What potential data lies dormant in your email lists that you can utilize to scale your practice? How can you properly use the connection you have with your social media audience to understand which services they need? Why is it a good idea to consider an early bird opt-in?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok does a live consulting call with Rebecca Caps about scaling beyond five-figure months.
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Meet Rebecca Caps
She named her practice Mind-Body Thrive because she takes a holistic approach and believes that in order to thrive, one must consider both the mind and body. Rebecca lives near the beach in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband and 1-year-old son, Rowan.
In This Podcast
- Commit to solid audience building
- Use your email list
- Email course vs email list
Commit to solid audience building
Committing to building your audience on social media, whether that is over Instagram or another platform, helps you in two ways:
- Build and broaden your reach to more potential clients, and
- Test out potential work or product sales with your audience to see what services or products they would like to purchase from you.
Use your email list
- First, email your list and explain that you have a bunch of ideas that you would like to implement into your line of services.
Provide a link for them to schedule a call if they would like to, and disclaim that it is not a sales call but it is an opportunity for you as the counselor to hear what your followers or clients would like you to cover or work through, content-wise.
- Then on your phone calls, you will ask three questions:
1 – What is the pain? Ask them an open-ended question about what they are struggling with at the moment. This is also a resource for you to collect good copy to use.
2 – What is the product? Ask them, following on from the pain that they are experiencing, what would be the best product for them right now? What is it that they need or feel that they would like to help them in this situation?
3 – What is the price? Ask them how much they would be willing to pay for this product, and through which structure: a monthly fee, a once-off mastermind group, and so forth.
Then, for your email list, provide an early opt-in option: this gives you data to see if your audience bites and purchases your service or if you need to hit the drawing board if no one really purchases.
Email course vs email list
Framing your email list as an email course and really viewing it through that lens. You may need to look at your first 10 emails and change [them] up a bit to have it really have a 10-part arch to it where each email really builds on itself rather than being 10 random emails. (Joe Sanok)
Having the opt-in page really look like it’s an email course and have it set up like an email course is far more likely to get you more clients because people are more interested in signing on for an email course, rather than being a part of an email list.
Consider signing off your emails with a P.S to keep your audience looking forward to the next email that they would be receiving from you.
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Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 540.
I am so excited to have you listening to the show today. If you are brand new to this podcast, I want to welcome you. Thank you so much for coming. I hope that this is giving you all sorts of help in starting your practice and growing your practice. This series has been an amazing series of questions, and if you haven’t listened to all of them, the last 15 or 20 episodes or so, we have been doing live consulting with people that are a part of our community, people that are part of Next Level Practice, or who have done consulting with us, or a part of Group Practice Boss. Folks that really just are connected and getting help from Practice of the Practice, myself and all of our consultants. And today I’m so excited, we have Rebecca Capps.
[JOE]: Rebecca is a licensed marriage and family therapist committed to helping clients feel good about their body and happy in life without food guilt or dieting. She named her practice Mind, Body, Thrive because she takes a holistic approach and believes that in order to thrive, one must consider both the mind and the body. Rebecca lives near the beach in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband and one-year-old son Rowan. Rebecca, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[REBECCA CAPPS]: Thanks, Joe. Thanks for having me here.
[JOE]: Yes, you’re right down the road. We’re here in Escondido, so a little closer than Michigan typically.
[REBECCA]: Oh my gosh. I know. I wish it weren’t COVID. We could connect.
[JOE]: Seriously. I know it’s so hard. All these California people and it’s like, oh man, with COVID and mass wearing and social distancing and just wanting to be safe and set a good example. It’s drives me crazy being such an extrovert to not going out with all the California people. Oh, cool. Well, tell us your question. What’s your question? Where are you stuck or wanting to level up?
[REBECCA]: So for me, I’m at the phase in my business where I’m looking to scale. Five figure months are coming easily to me, but I’ve feel like I’m working in my business more so than on. So because of this, I’ve hired an online business manager to help me to really create my product suite and to consider the customer journey. And my question is, in your opinion, like how can we effectively scale and create repeatable systems and workflows? Like where would you start?
[JOE]: Yes. Well, tell us a little bit about just like all the different kind of moving parts in regards to like, are you the only one doing counseling? Do you have other clinicians that are working with you? Do you have, what products do you already have that are working or not working? So just so that, I know a lot of this, but a lot of the listeners, they don’t have an idea of kind of the landscape of your business. So tell us a little bit about that landscape.
[REBECCA]: So I am just a solo entrepreneur right now. I would ultimately like to have people under me, like have a certification process, but yes, I’m just doing packages where I’m meeting with clients one-on-one, but that’s soon to change. I want to focus more on like having a group program. I’m also currently making my digital courses and focused. I like the idea of having bite-sized courses instead of some big grandiose one. And then once you get several digital courses and products, you can begin income stacking and that’s very appealing to me.
[JOE]: And where do people find you the most? Like, are you pretty active on any social media? Is it mostly your website? Are they mostly local or are you getting people kind of nationwide? Tell us a little bit about kind of your audiences generation.
[REBECCA]: So Instagram certainly helps. I love permission-based marketing because they get to know me and want to work with me based on my personality that they see in the things that I post. So Instagram, definitely referrals, naturopathic physicians and nurses. And I haven’t done paid ads yet, but I’m not adverse to that. So, yes. And it’s, I’m since I’m pivoting from therapy to coaching and consulting, it’s going to be not just in the state of California that I’m working with clients.
[JOE]: Yes, and did you say that you’re thinking you might add more clinicians to the practice or you’re not really sure about that at this point?
[REBECCA]: That would be the ultimate goal, yes. But right now it’s just me.
[JOE]: Okay, yes. I mean, I think especially in California, that’s a really big decision to bring people on. In California, it’s impossible to have 1099 contractors. So you’re going to have to have W2 employees, you got to work with an attorney, you got to do it right with the employment act. California is very strict in that area.
[REBECCA]: I know.
[JOE]: So it’s really smart to have good people behind you advising you on that.
[JOE]: So, in most States, it’s easier than in California to just you know, have a 1099 and you’ll have them tested out before you take on a lot of those liabilities of having a W2 employee. But given where you’re at, I think that’s a bigger decision as to whether you really want to have employees and if that’s a good use of your time.
[JOE]: So for most people that are in California, where that does work is if you’re turning people away or if you want to reduce your caseload, for you to work on these bigger things and not feel stressed out and burned out, you’ve got to find some place to free up some time and keep the money the same. And so usually a group practice is one of those things. So that may be worth kind of having be one of those concurrent goals. The other thing is I hear a lot of really great ideas for products from you, but we want to really do some solid audience building. And so when you say Instagram right away, I think of Chrissy from The Peaceful Sleeper. So she’s someone that was in a mastermind group with me. When I first met her, she was making about 10 grand a month, I want to say off of Instagram, just off of kind of selling e-courses and e-books.
When I just talked to her, actually right before this call, I was talking to her. She’s making over six figures a month off of Instagram. And so being able to grow that following on Instagram and then test out whether you’re seen as someone that people want to buy from. And so you can test that out in some small ways, by having a really low priced item on Instagram or in really big ways and having a very high priced item. I would say you really want to just test out kind of your audience to see what they’re engaging with and what they’re interested in. Do you have a sense of the type of person that’s following you on Instagram and what kind of solutions they want?
[REBECCA]: Yes, they’re people pleasers and they’re just trapped in this diet cycle. They’re feeling out of control and they’ve realized that dieting is no longer working for them, but they don’t know how to get there to, the proper steps. And she’s blaming herself for not having enough willpower in her life, even though it’s the opposite that she needs from willpower it’s surrender. So, yes, that’s kind of what I would say to that.
[JOE]: Okay, and then when you think about what would be an entry level product for them what are some ideas that have come to mind?
[REBECCA]: I’ve thought about things like five secrets to better body image, maybe self-love workbooks, losing weight without ever dieting, ending perfectionism. I like the idea of doing like a master class to test out my offers before just creating, because that’s the no, no in our industry to do. Make it before testing.
[JOE]: Yes. Do you have any call to action in regards to an email list right now from Instagram?
[REBECCA]: Yes. I mean, I have an email list. Are you talking about like an opt-in?
[JOE]: Yes, yes.
[REBECCA]: Yes. So I have like a self-love meditation and an eating personality quiz that they can take.
[JOE]: Okay, and how many people are on that and how many people per week would you say are opting into that?
[REBECCA]: Yes, it’s only like 10 or 15, but you know, slowly but surely. I’m just now focusing [crosstalk].
[JOE]: Is that 10 or 15 per week?
[JOE]: Or 10 or 15 people total on the list?
[REBECCA]: Oh, no, no, no.
[JOE]: Okay. Yes, and how many people total would you say are on that email list right now?
[REBECCA]: Yes, like about a thousand, but it’s yes, I’m definitely focusing next on my email list.
[JOE]: Yes. So, that’s great that you have kind of already a solid email list. So I would do actually our three questions to launch formula. We teach this in Podcast Launch School. And so with that many people on your email list, I would set just one week of time that you just open up your schedule and try to do like 20 phone calls with people from your list. And so the way this would look is first, you’re going to email your list and say, “I have a bunch of ideas of different things that I know are going to help you around the following topic areas. I’m going to do 20 phone calls with people that have been following my work and here’s the link to schedule a call. This is not a sales call. It’s literally just me hearing what it’s been like for you in regards to eating issues and potential products that I could create. I’m doing this to just kind of figure out how best to serve you and take those next steps.”
So, then just have a link to Calendly or whatever automated system. You don’t want to be going back and forth with people to schedule. You just like open up your week and then just send it out and then they can all schedule right on in there.
[REBECCA]: So then the market research.
[JOE]: Yes. So then on those phone calls, there’s three questions you’re going to ask. The first is around the pain, the second is around the product, and the third is around the price. And so for the pain, you’re just going to ask them an open-ended question about eating. You know, “What’s it been like for you in regards to eating, dieting?” And really just, you want to get them talking about the pain. So this will give you great copy when you eventually launch something and really understand kind of how they speak about the pain. Second, then you’re going to say something like, you know, I’m considering doing a membership community or a self-paced e-course or some sort of like six weeks sprint together or long-term coaching. You know, all, a lot of different ideas, but you know, when you reflect back on that pain you just described, what would the perfect product be for you?
So, we did this with Next Level Practice and in my mind, I was thinking of like $29 a month kind of a membership community. And people said, “Oh, I’d want a small group. I’d want an accountability partner. I want e-courses and I want experts I can ask. I want to be able to ask you questions, Joe, and I want to also have access to some of your team.” And I’m thinking for $29 a month, there is no way I’m going to be able to do this.” So they sketched out this super robust kind of all-inclusive plan to help people start a practice. And at that point, all we had was our $17 one year practice plan and the next step up was like a $500 a month mastermind. There was nothing in between.
And so it seemed like going from $17 to $29 a month was a pretty big jump if you’re looking at their overall cost per year. So then after they described all of this kind of perfect program to me, then the next question is, “Well, how much would you pay for that program or for that e-course? Would you want a one-time fee? Would you pay a recurring fee? What would that be worth to you if I had this perfect program you sketched out that then addresses all the pains you told me in that first question? How much would you pay for it?” And I was expecting, you know, $29, $39 a month, but people said, “I’d pay 55 to a hundred bucks a month if I had that kind of support. I mean, if I got one client a month, then that would totally pay for it.”
So I would have been playing way too small if I had just kind of gone with my gut. So instead, now my audience has said, “Here’s how much I would pay.” So then for, you then get the price point from people you find out, do you have a whole bunch of cheapskates in your crowd, because you may get a bunch of people that say, “I wouldn’t pay more than $15 for that.” And you’re thinking, “I just sketched out this perfect program that would help you address all these pains and you’re saying, you’d pay 15 bucks like? Oh my gosh.” Or it might go the other way where people say, “Oh, I would pay way more.”
So we did this exact same formula when we were launching Podcast Launch School and I was interviewing some of our top consulting clients that had spent over $10,000 with us. And as I talked to them, I thought they were going to say, “I just want a self-paced e-course,” or something like that. And they said, “Honestly, Joe, you’ve done podcasts. I would much rather just have you and your team do it for me, so I don’t even have to think about it.” And I’m thinking again, “Oh my gosh, like that’s a huge product. How much would you pay for that?” And they said, “I don’t know, 18 to $20,000.” What did I launch the next day? My $20,000 Done for You Podcast program. And we had four people sign up within two weeks.
And so it’s like, that wasn’t even on my map to do Done for You Podcasting. And then now I just have $80,000 in the bank that I can then build a team after I have that money. So then after you’ve done those questions, then you’re going to email your whole list again and say, “I just spent the whole week just diving in with 20 people. Here’s how they describe their pain and they talk about just this whole thing. And I had these insights that I hadn’t even thought of.” And, you know, just be honest with them about, were there things that your audience brought up that you hadn’t even considered? “Here’s the product that they sketched out? You know, 70% of people I interviewed said they wanted a membership community that also has some experts that come in once a month. And they said that they’d pay $59 a month or so for that.”
So then you have an early opt-in and so if you want to be a part of community we’re going to have a beta test group. We’re going to limit it to 50 people or whatever it ends up being. It may be an e-course, there may be something else. Then you want to, again, kind of say, “All right, I want to have some testing here to see if people opt in,” because if you then have sketched out this perfect course, you’ve had 20 people that have said, “This is exactly what I want,” and then nobody ops in to be on the wait list, like that gives you data that you’ve missed the mark somewhere. Versus if out of your thousand people, you have 400 people opt in and it’s like, “Whoa, I’ve struck a nerve here. There’s something big going on.” And then you do your purchase.
So you want to make it clear that, “This is the first group, we’re going to give a discount, because you’re in the first group, you’re taking a risk on me. I’m going to be building this out with you.” So, say it’s an e-course.” Instead of it being the $495 we’re going to sell it for in the future, we’re doing it for $195, but we’re only going to do this for 50 people or a hundred people.” You do the math on what it would be kind of for your own return on investment for your time and money. So then by doing that, every single step, you’re trying to kill the program, you’re trying to say I missed the mark or to validate the program. And you’re really kind of testing, does my audience actually want to buy this? And you just save yourself a ton of time and money by doing it that way.
[REBECCA]: Right, and you iterate accordingly. I liked that a lot. And then they’re also coming in behind the scenes and they probably feel ownership because they have to create this.
[JOE]: Yes, a hundred percent.
[REBECCA]: That’s brilliant.
[JOE]: Yes. Like when we started Next Level Practice and went through this, our beta test group came in at that lowest $55 per month. They’re still paying that $55 per month. I told them that’s never going up. We’re charging $99 a month now for that program and the first six weeks or so I want to say we went through five or six different webinar platforms, and a lot of them didn’t work for a variety of reasons. One of them didn’t work on an iPad and it’s like, “Are you kidding me? Like you, people should be able to watch a live webinar on an iPad.” So then, but because they knew that they were the first cohort, they were getting a discount, they were part of building it, they were very open about what they didn’t like. And so then we really quickly had to pivot and say, “Okay, the next webinar we’re going to test out on this next one.” And we ended up landing on Zoom, which isn’t perfect for webinars in a lot of ways, but it was kind of the best for what we wanted it for. And so we could break into small groups, we could see each other face to face. So it was more like a community versus doing some of the webinar platforms where it was just me talking. And that wasn’t really what we were shooting for.
[REBECCA]: I guess I have another question in, like, how did you go about building your email list? So you had like opt-ins and just, did you just talk about it all the time?
[JOE]: Yes. You know, I think for me a big step in investing in the growth of the email list was when I signed up for Lead Pages. I’m not an affiliate with them or anything, but Lead Pages allows you to have different opt-ins for different pages on your website. So for example, if I did a webinar that was all about writing a book, maybe I take an old blog post, and I kind of amp that up and then I have my designer make it look pretty and then now I have a five to 10 page PDF that can be the opt-in for my general email list. So that was one thing of kind of having specific to podcast episodes or specific to certain blog topics opt-ins because, you know, if someone’s on, say a, let’s say you read a blog post about intermittent fasting and the value of it, or you hate it, or whatever your point of view is. To have a guide then that’s about intermittent fasting or why you hate intermittent fasting or 10 options instead of intermittent fasting.
Like whatever your point of view is, someone’s more likely to opt into that than they are, if you just have your general body image opt-in. And so I think that’s kind of a next step for a lot of people. I’m as well, I think just being on other people’s podcasts as much as possible. You don’t necessarily have to start your own. I don’t think it would be bad to, I think that that’d be helpful too, but to be on other people’s podcasts and then framing your email list as an email course and really viewing it through that lens. So maybe you look at your first 10 emails and you say, “Okay, I’m going to change these up a bit,” to have it really have a kind of 10 part arc to it where each email builds upon itself rather than being kind of 10 random emails.
You may need to rewrite your first 10 emails to make it really feel like a course, but then to have the opt-in page look like it’s a course say, it’s an email course. “You’re going to get this email every day or every week. Here’s what’s covered in this course.” People are so much more likely to sign up for an email course than they are to sign up for an email list. And so when people go to practiceofthepractice.com/new, that’s for people starting a new private practice. And so they get our email course, the first nine emails, walk them through the basics, you know, setting up your LLC or, in California an S-corp. Who you need on your team, whether an attorney, accountant, other kinds of things that you need that we’ll walk you through. It’s still an email list, but by naming a course, I think there’s a different feeling to it and people take it a little more seriously and they open your emails because they know that it’s coming and that it’s part of a course.
[REBECCA]: Right. And then you have that PS strategy, which you taught me about as well. It’s really effective.
[JOE]: Yes. Kind of a teaser for the next email or you know, viewing it, like soap operas end on a cliffhanger.
[REBECCA]: Nice. I like that a lot.
[JOE]: Awesome. Well, Rebecca, we’re getting towards the end here. Are there any kind of questions that are hanging out there still in regards to implementing this that you want some feedback on before we say goodbye?
[REBECCA]: I don’t think so. You covered the basics. I really appreciate it.
[JOE]: Yes, and for you, what would you say are your first kind of steps that you’re going to take to get to that next level?
[REBECCA]: I’m going to go back and look at my emails that I have and really make them, like you said, call them a course and view it from that lens and then do my market research with those who are already on my email list so that I can get a general understanding of what it is that they want and how much they’d pay for that thing.
[JOE]: Awesome. I’m excited to see what you create and kind of how this changes things for you. If you’re listening to this and you’re like Rebecca and your practice is growing, and you’re thinking, “How do I get to that next level, we’ve got a couple of things that might be helpful for you.” So I referenced the Next Level Practice. That’s really aimed at people that are making under six figures that are just getting started. You can head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/invite if you want to check that out. Also we have Podcast Launch School that I mentioned, and that’s really for people that want to start podcasts, they want to build courses, they want to be able to monetize their expertise in a way that maybe they haven’t in the past. And so if you want to start podcasting, if you want to start launching courses, if you want to go through those three questions to launch and get all the videos that go with that, you can head on over to podcastlaunchschool.com and you’ll see all the information that you need there about what’s included in that, all of the videos, the whole structure.
And we’re just so thankful to have people like Rebecca that have been here on the podcast that have asked questions during this series. If you have enjoyed this series, we’d love to hear from you. Just drop me an email, email@example.com, write a review, say hi. We would love to have you be even more invested in this community as we help you and other people like Rebecca. So Rebecca, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[REBECCA]: Thank you, Joe. Talk to you soon.
[JOE]: Thank you so much for listening to this episode today. Again, we want to thank our new partner, hellotriad.com. Head on over to hellotriad.com/pop to get your free membership to the newest social media specifically for therapists, counselors, MFTs, psychologists, and behavioral health providers. Over at hellotriad.com/pop, you can register totally for free for your professional membership.
Thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests, are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.