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The 5 Proven Traits of Successful Therapists

The 5 Proven Traits of Successful Therapists

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Published by Clinton Power
http://australiacounselling.com.au Casey Truffo, founder of the International Therapist Leadership Institute speaks about the 5 proven traits of successful therapists.
http://australiacounselling.com.au Casey Truffo, founder of the International Therapist Leadership Institute speaks about the 5 proven traits of successful therapists.

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Published by: Clinton Power on Jul 20, 2013
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“The 5 Proven Traits of Successful Therapists”


Ms Casey Truffo Marriage & Family Therapist Founder and CEO, International Therapist Leadership Institute CEO & Practice Building Coach for Therapists & Therapists Who Coach at Be A Wealthy Therapist www.BeAWealthyTherapist.Com


[START OF VIDEO] Hi, everyone. Casey Truffo here from BeAWealthyTherapist.Com, where our goal is to help you increase your impact and increase your income. Today, I'm going to be talking about five proven traits of successful private practitioners. It was hard for me to come up with just five, but let me share with you the ones I think are the most important. The first one is does a successful private practitioner knows where they're going? It's so easy to think my goal is to have a successful private practice, or my goal is to see X number of clients. But when you set your goals, I really want you to be a little more thoughtful than that, because I could get you 20 clients by next week. I could tell you exactly how to do that and you could have 20 new clients in your practice by next week. Does that sound good to you? Well, here's my suggestion on how you do it. Charge $5 for each one and you would get 20 new clients in your office by next week. Now, I'm imagining that that wasn't what you had in mind. So let's be clear on the goals. Let's look at the pieces. Successful private practitioners know how much time they want to see clients. They understand that there's going to be admin time. They understand that there is going to be marketing time. And we're going to be talking throughout this whole video on that. They understand they want a certain amount of money to take home for their personal expenses. They want to put a certain amount of money into personal savings. They want to put a certain amount of money into business savings for business growth. This money might be for new technology; someday, your computer will break. It might be more for marketing, it might be for educations. And I'm not just talking about CEU

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education or continuing education for your therapy skills. I'm talking about business building education. Most of you I imagine are pretty good therapists. I doubt that you have a lot to learn in terms of being a good therapist. But I am going to say that many of you need to increase your business education in order to have the successful private practice that you want. And that's one of the key traits of successful private practitioners, is that they understand the vision and they also understand that they're going to have to put money into that vision. So if I need to look in my business expenses—we'll make it easy, a $100, my personal expenses are $50. Some people would say well then I just need to earn a $170. No, you need to put money into your business savings. You need to put money into your personal savings. Perhaps you need to put another $30 into business savings, another $30 into personal savings. So now you see that you really do need to earn more. These are the kinds of things that successful private practitioners think. And you can do it, too. It's very simple. Calculate how much money you want to take from your business for your personal expenses. Calculate how much your business expenses are. Come up with a figure, it might be an additional 20% or 30% for your personal savings. Same with your business savings. Maybe you have to start with 5% or 10%. But come up with a number and so that every dollar that comes in you can then allocate it towards your personal savings, your business savings, your business expenses, and your personal expenses based on those percentages that you came up with. It's an interesting way of looking at it. But even if that doesn't make sense to you or that doesn't feel right to you, number 1 trait that successful private practitioners have is that
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they recognize. They have to have a vision in terms of time, in terms of money, and in terms of what type of clients they want to see, and what type of marketing they're going to do. We're going to be talking again more about marketing as we go through. So that's trait number one—the vision. It's very concretized, it's very specific, and it's measurable. We all know about goal setting and all of that. But really sit down and make the vision. What gives you energy every day, what is amazing, what feels great, because that is the thing that you're going to do day-in and day-out. There's no sense in having a business if you don't love it. So that's vision—that's number 1. Successful trait number 2 is actually recognizing that it's not easy to build a private practice. Now, that sounds paradoxical, right? The successful people realize it's not easy. Well, there has been some interesting psychological research done by our peers, who have said that those who walk around saying I have a goal and I see myself succeeding at the goal effortlessly and easily actually do worse than those who have a goal and recognize that it's going to be hard. It's because the people who recognize that it's going to be hard but really want that goal, raise the bar for themselves in terms of effort. It's kind of interesting. I read a study of people who have had hip replacements. Everybody's goal was to be able to walk easily with the new hip. But the people who saw themselves doing that easily and effortlessly tended to not do the exercises and the rehabilitation that was necessary in order for the hip to heal and it to be easy to walk again. Those who have felt that it would probably be hard work dug in and did the work, and were able to succeed and were able to walk easier on the hip.

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There are lots of studies like that. It's fascinating to me. So what we're learning from our peers in the psychology research is that recognizing that it's hard and being willing to do that raises the bar for yourself and actually is going to produce new, better results—produce better results for you. Again, I don't want to burst your bubble and say it's super easy to build a practice. And I'm feeling a little bit bad about that because I think that's what I've done and some of my peers have done from the beginning, because we've said it's not hard to build a practice. And it really isn't. It's not rocket science. It's not like the three or four marketing activities that I'll share with you in a minute are really difficult. It's not laser medicine. It's just being willing to do it and then doing it. Thinking about building your practice and planning to build your practice won't work, but doing the work that you plan and that you think about will. So if you're still with me and you're still saying, "Yes! My dream is private practice. I want to have that full practice, how can I do that?" We'll continue with the next three traits. The next one is having a well-rounded marketing plan. Now, you've probably heard this ad nauseam, but do you have a well-rounded marketing plan? If you do, bravo for you. I think that's wonderful. But if you don't, let's look at what it takes because it's not as difficult or has many pieces as you might think. For example, you need to have a well-rounded online marketing plan and community marketing plan, and then hopefully, a keep in touch plan. So let's talk about what that means. Your online marketing plan, hopefully you're on an online locator, online therapist directory like Australian Counsellor and you have a website.
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Now, do you need an Oprah style $10 million website? No. Do you need an $8,000 website? Do you need some big branding thing? No. You need a nice, simple, minimum 2page website that's good enough. And on the home page of your website, you're going to start with a headline that is something that your ideal client would relate to. It could be a question or more likely a statement. Something like, "It's not easy raising kids today", or "You love your kids, you want to help them make good decisions". Something that would capture your ideal client's attention. Then the first part of your home page is really about connecting with their pain. What is the pain that they're coming with? Back to our parenting example, we might say when they were really tiny, they were so cute. But you never got the manual. And now, that they're getting older they're starting to make their own decisions. And of course, as a loving parent, you worry about those decisions. So see how I'm connecting with them. By the way, I haven't talked about myself at all. The next part of your home page would be a normalizing paragraph. In the beginning, you connected with their pain. And then you're going to say well of course you would feel like this. It's very normal to feel like this. Everybody feels like this. And at the same time, there are ways to make it easier. So your segueing from their pain into what I call hope. Then the third paragraph or the third section of your home page would be very simple and just saying, "After many years of working with many parents, what I have discovered, is that there can be simple strategies". Or I have a simple course[ph] that process or something that positions you with some experience per their ideas.

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You're not talking about all your credentials here. You're just talking about in terms of you've had experienced helping people who have their pain get to the other side, meaning, the other side of hope. So after years of working with parents, what I have discovered is that there are five simple things that can help most parents with their kids in making great decisions. I'd like to make it easier for you. Please call me today, I want to hear your story, let's make it better. And then you put your phone number right there so they don't have to search for it. I just did that on the fly while the video cameras on me. So I apologize if it wasn't very smooth. But do you get the idea? Your home page is all about the client. It's very little about you. Just at the end where you're saying you want to come in and help. Then you have an about the therapist page or about Johnny page. On that page, what you're going to do is as a parent myself, I know that parenting is the toughest job there is. And when I was younger and my kids were younger, we struggled. What I wanted to do was give them the best life possible. But there are times when I didn't know if they were making the best decisions or I was making the best decisions as a parent. What I found is that having an unbiased third party in my case as a therapist helped me to really learn what works. So what I have done is decided to devote my professional life to helping other parents like me make sure their kids are making good decisions, or whatever it is for you. And then at the bottom and say again I would love to hear your story. Please don't wait one more day. Then P.S. for those who care about the credentials, and then you can put your credentials in there.

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So that's a quick and dirty way to create an extraordinarily client attractive website. I want to come and see you. Make sure your pictures are on it. Make sure it's a professional looking picture. And that is so much better than welcome to my site, which nobody cares, and then talks all about your 18 years of eclectic sand tray, Yungian, existential Carl Whitaker cognitive behaviour work that you do. Nobody cares about that. What they care about is they have pain and they want help. So back to successful trait number 3. Remember number 1 was vision, number 2 is recognizing them, it takes work, and number 3 is having a well-rounded marketing plan. We're talking about the online marketing plan, which is your online therapy directory like Australian Counsellors and or having a website that's very client attractive. If you just do that, you now have an online presence where if anybody refers to you, people go and look you up and there you are and they feel connected to you. There's a lot more. If you already have a website, you can put engaging videos on there, you can come up with a free item that they exchange their email address for. And then you write maybe 51 tips to great parenting and then you send those out over the year. You might want to have an online scheduler. I think online schedulers are great. Those are additional things you can do. But don't let that overwhelm you. Get the basics first. I always say this, but I used to teach dance and partner dancing. And one of the things I found is that there are a lot of—forgive me—men who wanted to do very fancy steps. They had it in their head that this is a very fancy step. Well, if your partner dancing, you have to lead as a man and so you would want to do that step very well. We women would much rather

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dance with men who had good strong basics steps because we could follow them easily and it was much more fun to dance with good strong basics. Your public is the same way. If you have a good strong basic marketing plan that speaks to me as your ideal client, that speaks to me as your pain, I'm much more likely to call you than if you have all these fancy bells and whistles but don't have a good strong base. So your good strong base for your online marketing is an online therapist directory listing, at least one if not more, and a website that can just be as short as two pages, and how to contact you. Then in terms of your community marketing plan, that's where we talk about speaking and networking. So many people have abandoned the community for online. But there are groups hungry out there in your community to hear a talk on whatever your specialty is. There are lots and lots of groups out there. It's easy to go out and do a presentation. Now you might be saying, "Oh, I'm scared of public speaking". I don't want you to give a public lecture if you go out and do speaking. I want you to facilitate a group discussion. So when we do a speaking engagement, here's the way I do it. I take my talk title like "Raising Great Kids in the Age of Britney Spears and Crop Tops". I'm making this up as we go, so forgive me. And then my first—as a go to do the talk, I'm just going to basically put it in three parts. Part number 1, why is it hard to raise kids today based on they will all want to be Britney Spears and wear those little crop tops. And then engage them in a group discussion. People love you more when they talk. Think about that. People love you more when they talk. So you just facilitate that with a point or two of your own.

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Then you might ask what does not work when raising kids today in this age of Britney Spears and crop tops. And they will tell you what doesn't work. You have a couple of tips of your own what does not work. Then step 3 in the talk is what does work. You might have a few more points to get them engage. Ask them what does work. Let them feel smart. "That's a great idea." "Interesting." And then say, "You know, also, what works is", or tell a story about somebody you work with or somebody you could imagine working with. And all of that will help them see that one of the things that does work is working with an unbiased third-party like you. So that's the way that you do at speaking engagement. Now, if you have a feedback forum and you have a process to turn audience members into clients, which we do—it's sort of beyond this short video, then you can actually offer them a free consultation. Do that free consultation in a way that would make them beg to be your client. Now, you're getting a lot of bang for your marketing time. What I mean by that is you might do a speaking engagement. There might be 50 people there. You could probably get three to seven of those to be your clients if you do the whole talk in a way that engages them. Then have a feedback forum that offers a free consult, and do that free consult in a way that makes them want to become your client. So think about that. That's another way you can get a lot of clients rather quickly. But a lot of people have abandoned that for the internet. So I'm inviting you not to abandon it and to go back and do that.

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Again, I don't want a polished public speaker. I want a real person that can connect with people. So for example this video. This is not scripted. I have a couple of bullet points. But other than that this is not scripted. I stumble over my words a lot. I forget my place[ph]. Does that make you want to turn it off? Well, for some of you, yes, absolutely. But for others of you you're saying, "No, that feels kind of real. It feels like Casey and I are talking". And that's what you want your audience to see. Not you as perfect, polished public speaker, but as real and authentic. Because that's actually one of my later points—authenticity is what is selling today. So I'm just going to glance down at my notes. So another way in your community marketing toolkit is networking. When you network with people, you want to make a list that people that also serve your ideal client with non-competing services. They may not be the best referral sources for you if you all want the same type of client. So find other people who service your ideal client with non-competing services and begin to build a relationship with them. I'm talking about a relationship. Don't run up with here's my card. Do you know anybody who has the problem I'm solving? But ask them. Tell me about your client. Are you looking for more business? How would I refer you? How can I help you in your business? By offering that, most of those people, the ones that are worthwhile, will come back and ask you the same thing and you will build a relationship. Again, remember, people love you when you get the focus off of you and talk about them. Just like your clients. So if we go back to point number 3, which is having a well-rounded marketing plan you have online, which is your online directory and your website and the community which is your
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speaking plan and your networking plan.

Now, if you need any help with this, we at

BeAWealthyTherapist.Com would love to help you with that. This is what we're in the business of doing is helping people build their therapy business whether it's attracting more clients with the well-rounded marketing plan that we're talking about or whether it is helping you build additional streams of income. But I will tell you that building additional streams of income is a whole lot easier once you know how to market and it's easiest to start with a private practice. So I just want to share that with you. Again, Casey Truffo, BeAWealthyTherapist.Com, if we can help you in some way. The next thing that I want to talk about —I'm just going to move my little paper up here. It fell down while we were talking. My little notes on it. Yes, my next point. All marketing that works is because you are being authentically you. So it's about starting with who do you want to see in your practice—we talked about that in vision—what is the pain that they have that they see from their perspective, and then really sharing your love for helping people with that pain. And again, it doesn't have to be very polished and slick. That's why I am on a one woman crusade to get rid of the term "elevator speech" because I've never hired anybody in the elevator nor gotten a client from anybody in the elevator. I'm very introverted. I don't talk to people in the elevator. So I don't want it to be a really polished like that. But I do want you to know your core message. What it is you love working with. Get some clarity on that. Get some help if you're unclear on that. But I think if you look at your favourite clients and what you say over and over again, you'll find that you probably do know that very quickly.
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Another thing and so we talked about vision. We talked about successful private practitioners understand that. It's not a walk in the park. But it does take action and it can take 5 to 20 hours a week of marketing. But when you do it in a way that's authentic, when you do it in a way that feels good, it can end up being a lot of fun. We talked about building a well-rounded marketing plan with community and internet marketing. We talked about all marketing is authentic. Be yourself. Be yourself. And then finally, have a review process where you're reviewing your efforts. Am I putting in the time that it needs to take? Track your numbers so that you can compare this January to last January. We have a seasonal business. In the summertime, people come less. During holidays, people come less. Now, that may not happen once you're totally full. But for most of us, it's quite seasonal. Even Apple and companies like that have a seasonal business. So recognize that and learn to know when your seasons are for a number of reasons. One is you can take time off when you have a slow season, or you could amp up your marketing when you have a slow season. But track your numbers, so that you can tell what's working. You want to know is that business networking group that I'm in paying off? You will know if you keep tracking your numbers. Is that speaking engagement that I do every year at the bridal fair helping me get more clients? It may or may not. So start tracking how much money you are earning by referral source and by marketing activity, and then repeat what works and prune what doesn't, all right?

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Those are the five that I came up with for this video. Again, I could probably come up with a hundred. So having a good vision, know what you want so you know what you're targeting, and know that it's not going to be easy but you can do it if you want to. That's when we sit back and say if we want to. Then look at how you are going to do it—marketing your practices of community service. You need a well-rounded marketing plan. So what does that look like? Ask yourself what's standing in the way of me and the stream and what can I do to move through that? Do I need to learn something new? Do I need to hire somebody to help me with something? Do I need to let go of particular part of the business that is not just working? And then we talk about building that well-rounded marketing plan, community, and internet. Then keep in touch if you decide to have an online newsletter or blogging or anything like that. That's your "keep in touch". And then remembering that all marketing is authentic. It's you. And sort of my bonus tip was track, review, repeat what works and let go of what doesn't. Again, Casey Truffo from BeAWealthyTherapist.Com. I adore you, I wish you amazing success. Mwah! [END OF VIDEO]

Visit http://www.australiacounselling.com.au for more information and resources for therapists and counsellors.

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