You went to school for an ungodly number of years and clocked a significant number of clinical hours to get where you are in your career. You studied well into the night: Things like attachment styles and therapeutic modalities and psychological disorders. Nowhere in any textbooks was there a mention of words like brand identity and therapeutic voice.
So, why on Earth are you hearing these terms so often now as a therapist at your own private practice? What in tarnation is a branding identity? Why does it matter?!
These are the burning questions that might be keeping you up at night, so we’re here to put them to bed. Having a captivating and cohesive brand is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making sure your marketing is polished and optimized to attract the ideal client, and we are sure to talk about it more in the future. But in this particular blog post, we’re going to give you the rundown on the gibberish that comes out of our mouths in your free phone consultation with us when you decide to get help with your practice.
Consider them your Cliff Notes.
7 Common Branding Terms
01. Brand identity: We’ll start with the big one. Your brand is so much more than a color scheme and a couple of fonts, and that’s why we like to take it a step further and call it your brand identity. Your brand identity encapsulates everything about you and your business that you wish to communicate with the world: Everything from the way you talk to your personality to the way your practice looks. It even includes your ethical code and the things you value most in your business.
02. Therapeutic voice: We use this one ad nauseum, and that’s because it is just that important. When we write your newsletters or social media copy, we don’t want to sound like Natascha and Maggie at The Revitalized Therapist. We want to sound like you because that’s who your ideal clients want to hear from! While your therapeutic voice includes your tone (i.e. informative, expert, personable, comical, etc.), it also includes common phrases or morals that run through your practice.
03. Ideal client: This is perhaps the buzz word of all buzz words. As a team of marketing virtual assistants helping you build your dream practice and make time for the things you love, we want to make sure we are attracting your ideal client. Think of it as the Prince Charming of your business— What sort of client would constitute your “happily ever after”? What person are you most equipped to help? What kind of person do you enjoy working with? Who sets your soul on fire?
Note: You’re allowed to be picky. You’re building your dream practice, remember?
04. Style guide/survey: Different companies use this phrase in different ways, but we use this to refer to the questionnaires we send you to get to learn more about you and your practice. Therapists come to us at all different points in their marketing journeys: Some have their brand locked in and want us to stick to it, while others are feeling a little lost at sea and need our help crafting a unique brand with integrity and purpose. Both of these landmarks are welcome, as are any landmarks in between (it’s what makes our job so challenging and exciting)! But this survey helps guide us to thoroughly communicate a brand that is true to your therapeutic voice and practice’s goals.
05. Vision: This might seem like common sense, but we often find that this gets confused with ‘goals.’ Vision is where the sky is the limit, whereas we like to think of goals as more tangible, broken down tasks— Where do you see your practice going if there were no limitations? What is your big passion? What would your practice look like if it supported you financially, but also spiritually, emotionally, and physically? Who is your ideal client and how do you best help them? How do you bring in passive income when the time is right?
06. Hex codes: When we are working to craft your brand, to include your color scheme, we can’t just know that you like blue and yellow. We have to know exactly what shade of blue will best encapsulate your brand identity (yes, it matters— a super pastel blue might not appeal to an adult demographic, whereas too bright of a blue might deter the ideal client seeking a calming and strong presence!). This is where hex codes come in: These codes, denoted by a pound sign followed by a combination of six numbers and letters, indicate the exact hue of a given color (i.e. the purest of whites is #ffffff).
07. Logo: Your logo is the visual mark that represents your business. A strong logo communicates your brand identity in a visual way. We also generally recommend that our therapists have differing (but congruent) logos for different things: For example, the logo at the bottom of your social media posts should be different than the logo at the top of your website or on the sign at your physical practice.
These are only a few of the branding terms that you might hear us use, but they are certainly the most common. Study up, and we’ll look forward to hearing what you learned in your free phone consultation!