Case Stdy from employee to booked out private practice

Gail Bennell’s From Employee to Booked Out Private Practice

Watch this short interview with Speech Pathologist Gail Bennell who shares how she used video to position herself with a specialist brand and attract her perfect clients. An inspiring story that starts with Gail as a full-time employee, graduating to part time in her own business, to full time and replacing her previous income with work she loves. Then Gail moves to an entirely new state and fills her books within 2 weeks and now has a waiting list. It all started with video.





Janet Beckers: Hello everybody, Janet Beckers here from Cool Cats Video Marketing Academy. I’m really excited today because I have got one of my favorite client with me, Gail Bennell. Gail is this wonderful woman that has just taken action and I really wanted to share her story with you today because Gail is a person who has started off as being an employee and by taking action on using video she’s been able to now progress through to being absolutely booked out in her own business. It’s such a fantastic story. Gail, it’s wonderful to welcome you here.

Gail Bennell: Thank you Janet.

Janet Beckers: Gail, you are a speech pathologist, is that right?

Gail Bennell: Yeah, that’s right.

Janet Beckers: You started working with me with video. What drew you to using video in your business.

Gail Bennell: I’m a speech pathologist and at the time I was living in a very rural area and I work exclusively with people with disabilities who can’t communicate. It’s quite a small group of people and in a small area there’s not the bulk of clients and I knew that I could offer TeleHealth or Skype type consultations with people but there was no way for them to get to know who I was before they met me. It’s quite a new way of working as well.

I wanted to use video as a way to build that relationship with people so they could get to know me and trust me and know that what I had to offer would work for them or not. Then I could make a really good choice about whether this working with me in the way of working, would be right for them.

Janet Beckers: When you started you were actually an employee in a hospital, weren’t you? You hadn’t started your own business yet …

Gail Bennell: No, I’ve had ideas of starting a business but had no idea where to start.

Janet Beckers: Yes. To me, from the outside it seemed to happen in a nice progressive way but quite quickly. You started using video, then what happens next? You were able to start transitioning into your own business weren’t you?

Gail Bennell: Yeah. As part of using video and doing the Me TV program, that gave me the opportunity to start to clarify what I did and who I did it for, and to get a lot of confidence in what I did as well, so that I could feed confident as a business owner so I could offer those services I previously offered, eventually for free through a government funded model.

Then, I guess I was pushed a little bit because I moved across the state and I didn’t have as much employment as I had had so I was kind of pushed into the, “I really have to do something now.” Having the videos as the background, building me up and my reputation and my confidence, really gave me the push and the platform to be able to start out really confidently.

Janet Beckers: That’s fantastic. You launched up a TV program. Short videos. It was called Speechy TV, wasn’t it?

Gail Bennell: Yeah.

Janet Beckers: The thing that I found with that is when you were telling me about Speechy TV is that you actually haven’t produced any videos now for a few years, have you?

Gail Bennell: No. I’ve moved a couple of times and haven’t found myself back into it. What I’ve found is that I can go to conferences and other professionals know who I am and want to come up and meet me and talk to me because they know the work that I do and that it’s aligned with what they do or they’re interested in learning more about how I do video and produce posters at conferences on what I’ve done. So I share what this is and how it works.

Also, I’ve moved again across the mainland in Cambria and now I’ve got clients who’ve met me through those videos, calling me and saying, “I’ve just discovered you’re in Cambria. Can I work with you, you’re the right person for me.” They know that because I’ve been talking to them for over a period of years on my video that they know that what I’ve got to offer meets their needs.

Janet Beckers: That’s fantastic. You had a concentrated effort of creating great videos on a regular basis for your clients. Then you’ve been able to focus on other things and yet those videos still keep on working for you. They’re still acting to build those relationships. To act as a sales machine for you.

When you moved to Canberra you … I love this story that you’ve gone from being an employee to have I got the confidence to go out on my own. Tell us what happened when you moved to Canberra with your client base.

Gail Bennell: So when, I moved to Canberra and before I moved, I contacted a lady who was another speech pathologist working here who had met me because of the videos I had done and met me at a conference. She had come up to me to meet me. I contacted her just to find out what was happening in the area and who to contact for clients and I think almost entirely because of her she put the word out that I was moving here because she trusted that what I did could meet the needs of the clients that she was seeing as well.

Within two weeks I had to stop taking referrals and seeing new people because I was not only full but had a list of people waiting to see me that I physically didn’t have time to see. It was really quite amazing. I really think without the Speechy TV none of that would have happened. It would have been a hard slug of putting my name out there, people getting to know me slowly. It just happened so fast. It was quite amazing.

Janet Beckers: That’s fantastic. Congratulations to you, Gail. You obviously know your stuff and you help your clients. You have a good reputation. The thing I loved about the videos that you’ve made is that they’re very relaxed and warm and welcoming. They’re also really good content. You know stuff and your deliver in a way that is really warm. That’s the power of using the video which I just love. It’s interesting how you say that you’re now presenting at conferences. You’re talking about using video in you business. That’s a lovely full circle isn’t it.

Gail Bennell: Yeah, it is, you’re right, and such a pleasure to help other professionals. To be able to expand what they do in marketing in a way that isn’t sales-y or cheesy or it doesn’t feel right with the type of profession that we are. It really fits in with who we are. My videos are educational. They help people. They help you get to know me. That’s the power of them as opposed to other sales methods that people perceive as being quite sales-y or in our profession we are actually prohibited from using things such as testimonials because they’re restricted in the health profession. They’re a really great way to let people get to know what you do and know the difference between me and a speech pathologist and somebody else who does something slightly different or works in a different way.

Janet Beckers: That’s a really good point that you said about there are restrictions in using testimonials. There will be a lot of people who are watching this video that will be in a similar sort of situation. This allows you to build that sense of trust that you could get through a third party endorsement that comes through a testimonial.

Very excited for you, Gail. What’s on the rising now for you?

Gail Bennell: Ahm well Apart from continuing with my very busy practice. I’m really looking forward to being able to help health professionals do better things in their business. As health professionals we’re not trying to do business we’re trying to do the business of helping people. Help people build really thriving practices that are good for their clients and good for themselves as well, that helps them have a really good balance and not get burned out, which is easy to do as health professionals. We’re constantly giving and helping and doing for other people to build a business that not only lets us to that but lets us support ourselves so that we can be at our best, so we can give our best all the time.

Janet Beckers: You know what I love about what you just described there, is I can tell that you know your turf for this next phase of your business as well. I can feel that you know them and that also comes across when you’re doing video.

We were talking before we got on the interview here, one of the things that you wanted to make sure people understood with video. That’s quite a nice segue how beautifully you were able to describe how you help people. There was a tip that you wanted to give people who were looking at using video.

Gail Bennell: The biggest thing that I learned from video … which was a surprise for me because I was all about building connection is the reason why I started … Was that it really helped me get to know what I did, because I had to think about it and say it concisely in 3 minutes or less but also who I was helping with it. I had to get really clear on what it was they wanted to know and what would help them the most. Every time I would speak to a client I would finish up and think, “How can I use this experience I’ve had with this one person to support the other people that are in my tribal community. To be able to help them and take that so it’s not just helping one person but expand my reach so that I can help more people. My profession and my instinct is to help as many people as I can.

And Through the videos, it let me do that even better by knowing not only what I had to offer and what was unique about the things that I knew the people that I knew so they could work better with their children and around communication. Also, who they were and what they needed to know the most and how they’d respond best to it because as health professionals we’re taught this very ridged academic style of interacting with people and to build that connection, which we do beautifully when we’re working directly with people. It’s hard sometimes to take that away from writing little reports and how we communicate, to make it really personal and friendly, in a way they can understand.

Janet Beckers: That’s a really good point. I actually noticed that with you. You are very good at sharing in our private Facebook group, your thoughts and your lessons as you were going along. I can remember very distinctly how you were getting clearer and clearer with every set of videos you made on what it is that you do and how do you get the results. How do you help people. And then I could see you … It was like light glow moments every time you created a batch of videos then I could see how you started to use that in your marketing as well. That’s a really good point to share with people. Thank you for pointing that out.

Gail Bennell: It’s actually why I do video over writing blogs or anything because I can’t write in the way that I can speak. I can write in academic with jargon and long sentences but it just doesn’t connect with people. To me, being able to speak and be who I was and as I am with clients when they’re in the room with me … Just to be able to do that on a video transformed the way that I was able to do that and feel authentic. I was being me. Authentic is the way I want to be seen not as someone who can only write in academia.

Janet Beckers: You do it beautifully, Gail. If people would like to connect with you I’m sure that there will be some people who are in your industry who would love the opportunity to talk with you further. What’s the best way for people to contact you?

Gail Bennell: The best way is to jump on my website, Janet, you’ve got to put a link up because that. Jump on my website, there will be a way to connect with me there. I would really love to speak with you guys.

Janet Beckers: Thank you so much, Gail. Everybody, as you can see, the lessons for you that you can take from Gail is, even if you’re not super-duper clear about what’s unique about you, if your business is still quite embryonic or even if it’s at the stage where it needs to get clear and start to connect, you can start now and you’re through actually taking action you’ll get clearer and clearer. The results will come step by step. Next thing you know you’ve gone from being an employee to totally booked out with a waiting list and being sought out by your peers. It’s just a process of being a couple of years that that this whole thing has happened. Big lessons for everybody. I hope that’s helped you. Thank you so much for your time again, Gail.

Gail Bennell: Thank you, Janet.

Janet Beckers: Okay, bye.

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