Courtland McPherson’s Branding Story About a Little Red Telescope | MP 21

Courtland McPherson's Branding Story About a Little Red Telescope | MP 21

What is unique about your product or service? How you do stand out from your competitors? How can you integrate your personal story into your practice?

In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks with Courtland McPherson about why he named his practice Little Red Telescope and how he has integrated his personal story into the branding of his practice.

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Meet Courtland McPherson

Courtland McPhersonCourtland McPherson is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in psychodynamic psychotherapy. In addition to holding certificates in ‘Advanced Clinical Practice’ and ‘Clinical Issues in Adoption and Foster Care’, he was a trainer for the Providence Men’s project. He is a clinical supervisor and case consultant. Past speaking engagements include ‘The Art of Listening’ and have addressed such topics as trauma, overcoming fear, and pathways to a meaningful life. Courtland is working toward a doctorate degree in psychodynamic psychotherapy with research focused on male social connectedness.

He is a terrible guitar player, an aspiring runner, an avid adventure seeker, and a lifetime learner of all things fantastic. Courtland owns and operates Little Red Telescope Psychotherapy, a private psychotherapy practice helping men in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s get unstuck in work, relationships, and life.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • The story behind Little Red Telescope
  • Branding process
  • Setting up a website
  • Branding perspective

The story behind Little Red Telescope

As I started to reflect on my life as most therapists do, that little red telescope kept coming back to me.

When Courtland was thinking about moving in the direction of private practice, Courtland wanted something that really stood out to him, but that was also a part of him.

Growing up, Courtland grew up in poverty and his family struggled with money, and there was a lot of food insecurity. But he has this little red telescope, it was one of the toys that he really enjoyed. It made him realize that life was bigger than him and it made him feel better. When he decided to name his practice he thought that the Little Red Telescope would speak to people, as it spoke to him.

Branding process

  • Deciding on the name
  • Concept mapping – logo and tying in the story
  • Business card
  • Letterhead
  • Email signature

Setting up a website

The website is an ever evolving piece, I consider it a living breathing document.

Courtland is aware of the fact that the color red is associated with not being calming or being too evocative. He has pushed against the grain in this sense and used red on his website as he thinks that it should make people think about things and it should stir something up in them.

Branding perspective

  • When you are thinking about setting up the branding for your practice, it’s really important that you tell your true story.
  • You need to continually assess and adjust and tweak things that are not working.
  • Take chances and don’t be afraid.

Useful Links:

Meet Sam Carvalho

Samantha Carvalho DesignSam 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!

Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work. To work with Sam, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding.

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

[SAM]:
Between writing notes, filing insurance claims, and scheduling of clients, it can be hard to stay organized. That’s why I recommend TherapyNotes. Their easy-to-use platform lets you manage your practice securely and efficiently. Visit therapynotes.com to get two free months of therapy notes today. Just use the promo code JOE when you sign up for a free trial at therapynotes.com.

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 joining the Marketing a Practice podcast today. So, for a while now I’ve been wanting to feature private practice owners who have already established their practices, doing unique, successful branding. And I reached out to Joe Sanok, owner of Practice of the Practice, to see if he had any recommendations and Courtland McPherson was one of them. So, Courtland is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in psychodynamic psychotherapy. He’s also a clinical supervisor and case consultant and is working toward a doctorate in psychodynamic psychotherapy with research focused on male social connectedness. He is a terrible guitar player – this is in his own words – aspiring runner, avid adventure seeker, and lifetime learner of all things fantastic. He owns and operates Little Red Telescope Psychotherapy, a private psychotherapy practice helping men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s get unstuck in work, relationships, and life. Thanks so much for joining me today.

[COURTLAND]:
Sam, thanks so much for having me. I’m looking forward to chatting with you this morning.

[SAM]:
Yes, me too. So how can you profess yourself as a terrible guitar player?

[COURTLAND]:
I profess myself as a terrible guitar player, just simply because I dabble in it. And, you know, I’ve been trying to teach myself over the last couple of years, and it never really gets very far.

[SAM]:
Well, we are always our worst critics, so I’m sure others may differ.

[COURTLAND]:
I’m pretty positive that they also think it’s pretty terrible.

[SAM]:
Awesome. So you’ve got Little Red Telescope Psychotherapy, and I know we worked together, I think, beginning of 2018 – I looked back earlier today on some design things and I remember even then, kind of coming across your practice, and specifically your logo, and thinking that it was such an awesome design and such a unique name. So, can you tell us the story behind your branding and how you came up with the name Little Red Telescope?

[COURTLAND]:
Sure. So, I think I’ll start a little bit with the story… sort of the backstory. The reason that my practice is named Little Red Telescope was when I was thinking about moving in the direction of private practice, I wanted something that really stood out to me, and that felt like it was a part of me. I think that a lot of therapists go into private practice and they put their name as their practice, which is absolutely fine, you know, depending on where you are, what you’re doing. But I wanted something that really was about me, and the little red telescope is about me. So, when I was thinking about how to sort of put my practice together, yeah, I could have put Courtland MacPherson, LCSW, and counseling, and attach all those things. But what started to stand out was this idea of the little red telescope, which started actually years ago, when I first got licensed. So, we’re talking, you know, 2009-2010. And what started to emerge was, as a little kid, I had a little red telescope. And for me as a little kid, I really had a not so great life, you know, we grew up in poverty. My family always struggled with money; there was a lot of food insecurity. And I had this little red telescope. And as a 7, 8, 9-year-old, I would use that telescope to basically look at the stars and things like that. And it was one of the one toys I had that I really enjoyed, but what it helped me do was realize that life was bigger than me.

So, as I started to reflect on my life, like most therapists do, that little red telescope kept coming back to me. And when I decided to name my practice, I thought to myself, well, I work with people who struggle in various aspects of their lives, and as I think about my own and how I struggled, and what got me through some of that stuff was being able to see the stars, dream a little bit bigger, and think about the world around me from a much more sort of global – in this case, interstellar – sort of way. And so, I decided that the little red telescope would speak to people, as it has spoken to me. And I found that that’s to be true to this day, you know, people always say, well, what’s the little red telescope? And I do think it’s funny that when people come into my office, there’s a real – it’s not so little anymore because now I have a bigger one because I still actually like to dabble with astronomy – but the little red telescope actually sits in my office. So, I think that, you know, it speaks to people on multiple sort of levels, they’re able to examine their life, we’re able to look through it, if you will, and think about things. There’s sort of a reverse side to that, which, you know, when we think about a microscope, we’re zooming in on this tiny little thing, when a telescope you’re looking out, looking for bigger things that are sort of universal. And that’s really how it started to emerge for me and for the people that I see now.

[SAM]:
Yeah, that’s awesome. And I think it’s so powerful that you’ve kind of integrated your personal story so much into your practice. And it really, I think, produces a level of authenticity and as you say, people are so… they’re able to easily relate to you now. And it also piques their interest. I mean, even I when I came across it, I was like, oh, I wonder why it’s called Little Red Telescope? So that’s really awesome. So, you mention in your bio that your target audience is men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. So, can you expand a bit on how they’ve responded to your branding and how your branding has been successful in attracting your ideal client?

[COURTLAND]:
So, I think when I originally started to think about who I was going to market to and began to think about ways to do that, the Little Red Telescope, the idea fluctuated a little bit because it was like, do I call it Little Red Telescope, or do I call it Red Telescope Psychotherapy? You know, all these things. And I really wanted to maintain again, that authenticity that you just mentioned, around the storyline. So, I held onto Little Red Telescope, I ran it by a bunch of people, and they said, okay, sure. And what I found was that as I’ve been marketing to men in particular, in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, I’m noticing that they need a level of expansion. And the way that they’re responding to it is they’re saying, oh, I can get behind this idea of doing something, you know, this zooming out, if you will, of my life, looking at the bigger picture. And as men, we tend to – at least in my experience – shut a lot of our emotions down, we shut a lot of our thoughts down around our feelings and that kind of stuff. So, this is really a way for them to sort of connect in with this idea of doing something, examining, zooming out.

And the response to it has been a little bit of curiosity. And that’s I think one of the most important things, especially about psychodynamic psychotherapeutic work is that we’re really trying to help people find their curiosity about their lives again. I think this goes… this is universal for most people, not just men. The male side of things is just more about branding and target marketing. But for most people, we lose our curiosity a little bit as we get older, we get into our routines, we get into our lives, and we forget how to be curious about ourselves. That takes this back to the little red telescope. When we’re kids, we look at the world through a very curious lens and I think that that’s how this connects to people, because we’re getting into a space together. And it’s like, okay, let’s examine this. Let’s look at this. Let’s zoom out. Let’s zoom in. Let’s explore. And all this ties back to this sort of idea, if you will, of the telescope and some exploration.

[SAM]:
And I think it’s, even just from a practical sense, as you mentioned, having that red telescope in your office is also so powerful because I think – it’s something that I’ve spoken about on the podcast before – how branding is not just your visual branding, your logo or your digital branding, your print marketing and things like that, but it also flows into your office environment. And the personality of the person who sits at your front desk, and it really filters into every aspect of your business. And you need to think about how you want your branding, and the personality you decide for your business, how you want that to flow into every aspect. So, I think it’s so awesome that you’ve added that into your office so that when people come it’s almost the first thing they see, and it just ties everything together. It’s really cool.

[COURTLAND]:
The funny part about it is, as it ties things together, is that a lot of people… the telescope is not actually that small. And a lot of people don’t even notice it until they have been in my office for 5, 6, 7 sessions, sometimes even longer than that.

[SAM]:
Oh, really?

[COURTLAND]:
Yeah. And part of that is because they’re coming in with whatever challenges they’re facing, and they’re so focused and zoomed in on that, that they haven’t been able to sort of, again, you know what a telescope does, right? It expands our vision. And they haven’t been able to do that yet. And usually, once they start to notice the telescope sitting in my office, I know that some type of change is happening.

[SAM]:
That’s awesome. So, it’s like a benchmark for where they’re at. That’s awesome. So, what was the process of setting up your branding? And I know you mentioned you know, obviously, you came up with your name first, and I think it’s really cool that you also chatted to a few people about that and kind of got their opinion on it, because I think that can be super helpful just from the get go, making sure that it’s not something that you just think is a great idea. But that your inner circle thinks it’s a good idea too. But what was the process of setting up your branding once you’d kind of landed on a name?

[COURTLAND]:
So, I think there’s a couple parts to the process that I went through. The first is, when I had settled on the name, you know, it goes a little bit further back. The name, when I originally had thought about it, I had run it by a few people and there were… a bunch of people who had sort of said, no, that’s silly, that’s not going to work. You have to name your practice your name, people are going to know who you are. And so, part of that process was an internal process which was going through and saying, no, I think that I’m right on this, and really believing in something, and holding on to something that really spoke to me. And I’m saying this because in this process, I have to live with this, work this practice every day and making sure that it continuously speaks to me was so important. So, my first part of the process was getting rid of some of those naysayers who say, no, this isn’t going to work. This doesn’t sound so great. And just honing in on like, okay, no, this is something. In my experience, all great businesses, for the most part, have unique sort of branding names. We have Apple – who would have thought, right, they’re just talking about this little apple or like, Tesla, which is a very innovative car company has said, like, this is a Tesla, you know, it’s a made up name. So, it’s possible. So that was the beginning part of the process.

From there it really, in terms of branding, went to concept mapping, and for anyone who’s not familiar with concept mapping, it’s basically taking a concept and then flowing out what you think it should look like. People do this in academic settings, we do this for maybe building a website; it’s almost like a nav map on a website. And I thought to myself, okay, let me concept map this out. And the logo was the first sort of piece. And I really wanted to stay true to a telescope, you know, I had some…

[SAM]:
Yeah, you had to.

[COURTLAND]:
Yeah, so back in the day, when I started this and started to build this – I forget the company I used, but it was like online and I had this guy from Saudi Arabia, who basically was a graphic designer who was trying to build his graphic design business. And we just chatted, and I said, I really want to keep true to what a telescope looks like. So, he went through and designed all these different things, and some felt almost too childlike, some felt too abstract, and we really just settled on a real sort of true look of a telescope. If you were to type in ‘a red telescope’ on the internet, you’re probably going to get this image that’s similar to my telescope. So, we started again, with the logo. And from there, inside of that, we… well, I shouldn’t say ‘we’ – I went and started to begin to tie the story, the little red telescope, back to who I was, back to the practice and what does that look like? And part of that story is also the vision, you know, what’s the vision of the practice? What does this mean? So, I started to lay that out a little bit.

[SAM]:
I think that’s so great and I think it really shows in your branding now that you kind of took the time to do all of this, because I think a lot of people, when setting up a business, they’ll obviously want to get things going as quick as possible and kind of put minimal thought into the logo or leave it up to the designer. And I think the fact that you really took the time out to weave it all together, and to think of your mission, and to think of your target audience, and to think of all those things before even getting started, really shows in your branding now. And I think it’s really important to do that. So, once you’d designed your logo and worked out your story, what did you do next in terms of your branding?

[COURTLAND]:
I think once… you know, the story has been a part of me. So, after the logo materialized and there was a decision that was made to go forward with this, the branding sort of started to materialize into, okay, you know, this was back in probably 2016 or so. So, we’re talking a few years ago. It was about business cards, letterhead, there was some additions in things like email signature, which I think you helped me put together back then. Maybe 2018 when I started to really move forward with some of this stuff, for that kind of stuff. And then I started to use the logo and sort of this interstellar stars on some of my promotional marketing materials. And so, all this stuff started to come together. And what I actually learned from say 2016 to 2018 was well, I didn’t quite need a letterhead. That didn’t matter so much. The business cards that I ordered back in 2016 – I think I ordered a box of about 500 – I probably have still about 200-300 of those, because we’re in such a space now where those things become less important. I don’t know if somebody now building a practice needs a business card. People can do whatever they want, obviously, but I’m saying this because I think these are some of the things that people can think about.

But the one thing that was good about all these things, was it taught me lessons of what I needed and didn’t need. And the evolution of it. I can look back now and say, oh, this was the business card. This was the first marketing sort of promotional card, postcard that I had. I can see the evolution of design along the way, you know, when I first did my first promotional postcard, I think I did that – I can’t think of the website now, the one that you do all the, you know, you can just sort of… oh, Vistaprint is what I’m thinking. So, I was using Vistaprint to put things together and I realized, oh, well, that’s an easy start to something. But later on, I had some more, you know, professionally done marketing cards done. Because I think those were… I wanted something that looked a little bit more polished. But again, over time, I realized how much I didn’t need some of those things. So from some of those marketing materials, you evolve, and now we’re in a much more web based space and I’m finding that the marketing has tied back from the evolution of those things, into my website design, and other parts of the material there. Because now everything is just really online.

[SAM]:
Yeah, I too printed out, I think, 200 business cards a few months back and I’ve probably handed out like three or four. Yeah, so it’s really not… but again, I think it just depends, obviously, on your marketing, and if you are somebody that’s going to be attending a lot of networking events or things like that. But it’s definitely, I think when you’re setting up your branding, you need to think long and hard about the things that you’re going to invest in. And I think, investing in a good logo and a good website are definitely things that are going to be long term and are going to serve you well. But yeah, definitely some of the print material is not as important as it once was.

So, getting onto your website: I flipped through it a bit today and again, I think it’s got a really simple kind of layout. The front page, what I really like about it, and what I’ve often said previously on our podcast, is that when you land on a website you want to know within the first few seconds what that website is offering you, where you are, where you can go from here. And I think your front page is very powerful in that sense because you know straight away what it is you do, and you’ve got a really strong call to action right there in the front. And I also noticed that your images that you’ve chosen are very authentic, and they match your ideal client, it’s obviously young men, and then you also tie in your astronomy theme throughout. And what I’ve also mentioned previously is when a website, or when a brand does decide to latch on to an object for their brand, if I can say that – so you’ve obviously latched on to the little red telescope – and you’ve now incorporated astronomy into your website and into your marketing, that can sometimes be taken too far, in a sense, if you had had stars across your entire website, but you’ve still kind of brought that human touch in. And I think that’s important because I think when somebody is looking at your website, they want to be able to relate. And they obviously will relate a lot more to pictures of people, as opposed to just kind of stars. So, I really like the way that you’ve woven those two together. But can you speak a bit more into the thinking behind your website, and you’ve obviously gone with a red color scheme, and I like how your call to actions are consistent across the site. You’ve got a quite a prominent, red, I think it’s ‘schedule an appointment’ on every page of your website, which is really good. So, can you speak into just the thinking behind setting up your website?

[COURTLAND]:
Yeah. So, the website is an ever-evolving piece, right? I consider it a living, breathing sort of document, if you will. And it’s funny that we’re talking about the website right now, because yesterday we took a little bit of a deep dive into the flow of my website and the different pages and the navigation and the pieces that are there. And we are in the process – and I say we, I’m working with somebody on some content writing and some copy editing, that kind of stuff – and we’re going to begin the process of really readjusting the website to flow better, to have a little bit more sort of organic feel to it. So, it’s funny, again, that we’re talking about it because what you’re seeing right now probably is not going to be what will fully be there in a month or so.

So, there’s a couple of pieces that are really sort of important about the color on my website. The one is, I’ve tied the idea of the little red telescope, so the telescope is actually red like we’ve talked about, and I chose to use a red color scheme. Now, some, in a therapeutic space, say red is too bold, too aggressive, too evocative. And, over time I’ve heard that in different therapeutic spaces, right? Sometimes people will say, well, you should paint your office a calming color or something like that. I actually decided to keep the red and have a red website because I really felt as though it’s a powerful color. It’s bold. And I think that it should be evocative, it should make people think, right? I think… I forget, somewhere once somebody said, oh, red’s a power color; if you want to get noticed, you wear red. And I think that, you know, again, we’re trying to be evocative. We’re trying to get people to think, we’re trying to stir something up in them. So when you go to my website at littleredtelescope.com you go, you get to that front page, and what you see is some reds, some grays, the logo, the telescope pops out on the page and the word ‘Red’ is red. And that’s really to say, well, here we are, and we’re here for the person who’s looking at that. I also think there is, and I’m not familiar 100% with the data on this, but when we start to think about color palettes, things like that, there is some data around different types of color. And I think for men in particular, this stands out to them. And this is not to sound – whoever’s listening, this is not to put anybody down or anything like that, but when you think about a man who’s in his 40s, and say we even go to their 50s, having a spot in their life where they’re sort of falling apart, they go out and buy the red sports car, right? They buy a red pickup truck to show like, here I am. The whole sort of idea is that okay, wait a second, we can do something different with that red sports car, right? We’re gonna think about that power color.

And then it’s tied together again, with some grays, and then the stars and things like that, because we all know, when the sun is sitting really high in the sky, depending on what the sky is looking like it can be sort of fire, that kind of stuff. So, there’s a subtlety, I think, to the red and also sort of saying, this is about popping out, about being on fire. We want to light that spark in people and draw them in. And I think that that then is a little bit muted with a little bit of the grays because I think there’s… you know, as I thought about it, it’s like, okay, red is sort of again, evocative. There’s fire behind it. And then there’s gray. People who are coming to see me, they’re not in the best spot of their life, they’re usually struggling with something, they’re having great days. So, there’s two sort of sides to that.

[SAM]:
It’s awesome. Yeah. It’s amazing how much thought you’ve put into it all. But yeah, I was already kind of thinking that the red color scheme would appeal to your target audience. And I think the grays kind of make it pop out a lot more, which is also awesome. So, if you had to kind of sum up everything we’ve been speaking about today, and your perspective on branding, in three points, what would that be?

[COURTLAND]:
Three points. When you had sent me the questions and some ideas a little bit around what we were going to be talking about, I struggled with the three points because it’d be really easy to say to somebody, you know, get your logo, think about your website. The first point that stuck with me was when people are beginning, especially going into private practice, there’s a lot of information out there around what you should be doing, how you should be doing it. But I really think we have to start at the beginning, we have to tell our story. And when we start to put our story into motion, whatever that is, you know, if you are a 29 year old female practitioner who really loves integrating yoga and nutrition, and those are your specialties, I’m assuming there’s a story behind that. If you’re a 51-year-old male clinician who’s practiced psychoanalysis for 25-30 years, there’s probably a story behind that. So, as we’re moving into a digital focused and faced world, meaning websites, that kind of stuff, podcasting, visual, video, that kind of stuff, I think people really need to tell their true story and what’s behind that. We no longer have to hold on to the conventional methods of, again, business card, here’s how this sort of works, I’m such and such doctor. We can actually say, here I am, this is my story. So, that was point number one.

The second point that I’ve been thinking about was that we need to continuously assess and adjust. And as I mentioned a minute or two ago, I was on last night looking at my website and thinking about what needs to change. So, I was assessing. So I literally sat down and I had just pieces of paper, and I put at the top of each piece of paper the navigation menu on my website and I said, you know, what’s the flow of each of these pages? I was doing some research on other people’s websites and thinking about what they had, and what I liked about their website, and what I didn’t like about their website, and thinking about how do I tie these pieces to mind? And put it all together so that it flows better. And part of that is we’re, again, in a digital space. I’m also using Google Analytics to assess these things. I’m looking at the conversion rates on the back end of my website. I’m looking at who’s clicking through what and where they’re going. And I can sort of see, based on some information and I’m also working with somebody on Google ad campaigns, that kind of stuff – I can see what pages are converting and what are not. So, I’m continuously sort of taking the data on the back end, assessing it, thinking about what to do, and then making adjustments.

And I think, again, this goes back to the evolution piece of all of this stuff. We’re starting from when we start our practices and start to build stuff, to paying attention over time and seeing what works and what doesn’t. But it’s not a… there’s the expression, throw spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks type of thing. We can do a little bit of that because I think when you’re starting out, you have to learn that process. But again, it’s learning now, okay, well, what can I throw against the wall and know that it’s going to stick because I now have some data points and things like that? So, we’re sort of doing that and then making the adjustments along the way. Again, the website that you looked at, probably this morning, it’s probably not going to be the same in a month. It’s going to have the same feel, the same colors, that kind of stuff, but there’s going to be adjustments in the navigation, maybe logo placement will be different, call to actions might be adjusted, those kind of things, because we’re really seeing what works and what doesn’t work at this point. So those are sort of point one and point two.

And I think the third point that ties this all together, at least for me, is I had to take some chances. Again, the little red telescope, it was like, well, why are you calling it Little Red Telescope? And it was like, well, because I want to call it Little Red Telescope, and I like it, it feels good. And I think that’s the piece, right? People are coming to see me to feel better and this feels good. I have to live with this day in and day out. So, I was taking a chance on this. And then, tied to that is we can’t be afraid. Building your own business around working with people is not easy, and we have to take a lot of risks, and it can be scary. I had no idea, to be honest, what I was doing at the beginning. I mean, I had sort of run a business before, but never fully like this on my own. So, there was just all this sort of anxiety that popped up around, how do I do this? How do I design this stuff? And then you’re not only the branding person, the marketing person, but you’re working the back end now, as a digital person. I’m thinking about the financial pieces of it, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, and what does that look like? And how does the marketing and the branding speak to providing support for people who are struggling with that? And so, we’re constantly sort of adjusting and again, assessing and then taking chances with that stuff.

And then the real big piece is we have to do the work. And I think there’s so many… I think there’s a lot of folks out there that, and this is this is a challenging statement, I think, is because, you know, there’s so many folks out there who want it to be simpler, and it just isn’t. I think we don’t talk enough about that part, right? We don’t talk enough about in the background, the real work that goes into it. I think there’s a lot of folks out there who, in the current climate, you know, it’s like, everything looks good but I don’t think people really understand sometimes the back end work and the stress, the anxiety, the sometimes tears that go into really putting the effort and the work in. Again, I mentioned that I was assessing the website last night and that was… I’m here in California, in the United States and I was up last night till like, 11 o’clock, just looking at my website, thinking about the flow of pages. That was after working a full day. We have to sort of get into that and make sure that we’re sort of doing some of that stuff. It’s not to say people shouldn’t take care of themselves and go to bed. It’s just saying that sometimes we have to do more work.

[SAM]:
Yeah, of course, and I mean, even just from an outside perspective, as I mentioned earlier, having looked at a lot of websites, in particular private practice websites, or having dealt with a lot of private practice owners’ branding and things like that, you can tell straight away when somebody has put a lot of thought into it, and when somebody hasn’t kind of thing. And that’s not necessarily to offend anybody, I mean, I know at times people don’t necessarily have the time or the resources, but you can definitely tell when there’s been a lot of thought or consideration put into somebody’s branding, and I think it does make a difference. And it definitely makes a difference to the success of your practice and just how long that branding is going to last and how long it’s going to serve you. And I think weaving your story into it is risky, and it is scary, but storytelling is probably the most powerful marketing tool that you can use. So, I think having that as the basis of your branding is a really good way to start. But thanks so much for those points, I think there’s a lot of truth and experience in them and we’ll definitely have them included in the show notes for people to read through and take note of. So, what we always end with is, if every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?

[COURTLAND]:
I think there’s two things that stand out if I would want them to know a couple of things. The first is this is something scary. You’re diving into building a business, and I think we have to think about that. We all go into this work wanting to help people without sort of the idea of, well, I have to run a business now. And that’s the scary part. So, we have to sort of learn along the way and navigate that and finding supports along the way to do that. When I started my practice, I reached out to Joe Sanok at the Practice of the Practice and I took some tools from some of these different areas and really utilized that. So that’s one of the things. The biggest thing I think of that I actually realized the other day was to really tell your story. I learned recently that my story about the little red telescope that I told you today isn’t actually on my website. So, when people are coming to my website, and they’re going to the About page, they get some clinical information about me and that kind of stuff. But the story of why little red telescope is actually not there. And I was like, wait a second. And the person who pointed this out to me was like, you know, your story’s not there. That’s the important part, that’s you. And I was like, oh, wait a second, you’re right. And I don’t know if it was just something that I overlooked by accident or unconsciously or something like that, but the story of the little red telescope is not on the website. And I think that all big businesses and good businesses tell their story and make sure that their client base, customer base, whoever, knows some of that story. So, again, I was talking about adjustments and assessments of things, that story by the end of this month will be on my website. So, you know, that’s, I think the biggest thing for folks is, you got to tell your story.

And also, I think, tied to that is, while my practice, for example, focuses, from a marketing and branding perspective, towards men, it’s an inclusive practice. If somebody comes on my website, it doesn’t matter how they identify. If they’re identifying as non-binary, or they identify as a woman, or a person of color, my practice is all inclusive. The Little Red Telescope doesn’t just have to be for men in particular, right? And that’s, again part of the story. We’re going to make some adjustments to that, to help people understand like, hey, I’m here to help you. And again, we do that by telling the story. And I think that, you know, for me, I’ll be candid, I think that’s a miss. And so again, I think that’s why I’m saying it, is because I want people to – if they’re going to take something away from this – is you get to tell the story. And I’ve seen really good counseling practices, and different websites, and chatted with different people who really do tell a good story. And I think that’s the important part.

[SAM]:
Well, we look forward to seeing those changes on your website, and for those of you who want to go check it out it’s littleredtelescope.com. And yeah, we look forward to seeing those changes, and I’m sure that they will only improve upon what’s already a great brand. But Courtland, thanks so much for being on the Marketing a Practice podcast today.

[COURTLAND]:
Sam, thanks so much for having me. It’s great to chat about these things and even in the chat, it helps me think about things. Because I’m actually putting things out into the universe, if you will, and holding myself accountable in some ways. Because now that I’ve told you this stuff, I have to also do it. So that’s the doing the work part.

[SAM]:
Oh, that’s awesome. As you said, we’re continuously assessing and adjusting, so I’m happy to have helped in that respect.

[COURTLAND]:
Yeah, great. Thank you again.

[SAM]:
Awesome, thanks.

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.

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