TTE 31: Using Facebook to Build & Maintain Relationships with Other Local Therapists… And Skyrocket Your Referrals
Shane Birkel created a Facebook group for local therapists to network on. And his referrals skyrocketed as a result. This is his Therapist Experience.
Entrepreneurship is about taking well-thought out, calculated risks. Shane Birkel is no stranger to that. He recently invested in his business through Most Awesome Conference, left insurance panels and moved to a cash-based private practice, and niched into couples counseling. Thanks to his building & maintaining strong relationships with therapists in his area, he was able to have the support of a strong referral network to take these calculated risks, which resulted in a flourishing private practice.
Best Marketing Move for Business
- Starting a local therapist networking group on Facebook
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Shane’s Facebook Networking Group for Local Therapists
- Most Awesome Conference
- Practice of the Practice
- Selling the Couch
- Gary Vaynerchuck
- PsychologyToday — Did you know Brighter Vision and GoodTherapy.org also have a great partnership together? Learn more here
- Making Money is Killing Your Business by Chuck Blakeman
- Building Your Ideal Private Practice by Lynn Grodzki
- Book Yourself Solid
- Shane’s Website
Thanks to Shane 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 Shane Birkel from Seacoast Spark. This is The Therapist Experience episode number 31. Welcome to The Therapist Experience. The podcast where we interview successful therapists about what it’s really like starting and growing a private practice. I’m Perry Rosenbloom, the founder of Brighter Vision, and I’m so excited to introduce our guest today Shane Birkel from Seacoast Spark. Shane, are you prepared to share your therapist experience?
Shane: Yeah, absolutely. I’m so excited.
Perry: Awesome Shane, we are so excited to have you here. Shane Birkel is a therapist in private practice with offices in Portsmouth and Dover, New Hampshire. he specializes in working with couples and individuals feeling stressed in their relationships. After growing up in Nebraska Shane spent several years teaching high school English in Washington DC and Japan, but always had a burning desire to be a therapist. He finally graduated from his marriage and family therapy program in 2011 and worked at a community mental health agency for two and a half years. During that time he was soaking up all the information he could on how to start his own private practice, and he made a leap into private practice in early 2014. Shane has a six year old daughter and a four year old son who keep him on his toes and loves living in New Hampshire near the ocean, mountains, and so many great outdoor activities. Shane feels that he’s just getting started when it comes to his practice as a business and has a lot of ideas for things he wants to do to grow his practice moving forward. Shane, I gave a little overview of you there but why don’t you take a minute, fill in the gaps from that introduction and tell us a little bit more about you personally and about your practice?
Shane: Yeah, absolutely. I think part of me has wanted to be a therapist ever since I was in high school and I didn’t really know how to go about pursuing that, and I think that’s why I appreciate this podcast so much, because it’s so helpful for people to have this. I was the class of ’99, the last class of the millennium, and the internet was just kind of starting off as a thing back then. I didn’t even thing about googling ‘how to become a therapist’ or something. I had this idea in my mind that you had to have like a PHD in psychology or something like that, and it just seemed overwhelming so I started college and I think I was majoring in psychology at first and my dad was like, what are you going to do with the psychology major and I was like, I have no idea. So I quit and I ended up getting a master’s degree in education to become a teacher because it seemed like that was the way, maybe I could help people. That was good. Like you have mentioned before, I taught English for a few years, high school English, but I always had this idea that I just saw myself as a therapist and I kept thinking about how great that would be to someday have my own private practice. And I still had no idea, but I remember I was starting to google things even while I was teaching– Even before that. While I was in my program for education and I finally made the leap in 2009 to start my MFT program. And I was really focused right from the beginning of that, that I wanted to get into private practice as soon as I possibly could.
Perry: What convinced you to take that leap?
Shane: Well, my wife– She wasn’t my wife at the time but I think she was really helpful. I think at that time I was like, well, I already did my master’s in education, it’s not like I’m going to go back for another degree. And it was like, it’s too much money, I just felt like I was changing my mind too much. And that was just one more thing I was going to try. And my wife really encouraged me and said, this is something you’ve been thinking about for years and years that you felt like you’ve wanted to do. And she really encouraged me and pushed me to take the leap and start doing that.
Perry: So you always knew you wanted to be in private practice? Why do you think that is?
Shane: Well, I think it was on one of your other episodes where– And I’ve heard it from other podcasts with entrepreneurs and stuff, but I feel like there are different types of people obviously, but this spectrum of people who enjoy working for other people and having that secure job and that secure paycheck coming in, and there are people on the other end of the spectrum who like being entrepreneurs. And I definitely feel like, for me, I’m very much on that entrepreneurial end of the spectrum. I’m not a very good employee, I don’t– Well…
Perry: Haha. It’s okay, I’m not a good employee either. That’s totally alright to say.
Shane: But I don’t feel nearly as fulfilled in my life when I’m working for someone else.
Perry: I understand exactly where you’re coming from. So you’ve been in private practice now for two and a half years, is that right?
Shane: Yep, that’s about right.
Perry: Alright, cool. Let’s take a step back here though and go back to a point in your career as a therapist where you could have called it quits, the entrepreneurial journey and that road is not easy. So let’s go back to a point where you were as low as you could possibly be in your journey in private practice and you were just ready to throw in the towel. I could think of a handful of moments in my journey as an entrepreneur. But share with us that moment, and then Shane, if you don’t mind, share with us how you persevered through that?
Shane: Yeah, well, first of all, this has happened so many times. It still happens. I can think of a last couple of weeks where I’ve thought about throwing in the towel, and I think that’s part of what it takes to be an entrepreneur is to be able to face that feeling and continue taking steps forward, and continue believing that you can do it. But to answer your question, I think when I left the agency I had built up around five to ten clients that I was seeing as a side-hustle while I was still working at the agency, and when I took that dive into full-on private practice and left that job, I was seeing, like I said, maybe five to ten clients a week, and I was just feeling on the edge of the abyss at that point. And I remember looking at my schedule and seeing like seven clients. Maybe I had 12 the week before and then the next week I had 7 and I was like, oh my gosh, it’s all falling apart. This isn’t going to work. I need to go get a job at a restaurant or something like that. But like I said before, you just got to keep pushing ahead and believing that it’s going to work and it has. I just kept growing and growing and getting full.
Perry: So how did you go from 12 a week this week, seven a week this week, to growing into being a full private practice? What are some of the things that you did to attract and retain new clients?
Shane: Well, one of the things that has been key for me is the relationships with other therapists in this area and I’ve made a lot of efforts to build and maintain relationships with other therapists in this area, and I think that’s probably my biggest referral source. So at that time– I have friends, I had friends who are therapists already just from being in the business. But calling new people who I didn’t know and asking them to have lunch or have coffee, and just trying– And I’ve been doing a lot of other things more recently, but at that time I was really just building those relationships.
Perry: So did you prioritize who you reached out to and how you reached out to them?
Shane: Well, I’m getting a lot better at that now. I don’t know if you want me to jump ahead?
Perry: Sure, why not? Yeah.
Shane: When I started off in private practice I was taking insurance, so that was a little bit easier as far as getting clients because everybody wants to use their insurance and a lot of the referrals who I was getting from other therapists planned to use their insurance. So it has just been in the last several months I’ve made the decision that I wanted to leave insurance panels. So that’s been a difficult process. I actually just left– Officially, I’m off my first insurance panel as of around two weeks ago. So I’m excited about that, but it has made me change who I’m reaching out to now because now I recently reached out to a therapist who I know has only cash paid clients, and I bought him lunch and talked to him about his experience with that. And another thing that I’m doing in order to distinguish myself as I’m trying to get more cash paid clients is really niche down or specify my niche, and right now it’s really getting focused on couples and people with relationship issues. And I could even probably niche down even further but right now, that was a big step for me to be able to begin speaking on my website really specifically to couples in relationships and I think that’s a huge thing that we can do as therapists because– I probably heard this on your podcast before so I apologize if I’m repeating things other people said, but it’s like, if you’re in a group of therapists and you’re meeting everyone and you’re like, hey, I’m Shane and I see all kinds of clients. Everyone’s going to be like, oh, he was nice, I have no idea–
Perry: Who was he again?
Shane: Yeah, exactly. But if you’re like, oh, I work with couples. I love working with couples in their 30s and 40s who really feel like having kids has been really stressful for them. The more specific you can be, the more people are like–
Perry: I love that.
Shane: Yeah. That’s the guy we need to see. That’s the guy who– As soon as a couple with young children called that therapists they’ll be like, oh I know this guy Shane. And you get those referrals.
Perry: How has that changed your business? We’ve known each other for probably close to a year now and we’ve met in person at ACA this past year, we met again at Most Awesome Conference. How has nicheing down transformed your business? Now that you’re speaking to a certain audience on your website and your website, it’s one of my favorite still, it’s really well branded, really well crafted to speak to your target market. How have you seen that– I mean, you put in a lot of lay work here man, you’ve done a lot of great work on it and really, it’s clear right from the get go who you work with. So how has making that transition and really focusing on a specific niche, how has that changed your business? Have you seen things grow, have you seen things decline? Elaborate a little bit more on that for us.
Shane: Yeah, I’ve been in private practice, like you said, for about two and a half years now, and I do feel like it’s transitioned extremely quickly, and the Most Awesome Conference was definitely a big– And that was only what? Like, four months ago or something like that. That was definitely a big, something that ignited me to continue to make a bunch of changes. But one of the things I think that has been really helpful for marketing my practice is getting clearer and clearer on the message that I’m conveying to my audience. And I work with Joe Sanoch as well as a business consultant. And that’s something that he talks about a lot. Like, I’m building an audience and I started blogging about six months ago and really speaking to my audience. Speaking on issues that I think they would care about. So I’m trying to provide a lot of values to couples in general, so that once they come to see me they already know that I’m someone who has given them something, given them a lot of value, and might have some ideas on how to help them.
Perry: You’re the expert in your industry. Seacoast Spark Shane Burkel, he is the guy who knows couples and he can help me. So since you started implementing all– Let me take a step back. I’m a therapist, I’m two years into private practice, things are going okay, and I’ve been hearing everywhere that I need to really focus down on a niche. But gosh, I’m scared to do it. What if people stop referring to me? Am I going to start losing clients? Am I not going to get as many referrals anymore? What would you say to them? What has been the impact of you specializing and really focusing on a niche? How has that impacted your business?
Shane: I will tell you Perry, it is scary. And it’s one of those things that you have to do in order to move forward in your practice. So it’s kind of like, that idea of the mentality of people who actually want to go into private practice. Like, you have to leave that safety of a job where you’re getting a paycheck and really push through to make the jump into private practice. And then like you’re talking about, as you get further along in the process I think another leap that I had to take was really having the confidence to declare that niche. And it’s really scary because I feel like, am I limiting myself? I mean, I know I work really well with teenagers but I’m not saying anything about that on my website anymore. Does that mean I’m really closing myself off from this whole group of people I could be seeing? And I think, like I was saying before– So, I’ve already started seeing some benefits but I’ll tell you, I think my clientele has tapered off a little bit, sort of pushing into this new thing. So I left my first insurance panel officially a couple of weeks ago. I’m leaving two more insurance panels by the end of September. So I’m not taking any new clients from these three insurance panels. And I’m still on one, or I still will be on one after that. So like you said, I’ve worked really hard on my website. I’ve worked really hard on communicating my message on my website and speaking to my audience. And one thing that was sort of a risk that I took was to say, I’ve worked with couples a lot and I know that longer sessions are really important to success. So I’m really marketing the fact that couples need to come in for longer sessions. So I offer 75 minute session, which is basically an hour and a half, at a higher rate. So that’s one way that has made me feel a little bit safer as far as going into the transitioning away from insurance into private pay, that I have something unique to offer and I only need say, nine or ten of those clients to make the same amount as I am with like 20 or 25 insurance clients, or something like that. So that’s like a big relief to think about in that way.
Perry: And even just saying that, you know couples. You know what it takes to make couples therapy and marriage therapy work. And 60 minute session is not going to cut it. You need that extra time and if someone’s debating between a few therapists and you communicate that to them. Hey, this one therapist is saying we can come in for an hour session but you’re saying that you only do 75 minute sessions, why is that? And they’re going to have to pay more, especially if the other therapist takes their insurance. But you’re the one that knows them, you’re the one that knows what it takes to succeed. And that’s going to make a decision process much easier for them.
Shane: Yeah, absolutely.
Perry: So Shane, why is it that you decided to leave insurance panels? Is it because you can see fewer clients dedicated more time to them and still make the same amount of money, or is there more to it?
Shane: Well yeah, it’s basically because I want to make more money and that’s not something a lot of therapists feel comfortable saying. But absolutely, it’s because I want to make more money, and also I just feel like there’s a lot less freedom when you’re on insurance panels and I get into these situations all the time, where they don’t pay me for whatever reason and I have to call them, and it’s difficult to get through to the right person sometimes. And at this point I just get sick to my stomach thinking about dealing with insurance panels and like, the anxiety of when I have to make a call or something like that. And sometimes it just ends up following through because I don’t even want to make the effort to pursue it. And then just the fact that they pay much less than my rate is hard to take as well.
Perry: And what’s the market like in New Hampshire? I know out West it’s much more common. I don’t know if it’s much more common, I know it is becoming more common out West for people to be cash pay. What’s it like out in New Hampshire? Is there a thriving market of therapists that are cash pay or are you sort of going to be striking out on your own in that market there?
Shane: That’s a great question. I do feel like it’s quite a bit different than California for example. I think there’s a lot more stigma around therapy out here in New England. I think people are very independent-minded and like to solve problems themselves and I think– Just like everywhere else in the country I think therapy is growing more and more, and becoming more and more acceptable and people are reaching out for help. And I wish I had a more explicit answer for you, but I do believe that there are probably fewer only cash paying therapists around here. And we’re about an hour from Boston. I’d be interested to see what the greater Boston area is compared to say Los Angeles or something like that. I don’t know how they would compare as far as like the percentage of people using insurance for therapy.
Perry: And what’s been the reaction from your existing clients, letting them know that you’re transitioning into cash pay?
Shane: They’ve been extremely understanding. To be fair, the insurance companies have so far at times been really good about working with my clients. So they’re still continuing to pay for sessions even though I’m not in network for a certain number of sessions. So I was very appreciative of that and it helps my client’s transitions be a lot smoother. But all of them are very understanding. They understand that that’s what’s going on. I’ll probably lose a lot of them but like I said, it’s going to be a nice long transition to– I can either help them find someone else or they can decide to graduate from therapy.
Perry: So Shane, we’ve been talking a lot about marketing. And one question I like to ask is what was the single best marketing move that you’ve made for your practice and why do you feel like it has worked so well for you?
Shane: So I’ve talked about the blogging and speaking to my audience on my website. Those have been really important things. But I want to tell you something I’m really proud of and I think this is a great thing for any therapist out there around the country that they can do today or they can do tomorrow. And I just started this a few months ago, I got on Facebook and I started a local therapist networking group.
Perry: Oh cool.
Shane: Yeah. So there are several towns– This is called The Seacoast of New Hampshire where I live. It’s like the South-East corner of New Hampshire. But there are several towns, you can drive 10 or 15 minutes and be in a bunch of different towns. But the total population of all these areas, it depends how you look at it, but 100-200,000 so it’s, you know, not that big, not that small but– Anyways, it’s a private Facebook group so only someone who’s in the group can allow others to join in. So I put on my closest six or seven therapists friends and said, hey everybody, I’m starting this Facebook group. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just be connected more as far as like referring to each other and asking each other questions about things we’re going through as therapists? And within like three days there was like 50 people who have been added to the group because if you’re in a group you could add other therapists. And right now it’s at like 70. So everybody’s been extremely appreciative and they love the group, and it just feels really collaborative and we’re asking each other questions and like I was saying, I feel like this was such a key marketing move or could be for other therapists out there as well because you’re the one sort of spearheading it. And in addition to that I invited all of these therapists to like a networking event that was live. And I just had like cheese and crackers and beer and I was like, let’s all come hang out. I’ve had just a few people show up. I’ve had two of those now.
Perry: That’s great.
Shane: Yeah, I just feel like it really makes people feel like you’re helping the whole community.
Perry: And have you seen any referrals from that yet or is that just sort of still in the infancy stage here? Do you see people say, hey, is there somebody out there who specializes in this? I have this issue and I need to refer somebody to a therapist for this?
Shane: Oh yeah, people are posting on it all the time. Like, hey, I just got a call for an eight year old boy who’s experiencing this, this, and this, anybody out there who takes this insurance? And people are just constantly looking for other therapists and I think because I’m building relationships with some of these people they’re also just referring directly to me as far as just telling clients, hey, who are looking for couples therapy about Shane or whatever. So it’s been great.
Perry: That’s such a great idea Shane. I’ve seen a few of those, I know there’s like a group in Orange County that sort of has that same exact model, and this is the first time I’ve actually heard someone say, yeah, I went out and created a local Facebook group for therapists in the area here. And if you’re in a smaller community or even larger community and you can spearhead that and be the first one to do that, your name is going to be everywhere. You’re going to be the number one referred therapist because you’re the admin of that group, you’ve created this group and yeah, it’s such a great idea Shane.
Shane: Thank you, thank you, yeah. And I have to give some credit to the first person you had on your Podcast, Ernesto Segismundo, he was at the Most Awesome Conference as well doing all the videos there. And I just want to give him a shout-out because this came from a conversation he and I were having there, just sort of talking through some ideas and stuff like that.
Perry: Awesome. I’m sure Ernesto is really going to appreciate the shout out and knowing that you took advantage of that idea.
Shane: It’s amazing, yeah. If anybody needs a video– You can check out my video on my website that Ernesto made, but if anybody needs a video he’s the guy, he’s just amazing at that.
Perry: Absolutely. And of course, he works with Filmit.com, and we’ll have links to Ernesto and to Most Awesome Conference and all these great resources that Shane has mentioned, as well as, of course, your website Shane, in this week’s show notes which everyone can find at Brightervision.com/session31. Alright Shane, now we’re going to move into the final part of our interview here. The part we like to refer to as Brighter Insights. What I really love about this part is, we just had this really great conversation talking about marketing and relationships, and nicheing down, and there’s so much great value there. But now we get to sort of just drill down into quick answers and little sound bites that our audience can use to inspire, motivate, and excite them in growing their practice. Are you ready?
Shane: I’m ready.
Perry: What or whom inspired you to become a mental health professional?
Shane: I think I need to give credit to my high school guidance counselor, Jen Frasier. I think I was going through a lot of stress when I was in high school and talking to her really opened my eyes to how important it could be to have someone like that. So I think that’s when I really started thinking that I might like to do that someday.
Perry: What do you do to clear your head and get a fresh start in your day?
Shane: One thing I try to do is exercise a few times a week, that really clears my head, makes me feel energized. It’s great being in private practice because I really try to carve out time. Like you had mentioned, I have two little kids so if I want to take a Thursday morning– For a while I was doing every Thursday morning until like noon or one, I would just dedicate to hang out with my kids. Of course, I was at other times of the week too but that was kind of our time to just hang out. And then one more thing I think is really important and that’s like scheduling date nights with my wife. I know that’s not something at the beginning of the day to clear your head but like if I have that date night and we hang out and we’re having a good time, if I’m feeling connected with her I just feel so much more excited and better about facing the workday and what I have to do on the day to day basis.
Perry: I agree entirely. And coming from a couples therapist. Everybody listening to this, definitely take that to heart! My wife and I, we got this idea from actually a therapist who when our first son was born, she was in the new moms group and she was a couples therapist that came and spoke. And it was like, hey, schedule a date night every week. You don’t need to go anywhere or do anything but that date night you’re going to do something different than you do every other night. We’ve sort of been slacking on that since our second son was born because we didn’t sleep too much until about a month ago.
Shane: Yeah, how old is your second son now?
Perry: He’s almost a year. Haha.
Shane: Oh man, that’s a rough time period. Especially when you have the other one, because the other one is under a four or so, right?
Perry: He’s about three and a half now.
Perry: Now that we’re getting sleep again it’s like, alright. We’re actually about to start our date night again. Actually, is today Tuesday? It is Tuesday, yeah. No, actually. Yes. No, it is… Hahaha. Today is Tuesday so tonight is back on to our regular date nights of Tuesday nights.
Shane: Oh right. I think having little kids especially like– You have to be very intentional about carving out that time, and I think it’s so important for kids to see that too, that you’re making that a priority.
Perry: I agree entirely. So what are some tools Shane, 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?
Shane: Yeah, I can’t say enough about social media and I really want to continue getting into more social media stuff. I’ve been listening a lot to Gary Vaynerchuk and he’s talking about how Instagram and Pinterest and Snapchat are all really like coming into their own and are all going to blow up and become huge things like Facebook. And I think us therapists, it’s really helpful for us to be on the forefront of that kind of technology stuff because that’s where people are at. That’s where we’re going to find people. And the ages of the users of all those programs just keeps getting older and older. Some of those are more for teens and 20s or that’s who’s using it but it’s getting older and older. And I think another thing, I just did my first paid Facebook ad, I just did it yesterday. So I’m excited to see what comes of that. That’s another thing, you have to push forward. I felt overwhelmed, I didn’t know how to do that and I just had to dive in and try it. And they didn’t accept it the first couple of times but I just kept trying it and it finally went through yesterday so I’m excited to see what happens with that.
Perry: Fantastic. Yeah, Facebook ads can be pretty challenging and overwhelming, they’ve really made things a lot more complicated over the last two years or so. And it definitely is a hurdle and tough to figure out.
Shane: I was going to say it’s such a great way to target a very specific audience if you can go through that short learning curve of trying to get one out there, but you’re absolutely right.
Perry: Absolutely. Why did you choose to use Facebook ads over different advertisement platform?
Shane: That’s a good question. I feel like I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately and it seemed like something that I could probably manage and afford. So do you have any other ideas of some good way to spend marketing money?
Perry: Absolutely, yes, I most certainly do. So Facebook ads can be great, you can target it really heavily. But the thing also to check out, you can check out Google Adwords. What’s great about Adwords is that people who are searching– You’re bidding on things people are searching for. So you can bid on someone searching for couples therapist and only bid in certain zip codes. So really narrowing down where that search is coming from and making sure that you’re only targeting people who are searching in this specific area. So the money you spend is going to be very, very targeted if done properly of course. But yeah, definitely check out Google Adwords as well. I’m personally a bigger fan of Google Adwords over Facebook marketing. I’ve never gotten Facebook marketing to work too well for Brighter Vision despite spending a lot of money there. But every industry and every business is different so it’s always important to test and iterate, and figure out whats going to work for you.
Shane: Yeah, exactly. Do they charge your per click?
Perry: On Adwords, yeah. We pay per click. And every industry is different and there’s lots of factors that go into how much you’re spending per a click.
Shane: Yeah, I think you’re exactly right. That’s such a great idea as far as like, let’s say I try this Facebook ad for a month with a certain amount of time, and then I try the Google Adwords for a month, just so I can kind of compare and see making sure I’m keeping track of that kind of stuff I think is really important and see what works.
Perry: Absolutely, it’s crucial. What’s a quote that you hold near and dear Shane, something that has helped formulate your perspective on life or has motivated and inspired you?
Shane: I think I probably thought of this because the elections are coming up but the quote is, “If you vote for me all of your wildest dreams will come true.” And it’s from Napoleon Dynamite. And I think, like I was saying before, sometimes I get extremely stressed about where I’m at with my practice, with the day to day stuff. Like, if I see a down turn in clients this week or something, I still get that feeling like, oh my gosh, it’s all going to fall apart. But I look back at where I was five years ago or 10 years ago and I feel like I am living out my dreams right now. I have a private practice that’s relatively successful and I’m so grateful and appreciative of that. And I have to remind myself of that, that my wildest dreams are coming true already and that doesn’t mean that I’m not still looking ahead and I still have big plans as far as the direction that I’m going. And I hope my wildest dreams will come true to a fuller extent. But it’s good to remind myself of that when I feel stressed.
Perry: That’s awesome Shane, that’s so great to hear. I’m so glad that we can play a part in helping you succeed, however small that part is. If you could recommend one book to our audience, what would that book be?
Shane: I don’t know if you mind if I say a few.
Perry: Go for it.
Shane: I have so many. And one thing, I have Audible on my phone and so I download books all the time, either related to therapy or related to business, and I’m just constantly taking– In addition to a bunch of podcast that I listen, I’m always reading books or listening to books. And I think a few that have been really helpful for me is Building your ideal private practice by Lynn Grotzky and then Book yourself solid by Michael Port. That’s an amazing book for private practitioners. And then a couple of new ones that I’ve read recently, Tribes by Seth Godin, #AskGaryVee Gary Vaynerchuk, and then Will it fly, Patt Flynn’s new book. And Patt Flynn has an amazing podcast that I highly recommend to people as well. But yeah, those are some– I just think, if you really want to take your business by the horn– Take the bull by the horns and your business, I think it’s great just to constantly be taking in this kind of information about business.
Perry: Absolutely, I agree wholeheartedly. I mean, every single drive I’m listening to a podcast on business. And what you listen to in different stages of your business completely changes. I actually used to listen to the Smart Passive Income Podcast back in the day as well. I actually remember following Patt Flynn six years ago or so when the blog first got started. Before he became The Patt Flynn. And it’s just been amazing watching his journey, what a wild ride he’s been on. But yeah, definitely great resources there for sure.
Shane: Yeah, and I have to give a plug to The Practice of the Practice podcast. Every therapist should be listening to that every week. That’s Joe Sanok. And then Selling the Couch. Those two podcasts for therapists are just extremely helpful. And of course The Therapist Experience.
Perry: Absolutely. I think those are the three best in our industry here.
Shane: Absolutely, those are the three best I know of.
Perry: Alright Shane, last question. If you moved to a new city tomorrow and you didn’t know a single soul 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?
Shane: You know, I think there’s sort of the obvious answer. For me, I don’t know, maybe it’s not that obvious but I’d get on Psychology Today, which is yellow pages for therapists. I would setup a website, call Brighter Vision, talk to Rachel Tschanz and get my website setup. I would try to meet with other therapists, like I said, just have coffee or lunch, introduce myself to as many other therapists as I could. But I think one thing that I would do is really take a step back, sit down some place that’s quiet and comfortable and really map out, where do I want to be in five years from now? What is my ultimate goal for what I’m doing here? And then sort of work backwards and break it down, and eventually get to like, what can I do in the next month and what can I do today or what can I do in the next week? And really put that in my schedule. I think it’s nice to have that big vision so you know what you’re working toward, but that can be overwhelming and it can stop you from actually taking any tangible steps. So figuring out what steps you’re talking to work toward that big vision.
Perry: Absolutely, having those benchmarks, I agree with you entirely, it’s so key to growing a successful business because you can’t just look three or four years ahead because if you just look three or four years ahead, how are you going to get there? If I’m going to take a road trip from Boulder, Colorado to Portland, Oregon, well, I know where my end destination is but what am I going to do along the way? where am I going to stay? You need to have your map in place so that you figure out how you’re going to get there. And one of my favorite books on this subject, which I’ll give a shout-out to here and I think you should add to your list Shane, I’m actually recommending getting a paper version of it, is– It’s Why making money is killing your business. I’m just going to make sure that’s the right title of it. By Chuck Blakeman. I gave it to my mother in law who went to private practice out in Jacksonville, Florida. I gave it to her maybe three or four years ago, transformed her business. After I read it, that was when Brighter Vision really started taking it off. Well, it wasn’t even Brighter Vision then. We re-branded to Brighter Vision after that and we began down that path. And that entire book is really about processes and building that road map and that ideal vision of how to build your business and make your business into being what you want it to be. So I definitely highly recommend that book as well.
Shane: I got to check that out, that sounds great.
Perry: And of course, everybody who’s listening, it’s going to be in this week’s show notes at Brightervision.com/session31. Shane, thank you so much for being so generous with your time, your expertise, and your knowledge. You shared so much great information here and we really appreciate you being on the show and for sharing your therapist experience with all of our audience here. Thank you again.
Shane: Oh Perry, this has been amazing. Thank you so much.
Perry: Shane, yeah. Great job man. You did awesome. This was great. Thank you so much for tuning in today everybody. If you have a question for us you can email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and, of course, if you’re interested in launching a wonderful website that’s as unique as your practice is give us a ring. Brighter Vision is the worldwide leader in custom therapist website design. To learn more about us head on over to Brightervision.com and drop us a note through one of our contact forms. That does it for today, thanks again for listening and we will see you next week.