In this episode, Ajay will be speaking with Rosana Lamontagne, owner and therapist at 4th & Grove Counseling Services in Sewell, NJ and providing his valuable insights on how she can effectively market her new telehealth-based practice and get a continuous flow of patients.
Rosana Lamontagne is an approved clinical supervisor, licensed professional counselor, and certified bariatric counselor in Sewell, New Jersey with 18 years of clinical psychotherapy experience. She received graduate degrees in mental health counseling from Seton Hall University, holds an addictions counseling certificate, and is pursuing her PsyD. in Behavioral Health Leadership at Walden University. She seeks to help others who have experienced trauma by learning to cope in healthy ways, increasing motivation, and getting things done to live the life they desire.
Ajay Prasad: Great, great. So, Rosana, before we go to your questions just for my audience do you mind just give us a quick background in terms of what you are doing so that they will know why you are asking these questions?
Rosana Lamontagne: Okay. I’m Rosana Lamontagne. I’m a licensed professional counselor in the state of New Jersey. I’ve been practicing therapy for about 18 years. Right before the pandemic started in February, I decided to open my own private practice. I didn’t know what was coming in March.
Ajay Prasad: None of us knew. So, don’t feel bad.
Rosana Lamontagne: No. None of us knew what was coming up. So, really just transitioning from a mental health practice. I started off in the office in February, and I had to quickly transition to telehealth. So, that’s where I am. I’m a therapist, and right now I practice my counseling all via telehealth video.
Ajay Prasad: Mm-hmm. Okay. So, that’s what you are doing, and do you have any specific area of specialization or tell me what exactly telehealth you are doing?
Rosana Lamontagne: Okay. So, yes, my specialty is trauma counseling. So, I specialize in helping women mostly, but I do have some male clients with processing trauma. I also have a specific niche in bariatric psychiatric evaluations.
Ajay Prasad: Oh okay. Good. And so, you are saying that last year since you started your own practice, you have been doing telemedicine. Correct?
Rosana Lamontagne: Yes, mm-hmm.
Ajay Prasad: And how were you getting these patients for your consulting? How did you get them just so we understand what you are doing?
Rosana Lamontagne: Everything has really been online. I haven’t gone through insurance. So, all my clients are private pay. So, they would find me on Google or I have a website. They’d find me on Psychology Today, or Therapy Then, things like that.
Ajay Prasad: Okay. Perfect. So, now, we totally get it. So, you have been actively marketing. And do you want to stay with the telehealth or do you want to start seeing the patients in person?
Rosana Lamontagne: I really enjoy telehealth. I feel like it gives me a lot of freedom. It also helps not to have to pay an overhead as far as the office space. So, I find it very convenient, also being a mom at home helps as well. So, I’m going to stick with telehealth as my way of practicing.
Ajay Prasad: Perfect. Okay. Okay, now we have the background. So, let’s launch into your questions.
Rosana Lamontagne: Okay. All right. So, my first question is I do receive a good amount of client referrals from like Psychology Today, like online, but I find that it can be a little challenging marketing telehealth counseling just because it’s really new for a lot of people as well, and I’m not under insurance. So, like what are the best ways to market me as a therapist that does telehealth.
Ajay Prasad: So, you know, what you are doing is some of the best things you are already doing, which is advertising on the internet, Google, Facebook. You are already there, and you are already advertising. So, you are doing now. I have not checked your website. You have to excuse me. Because you are doing telemedicine, telehealth, and most of people will be finding you through your website. So, you have to make sure your website is very specific that you are No.1, what is your focus, which is trauma counseling and bariatric psychology. So, that is the first thing. And the second is that you are doing telehealth and what are the benefits of it because I think that your area is probably the best area when it comes to telehealth whether it’s someone you are talking to in person or by phone. It’s a much easier transition I would say. But the website needs to be very specific about what you are doing, your experience so that people feel comfortable. So, that’s one thing that I would do, and you may already be doing that. As I said, I haven’t had a chance to look at your website. So, that’s the thing.
And then outside of that, I would also suggest that you can reach out to the referring physicians I call them. So, for example, if you are talking about bariatric surgery approval, the psychological examination for that, then all the surgeons, bariatric surgeons, obviously have a vested interest when the patient comes in to get the evaluation and approval done so that they can perform it because otherwise, I’m fairly sure that without approval, they won’t get paid by the insurance companies. And the same thing for trauma counseling, you know better who would be the target audience, who could be the referring physician. So, that is also one of the best things that I always suggest that people can do is you find the partners where there’s a vested interest on both sides so it becomes like a win-win relationship.
So, that’s one thing that I would say if you are not doing that. And you can take a very proactive approach to it. So, literally, if you can have a list of bariatric surgeons and if your limitation is New Jersey, then you say okay, everyone in New Jersey and literally starts to introduce yourself so that they know that okay I can send someone who is there for approval to Rosana. So, that would be my additional suggestion.
Rosana Lamontagne: Okay. I have a question in relation to that. I’m an introvert. So, I feel like that’s one of my biggest challenges like I know that’s something that I need to do for my business, but I’m wondering what is the most effective way to reach out to maybe some of these physicians or doctor practices as an introvert because I reached out via mail. But that didn’t get any results. So, what do you suggest as far as marketing in that fashion for an introvert like me?
Ajay Prasad: I will tell you for introverts, then digital is the best thing invented. I am an introvert too believe it or not. And so, I know exactly what you are saying. One thing about doctors, any time when you are reaching to someone where there is absolutely first-time introduction the consistency becomes very important since you have emails and everything. So, first thing first is you want to make sure that if anyone gets interested, they have all your information. So, if you look at what patients are looking for, they want to No. 1 make sure that you are qualified. They want to make sure that you have a good online reputation. So, make sure that you have a good online reputation, and you have almost that you can tout. You have an online reputation, and you can send it to them, the doctors, or the patient. In one shot, they should be able to see okay, people are saying really nice things about Rosana.
And after that, there are a couple of things. So, first thing, you want to start sending a newsletter, which is informative. You are not selling. So, that way you are in front of the doctors regularly. It’s a reminder to them that you exist, and the other thing that I would definitely suggest is maybe you do some webinars. Now, the good thing about webinars is you know the right topic that would be of interest in the medical community. And you would be surprised something that is the most common to you is like your referring physician may not even be sure about. So, you have some webinars and record them. Being an introvert, you may feel uncomfortable doing it live, which is not a problem. Again, not a big one. You can pick one topic. You can have 10 minutes, 12 minutes that you have recorded, and all you do is I will tell you about this. And after that, I will open up for questions. So, that way you don’t have anyone trying to jump in the middle. And you can just play the recording.
People could be asking on the chat line the questions and then later on you open it. And don’t worry about it that in the first time no one comes up because you can start to post those webinars and through constant reminders, you would start to have a following. So, the big thing since you’re looking for a referring physician, the big thing that you need to do is to make you a standout. They will feel very comfortable sending it to you. And so, that’s what I would do if you already have a good web presence. You are already advertising. There are six or seven websites that people check, the web platform that people check reviews. You have Google. You have Facebook. You have Yelp. You have Health Grades. You have WebMD, Vitals. There’s another one that’s escaping me.
So, you are just wanna make sure that you are consistently getting reviews on those. So, that is going to be a very big piece of building credibility instantaneously with these referring physicians because naturally, they don’t know you. Since they don’t know you, they can’t send their client to someone that they are not sure about. So, that’s how you do. You get in front of them. Newsletters really help. When you are doing flyers or emails, again, it is not something that you can build upon. You can keep on sending emails and flyers and get your name on top of it. But if you are doing newsletters and now on your website you have a series of newsletters that you are showing up. And you are doing a webinar, and all those webinars are posted, anyone who comes to the website, will know that okay this person is the expert.
So, now, digitally, you can build your profile online. And that’s what I would suggest. Just build your profile through your website by adding more material there, reaching out to the physicians through newsletters, and obviously, you will email them about the webinars. So, that way you are constantly in touch with them. And by the way, when you said you have sent emails and mail flyers, how often do you do that?
Rosana Lamontagne: I only did that one time. I didn’t do it consistently.
Ajay Prasad: Okay. So, in any marketing that you do, consistency becomes very important. That’s why you see on TV, they keep on advertising the same thing because there has to be a certain number of impressions before it registers. And the flyer challenge is doing the doctors ever see it because it goes to the front desk. And the front desk does they throw it away and how do you do that? We have suggested to our clients for example marketing to medical offices to FedEx something. Obviously, you don’t want to FedEx a flyer. There has to be more material to it. But getting in front of the provider is tough. Email is probably better because people won’t be checking email. Flyers will be more difficult. If you want to do direct mail, maybe just address it straight to the doctor/confidential. Stamp it on top so that maybe the front desk will say send it to the doctor. But there needs to be more of a strategy and then you need to be consistently doing that. That the impression becomes very important.
Rosana Lamontagne: Okay. Thank you.
Ajay Prasad: And Rosana, I am assuming you are doing it for 21 years so you already have a great online reputation. But check it. Make sure that on all the websites you have reviewed and some of them are recent. By recent, I mean six months or sooner. So, that’s one thing I would do. And also if you don’t have on something, then maybe you can request some of your patients to go on and write a review there on that particular site. But typically, people like to read 10 reviews, believe it or not, of healthcare providers. So, you want to make sure that you have at least 10 reviews on most of the sites, which means a lot. Now, you are talking seven sites. If you are to get 10 each, you are looking at 70. And it builds over a period of time. So, don’t worry about it if you don’t have it. But that should also be an ongoing effort on your end to again make you start to stand out.
Rosana Lamontagne: Okay, definitely. I like the email. A lot of good advice here. Thank you. I appreciate it.
Ajay Prasad: You’re most welcome. Okay. Any other questions you have?
Rosana Lamontagne: Those were my main ones. I do have a question in relation to like I get a lot of people from Psychology Today, but they mostly want to pay through insurance. But I’m an out-of-network provider so I look for people to pay cash during their session. So, what suggestion do you have in relation to being able to get the type of clients that I’m looking for?
Ajay Prasad: Perfect. Literally, I jotted down some bullets but you really want to formulate exactly what kind of people will come to you. So, if you are doing out of network, and everyone is paying cash, and you already have people come to do, you need to create a profile of your ideal client just typically. And you can go back to some of the ones that are there. Is it age? Is it gender? Is it an income group? Is it a location where they are? So, the more you understand that you can start to target where those kinds of people are. It could be on Facebook, and social media platforms, by the way, it really helps you narrow a target so long you know who you target it.
Literally, if you want to only target school teachers, you can do that on Facebook for example of Instagram. In your case, Facebook is probably the better, I would say, medium. So, first thing first is you need to really make a list and say okay. As you said, it’s mostly female. I know you said once in a while you get a male. Don’t worry about males. Once in a while, they will get it. So, you already know they are female. And then, just go back to your past clients who have paid cash and see who they are. And you really want to start to see maybe there is age group, maybe there’s an income group, maybe the profession. Get all that listed and then you can really narrow target on Facebook.
You can also narrow target on LinkedIn if that particular area is there or not. My challenge with LinkedIn looks like that they are so focused on the job placement that many people are not looking on LinkedIn other than connecting with the people and looking for a job. But having said that, if you have a large group on LinkedIn that you have connected with, then you can share with them also. You can use LinkedIn to connect with your referring physicians and Facebook you can target directly to your audience. But obviously, you need to be very specific in your mind about who we are targeting otherwise you will end up wasting a lot of money on Facebook and then you don’t even know. If it did not work, you have no idea why it did not work, or even if it’s working, you don’t know how you can make it more efficient.
So, the first thing is to make it really narrow. If it just so happens that six of the 10 clients that you have were school teachers, in the beginning just target school teachers. Don’t worry about other four that were in different professions, nursing, banking, or here and there. The more narrow it could be just the white-collar. But just take look at your customer profile, and then you can target. Now, this is one thing I like. There are not many things that I like about these social media platforms, but in terms of marketing, they are very effective.
Rosana Lamontagne: Okay. So, when you talk about Facebook are you talking about actually running ads?
Ajay Prasad: Yes and by the way, Facebook you can run an ad. You can test it literally for $100.00 and you will start to know how it is working. So, Facebook when you narrow the target it’s not expensive to run.
Rosana Lamontagne: Okay. Thank you. I got some good information here, a good start.
Ajay Prasad: Okay, good. Anything else that I can help you with?
Rosana Lamontagne: I feel like those are the main questions that I had.
Ajay Prasad: Okay, good, good. So, hopefully, this was helpful. Hopefully, for my podcast audience, it was helpful. I have made it different because I want you to ask me about your problems because I am assuming that given all the people like you in the healthcare field, they all have essentially similar problems like you have that they are trying to solve. So, you had some really excellent questions, and I hope that my answers were helpful, and I hope that my audience will also find it helpful.
Rosana Lamontagne: Yes, thank you very much I appreciate it.
Ajay Prasad: Okay, thank you very much, and good luck with your practice. I hope that this year you are seeing the changes. If anything you know that COVID had made telemedicine much more acceptable in the eyes of clients. So, there’s always a silver lining.
Rosana Lamontagne: Yes, there is. Yes, there is. I agree.
Ajay Prasad: Okay. All right. Thank you, Rosana. Very good talking to you.
Rosana Lamontagne: Thank you. Hi. So, my name is Rosana Lamontagne, and I’m a licensed professional counselor in the state of New Jersey. I practice therapy via telehealth only, which is telehealth online video counseling in the state of New Jersey. Our practice focuses on trauma counseling for women as well as bariatric psychological evaluations. To reach me to set up an appointment, you can give me a call at 856-441-5216 or you can visit my website www.4thandgrovecounseling.com. And through my website, you can also schedule an appointment for a free consultation. Thank you.
Speaker:Thank you for listening to this episode of the Founder’s Corner podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate and follow us on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and Sound Cloud. If you are interested in being a guest, be sure to visit our main page at www.gmrwebteam.com/thefounderscorner