When it comes to your branding, are you being authentically you? Is your messaging coming through clearly on your website and targeting the correct audience? What can you do to improve your brand?
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks to Blair Badenhop about honoring your intuition in your branding.
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Meet Blair Badenhop
Blair is the founder of Blair Badenhop, Inc., a global brand strategy and copywriting consultancy for wellness entrepreneurs. Since 2014, she has supported over 300 coaches, doctors, best-selling authors, thought-leaders, spiritual teachers, and more in creating naturally magnetic brand identities online.
She’s the host of the BRAND YOURSELF podcast, a show that gives listeners a behind the scenes look at what female entrepreneurs in the wellness industry have done to build successful businesses and stand out brands leveraging authenticity and intuition.
In This Podcast
- Personality vs corporate
- Blair’s tips for branding
- Building up confidence
- Improving your brand
- Good copy
Personality vs corporate
I think that it’s so important to build connection human to human, because even though you are a therapist, and you’re an expert in your field, you also are a human being who has challenging experiences, and you know what it’s like to probably go through some things. And so having that empathy is so important in really building connection with your patient and just, I think, allowing them to have a real transformation.
There’s a shift happening. Customers want to see more of your personality shine through in your brand instead of having a more corporate image. It’s becoming more about storytelling and having people relate to you on a personal level than having that corporate front. We’re more drawn to something that feels human, relatable, has a heartbeat and a soul. People will rather invest in the kind of person who feels like a real, good human rather than someone who is trying to look perfect, professional, super buttoned-up when that’s not actually them.
Blair’s tips for branding
- Be authentic and don’t compare yourself to everyone else in your industry – if you’re trying to be like everyone else, you’re just going to blend in. The point is to put a stake in the ground and say, “This is me!” The way that you do this is to do some discovery work:
– Who am I, what’s my personality, what are my character traits?
– How do I like to come across? How do I make people feel in my presence?
– How do I dress and decorate my home? How can I bring that to life in my visual design and photography?
– What’s my unique approach and angle that makes me different?
- Have a really strong message – have the right language to communicate not only the value of what you do and your expertise, but paint a picture of your target audience’s experience and make them feel seen.
- Magnetism – Your magnetism can be built because you’re now showing up authentically and you’re communicating in a powerful and captivating way. When you have mastered the authenticity and message, you become magnetic and naturally attract your target audience.
Building up confidence
Putting yourself out there is definitely scary, being seen is scary, because we open ourselves up to what we don’t want which is criticism, judgment, and rejection. While going through the branding process, you’ll come up against limiting beliefs and fears. It’s important to remember the bigger “why” behind doing this work. It’s not about you, it’s about your mission and the impact you want to have.
The more we do it, the easier it becomes. It doesn’t feel as stressful every time you publish something on social media, speak on stage, or connect with humans in person and talk about what you do, it’s just an exercise in getting used to that process. The key things to keep in mind when it comes to marketing is that you do it locally and virtually so the ways that people find out about you are obviously through word of mouth, clients, colleagues, friends, family, network, and then also through you having an online presence and you positioning yourself as a thought leader and somebody that specializes in what you do. Being on podcasts and posting on social media, offering value to people, and sharing as much information as possible for free (with your disclaimer attached). It’s really a matter of you just clearly communicating that you’re here to help people.
Improving your brand
- Look at the lowest hanging fruit which is the messaging – Messaging is really important to captivate your reader and to get them to take action you need to make them feel seen by you. The only way to do that is by really knowing who your audience is, how to communicate with them and paint a picture of their current experience and take them through a process of messaging and words on your website that helps them realize that you can help them resolve whatever their experience may be right now around that issue that you specialize in solving.
- Make sure that your website looks human – Don’t just have an array of stock photos and old looking design. You want it to look fresh and modern and you want to make sure that you have a presence on your website. This shouldn’t be just a professional image of you looking serious and robot-like, it should represent your personality. The website should feel like it really supports your message and should capture the essence of what you’re all about.
- Know your audience – As a therapist, you may work with all kinds of mental challenges but perhaps you feel drawn to a certain demographic. Recognize that, because if you’re drawn to it then you’re probably meant to be working with that type of person. and you’re going to have more of an impact that way.
- Write in your own voice – the way you speak is the way you should write. You want to make sure that your humanness is coming across so get familiar with your own voice. When having a session with somebody, you want that same voice, energy and tone to come across to them.
- Keep your copy concise and as simple as possible – you don’t want it to be lengthy and have too many words on a page. Blair offers a copywriting course that walks you through the process.
Click here to learn how to write captivating copy in under 40mins
Click here for Blair’s FREE best business advice organized in 40+ short video lessons. Inside, you’ll learn how to build a brand presence and message that’s naturally magnetic.
- 5 Benefits of Outsourcing Design | MP 24
- The Institute of Integrative Nutrition
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Meet Sam Carvalho
Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.
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!
Thanks For Listening!
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Welcome to the Marketing a Practice podcast with me, Sam Carvalho, where you will discover everything you need to know about marketing and branding your business. To find out more about how I can help you brand your business, visit www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram @samanthacarvalhodesign.
Hi there. Thanks so much for taking the time to listen to the Marketing a Practice podcast. Today we have Blair Badenhop on the podcast. Blair is the founder of Blair Badenhop Incorporated, a global brand strategy and copywriting consultancy for wellness entrepreneurs. Since 2014 she has supported over 300 coaches, doctors, bestselling authors, thought leaders, spiritual teachers, and more in creating nationally magnetic brand identities online. She’s the host of the Brand Yourself podcast, a show that gives listeners a behind the scenes look at what female entrepreneurs in the wellness industry have done to build successful businesses and stand up brands leveraging authenticity and intuition. Hi there, Blair. Thanks so much for joining us today.[BLAIR]:
Thank you for having me. [SAM]:
So, can you share with us a bit about your story and how you ended up doing what you’re currently doing? [BLAIR]:
Sure. Well, my career path has been a bit winding; I actually started out my career in the magazine industry. And my second job out of college was at Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, which is a fashion magazine, and I was a sales assistant. And I found my way to the wellness industry, because I was very unhappy in that job and I knew that I wanted to do work that was going to help people be better humans, and not just have them buy material things. And so, after that job, I went into a nonprofit industry and it felt a little bit more aligned and better, but it wasn’t quite the right fit. And that was when I found the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is an amazing school that certifies health coaches and teaches people about nutrition and a holistic approach to wellness. And so, I had always been really passionate about wellness. I had always been somebody that was interested in eating healthy and exercising and it was kind of the literature that I love to read; if I was ever, you know, reading any articles, it was around that stuff. And so, I discovered the school and I was just so excited because I was like, wow, there’s a health coaching option. You could be a health coach, and that could be your job. And I was just… I knew it was the thing that I needed to pursue. And so, a few months later, I wound up enrolling in the program, and I was so excited to see where it took me. And as I was enrolled, I just discovered that I really wanted to have a job in the wellness industry; whether or not I had my own business as a health coach, I knew I needed to be in that space because I just felt so connected to it. And what wound up happening was I got hired by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and I worked in the marketing department for three years where I was promoted a few times and wound up being one of the heads of marketing there.
And so, a little bit about me personally is that I have always been a writer and I have loved words; they’ve been my favorite medium for communication. And just, I’ve always had journals, and I’ve loved to just think up stories. And so, while I was working at that job, I learned so much about the marketing side of writing. So, I was a naturally gifted writer, but then I learned so much about the branding side of things. And you know, what it really took to inspire people to take action, and the whole kind of sales and customer experience piece. And so, I did a lot of writing for sales pages, and just kind of conceptualizing things around the brand. And so, what I didn’t know at the time was that I would actually take all of that insight and experience and leverage it in my own business later. And so what happened there was, I wound up losing my job because the company was, you know, downsizing a bit and I got a severance package, and had four months to figure out what I wanted to do next and, instead of pursuing other full time jobs, I just decided to see if I could build a health coaching business or if I could leverage my marketing experience. And so, I was simultaneously health coaching and marketing consulting. And then the marketing consulting opportunities started to grow and expand, and I found myself getting a lot of opportunity to write for people. And so, I was helping them with lead magnets and website copy and just really helping people to brainstorm how to connect with their audience. And so, I had all this experience with that, and just naturally knew what to do. And I think I also intuitively know what to do in order to step inside someone else’s shoes and understand how to communicate with that person.
And so, knowing your target audience is such an asset and an essential piece of marketing your practice because if you don’t know your audience, it’s really hard to connect with them. So anyway, it just kind of organically grew and while I was growing that business, for the first year and a half I was working part time at a functional medicine practice in New York City as a health coach, two days a week. And so, I had three days a week where I was working with clients in my own business, consulting with them around copywriting. Eventually, I just discovered that I had a knack for the branding piece of things, and really helping people to clarify the vision for their brands; who they wanted to be, how they wanted to position themselves in the wellness industry, and what was unique about them. And so, I was really drawn to taking them through a clarification process that helped them understand what made them who they were, and how they could bring that to life in their brands. And so, instead of just launching a website and focusing first on design, helping them to first clarify their message, and who their audience is, and what makes them unique, and how they can leverage everything that makes them who they are in their branding.
And so when it comes to design, using their own style and their own visual preferences as inspiration for everything, instead of, you know, looking and seeing what everyone else is doing and using that as their inspiration, because I believe that the more authentic you are, the more you have the power to stand out and naturally magnetize the clients that are meant to work with you. So, I spent a year and a half building that business and then I was able to run it full time from that point forward. And I’ve been doing it for almost six years now.[SAM]:
Awesome. And I think it’s so true about the way you run your own brand. I know, I follow you on Instagram – that’s how we connected, and I was on your website earlier today as well. And I think that a lot of your personality shines through in your brand. And I think that’s what kind of drew me to you in the first place. I was reading your story on your website, and yeah, it’s just awesome to see how much of your personality is dotted in there. And I think that’s kind of a shift that’s happening in branding, is customers are wanting to see more of your personality shine through in your brand than just kind of having that corporate professional image. So, I think it’s becoming more about storytelling and about people being able to relate to you on a personal level, than, you know, just kind of having that corporate front. [BLAIR]:
Yeah, absolutely. I think that something that feels human and relatable and has a heartbeat and has a soul, that’s what we feel drawn to. And I think more than ever, transparency and just people feeling like they’re real good human beings and wanting to invest in that kind of person, versus somebody that’s trying to look perfect and professional and super buttoned up, when it’s actually not them. And I think what happens when we see these brands that are super professional and come off a certain way and then you actually meet the real person behind it, and it doesn’t match up; it feels inconsistent. It is one of those things that we either consciously, or subconsciously, think, oh, I can’t trust this person. And you know, at the end of the day, marketing is about building trust with your customer. And so, you have to really show up as yourself and make sure you know who you are and how you can bring that to life online. [SAM]:
Yes, and I think that’s even more true for our audience who’s predominantly private practice owners because it is such a personal service. And you know, customers are going to have to be so vulnerable in therapy, so I think it’s especially true for that industry. [BLAIR]:
Yeah. And I think what’s interesting about therapists, I think, is, traditionally you do your… I know there’s a lot of ethics around therapists, at least here in the United States, like, you have to be very… you’re not supposed to share too much about yourself because you don’t want that to influence how your patients think about you. But I actually think that traditionally, therapists come off a bit robotic on their websites and their brands, like they can’t show their humanness in a way. I just feel like that’s such a shame. And I do feel like more and more people are starting to show the human pieces and sharing their stories, and I think that’s so important to build connection, human to human, because even though you are a therapist, and you’re an expert in your field, you also are a human being who has challenging experiences, and you know what it’s like to probably go through some things. And so, having that empathy is so important in really building connection with your patient and just, I think, allowing them to have a real transformation and also attracting the right ones in your direction. I think that’s important. [SAM]:
Yes. It’s so funny that you say that because I’ve actually just recently interviewed two therapists who have stood out in their branding from the general private practice branding, and it’s through them including themselves in their branding and their story and their branding. The one is called Little Red Telescope, and the reason he named his practice that is because when he was younger, he had a little red telescope and it was kind of like his favorite position as a child, and it helped him get through a lot of things. And the other one is called Blue Boat Counseling, and it’s based on, again, her husband, when he was younger, the good times that he had on his blue boat. And both of them have been so successful in marketing their private practices and in attracting their ideal client. And, you know, part of the reason is because they’ve included a bit of their personality and their own story in their branding, and it’s therefore even more authentic than, you know, if they had just gone with kind of run of the mill branding. [BLAIR]:
Yeah, yeah, I think that’s beautiful. I love seeing that. [SAM]:
Yes. So, if you had to share three to five tips on branding, or your perspective on branding, what would they be? [BLAIR]:
Yeah. So, if you couldn’t already tell, my philosophy is really rooted in authenticity. So my number one principle around branding is that you don’t want to compare yourself to everyone else in the industry and just think, okay, that’s an industry standard, I need to be that, I need to have that kind of online presence. I think that’s a mistake because then you wind up blending in. If you’re trying to be like everyone else, you’re just going to blend in. And I think the point is, you want to kind of put a stake in the ground and be like, this is me. This is my approach. This is my style. And that empowers the people that are naturally going to gravitate towards you and choose you as their practitioner, to find you. And so, the way that you approach that is to really just do some discovery work about yourself. So, who am I? What’s my personality? What are my character traits? How do I like to come across? How do I actually make people feel when they’re in my presence? How do I dress and how do I decorate my home? How can I bring that to life in my visual design, and my photography, and all the things? What’s my unique approach and my angle that makes me different, that’s really true to me? And so, when we can understand all of those pieces, then you have the tools to actually create an online presence that is an authentic representation of you. So, it’s a natural extension of you, and it doesn’t feel like it’s some kind of contrived, other persona, but it’s a real version, as real as possible version of you. And so, we want to leverage those pieces in order to create the brand, what I call the voice, vibe, and visuals. So, your brand isn’t just the design, it’s the voice. It’s the words that you’re using. And it’s how it feels to actually land on your website, to interact with you on social media, to meet you in person, it should all feel the same. And so, we want to make sure that the essence of that is captured. So that’s the key part of my branding philosophy.
The second piece is that once we create an online presence that is authentic, and is real, and does feel relatable, the other thing that empowers you to really connect with somebody is your message. So when you have the right language to communicate not only the value of what you do and your expertise, but you can really paint a picture of your target audience’s experience and make them feel very seen by you, that is essential as well. So, we want to make sure you have a really strong message. And then when we have those two things, something magical happens, what I like to call magnetism. Your magnetism can be built, because you are showing up authentically, you’re communicating in a powerful, captivating way towards your audience. And when you’ve mastered those two pieces, you become magnetic, you naturally attract to your target audience, the people that you’re meant to serve, the people you really want to be serving. And so those three components: authenticity, messaging, and magnetism are really core to my belief system around branding.
What also is laced within all of those elements is leveraging the two parts of our human experience: our intuition and our brains, our minds, and our strategic kind of points of view. And so, we want to marry together intuition and strategy in our business and our branding process so that we can lean into the inner wisdom that we have. So, like, we already have this guidance system within us that tells us yes or no, that helps point us in a direction and helps us tap into you know, how we should be showing up in our brands. And also, you know, you have questions around okay, well, I don’t know? What should I be specializing in within my practice? How do I want to support people? Ask yourself, who do I feel the most called to work with? Who do I want to…? What problem do I want to help solve in the world? What’s the thing in the realm of therapy, that I feel the most passionate about supporting people with? Or whatever it is, and just not only thinking your way through it, but feeling your way through those decisions.[SAM]:
So I’ve come into contact with a lot of private practice owners who obviously feel very out of their depth when it comes to marketing, and almost the business side in general of running a private practice, because… they obviously feel confident within being a therapist and anything that that has to do with, but they kind of lack the confidence when it comes to marketing and running their business. Is this something… because I know you kind of mentioned it in your own story as well, on your website, where you kind of had to find your confidence and in that you found your calling and what it is you wanted to do. So, is that something that you find you encounter with your clients? And obviously, the kind of branding that you’re talking about is a lot about including yourself in it. And that can be scary and that can be vulnerable. So, do you feel that you need to kind of work with some of your clients on building up their confidence first and foremost before kind of launching into the branding of their business? [BLAIR]:
Well, yeah, putting yourself out there is definitely scary. Being seen is scary, because then we open ourselves up to what we don’t want, which is criticism, judgment, rejection, you know. So, I would say that we work on it simultaneously. So, while we’re going through the branding process, we are also coming up against everyone’s limiting beliefs and fears. And so, yeah, I mean, the thing is, what I always tell my clients is that we have to remember the bigger ‘why’ behind you doing this work. So, it’s not really about you – it’s actually about your mission and the impact you want to have. So, when you can take the step back and stop the focus being on yourself and oh, gosh, I’m putting myself out there, this is scary. It’s kind of like no, it’s really not that ‘you’ focus; it’s more, you’re the channel, you’re the conduit for the message and the work that you need to put out and you’re going to be helping people. And so, if you remember your mission, and why this matters, and why you have to actually put yourself out there, otherwise that problem you want to help solve isn’t necessarily going to get solved. So that really helps, I think, perspective shift the imposter syndrome or the fear around that.
And then the other thing is, you know, just like strengthening any muscle in our bodies, we have to strengthen our muscle of putting ourselves out there. And the more that we do it, the easier it becomes; it doesn’t feel as stressful every time you press the publish button on a social media post or you speak on stage or you connect with humans in person and talk about what you do. It’s just kind of this exercise and just really, you know, getting used to that process. And yeah, I mean, marketing is a scary thing. I think most of us who wind up in the wellness industry, or in personal growth in some way, or therapy, we do it because we have a passion for really serving the patient or the client and we don’t realize that we’re actually stepping into building a business at the same time, and we don’t always know how to do that. And so I think the key things to keep in mind when it comes to marketing is that you do it locally and virtually so you know, the ways that people find out about you are obviously through word of mouth, through your clients, through your colleagues, through your friend-family network.
And then also you having an online presence and you kind of positioning yourself as a thought leader and somebody that specializes in what you do. Being on podcasts and posting on social media and just really offering value to people and sharing as much information for free with obviously the disclaimer that, if you’re a therapist, that you are not recommending that they do this, this is just some advice and insight that you’re sharing, or whatever that may be. But you want to be very much out there sharing and it’s really a matter of you just clearly communicating, hey, I’m here to help people with this and this is why it matters. And here’s something that really helps people to move through this experience with more ease and grace and self-awareness and… So, really rooting into like, what you want your brand to be known for, and what you want to talk about within that, and how you can really serve your people with your disclaimer attached. That’s really what marketing is all about, it’s about sharing.[SAM]:
So, if business owners were to take action on improving their brand, what are some of the first things that you think they should look at? [BLAIR]:
Yes, well, there’s a lot of things obviously that go into the branding process, but the first thing that I find is the lowest hanging fruit, is their messaging, and what goes into crafting a great message is knowing your audience. So, I think one of the things that I find on therapists’ websites is that it winds up being mostly about them. And like, hey, I specialize in this thing, and these are my credentials, and this is who I help, and here – book a session with me. But we’re not really meeting the person who’s reading that website where they are and speaking directly to them and kind of having a conversation with them. And so, I would say the messaging is really, really important to really captivate your reader and get them to take action, is to make them feel seen by you. And the only way to do that is if you really know who your audience is, and you know how to communicate with them and paint a picture of their current experience, and take them through a process of messaging and words on your website that helps them realize that you can help them resolve whatever their experience may be right now around that issue that you specialize in solving.
So, the messaging is so important; if you don’t have that dialed in It becomes a bit challenging for people to know if you’re the right person for them. And as we all know, choosing a therapist, or any kind of health and wellness practitioner is such an intimate experience. People are going to be vulnerable and open up and share some things that are uncomfortable. And so you want to make them feel safe, you want to make them feel seen, you want to make them… you want to make it clear exactly how you support them and who is the right fit for working with you, so that they can go into the therapeutic experience knowing okay, this feels like a fit for me, this is the type of person I want to work with. It just takes all that crazy guessing out of the process. I think, in my experience with finding a therapist, if I’ve found someone that feels like a right fit for me, that’s such a relief because it’s hard to find someone who’s a good fit for you. So, I would say that the messaging is the number one thing.
And then you also just want to make sure that your website looks human. You don’t want to have a bunch of stock photography on there; you don’t want to have, I don’t know, just an old looking design – you want it to look fresh and modern as well. And you want to make sure that you have a presence on that website. So, it’s not just a professional image of you just looking serious, but something that is going to make it feel like you’re a human and not a robot, you know, something that’s going to represent your personality. And the look of the website should feel like it really supports your message and should really capture the essence of what you’re about in all different kinds of ways. So not only images of you, but images of the environment that you might conduct your sessions in or whatever it is just so that people can feel into you. So that’s what I would say from a branding perspective is really important to keep in mind.[SAM]:
I think those are some excellent points, specifically the messaging. I come across far too many therapists’ websites where, as you say, it’s just about them and their credentials. I think that is definitely something that can help a lot of people in our audience. So, a big focus of yours is also copywriting. Can you share some of your top guidelines when it comes to having good copy on your website? [BLAIR]:
Yes. So, the first thing that you need in order to write great copy is to know your audience. So, I know that when you’re a therapist you work with… you probably can help with every kind of mental challenge that people may be experiencing. But perhaps you feel drawn to work with a certain type of person; maybe it’s a certain age range, maybe it’s, you know, school age or maybe it’s new moms, or whatever. You feel drawn and you love working with a certain type of person. I would like you to notice that – that’s important to recognize because if you feel drawn to that, then that probably means that you’re meant to work with that type of person and you’re going to have more impact that way. So, the point is, you just want to know who that person is and what their current experience is and do a bit of a deep dive into understanding them.
So as a therapist, you’ve done probably a lot of work, you know, working with different types of people, you understand their condition, you understand their current experience, and kind of the challenges that they have and also what they really want. And so, you want to use that material in order to inform your messaging. And obviously, I’m not saying to disclose any personal information or anything that might breach you know, that relationship, but just more generally, some of the challenging things that somebody might be experiencing who is a new mom, for example, and just really trying to find herself again, and just not feeling quite herself in her own body and, you know, having thoughts of, oh, I can’t do all of this. I’m overwhelmed. Or maybe she’s feeling a bit depressed and she’s worried about that. Maybe she’s anxious. And so, you just want to make somebody feel seen and safe and be like, hey, you know, it’s okay if you’re having that experience; the good news is that we can transform it together. And I’m really here to serve you with that, and this is how I work with people. And so that really makes somebody feel, oh gosh, yes, this is the type of therapist I’m looking for. They specialize in postpartum. You know, that kind of thing is really key to having a really strong message. We have the specifics and details of somebody’s current experience. That is what makes a massive difference between general copy that tries to speak to everyone but winds up speaking to no one, versus copy that’s really specific and speaks to somebody, makes them feel like you’re literally only talking to them when in reality, there are a lot of people having that experience. And so, you would just want to get really clear on who you want your target audience to be first.
Then from there, you obviously want to paint a picture of their current experience. So, you want to meet them where they are – where are they right now? What does a day in their life look like? What’s their current internal dialogue – what might that be? What do they want? Just getting clear on those things is what will allow you to paint a picture of kind of like I just did before, of their current experience. And you want to make sure that you are writing in your own voice. So, the way that you speak is the way that you should be writing. And I think the number one thing in order to get familiar with your own voice because, yes, we have all been taught through school to write in a certain tone, especially as professionals, to not have any feeling in our writing, just be very direct, but we want to make sure that your human-ness, again, is coming across.
So you want to get familiar with your own voice and the number one way to do that is to record yourself speaking, talking about what you do or whatever it is, not feeling like you have to put a professional hat on talking but just more being you casually. And so that’s going to give you information around the cadence and the tone of your voice. And so, the thing that you’ll do after that is transcribe that recording so that you can really see it on paper and what it would look like for you to write in your own voice. And so, you want to make sure that you’re doing that so that you can, again, have your brand match up with who you are as a human being. And so, when you have a session with somebody, that same voice, and that same energy, that same tone is going to come across to them. And so that would be my other tip, is just to make sure that you know what to write in your own voice. And the other thing is just knowing your audience; knowing how to communicate to that audience. And again, you know, you don’t want to be lengthy, you don’t want to have too many words on the page. You want to keep it as concise and simple as possible. I actually have a copywriting course that teaches you how to do this. It’s just $99 and it teaches you how to kind of walk through this process and know how to connect with your audience and write for every page of your website. So, from taglines, to writing your own story, to writing about your own services, so that can be really supportive if you’re new to this kind of thing.[SAM]:
Yeah, I think those are some awesome tips. And what I often think is that therapists are actually in such a unique position of understanding the human experience more so than anybody else. And as you said earlier, without kind of crossing any ethical guidelines, they can make use of that in the marketing. [BLAIR]:
Exactly, yes. [SAM]:
Awesome. So, I know you’ve gone into this a bit already, but what is the general process you go through when assisting a company with their brand strategy? [BLAIR]:
So, I would say the majority of my clients are… they’re not big companies. They’re solopreneurs, so to speak. So, they have their own business; they’re basically the only one running it. If they have an assistant or something like that, perhaps… that’s usually the case. But what I like to do is first go through a discovery process with them. So what we first do is talk about their story and why they got into this work, why it really matters to them, what inspired them to pursue it, the impact they want to be having, and understanding them as humans more deeply. And so that’s an important part of the beginning of the process because, you know, we have to know why we do this, we have to know who we are in this and the role it’s played in our own lives, to inform and really route us back into that bigger purpose that you’re serving.
So that’s what we do first, and then we also talk about the bigger vision that you have and where you see yourself going. So not only do we look into the past, we also look into the future and, you know, imagine, who do you want to be collaborating with? What do you want to be growing into? You know, what are the things that you want to be doing long term? Do you see yourself writing a book or speaking on stages or collaborating with certain people? And so that allows us to think about the brand from a more expansive point of view as well so that we have an idea of what we want to grow into.
And then from there, we dive into the target audience. And so really understanding the target audience which I’ve mentioned so many times I think, already, is essential to your success and marketing and connecting with other human beings. You just have, to have to do this part. And so, once we understand the target audience, we go on to laying out service offerings. So, I work with people that… I’ve worked with therapists before, but I also have worked with doctors. I’ve worked with other health coaches, life coaches, mindfulness experts, thought leaders, authors, just really helping people to understand their offerings and how they want to work with people. So, people may have private offerings, people may have group experiences they want to create, but just going into depth on what those are. And so, we’re kind of really laying the whole groundwork and content of your whole brand in that process.
And then once we have those pieces figured out, we move into defining what we want the brand to look like and sound like and we leverage, like I alluded to earlier, your own personal style, your personality, your energy, and the way that we dive into that experience and understanding you is you answer questions about yourself. And then you also have people in your life answer questions about you as well so that you can really see how you show up as a human and make sure that we have that information and use it for your branding. And then we also like to go on Pinterest and kind of play around with your aesthetic and getting familiar with what that is. So, the aesthetic is what will inform the design. It’s what will inform the photography and we want to see what your aesthetic is. So, the things that you’re drawn to, from interior design, to fashion, to nature, to photography, to fonts and colors, you know, we want to make sure that you’re very clear on that. And so when you work with a designer, you already have clarity of vision and are not 100% relying on them to come up with that for you, or to kind of like help you get clear, because the more empowered you are when you go to an expert, a creative, the more likely you are to get exactly what you want. And I’m sure as a designer, you know, you understand, like, it’s so helpful for somebody to have that clarity first and then when you’re moving through the design process, it’s more efficient, and whoever’s leaving is happy with the end result.
So, I like to empower people holistically through that process so that when they are launching their brands, they feel like, this is me, and I feel really good about this. I feel like this is just completely going to empower me to connect with my audience. And then from there I also help them with their social media presence to ensure that that, again, is a natural extension of their website so that it matches, they know exactly what kind of content to be sharing there to connect with their audience. And so, all those pieces go together to really create that authentic and magnetic online presence.[SAM]:
Yes. I feel like I definitely want to refer some clients to you, for you to help them figure out what they want before coming to me. [BLAIR]:
Yes, exactly. I mean, it’s just so helpful for all of us to have people who have crystal clarity around their vision and what they want. Because so many people skip over this clarification process and go straight to designing a website because they’re like, oh, I need a website. Let me hire a designer and, and then you wind up with something that isn’t clear, and you don’t feel like it’s quite right. And that’s because you didn’t really know what you wanted. You didn’t know how to bring it to life, and you didn’t know what elements were important. And so then, you know, everyone’s wasted time and money on that whole process, and so it just helps so much to have the clarity first. [SAM]:
Yeah, absolutely. And I think as much as I do know a bit about marketing, I’m definitely not an expert like you are. And I think a lot of times people will confuse a designer with a marketing expert. And so they’ll come to me, you know, wanting a logo design, but then, you know, kind of expecting me to assist them with, you know, their marketing or branding as a whole, which, yeah, is a little bit out of my expertise, as I said, so it’s always super helpful, the more information they can provide for me. I can definitely assist with the visual identity, but more than that, I’m a bit out of my depth.
So, you also run a podcast known as the Brand Yourself podcast where you focus on female entrepreneurs in the wellness industry. Can you speak a bit about that and what made you decide to start a podcast focusing on this topic in particular?[BLAIR]:
Yeah. So, I started my podcast back in 2018. And I was inspired to do it because I just wanted to start having conversations with other women who had successful businesses in the wellness industry because I felt that the ones that I admired the most were really practicing the philosophy I really believe in which is being authentic, and trusting the process and using intuition and just really owning who they are as human beings and letting that be the thing that makes them stand out. And so, I was like, I think I need to prove that this actually is what works. So that was really what inspired me to start the show was like, I just want to show other people who are just starting their businesses, or maybe don’t feel aligned in their businesses, to understand that these principles matter so much and they have a massive impact on how successful you are. So that was why I started it.
I call it Brand Yourself because at the end of the day you are branding who you are. And it’s not just how you look, it’s who you are in all the layers of your humanity. So how it feels to be in your presence, your voice, your personality, and also, yes, how you look and your style and all that. And really being okay with owning that completely. Like, you don’t have to look a certain way, be a certain way, or whatever to connect with people and attract your target audience. Just showing up as who you are is enough, and it is actually the best part. And so there have been people who I’ve worked with who think, oh, gosh, I’m not fit for the wellness industry. I’m kind of more rock and roll and I like dark colors. I’m not into a cereal like woo-woo, yoga, green juice type stuff. And I’m like, that’s awesome. Like, don’t go there. Go with you; go with what makes you, and you’re gonna attract your people that way. You have to just be you.
So, anyway, this is the thing that I’m most passionate about and really empowering people to be who they are. And I think, you know, as humans, we have a hard time doing that. And so, when it comes to branding, it is a personal growth experience to actually go through this process of accepting yourself and showing that to the world. So anyway, we have very honest, open, raw conversations on the show about everyone’s journeys, through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, through the challenges, through the highlights, through the things that have really worked for them. And I think it makes it clear that every single person’s pathway to success is completely unique. There is no perfect formula. It really all comes down to really honoring yourself and your truth and being yourself and letting that be the thing that leads you forward instead of competition or comparison, or thinking I have to find a way to fit into this thing. It’s more, I’m just going to lead with my intuition and let that be my guide, and then also lean into my gifts and things I’m naturally good at. And so, the show just really showcases that all of that is effective and it’s true.[SAM]:
So, you have something to give away to our audience today. Can you speak a bit more about that and let them know how they can get hold of it? [BLAIR]:
Sure, yes. So, I created an incredible business and branding training library that’s totally free. There’s over 40 training videos on there, all around the four pillars of entrepreneurship, which are mindset, messaging, authentic branding, and audience building. And so, you can go on in there anytime. I have actually people that every morning they’ll watch a video for over a month and that will be inspiration for their brand. Basically, if you want to learn how to really brand yourself authentically, and to also get out of your own way in this process and get over the fears and things that might be held back, this video training library is going to be a real resource for you. And all you have to do is go over to my website at blairbadenhop.com and I know that Sam will have it in the show notes for you. But that’s… just head on over to my homepage and you’ll see that there’s a little box for you to enter your email address in, and then you’ll get immediate access to the library and it’s yours forever as long as it exists. So, I will be so happy if you are able to get in on that if any of what I’ve said today has been resonating with you. [SAM]:
Awesome. Yeah, guys, definitely check that out. We will include that link in the show notes. And Blair, how else can people get in touch with you if they want to take part in your services? [BLAIR]:
So definitely head on over to my website, blairbadenhop.com. And you can also follow me on Instagram, which is just my name, @BlairBadenhop. People message me there, obviously Sam and I connected there. So, if you want to reach out and start a conversation, you know, you can either find me through my website or find me through social media. [SAM]:
Awesome. And lastly, every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know? [BLAIR]:
If you just stay connected to your truth and honor your intuition, you will always be led to a right next step in your work. So if you’re feeling stuck, or in a space of not knowing what to do next, I encourage you to get quiet and tune into yourself and, you know, if you’re new to meditation, or whatever the case may be, getting in tune with your intuition and your truth, journaling is a great way to get information and insight. So that’ll be the first thing I would say, is just start to connect within. And then the second is to stay connected to your deeper purpose and mission and why doing this work matters to you, and the impact you want to have. And that will always keep you from stopping and getting in your own way and remembering why you have to keep moving forward. [SAM]:
Awesome. Thanks so much for being on the Marketing a Practice podcast today, Blair. [BLAIR]:
It’s been an honor. Thank you for having me. [SAM]:
Thanks for listening to the Marketing a Practice podcast. If you need help with branding your business, whether it be a new logo, rebrand, or you simply want to have a print file designed, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram @samanthacarvalhodesign.
Finally, please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast on iTunes if you like what you’ve heard. Talk to you soon.
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, or the guests, are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.