Having cutting edge technology for a soloprenuer is so essential to effectively run your business and not miss a step when you are trying to market. And the truth is you don’t know what you don’t know. In this episode of the Black Therapist Podcast Lennie Carter of Tru Circle a platform for therapists comes on to discuss with host Nikita Banks the most essential technology you need to have if you want to win in business.
Also on this episode we discuss the need to incorporate automation tools for solopreneurs, and why having an optimized website is necessary to your marketing efforts as a small business owner, and to specifically grow your private practice for clinicians.
Finding happy seven steps to relationships that will not steal your joy is the new book by me Nikita Banks, a licensed psychotherapist and life strategist, leverage the knowledge and you’ll receive in this book to help you with the process of obtaining absolute clarity. Through the use of Guided Self exploration. This process is necessary to help you master all your relationships in 2019 and beyond going amazon.com or black therapists podcast calm and grab your copy of the book guaranteed to help you redesign all your relationships based on two basic principle, health and happiness. Get your copy today. Welcome to the black therapist podcast. The black therapist podcast is podcast where we discuss the unique issues people of color face with dealing with mental health issues and mental health diagnosis. Now if you are new to our show, I am your host author a life strategist.
psychotherapist Nikita Banks in private practice in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York. I am available for adult psychotherapy and coaching sessions. And you can find more information about that on my website Nikita Banks calm you can listen to our podcast everywhere podcasts are found Apple podcast, Google Play YouTube, SoundCloud, pipper Stitcher, I Heart Radio and black therapists podcast com if you are a mental health advocate or a therapist and you want to buy our podcast merchandise, you can do so by visiting our site. And if you want access to our free mental health tips, free online trainings, discount is selected selective services and resources do so by joining our mailing list by texting get happy, all one word 266866 if you love the podcast, please like comment and share. We love to hear from you. And if you want to send me some feedback, guest suggestions or simply to say hey, you can contact us at our website, black therapists podcast.com
Please be mindful that this episode and all the information that we provide here is just a resource and a tool to help get you started on your mental health journey. If you are feeling any mental health distress or you having any significant issues please feel free to reach out to us so that we can find you a mental health provider in your area. Okay, let’s go guys.
Ah, so we are preparing for the holidays and the holiday season in general and I hope you guys are prepared we’ll jump right into today’s show cuz I got a lot to get through to today. So I have been not feeling well i think i told you guys this guy’s this before I have like a respiratory infection. We’re trying to figure it out. Find out what’s going on. So pardon me if I sound easily. Or if I have to cough. clear my throat. Oh, wow.
We are getting through this episode.
Let’s see. Oh, the what would you do for this one?
And pardon me if I did. I don’t know if we did the one for last week. I feel like we we kind of skipped over it last week. But the what would you do for this week is, is do you allow your partner to have a
friend or associate of the opposite sex? There’s a lot of chatter on the interwebs about not allowing your partner to have a friend or family not family member, just not family member, but I can tell you your man’s best friend is a girl would you worry about this causes the cause a significant challenge in my relationship because my best friend is a man.
So yeah, like what would you do? Do you have or you have this opinion that your means friend or friends should not include women like good friends. I have a significant opinion on this. If you came to me for therapy, I would tell you my
opinion on that. But yeah, because a good question. I know that Mary J Blige once said that her and can do we’re not allowed to have friends of the opposite sex, which, I mean, I know someone who was a friend of hers was a man, so I’m not sure how that works will work. Well, I don’t know how it worked because they ain’t the gappa but, um, yeah, I wonder I wonder.
I wonder if this is really a huge significant thing. And I’m talking about a platonic friend like somebody that’s never seen the person naked
or you know, wanted to
wanted to be a berth MC. Like they weren’t in a relationship with they’re not exes or whatever. Just really good friends. And so like, would you expect that yet? Yo, man, what girlfriend to like, give up their best friend of the opposite sex. And if if you are a same sex couple, like would you be threatened by your same sex
sex partners same sex best friend. Okay
so that’s the what would you do for this week we are
again kicking off the holiday season and so I know for a lot of people going home for the holidays is a very stressful situation for me it’s it can also be challenging to be honest with you. I am staying home this year for Thanksgiving which means I may have to spend some time with my new york friends family. That also means I may also stay home while definitely won’t be home to cook for myself and my son is he is moving away from me very soon.
So I’m you know, trying to get some some mother son time in, we had to pamper him and feed him and stuffed him while he’s with me. So that’s part of what I plan on doing for the holiday. But I know for a lot of people, you know if you’ve experienced a death in your family
Or if you have experienced some challenges within your family, if there’s trauma in your family, there’s somebody that you’re going to see and your family where it’s not a pleasant situation. I really want you guys to take the week to infuse love and self care into yourself, do the things that you know is going to make you happy and make you whole and allow you to spend those 234 or five hours with the people that may actually work your goddamn nerves.
That should include therapy. Unfortunately, if you are my client, I won’t include therapy for you with me this week unless it is a virtual session because
I’m taking the week off.
So yeah, do whatever you need to do to to feed into yourself. Surround yourself with love. friendsgiving is a good option.
dinner with a friend
yourself with love and self care. I know for me I’m taking the week off.
And I know it’s not because I’m stressed about seeing my family although they can work on their love them. But they go we’re gonna have
I remember when I was going to my mother be like, Girl, you drive me to drink and my mother’s never drunk anything that I knew about until like, I got grown. I knew that she she told me sounds like you’ve ever drunk anything my whole entire life like I’ve never known you to drink and my mother would make little comments like, well, you guys, you guys drink wine coolers you. Your sister drinks wine coolers. So it was like, have you ever tasted alcohol?
For cocktail before? And I’m like, What? Why are you? So just like having that realization of your parent doing something that you didn’t know them to do? But yes, my family will definitely drive me to drink literally, literally because if you know me for real, and I’ve said Little things on here before like, I’m like mellow Hennessy every
Now and again, or whatever, but I’m not like a drinker, I have a full bar in my house and I’m not somebody who drinks a lot. And I definitely do not like to get smashed or like be drunk. No. And so like, I have like, maybe a two drink minimum and to drink is like a party time. Party, like a holiday, we celebrate in something. But yeah, my family, I’m drinking for Thanksgiving, I’m drinking for Christmas, if I’m around my peoples outside of my mother and to be around my mother,
and like that little family, my mother, my sister and everything and be sober, Jesus be offense. And so I’m taking some some self care time this week. And it’s really because you know, like I say, I’ve had some health challenges and I think part of why I’m not getting better on my respiratory infection is not getting better because I’m team too much. I do way too much. And with all of the jobs and the entities and things, and I’m starting in the
Things that I’m doing, I really want to be fully well rested, in order to be able to do what I what I want to do to play on my 2020 and beyond. So, I’m taking the week off. And I’m really struggling because I know my clients need me there’s some some crises that are happening with some of my clients and I really want to be there for them.
But I’m gonna check check in with them offline, you know, and not gone office and like, just reach out via phone or text message or whatever, just so that I’m connecting with them if they need me and, you know, allowing them to connect with me if they need me as well. So yeah, do what you need to do to to practice self care this week. And for everybody who’s suffered a loss, you know, have a loved one and you’re going into the holiday season without them, do what you need to do to to remember that person, make space for your feelings and heal and not really have to juggle anybody else’s problems, feelings and concerns in this moment. Okay? This is
is a time for you to be thankful. This is a time for you to practice gratitude, this is the time for you to look forward. And this is a time really for you to
be attentive to what you need.
Okay, so I’m trying to decide whether or not there’ll be a show outside a lot of homes tonight. Y’all know, I work on that saying, um,
but to, I’m trying to figure out if there will be a show next week, as I stated, I’m taking the whole week off. And it may do me well to take a week off from the podcast as well. It’s not a lot of work for me to do the podcast, but it’s somewhere for me to do the podcast. So we’re going to figure out if we’re going to do that, but I really want to do a social, not social media episode, because that doesn’t make any sense. I really want to do like a reality TV episode. Because there’s so many things that I feel like relationship wise we can learn from stuff that’s happening on reality TV, so I’m going to do
poll on my social media to ask which shows that I watch Do you want me to talk about from a mental health perspective or a relationship perspective, or family dynamic perspective? And I’m thinking about married to medicine. Definitely. Please pick that because that’s really what I want to talk about because that’s what I was watching. It made me decide that I want to do this episode.
What else married to medicine? We could do Real Housewives of Atlanta.
week we got to black egg. I still watch black ink though.
Because of black ink crew.
Because there was some things on the ARCA talk about
we could do loving marriage Huntsville. That just ended but I still have a lot of opinions on that. And we could also do
ready for love.
Okay, so then
Next episode will be a reality TV show episode. And we will.
We will either do love and marriage Huntsville, Real Housewives of Atlanta, blacking crew New York because I think that’s the one that’s on.
What else just say
Huntsville, Real Housewives married to medicine, black ink crew and ready for love. Those are the five that will will we could pick from we could do one we can rank them one through five and then maybe I’ll just do one each week or whatever. I don’t know. I feel like we should if we’re going to do anything in order it should be
loving marriage Huntsville, because it’s off like that the finale has happened and would say married to medicine. So I really want to talk about that. But I don’t want you to stop
Know what my opinions to sway you. But there are a lot of relationship dynamic issues that on that show that I really feel like can help you in in some of the conflicts that we all have in relationship stuff. So, pick the show, let me know which one you want wanted to do. It would either be the show next week or the show the week after we have an interview this week. And so, y’all know what happens when the interviews run long, I end up splitting it up into two shows. So I may end up doing that for this week and next week, okay. But we’re going to get right into the interview. We have Lenny Carter, of to circle and we’re going to get into the interview right now.
Alright, so introduce yourself to the people. My name is Lenny Carter. I’m the founder and CEO of true circle, which is a platform that helps mental health professionals make sure their online presence through technology and marketing is there. We do websites video chat for them to click connect with their clients.
As well as billing and credentialing, we also help underserved communities and folks that are in need the most that go through the most trauma experiences throughout directory to connect with commissions that look like them, and experience the things that they experienced as well. Okay. And how did you get involved in being on the tech space in a mental health space? Cuz those two things will seem like they really go together. Yeah, that is also what makes my world a little unique. I’m out a chance to actually spend some time in the tech industry for over 10 years. I was building websites for restaurants, and having a chance to learn that industry and learn how busy restaurants owners are because you know, these are blue collar, typically men that turn around and run a restaurant, but they focus on so many other areas of their business, that marketing and websites kind of fell to the bottom of it.
totem pole. So through the 10 years of starting my entrepreneur journey from 2006 to 2016, doing this for the restaurant industry, I went through my own mental health challenges. They started out, you know, really rough for me, because in my journey within the first two years, my partner lost his dad. So I seen him experience, you know, challenges with grief at that time. And ironically, much later, my mother ended up passing away through an accident in Brooklyn, New York. And once that occur, I struggled, it was a real tough journey for me. She was only 53 years old, the day before she passed, and, you know, my world was flipped upside down at that moment. And it wasn’t until I actually got some help. To the mental health professional. A seeing a therapist, I was like, wow, as a black man, I had it all screwed up and the misconception was real.
They actually got it me to getting the help that I needed. They supported me through my learning and growth that I had to do through my grieving process. And through that journey, I realized that not only you know, myself, but other black men could benefit from it to health services. So I decided to combine the two worlds take my tech experience helping out folks connect and get more diamonds into the restaurant industry and saying, hey, I want to help mental health professionals get more clients and expose the great work that clinicians of color clinicians that are from diverse backgrounds have opportunity to treat those that need it most. Okay. And and true circle. So how I became
aware of you is we met on Instagram. I feel like I say that every week on this show is that everybody that you know, I have on this show, usually I’m connecting to it. Which if you’re not following me on it, you should be but yeah, we
We kind of came in the same orbit maybe four or five years ago.
Yeah, absolutely. You were doing phenomenal work. You know, I’m saying you out there you want to one of the first questions I saying, you know, branding yourself and the type of work you do that represented, you know, where I came from, you know, you read Brooklyn hard. And and that reppin Brooklyn side and me being from Brooklyn, it was just like, Wow, she connects with the people. She can relate to the people that I grew up with, you know, my uncle’s, you know, even my parents, and I was proud of your work and love what you were doing so absolutely connecting with you was was a priority at that time. I still live Yeah. And so it took a while to the email was about three years before we actually connected Connect. It was like, Hey, we need to like literally get up and see what where we could support each other in this work and so
What happened for me was that I kept seeing your work as far as I wanted to work more remotely. I think I put this on social media that I want to be location independent by 2021. And so as I was looking for something to use with my clients true circle kept coming up in terms of using it as a stable platform for me to be able to use
to do virtual therapy. And so do you want to tell them a little bit about that side of the platform and why the work that you do is kind of so dope I feel like you’re on the cutting edge of where therapy is going to go. Because as a therapist, like our offices, our largest bill, you know, to me like paying that rent now.
If you can remove that from the situation, like you pop in, in terms of like, the money that we can save and the the revenue that we are able to kind of keep
ourselves. And so being able to have a stable platform for us to do that, and for it to be black owned, is really dope. So do you want to tell them about that part of the business and what you do?
Oh, absolutely. You know, it’s funny that you bring that up. Because, you know, I found one of the toughest challenges was that, you know, therapy is something that comes in different shapes and forms, whether we speak about the therapist or whether we speak about the type of therapy they deliver. But, you know, finding a good therapist, for some folks on whether you’re looking for a black male therapists as an example, or someone that, you know, has similar beliefs, as you can be challenging, you know, scheduling can be challenging. And then location, as you mentioned, is one of the biggest portions, that becomes the biggest challenge, right? You know, it’s like, hey, you’re in New York City, you’re in Brooklyn, but anybody that’s from Brooklyn knows that, you know, we all go up to the Bronx, so a Bronx folks, don’t
Brooklyn’s who often
have a lot of clients who live
and he come see me but afterward.
Yeah, exactly, exactly. If you have no reason a purpose to be in Brooklyn and you’re from the Bronx or vice versa, that commute can be real. And to have a our therapy session when your commute can be, you know, two hours to that therapist is a barrier for you to you know, get to that therapist, you know, speak to someone that can relate to you and get the real treatment you need. So, you know, true circle saw a need and there was a gap in our communities of one. We are the highest users of technology. We have smartphones at rates that’s higher than you know, our counterparts in other cultures, but we’re not using it to our benefit. So true circle decided to close that gap. Like oh, man, we have this technology in the palm of our hands. Access to true good healthcare sometimes is lacking based on where we
We live the stigma about around mental health with the fact that you know, if you go to the local clinic or somewhere close by you think that others in your neighborhood may judge you. So we wanted to produce a have a solid technology that folks can find a therapist that they like, and whether it’s from your comfort of your home, because you don’t have a babysitter as a client, and you’re seeking a therapist was your work schedule is so crazy, that you can’t get to a therapist, you can see someone that way. And then from the therapist side, as you mentioned, you know, therapists, you guys are on the move all the time as well. You know, you’re working in different industries, you’re going to see clients in different places, depending on you know, your particular work, and sometimes having an office space with that overhead and rent to only use once in a blue doesn’t make as much sense. So we wanted to do something to fill a gap for both for the answers. Yeah, and it’s fast for me, like, you know, as you’re saying, like moving around the city. I’m thinking I gotta go to I gotta go to Manhattan on Tuesday. And for
That’s like a mental kick, I gotta go to my head. I gotta go to Manhattan on December 3. And for me, that’s a mental thing. Like I almost gotta mentally prepare to like leave the city. So I exactly know what you’re talking about and how we feel about the other boroughs. It’s so it’s so childish in a way, and it’s so limit saying, but I’m like, Damn, I gotta go to the city. So I know what that’s like. But
in terms of like, being a therapist, for me, my office is in Bed Stuy. And if anybody knows, it’s not the old Bed Stuy that grew up in and that I that I came from, and, you know, it’s really expensive. In order for me to maintain an office there, if I didn’t have partners that owned the building, I don’t even know how I would do it. And so for me looking at a lot of the clinicians who are doing this, and, you know, hearing the feedback from clients or people who do follow me in other states, or the emails that we get about the show, and they want to see a therapist who’s black or somebody that they think they can relate to or somebody
Like me, a lot of people selling want to have a therapist like you, you know, being able to serve with the clients that I serve in the whole state of New York and in the whole state of New Jersey and and the whole state of Georgia and the whole state of Florida, this the states that I’m licensed in, and as well as me wanting to branch out on coaching, having a stable platform that doesn’t freeze up on me or that doesn’t, you know, I don’t have a problem with connection or communicating with my clients is so important.
Oh, you hit the nail on the head. I mean, you know, we took the time to basically understand the things that come along with technology, right that that was the industry I came from. That approach is a complete different approach than a lot of other products that I’ve seen in the industry as of yet. I’ve seen a lot of clinicians work day way and the opposite side of working in technology, and they tend to fall short when a technology parts they don’t give you a quality technology product because that’s not the world. They can
came up in there looking from a clinician side only. The great thing about true circle is we’re leading with technology. We understand the challenges, the barriers that come up with technology. We’re really quick at the drill when technology problems arise. And we’re up to date with the cutting edge of how technology is evolving to bring the latest and greatest to our true circle clients or customers, should I say, the mental health professionals. So, you know, literally, I’m your spot along with that. And, you know, the next step is, as you mentioned, we work with a lot of clinicians that turn around and are licensed and multiple states.
You know, that’s a big deal right now. There’s a shortage of mental health professionals throughout the nation.
It’s really challenging for people to find help, especially in underserved and minority communities. So having the flexibility to communicate with someone from the comfort of
Your Home Office, your car, and on the go, that gives you the flex to cycle gives you the flexibility as a clinician to make that happen. Gotcha.
And you and I have a lot of conversations about the use of technology and how to,
you know, be able to,
say, assist clinicians, especially in their marketing efforts. And definitely, I mean, I would like to think that I’m pretty good when it comes to
technology. And it’s really good to have somebody else like bounce ideas off of because there are times that I’m, I’m like, Damn, I need to do XY and Z. And you’ll call me back with a solution. When there’s a lot of times that you and I are having conversations and you’re like, Yo, I’m just, I’m stuck. I need to do X, Y, Z. And I’m like, Oh, I can’t just do this, this and this. And you’re like, yo, even if you put that together. So what do you think in terms of like the use of technology as especially in like marketing for clinicians
man, you know, that’s a great question because you know, you’re spot on, it’s really a huge part of having the right support. So I’ve seen a number of clinicians that’s out there that, you know, I’m proud of, I’ve seen they do great work there to go get us to say, I’m going to learn technology, I’m going to get into space, I’m going to do it all myself. But the challenge that comes with that is, as you mentioned, you know, not having someone else to bounce those ideas off of. We talked about marketing a moment ago, and I believe you do a phenomenal job, and how you market as a clinician, you know, how to connect with the client, you know, how to speak to the ideal customer that you work with. And that’s why you’re able to, you know, reach as wide of audience as you do, because lack of better words, you keep it row and making it happen. So, you know, we use technology and the role that technology plays is that it’s two parts. The one is the technical side, that
True circle focuses on whether you’re looking to get your domain name and email setup or understanding, hosting, you know, those things are important as a clinician to have in the right place. Because, you know, your website could go down in a heartbeat you people can’t find you online. And now they don’t know your brand. Or you turn around and have different addresses on Google or phone numbers, then your actual current new phone number and your address or your office location. So two parts to the technology is one, you know, you need to knowledge and know how to have a support system such as true circles to help navigate and guide you through understanding how to use the technology to your benefit. And that leads with your website and starts with your online brand and your message of how you’re getting out to your clients and then to someone as phenomenal as you Makita you know in the work that you do marketing wise, the bridging the gap for technology is now
Having the right content and messaging out there to now gravitate and bring that right audience to, to your practice, right? And so
because clinicians are different, or therapists are different in in their marketing efforts than anybody else, I think in terms of like, you know, I watch shows like married to medicine. And I’ve seen people on married to medicine be like, Oh, this is my my doctor, but this is also my friend. I don’t really have that luxury read, of like tapping into the audience of my friends or my family or people that I know for real for real in order to be my clients. So when you’re a clinician, you basically have to market from scratch. You know, you you basically have to start out from my people you don’t really know you can’t really like go in your church and say, Hey, I’m a therapist. Anybody need therapy come to come to me because you’re not really supposed to have a dual relationship just basically the way our licenses so you basically have to market to what what we call in the business a cold audience.
which means they don’t know us at all. And so now the number one ways clinicians first start to market is their websites.
And part of what you and I have partnered up to do is I know you build websites I build I build more so like WordPress sites or like, Do It Yourself sites but you you do sites from the ground up for for clients, correct.
Okay, now you use a different kind of technology than the open source technology that a lot of people use. But I see a lot of people who are clinicians, because let’s face it, most of us are cheap. Most of us are not making a lot of money when we come out of school. Most of us don’t even expect to make a lot of money when we come out of school. So a lot of us are building our websites ourselves without the the actual
marketing plan in place that’s necessary to reach your ideal client.
And so a lot of
conditions that I see have really crappy websites,
including myself when I started, I mean, I’ve cut to be honest. But I learned how to build websites, maybe with an undergrad.
So there’s a lot of things in my undergraduate degree was in communication. So a lot of what I’m building on now is just the cumulative knowledge that I’ve had in the past. But what’s one of the things that you would say to people who are going and looking for a brand new website for their clinical practice they should have on their site?
Well, the biggest The biggest thing is a contact club, you need, you know, a ability to for people to actually find you and reach out to you. Um, you know, a lot of times the great thing about a website is that it works 24 hours a day for you. You’re not always going to leave on your phone. You’re going to be in session sometimes and if you’re not large enough to have administrative staff to answer
calls for you or respond to emails for you. You know, having a website with a contact form is super important for people to be able to communicate with you when you’re not available at any given time. Right.
I mean, I think that that’s very important. But I think you also have to have like automations in place on your website. Oh, yeah.
Yes, yes. What are the key ways that some clinicians scared automation? So a lot of times, we don’t know.
We don’t know.
It was tough. It is a challenge. Right? You know, but you know, a lot of times I like to look at things and layman’s terms. And sometimes, you know, you have to put the cart before the horse, what clinicians that don’t know what they’re doing, as you were mentioning, and when you look at it, as you mentioned, automation is the key to everything you want to have a get to a place we are technology is so automated
That basically, you’re saving cost on labor and time and money overall, because your automations are in place to get it done for you. Yeah, for me when my So, you know, because you you, like, help me through this problem solving for this, I often think of my problems is like if I had opens budget,
like I don’t look at it like, Okay, can I afford to do this? Or is there technology out there to do this, I just assumed that there is technology out there to solve whatever the problems are, that I need to, to resolve and I just need to find it. There’s a whole internet with Google on it. So I feel like I can find whatever I need to find on it. If not, I can tap into resources like you, because you’re you’re into a lot of tech communities that I don’t have access to just because that’s not what I do for a living. And so when it came down to me, one of the biggest problems in my business was that I knew and I’ve had this conversation, I use the schedule all of my clients weekly, weekly, bi weekly.
Every other week, whatever. So on Sunday, I would have to make all of these phone calls. And I would have to schedule 30 to 40 clients per week myself, like manually. And that was a real big pain in the ass for me, because number one, I’m in session, a lot of people claim, I mean that claim but they complain that as clinicians, I call the therapists and I haven’t gotten back to, you know, to you, but if I’m in session,
I’m giving that person 100% of my time, my assistant may be doing something else. Maybe they don’t have the phone, maybe the phone is with me. So I can’t very well be like, Oh, yeah, we’re in session. I know you told me about your mother passed away. But give me a minute. I gotta answer this phone call have to give that person who’s actually paying for my time in that moment. 100% my time. And so being able to have a contact form on my website, being able to have a way that people could actually, you know,
get information on how to get appointments automatically have the emails go out to them.
medically to follow up, they have, you know, they’ll be able to make their own appointments on my website without ever having to speak to me Not once, you know, being sent a text reminder, being sent an email reminder was so imperative to me having, you know, a continuity of care for my clients and making sure as a business owner that I had recurring revenue was so important. And that was one of the things that you and I were able to kind of like, talk to how to get it done. Like I knew what I want it done. And I knew how to get it done. The biggest piece for me was being able to find a solution for the scheduling piece that I didn’t have to pay for every month. That was, that was the last piece that I was like, yo, you need to figure out and shout out to Holly,
Dr. Holly Sawyer, who was on last week because she was able to actually be like, Hey, this is what I use. And I was like, Damn, I could I could do it this way. It’d be able to navigate that in a way that I don’t have to pay for it for it every month or have we have to pay for it continue continuously.
So, you know, being able to have, you know, another set of eyes or another set of ears to come in and be able to help you resolve the issues that you need to have your business move a lot more smoothly is so imperative. And I think because of the nature of the business, and most of us who are clinicians, were either a group practice with people who have the same exact knowledge that we have, or we have limited resources financially, or we just don’t know that there’s, there’s a way to resolve the problems that we have. And because we’re not really looking for the solutions, are we not speaking to people who actually know what the solutions are, that’s limiting what we can do in this business? Absolutely. I mean, yes, right along with it, because, you know, the key to any business, if you look at large corporations, and a lot of times in our culture alone, we don’t always think as big as we should you know,
We have great ideas and great visions, and we’re doing the work. You know, I see it every single day with our clinicians that are in our directory with the therapists that are signing up for our products. You know, you guys are working hard out there and doing the work to help the world and folks that need it most. And the key behind it is sometimes divisions are small, you know, and limiting because, as you mentioned, you know, finances and getting assistance is a challenge. In our world. When we’re a slump solo entrepreneur. You’re a solo clinician and therapist trying to start your private practice, you run into challenges, and it makes your vision smaller. When a lot of times and clients that I work with, I want them to dream as big as you know, a fortune 500 company understanding those companies had and use automations to get where they’re at.
They do a lot of things.
Things that are simple things that we can do to grow our businesses but we don’t take it into consideration. And automation is a key thing that every fortune 500 company is using that we can use to to have decile practices that go up into the six figures and greater Yeah. And I think that a lot of us are not utilizing the
resources that are low costs and no costs in an effective manner in order to build on those things when it comes to the things that we do have to spend money for one, there are things that I just have to spend money on in my business, you know, because I know that it’s a it’s a revenue generating
entity for me like I would not I have to have to pay for, you know, my phone service and my rent and my insurance and those kind of things are just things you have to pay for. A lot of times we try to look at nickel and dime things
And not not invest in the way that we need to. Hence the websites. And we keep going back to that, because
in an ideal world, you would have somebody build your website that would make sure that the technology side of it works properly, that you know, your, your website is indexed and search engine optimized and able to, you know, capture your visitors and has an email list and sends out, you know, sends out automatic emails to your clients and follows up with them and like you, you’d be able to do all of those things. You could do that with no money,
or like low cost, low costs, money exists, cost effective ways to do those things.
That you know, would be cheaper than if you hired an assistant it would be cheaper if you had somebody in your office doing it for you. And then just being able to like, you know, build on those things and the things that you really need to pay for like I paid for a lot
The marketing stuff that I use some of the things on my social media that that I that I have that’s there in terms of like automating that process and some of the stuff, everything you see there I do, but in terms of like scheduling in terms of like, looking for my hashtags and making sure everything is there on time and, you know, this is a podcast I have to pay for, for hosting of these kinds of things. Just making sure that I’m making the best financial investment that’s going to give me a return on that is is key to it. But I think, you know, for me, we’ve had this conversation, I kind of almost had to take a step back of like, not spending money where I didn’t need to, and they wanted to focus on things that I needed to focus on in order to build on that so that when I was spending money, it was like, triple and, you know, quadruple axing the results that I was getting.
A lot of times we struggled in prioritizing because
We’re just doing this by ourselves.
Mm hmm. No, you made so many valid points. And that note is just really the fact that, you know, the first step is wanting to find cost effective, or no cost ways to get things done and not having a support system. That’s what true circle comes in. And we’re a support system along your journey with technology. That’s where we have success with our clients, because we don’t look at just at a client saying, Hey, we’re just going to build your website, we want you to succeed across the board, we make recommendations to the free products and software’s that’s out there, that’s beyond your website. So buying a true circle website doesn’t only just get you a web presence online for people to find you, but you get real time communication, and understanding the tools you can use to automate your practice, automate communicating with your clients, because that’s the biggest drop off is that
If you don’t communicate with clients, or you don’t stay front of mind with new potential clients that’s out there. That’s when your, you know, client base fluctuates every week. But when you have an automation system or automated system out there, a web presence that’s strong, and ways to communicate with your clients consistently, that’s where you’re able to succeed and continue to grow your way. Yeah, I don’t have the I don’t have the problems that I used to have, or the stress on the weekends that I used that like I, I have this show on the weekends. I have, you know, I’m in the office on the weekends I’m doing building on the weekends. I’m somebody’s mom on the weekends, and I’m trying to schedule my clients for the week that was just too crazy for me, so being able to like automate that process. Whereas now if I see some holes in my schedule, I can reach out to two or three people and be like, hey, do you want this four o’clock you want this five o’clock What’s going on?
You know, if you don’t take your five o’clock this week, somebody else is going to take it
So just being a friend or even sending out a mass blast, right, I’m able to like you know, go and send out all of my emails at one time but they go to each person individually and I’m like, Hey, I have you know, some schedules some things opening for this week if you want them they need to be booked by this time on this date. And being able to send that out to you know, 800 people on my list or 600 people on my list is like what
you know, just being able to maintain an A automate made it CSV file that I could just update with clients who are potential clients and say, Hey, you haven’t come in for your, your appointment in like three weeks Do you still want to be a client or we’re going to close out your case, and then have them you know, follow up with me like being able to, to kind of fill those voids and fill that hole has really been helpful for me
and it’s super excited for me.
When we talk, learning and here, you know, the automations you have in place because, you know, me going to research and understanding as a non clinician, I had to do a lot of homework to get into the mental health space and be aware and take full circle where it needed to be and could go. And in that process of research, you know, statistically,
people that’s looking for therapy services only have a 17% communication success rate and getting an appointment.
Right, recently, you know, like, literally, I’m reading and hearing about folks that saying, Hey, you know, I refer someone to a clinician or a couple of conditions and they never got that to the person, or, you know, people are just not hearing back from clinicians through reaching out. And that comes with the lack of automation. You know, you can’t blame the clinicians because if their work and bus in a house is every day to get the job done, you know, it’s not 100
percent therefore, but at the same token to kind of cover the full spectrum and hold themselves, you know, accountable to reaching out to more people, they have to have automation in place to make their lives easier. And having a nice and a niche however you said,
you know, knowing who your ideal client is, is optimal, because for me on the directories that I’m on, I may get a minimum of 20 calls a week, a maximum of 50 sometimes and sometimes I’m just like, I don’t want to speak saying, you know, me, I don’t want to speak to any guy on the phone. I only one talking body on the phone like I did. I did a seven hour session or seven hour sessions today. I don’t want to be bothered with anybody. I don’t wanna speak to nobody when I get home. Oh, so it’s just like, you know, some days. You know, the good news of having idealised marketing is that I reached my target audience and they they’re able to reach back to me, but sometimes, you know, no
For me not to be so burnt out as I protect my energy so the automations that I have in place it helps me be able to be in contact with them not ignore them you know let them know hey you know I did get your messages but i can i you know you would have to make an appointment with me and you could download my documents here you can submit your insurance here for you know our know what your co pays and everything and validate everything before your appointment and so that you know if there’s any problems with your insurance if there’s going to be a bill or anything that you know that up front because that happened to me before I’ve gone to a therapist myself and then got a huge asbill at the end of the appointment because they didn’t validate my my insurance until I got there. Right.
And that’s happened in my office too. I will say that has happened in my office too. But that was do no fault of my own if you don’t submit your insurance before or if you don’t read the the onboarding email that I sent you
Before you come to my office, and I’m like, did you download the forums? And they’re like, No. Did you submit the insurance? And they’re like, no. And I’m like, Well, you didn’t read the whole email.
Because people don’t read anymore. Very rarely do they follow instructions. But when they do, there’s not a billing problem. There’s no issues because I’ve already validated your insurance. We already know what your copay is, you already you’ve already made your appointments, you’ve set up recurring appointments on your own, and there’s never any interruption and care for anything because I’ve told you exactly what I need to know to make sure that this goes smoothly, and you’ve done what you needed to do to be proactive to make sure that you didn’t have to pay that $160 fee for my first session. And 240 if it’s a if it’s a couples counseling session, so you it’s made, it’s made my job a lot easier, but it’s also been very cost effective for the clients who’s actually done. What they was supposed to do the way they were supposed to.
Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, you know, automation is the key to successful practice, not going to spend more money. And when you do spend money, as you mentioned, it’s about spending money into places that you know are going to give you a return.
You know, a lot of people are hiring virtual assistants for certain times to manage their practice right now. But there’s tools sometimes that you can hold off spending as much when a virtual assistant by automating some of the technology tools you have access to. And that’s definitely where true circle comes in, and is able to have a consultation with you to really talk about your goals, not just what you want your website to look like, but really hone in on Okay, what are your goals? Where can we automate? What can we do to make your life easier, and then as we talked about it, and your phenomenal work that you’re going, you know, there’s a number of things that I don’t even, you know, I don’t even have the time to share but your knowledge and marketing and what you’re capable of letting it
Making sure clinicians understand their niche, as you mentioned, which is the right way. But some people say niche, you know, at the end of the day, you know, helping therapists find their niche and hone in on ideal client and getting their marketing, branding side complete. You’re phenomenal at that way. And this is not just like, if you’re not a therapist, you probably zoned out like, this is not for therapists. If you have any kind of business who wants web presence, or any kind of business where you have to do, you know, face to face meetings, a lot of people use, you know, some other technologies. I think you were the only you were the one that told me that there’s only four technologies out there, right? Yes, yeah.
Do this in there. Most of them. Were not all that stable.
Oh, no, no, not at all. Yes. I told you that. There’s three. So as you mentioned, to piggyback on what you mentioned, you know, we have coaches that use our technology just because they want to be secure. we’re communicating with folks and they tried
themselves are in the privacy of the clients that they’re meeting with. But overall, there’s only three technologies out there that’s wanting video chat. The first is, you know, who we have a partnership with, which is a publicly traded company. It has the best video chat quality that’s out there. And I was in partnership doesn’t force you to pay $200 a month that they require before they sign an agreement to make sure everything’s private, which is, quote, HIPAA compliant or be a business associate agreement. And that’s an agreement between you and another company to make sure that they’re taking all the steps necessary to ensure that your clients information, your patients information doesn’t get out there and no one can see any of the details of your session that occurs. So our partnership with zoom is one of the best and first technologies that’s out there. The second technology that’s out there is another company by the name of VC. That’s
company is all right. But their quality hasn’t been that great, and is a number of other companies that partner with them with that underlying technology. And then last but not least, is web RTC. RTC stands for real time communication. So this web real time communication platform, a ton of people are using out there in the world, but they’re not using it the right way. If you don’t have a strong internet connection, if someone’s using their cellular data, that call will drop. And you won’t have a solid video call with the video quality being where it should be or the audio quality the English should be. We took the time to build a strong web RTC platform as well as partner with zone so true circle actually has to additive through technologies that’s out there for video chat, and I’ve heard that two circles to most stable out of like, that’s really
What happened was is I was in these groups and I was looking for, you know, something to use when I was doing my virtual stuff. And if your name kept coming up, and I was like, I know, do I know that dude from Instagram? And so that’s how, you know. And I was like, Is this true? Because people keep coming up you like, yep, that’s me. And so that’s, that’s really how that, you know, began but I’m glad that we reconnected and reconnected on that because in terms of like, like I said, this journey, you know, being a solopreneur in any field is really isolating, and not having somebody that you could, can come to when you have issues or things that you just don’t know how to do, just being able to come and tap into you. And, you know, I would assume vice versa, for us to be able to like problem solve with things that we we are working on. It’s been very helpful and I look forward to the partnership that we are forming
We know that there are two types of people, there are people who either build their own websites or either want to maintain it on themselves or people who have the money. And they’re like, I don’t want to be bothered with that. I’m just going to pay for somebody to do that. And so Lenny and I have partnered up to, to try to facilitate for both of those people. So we’re, we’re in the process of creating platforms right now to be able to market to both both people, people who have their own websites, and they want to be able to maintain it and get them optimum growth on it, and see the return on their investment for their websites. Because you have a website, are you not showing up in Google searches or if you’re, you know, it doesn’t speak to your ideal audience. It’s not being able to market to the ideal person that you have your copy sucks, isn’t your automations are not in place and you’re doing yourself a disservice. And if it looks bad, a lot of condition websites look bad, I’m gonna say it.
And so if you and also if you’re not using the proper technology,
You are utilizing open source technology and you know, you’re you don’t have the right securities in place, if their back end is not working the way it should. And your site is not stable, you’re going to have problems. And so being able to, you know, tap into a professional is not going to charge you an arm a leg to be able to do those things. But you have the the only first slide of you know, web presence that you have out there that’s going to live on the internet forever. It should look good.
And it should do its job. Like your website should do half of the convincing. You should have your website should have people saying you know what, I don’t want to work with anybody but this person.
And not to brag like that’s what people say when they call me they’re like, you’re not not that the show doesn’t do a good job of marketing for me, but a lot of people come to me straight off of my directory pages and they’re like, Yo, I read your profile and I think you spoke to me
and it, it attracts the right kind of clients to to me, because I’m not like I said, I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, I’m maybe your shot of Hennessey, right? But even in therapy, like you have to have the you have to have the right marketing to attract the right types of clients, because I’m not for everybody. And everybody is not for me, and that’s okay. But to be able to give the people who was looking for somebody like me the option to see exactly who I am to do my web presence is imperative. And I don’t feel like a lot of clinicians do that. We put a lot of clinical jargon on the site. There is the colors are horrible. I don’t know why everybody’s website is green and blue for for some reason, or have some yellow in it. Is it just me?
No, no, not at all.
I don’t know what it says. You know, but to be able to have an ideal you know, ideal
Who your client is and be able to market and speak directly to them and say, You know what, I am the only clinician that you know, can solve your issues be that may not be true, but to be able to like have your personality shine through in your, your site, and that’s your web presence that you got to get it together. Absolutely. I’ve seen somebody said they paid their that 30 year old to go learn how to build their websites on YouTube. And I mean, YouTube University is a really good thing, but I don’t want my 13 year old building my website. No, absolutely. Cuz, you know, the key behind it is you want a seasoned professional, that understand the intricacies of all the layers. You know, a lot of times websites are view that you know, the prettiness or lack of just having a presence online. I’ve seen people with GoDaddy websites and Google websites, or daddy websites, and there’s nothing wrong with it because you know what you’re going Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
Method master. Right, right. And that’s and that’s the key. It’s just that, you know, the layers, you know what’s behind each step of the way. It’s not just putting stuff up online. I was working with a clinician to three weeks ago, and he turned around and built the GoDaddy site, but he didn’t have a contact form on his GoDaddy location on his GoDaddy website, or he didn’t have a way for people to really reach out to him. He just had words up on a web address. And, you know, that wasn’t enough. He needed to do more, to speak to his client a little bit better. And that’s where true circle jumped in and help them out with that.
Yeah, I’d say like, I’d say at least 75% I’m being generous of the websites that I see for therapists suck. I believe. I see about 70% of the websites I see from businesses are bad, right? Yeah. Period. So like online, people who are like entrepreneurs, people who want to have like, businesses, they want to sell stuff, and I’m like, why would I like
If your website looks janky I assume your businesses janky. Absolutely. Yeah. So, like it was a perfectly wonderful clinician, I met her on a retreat that I went to recently. She is a clinician in, you know, LA, my friend and was looking for a clinician in LA then I was like, well, I need her contact so I can connect them because I know that I met her. So I know her energy that she would be dope, like these two people would be dope for each other. But when she sent me her website, I was like, I can’t. Oh, yeah, absolutely.
Absolutely. Let me get her phone number. Let me just give her right now because no with that, what is this? So yeah, we have to we have to do better. No, no. And and I mean, you know, you couldn’t have said it better in terms of seeing someone and how you can also lose business. What about website? That’s how it was really bad. And this is a young lady, right?
Her energy is so dope like, She’s so dope.
And I didn’t reach out to her, but I’m gonna reach out I’d be like, Sis, can we? Yeah, oh my goodness, because that’s the key is that you don’t know about this. And that’s where, once again, you know, with true circle where we hope where you can look at web statistics and see who’s actually coming to your site, how many people visited your site, because, you know, when it comes to business, not alone, just therapy business, but business overall, it’s all about the numbers. And if you have people coming to your website, not hit your contact or not inquiring about your services and just leaving right away, that’s a telltale sign right there. You know, if I could give anybody a simple task to kind of see the, you know, success of their website is see if you have Google Analytics tied to your website, you know, they don’t I know, I know. That’s why I said they have to see because they know
but I don’t know about that Search Console. I don’t have your blogs up there. Popping
know they don’t know me how I don’t have my blog up there popping but guess what, I’ve done a ton of marketing. So like my traffic I’m actually the traffic on my Nikita Banks com site is better than it is on the black therapists podcast site. I get more organic searches from black therapists podcast and I get more impressions from this site. But because I’ve done a lot of interviews on Nikita Banks com site, my site is linked to higher ranking websites. So so they I would say they’re neck and neck but they’re neck and neck for different reasons. And Nikita Banks is a little bit I guess a little bit higher than black there because that that hurts my feelings a little bit because I work really hard on this podcast, but you and I know the reason why that was and resolve that issue right now. So it’s just like, you know, figuring out what Damn this is what my site is doing. This is what I want it to be doing. This is what my business is doing. This is what I want it to be.
Doing and being able to retarget everybody who is on your site and turning cold audiences into warm audiences into spending money with me. That’s what the any business that you have in the correct website that’s optimized and a proper marketing plan, working with a business coach I’m available would help to do those things. So you and I have some some online events that are going to come up soon. 20 2020 that’s early, early 2020.
And get those out. Life has gotten in the way because we were supposed to do a few things. But you know, what I love about the events that I’m doing online now, in terms of the coaching stuff is really being able to help give people concrete solutions that they could walk away from the the events with actionable steps, at least one or two that they can be able to put into practice immediately if you know for either free or low cost stuff. So I look forward to partnering up with you for those
Same here and I know you got a lot of listeners that may not be therapists mentioned it earlier in the conversation. But I do want to remind people that we do have a directory if you are listener that’s a non clinician or even clinicians and therapists that are looking for a therapist to help them with any problems or things they may be going through, you know, literally true circle is available at my true circle calm, where you can search our directory by the specialty of the therapists, the location of the therapist, and whether or not they take here and share it. So feel free to stop by the website and find a therapist. Okay, so if you are looking for a therapist or you are a therapist, you can get to sit on a directory.
If you are a therapist or just a business owner, right, because you build websites for everybody, right? Yeah, you can go get a website built for it. If you are a therapist and you are looking for virtual therapy.
The virtual therapy platform face to face platform that is stable, and gives you a stable connection and won’t shut down on you a freeze on your clients. You want to do therapy from anywhere? Where can they find you? They can find us at my true circle calm true is without an E. So that’s MYCRUCIRCO e.com. And they can find all the information about any help that they need on our platform. And we do have a contact form to make sure you can reach out to us and we can help you out.
Okay, well, thank you for coming on the show. Absolutely. I look forward to our partnership together. I’m excited for 2020 and you know, deliver anything sort of people. Okay, you know, I’ll be I’ll be calling you in a minute with a bunch of problems of course and vice versa. You get my clinicians out there nice main streets and mental health. So definitely will be talking. All right.
All right, take care now.
Okay, so we want to thank Lenny Carter for coming on the show and talk about utilizing technology in the business space as well as use the use of technology for clinicians of color. Okay, everybody, if you’re celebrating indigenous peoples day if you are celebrating Thanksgiving, whatever you want to call it, be grateful have a heart full of gratitude Take care of yourself, surround yourself with loving kindness bathe yourself in loving kindness and be thank you guys for listening to another episode of black therapist podcast. Once again you can follow us on all our social media sites at Black therapists podcast on Instagram and on Twitter as well as black in therapy on Facebook or you can follow your hosts me Miss ms in ik I think on Instagram and Twitter as well as you can find out any information about me at Nikita and ik it a bank calm and on this shows when
lack thereof, podcast calm and don’t forget if you want to send us any general feedback show suggestions show topic for guest ideas please feel free to drop us an email at Black therapist podcast at gmail. com Thank you be well