📣 How to build a movement
Welcome to the seven new subscribers who have joined since last week. 100 people are reading today’s newsletter. If you’re reading this but haven’t subscribed, subscribe here.
I’m excited to share an interview today with featured Therapy Marketer Dr. Lawrence Jackson. In addition to being a couple and family therapist, Dr. Jackson is the founder of The Black Male Therapist, LLC and the creator of #BlackTherapyFridays, a popular weekly Instagram video series.
I spoke to Dr. Jackson about what he’s learned from building a movement to promote mental health in the Black community. Please enjoy.
How did you come up with the idea for #BlackTherapyFridays?
I came up with the idea #BlackTherapyFridays a couple years ago. It was first just an opportunity for my friends to ask me questions related to the field and I would reply with “academic answers” that were informative yet relatable. After a while, one of my friends reached out to me and suggested that I pick a day when everyone could ask me questions and “tune in” to my responses. I had the most free time on Fridays since I was still a student, so Friday became the day.
I came up with the slogan Black Therapy Fridays thinking about “Black Friday,” which helps companies who are in the “red” return to the “black.” I figured since my responses to the questions often were supportive and helpful for everyday life that Black Therapy Fridays was an excellent fit.
I kicked off the concept on my personal Twitter account going back and forth with tweets, and eventually started creating videos and posting them on Instagram shortly after. As I started receiving solid feedback, I wanted a way I could connect deeper to my audience and that’s where the topic specific videos came into play.
Now Black Therapy Fridays is a campaign that helps people struggling with their mental health receive tools and resources to improve their situations. #BlackTherapyFridays comes in a few different forms. Sometimes I host an Instagram Live discussion with diverse professionals of color describing their experience and mental health, other times it is an opportunity for me to simply answer questions my followers may have, other times it is me posting videos I have created to provide support related to the needs of my community.
I’ve been overwhelmed with so much support I recently launched a clothing line to further promote the brand and normalize conversations about mental health through the use of fashion.
What has worked to grow your audience on Instagram? What hasn't worked?
I have noticed that creating content consistently is helpful to growing your audience. For instance, If you are putting good content out there, people are going to share it, which further increases your visibility. I also noticed when I do interactive posts and encourage my friends to share them that I increase my reach as well.
Additionally, I try to discuss relevant and current topics and use hashtags that help get my message out there. I take into account what is happening in society and try to create videos and push content that is relatable and easy to connect with.
I also recommend asking your friends for support. Do not underestimate the influence you may have on your friend’s platforms! I don't mind asking or encouraging them to share certain posts to further help me get things out there. I honestly believe that has been the most beneficial to helping me organically grow my audience. It is also incredibly important to engage with your audience whenever you can.
When I think about things that have not worked for me, I think about paid sponsorships that increase your exposure, but not always to people who are genuinely interested in your content. I’ve learned that quality outweighs quantity every time, even in the world of social media where people are constantly seeking a large following and validation from their audience. I would say, consistency is key. It is super important to be consistent with your content, posts, and interactions overall.
Has your Instagram directly led to revenue?
I have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and now YouTube. I do believe that these platforms have led to me booking clients or others interested in my speaking or training events. What social media has been most helpful with is selling more merch with my clothing brand. I have realized that friends who receive merch help me out even more when they post about their latest purchase. It often leads to inquiring minds who checkout my website and then book sessions or speaking engagements. It doesn’t get more organic than that!
Has selling merch been a successful marketing strategy and/or revenue stream?
I believe selling merch has definitely been a successful marketing strategy and way of normalizing mental health. I work to create high-quality merchandise with powerful messages. I have had several friends tell me that they purchased the shirt because of me but wear it all the time or have ordered more merch because they love how the apparel feels and fits. I create top notch merchandise, so that my community can not only be inspired by the message on my products, but feel comfortable wearing my merch as well.
My purpose is to amplify the importance of mental health and normalize it in our communities. While I do end up making revenue, I tend to utilize it to make additional products and content possible or to provide reduced services/pro-bono work for people in the community. Approximately 15% of the net revenue goes back into the community.
In one sentence, why should people follow you on Instagram?
The purpose of @theblackmaletherapist and #BlackTherapyFridays is to share a piece of the PIE: Promote mental health awareness, Inspire youth, and Empower others. There is always a slice of PIE waiting for you!
Thank you to Dr. Jackson for sharing his story with us. Be sure to check out his website and tune in to #BlackTherapyFridays on his Instagram every week.
Do you know a therapist doing great marketing? Nominate them (or yourself) to be a featured Therapy Marketer by replying to this email. I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,