How To Use Social Media To Grow A Practice | Branding Series with Sam Carvalho 3 of 5 | PoP 419

Share this content
How To Use Social Media To Grow A Practice | Branding Series with Sam Carvalho 3 of 5 | PoP 419

How can you use social media for private practice? What social media channels should you use? What design elements would you recommend for social media?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Samantha Carvalho all about social media for private practice and how you can use it to grow a  practice.

Podcast Sponsor

There are many ways to keep your practice organized, but TherapyNotes is the best. Their easy-to-use, secure platform lets you not only do your billing, scheduling, and progress notes, but also create a client portal to share documents and request signatures. Plus, they offer amazing, unlimited phone support so when you have a question you can get help FAST. To get started with the Practice Management Software Trusted by over 35,000 professionals go to and start a free trial today. If you enter promo code JOE, they will give you two months to try it out for free.

Meet Sam

Samantha Carvalho Design

Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer with over five years of experience in both design and marketing.

She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!

Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work.

In This Podcast


In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Samantha Carvalho all about social media for private practice and how you can use it to grow a  practice.

What are some things to consider before diving into social media?

The first thing to consider is where your ideal client is on social media. You want to communicate to the right people from the get-go. Join in on platforms you enjoy being on with a mixture of which platform your ideal client is active on.

It is a lot of trial and error too. You might be surprised at where you get the most lead generation.

Deciding how much you want to invest in those channels is really important.


Let’s talk about the different cultures on different channels

Repurposing content isn’t the worst idea. It depends on how much time you have. Instagram is for a younger generation, and it is visually driven. It requires the most time and effort.

Facebook is the least risky and it will always return results. You will probably reach the broadest audience on Facebook. Make sure your profile image and cover image is designed well with the important information you want to communicate upfront.

Twitter requires a lot of time too for engagement. You need to post about 2-3 times a day.

Pinterest is 80% female. Give Pinterest a try if you can, it is a surprising platform with engagement and traffic.


What design elements would you recommend on social media?

Get onto, it’s a great design template to use. Use Pexels and Unsplash for free stock images that are nice. Sit down and think about what you want to post. For every 5 posts, show a personal post, one promo post, and 3 value add posts. Make sure each design has your logo or website URL on it.

Think about consistency and what designs and colour schemes you want to go with.


Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

 [JOE SANOK]: Between writing notes, filing insurance claims, and scheduling with clients, it can be hard to stay organized. That’s why I recommend Therapy Notes. Their easy to use platform lets you manage your practice securely and efficiently. Visit to get two free months from Therapy Notes. Just to use promo-code [JOE], when you sign up for a free trial at Again, that’s promo-code [JOE].

[JOE]: This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 419. Welcome back. We have Sam Carvalho on the Practice of the Practice podcast here talking all about branding, marketing, design, all things kind of advertising and showing the world what you do. Welcome Sam. How are you doing today?

[SAM]: Thanks Joe. I’m doing good, thanks. And you?

[JOE]: I’m doing awesome. I love doing this series with you. In episode one we talked all about logos and first impressions. We also dove into brand style guides. So, you’re going to want to go back to that one before you dive in today. These all build upon each other. The second one was all about your website, the user journey, and just making sure that it flows how it’s supposed to. We gave you some really clear tips on what you should and shouldn’t do. And then today, social media. Sam, I get a lot of people that are like, “Do I have to be on every social media?” Let’s start there. What are some things that people should consider before they jump into all the different social medias that are out there?

[SAM]: So, I think Joe, the first thing to consider is where your ideal client is active and that’s something that’s obviously a lot of your branding centers around as well as your ideal clients and who you’re actually trying to attract to your business. So as much as you want to be communicating what you do, you also want to be communicating to the right people. So, I’d say it’s kind of a mixture of those things. It’s a mixture of which platforms you feel most comfortable on and that you enjoy working on, but then also where your ideal client is most active.

[JOE]: Awesome. And then after they figure that out, what do you think they should do in regards to them choosing for their own, say happiness? I tend to recommend, and tell me if you think this is wrong, that if you don’t like a social media platform, you’re probably not going to do it very well. And so even if your ideal client is on Instagram, but you really hate Instagram, you probably shouldn’t be on Instagram. Like what do you think about that? Do you agree? Do you disagree?

[SAM]: Well let’s say if it’s where your ideal client is but you don’t enjoy it, then obviously if you have the budget thing, get someone to do it for you because obviously that it’s where your ideal client is. I think it works the same in reverse. So, if you enjoy Facebook but your ideal client isn’t on Facebook, then even if you do it well, you’re not going to be reaching anyone in their sincerity. So, I’d say, it is kind of a mixture of both but obviously there are people out there including me who can help with social media.

[JOE]: Well, I think Pinterest is an example of that. For a while I liked Pinterest, but I kind of go in phases. Like if we’re renovating a house, so we have a couple of Airbnb’s, then I’m on Pinterest, I’m on Instagram, trying to find what people do. But really there has to be a reason for me to be on Pinterest. I don’t enjoy just kind of going through it, but by far, Pinterest is our biggest lead generator in regards to social media. I mean, we get usually half a million people or so every month just on our Pinterest. And so, then I’ve had to say, “Okay, I’m not interested in this, but we should be interested based on our numbers.” And so, we use Tailwind, we also, a lot of our podcasts or YouTubes will have you turn into a Pinterest graphic and then we’ll schedule that out. And so that’s an example of saying, “Yes, a lot of my ideal client is on Pinterest and I don’t want to be on Pinterest. So, I then have Sam do it,” or the people that you oversee.

[SAM]: Yes, well I think it is, and I think the beauty of social media is that it is a lot of trial and error. So, for example, if you’ve chosen Facebook as your social media platform, but often months you’re not seeing any return, then you can try another social media platform and try Instagram or try Pinterest. Like in my, as you said, you might be surprised as to where you actually get the most return on investment.

[JOE]: Yes, absolutely. I recently was at this podcasting conference and a bunch of the people were experimenting with TikTok, which is kind of more aimed at the like high school, early college crowd and that’s one that I’m kind of figuring out. Do I want to use that as another way for Practice of the Practice? Are those, I mean, I don’t know that my ideal clients are hanging out on TikTok. Maybe their kids are, but so, but you know, there’s always like a new social media. So, deciding how much you want to invest into those, I think it’s really important.

[SAM]: Yes.

[JOE]: Well, let’s talk kind of branding of each social media because I think that the tendency can be, I just want to create one thing and I want to just kick it out to every single social media platform that I’m on. And my understanding, and tell me if I’m wrong, is that you really want to view kind of each social media as its own environment, its own kind of party and the way that you interact on say Facebook should be different than how you interact on Twitter versus Instagram or Pinterest. Talk a little bit about those different cultures of the various social media outlets.

[SAM]: So, I think from the get go repurposing content isn’t the worst idea but again, it kind of depends on how much time you have or how many resources you have. So obviously if you want to optimize each platform, then yes, I would say treat it as its own platform, but, if you don’t have that luxury, then I think repurposing content is fine. But yes, just to chat about each platform individually. So, I would say Instagram is kind of like the younger generation is on the, it’s very visually driven. So, I would say if you’re going to be on Instagram, it’s probably at this stage I would say the social media platform that requires the most time just because the visual consistency needs to be at its peak if you’re going to compete in the Instagram world.
So, I would say kind of having a clear strategy with regards to how you want your Instagram page to look and then obviously sticking to that. When it comes to Facebook, I’d say Facebook is kind of the base platform to go with in the same set as the least risky. Like, I think Facebook will always kind of return results. Again, having a check or strategy thing, I think a lot of people are active on Facebook so you’ll probably reach like the broadest audience on Facebook, and —

[JOE]: I almost feel like having a Facebook business page, having a Google business page and having a website are like the three just expectations in the same way as a business card or that you show up for counseling.

[SAM]: Yes, I agree. And I think just something on Facebook as well in a kind of landing on the Facebook business page, you obviously see the profile image and the cover photo straight away. And just really making sure that those are well designed as well, I always recommend just using your logo as your profile image. But then on the cover photo, a lot of people will just have like a picture of a nice tree or like, again, like a stock photo. I’d say get someone to design that for you and have contact details there or have like really important information that you want to communicate there. So then straight away people know who you are and what they need to do to contact you if they want to.
I’d say Twitter is the one that I’m least familiar with, but I know it is still beneficial to people. Again, I think it requires quite a lot of time just with the engagement. So, I know like on Twitter you need to maybe post like two or three times a day as opposed to just once a day and you need to be engaging with people and getting involved in communication and in conversations and things like that. So, again, if that’s something you enjoy then by all means but it’s, yes, I guess I’m less drawn to it because it’s less visual. It’s more of the conversation side of things.
Then Pinterest I would say is more of your female population. So, everyone, —

[JOE]: 80% female and half of which are moms.

[SAM]: Yes, everyone showing their weddings and/or houses and —

[JOE]: Or their [crosstalk]

[SAM]: Oh yes, recipes. So yes, I’d say as you say, like definitely give Pinterest a try if you can. I think it is a surprise and tactful in its return on investment and —

[JOE]: One thing I really like about Pinterest is that you’ll see like kicks up of old content because if one person that’s an influencer repins something of yours from three years ago, all of a sudden you get all this new traffic and then it can die down. Like we have that private practice year, like it’s like three different categories. I forgot where we named it, but I made that in Word. Like I woke up at night with the idea, I wrote it down literally on a napkin, like it’s so cliché and then made it in Word the next day and posted it to Pinterest, and I don’t know how many times it’s been repinned, but that’s one that we see it just kind of spikes and then it goes down, spikes and goes down. So, unlike most social media platforms where it just disappears, Pinterest is the one that, it just keeps kind of cycling through.

[SAM]: Yes, that’s a good point. Yes.

[JOE]: Awesome. So, when it comes to actual design on social media. So you mentioned some people just have a picture of a tree and maybe kind of a step up from that would be adding some text over it or if you have a new group that’s starting or for us if we have webinars or something we’re launching to put that in the header photo for Facebook. What are other just kind of design elements that you would recommend on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest? I’d say those are the big three for most clinicians that are out there.

[SAM]: So, I’d say first and foremost, if you haven’t yet, get onto So that’s obviously a free platform with predesigned templates that you can just kind of jump in and put quotes on and just formulate really cool designs and then also make use of like Pixel and Unsplash for really cool stock images. So that’s, I would say what I’d recommend when it comes to actually designing the content, but then consistency. So, I would say before you post anything kind of sitting down and deciding what you want to post. I usually recommend for every five posts, having one personal item, one personal post, select showcasing your personality or something that you’re interested, in one promotional post showcasing a service offering or something that you’re promoting, and then three value add posts. So, whether it be inspirational quotes or tips and advice for the user, and that’s kind of how I would break it down.
But then the design of those posts, making sure that each and every design has your logo on it because you need to remember that the nature of social media is to share that image. And obviously if it doesn’t have your logo on it, doesn’t have your website on, there’s no way to know that it was you who made it and people aren’t going to come back to you. So, having your, at least your logo, but a step up from that is your URL, your website URL, so that whatever that image gets shared people will then be drawn back to your website.
Then consistency. So, kind of deciding from the beginning which designs you want to make use of but then sticking with those designs, sticking with the same kind of scheme. Pinterest is more varied obviously you know, within the boards it depends what topic it is. So, you can kind of go nuts on Pinterest. But —

[JOE]: Yes, with the infographics and going a little deeper. Yes.

[SAM]: Yes. But when it comes to Facebook and especially Instagram, I’d say keeping it consistent.

[JOE]: Awesome. Well in the next episode we’re going to be talking everything print. So, we just went all digital on you for the last two episodes, but now we’re going to be talking about rack cards, business cards, banners, print, when should you have stuff printed. And then the final episode is going to be your full brand strategy. So, if you want to work with Sam, if you want to talk to Sam, figure out if there’s things that you can outsource to our team, just head on over to Thanks so much, Sam.

[SAM]: Cool. Thanks Joe.

[JOE]: This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one. Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy. We like your intro music.