Brighter Spotlight with Shakeeta Torres
Introducing June’s inspiring Brighter Spotlight, Shakeeta Torres.
Shakeeta is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Life Coach and award recipient of Think Smart Outreach Center Inc., 40 under 40. Her passion for helping Human Trafficking Survivors sparked the idea for her new non-profit that will be released soon- “Doing It For the Kingdom- which will help provide survivors with the resources they need from clothes and food to mental health services and housing.
Sit back and relax as Shakeeta walks us through her Brighter Vision experience.
Q: Tell us a little bit about you and your practice – where are you located, what do you specialize in, how often do you see clients, etc.
A: I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Life Coach. My office is located in Fayetteville, NC. I have been in private practice for 2 and ½ years. I am a faith-based counselor who primarily works with adolescents, teens, and adults with issues related to trauma, anxiety disorders, depression, low self-esteem, marriage counseling, life transitions i.e. divorce, perinatal mood disorders, and anger management.
I also am a Licensed Counselor Addictions Specialist Associate, which means I am still receiving training in this area, and sometimes I do work with clients’ who have a dual diagnoses such as PTSD and substance abuse disorder. I am also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional from the PESI institute. I am also a Prepare/Enrich Certified Clinician a program designed to help narrow down what areas couples need the most help within their relationship which saves time and money.
I am also a Certified Human Trafficking Victim Service Provider as well as an Ambassador of Hope for Shared Hope International. An organization fighting against Human Trafficking.
Q: Why did you become a counselor?
A: I became a counselor because I am a person who wants to get to the heart of a matter. I am a social worker and I have experience working in the Department of Social Services, Hospice Care, and Elderly Care, Community Work. They all involved a lot of discharging planning and monitoring of cases and I was more interested in knowing why people behave the way that they do and to help them find healing and connect the dots as to why they are stuck in their life in certain areas. Being a counselor allows me to do that.
Q: What is the biggest reason you’re glad you became a counselor?
A: Of course, there are days when I am tired and I feel like I may be in over my head at times, but the testimonies that I receive from so many people really keeps me going. Seeing people who come to my office or I see via telehealth gives me so much joy in knowing that in some way I helped them to uncover and heal their innermost struggles.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not working?
A: Spend time with my family, hang out with my friends whether it’s over the phone or face to face. I like to go to the beach, get massages, I do my own nails that is so relaxing and takes my mind off of everything.
Q: When did you become a Brighter Vision client, and why?
A: October 2017, I loved the websites and they stood out to me so beautifully. I love the customer service and getting started was so easy. I was not website savvy at the time and trying to create my own website was very tedious and mind-boggling.
Q: What methods were you using to attract new clients before you had your BV website?
A: I started a Brighter Vision website before I opened my practice in October 2017 and started accepted clients in January 2018.
Q: How did your process of attracting and attaining new clients change after your BV website went live?
A: Everyone who gave me feedback loved my website and said that my site was clean, easy to access, and easy to read. I think having a polished website is so important to attract your ideal client.
Q: What is your favorite part of your BV website? How does it represent you and your practice?
A: I absolutely love my pictures, images are everything and it sends messages of what your practice represents, I love waterfalls and BV has so many images to choose from.
Q: What other BV services are you using to further support your private practice website? (i.e. Social Genie, Brighter Insights, Brighter Vision Payments, HIPAA-Secure Email and/or Forms)
A: I am using Social Genie and I love it so far and it is very affordable.
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Q: What other non-BV tools or services do you use to help boost your business?
A: Mailchimp FB business page, and Fiverr to do some other tasks like newsletter and I am currently working on marketing funnels. I am on directories such as Psychology Today, Online Counseling, some Christian directories, I have a youtube channel, and Therapy for Black Girls, and Trap Therapist.
Q: What is something you now know about marketing your practice, or making a private practice website, that you have learned from your experience with BV?
A: Word of mouth is so great. Most of my clients who are referred to me that are a good fit are through word of mouth. Over time my website has increased my SEO and you can find me a lot easier in google now if you search for specific words. It takes time, but it is so worth it.
Q: How do you keep organized and on-schedule in your day-to-day life?
A: My calendar on my phone, to-do list, and I use Theranest to keep all my client’s files.
Q: How do you make time for self-care with your busy schedule?
A: Sometimes I have to shut it off completely. I try not to work on weekends and most Mondays I am off to give myself time to breath mentally. I have a family with two small children and so my time with them is very important. I also go get a massage once a month and I go to the chiropractor once a week to help keep my body in alignment. I am also a Christian and so I spend time reading God’s word and fellowshipping with other Believers.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote that you share with your clients? If so, what is it?
A: Yes, I have so many that I use but the most important one to me is:
“As long as you are breathing there is still hope”
Sometimes people want to give up on life or feel like their life is useless. Many people may have given up on them but I truly believe that if you are still here, there is a reason why and I help my clients figure that out.
Q: What have you found to be the most important piece of advice someone has given you about being a private business owner?
A: Be patient with yourself and don’t allow disappointments to cause you to give up. Every win or loss has a lesson in it and it will make you stronger if you allow it. Have mentors or at the very least have a few colleagues that you can catch up with from time to time who is also in Private Practice.
Q: Do you have any pieces of advice for someone just starting their own private practice journey?
A: Yes, make sure you get a website, I highly recommend BV. Join a support group on FB for private practice owners to learn all you can. Be patient with building your practice. Stay true to who you are and the type of population you want to serve. Remember that you went into private practice to walk in your purpose and treat the type of population that you work with the best. It’s easy to want to try and take everyone, but you will thrive better and so will your clients if you stick with that. Set clear boundaries, know your worth, and set your fees accordingly. It’s so much I have learned and I am thankful for the journey.
Want to follow in Shakeeta’s footsteps? Give your practice the very best and try out the world’s leading therapist website service – Brighter Vision.
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