During this episode, I talk with Daniel Sanchez (he/him) about online marketing. You’ve heard of SEO (and maybe SEM) and I interview Daniel about all the things therapists need to know to understand the simple and cost-effective ways we can level up our online marketing.
Daniel helps therapists create Brand Identity and to ensure that their digital footprint is creating traffic to their website and social media. Daniel develops a brand kit for therapists, offers website development, and ensures that there are solid SEO protocols for the therapists' online presence. Daniel is also an expert in Google Ad Words and is looking forward to helping therapists at the retreat with the practice tools they need to drive traffic to their website and other online profiles.
TOPICS IN THIS EPISODE:
OFFERS & HELPFUL LINKS:
· Daniel’s website
· Jennifer Agee coaching page
· Counseling Community Facebook community
· Counseling Community Instagram
· Alaskan Cruise: Experiential Therapeutic Intervention Training for Therapists June 3-10, 2023
· Cabo, Mexico: Dreamer’s Retreat for Entrepreneurial Therapists October 6-8, 2022
Jennifer Agee: Hello Hello and welcome to Sh*t You Wish You Learned in Grad School. I’m your host Jennifer Agee, licensed clinical professional counselor, and with me today is Daniel Sanchez. He is a web developer, SEO, and SEM-I’m gonna let him define this for us, strategist, Google AdWord expert, all-around amazing human, he also has a great website, a2dd.com. He is gonna be speaking with us today about all things marketing, branding, all the stuff that intimidates the crap outta most of us as therapists. So welcome Daniel, welcome to the show.
Daniel Sanchez: Hi Jennifer, thank you for having me, and hi everybody. Thanks for this opportunity.
Jennifer: So on your profile it says SEM strategist, what does that stand for? If I don't know it, I know other people don't know it either.
Daniel: This is a good question. People sometimes confuse SEM with SEO, and SEM is more like the investment or marketing budget that people put on different platforms for example, Google AdWords, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, so it is the marketing budget that the companies pay to these big corporations like Google. For example, those ads that you get on search engine browsers, on the top position with the little ad icon, that's part of search engine marketing, which is totally different from search engine optimization, which is SEO. Both are hand in hand, they go together. They help each other because if you're gonna put marketing budget on Google AdWords, for example, Google AdWords, they don't put this disclaimer in their website, but they help your company on SEO position. So let's say that you have a brand new website and your web designer, or the web developer, puts keywords, good content, videos, podcasts, for example, and that's organic content that search engine websites like Google will start putting on top position. So that's free clicks because your website will be on page number one, or page number two and three, but those clicks are free. Search engine marketing is the money that you pay to the Google corporation to push you to the top position when people click there. You're paying $3, $5, $10, depending on the cost per click or CPC, which is something that I'm gonna explain in this conversation too.
Jennifer: Okay, all right. So there is a difference. The strategic, the SEM, what did that mean again? Say those words one more time.
Daniel: Search Engine Marketing.
Jennifer: Search engine marketing. So search engine marketing is more the money that you spend to promote things you've already done with good SEO, is that..?
Daniel: You're getting close. It's the money that we pay to companies like Google, Facebook, and Instagram, so they can populate our ads in the top position. In order to get those ads on the top position of page one or page two, or probably on YouTube videos, or any kind of search engine website, we have to create an ad. So it's important, you need to create an ad campaign with Google, Facebook, or Instagram, so these platforms have the option to create a good headline, a good description, the link, the phone number, the website. So you prepare the whole ad campaign with Google, for example, so they start populating your ads on top of position, but you have a budget, let's say you have, uh, 50 dollars per week, a hundred dollars per week. It depends on the industry. It changes, the cost per click or CPC changes. For example, I have law firms, attorneys, just CPC for a law office costs 25, 45 dollars per click.
Jennifer: Holy moly, what?
Daniel: Yes, It's the same thing with insurance companies. It's the same thing with doctors, it’s expensive because for one click, they get a very good profit.
Jennifer: Good return of investment.
Daniel: That's correct, ROI is right there. So they get one click that costs $45, but they get a client that they will have forever and they’re gonna pay five grand per month, let's say, so it pays off. Different industries change, for example, mental health is between $3 to $4 per click, so this conversation and this strategy and marketing strategy, Google AdWords, Facebook, Instagram, that's what we call search engine marketing. So we're going to throw a search engine marketing campaign with Google AdWords, Facebook, Instagram, but when we put that money and marketing budget on these platforms, these companies start pushing our link organically.
Jennifer: Oh, okay.
Daniel: Say the one month you don't have the budget to invest with Google ads. You can stop, you can pause your Google ad campaign for one month, but Google will still push your website to the top position Organically. That's search engine optimization or SEO.
Daniel: Yeah, that's what I recommend to all my clients, if you're gonna throw a really good online marketing campaign, put a little marketing on Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, search engine marketing, because these big companies reward your company because you're a good client.
Jennifer: Well, that makes sense, I mean, pay to play right? So if they know that I've given them money in the past, they're more likely to continue to promote me because I'm likely to give them money in the future.
Daniel: That’s correct.
Jennifer: Sneaky, sneaky little things. So I wanna talk now that we have the basic wording and concepts understood. You work with a lot of therapists. So you know, my people, we do not necessarily do technology well, we do relationships, and we understand people very well, but the technology side of things is extremely intimidating to a lot of us, it's not in our wheelhouse. I wanna take it back down to if someone is just starting out, or they've been a therapist for a while and they realize they're not getting the kind of clients they want, as many clients that they need, and they need to do something in this arena. Where should we start? Like, what do you think is what are the first few things that we need to start to do?
Daniel: That's a good question, it depends. My business offers three different packages: basic packages for startups, small/medium companies, and companies that have been working for the last five, 10 years. So a lot of therapists, for example, or coaching services. In my experience, I've been talking with people that they are from scratch. They’re just starting out the new business, and new private practice of a mental health agency. They need to start with the website because you need to put your brand, and your company, and your business out there. I highly recommend to start with a little website, it doesn't need to be very expensive, a big website, five pages, four pages is enough. Of course, it's tough for a person who is starting from scratch to invest a lot of money on marketing budget with Google AdWords, or digital marketing agency, but at least start creating a brand. Keep in mind that people recognize a company because the logo design and branding brand design is important. Your face, if you can offer your service as a coach, you are your brand right now. What you're doing right now is you are your brand. Of course you have a brand design, a logo, a company name, but your face is your brand. And when you are not offering coaching services as an individual, and you offer more services as a company, you need the logo. That's how people recognize that you have a company and they will recognize it in the jungle of many private practice companies. They will see your logo, “okay, this is the company that I've been looking at online”. They have been seeing a lot of posts on social media, email blast, so they will recognize if you send your email, for example, include your logo right there. With your website because you're putting your company on people's faces. A little logo design, a website with four or five pages, and eventually when you start getting more patients, more clients, I think it would be good to invest in a better website, better branding. and a little SEO, and SEM-something we already explained in the beginning of this conversation.
Jennifer: Okay. So I'm gonna tell on myself here, okay. So when I first started out, I just went to I think, WordPress, created a free little website.
Jennifer: Yeah, a free little website that was essentially just a landing page. It had nothing fancy. It had, I think a picture of me, what my rates are, how you could get ahold of me, the end. Because the truth of the matter is our name matters a lot in this business, even maybe more, if you were a therapist, who's not doing the additional services. For example, I do the online retreats, I do coaching, so my logo may be important, but if you are a solo practitioner, your name is your brand to a very large extent. That's how people in your community are gonna know you and are going to refer to you. If you do not have a website, it does not look like you are a legit business. Listener, what is the first thing you do when someone says you should really check out XYZ restaurant, so and so's massage services, you immediately Google 'em, you Google them and you look at their website. Then if they have some sort of super janky website, you're like, is this a real professional here? So it really does matter for your branding from the start. You don't have to invest a lot of money in the beginning as you're scaling and growing, and you have money to invest in it. It is a very wise thing to invest in, but even if you're at the very beginning stages and you said, “I still have student loan debt, I don't have two pennies to rub together”, put something out there at least to give some legitimacy to your business.
Daniel: I agree with you. In the 1970s, eighties, and nineties, we used to go to the yellow pages and check for companies. And now it's Google, or Yahoo, or Bing, or any other kind of search engine side, your company must be online, the online presence is a hundred percent important. If you are starting a new business, any kind of business, product services, eCommerce, coaching services, private practice, they need to be on Google. They need to have at least a couple articles talking about your services. Because if you're gonna post unique, unique -no copy and paste- unique content, in your blog or article, Google wants to be the number one search engine site. So they're gonna grab that unique article that you are posting every morning, every week, about mental health services and your content is unique and it's amazing for people who are suffering from trauma or addiction, Google will push your website immediately to number one position, even if you have a very big competitor in your area. That's the benefit about Google that we have. The first time in advertising, we have the perfect time to have a spotlight and compete with big, big brands. You are small, but if you have a nice website with great content, a good logo, and a good picture of your team or yourself, you will compete with the number one company, and ZIP code in your state because you are in second position on the same first page on Google.
Jennifer: What a time to be alive.
Jennifer: There are two practical issues, and if you listen to this podcast, you probably know, I really love the practical side of this business, and I enjoy that part. That's where really my coaching goes. I love that part, but there are two things that you need to be aware of when you are building your website. One is that most people are not going to look at your page on a laptop or a desktop, they are going to look at it on a phone. So you need to make sure that whatever is designed, you can have it also make sure that it's appropriate for phone or tablet use as well, because if you don't do that and somebody goes to the website, and then they have to run their finger back and forth across their phone to be able to read what you're saying, you're losing them. And you're also losing that trust factor that they have, that you really know what you're doing, and you're a rock solid business. The other piece that I would really recommend people do is don't skip the step of filling out the Google my business page. Right after you start your business, and you've got your address, and you've got your website, if you skip that step, you are gonna regret it because when people put your name in, you know how that little box shows up? That's like: click here for website, address, directions, that won't show up for you if you don't do that step.
Daniel: You know what? That's a great point because there's a lot of small businesses and people who want to start a business, but they don't know where to start, and that's the great point is that Google business account is the number one step. So set up your business Google account, you get so many free tools: YouTube videos, Google lens, Google analytics, Google AdWords, the option to upload videos and pictures for your brand, your logo, mobs, it’s amazing. I believe that if a business doesn't have a business page, a Google business account, it is gonna be difficult to find this company online. Yeah, that's a great recommendation. I agree with you.
Jennifer: And that's one of those things you can do if you have zero dollars, or you have a thousand dollars a month for your marketing and budgeting, because that costs you nothing to fill that page out. I will say, though, as you grow and scale, what I found for myself is in the beginning, you know, I had just a very simple WordPress site, and especially as my entrepreneurial endeavors really grew, I had different needs at the same time that I was very full on my practice. I had no space for more clients, I hired a virtual assistant to answer the phone because I didn't have time or the energy at the end of the day to do that-side note, one of the best pieces of money you will ever spend in your business is getting a good VA and help. But the next thing that I started to realize is, in order for me to scale, I had to hire out stuff that I have no skill set in, that I don't wanna take the time to learn because I'm freaking busy already doing what I'm good at.
Jennifer: Other people really know how to do this marketing piece well, and it's not my wheelhouse.
Jennifer: So hiring Daniel or someplace else is wise.
Daniel: Yeah, that's true. And even myself, I need to delegate functions. You know, we are so busy trying to accomplish projects, finish pending projects, look for new clients, writing content, creating new marketing strategies for the business, for my business, for other people's businesses. We're busy, so we need to delegate functions, and going back to the Google business account, I would like to add something else. When you have a good website with good content, good videos, podcasts, articles, the first page, the landing page, needs a good headline and this is something people forget. They just want to include the company name as a number one headline, and the sub title would be the address -no, that's not how it works. Include keywords in your headline and when you're creating a new website, you're gonna promise, you know, delivering good services, a good product, but I think the pitch, the price are important too. So if you're gonna have a good presentation, a good pitch, and a good price, you can attract a new audience, and the headline is a hundred percent important. The headline picture of real people, if there's a lot of people there, including photo stock pictures, that works, but I think it's better if you can include your team, your picture, your office, real images. Make it legit.
Jennifer: Yeah. Well, and the research backs that up, the research shows that we will stop or pause on an image longer if there is a real human face involved.
Daniel: Yeah. People like to see people.
Jennifer: Yeah. Well, I mean, we're made to be connected. We're wired for connection, so that makes complete sense.
Jennifer: The other thing that I would say again, how can I also market myself and look very professional, even if I've got a little money to start out with? I see this mistake with a lot of therapists. They will get a Gmail account, it'll be their name, or their name plus counseling, and then it's @gmail.com. When you actually get your domain name, whether or not you choose Google, I use Google, but like this ain't a paid advertisement for Google, It just happens to be who I use, and they really are the number one place most people search right now. If you get your domain name through them, you can have an @yourbusinessname.com, so Jennifer@counselingcommunity.com, that's my email address. My entire team has their name with the professional business name.com at the end, it's another one of those layers that says, oh, this isn't a mom and pop, this is somebody who's offering a professional service
Daniel: That's correct, I agree. People sometimes when they come to our business, they bring the domain name and it’s a really nice domain name, but the email address is Yahoo, hotmail, or Gmail. And we recommend, hey, you need to change everything now, so you have a business, create your real office email account with the same domain name, sometimes it's free. There's many companies like GoDaddy, they offer a free email for one year and after a year you have to pay five dollars every year for that email account. If you're gonna create more new accounts, the rates are different, but I highly recommend at least one email that would be email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Use your domain name, create a good email signature with your logo, with your email phone number, sometimes people don't understand when I recommend create a good email signature, because when people click on your website, if you give so many clicks on that, visit my website now, or visit my website today, that means a lot for SEO. So search engine optimization, it works when you get so much traffic per day, and traffic equals clicks or back lanes, that is something that we can talk about later, back lanes.
Jennifer: That may be super far above my pay grade, but yeah, that does remind me, I need to beef up my signature game.
Jennifer: Because it's my name, then I've got the link of the business underneath, but now that you're saying that, I'm very aware that that is an area that I'm gonna take away from this podcast. And I need to sort my business out on the back end because that needs to be done because I am not doing that. I wanna transition and talk about “the tale of two therapists”, okay.
Jennifer: We have therapist number one, who is very pro-social media, right?
Jennifer: Is comfortable with social media and likes it.
Daniel: That’s great.
Jennifer: And then I wanna talk about therapist number two. And there are a lot of us who have severe love-hate relationships with social media.
Jennifer: Who do not really want to be on social media.
Jennifer: So I wanna talk about some strategies and things, money that could be invested to boost each of these based on their comfort level and preference, because I don't want people listening, thinking, I really don't wanna be on social media, I've tried to disengage from it I don't want you to think that you have to be in order to be seen or to be marketable. Is it helpful? Heck yeah, of course it is, but it's also not a hundred percent necessary if you were willing to invest in other ways. So can we talk about that a little bit?
Daniel: Sure. When there's business owners that they don't want to, you know, create podcasts, have videos, I highly recommend to hire a person, hire an influencer. So right now at agencies around the world, they are hiring influencers because they have the people. There's influencers, they have 5 million followers, 10 million followers. If they are influencers talking about lifestyle of mental health, there's some influencers that talk about their mental health issues, and they travel, and they go out with friends and they try to bring distraction to their mind, and they can talk about your business if you don't want to be on camera. If you don't want to create a social media page, they can talk about your business, about your services. Then the other option is, create good content, legit and original content, no copy and paste, real content, and start sharing to your community, create a Facebook group. Actually, we have a Facebook group, only for mental health professionals on Facebook. It’s new, but that's how we are sharing our knowledge about marketing, advertising, Google ads, SEO, SEM. There're many ways to get online presence if you don't want to, you are not a social media person, but I highly recommend, yes, we need to be online, we need to be on social media, we need to be on Google and Bing and Yahoo, online press is a hundred percent important. And if you don't like it, just hire a person.
Jennifer: Yeah. So if social media isn't your thing, a couple of things that I've seen have been really successful for people are investing in Google AdWords, and also making sure that you write blogs. Like Dan said, original content and making sure that headline is on point, because the headline is what Google is going to pull for the words to say, this is relevant content for what this person just searched.
Daniel: That's correct. Yeah. If your website has relevant content for Google, you will be the number one website that they're gonna put on top position. Doesn't matter if the best competitor in your zip code area, state, has a great website, great brand, but if they don't have good content or they're just copy and pasting for another website, your website will be on top, because your original content is unique and you really want to help people. So Google understands, the Google code and the algorithm understand perfectly, and they will say, okay, this is a copy of this. There's a new tool on Google, it’s Google lens. And Google lens helps you to identify if the picture is original, if the content is original. So this is artificial intelligence. So now the new data forms online, on the internet, they will understand if your website is legit a hundred percent, because there's people who copy and paste content, copy and paste pictures, they steal pictures of photo stuff from other companies. So now, with this new artificial intelligence, we will understand and see the company is legit hundred percent.
Jennifer: Interesting. So are they going to push more and promote more of those that have original content?
Daniel: A hundred percent. Yeah.
Jennifer: Well good, I like that. It feels like the little guy won't get their stuff stolen so much anymore.
Daniel: Yes. And this little guy is not gonna have the number one position, so it will go down because Google will start pushing the original websites with relevant content on top position, always.
Jennifer: Oh okay, I love that. That is awesome. Now I wanna talk about, I am comfortable with social media, I don't love all forms of social media. I mean, I have my ones that I'm the most, you know.
Daniel: Oh yeah, I think people need to go with the best platform that works for your industry, your favorite, and the platform that you feel comfortable with. It's impossible to be on 10, or eight, or 12 different social media accounts, because every single social media account works differently. LinkedIn is very office, very corporate, very white-collar, and Facebook is the backyard party, you know?
Daniel: Instagram is: let's go out with friends to have ice cream and take a picture. Different personalities, different ways to communicate. So I don't recommend it when people say, oh, we have one post, one ad, we're gonna post it to all social media accounts. No, it doesn't work that way.
Jennifer: Right. ‘Cause there's a different personality to the different platforms. And you know, a lot of us are on all the platforms, even if we're just snooping around in the background, like a lot of us are on it. And each of them does have their own personality. And that's to think about when you're thinking of your marketing and advertising the clients you're trying to reach. Where are they most likely to hang out? Which platform are they most likely to be? I found Facebook has been very good for my business, with my coaching and the retreats and things like that. Instagram has gotten me more clients. I'm newer to TikTok and, oh my word, I'm a practical brain person. So I ain't dancing on social media and all that. I'm dancing home alone, but like, I'm not setting up a camera for it. So, you know, trying to figure out how to be relevant there. I haven't figured that one out yet, but figure out: where do your clients hang out? And that's the one that you actually wanna spend your limited time investing in because at the end of the day, we don't wanna manage all that crap. You know, we're busy.
Daniel: Yeah. Only if this is a big company, you know, if they have the marketing department, yeah, of course they can set up TikTok accounts, Facebook accounts, Instagram accounts, Twitter, LinkedIn, all of them, and they can talk to this audience in a different way. You could be more formal on LinkedIn, more funny on Instagram, or more informal and more spontaneous on TikTok. They can do that because they have the marketing department. But if you want to, you can delegate functions. One person or two people in your marketing department can do that little work for you.
Jennifer: We ain't got marketing departments, Dan. We're mostly just therapists with our butts in the seats 50 minutes at a time working with someone, but that's why I think this strategy part for me is using things like Canva, that if you have a professional Canva page, or you use the professional Canva, they have a social media manager built in, there are other social media managers, so you could spend and say, I'm gonna embrace this suck and create content for a month, or a week at a time, and then it's scheduled, it'll automatically post, you don't have to think about it in the morning of like, oh crap, I gotta be relevant today. Like, you know, you can go ahead and do some of that stuff in advance.
Daniel: Yeah, and there's one more thing. I recommend to all my clients, including myself, if you feel in a good mood, you know, make a video for Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, or create content, do it, but do not post on social media because you have to, I believe that relevant content doesn't matter if you're gonna post once per week or twice per week. If you're gonna post, and be consistent, and relevant with your target audience and high-quality content, you will be relevant.
Jennifer: Yeah. Well, I think people can spot a phony and people can also, they feel if you're being authentic, because that creates a natural desire to be connected to that person. Usually when you feel that they're authentically speaking about something that you care about, versus just reposting something and there's a different feel to it.
Daniel: Yeah, that's correct. In the last five years, just because we marketing people, we like to test and test different platforms, social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram. LinkedIn is the most difficult platform for us to push and create content and create more audience, but we notice that Facebook and Instagram is something that we can manage pretty well. We know how to play with these platforms. But for example, the last five years, we have been creating different websites for different audiences, and targets. One of them is for culture, the other one is for tourism in Florida, in my [INAUDIBLE], and then another one is for art, and we have like 10,000 followers, 5,000 followers, 8,000 followers. We don't post every day, we post twice a week relevant content, good content. Sometimes it's original content, sometimes it's content from other people, but we include the source. You know, it's important to include the source. People like when you are consistent and relevant, and when your content is unique or high-quality information.
Jennifer: Yeah. And just kind of going into the beginning therapist, and the therapist that's been in this for a while and is looking for growth, when you're looking for growth, you're probably gonna be ready to hire Dan or somebody like Dan's company to take that over, because you're gonna be busy enough in your daily life that you do not have the time, energy, or mental space to learn this whole new skill set of marketing and advertising and all of that kind of stuff, and that is fabulous. But if you're listening to this and you feel like, well, how am I gonna be relevant if I don't have the budget for it because I'm just starting out? Start where you can, it's okay because the number one thing that you can do in the beginning of your career, that's gonna create longevity and a good reputation is spending time with other therapists, getting to know other people in the community, so that they develop a trust factor with you. They can say, yeah, I met Jennifer for coffee, or we went to happy hour, She was super cool. She really loves working with therapists to grow their business, she's freaking awesome, you should give her a call, because they'll promote you and you will promote them. You create these win-win relationships because this is a community, we are not for everyone, we are not a general advertiser, we are mental health professionals who usually have a very specific calling and purpose in what we do and who we serve, which means that you're going to need other people in this community in order to create a team that you feel comfortable cross-referring to. So if all you have time and energy and money for right now is a good website, do your Google my business, which costs you $0. If you use Google to get your domain name and then go meet with other therapists, you can start that and that's gonna cost you like six bucks a month for your domain name. You know it's really nothing. If that's where you need to start, start there. If you're ready to grow, call Dan, or call someone you know, that specializes in this because it starts to get super outside our pay grade with the higher you get and the more complicated the marketing and advertising algorithms change. I don't wanna keep up on all that crap. I have a hard enough time just keeping up with all my CEU. So that's not where I'm going with that. Dan, thanks for coming on. Please, let people know how they can connect with you.
Daniel: Thank you so much for this opportunity, Jennifer. People can reach me out to my email address contact @a2dd.com. My website is ‘a’ as in the letter ‘a’, number two, dd.com, and then we have a Facebook page: digital marketing for mental health professionals, and that's how you can find us on social media, on Facebook. Yeah, and I think this is a great, great, great, time to talk about marketing, about advertising, SEO, SEM, and just, you know, let us know if you need some help.
Jennifer: Absolutely. Yeah. Dan's actually gonna be one of the coaches at my Cabo retreat for entrepreneurial therapists. So if you're interested in spending more time with Dan and learning from him, you're welcome to come to Cabo with us. If you'd like to connect more with me, counselingcommunity.com. Also, we are on Facebook, Instagram, and the TikTok. So get out there and live your best dang life. Have a great day.