Most Awesome Conference Round Table Part 1 | 4 Private Practice Consultants Roundtabling Private Practice

Today’s Private Practice Podcast resource:

awesome conference private practice

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Practice Nation, Meet the Consultants

julie hanks

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, MSW, LCSW

is a self-care evangelist, author, relationship expert, media contributor, blogger, speaker, songwriter, and licensed therapist with 20 year experience counseling women, couples and families. In addition to owning Wasatch Family Therapy, LLC and serving as executive director, Hanks is an emotional health and relationship expert on TV and radio. She is a regular contributor on KSL TV’s Studio 5, a celebrity commentator on Reelz Channel’s new show Celebrity Legaciesand has appeared nationally on TLC, Discovery Health, FOX News Channel.  Her down-to-earth advice has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, CNN, Women’s Day, Women’s Health, Real Simple, Parenting, and others. Hanks writes for Answers, Sharecare, DailyStrength, and PsychCentral websites.

After speaking to large women’s groups on preventing emotional burnout for a decade and working with hundreds of women in her clinical practice who were overwhelmed and felt “never good enough”, and were neglecting their own emotional needs, Hanks felt compelled to write her first book The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women.

Amazing interview with the gals from ZynnyMe, most downloads in one week ever!


was born out of two therapists coming together through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events and deciding to make something beautiful. Our hope is that this site and what we’ve created truly transforms your life, your clinical practice, and your business.

We get questions about our business name and domain all the time. ZynnyMe… how do you say it? What is it?

Miranda’s story:

It comes from zynny, an old email address of Miranda’s from almost  2 decades ago. Miranda (I) had worked my tush off through grad school, finished in 2 years while working full time in a local non-profit. I got through the first licensing exam with no problems, and then the second exam- I failed… by 1 point.

And of course, as fates would have it- I took the test before a family reunion.. where everyone knew I was taking the exam. Ouch! I felt completely on my own. Nobody I knew from grad school was taking exams yet, the people I asked for direction reported feeling shell-shocked and had no advice to give. So, I started a free online study group. I found people from all over California who were all feeling just like I was feeling. In fact, I found several other people who had all failed right around the same time by 1 or 2 points.

Four months later I found out there was a problem with the exam, received a letter from the board that I had actually passed and became licensed. By this time it had become clear to me how powerful it was to connect with other people. As the group grew, and I was continuing to spend 10+ hours each week- I realized I needed to make some changes for my family. While, I continue to spread the word and manage the study group to this day (thousands of therapists from across the US have participated)- I moved into more of a coaching role.

And, as I started my own cash-pay private practice in one of the top 5 worst cities to live in the United States… during the recession… people started to ask for business coaching… that is how I met Kelly.

Kelly’s Story:

When we were looking at names for our business, we looked a TON of options and talked to a lot of people who knew us. One suggestion we received several times was to integrate the zynny that had been part of Miranda’s email handle and that many people had grown to love. While Zynny was taken, we decided it would be fun to claim ZynnyMe as our online home.

Our vision from the beginning was that people would be transformed by having contact with us. That their mindset would be shifted, that they would be more empowered, leave more confident- that they would be changed.

We are both in gratitude for the amount of lives we have been able to change over the past few years. We adore taking therapists from lost and unsure to focused and confident.

What you’ll discover in this podcast

  • 2:02 How one counselor feels really scattered
  • 6:09 Something Julie has had to learn and a personal struggle
  • 11:01 The one recommendation that is free that will make a site stats easier to use
  • 15:23 How to find one little nugget to tell what and who you are serving
  • 18:28 The Most Awesome Conference, a few secrets about it

Where the conference is taking place!

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 4.44.18 PM



Music from the Podcast

Silence is Sexy


4 consultants


Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC

Joe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant.

Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI.

To link to Joe’s Google+ .

Photo by Tax Credits

Here is the Transcription of This Podcast

Most Awesome Conference Sneak Peek Part 1: 4 Private Practice Consultants Roundtabling Private Practice

This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, Session 67. I’m Joe Sanok, your host and this is the Practice of the Practice Podcast where I am hanging out with three of my favorite people in the world. We’ve got Julie Hanks, we’ve got Miranda Palmer, and Kelly Higdon. How are you ladies all doing today?

KH: Doing good.  

JH: Doing well.

MP: Well, good.

Joe Sanok: Awesome.

KH:  Smiling hugely, following that introduction.

Joe Sanok: Well, thank you. Yeah. So, I wanted to have the three of you on here because we’re in the midst of planning the Most Awesome Conference which is where people can learn more about it, but really I think there’s something that’s amazing that happens when you collaborate with other people, when you brainstorm that the sum of all the of parts is just greater than if we’re all by ourselves.

What we’re going to be doing today and over the next three podcasts is we’re going to be listening to three people that called in and said, “Hey, stuff’s going on in my private practice and I need some help”, and then the four of us are just going to brainstorm what they could do better, we’re going to look at their websites, we’re going to just kind of brainstorm as if we’re hanging out with this person and help them grow their practice.

So, our very first person is a lady named Lanie Smith and so let’s listen to Lanie’s question:

How one counselor feels really scattered

LS: Hi, Miranda. It’s Lanie and I am thinking about where I’m stuck and I would say right now it’s probably lack of focus because I have attracted lots of different opportunities, contract work, as well as partnering for workshops and so I’m just feeling really scattered. I am trying to do some time management and stick to my boundaries on the ideal schedule, but I’m starting to get out and speak more about working with therapists, and so I really want to craft and hone that message and that elevator speech and start to attract those individual clients so that I can perhaps let go of some of the contract work that’s making me feel a little bit pulled and scattered. So you know, the contract work isn’t necessarily part of my business plan per se, but it is keeping food on the table, and I’m grateful for that in the meantime.

So, I’m, you know, working with women which is great. I love working with women and I want to continue doing that as well as attract more therapists so I’m loving the expressive art support group I started, and I just really want to get more therapists in my door.

Joe Sanok: All right. So, Lanie there had some questions. It sounds like she’s got some lack of focus, she’s got a lot of opportunities. She’s doing contract work that she’s hoping to leave. She feels scattered, time management, she’s worried about how to speak better, have her elevator speech and really just how does she grow even more?

And so, Julie, why don’t I have you pull up and maybe Kelly, you could do that too? So we’ll start to have you guys evaluate some of her website and then Miranda, since she kind of — it sounds like maybe this is someone that knew you because she said, “Hey, Miranda, this is my question.”

Miranda, why don’t we start with you? What stands out to you from Lanie’s question?

MP: I think what really stands out to me is that she knows what her focus is. She knows that her focus is that as she has been marketing her practice and started working with therapists more, she really enjoys them as clients and her ideal client has shifted over the last 6 to 12 months. I know, Lanie so now that’s the piece and I think it’s about realizing that it’s okay to really start setting boundaries in these other areas as she shifts her marketing a little bit and shifts her ideal client wording so to get comfortable with that piece.

So, she knows what the focus is. She wants to attract more therapists, she really likes working with them. It’s really fun and now her giving herself permission to do that and permission to say no to the opportunities that are coming.

I think that’s huge for all of us in business that permission to allow ourselves to say no because we know that there’s something better coming along. Even though that could be a great opportunity, it’s not our highest and best or maybe not our purpose. Sometimes, you know, I think we’ve all been in that situation where something on the surface seems great or maybe say yes out of fear because you wonder if there’ll another opportunity so you just say yes to everything that comes to you but as you start to progress in your practice, your realize you don’t have to do that anymore. You can start to — in a really nice way say, “Oh, wow! That’s great. You know, thank you. Let’s talk about that like six months because right now my focus is blank.

Joe Sanok: Well, Julie I know that you and I talked about that a lot on the podcast interview I did with you a few weeks ago. What advice do you have in regards to that kind of mental shift away from saying yes to everything?

Something Julie has had to learn and a personal struggle

JH: Well, it’s something that I know very well and I’ve had to practice for a long time to personally be able to say no to opportunities. I know that is a personal struggle and all of my clients, my consulting clients deal with that, as well. I think what gets in the way is fear that if I really embrace who I want to see and focus all of my efforts attracting them, that I will not make enough money or I won’t have enough clients or I won’t be able to see a variety of people. So, I’d like to tell my — you know, I would tell Lanie if she were my client, you have to just trust that and if you’re going for therapists that needs to so clear that when I open up your website and which I just did, it says, “Therapy for therapists” or something that is really clear that’s who you want to see. From a practical point of view, I would get that on your header ASAP.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. So maybe, Julie, walk us through some things that you see on Lanie’s website that you really like that you feel like matches what she’s saying she wants and what are some areas that maybe she’s missing the mark?

JH: Okay. Looking at this I am very clear that she likes working with women and art. So, that’s clear. I don’t see her branding the integrative art therapy anywhere except in the domain so I might just have that on the top header and then in the photo, I would have something that’s very clear about helping therapists — blah blah blah whatever her goal is in helping those therapists.

So that would be ASAP. I love that when I opened it up I could see a picture of her. I think that’s really smart and I always tell my consulting clients like that’s people want to attach to a person and they want to see you right away. If it’s a trustworthy approachable photo, then that helps people build trust and makes it more likely that they’ll trust you to be their therapist.

Joe Sanok: Yeah, and I feel like she’s done a good job with layout. I mean, compared to a lot of counseling websites I think it looks pretty good that the quality —

JH: It’s clean.

Joe Sanok: Yeah, the quality of photos is pretty good except I feel like the quality of photo of her is probably the one that’s the least high quality. I mean, that’s definitely I would update and maybe it’s doing something in action if she’s doing a lot of kind of integrative art therapy.

I’m not sure, what do the rest of you think. Sorry.

KH: We were all

Joe Sanok: We’re deeply looking at the website.

KH: No, no. we were all told by Joe that you would call on us by name.

Joe Sanok: I know. Okay. I screwed up. What do all of you think even though I told you I’d call you out directly?

KH: For me, one of the biggest issues that I see is that it’s really important to be keeping an eye on the search engine optimization at the same time that you’re working on making a beautiful breaded site. So, when I click through her website, there’s only really one page that even says the word Phoenix on it, and it’s really important to start to pull up what are keywords that I want to if I’m — if someone is searching it into Google, what do I want to show up for because you can do all of these just from the standpoint of personal relationship building and that’s great but it’s very — it’d be very exhausting. You want people to be able to type in therapists for therapists in Phoenix or Therapy for therapists in Phoenix or art therapy Phoenix and show up.

Joe Sanok: And Miranda, do you think that instead of just naming it blog may make it like counseling blog or therapist blog. Do you think that things like that would help like up in the menu?

MH: Yeah. You know what I think is interesting is that I think that people sometimes get overwhelmed by the idea of like what the options are so I actually really like very clear just it’s a blog. It’s got articles you can go and check it out because you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel every time. I like the idea that somebody just goes, “Oh, she’s got a blog and I can go and click on it” versus something that’s so long and search could not be clean and clear and then it confuses people.

The one recommendation that is free that will make a site stats easier to use

We have found one of the things that I would also recommend that she does, it doesn’t look like it’s in here, but there are free services like Sumame, that you can put into your site to check the stats to look at what people are specifically clicking on with the hit map and we found that when we try to make playful names of pages sometimes we just click on them.

We started getting like really clear even one of the interesting pieces that Kelly and I found on our own website, we put free trainings on and people stopped clicking there, which is weird. If we just put trainings people clicked but if we put free they stopped.

Joe Sanok: So, Kelly, I want to drill into some of her blog. Kelly, what do you see that is going well with Lanie’s blog and what do you think could maybe use some improvement?

KH: All right. So, what I do like is that she’s using inventory. I think that’s always important. I do suggest when you use inventory in your blog, to brand the inventory because that way, if someone pins the post or shares it and that image is highlighted, they can trace it back to you and that you know what I’m saying that it’s a little bit more branded and clear where it comes from. I love that you know, she talks about a lot of aspects that women are dealing with, you know the low self-esteem and body image stuff, depression stuff. I think it will be really cool to have it maybe — one way to do is where you have excerpts so that people don’t have to keep scrolling and scrolling for each article, but instead they get a little excerpt and then if they want to dig in deeper, they can click and dig in. That way, people can see more of the content of the blog. But I love you know, looking at this. Let me see here. She’s blogging quite regularly which always makes me… Well she started this year, to blog yearly.

Having regular consistency I think is good as well, and I noticed she’s starting to do categories which is great, but I think also, adding some tags to that so that it’s even more clear about who she’s speaking to and easier. It’s going to help her with SEO. That’s also going to drive people to specifically what they’re looking for.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. I’m looking at it and it seems like she’s starting to kind of break it up with something like header 1’s. She might just using bold rather than using actually like header 1, header 2. I think that if she had more bullet points rather than — a few of the older ones are just like big blocks of reading and just breaking it up a little bit I think would really help people want to read more, too.

KH: Yeah, I mean, Lanie is artistic and so I think to not shy away from being artistic even in the formatting of your website, you know, we do this a lot like I know we all do this on our PsychCentral with the limited amount of editing we can do, we try and make you know one word stand out or make this a little bigger you know, and with the site she has here, she could do like a colored you know, bullet point and things like that to really kind of catch the eye and have fun with it.

Lanie’s personality just by looking at the banner of her website, she’s about freedom and creativity and so that needs to show up in her blogging as well.

Joe Sanok: So, what about elevator speech? She mentioned like really trying to drill into who she serves like how do you guys, maybe let’s start with Julie. Julie, how do you help people that you’re consulting with to figure out their “elevator speech” or really drill into who they’re serving?

How to find one little nugget to tell what and who you are serving

JH: I ask them I think to start one question. When people think of you and they say, “Oh, she’s the one who… blank.” What do you want them to say? She’s the one who works with therapists who through art therapy to you know, reduce stress or whatever it is. So, kind of coming up with one little nugget that you want to be known for and that’s clear who want you want to serve and what the benefit is to the client you want to serve. And so that’s kind of a quick answer.

Joe Sanok: No, that’s great.

JH: What do you want to be known for and who do you want to reach?

Joe Sanok: And Miranda, what about you? How do you help people figure out their elevator speech?

MP: I think it’s about I love asking them about what is the transformation that you want your ideal client to experience? What is the outcome and what is the unique thing that you bring? So, being able to identify, “Hey, this is what I do. This is who I do it with and this is what they get out of it” and to get a little bit more tangible about what the outcomes are. I think as therapists, we tend to be really vague, very general, and so when we can actually verbalize, I help people heal from painful memories so they can live a happy healthy life. That is something clear about what they’re struggling with and what the outcome should be from working you.

That’s my big piece that I want them to tap into is, what’s the pain and what’s the specific outcome that you guys are aiming for?

Joe Sanok: Sure. Awesome. And Kelly, I know you’re one of the most focused people I know. You seem to be able to get so much done so quickly. What about so Lanie has this lack of focus. She feels like she has so many opportunities like what you can advise her on that question?

KH: Well, I think it’s going back to who do you want to serve and do these activities get you in front of those people? Sometimes what seems like such a wonderful opportunity you’re going to have to say no to, and really, I am all about return on investment and not just in terms of like are you getting paid to speak but is this where you’re going to get you know, in front of the people that matter most right now? And really eliminating — I mean, when you’re working two jobs, right, you’re contracting and then you have your practice, there’s not room. You know, you’ve got to be strategic and a little bit more intentional about your marketing and how you spend your time and it’s okay to say no and when you say no, other things are going to come into place that are a better fit and like Julie said earlier, it’s about trusting that. So, really looking at okay, how do I spend my time, where in this time am I getting the best return and the best use of my time, where do I want to keep focusing so I can grow this aspect of working with therapists and where is it really draining me?

The Most Awesome Conference, a few secrets about it

Joe Sanok: Awesome. In a minute, I’m going to ask each of you what’s one thing that Lanie should do this week to just kind of start reaching her goals, but before we do that, I just wanted to tell everyone that’s listening right now about this conference, the Most Awesome Conference that the four of us hosting as are a bunch of our friends that are coming out to help out, too. It’s going to be in beach house in southern California where we’re just going to hang out with you for the weekend and rather than be a conference where you leave with your to-do lists and then you go home and you’ve got all your emails and everything, you’re going to show up with your to-do lists and you’re going to get a bunch of stuff done and leave with a stronger private practice that hopefully will just give you more income and more influence in your community.

Ladies, why don’t we start with Julie? What’s one thing that Lanie could do this week to just boost what she wants to do in her private practice?

JH: I would say one thing is to put on the header something about working with therapists. Start putting it out there that that’s who she works with.

Joe Sanok: Awesome. And Kelly, what about you?

KH: I think she could do a blog about working with therapists and start spreading that in social media and therapist groups in her connections there.

Joe Sanok: And Miranda, what about you? What’s your one thing?

MP: To develop a page, a separate page on her site that’s all about art therapists or therapists.

Joe Sanok: Awesome. And I would add, I would go back through the last four or five blog posts and just re-organize them so they’re easier to read with bullet points and headers.

So, ladies, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice Podcast this week. We’re going to have these three ladies with me for the next two weeks where we’re going to dive into two other counselors’ private practices.

Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an awesome, awesome week.

Special thanks to the bands Silence is Sexy and Builders.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered.  It is given with the understanding that neither the host, nor the guests nor the publisher is rendering legal, accounting, clinical or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.


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