When you’re just starting your private practice, it often seems like when it comes to clients, the best option is to try to target as many different kinds as possible. After all, if you want more clients, who are you to be picky?
This sounds like a good time to announce May’s fantastic Brighter Spotlight, Tamara Powell. She loves her successful practice and her clients because she made a determined choice to focus only on her ideal clients – the people she cares about helping the most.
During our chat, Tamara told us why being picky and focusing on what and who you love leads to private practice success and not the empty appointment planner that many clinicians fear.
Q: Tell us a little bit about you and your practice! (What do you specialize in, where is your practice, how often do you see clients, why did you become a therapist, etc.)
A: I’m a therapist, coach, and soul mentor for non-conformists of all kinds. My physical practice is located in Pensacola, FL, however I see about half of my clients online through audio/video sessions. I am passionate about what I call “sacred psychology” which goes beyond traditional psychological frameworks to a focus on the intersectionality across all levels of being – mind, body, spirit, and soul – and the subtle yet powerful layers in-between.
The waiting room from Tamara’s practice in Pensacola, FL
Being an Omnist myself (someone who embraces all religious paths and spiritual worldviews), I became a therapist because I saw a need in providing truly holistic health for those who might feel that there’s no one out there in our profession who would understand what he or she is going through without judgment. I have sat with LGBTQ+ pastors and worship leaders kicked out of their churches and now in existential crisis, kink lovers from Abrahamic faiths (i.e., Judaism, Christianity, & Islam) struggling to reconcile their cravings with sacred texts, as well as New Thought followers who embrace, yet are sometimes overwhelmed at the idea of being connected to all of humanity on a very literal energetic level.
More of Tamara’s practice
My office has also seen spiritual seekers from a wide variety of paths including Pagan, Buddhist, Hindu, Ifa, Candomble, Santeria, Shamanism, and many, many more; all deriving great solace and meaning in ritual. It would be a very tragic oversight indeed not to include this in personal development work! For example, meditation, prayer, energy work, archetypal work based on spiritual worldview, dream interpretation, shadow work, somatic therapies and more. By incorporating each client’s personal spiritual worldview into our work together, it allows for deeper transformation that is achieved quicker and lasts longer.
Q: What is one reason you’re glad you became a therapist?
A: I can honestly say that I truly LOVE my job and cannot imagine doing anything else at this point! As a therapist-coach, I am able to provide vital services for marginalized and underserved populations not only in my area, but also across the globe with my specialities in gender, sexual, erotic, relational, and spiritual diversity.
Soon after opening, my practice very quickly became the number one provider of letters of referral for hormone therapy for transgender individuals in three counties. I also receive a large number of referrals from other clinicians for issues related to polyamory, kink, LGBTQIA+, and also spiritual abuse and existential crises. It feels good to know that there is now a safe space in the Bible Belt for anyone who might feel like a trapezoid in a world full of circles.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not working?
A: I’m a total nerd and always have my nose in a book, either in actual paper form, on my kindle, or on Audible. I LOVE learning new things and it’s one of the cheapest ways to explore anything that peaks my interest!
Besides reading, I have recently discovered an affinity for hiking. We live near nature trails and finding new paths to wander down has provided amazing rejuvenation for mind, body, and spirit.
Tamara and her partner, Will
Q: When did you become a Brighter Vision client, and why?
A: I’ve been with Brighter Vision for about 2 years now. I wanted to my website to reflect my personality – bold, vibrant, and outside the box. I’m not a cookie cutter therapist so why should my website portray anything different? Brighter Vision offers customizability at a price point you can’t find anywhere else and their customer service is world class. I can’t recommend them highly enough!
Q: What methods were you using to attract clients before you had a Brighter Vision website?
A: Like many, I was with a competitor for my website, but also had listings with Psychology Today, Good Therapy, and several others of the like. I also networked the hell out of myself, meeting with other clinicians for coffee or lunch and exploring how we could cross promote one another’s niches. Sure it all works, but it’s incredibly time consuming and sometimes feels like throwing a super wide net full of holes out there – you just hope and pray people like your bait.
Q: How did your process of attaining and attracting clients change after your Brighter Vision website from how it was before?
A: With Brighter Vision showcasing my authentic flavor, network marketing became attraction marketing. The hustle became more about flow. Calls and emails from potential clients now often begin with statements about how my website drew them in or let them know that I was the best fit for them in my area. Doesn’t get much better than that!
Tamara’s Brighter Vision website, Arya Therapy Services
Q: What is one of your favorite parts of your website? How does that represent you and your private practice?
A: I love the slider right underneath the menu and my logo. It’s the first thing people notice and really sets the tone for their experience with me. I purposely chose provocative images that evoke feelings related to my specialties in spirituality and quelling existential anxiety and angst. It was actually one of the suggestions Sam, my designer with Brighter Vision, made during our initial interviews and I am so glad I listened to him!
Q: What is something you know now about marketing your private practice or making a private practice website that you have learned from your experience with Brighter Vision?
A: My favorite thing I have learned is about all of the possible plug-ins one can add to your website to provide added interest and ease of use both for the clinician and the potential client. Everything from fully encrypted emails and forms, to appointment bookings, podcast players, and taking payments can all be added right in and your clients never have to leave your page! Cuts down on click-aways as well as the need for people to email or call you with basic questions, leaving you to focus more on what you love – your session times!
Q: How do you keep organized and scheduled in your day-to-day life?
A: I use what I call my Tetris Schedule (think of the old Nintendo game). I actually wrote about this on a guest post for Brighter Vision. By breaking down the available hours in my day into blocked chunks, I am able to stay immersed in each task while having peace that everything will get done. If an unexpected event arises (e.g., a child getting sick), I am able to simply move that entire block over and all is well. This also provides the added benefit of reducing overwhelm, increasing productivity (because it prioritizes things and eliminates distractions), and keeps my excitement level much higher!
Q: How do you make time for self-care with your busy schedule?
A:. It’s the first thing that goes on my Tetris Schedule. I block off time at the start AND end of each day to meditate, journal, exercise, read, take a long soak in the tub, or enjoy a beverage outside. You can’t pour from an empty cup so it’s a non-negotiable for me. I also listen to inspirational podcasts on my commute and take a few moments in between each client to recenter my mind and energy. As a reiki master teacher, I find clearing my bioenergy field and my therapy room every hour helps me keep what Irvin Yalom would call, “new client = new mind.”
Tamara and family enjoying the Blacklight Run
Q: What other tools or services do you use to help boost your private practice?
A: Social media has been invaluable in building brand awareness, increasing that vital “know, like, and trust factor,” and steadily drawing in new clients. I frequently utilize paid advertising on FB and Instagram for example, and have been incredibly pleased with the results with everything from increasing my number of followers, building my email list, and securing raving fans for side hustle offerings like workshops and e-courses. It’s been the best ROI (return on investment) for advertising dollars spent, hands down.
I also have a podcast, “Sacred Psychology with Tamara Powell,” which is a wonderfully creative outlet for me with the added benefits of increasing my reach and targeting my ideal clients.
A preview episode of Tamara’s podcast, Sacred Psychology with Tamara Powell
Q: What have you found to be the most important piece of advice someone has given you about being a private practice owner?
A: “Don’t just think about who you want to attract; identify and learn to be comfortable with who you are also okay with repelling.” Way too many therapists get so caught up in trying to attract everybody that they end up not standing out to anybody. When your ego finally embraces the fear of not being liked, shit gets so much easier…and more profitable!
Q: Do you have any pieces of advice for someone just starting their own private practice journey?
A: Focus on your favorites – your favorite therapeutic modalities, your favorite client populations, your favorite social media hangouts, and even your favorite colors for your office and website. When you lead with authenticity and what lights YOU up, everything else follows. Anytime I have ever allowed the “should’s” or “comparisonitis” to impact the way I run my practice, nothing good ever comes of it. Always follow your intuition and your ideal clients will gladly follow you!
Tamara and her best friend, Dolph