TTE 2: How Mercedes Samudio Niched Into Parent Coaching & Her Practice Exploded
Mercedes Samudio from The Parenting Skill shares her experience in niching down to Parent Coaching and how she uses Facebook marketing to get clients.
In This Episode, You’ll Learn:
- How Mercedes’ practice exploded once she decided to niche down specifically into parent coaching
- How to use Facebook Ads, LeadPages and webinars to create a well-oiled marketing machine
- Why you should hire experts to help you instead of trying to do everything yourself
- How to use Periscope to grow your personal brand and connect with your audience
Best Marketing Move for Business
- Getting very consistent in a social media presence. It solidified her message and made it so that people could really access Mercedes and get a sense of who she is.
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Facebook Ads
- Recommended Book: Rising Strong by Brené Brown
- Mercedes’ website: The Parenting Skill
Weekly Website Tip
From Brighter Vision’s Will Portice:
One of my favorite design tricks has to do with images, having high-quality images is an essential way to have your website uniquely and accurately market you. A great way to find images is to just search for them on Google and download whatever you want to find. Haha. Just kidding. Don’t ever do that. That’s a good way to get sued.
Instead, sign up for an account with royalty free stock photography companies. By using royalty free photos you get high quality images for a very low cost. Typically only one to two dollars an image. And you don’t need to provide attribution.
Our stock photo company of choice is Big Stock Photo, but there are dozens of them out there that have great high quality photos. Such as 123rf.com or I’m sure many more if you go to a Google search and look around in there. You can also find free images to use if they are licensed under a creative commons. A great place to research for creative commons images is at search.creativecommons.org.
Thanks for Listening!
Thank you so much for joining us this week. Do you have some feedback you’d like to share? Please leave a note in the comment section below!
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Also, please leave an honest review for The Therapist Experience on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely important to get this podcast in front of other therapists who could benefit from it. The ratings matter in how iTunes ranks the show, and I read each and every one of them.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.
Thanks to Mercedes for joining me this week. Until next time!
TranscriptClick here to read the Transcript
Perry: In this episode of the therapist experience, I’m speaking with Mercedes Samudio from The Parenting Skill. This is The Therapist Experience episode number two. Welcome to The Therapist Experience. The podcast where we interview successful therapists about what it’s really like growing a private practice. I’m Perry Rosenbloom, the founder of Brighter Vision, and I’m excited to introduce our guest today Mercedes Samudio from The parenting Skill. Mercedes, are you prepared to share your therapist experience?
Mercedes: Yes, I am Perry.
Perry: Alright, fantastic. So great to have you here Mercedes. Mercedes is the founder of The Parenting Skill. She is a parent coach who supports parents as they discover and unlock their unique parenting powers. She truly believes that when parents feel empowered they can be great guides for raising healthy and happy children. She’s a leading parenting expert certified in non-violent child raising and attachment parenting and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Woman’s Day, Daily Parent, Parenting OC Magazine, and Kids In The House. Mercedes, I gave a little overview of you there, but why don’t you take a minute, fill in the gaps from that intro and tell us a little bit more about you personally and about your practice?
Mercedes: Yeah, sure. So I am, like you said, a parent coach but I’m also an LCSW and actually over the past year I’ve been transitioning out of doing traditional family therapy to doing more parent coaching. So what I do in my practice is kind of a little bit as what you said which is I help parents discover and unlock their parenting powers. And what that means is that I really focus on parents feeling empowered and confident to raise healthy kids and to create really healthy families. Because in my work I have realized that parents really need to feel confident in order to be the guides in their families. Not so that way everyone does everything right 100% of the time, but in those moments when families feel like, “Oh, we’re kind of messing up. Things are kind of getting a little rough for us.” The parents feel confident to say, “You know what? I can help. I can be here. I can be that guide and that support for my family.”
Perry: Wow, Mercedes. That is such a great theory and I completely agree with it. I have a almost three year old son and a five month old son. And gosh, it’s quite a challenge but we’re having so much fun doing it. And having confidence in what you’re doing, whether it’s being a parent, whether it’s being an entrepreneur, confidence breeds success and I love your theory and your approach to therapy and to coaching. So Mercedes, one thing we found really fascinating is exploring the why with therapists. So you started off as an LCSW seeing patients in a traditional manner, but now you sort of branched off to doing more parent coaching and have developed this really fantastic theory and have been published all over the place. So let’s take a step back though and why did you choose a career in therapy to focus on? And how did you start focusing on parent coaching and what brought you into this modality?
Mercedes: Right. So I think with most therapists, we realize that what we’ve gone through our own life experience usually gives us some inclination as to who we want to help and who we want to heal. So for me family trauma was definitely something I experienced growing up and going into my young adult life. And as I started to look for avenues to heal myself, and to heal other people, and to see how I can help I realized that working with families was something that I had a passion for but it was also something that allowed me to heal and grow from my own stuff as well. So I began to lead psychology and then later on social work, and I started to realize all of this really just clicks. It makes sense that if we start to look at our past and then we start to look at our future and we start to figure out how we can kind of bring those two things together, we can really start to heal and move forward. And then one of the things that I really started to see in my work with families is that parents really are the backbone and the foundation for every family. Whoever the caregivers are I use the word parents, but that’s not just for people who are biological. It’s for anyone who’s caring for a family. It’s for anyone who is the caregiver for a whole family. And I started to realize that when I focused on them and made them feel empowered, help them to feel confident and gave them strategies that worked and made sense for who they were in their family. I realized that families began to thrive. So that is kind of how I got to this point of moving from that family therapy aspect to really focusing just on the parent coaching, and really focusing just on helping families develop a skill, develop the confidence to be that foundation for their family.
Perry: How long ago or at what point in your career did you decide to switch from traditional counseling and family therapy to focusing more on parent coaching and nicheing down into that specific area?
Mercedes: I think it’s something that I’ve always done. As a therapist you’re always kind of wearing multiple hats so as a social worker as well I have the key management hat, I have the linkage referral hat, I have the therapy hat, I have even the coaching hat. But as I started to really look at what I want to do with my private practice versus what I was doing when I was working in a non-profit, I began to look at who do I help, how do I help and why, what gives me the passion to do that. And I always, always loved working with parents. I always, always loved dealing with my parents and helping them kind of manage all of the stress and all of the excitement that comes with being a caregiver. So when I look at my private practice I did start off as family therapy because I was trying to be like everyone else and be traditional, and, “Okay I have to have a therapy practice but it has to look this way and it has to look this way.” But then as I started to do it I realized, no, I really love just working with parents. I really love coaching them and helping them. So I began to transition in about a year ago into what coaching would look like and how that would resonate with my business and my business plan.
Perry: And how did that– By nicheing down and really focusing on parent coaching, what kind of impact did that have in your business?
Mercedes: It gave me confidence interestingly enough. I always talk about parallel process and as I work with my parents to help them feel confident I realized there were a lot of times when I wasn’t feeling confident because I didn’t know specifically who I was helping, my ideal client. And as I began to get more specific about it I began to show up in different ways and show up more confidently even in my marketing because I knew, okay, parent coaching. That is who I am. I’m a parent coach. I’m also a therapist because I work really hard to get that licensure but I really at my heart, and my core, and my skillset really revolves around being a parent coach. So I think identifying that niche for myself and then identifying the title I wanted to use, it helped me to feel more confident and then brought that out in my marketing, brought that out in everything I kind of did in my business.
Perry: Now I just want to reemphasize what you said that was so fantastic. Therapist Experience audience, when you niche down and you really decide what you want to focus on– I know it’s scary, I know it’s intimidating to say, “Yeah, I’m just going to work and I just want to work exclusively in this area.” That is going to help you. It’s not going to hinder you. It’s going to help you with your marketing. You’re going to know how to market yourself. And knowing how to market yourself and where your audience is, that’s how you really start growing as an entrepreneur and growing your business. Would you agree with that Mercedes?
Mercedes: I definitely agree with that 100%. And I agree with what you said about being scared to niche because that was something that, again, when I started out I thought, “I have to do what everybody else was doing.” And I didn’t think about nicheing because I want to help everybody. Everyone who comes through the door. I’m here and I’m a family therapist and whoever it is. So I definitely understand that transition from starting out, just wanting to succeed and have your business thrive to really taking that risk and saying, “I’m going to niche. I’m going to get very specific and then I’m going to focus all of my effort and my business plan and my marketing to this niche.”
Perry: Most certainly, and Mercedes that clearly has been so successful in your practice. You’ve been able to go out and be an author in all sorts of great venues because you have that specific focus, because you know who you work with and what your expertise is. But you’ve come such a long way in your career as a therapist and as a parent coach to get to where you are now. Let’s go back to a point in your career though where you could have called it quits. Where you were as low as you could possibly be in your journey in private practice and you were ready to throw in the towel? I know we’ve all been there. I can think of probably a dozen moments as an entrepreneur that I’ve been there personally. But let’s go back to that moment, share that story with us, and then share with us how you overcame that moment?
Mercedes: If I can be really honest I think that moment comes quite a bit as an entrepreneur. It’s not just a stagnant kind of point in our roles as therapists or business owners. So I kind of have learned to roll with that and to understand that there are going to be times, especially when I’m taking a bigger risk, or I’m deciding to make another shift or change in my business. That point of feeling like, “Oh, this is not going to work. Let me just go back to what I was doing last week because that was easier.” I know that’s going to kind of come and go and it comes in waves. So that’s something that I really like to embody and it’s something that I started to embody, those waves of feeling like, “I am great and I am successful to those–” Where you’re going like, “Wow. Maybe I just need to go back to non-profit and stop trying to do this thing on my own.” It comes and goes. So that’s kind of the first piece of it that I really wanted to share. Then, in terms of getting out of it, I think always for me I go back to my why. Why did I choose to do this? Why did I choose to leave the non-profit world and start my own private practice? Why did I choose to help specifically this population that I’m helping? What’s my bigger why? And I think that when I begin to focus on that bigger picture instead of the current moment of frustration or stuckness that I’m having, it helps me to kind of move past it. Words like, “Yes, I’m frustrated because this Facebook ad isn’t working or marketing ploy that I’m doing isn’t working, but the bigger picture is I want to help parents feel successful. I want to help parents feel empowered. So even though this little moment isn’t working as well I can still find another avenue to get past that. So I can keep moving towards that bigger why of what I’m doing.
Perry: Oh, Gosh. That resonated so much with me, Mercedes, as an entrepreneur. I’m sure our audience, it’s resonating so much with them too. The rollercoaster of being an entrepreneur. You can be as low as you can possibly go and then you dig deep inside of you and claw your way out of that by focusing on your why and letting that motivate you to get to that next peak. And you have a great marketing initiative that works. You help a client overcome something that they’ve been struggling with and they just get that great aha moment. But then it goes back down again eventually. It’s that rollercoaster of being an entrepreneur that all of us have signed up for for some crazy reason, but, gosh, it’s such a great journey, isn’t it?
Mercedes: It is. It is. It’s very enlightening journey too, I think.
Perry: It most certainly is. You learn so much about yourself and so much about those around you. So Mercedes, you’ve come such a long way over your career and something that we see so often that therapists struggle with in the early days is with pricing themselves well. And not even the early days. We’ve spoken with therapists who have been around. My mother in law has been a therapist for close of 30 years and pricing is still something that you can struggle with. So would you mind sharing with our audience what your hourly rate is to see clients, and your journey to that rate?
Mercedes: Sure. So as a coach I actually do things a little bit differently. I actually have coaching packages, and the coaching packages are things that parents can pay for either by session or as a whole. And I came up with those packages based on all of my work with families and seeing how their change really kind of happens over the time that we work together. So as I looked at that I realized that parents pretend to change in multiples of four. So after four sessions we begin to have these type of either fluctuations or frustrations or barriers where if I chunk it into sessions of four my families can really start to see any type of progress. They’ll start to see either they’re doing really well or there might be things that we need to change. So that’s kind of how I structure my fee schedule in my practice, but it all breaks down to about 180 a session when you look at it.
Perry: Great. And your parent coaching packages. Can you elaborate on that a little more for us? When someone signs up, are they signing up then for four sessions which should be approximately 180 a piece?
Perry: So it would be like 720 dollars?
Perry: How do you structure that exactly? Do you give a free consultation first or–?
Mercedes: Yes I do.
Perry: Then you break it off into different payment? I guess, elaborate on that for our audience?
Mercedes: Sure. So every parent who comes through as a client, we start off with the free consultation which is a free 15 minute consultation where we figure out if parent coaching is a right fit, because again, coaching isn’t therapy so I really definitely take that time In that concept to let them know that we’re not going to be doing therapy and we’re just focusing on the parenting unit. So that way we can talk about whether or not the parent need’s that, if they need that, if it’s a good fit for where they’re at and the issues that they are wanting to address in their treatment. Once we do that then based on the issues that are going on we decide whether we’re going to do for session packets, eight, 12, 16, and then so forth. And pretty much the size of the package depends on where the parent is over that consult and how much work they’re willing to do. And I really kind of give them a good overview of who I am in the ways that I challenge and push, and coach over those sessions. So they can either– Like I say. They have a payment plan where they can either pay over each session which again like I said comes about to 180 a session or they can pay it all at once.
Perry: Do you have a discount if they pay all at once?
Mercedes: Yes I do. It’s not that big of one but it kind of comes down to, I’d say maybe like a 10% discount if they pay all at once.
Perry: Most certainly. And that helps you get that cash flow in so you can reinvest that in your business right away.
Mercedes: It does.
Perry: And Mercedes, since that’s coaching, do you work with clients across the nation or do you focus just in your immediate area?
Mercedes: Clients across the nation.
Perry: Fantastic. So focusing on clients across the nation, you must have some great gems for marketing advice. And we find so many of our clients and therapists that we speak with struggle with marketing their business or they feel like marketing and sales is kind of like a dirty word. But there’s no way you could have grown this amazing brand that you have without marketing. Whether it’s conscious marketing or not.
Perry: What was the single best marketing move you made for your business and why do you feel it worked so well?
Mercedes: I think you may mentioned it, being able to offer my services nationwide. One of the things that has helped me immensely is getting really consistent in my social media presence. So that really helped me to not only just solidify my message and let others know who I am, but it also made it really easy for me to be able to tell people who I am without having to call each and every single referral source and each and every single client that I’m thinking about having. People can really just access me via my social media as well as my website. So I really appreciate it being able to kind of just put myself out there like that and really get it consistent with my social media and web presence because that’s really helped me again become that position as an expert in my field. People really do know who I am, what my message is, what I’m about, how I speak. The topics that are important to me. And then it’s also helped me again launch programs as well as move into more passive income because people can access me and get a really good sense of who I am without having to directly talk to me.
Perry: Wow, Mercedes. There are so many gems there. So let’s start off with being the expert. People do business with those that they know, like, and trust. And you’ve managed to leverage your website and social media to position you as an expert. How do you think you’ve managed to do that? Where did you learn how to do that and what kind of advice would you have for our audience who want to position themselves as an expert in a niche?
Mercedes: So the first thing I’ll say is this. My website I didn’t like for a very long time until I started working with you guys. So that helped me a lot. Once I got a website that I felt very confident in, where I didn’t mind telling people to go there, that helped.
Perry: That’s definitely a step in the right direction. And just for a full disclosure, Mercedes is a Brighter Vision client but we’re not compensating her at all to be here and we just want to hear about her experience here as a therapist.
Mercedes: So that was number one, but then I also hired a business coach. In 2003, I believe, I worked with Kelly and Miranda of zynnyme.com and that really helped me to understand what it meant to even have a social media presence. So before that, of course, I had my own personal own that I shared memes and little silly things but when I started to talk to my business coaches and started to get honest direction on how to position yourself as a professional online. That really gave me a lot of confidence to go out there and begin to know what do I post, what do I share, how much do I share, how do I interact with clients who engage with me via social media. And I began to get a lot of confidence from that. And again, as you become more consistent, as your message becomes more clearer people do begin to engage with that because either they resonate with it or they don’t which is the fault of the internet. But you get to engage in those moments and say, “This is who I am and I’m happy that you’re engaging with me. I’m happy that you’re here. How can I help you?” When people get, like you said, more trust in you they begin to share your stuff, which opens it up to more people who get to see who you are. So I think it has just been this gradual understanding of how to clear my message, and once I’m clear how to present that professionally on my social media. And then how to engage with people from having that message be out there.
Perry: Most certainly. And we’ll make sure to link up to Kelly and Miranda from Zynnyme in the show notes which will be at brightervision.com/session2. And we love the work that Kelly and Miranda are doing over there. They are helping therapists nationwide really figure out how to grow their private practice. So definitely check them out. And what social media– There’s so much social media out there.
Perry: Which tools or which social media networks have you leveraged the most and found the most successful for your practice?
Mercedes: I’m on every single one that’s out there pretty much. But the ones that I have been able to engage and connect with my clients, my audience has been Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Periscope.
Perry: Periscope? Really?
Mercedes: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Real helpful.
Perry: You know, we have noticed Periscope popping up more and more for some of our clients and can you elaborate more how Periscope has helped you?
Mercedes: Well, Periscope is live broadcasting meaning any device that you’re using, your phone, your iPad, your tablet, you can live broadcast like a live feed of what you’re doing and what you’re talking about. So as I became more clearer on my message it was easy for me to start a live broadcast about parenting tips, parenting advice, parenting help and support. And as I began to do it more consistently– I’m not doing it much this year, but last year I was doing it really consistently. People come on live and talk with you, and share with you their struggles, and share with you their outcomes, and you’re able to connect with them and they’re able to see you. So you’re just talking live and people are able to say, “I like what you’re saying. What you’re saying is really helping me. I’m really resonating with that.” And I think that brings more trust because not only are you able to share your expertise, but you’re able to in real time share expertise with people who are saying, “Hey, my kid is screaming in the background. What should I do?” You can actually share right then in real time how they can help and how they can get some support there.
Perry: That’s fantastic. So you also mentioned Facebook and I heard you before mentioned Facebook Ads.
Perry: How are you using Facebook and specifically Facebook advertisements to grow your business?
Mercedes: Facebook is fun because they keep changing every single second of the day. And Facebook Ads, I think, can be really fun too. But one thing that I will say across the board, especially with Facebook is, don’t use social media to get clients, so to speak. That can be a great side effect or byproduct, but I really use social media to position myself as an expert and to position myself as an authority figure on the topic of parenting and the topic of family healing because I realize that when people connect with you on Facebook, they really aren’t looking all the time to pay for things or to buy things. They’re just looking for support as they are going about their days on their phones, checking their feed, being able to see a comment, a blog post, a meme, inspirational quote that you posted really begins to help them to think like, “This person might be someone I can reach out to when I really need help.” So I use Facebook Ads to let people know more about the events that I’m doing. To let people know that there are new blog posts up and that I also use Facebook to share all those things. To share inspiration quotes, to share other people’s blog posts as well as mine, to be a resource for parents when they come to my page. They say, “I know Mercedes is going to give me the content I need to keep going, either if it’s just for a day, for an hour. And I know that when I’m ready to work with her she’s someone that I trust because she shares such great content whether it be her own or someone else’s.” So that’s kind of how I use it and with that mindset of, I might not get a client from it right away but people begin to know me as of the word on parenting and parenting help.
Perry: And again, I hear you keep coming back to you expert authority. That’s so crucial in positioning yourself in your market. I want to dive back into the Facebook Ads just briefly here. So you mention that you use it to promote blog posts. So for example, if you post something on Facebook, you can click the button to share it with more people and pay for that to be seen. Is that what you’re referring to there?
Mercedes: Yes. I’ve done that before and I also boosted my own actual page before, which again you click and you’re able to pay for Facebook to show it to more people. So they will let people know to come and like the page or to come and interact with the page. And then I also used it more recently for events that I might be holding. So if there are live events or webinar events I like people to know, hey it’s coming up. And if you for it Facebook will show it to more people and let more people become aware of it.
Perry: Okay. So when you promote a webinar or promote an event, and that’s one of the benefits of being able to work nationwide and coach nationwide because you can get such a huge audience. Do you send people to a specific page on your website or is there another third party where they can then register for the event?
Perry: And do you do that on your website or do you use a company like Leadpages or Unbounce for hosting the webinar signups.
Mercedes: It depends on what am I doing. If I’m doing a live event, which I’m doing currently. I’m doing a Facebook Ad for a live event. I’m sending them to Eventbrite so they can purchase their tickets and reserve their seat. Then if I do it for a webinar, then yes, I will send them to my lead page. Page where they can register for it. Sign up and make sure that they get the information when the webinar goes live.
Perry: Fantastic. And just so our audience is clear. We’ll have all this in the show notes for you. Brightervision.com/session2. And Leadpages is a great tool if you’re not familiar with it. It allows you to build a landing page that people can then sign up for something or give their information to you. And it’s sort of like a squeeze page, that’s how people like to refer to it. Where there’s no other option but to either exit the window out or sign up or give their information to you. So it’s a great way to generate leads, hence Leadpages. So, Mercedes you’re sharing so many great gems here and you’ve clearly given yourself an amazing business education the entrepreneur way. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. But you went to school to become a therapist. Not to get your MBA.
Mercedes: No. I did not.
Perry: Which is the case for pretty much every therapist in private practice, and somehow along the way you decided to open your own private practice. What’s the one thing that you wish you would have learned in school about starting your own business?
Mercedes: If I can be really honest, because that’s a great question. I think one of the things I really wish that someone would have talked to me about is how much being a business owner takes you on an internal journey. I think a lot of us believe that when we start being a business owner that external kind of marketing and being yourself and being out there, but there’s also this internal journey that happens, that I really wasn’t prepared for. I wasn’t prepared for that roller coaster of self-discovery that comes with trying to be a business owner. And even though I’m a therapist and I’m trained to deal with that internal work I think sometimes you’re not always prepared for what might happen when you decide to take that big risk. So I wish that more people would talk about that and not just how to get to six figures in two days and all those big things. I wish people would really talk about that internal journey that comes up because you learn about your strengths and how great you are. But you also learn, wow. These are some things I didn’t know about myself. I didn’t know I could have handled this. I didn’t know that this was hard. And it’s something that I personally always talk about when people ask me, “Mercedes, how did you do this?” And we have coffee dates or we have Skype sessions when we’re talking. I always tell people, “Look, you’re going to go on an internal journey. All the external stuff that you learn to grow your business and market is great. But really don’t discount or ignore the internal journey that you’re going to go through, and really give yourself space for that.”
Perry: I agree entirely. When I turned my two weeks in at my job, probably about four or five years ago I had no idea the journey that was going to take me on. And the amount of things you learn about yourself, learn about your spouse, learn about your family. Gosh, it’s just mind blowing. What was one thing you learned about yourself?
Mercedes: That I actually have a lot more grit than I thought I did. I guess there is a part of me that felt, “Oh, I can’t do it. I really need to be under the umbrella of a non-profit.” But as I started to go and I started to overcome certain hurdles and certain mind blocks and mental shifts, I realized, hey. I have some grit here. You know?
Perry: Most certainly. You wouldn’t have got to this point Mercedes if you didn’t have a ton of grit. My goodness. You have to have grit to make it this far.
Mercedes: Yes. And I think that’s a positive thing, but it also can be sometimes a negative thing. I always talk to people about it being two sides of the same coin so sometimes having grit also kind of gets you head strong and really overly ambitious. So you don’t always know that maybe what you’re running head-first towards won’t always work but I think at the end of the day I’m really happy that I learned that about myself because now I’m giving myself space to be that way and when I see myself running head-first at something I’ve also built this support system where someone would turn me around and say, “Hey, maybe don’t run 100 miles per hour at that place right now. Come back over here.” So it’s really helping me in that way.
Perry: Mercedes, you’ve brought up so many great tips regarding technology and social media and business. It seems like this all comes so naturally to you, but we’ve seen so many therapists struggle with overcoming the hurdle of technology. What are some tools that you’ve used to leverage the power of technology in your private practice, so that technology is no longer a hurdle but instead an asset for you?
Mercedes: I think, if I can be honest, and you mentioned this in your question, which is it’s really hard. And sometimes– You know, it feels like people have just learned it and it’s natural but I will say getting help and support however you can, so I decided to do it with a business coach and other people can decide to do it however. That actually gives you a lot more information and background so when you decide to do any type of technological marketing ploy for your business you feel like you can actually do it. So I’ll start there. I’ll really get support. Don’t just sit at your computer trying to google and youtube everything. Take that time to invest in yourself and say, “Hey, I’m going to pay somebody to– Even if it’s just an hour or a few hours. I’m going to pay somebody to really teach me how to do x and y. And that’s what I’ve really committed to in my life. That whenever I take on a new venture, yes I’ll google it, yes I’ll youtube it, but if it takes me longer than a few hours. I’m like, you know what? Let me find someone who can actually help me. That way I can get this done and move on to the next piece of my business and not sit here pretending I was trying to figure it out. So that’s kind of a step that I think is really important, that I think a lot of people miss, because they’re like, I have to figure this out. You don’t have to do it by yourself. Definitely look for support if you can.
Perry: Do you try to hire people to teach you how to do something or hire people to actually do it for you, or a mix of both?
Mercedes: A mix of both. So there are times where I want to know how to do it, because it’s something that I know I’m going to be using consistently in my business. So I definitely want to know myself, how do I do this? But then there are times when it’s like, this is beyond me. This would take a whole another master’s degree to learn this. Like developing a website where it’s like, you know what? Let someone else do it. This person actually is certified in it, trained in it and this is what they do for a living. So instead of trying to do it on your own just let someone else do it.
Perry: Exactly, and that’s the same with you whether it’s a website– Sometimes we’d speak to people who hire pay per click experts, people who hire social media design pages. Don’t spend the time trying to figure it our yourself, your time is so much more valuable than that.
Mercedes: I agree.
Perry: So Mercedes, before we move on to my favorite part of the show, we’re going to take a quick break here for our weekly website tip from one of Brighter Vision’s lead developers. Mercedes will be right back.
This week’s website tip comes from Will Portice, a lead developer at Brighter Vision. The worldwide leader in custom therapist website design. To learn more go to www.brightervision.com
Will: Hey everyone. Will Portice here. One of my favorite design tricks has to do with images, having high-quality images is an essential way to have your website uniquely and accurately market you. A great way to find images is to just search for them on Google and download whatever you want to find. Haha. Just kidding. Don’t ever do that. That’s a good way to get sued. Instead, sign up for an account with royalty free stock photography companies. By using royalty free photos you get high quality images for a very low cost. Typically only one to two dollars an image. And you don’t need to provide attribution. Our stock photo company of choice is Big Stock Photo, but there are dozens of them out there that have great high quality photos. Such as 123rf.com or I’m sure many more if you go to a Google search and look around in there. You can also find free images to use if they are licensed under a creative commons. A great place to research for creative commons images is at search.creativecommons.org. For links to all of these resources please be sure to check out the show notes at www.brightervision.com/session2.
Now back to our conversation with Perry and Mercedes.
Perry: Okay, Mercedes. Now we’re going to move into the final part of our interview. The part we like to refer to as brighter insights, where we can really distill down your experience and your advice into little sound bites and quick answers that therapists can use to inspire, motivate and excite them in growing their private practice. Are you ready?
Mercedes: Yes. That sounds awesome.
Perry: Cool, I love that enthusiasm. Alright. What or who inspired you to become a mental health professional?
Mercedes: My life really inspired me to become a mental health professional, I think. I think watching myself grow and heal was something that I really wanted to be able to have the privilege of giving other people as well.
Perry: What do you do to clear your head and get a fresh start in your day?
Mercedes: Have a plan as well as a to do list. I have a to do list that are little tasks that I do every day that help me move forward towards my bigger plan and my bigger vision.
Perry: Do you use any tool to help you with your to do list or is it just sort of like a checklist on a piece of scrap paper? How do you manage that?
Mercedes: I have the whole IOS suite. So I have a mac, iPad, iPhone. So I use the notes feature because I can access it across all my devices.
Perry: Perfect and that’s so key there being able to easily get your notes and your to do list without having to bring up a million different devices or a million different tools. So, Mercedes, what’s a quote that you hold near and dear? Something that has helped formulate your perspective on life or really any quote that has inspired, motivated or provided guidance for you in your life?
Mercedes: It’s a very funny one, but it’s one that I always loved, which is closed mouths don’t get fed.
Perry: Hahaha. That’s a great one. Wow. If you could recommend one book to our audience, what would that book be?
Mercedes: Specifically anything by Brene Brown, but really Rising Strong, her newer one.
Perry: When was that published? Do you know?
Mercedes: I want to say last year, I believe.
Perry: We’ll definitely get that in the show notes there for everybody. Alright Mercedes, last question. And this is my favorite. If you moved to a new city tomorrow, knew nobody and all you had was your computer and 100 dollars to start a new private practice, what would you do on your first day?
Mercedes: I would immediately start networking and learning where my ideal client hangs out and make it a point to be there consistently all the time providing really useful information to them.
Perry: Awesome Mercedes. Any parting advice for our listeners?
Mercedes: Yeah. The one thing I’ll say is this. We’ve talked a lot about the roller coaster that comes with being an entrepreneur and I would say as much as possible after going through your internal journey really be comfortable and learn how to be authentically yourself and show up for yourself. Don’t let all the internal struggles and all the external struggles stop you from being you. Just continue to show up authentically and continue to be yourself.
Perry: Be yourself and be you. That is the essence of your journey as an entrepreneur and your therapist experience. Mercedes, I love it. You can’t make that any more clear. Mercedes, where can our listeners find you to connect and learn more about you?
Mercedes: You can find me on the parentingskill.com and from there all of my social media and resources are right down the home page so you can start there.
Perry: Great, and of course you can learn more about Mercedes and all the fantastic resources she mentioned at brightervision.com/session2. Mercedes, thank you so much for being so generous with your time, your expertise, and your knowledge. We appreciate all this great advice that you’ve provided and the therapist experience you have shared. Thank you again.
Mercedes: Thank you for having me.
Perry: Thank you so much for tuning in today. If you have a question for us you can email it to us at [email protected] and if you’re interested in launching a website, don’t hesitate to reach out for us. Brighter Vision is the worldwide leader in custom therapist website design. For just 59 dollars a month you get a website that’s as unique as your practice. Unlimited technical support and complementary SEO so people can actually find you online. To learn more you can email us at [email protected] or just head on over to brightervision.com and drop us a line through one of our contact forms. That does it for today. Thank you again so much for your time and for listening.