TTE 59: The Importance of Branding & Owning Your Brand with Anabelle Bugatti
Anabelle Bugatti understands the importance of investing in yourself to come up with a unique brand and story. By owning her brand, Anabelle was able to leverage a variety of online marketing strategies to build a thriving private practice.
Best Marketing Move for His Practice
- SEO & AdWords
Previous Episodes Mentioned
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Practice of the Practice
- The Testing Psychologist – Jeremy’s Podcast
- Dan Wendler
- Awesome Scanner
- WeHeartTherapy YouTube Channel
- Anabelle’s Website
Thanks to Anabelle for joining me this week. Until next time!
TranscriptClick here to read the Transcript
Anabelle: I am, thank you so much.
Perry: Fantastic, well let me give our audience a little bit of your background here and then we’ll hop into the show. Anabelle Bugatti is a nationally certified counselor, therapist and personal couch in Las Vegas, Nevada where she has had a successful private practice. She recently received her certification in emotionally focused therapy and is the host of a video series available on YouTube to the public about different types of therapy services and specialties called your guide to therapy coaching. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Marriage and Family therapy from UNLV, a master’s in Clinical Mental Health counseling at Long Island University, CW post Long Island New York and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition, she teaches psychology at Nevada State College while also contributing as a writer and relationship expert for the online community Your Tango. Her first book, basic academy and professional writing with APA format was published in 2015. Anabelle, gave a little overview of you there but why don’t you take a minute and fill in the gaps from the introduction and tell us a little bit more about you personally and about your practice.
Anabelle: Well, hello everyone. Thank you so much for having me on the show. What did gaps did you leave out? That was pretty thorough, thank you so much. I guess the biggest thing is that I’m working on my Ph.D. and I am now entering into COMPS and will become a doctoral candidate and now working on my private practice on growing my private practice. I’ve been a licensed state intern in Nevada since 2014 and it’s been an incredible journey in learning all about business, you know in graduate school , they don’t teach you a whole lot about the business side of counseling and that’s something I’d definitely learn on my own but interesting enough I have a background in Telemarketing from when I much younger.
Perry: Oh wow.
Anabelle: Yeah and that has served me well.
Perry: I bet it has, yeah so how long have you been in private practice for again?
Anabelle: Since 2014 I’ve had my own so what’s interesting is in Nevada, you can have your own private practice, you still technically under a supervisor and you have a licensed clinician onsite but virtually your practice can be your own, you don’t have be an employee of your supervisors or anything like that. I think that’s a really good model compared to other states like California where you have to be an employee because right from the get-go you’re able to start formulating the business side and learning to grow your practice so that when you are fully licensed, you could virtually have a fully filled and up and running practice.
Perry: That’s really great because also then you get to create your brand while you’re still an intern and really build that brand up and that’s fantastic and that’s a really great way that they have things set up there.
Anabelle: Yeah and I find that a lot of interns don’t work on their brands. I don’t know if they feel like because I’m an intern and I’m new to this that you know nobody is going to take me seriously or they’re just going to realize that I’m going be a therapist and you know, tread lightly maybe they feel like they have no business just putting themselves out there, you know and all the guts the glory but you know that’s one of the bigger mistakes that interns don’t do , that they commit when they are starting their practice is not formulating a brand right from the start.
Perry: And you know, Anabelle, you’ve done a great job at formulating a brand here in the last two and half, three years really, you know it’s clearly identifiable what you do? Who you are? How you work? What are some things that really helped you in establishing and creating a brand that is really recognizable?
Anabelle: Well first thing, when I was an intern , when I was still in school and I looked at stepping out to my own practice and finding a supervisor, I saw that everybody, all your supervisors , agencies, everybody has a name for their practice so right off the bat , I understood, what do I want to call myself? What am I going to be about? And I think the biggest thing that helped me formulate that is learning about website SEO because I was able to pick a brand and get a domain that would also sort of fit into the SEO niche so Las Vegas Marriage Counselling helps me locally so when me people Google ‘Marriage Counseling Las Vegas’ that hits on the drive, you know the search engines….
Perry: Definitely does, yeah.
Anabelle: You know, honestly starting a private practice what many don’t realize even as intern, it’s a small business and you need to invest in yourself and one powerful thing that my supervisor taught me is that obviously you are here, you’ve earned the right to start seeing client, nobody is sitting in session with you necessarily so you’ve got to take the reins and you really got figure out who your identity as a therapist and then market that and then you charge accordingly and of course, you know part of that identity , part of that charging is involved in your identity because you have be able to own why you can charge that much and I’ve heard a lot of interns feel like they have be real cheapish about how much they charge, “oh, I gotta charge a sole tiny bit,” no, I don’t think as an intern, you should go about charging 150$ an hour, definitely not but you know, you don’t have to be afraid to get 65$, 75$, 85$ dollars a session for your clients and if you own your identity and walk the talk, you know be confident in who you are and your skills, nobody is going to question , oh, you’re an intern , you shouldn’t charge that much. No, your clients will never have a qualm about it.
Perry: I agree entirely. When you- there was a great previous episode with Eddie Reece, it’s probably most our referenced episode on the show, think it episode 9, I’m a Psychotherapist…No, you’re not. You’re a small business owner and in it Eddie talks about when he’s doing consulting with therapist and he asks them, what their rate is? And they sort of hmmm and uhhh and he’s like nope, that’s not a rate, well, my rate is this for that and that for this, he’s like nope, that’s not a rate and so you need to really be able to own your fee, who you are your identity and communicate that confidently to people you’re trying to get in to come for therapy. What’s some advice that you would have for people who are listening to this show and are really struggling with that?
Anabelle: So, the first thing, I’m gonna say do, I have my YouTube series that I launched on my YouTube channel for WeheartTherapy and I have the series “Your guide to therapy and coaching” and in the series, I interviewed a lot of therapist around the country and in my local area about different kinds of therapy for different types of problems available for the public so that when they go shopping for a therapist, they know what they’re looking for and they can sort of educate themselves on , you know , if you have PTSD, there’s many different treatments for PTSD, all these acronyms and all these things flying terminology and you have no idea what that means and so I’m interviewing these therapists and I had quite a few interns who volunteered and I sit down with and I said , “Okay, so what’s you website so that if folks want to work with you they can find you and they’re like , I don’t have a website yet,” and I’m thinking , you’re volunteering for this because you want exposure but then you don’t have a place to drive the traffic to and then say, “oh well, they can go on my psychology today page”. The problem with this guys is that Psychology today is a directory that has hundreds of therapist on it in your local area so when you’re driving traffic to psychology today, you are now driving them to a place where they are competing; you’re competing with other therapist so you want to have a place where people can go to find you and only you and not be like, “Oh look, here’s all these other therapist who offer the same therapy services, why don’t I go to them?” That’s hands down the biggest mistake, that you should have a website already built and ready to click publish the day you get approval from the board , it needs to go live and invest , yeah, and you really need to invest in understanding SEO and how it works because your website is not a business card, it should not function like a business card Your website needs to work for you and if you do it properly have it SEO again, that’s optimizing your website for search so that they can find you and when people do Google searches using various combinations of words to find a therapist in their area, you want that search to zing your website and have your website come up ‘high’ in the search because they’re not going to scroll down to page ten of search engine to find a therapist, they’re going to page 1 maybe page 2 so you need that website to work for you and if you do it correctly, it will work for you better than psychology today or any of the other services out there. Honestly, networking can help but you should not rely on it as your main source of driving clients to your business, really, the key is to have a really good website and part of that having a good website again is identifying who you are? What you’re about? What you’re approach to therapy and really speaking to people sort of reaching from your page and personally touching them so they have a sense of who you are and they think, “yeah, I really see that this person is a real person, they’re not just some robot, you know looking for my business.
Perry: Anabelle, do you want to join our marketing team here cause you just gave us a sales pitch there exactly how we like to talk about things but obviously, I completely agree with you there, one thing about Psychology Today to keep in mind for everyone listening is that Psychology Today is Psychology Today’s branding and by relying solely on it’s a great marketing tool but rely solely on your Psychology Today profile, you’re relying solely on their branding and so when they change their algorithm , when they change how their brand looks , you can’t change how you brand looks, its tied to them. I think they were just testing it. They might be just launching a new redesign their site. I personally think it looks pretty awful and so if you’re just relying on your psychology today profile as a way to brand yourself and communicate who you are to clients, well, what if their brand all of a sudden looks like garbage so when you have your own website whether it’s with Brighter Vision, whether it’s something that you build yourself or something like Squarespace whether you hire an independent web designer to build it for you, You have control over the design. You and your designers or designer work together to come up with an effective brand and effective messaging to reach your ideal client and if anybody’s listening to this right and you’re struggling with reaching your ideal client we got a great gift for you; we actually just launched an ideal worksheet, which we’ll have a link to in this week’s show notes at brightervision.com/session but you need that branding and marketing message to align together and by just relying on Psychology Today or just relying on word of mouth it’s not allowing to control the discussion and you want to control the discussion and control the view of you online and an effectively branded website is a great tool for that.
Anabelle: Psychology today is limited in another way too in that they limit how many words you can put down so you really can’t be in the field for who you are and what you really want to say because you’re trying to squash it into 150 words or less, you know, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. You don’t want to ramble but I’ve always found it challenging to really capture who I am on Psychology Today and like I said, it’s a directory, there’s 100 of other therapist on there so you send clients there now and all of a sudden they also have a view of all of the other therapist who offer what you offer and you have to realize that you are competing to a degree as a business and so you need to package yourself in a way as why should people choose you, why should people come to you as a therapist and I think when you know really embody your personality through your practice, through your website and again, one of our core values as a therapist is that genuineness. You know, being congruent and when that shines through in your work, you’ll attract the ideal client and I’ve been fortunate enough, you know when I did my website , I really try to speak from my heart as to where I’ve been and who I really relate to and the clients that I was able to get, this is really fabulous, 80% percent of my practice was filled people that I would actually be friends with in real life if I never met them in these contacts and that’s really awesome when you have that dynamic.
Perry: It’s really valuable, I completely agree with you there. Anabelle, you’ve been really great at creating a brand for yourself and one thing we really love diving into with therapist is talking about the marketing, what do you feel is the best marketing move that you’ve made for your private practice and why do you feel like it’s worked so well for you?
Anabelle: Well, the number one marketing tool that as I mentioned already is my website , having it highly SEO and I found a web guy that actually works at a major web designing company so I have my website through GoDaddy and they offer unlimited tech support so which is really awesome if you are building your own site cause you can call them and get tips and there was somebody there I could tell after several conversations back and forth knew a lot more other people there so I ask them if they ever did side-work and I hired them to moonlight doing the SEO on my page. That has been the number helper to boost my page to the top. The second thing that I’ve actually done is Google AdWords and I didn’t do this until the second half of last year and when I was looking at my-cause I accept credit cards through PayPal and PayPal send through the year and they send you a 1099K when you reach a certain financial threshold. I was looking at how much money I made in January versus December and it was like literally like thousands of dollars more and I think a lot of it had to do with the Google AdWords and one thing as a therapist you have understand that there’s hills and valleys and sometimes you’re gonna be really busy and sometimes you’re gonna be really slow and so when I go through the slow periods , I can kick on that Google AdWords and I had website guy who did all my SEO, he tailed the research for me and wrote the ad for me , I didn’t even have super high interaction but I had enough to where I was getting at least anywhere from one to four calls a day and I’d only turn it for a week because I had rush of calls for in one week and then refill up all the gaps and then I’d be full.
Perry: That’s great.
Anabelle: So that really helps, you have to know how to write the Ad though, that’s very important.
Perry: Yeah, Ad words is a really great tool, any sort of paid marketing and you know we really recommend Daniel Wendler over here, he does great work for AdWords, he focuses specially on mental health professionals and so he does really great work as well and Ad words allows you reach an audience. You can turn it on, turn it off when you need to depending on the ebbs and flow of your business such a really great marketing tool for everybody out there and you know if you have a website that’s high performing, it going to make your AdWords return on investment even better.
Anabelle: Can I tell you a secret too that I figured out from doing my Google Ad words?
Perry: Please do.
Anabelle: That even when I turn it off there’s a trickling effect afterwards because the way that you come up in a search engine is when people click on website alot and that starts pulling you up in the search results . When you have a Google AdWords, there, you’re paying for yourself to basically to be advertised at the top so you’re paying to be put at the top at first but then when you stop paying because you had so many clicks with Google AdWords, it also help pull your website up and the traffic so even when you turn it off; you’ve already bumped yourself naturally in the search engine results causing your website to perform even better.
Perry: That’s an accurate rumor there. The AdWords team and the Google SEO team do operate completely independently of each other and so the standard google algorithm which incorporates over 450 different signals, it’s a really important that Google maintains a very separate divisions where AdWords has no impact on your SEO otherwise they’d face a whole slew of lawsuits there. Yelp is actually currently under….
Perry: Yeah, that would be sort of paid to play there. AdWords, you do not need to have an AdWords campaign for good SEO, having an AdWords campaign is a completely different marketing initiative than your SEO, your SEO, you’re gonna wanna focus. SEO is a great marketing tool, Ad words is a great marketing tool but having ad words running won’t impact your SEO in any way.
Anabelle: Right , well and let me clarify what I meant was not necessarily is that it’s going impact your SEO but your website naturally goes up in search results when people click on your website not nothing to do with SEO because you could have poor SEO and people could still click on your site. When you have Google AdWords, you’re getting more traffic to your site and that traffic is helping to boost your number in the search results because you’re just getting more traffic. Does that make sense? Like, it’s only separate from SEO and I don’t really know and like I said, that’s really important and I just found that really interesting effect that after I got done 2 or 3 Google AdWords campaign in a week and turned them off, I still had this huge flow of trickling in traffic after than I had before.
Perry: So what that could be is people returning to your website who might have visited but your actual location in the search engine rankings will not be impacted in any capacity by AdWords so even if you have AdWords on, yep and your sending traffic to your website from AdWords and paying for that traffic, that will not impact in any manner whatsoever where you rank on the search engine, so SEO is all about getting it rank higher and sending the right signals. What I’m guessing you’re probably seeing Anabelle is that people are might be clicking on your Ad and then maybe directly navigating back to your website or maybe searching for you afterwards and that could certainly be sort of the residual impact of having an AdWords campaign going, I could definitely see that but in terms of actually changing where you rank on the search engines not gonna have an impact in terms of AdWords and where you rank.
Anabelle: Well, good to know, you learn something new every day.
Perry: Yeah, definitely but you know both are really great marketing tools to have at your disposals of you want to leverage them if you can, yeah so great, Anabelle, so let’s move on to our final part of our interview here and I really love this part because we get distilled down what your advice is and your guidance into little soundbites and quick answers that our audience can use inspire and motivate them in growing there private practice. Are you ready?
Anabelle: Oh my gosh, how quick does these soundbites have to be?
Perry: They don’t have to be too quick, it’s as quicker as long as the conversation flows.
Anabelle: Goodness, okay.
Perry: What or who inspired you to become a mental health professional?
Anabelle: My divorce when I was 24 years old. That had a profound impact. I went through marriage counseling, had a profound impact on who I was as a person and what I thought I understood about how to make a manage work and even though it didn’t save my marriage , it changed me tremendously for the future.
Perry: And is that why you focus exclusively on couples and marriage counselling?
Anabelle: I don’t necessarily focus exclusively on but I do have a special knit with couples but I always wanted to be a therapist. I was always interested in psychology and I really want a specialize in healthy childbirth for happy, good Christian monogamous marriage and when my own marriage was crumbling apart and I found myself questioning my values , my beliefs on marriage and what it takes to make it work and whether or not you should stay in a broken marriage when the other person is not doing the work and that had a huge impact on me and so I figured, well, divorce is painful and scary and if I can help other couples navigate those waters and maybe even avoid now that I know the warning then I’ll would’ve made something good out of that.
Perry: That’s a great motivation there and inspiration. What is it that you do to clear your head and get a fresh start in your day?
Anabelle: You’re gonna to laugh but I actually watch old movies and old T.V shows , I really enjoy the Dick Van dyke and I really have to completely unplug from therapy and from the books and the podcasts and the training videos . I have to unplug from that and just escape and my escape is T.V specifically shows for the black and white era.
Perry: That might be one of the best escape mechanism I’ve heard yet on the show here.
Perry: What are some tools 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?
Anabelle: Well again, I think the biggest asset I’ve learned is how to properly used SEO and again the true function of your website, I had the myth again that it was like your business card and it’s not so I learned to leverage my online website so that it’s working for me and not just sitting there.
Perry: That is so important there. You need to make your assets work for you.
Perry: What’s a quote you’ve hold near and dear, something that’s help formulate your perspective on life or has inspired or motivated you?
Anabelle: It is a quote ironically enough by Dr. Laura Schlesinger whom I don’t always agree with and obviously ethically, she has no business calling herself Dr. Laura because her Ph.D. is in kinesiology but aside from that she has an really amazing quote in one of her books and it says, “history is not destiny, everybody has free will to overcome, grow and change,” and I use that with my clients all the time. You know that history is not destiny part is really key cause people sometimes feel trapped by their past and that’s it dooming their future and it doesn’t have to.
Perry: I love that right there. If you recommend one book to our audience, what would that book be?
Anabelle: Oh gosh, that’s really tough. There’s books on all kinds of things. I think one of my favorite books of any type of genre and I could recommend books at the ending, probably one of my go to books would be the art of happiness by the Dalai Lama, it a great book. I don’t specifically enough reading for pleasure. I read because I have to and I’ve always been more of a movie watcher than a book reader but that’s a book that you can skim and pull a lot out of and even the first few chapters where extremely impactful about being thankful and he really teaches you some key insights about how people, it’s changed my life. How people walk around and feel that , oh my life would be better only if I had a new car or I had raise or I had a job or I had husband or a change or a house and the thing that you need to be happy is creating a deficit and basically he says in the book that it should be the icing on the cake but not the cake so that not having it doesn’t create a deficit but when you do have it, it’s a bonus and that really changed my life.
Perry: Alright Anabelle, last question, If you move to a new city tomorrow, you don’t know anybody there and all that you had with you was your computer and 100$ dollars to start a new private practice. What is it that you would do on your very first day?
Anabelle: That’s a really strange question. I feel like that’s a trick question. Wow, what would I do on my very first day to start my private practice? I would probably call my web and have him SEO my page for the new territory that I’m in and use my computer to see who the big players are in the area and try to set up meetings and introduce and try to get involve in the community.
Perry: Great advice there, you gotta get you SEO in order. You gotta get networking in your community and start building up that reputation and of course, we’ll have for our audience listening, if you’d like to connect with Anabelle, we’ll have links to all of her websites and all the great resources she mentioned today over at brightervsion.com/session59. Anabelle, thank you so much for being so generous with time expertise and your knowledge. I know that I speak for our entire audience here when I say that we say we really value the advice you’ve provided and the therapist experience you have shared. Thanks again.
Anabelle: Thank you so much for having me.
Perry: Thank you so much for tuning in today. If you have question for us email it to us at [email protected] and if you’re interested in launching a website and getting yourself branding properly online, reach out to us Brighter Vision is the worldwide leader in therapy website design for less than 2$ dollars a day, we’ll build you a website that as unique as your practice, provide you with unlimited tech support and complementary SEO so people can actually find you online. If you’re interested, 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 for listening and we’ll see you next week.