Stephanie Jeret is a professional speech-language pathologist who specializes in articulation disorders, receptive/expressive language disorders, and fluency disorders. We interviewed Stephanie about her experience setting up a practice – Speak with Stephanie – and the benefits she’s reaped since building a website with the industry-leading website builder, Wix.
We discuss how the business has developed since its creation, the importance of collaboration and connection, and how Stephanie generates fresh content ideas for the practice.
“As an SLP, I wanted to broaden my reach for clients and, therefore, decided building a website was my next step.”
“I graduated with my Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology and after working in both the skilled nursing facilities and school sectors, I decided to start a private practice – Speak with Stephanie. I wanted the opportunity to work with individuals of all ages, rather than just in a school or adult setting. I also wanted some flexibility in my scheduling which a regular 9AM-5PM job would not lend. My 18-month-old son really enjoys the extra time he spends with me, mostly because he gets to go to farms, water parks, and gardens.
I love waking up in the morning servicing a wide range of individuals with different communication challenges. My clients are consistent unless I have new ones, and therefore my weeks look pretty similar, but from day to day, I get variation.
Something that sets my practice apart is the collaborative approach I take with each of my clients. I believe in working as a team with parents, family members, teachers, and other therapists to provide the best possible environment for success.”
“As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I knew what services I could offer. When I started, I offered speech services in the areas of articulation (speech production), developmental and acquired language disorders (including learning disabilities and aphasia), fluency (stuttering and cluttering), and voice therapy. I currently also offer executive function coaching as I have since been trained in this area and feel confident providing those services to clients. It is very possible I may offer additional services in the future.”
“I tried to limit expenditures when beginning my practice and spent a lot of time learning how to do things by myself or asking for help from family and friends. Of course, this was time-consuming and, therefore, I faced many challenges along the way. I didn’t know whether to create an LLC or a PLLC, I didn’t know anything about creating a logo, and I certainly did not know how to broadcast my company.”
LLC stands for Limited Liability Company and offers business owners liability protection, meaning the member isn’t responsible for any company debt or legal trouble – the company is treated as its own entity and takes responsibility. A PLLC stands for Professional Limited Liability Company and is specially designed for individuals who carry out professional services, such as doctors or lawyers, since there are certain requirements that must be met.
“While I do not have a content strategy in place for my blog, I tend to write about questions I am asked by parents or friends who have loved ones or are personally going through challenges with communication. I also sometimes hear advice others are given and if I have strong feelings about it, I write about it. For example, I recently heard a friend of mine share that her paediatrician recommended she implement the “wait and see” approach with her daughter who was not talking. To me, the “wait and see” approach should never be used as “waiting and seeing” can further delay a child’s language. I decided to write about it and ended up publishing my work beyond my blog.
Social media is important for probably most businesses, including mine, and one of my goals this year is to post more on social media. I have a Facebook account, which I’ve never used, and I should create an Instagram page.
This will certainly boost opportunities for potential clients to see my website.
Social media is very time-consuming, but it’s a great way to get your brand out there. I am not sure if I could admit this, but sometimes I feel too old for social media; however, I know I need to step it up in that area!”
“As an SLP, I wanted to broaden my reach for clients and, therefore, decided building a website was my next step. While I took a C++ course during my undergraduate studies, that was as far as my coding knowledge went, so I opted for a website builder that required no knowledge of coding.
When asking colleagues, I was told to use Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix, in that order. So I made a free account with each of these platforms. Although cost was a factor, my main goal was to have a visually aesthetic website that was easy to create.
While Weebly was the most affordable, I wasn’t satisfied with their templates, so I opted not to use that platform. When I looked at Wix, I was impressed by their template selection which offered customization options for both a mobile device and computer. In addition, they had a drag-and-drop option for symbols, icons, and text boxes, which on Squarespace was more restrictive. In addition, Wix provided extensive support in the area of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which was particularly beneficial for me.
Once I decided on Wix, I joined a Facebook group that allowed members to ask their own technical questions when building their website. Once I learned about Search Engine Optimization, I ended up buying the book “3 Months to No. 1: The “No-Nonsense” SEO Playbook for Getting Your Website Found on Google” by Will Coombe. I highly recommend that book! It is not geared towards Wix, but it was helpful in my journey nonetheless.”
Speak with Stephanie Website Gallery
Reaching New Clients
“While I am not an SEO expert, many new clients have found me online by looking up “speech therapist near me” or “stuttering speech therapy near me” on Google. Once they get to my Wix page, they decide whether they want to contact me, and given how many people have reached out to me, I can confidently say that my website has been helpful in reaching many clients.”
Is Wix Worth It?
“For someone looking to start a website from scratch, I’d recommend looking at other websites in your field for inspiration! Next, I would create free accounts on a couple of platforms and see which one is best for you. Personally, I would recommend Wix for those with similar preferences and skills to mine; however, everyone has different needs.
I paid for the unlimited premium plan on Wix. When using Wix, some downsides are the occasional speed issues and the inability to choose a different template without having to start from scratch. But, I am currently very happy with Wix and do not plan on switching platforms in the near future.”
- Wix Pricing: A detailed look at Wix’s pricing plans
“If I could give my younger self advice about creating a business, I would say that not everything needs to get done at once. I was learning many different things in a short amount of time when I could have easily paced myself and given myself more “breathing time”. That being said, my son was not sleeping in his crib, so in order to stay awake, I was working on my Wix website at three or four in the morning. It was not fun and I was tired, but I did it in a short time frame because I only slept four hours a night (and for those four hours, my husband held him!).
For potential students interested in the field of speech-language pathology (SLP), my recommendation would be to observe those already in the field. As an undergraduate, I observed SLPs in the hospital and was so excited for a similar job after completing graduate school. However, graduate school gave me the opportunity to observe treatment in the paediatric field which I was equally excited about.
For potential business owners in the SLP field, I’d highly recommend, first and foremost, to talk to a business owner in our field. We learned all of the clinical skills in school and through our clinical experiences. However, running a business was never part of those experiences.”