July 4, 2023

Episode 19:

How to Create a Private Practice Brand with Julie Goldberg & Lindsey Freeman

In this episode, Julie & Lindsey will share how to create a private practice brand that leaves a memorable impression for your ideal clients.

Episode 19: How to Create Your Private Practice Brand with Julie Goldberg & Lindsey Freeman

Show Notes

Kayla: Welcome back to The Designer Practice Podcast, and I’m your host, Kayla Das. Branding is one of the least discussed topics of private practice, but it’s one of the main things that will help you start attracting clients naturally by making you and your practice memorable.

Today I’m sitting down with a dynamic duo, Julie Goldberg, private practice therapist and Lindsey Freeman, branding and website designer, and business owners of Templates by Pre-made to discuss how to create a private practice brand that leaves a memorable impression for your ideal clients.

Hi ladies. Welcome to the show. It’s great to have you here today.

Julie: Thanks so much for having us.


Kayla: So, I’m curious for each of you like knowing your journey and how you started Templates by Pre-made and just basically how you developed your partnership. So please tell us a little bit about yourselves, what you do, and who you work with. And let’s start with Julie.

Julie: Hi everyone. I’m a therapist in a private practice. I live in Philly, so I see clients virtually out of Philadelphia, but also out of Colorado. Cause I relocated from Colorado back to Philly where I’m from. And I really take a holistic approach to mental health. So, I do somatic EMDR therapy, weaving in my years of experience as a yoga teacher, meditation practitioner. I went to Buddhist grad school, and I really take that eastern philosophy and that approach in my practice, but make it applicable to Westerners. I’m an east coaster through and through. So, we’re not like chanting or doing any of that overly woo-woo stuff in sessions. But I do really weave in holistic mental health into my practice.

Kayla: Fabulous. How about you, Lindsey?

Lindsey: I’m Lindsey. I own a digital design studio based in Bend, Oregon called Play & Public I really love working with mental health practitioners. Julie actually found me through an astrologer I did branding for, which was really exciting. We did chant though before we started our project. But yeah, I really focus on making brands that actually reflect who you are. I think there’s so much branding out there these days that are just so bland. I’m like, who are you? I actually don’t know, because the branding just isn’t reflecting who you are. I think the worst part is when you hop onto a discovery call with someone, you’re like, wait. The personalities are so different from your website to who you are and sometimes maybe the website’s better than who they are or vice versa. So yeah, I really like to hone in on the core essence of the person and really try to reflect that through the visuals of their brand.

Kayla: Fabulous. So, tell us a little bit about when it comes to partnering together for Templates by Pre-made. Tell us a little bit about– well, first of all, what Templates by Pre-made is but also who you serve and really how you develop your partnership together.

Julie: So, I reached out to Lindsey after being deep in Instagram stalking of someone that she did an astrology branding website for. And my practice at the time was also still virtual, but kind of a mess. I had bought a website template off of some Google searching to have a website for my practice. And it was a template for bloggers.

So, I didn’t have any Squarespace experience at the time, but I kind of taught myself how to use Squarespace by purchasing that template because it was not relevant for my work at all. So, I had to do a lot of updating and it also didn’t feel like me. So, the colors were really like earthy and it felt more influencer-based, and there was nothing about being a holistic practitioner at all on my website.

And then I was getting not good referrals for my practice. So, I had a lot of marketing out for teens. And I was finding that I was getting a lot of teens in crisis, which I didn’t want to totally deal with. I also have a background in substance use and I was getting a lot of referrals for that, but it was hard to do high-risk substance use cases off of strictly virtual therapy.

And then I was getting people that would meet with me for a little bit. And then not continue, and it just didn’t feel like I was getting the right fit clients. And I was like, this is not me online. I know I need an online presence, but it doesn’t feel like I’m showing up as who I am out in the world and who I really bring in therapy sessions as well into it. There’s not that much of a separation between me as a person and me as a therapist. Obviously, I bring my professional skills, but I still want to show up authentically in sessions with clients.

So, I reached out to Lindsey after stalking and finding her on Instagram. And I had no idea what branding was. I was just like, these are cool visuals, and they’re fun and playful and I love her artistic abilities and I want to work with her. And we ended up working together just for my branding at first. So, she helped me find a mission statement. She helped me find a vision, a value prop, and then created all of these visuals that represented that in my practice. And it felt like a full body, absolute yes, at the end of it. And I was like, how could I not have a website that has all these branding materials in it? It felt so clear and of course, like I want to share these things with the world. After she created a brand that felt so authentically me. So that was in, I think my website launched in July of 2021 and I moved back to Philly and I really haven’t done any marketing since. I used to spend hours trying to teach myself SEO, trying to do Instagram, trying to do the right networking or posting in the right way. And now because my website really speaks to me, I feel super confident sharing it out with the world and then the right fit clients come back to me.

So, we took what we did together and the methods that Lindsey’s used that work so well in my practice and really weave those into the templates that we created. So, we have Squarespace templates for therapists that help you show up authentically as you and help you build a private practice brand.

Kayla: Fabulous. And I love that you talked about how your website is really an extension of you. And I always use the analogy of that, it’s your virtual office and if you want people to come into your office and you want them to feel welcome and to feel like that they know your vibe. You know, we spend so much time in making sure we have the best furniture, or the most welcoming pictures. And our website is basically that virtual office that we want to showcase who we are. So, I love that. And I know we’re going to get into that because that’s what branding is all about.

What is Branding?

So, let’s dig into what is a private practice brand? Because sometimes people say that it’s visual. Sometimes people say it’s the language and the tone. When you define branding, like what is branding overall?

Lindsey: Yeah, I think this is a great question because a lot of people don’t know. But basically, it’s all of it. It’s every touchpoint that your ideal client will come in contact with, whether that’s you in-person, on Zoom, whether that’s the website, a business card, a marketing material, a workshop like your brand is reflected throughout all of that, even if you don’t know it or not. So, being incredibly consistent is so important because it’s how you make them feel is what they’re going to buy, right? They need to know, like, and trust you right away. So yeah, it’s all of it and that’s what we really dive deep to in the brand therapy sessions that we do.

Julie: Before I worked with Lindsey, I was like, “I don’t need a brand. I’m not an influencer. I’m not a major corporation. Why would I need to brand?” And now I feel the opposite. I’m like, of course I need a brand. I have a business that provides individual therapy sessions. But how I do that is super unique to me, and that’s why people are choosing to see me. That’s the exchange and the business model that I’m doing. But they need to know how I show up in therapy sessions. And the only way to do that is really through my brand.

Benefits of having a Brand

Kayla: That makes complete sense. So, you sort of touched on this a little bit, but why is it important to have a brand?

Lindsey: Yeah. It’s very important to have a brand because A, you want to show up authentically to the world so then you can B, attract the right clients for you. Because there’s nothing worse than creating a business that’s supposed to be like the dreamiest, sexiest business of your life, to then be like, why am I feel so heavy and unaligned with the clients that are actually reaching out to me, right?

So, like the whole idea of what the branding is to get very, very clear on who you are. What you want to create. And who you want to attract. So, we really dive deep into the vision, mission, and value proposition. So, you can get really clear and then all of the copy and content, how you speak about your practice shows up online or in any touchpoint that your ideal client is at.

Kayla: What I love about that too is that one of the things I hear from therapists is, “I want to be authentic. I want to be myself.” Right? And I always use this analogy but we don’t want to show up as the used car salesperson, right? And that is not who we are. And as a result, we want to showcase ourselves authentically. And really, that’s what I’m hearing what this is about. It’s going back down to the values. Going back down to the mission, the vision and all of that.

Julie: Yes. We talk about this all the time. I hear so often therapists being like, I hate marketing. I don’t want to be salesy. And I get that it doesn’t feel great to be duped by capitalism in America. Or be sold a product that you don’t know you’re being influenced for. But as therapists, we have a skillset of being able to show up authentically. And the business that we’re providing truly makes the world a better place. It truly helps people. It is the opposite of buying a product because you were marketed it and you feel bad about it afterwards. It actually makes people feel good and it improves their lives. And people need to know that you exist. And if you want to be a therapist, you have to allow yourself to be seen by the world so people can actually choose to be with you.

And then for me, I don’t feel like I’m being salesy at all because like you were saying, I show up so authentically as myself. It’s actually like really easy for me to talk about my services, to talk about my clinical lens, to share my products out, my product being my website. But share my material and my branding out with the world because it feels so good and aligned with who I am that it doesn’t feel cringe or exhausting or tiresome at all, really. It feels like, of course, I want to share this out. I’m so proud of it and I so believe that it is helping the world rather than harming it.

Kayla: I think that’s a really good point because our clients want to find us. They know that the services that we provide are going to be beneficial and to help them overcome some obstacle that they’re experiencing. But by hiding and not necessarily having a brand and not being able to show up authentically is preventing them from finding us.

Julie: Yeah. And another thing that I’ve found in my practice since I really got clear on my brand is I do a lot less intake sessions so people stay with me longer and do deeper work. And then most of my consult calls book for sessions because they’re already reaching out to me knowing who I am. So again, I’m marketing, but it’s a lot less active marketing that I have to do.

When is the Right time to Start Investing in a Brand

Kayla: Makes complete sense. So, I know that there’s therapists out there saying, “I’m just starting out, starting my private practice. I don’t have a whole lot of extra income to invest.” So, when you think of therapists and coaches starting their private practices, when is the right time for listeners to start thinking about and investing in a brand and just branding in general?

Lindsey: Yeah. So usually, I start working with clients around year two or three. I feel like you don’t really have a good sense of who you are yet or who you want to work with yet until about year two or three. Like you just need more information to then decide, “This is actually who I want to be. This is how I want to show up. And these are the people I want to attract.” When there’s been times in the past where I’ve done branding and the full shebang when they first start out, and it always ends up changing or they end up completely shifting their niches in therapy. Which is fine, but then you have to reinvest and like you’re going to reinvent yourself and obviously everyone’s always reinventing themselves.

But when you can really get down to the core essence of who you are and do the work, then we can really set you up for the next five to 10 years versus the next six months. And that’s the whole goal of investing when you’re really ready to do it, year two or three. But in the meantime, don’t not do something because you don’t have branding. So, if you just need to put your name in a font, call it a day, that’s great. And just put up what you do that’s great. Like MVP, minimal viable product, that’s where we want to go because we need more of you guys in the world to show up and be you. But it doesn’t mean that you have to have the stellar brand right away to do that. You need to understand who you are, how you show up, and what differentiates you from your other private practice therapists and your competitors, right? So, then you can start calling in who you want.

Julie: And a really good way to do that low cost is we’re going to provide everyone with the Brand Therapy Guide. And we’ll talk about it at the end of this. But that guide really takes you step-by-step of working through who you are, how you want to show up, who your ideal client is, and then use that language on your website.

So, a good way to show up without investing any money is through your website copy. You can do that pretty quickly and easily, and if you have access to your website, you can change it whenever you want. You can keep your business and brand alive as you continue to grow. And you don’t have to spend any money on doing that.

Kayla: That’s a fabulous point that even when I think of like my say business coaching journey. I didn’t know when I was starting off what my, like val– well, I knew what my values were. But I didn’t know what my professional values were. I didn’t know what my vision was. And now I know them. It’s connection, collaboration, and value-first. And as a result, I show up with all of that. That’s why we’re here today. That’s why I do podcasts. That’s why I write blogs. And so really knowing who you are and how you want to show up not only helps the brand, but how you show up for your clients as well.

Love it. And you don’t need to know it right away. Because honestly, I think that trips some therapists up. It’s, I need to be like this person who’s been in practice for 5, 10, 15 years and they have an amazing brand.

Julie: That totally happened to me. Like I said, I had been working in schools before I started my private practice, so I was like, I’ll work with teens. Great. That makes sense. I’ll work with teenage girls. I’ll get even more specific. And I really got fixated on like niching down and making sure that all of my things spoke to teenage girls and it worked. I got teenage girls into my practice and then I realized I didn’t want to work with teenage girls. They actually weren’t my clientele. So I had spent so much time focusing on my niche that I actually stopped myself from, like experiencing who I wanted to work with.

So that’s a thing that we really incorporate into the templates. It’s like start really broad, so then you can continue to refine, and refine, and refine. And then like Lindsey was saying, and you’re saying Kayla, and then it gives you a vision for the next five to 10 years. But you don’t have to know that vision to get started. Just start.

Steps for Identifying Your Brand

Kayla: Great advice. So, let’s talk about starting. If someone wanted to create a brand, what might be the first steps that they would go through to start identifying what their private practice brand might be.

Lindsey: Yeah, that’s a great question. The biggest thing is going to understand your why, like why did you want to become a private practice therapist? Was it to help people? Was it because of the lived experience you had? Like really understanding the core essence of who you are in private practice is going to help be the umbrella, the vision that you always work towards. And then you start defining, with your mission statement, how do I get there? If this is my vision, this is the umbrella in which all decisions are made, how do I get there? Great. Your mission is you’re going to offer individual or couples therapy to teenage girls because we love them, don’t we? And we’re going to do it through somatic healing. Great.

And then you go into your value proposition, which is very much how you define exactly what you do. So, if anyone lands on your page or your website, they know exactly how you can help them, right? So, you’re doing individual therapy for teenage girls. Great. Make sure that’s one of the first things that they see because then it’s like, “Oh, you are someone who could help me. Great.

Then you go down and you start understanding, oh, what are the values of this therapist? What are their lived experiences? And like people want to see themselves within you. So just talk to your ideal client like a human. And that’s like the biggest takeaways, getting really clear on your why. Understanding your how you get there. And then sending it out to the world in a way that is so human. They’re like, I can’t say no to this person. I can only say yes. Does that make sense?

Kayla: A hundred percent. And I think you’re really speaking the language of many listeners, right? I always say, that therapists are the best marketers, and that’s because we already know the emotions, the feelings, the thoughts of our ideal clients. But sometimes when we have to write it down and put it on paper, It’s just a different language. But it’s not, it’s really who we are, whether we’re speaking it in spoken language or whether we’re writing it. It’s who we are.

Julie: I totally agree with that. And this is a little bit of a side note, but therapists are also great networkers. They know how to connect with people. They know how to ask good questions. They know how to make a person feel seen. And they don’t need to feel scared to network and reach out to people. And again, if you have a website they feel really proud of, after your network, you share it and then it continues to do the marketing work for you. But I think therapists often forget how many skills they have that make them really, really great business owners.

Kayla: Agree a hundred percent.

Lindsey: I would also like to add, it’s not even just private practice therapists. I feel like most people do not see themselves as like gifts to the world. And so it’s like cultivating the pause for a second. Just being like, What do I do? And if you just need to speak it out loud and record yourself talking about what is my why? Why am I here? Is it to help people? Is it to expand this perspective on wellbeing? Is it this or that? Just speak it out loud and then listen to yourself back. And then you can start writing it out.

But like it doesn’t need to be this stuffy process of like, “Ugh, this isn’t fun.” It can be so fun. It’s just like, how do you make it fun? I personally don’t want a business that’s going to be stuffy. I want to make sure I’m calling in really great people and clients to make this the dreamiest practice or design studio of my of my career.

Kayla: I think something else you just mentioned there is that we’re trying to build our own dream. And many therapists, and of course there is nothing wrong with this, but when we work in organizations, we’re actually building somebody else’s dream, right? In private practice, you can really design the private practice that you love to work in. And that comes back to the brand. That comes back to not just the visuals, not just the font you choose but to your values. All of those things really goes back to who you are, so you can really design the practice that you love and want to work in.

Showcasing your Brand

So, after a brand is created. So, let’s fast forward and say that we invested in a brand. We created one. How would a therapist or coach start showcasing their brand? Where do they showcase it and how do they showcase it?

Julie: So after I worked with Lindsey, she gave me a brand guide. And in that brand guide it had the vision statement that we came up with. It had my mission statement. It had my value prop. And it had my values as well. And I put all of that on my website. And then the brand guide also had visuals. So, the visuals were really fun graphics that Lindsey created with my brand fonts. And then the guide also has my fonts on there and all the colors that I want to use. And Lindsey and I worked together to make a cohesive visual experience for people.

And so I then hired her to help with my website as well. But you don’t necessarily need to do branding and website development together. You can just take the visuals and the design of your brand and then implement it on the things that you already have. So, we worked together and updated my website, made a whole new website. And then I updated my social media, so I had a different Facebook logo. I had a different LinkedIn banner. I run workshops for people as well, so I had different visuals on my PowerPoint slides. I had a different logo on my email signature.

And all of this, as I’m saying, it kind of sounds like a lot of work, but it actually was pretty seamless and like we’ve been saying, like I wanted to share it out with the world. I wanted to display all these things that really felt like me. And so, it was fun to update these things and I felt really proud of them at the end of it. And now if I’m doing something new, I have this document that I can go to and reference, “Oh, what colors do I want to use? What visuals do I want to use? How do I make sure that this is aligned with my values and my mission statement?” And it’s really easy for me to reference all of this. And this document is something that people can create on their own if they want. You can hire someone to work with, but a lot of this, especially with the Brand Therapy Guide, you can create your own resource.

Lindsey: Yeah. And I also just want to add too, I think the worst thing that you can do with branding is to be inconsistent across channels. And when I say channels, it’s everything that Julie just mentioned, website, social, LinkedIn, Facebook, business cards, workshops, presentations, like whatever. If you’re inconsistent across all of those, like people aren’t really going to know who you are or if it’s your work, they’re not going to instantly recognize that it’s your work. So, it is very important to have these guidelines so you’re not always guessing or buying a thousand templates.

I know Julie bought like a bajillion template and was like all over the place. So, it’s just when you have that one guide, you can send it to different designers wherever, and you can have other people create these assets or you can create them yourselves, whatever. But it just takes a guesswork of who you are and there’s so much clarity around how you show up out in the world.

Kayla: A branding guide I think is really interesting too because if therapists plan to expand their practices, so hire other therapists or hire marketing professionals or even an administrative assistant, they then have a guide that’s not just in your head. They actually have a tangible thing that they can now use when they are developing, speaking about, or creating content for your private or group practice.

Lindsey: Yeah, 100%. And you also have an entire folder you can just link to that has all the assets. So, everyone has everything in one place, which I love efficiency, so. Solid.

Kayla: Me too.

Julie: And I didn’t know about any of this before working with Lindsey at all. Again, I was like, “Why do I need a brand? What are assets?” I worked in non-profits before I went to grad school, and then I worked in clinical mental health settings. I didn’t get any of this training. But it’s so clear and makes so much sense, like you both are saying, like efficiency feels good. It allows you to make more grounded, rooted decisions and therapists shouldn’t stop sharing their gifts with the world because they don’t have access to these resources.

And one other thing that I’ll add is since we’ve been working on a Pre-made together, I have lots of therapist-friends, and I’m really realizing like the simple things that Lindsey is showing me the tools that she has, therapists just don’t even know that they exist. And so, we’re trying to make it a lot easier for therapists to access these things. Like it can sound really scary. “Oh my God, how would I make a brand guide?” “Oh my God, how do I gather my assets?” But they’re simple steps that you can do, and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. And it’s a big part of our mission, like we’re trying to help therapists feel more empowered to make these steps so they can do the work that’s so important and share their gifts with the world.  

Kayla: Fabulous. Yeah. I think everything that you’re sharing today is very relatable. And actually, the one thing that I take away from this is that you don’t have to necessarily brand right away. Of course, the goal and the vision is to. But really honing in on who you are because again, it’s not that you have to do all of this even before you opened your private practice doors. And people get overwhelmed by all of this.

How to Know Your Brand is Working

So, going back to my example that we have our brand created, therapists are now showcasing their brand. Now, how would a listener know that their brand is working and what do they need to look out for?

Julie: So, for me, I knew my brand was working because I was getting my ideal clients reaching out to me. I started doing less consult calls. I heard the feedback that my website really resonated with people and they loved the graphics. I don’t have someone saying, “Hi, I am looking for a CBT therapist,” because I’m not a CBT therapist. I’m an EMDR somatic therapist, and that’s what people reach out for. And I really make that known on my website so people. Should look for congruency in their practice, right? Are my ideal clients reaching out to me? Are these good fits? Am I doing less effort on marketing and having higher rates of conversion with the people that are reaching out?

Lindsey: Yeah. And I also just want to add, Julie and I have been getting a lot of feedback, for pre-made specifically. But in general, I think it’s a good lesson is, what are you getting back? Like the reflection of the feedback has been so like, “Wait, this is exactly what our mission pre-made, this is our exactly what we’re trying to do.” And it’s like when you start hearing that, it means that you’re really hitting a cord with your ideal clients. So also look for reflections in that way, DMs, emails, conversations, whatever. Just start listening to how people are defining and describing you as a brand, as a person. And I think that has so much knowledge and so many gold nuggets in and of itself.

Brand Therapy Guide

Kayla: Amazing. So, you referenced the brand therapy questionnaire. So, can you tell us a little bit about this freebie and how it can help therapists and coach when they are creating their private practice brand?

Julie: Yeah, we have a resource that Lindsey created or uses in her brand and website development that she used for me, to help me get clear on my brand, my mission, and my values. And it’s just a Google Doc with lots of questions where you can brain dump, you can write everything down. We have links to other resources, but it helps you get really clear on everything that we’ve been talking about. So the exact thing that I used when working with Lindsey and then we’ve. Just tweaked it a little bit to make it even more specific and relevant for therapists and coaches.

Lindsey: Yeah, and it really just takes you through your why, like your founder’s story, all of the goals that you want for your business. What is your brand’s story? And that goes into the vision, mission, values, and value proposition questions. And then who do you want to attract? Who are you utilizing all these goals for? And then also just being aware of who your competitors are so you can show up differently. You’re not saying the exact same thing as someone else. So, yeah, it just gives you a really good strategy to then move forward with all the visuals, because honestly, the strategy is the most important, in my opinion. Before you can move on into logos, colors, and fonds and all of that.

Kayla: Agree. So to sign up for Julie and Lindsey’s freebie, the Brand Therapy Questionnaire, check out kayladas.com/premadefreebie.

That’s kayladas.com/premadefreebie.

Or you can simply scroll down to the show notes and click on the link.


Julie and Lindsey, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to join us. It was great to have you on the show and to share with us these practical strategies for creating a private practice brand.

Lindsey: Thank you so much for having us. This has been great.

Julie: Thank you. This was so fun.

Kayla: Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s episode, and I hope you join me again soon on the Designer Practice Podcast.

Until next time, bye for now.

Podcast Links

Julie & Lindsey’s Free Branding Therapy Guide: kayladas.com/premadefreebie

Free Boosting Business Community: facebook.com/groups/exclusiveprivatepracticecommunity

Premade Squarespace Website Template: kayladas.com/templatesbypremade

Use Coupon Code EVASPARE15 for an additional 15% off regular price.

Credits & Disclaimers

Music by ItsWatR from Pixabay

The Designer Practice Podcast and Evaspare Inc. has an affiliate and/or sponsorship relationship for advertisements in our podcast episodes. We receive commission or monetary compensation, at no extra cost to you, when you use our promotional codes and/or check out advertisement links.

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