same information that you’re putting on both you’d kind of elaborate on the rack card and then your flier would have a bit less information. And Joe, I mean it’s really helpful if you’re going to events or you are speaking at events to be able to have that set up that people can take or to kind of handouts to everyone at the event.
[JOE]: Yes. In my practice we had a flyer we gave out. I usually wasn’t a big fan of flyers, but I thought if it gave some step by step instructions that made it more helpful. And so rather than have a doctor just say, “Here’s Joe Sanok’s card,” or “Here’s Mental Wellness Counseling’s card,” it was, “Here’s a flyer that will walk you through exactly how to schedule and kind of what you expect.” And so it was, “First call or email here and then within an hour or two we should get back to you if we don’t answer the phone and then you’ll get scheduled within a day or two and then you’ll sign a release to talk to your doctor so that we can coordinate services.” So, then the doctor knew that that person had all of the step by step to make that call or to set up that appointment instead of just, “Here’s a business card.”
So, I think figuring out how a flyer can go kind of a step further than your typical flyer. For a while, we even had, there’s a lot of free depression assessments or anxiety assessments or drinking assessments to look at whether or not someone falls within risk categories. And so, to have that on one side of a flyer where someone can just go through the self-assessment and then on the other side say, “If you scored above these numbers, it might be worth doing a phone call with a counselor.” So, then the flyer becomes functional rather than just that it’s just promoting your services.
[SAM]: Yes. And also, something that I know one or two clients have done is they’ve taken or they’ve asked me to design an infographic and also kind of detailing. It’s more to the client to like, you know tips and advice for when you’re feeling anxious or like how to help your kid with the stuttering or things like that. And then made it into an infographic and printed it out into like A3 or A2 and have that framed and hung in your office. I mean that in itself is kind of a full of print marketing. So, and there was something else I was going to say, but —
[JOE]: Well, I think that that reminds me of even just taking a bunch of our blog posts or when I had been on the radio a bunch of times, bringing that together into a print book where through Amazon I had, I don’t know, 50 of them printed and then they were sold in the local bookstore. I gave them away in the office. Those tangible things for people really make you stand out. So if you had an infographic framed and then on high quality cardstock you had printed 20 of them that you could hand your clients, they’re more likely to put that on their refrigerator or hang it up on their kids’ wall or something than if it was just say a digital download or even just a flimsy piece of paper.
[SAM]: Yes, I think it’s definitely a way to kind of take it a step further. The other thing I was thinking is come Christmas, I know you’ve done an episode on this way where you speak about like sending gifts to your referrals but then also just like the card that accompanies that. Or, even if you don’t send a gift, even if you just send like a thank you card, you know, it’s making sure that’s really nice. It’s also something that’s going to like stick in their mind and be like, “Oh wow, I received a ready, well-designed thank you card,” or “Something that was innovative from this person,” and that’s going to make you stick in their mind come to new year.
[JOE]: Yes. I think it’s one of those things that as fewer and fewer people do it, it makes you stand out all the more, whether it’s a tangible gift you send or something tangible you give away. I mean, how often do you go to, whether it’s a career fair or some sort of family fair or whatever, and you know, the junk people give out, you know, they give candy out or a pen. It’s like if you give out something quality or you have even just an infographic that’s printed on cardstock, you’re going to stand in a much different way than all the other people that are giving out, you know, Tootsie rolls.
[SAM]: Yes, definitely.
[JOE]: Well, let’s talk a little bit about banners, because I know a lot of people will do networking events or things like that and they don’t necessarily get a banner made for that. I think that’s a big mistake because I think it’s a really big missed opportunity to show professionalism. What do you think about banners for whether it’s a conference or a table or networking? What do you think about that?
[SAM]: Yes, I also think it’s a must. I think if you just think from a visual perspective, if you have to walk into a hole and kind of see someone standing at a table with a bunch of stuff that you can’t see from where you’re standing on the table versus someone else’s stand that has this huge banner that already kind of tells you who they are and what they do, you’re more likely to, or straight away, you’re just have a better impression of the person with the banner and you’re more likely to kind of go up to them and want to know more. So, I think just from that perspective, like just grabbing people’s attention when they aren’t right at your table is important. And I think they’re reusable. I mean, obviously as long as you look after them, you kind of got them for life. So, it might be a bit of an expense initially, but after that you can use them wherever you go, and then I think it’s definitely getting a [inaudible 00:16:13].
[JOE]: Yes, and I think it’s also a sense of you own the space where if you’re invited to come speak at, say a parent teacher after school thing to, you know, say there’s like a middle school and you’re invited to come speak and in the back you have a table where you have your printed books, you have some handouts, and then you have a big banner that says Mental Wellness Counseling with all the people that you serve. When you’re talking, it’s like you’re also owning the space at the back of the room. When somebody gets up to go to the bathroom or they take a phone call, you’re everywhere, you’re all around them, even though you’re only standing at the front speaking. And so, to me, a banner, they’re so cheap through Vista print or other places to get a banner. It’s totally worth the 50 bucks that you’re going to spend
[SAM]: And adds to your professionalism definitely. I think it already just kind of kicks it up a notch and makes your brand appear a lot more professional.
[JOE]: Absolutely. So, what else around print do people need to know around rack cards, business cards, banners. What other opportunities are out there that they should know about?
[SAM]: When it comes to like the type of print material?
[JOE]: Yes. Or even just strategies, ways to think about it, calls to actions within say a rack card. What are some just next steps that they could take with their print materials?
[SAM]: Yes, so I think, again, just kind of making sure that your print materials are well designed. Obviously, it kind of negates having print materials if they don’t look great. So, kind of making sure that they’re well designed, and I think, yes, consistency in what you’re communicating. So, making sure that you’re communicating who your brand is in every single record. So, whether you’re promoting a specific service or event, making sure that you’re still communicating, like fundamentally who you are over and above that, not just focusing on the service or the event.
Then I would say, yes, taking it to the next step and using like cardboard or more durable materials than just flimsy paper. I think flimsy paper can start looking not great really quickly, like if it gets folded or messed up. So, I’d say using cardboard or something would dribble and then, yes, I think what you said about having a book printed even if it’s just one that’s stapled at the center initially or like a little magazine like we’ve been doing. Those are obviously all next level things that you can do.
[JOE]: Awesome. Well we are doing our final episode next. That’s going to be your full brand strategy. We’re going to talk through some systems and just ways to keep on track with your branding. If you’re interested in getting a brand style guide put together, if you’re interested in some of those kind of print materials that Sam talked about, if you want branding in any way and you’re just like, “I don’t want to do that,” head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/branding. You can have a conversation with Sam and she and the team will talk with you about what the best next steps are for you and your branding in your private practice.
Sams, thank you … Sams. We do have two Sams. Sam, thanks for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast today.
[SAM]: Cool. Thanks Joe.
[JOE]: This podcast is designed to provide accurate and 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. And special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy. We like your intro music.