PODCAST: 4 Private Practice Consultants + One Private Practice

Today’s Private Practice Podcast resource:

awesome conference private practice

Have a question for the show? Leave me a message on Speakpipe

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

  • 5:07 Why you shouldn’t tweek or twerk your Twitter
  • 11:08 Why too many things is terrible and how to build more of a connection with you
  • 23:01 What Julie is so excited about
  •  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







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

Podcast for Private Practice Consultants & One Private Practice

Welcome to Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, Session 68. I’m Joe Sanok, your host. Welcome, welcome, welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast with myself and friends. I’ve got Julie Hanks, Kelly Higdon, and Miranda Palmer — three amazing ladies that I’ve been collaborating with a ton lately and if you missed it at the last podcast we did a roundtable with a lady named Lanie Smith and she had called in about her private practice and we just talked about it. We talked about what’s going well, what could use some improvement and hopefully by now, Lanie is just kicking some butt with all of the free advice she got from the four of us. So, welcome to the show, ladies.

KH: Thanks, Joe.

JH: Whooho.

MP: Thank you.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. Well, it’s good to have you back and this has just been such a fun kind of experiment we’ve been doing with putting on this conference which I’ll talk a little bit more later on about, but let’s take a listen to Anna Osborn. She has a private practice and she’s got a question for us.

AO: Hi, there. This is Anna Osborn in Sacramento, California and I am calling in to tell you about my biggest hurdle in private practice. I feel like my biggest hurdle is being seen out in the community. I know that you know, I’ve got a great energy and a great ability to connect with people and I think the really difficult thing in private practice is not only managing the isolation that comes from being in your office which is you know, things that I’ve worked on in terms of you know, building connections with other great therapists and those sorts of things but also being seen by the consumers, by the clients that I really know I can help.

I believe that I’d done you know, a lot of work around my website and those sorts of things. I think I’m so very, very I guess unsure of how to create SEO within my website, but also about you know, getting in front of people in sharing my message. I feel like that I’ve got a really important message to share and I know that people their lives will be different by being able to engage and work with me and I want to be able to share that passion.

So, my biggest is how do I become more visible, how do I get beyond my website and start creating those real world connections so that people feel like they know me and therefore want to work and engage with me and have their lives be different.

So, that is my question. I can’t wait to hear what you guys have to say. Take care. Bye-bye.

Joe Sanok: Well, Anna Osborn, thank you so much for taking the time to leave — what a great message you left for us and really thought out. So, there’s a number of different directions that we can go to but Miranda, why don’t I have you pull up Anna’s website. It’s just annaosbornmft.com and then let’s bounce over to Kelly. Why don’t we start with you, Kelly? Sounds like — let me just give a summary. So, she is being seen in the community, putting out a lot of energy to connect, sometimes feeling isolated, working on her website, unsure about SEO, getting in front of people, she has an important message to share, but she feels like sometimes kind of all the marketing and technology and SEO gets in the way of that message.

Where would you start, Kelly, when, if you’re working with Anna?

KH: Yeah, well, first I want to say what I love about Anna is that she does — she’s really clear that she loves relationships, she loves working with couples and to have that kind of clarity, I’m glad that she’s got that part. You’re done. You know, because — and that’s really going to help guide and direct her where to go and I think what she’s dealing with is really common because we think not high about technology, get really caught up in doing and fiddling with things that we forget to leave our offices and get in front of people but all that fiddling and connecting on social media needs to lead to that.

I think we must be first to really look at where are these couples showing up in the community? You know, whether it’d be the wife or the husband or whatever partner, where do they come into contact with the community and who else is serving them and looking at starting to build relationships with those people that serve them as well.

Why you shouldn’t tweek or twerk your Twitter

Joe Sanok: I love that you use the word, “fiddling” because I think that it’s so easy to feel like, “Well, if I just tweak my Twitter or if I just change the cover on my Facebook page” — like that’s going to make all the difference in the world and you know, obviously having things look good is important but then if you spend four hours just like tweaking your Twitter, I feel like I should twerking in there too. Tweaking your Twitter while twerking then you’re going to fiddle with the — there are all sorts of f-words I could throw in there. It’s like those are just — it’s such a waste of time sometimes because you’re paralyzed by that perfection rather than just moving forward. So I love that you make that point.

So, Julie, what about you? I mean, so Anna’s feeling a little isolated, doesn’t know really the next steps to really just get the best bang for her buck, use her skills of speaking with people, what would you suggest there?

JH: Well, this is my — the space that I love to work with, how to become visible in your community. So, going along with what Kelly said, who’s your ideal client and then I would ask, where are they are gathering in the community, what are they watching, what are they reading, what websites are they going to and what Facebook groups are they in? So, make a list of where your ideal clients are gathering or where are people who are working with your ideal clients gathering?

That will just focus and help you zero in on your outreach and marketing and networking efforts. What radio stations are popular with that demographic in your area? And then you just start going through and reaching out to different media, you know, different opportunities for speaking, and it’s amazing how often you get yeses, if you just ask.

Joe Sanok: So, I want to drill in a little bit more with that. So, you find whatever radio station. Say it’s a local NPR station and that you know that your target demographic listens to all things considered every single day. Like what do you do to obviously, you’re not just going to get on all things considered, but how do you get on to that local radio or get in front of that audience once you know those things?

JH: Well, first thing and some people skip this and it won’t work if you skip this is listen, make sure you’re listening to that station so you know what their format is, what the vibe is, how they serve their listeners, what their overarching goal is, so do your homework first so when you approach them, you are just nailing everything that they’re trying to do and always approach media with how you can serve them and their listeners or readers or whatever, viewers and how you’re going to make their job easier.

Joe Sanok: I love that point of making their job easier. I was just on a local radio station over my lunch hour today and I always show up with like here’s my main points so that that person can sound really smart. They can be like, “Oh, wasn’t there a research study at Harvard that” — and I was like yes, I’m amazed you know about that study considering it’s on the piece of paper I just gave you.

JH: Right, right.

Joe Sanok: Yeah, that’s a great point. Let’s jump to her website. Miranda, why don’t you take us through what you’re seeing on Anna’s website? Maybe we can talk about what’s going well, what she can improve on. Yeah, what do you see?

MP: Yeah, so she has a great professional picture of herself, front and centered. It feels really warm and inviting. It’s an outdoor picture which I am partial to and it’s clear that it’s done professionally which is fantastic.

There’s a lot of languaging about what kind of pain people are in and how she specifically helps which is also really great. One of the things that’s a little bit rough is like her branding on her site with her logo. It says relationship therapist but it’s so incredibly tiny.

Joe Sanok: Yeah, I noticed that, too.

MP: And there’s no logo, that it’s like totally ridiculous. I would definitely pull that out. I might also even have that more as a tag line across the page. I think it could also even be a title just below the little green line. You know, this place where it says I work with couples and individuals to create lasting change or I help couples. Whatever like that elevator pitch is, like that should be closer to the top of the page.

Joe Sanok: I wonder if and I noticed that relationship therapist being really small and it’s also like in like a cursive writing. If it was a clearer or cleaner writing but then maybe even a different color like she’s using this really heap green. Do you think that using that green and making it a little bigger like as big as her name would help?

MP: I think it could possibly could. The problem like I do like graphic work. That green it still won’t pop against this brown when it’s in text. So, yes, I think having a different color could be helpful maybe even that blue if a little [? 10:34] right next to the black it might not be quite enough but I think it could be really helpful but I think that green, I think there’s probably not enough contrast to make it pop.

Joe Sanok: Yeah, you’re probably right.

Why too many things is terrible and how to build more of a connection with you

MP: Yeah so you know, I would look at that. I think the other thing that’s interesting I like that there’s a pretty cool call to action of coming workshops and events relationship tools which is pretty awesome in there but I’d also — almost the fact that it’s got a lot of stuff going on like you know, like, “Hey, I’m getting ready to do a new event. Sign up here to make sure you get a personal invite.” Personalize it just a little bit more so I feel like I’m building relationship with you. And then do you want me to go into SEO right now, too?

Joe Sanok: Well, let’s do that in a minute. I’ve a couple of questions for you, though. So, well, I noticed her phone number’s right at the top which I always love that. The amount of text on the front page like how do you feel about having that much text right on the front page?

MP: You know, my issue with the text is that she’s trying to ride two horses with the text. She’s trying to reach out to the couples and the individuals and so I think if you’re going to do that, you want to keep it a little bit more concise and then point them to the place you want them to go.

Joe Sanok: Yeah.

MP: So, connect, empathize, and then pull them over to, “I need help with my relationship or I can’t even get in a relationship or whatever the issue is. But I would really try to make that connecting get them clicking a little bit more quickly because she is trying to talk about, “I can work with you individually or in your relationship” and she keeps bouncing back and forth, it makes it more wordy.

Joe Sanok: Yeah, yeah. How do you and Julie — maybe this is a question for you because you just seemed to be able to make a private practice that gets bigger and bigger and takes over all of Utah. Not that the other two of you can’t do that, but I mean, you just are so good at like building up a huge practice. What do you think about having a practice that’s based on somebody’s name?

JH: You know I think it’s fine either way. I chose not to, personally, because like I chose Watch that Family Therapy 12 years ago when I opened our doors because it sounded bigger than just one person. That is the benefit of not using your name is that it makes it sound more credible potentially or bigger and it also makes it more saleable if you ever want to sell your practice in the future.

Joe Sanok: Sure.

JH: So you branded your business instead of branding you so if you’re the brand, then you can never leave your business.

Joe Sanok: Right, right.

JH: Or not never but it’ll have your name on it even if you’re not there. These are just a few things.  

Joe Sanok: And I would guess — I know you have a lot of people that you know, a lot of counselors that work for you that it is probably harder than to pass off clients to anyone other than Anna, because her name is on the practice.

JH: Right. So, that’s something to consider but not everybody wants to grow a practice beyond a solo practice.

Joe Sanok: Right.

JH: Which is totally fine. You know, it is a lot of work and it’s a lot of energy. I love it, but it’s a lot of work and it’s not for everybody.

Joe Sanok: Sure. And then the one other thing I noticed before we go into SEO is I see that her email is an @gmail.com rather than @annosbornmft.com. Kelly, do you have an opinion on that?

KH: Oh, yes. I always have an opinion. I think it should be anna@annaosbornmft.com. It’s branding, it’s professional and it kind of makes the name stick better. Gmail it reminds of gmail, not of Anna. And so anna@annaosbornmft.com is what I would recommend to go with for sure.

Joe Sanok: Sure. Let me have maybe Miranda jumping on this. On mine, right when I pulled this up the Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pops up right over Anna’s mouth. I don’t know if that is happening for the two of you, but almost like it’s like gagging her. So, does that happen on your computers, too?

KH: Yes.

MP: And so if I scroll on to her face that happens. She made that a pinnable image or a tweetable image.

KH: That can be moved in squarespace worker site. It’s built so that can moved over to the bottom corner.

Joe Sanok: Yeah, to me, I would find that distracting as a new client to see my counselor’s mouth covered up.

MP: It’s actually a setting in Sumame which she has on her site. So, Anna, go check your Sumame settings for the image here.

Joe Sanok: But, overall, I love what she’s writing about herself and it sounds like she has a really good story. Miranda, you said you got some thoughts in regards to SEO. Take us there.

MP: Yes. What’s really interesting if you — sometimes when you’re looking you go, “Oh, how many people are searching for couples counseling, how many people are searching for whatever”, if you go into the Google Adwords tool, there are a lot of people just searching that idea of a relationship advice the 110 monthly searches. When I go to relationship advice, there are — Psychology Today is at the top, but really, nobody else is actually talking about relationship advice specifically.

Joe Sanok: Let me pause here. So, you’re looking specifically for Sacramento. That’s how many searches?

MP: Yes.

Joe Sanok: Okay. Just wanted to clarify. Okay. Go ahead.

MP: No, specifically, in Sacramento and there’s a gal who’s using YouTube to pop up at the top of there to pull that in there. So, I think that this is a place to definitely pop in and there’s not a lot of competition. Whereas, if you’re searching for couples’ counseling in Sacramento, there’s a ton of therapists there to fight your way through. It looks like when I search for relationship counseling, she’s there on that second page of Google and so she’s almost there but it’s just about using that term more frequently in her blogging and on her site. Same thing with couple’s counseling: she’s on the third page. And there may be really fun ways. There’s actually a lot of searches for couple’s tattoos and in Google and so going in and seeing what people are searching for can give you really great ideas as to what to write about: choosing a couple’s tattoo advice from a marriage therapist. I think that would be really a juicy topic.

Joe Sanok: Yeah.

MP: And maybe, even might be one of those things that you could — she could go on Good Day Sacramento or one of the local television shows, giving advice about tattoos and what an interesting space for a therapist to kind of sink into.

Joe Sanok: Well, and with Valentine’s Day coming up, I mean, I think that any of that trend jacking she can do. I mean, you know, people are always looking for those interesting stories.

MP: Exactly. There are 90 searches in Sacramento alone for couple tattoos.

Joe Sanok: Whooh. And you think about like co-branding. I mean, if a tattoo parlor said, “You know, here’s a therapist that will talk to you about your couple’s tattoo…” I mean, it’s 3 in the morning. Maybe you should sober up and talk to the therapist.

JH: Yeah, I’m laughing because you guys — there was a show that contacted me about a therapist tattoo artist working together.

Joe Sanok: Oh, my gosh.

JH: And I have a sister who’s a tattoo artist and it felt like — so she sounded like hey we could join up.

Joe Sanok: Somehow, I didn’t doubt that if it involves the media and tattoos and something wild that it would involve Julie. Awesome.

JH: Because I’m so wild, right?

Joe Sanok: You’re so wild. You know, one wild and crazy girl.

JH: Yeah, right.

Joe Sanok: All right. So, we’ve looked at her website, we’ve looked at just kind of who she is, but what about just kind of this personal side for Anna of just kind of emotionally overcoming, being seen in the community, putting that energy into connecting with other people. You know, maybe, Kelly, why don’t you jump in? What are some ways that she could just kind of get herself out there a little bit more even beyond the website?

KH: Honestly, one of the things that I recommend doing is doing stuff she loves to do actually and through her own life enjoying life, getting out in the community, volunteering whatever that may be. She will start to build relationships and connections. I mean, because what I hear is a setup and I’m not saying that she’s there yet, but for burnout, when we’re really isolated and we’re in our offices and struggling to connect, that’s when we’re at risk to really like get tired and burn out.

So, taking care of ourselves and knowing that opportunities can come from that, as well, is important in addition to other marketing and networking.

Joe Sanok: Awesome. I think that’s some great advice, especially just being set up for burnout because you know, if we do spend that time alone and we’re not out there doing things we enjoy, man it just seems like when you do things you enjoy that also happen to make you money in your business. It’s like the best case scenario, such as a beach house in southern California will quickly reveal.

Well, in a minute, I want to ask each of you one thing that you’d recommend Anna do this week to just kind of spruce up her website or just meet some of these goals by getting out there in the community. But before we do that, I just want to hear from each of you what you’re excited about in regards to the Most Awesome Conference for therapists that we’re putting on because, honestly like this is probably one of the most exciting things that I’ve been a part of it a long time, and I’m just so thrilled about it. I just want to hear what you guys are thinking.

So, why don’t we start with Miranda? What are some things that you’re just excited about in regards to this conference we’re all putting on?

MP: I am — I know it’s going to sound crazy. I’m really excited about the response from the community. The idea that we sat down and really thought about a vision of something we’ve never seen before but we would really like to be a part of that and it’s kind of like you’re putting your heart out there on the line, when you put something out and then to get the response that we have already and to have people signed up and to be you know, spending time with them already in a little private community that we set up for the awesome conference and getting to know whether I — and seeing you know, one gal I talked to, she signed up and she said, “I have been grinding my teeth every single night over my practice. I’ve been so incredibly stressed. And when I learned about the Most Awesome Conference, it’s the first night I have not ground my teeth” and forever.

I asked permission to share that like is that shareable. I think that just says like this place of like, “Oh, my gosh. We are meeting a need. Like we are filling a void, like this wasn’t just something that we’re doing, not just because it’s fun, but it’s like it’s fun and amazing but it’s also like really helping our community and I’m just like — it just makes me weird and just fluttery in my stomach. I’m so happy.

Joe Sanok: Yeah, absolutely. Julie, what about you? What are you excited about in regards to this conference?

What Julie is so excited about

JH: I am really excited to take many relationships that exist in the digital world and meet face-to-face. And I love social media and technology and the internet because we can collaborate but I’m not trying to see your faces and just kind of being in your actual presence because I think it takes the relationship to the next level and I’m also excited to meet the therapists face-to-face who will be joining us and to help them really see, catch the vision and get stuff done to build their practice. I just think everybody can build what they dream of and I’m excited to you know, be a part of that.

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

KH: I’m excited for the collaboration. I mean, usually, when you go to a conference, it’s like one person there talking about marketing or whatever and it’s talking to you, as well. I’m excited that all of us are together and we have everybody’s best interest at heart. And we’re going to work our tushes off to really give them the best of ourselves and I love operating at that level and I love seeing people have like those aha moments and it transforming them because you know, I think we do this all the time but when we’re together, it makes it even more creative, more energy, more enlivened and to really inspire the therapists and show them like you can do this. You aren’t alone. You have a huge group of people here loving and supporting you with really great ideas that we have done ourselves, you know, and we’re going to figure it out together and get it done. That thrills me.

Joe Sanok: Yeah. And that I would just dovetail off that aha moment. I mean, I think back, there’s a handful of times when things really clicked in my brain in regards to a private practice you know, like that moment that I’ve talked about over and over about what I realized that I could raise my rates and that was okay and just being with people when they have those moments where they realize that their entire future could be different, just based on collaborating with other people and coming up with new ideas.

The Most Awesome Conference, a few secrets about it

So, probably by the time this airs, there’s going to be, I’m guessing, we’re going to be probably at the point where we have about 20 tickets left. The last 10 tickets are the most expensive, so please make sure that if you are on the fence that you get your tickets as soon as possible. You can go to mostawesomeconference.com/about. You can see our profiles. You can see the schedule, all sorts of things, the beautiful beach house we’re going to hanging out in.

So, the last question, ladies, is with Anna, what’s one thing this week that she can do to just fast forward things in her private practice? And I’ll start with Miranda.

MP: Okay. So, the first thing that she could do this week is sit down and write a list of people in her area that she really wants to reach out and make a personal connection with and work that into her schedule that, “Hey, on Thursdays, this is going to be my end-person connect day, Thursday mornings from 10 to noon or however she can work it under her schedule and commit to filling those times and starting to make some really great relationships but also be targeted so she doesn’t get — spin her wheels.

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

KH: Oh, I was going to suggest in doing a little research into where her couples are showing up. Are they you know, I was thinking about like those — do you have these wine and painting classes? They do that in a lot out here like where you when it’s a California thing where you have date nights and you drink some wine and you do art together, things like that — looking at other business owners that serve for couples and just doing some research, finding out who those people might be.

Joe Sanok: You know, that’s funny you say that. I actually did a dinner and a counseling session thing where people paid $100, they got a counseling session, then they get a 50-dollar gift card to go out for dinner somewhere. So, she can steal that idea.

And Julie, what about you?

JH: I would encourage her to write down or at least do research and write down three places or media outlets that would reach her ideal clients; just identify them first. And then go from there.

Joe Sanok: Sweet. And I would say my piece of advice is really simple. Under Anna Osborn, where it says, “Relationship Therapist” make easier to read, either making it bigger or a different color.

So, well ,thank you the three of you for being on the show today. Next week we’re going to have another round table with one more listener-audience.

Thank so much for letting us into your ears and into your brains. Have an awesome week.

Special thanks to the bands Long Trigger music and Silence is Sexy. We really like your music and 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, the publisher nor the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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