By Deborah Pearce
Branding covers a number of elements:
- How you portray yourself i.e. your photo
- Your logo and design of your marketing i.e. leaflets and adverts
- You!! You are your branding when you are a self-employed therapist
Now is the time to take some time. Consider who you are, what you do and who your likely client is going to be?
Lovely but not professional
Above all it should be professional. That makes a statement that you mean business. We have spoken with therapists who have spent as little as £60-£70 on a professional shot and been extremely pleased. We'd recommend you spend anywhere between £70 and £150.
Your photo should be warm, a smile is always good - remember you're starting the therapeutic alliance right here. So imagine someone stood behind the cameraman whilst your photo is being taken, someone with Mickey Mouse ears perhaps? Or think of something funny, such as your favourite comedian and what would be happening if they were stood behind the camera?
Warm and approachable
Watch out for the background, make sure it's suitable before you start - take a few test shots. Also, remember it needs to be low resolution if you load it to a website otherwise it'll slow down the pages loading.
Your photo is a large part of your business, it should appear everywhere possible, your website; your leaflets; your adverts. The more your photo appears, the more you get known, the more clients you are likely to get!
We both agree that we absolutely hate having our photo taken, but it is truly worth the pain - honestly!
In addition to what we covered about your logo on the 'Basics' page, you should consider the following when having your logo designed:
- Who are your audience, are they the general public or are you more likely to be appealing to the corporate market? This should be conveyed to the person designing your logo.
- What do you want to convey with your logo - relaxation, healing, change of mindset, strength etc.
- When you look at the options your designer gives you, consider do they 'fit' with your business and how you will appear to your clients? For instance, if your logo is sharp and strong, it might appeal to the corporate sector, if it's gentle and calming it might appeal to females etc.
Good times but not quite right for clients!
You don't want your branding to give the impression of being one type of therapist and then when the client arrives they are surprised as you are not what they expect.
Most importantly of all, you are your company! Debs and Nic go into this quite a bit on their DVD. For instance, when you walk into a supermarket, if one of your clients is with a friend and nudges them to say "there's my therapist who's really good..." but you walk in looking as though you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, then is that friend likely to approach you?
We're not saying that 24/7 you have to go around with a constant smile on your face, but do be more aware that you are conveying an impression of how you would be in a session with your client - even when you are queuing at a supermarket checkout!!
Professional and caring