You're in the right place if you're an aspiring or current mental health private practitioner and want to learn what's working for successful private practitioners.
You're also in the right place if you're ready to expand your career beyond the walls of the therapy room, create multiple income streams, and build a career where family, relationships, and self care are equally important as business success.
My goal with STC is simple.
Share valuable wisdom from successful practitioners, break down complex marketing and business ideas into language that’s easy for us to understand, share my successes and failures, and do this ethically and with kindness, sincerity, and respect to our profession and those we serve.
I created a quick video to say hello, share my story, and help you get started =).
Build Your Practice From The Couch UpChanging The Definition Of Private Practice
Most of us are brought up with the idea that we must work “in our business” to make income (at least that's all I used to ever know!).
In other words, we see our clients, we get paid.
We don't see our clients, we don't get paid.
While this is a great way to get started, it depends on several things we can't always control: our health, weather, cancellations, terminations, summer vacations, and unforeseen emergencies.
Fortunately, we live in an amazing time in history.
We can use the internet to create products and services to help others on a global scale.
I'll be honest. These products take planning, hard work, and time especially at the beginning.
But they are “scalable” meaning that, long term, they don't require us to trade time to make income.
Examples include writing an e-book that you distribute through your website or on Amazon or creating an e-course, which you create and then set up on your website to automatically accept payment.
Thinking of our careers in this way leads to more of our world being helped.
It creates multiple income streams, minimize burnout, and invest deeper in the clients we work with.
And most of all, it allows us to prioritize things that equally matter like our loved ones and time for self care.
What Selling The Couch Is Not AboutSetting realistic expectations
Building a practice and expanding online takes time. Most successful private practitioners tell me that it takes months of showing up to create a stable private practice. Expanding into the online world is no different.
But I don't think that's a bad thing. It gives you time to build a solid foundation that can withstand future growth.
Growing too quickly likely means that you won't have systems and processes in place for future growth, which will quickly lead to burn out. Slow and steady wins the race =).
Building a practice and presence online takes consistency. I woke up at 4:45 AM each weekday during the early stages of the blog and worked a few hours before I went to my regular job. I came back and worked until dinner.
There were definitely days where I didn't know if it was worth the effort.
Much like when I worked on my dissertation, I found that breaking up big tasks into smaller steps and remembering the ultimate impact of the task made a huge difference.
Building a practice and presence online takes courage. To be really honest, I was skeptical whether this online thing could work.
But I realized that I had to go more online after a blizzard here in Philly left over 30 inches of snow and me having to cancel over 20 clients because the roads were not safe.
This was easily hundreds of dollars in lost income just as were getting ready to buy our first home.
It was not easy, but I now work from home three days per week (with plans to expand that to four days in the future) and am home by 4 PM on days I'm at the office.
I'm much more diverse in income sources that I once was.
This allows me to take a mid day hike, a daily nap, see my wife off when she goes to work, spend time with our baby, and eat dinner as a family.
Building a business around our life and loved ones is truly possible, and my sincere hope with STC is to help you experience it as well.
Getting Started: The Selling The Couch Podcast
On the podcast, I interview successful private practitioners about what's working for them and the mistakes they've made along the way.
I also interview social media, marketing, website designers, and pretty much anyone that I could help us create a successful career.
Finally, I teach lessons and tips I've learned along the way when it comes to marketing, productivity, habits, entrepreneurship, passive income, e-books, podcasting, e-courses, etc.
Here's a player where you can listen to all the podcast episodes right here on the blog:
Essential Tool #1Your Private Practice Website
One of the most common answers is “create a website as soon as possible.”
Think of your private practice website like an online business card and an investment in your business.
It's a neat way for potential clients and referral sources from all around the world to get to know you.
But I know finances can be tight for most of us when we're first starting our private practice journey.
I put together a free tutorial that will guide to getting your private practice website up and running quickly.
Because I'm a recovering overachiever that's not quite there yet, there are some bonus tips on naming your website and plugin's I recommend as well =P.
I use SiteGround for my website host (the links on this page gives you 60% off regular price to just $3.95/month)
I use the Divi Theme from Elegant Themes to design the STC and my private practice website (I use the Lifetime Access plan as it provides the best value).
I've been really happy with both and feel confident recommending them to you (I nerded out on research so please see the tutorial above for a more detailed explanation of why I chose each =P).
Also, here's a video I recorded to give you a “behind the scenes” look at my private practice website, which was created using Divi.
I definitely don't have it “all figured out,” but I hope that it gives you some new ideas for your website =).
STC Directory: An online directory to connect helpers and healers in private practice.
This will help us make sound referrals, connect with colleagues who share our passions, and collaborate on future projects to grow our businesses and serve more folks who need our help (e.g., paid workshops, books, courses, etc.).
The idea is based on a “pearl of wisdom” I keep hearing over and over from successful private practitioners:
“The best way to build and grow a practice is to build solid, supportive relationships with colleagues.”
Feel free to take a sneak peek at the directory at http://sellingthecouch.com/directory .
Ready to Take Your Career To The Next Level?Your Podcast
It's allowed me to expand my referral network, provide valuable information to help others, add additional income streams that have replaced a little over 60% of my “in office” income, and significantly increase my website traffic (as I write this, the STC blog receives a little over 7,000 unique visitors each month, and the podcast is downloaded over 13k each month).
I host regular free online podcasting workshops/webinars to teach how to use podcasting to grow your business.
I only recommend starting a podcast once you've achieved some stability in your practice and/or career.
Podcasting takes time, energy, and money, and I don't want you to get burned out trying to do start a practice and a podcast at the same time =).
That's why I created The Healthcasters, the #1 course and community for mind/body health, wellness, and fitness podcasters.
In addition to the super supportive community of other professionals, you get access to step by step video tutorials, cheatsheets/swipes I use every day, and monthly teaching calls to teach you how to use podcasting to grow your business and create additional income streams.
I know that investing in a product especially from someone online can be scary.
I want you to know that you're in good hands with any of my paid products.
First, I don't release products to the public that I wouldn't purchase myself and have my family/friends purchase.
Second, I also put all those stats classes from grad school to good use and do extensive testing and validation before every releasing anything =).
My goal with all of my paid products is to create THE BEST product for that subject and for you to receive a rate of return that far exceeds your initial investment.
Thanks For Being Here!
Please consider me a colleague, and more importantly, a friend.
I'm all about treating everyone with equal dignity and respect.
Please feel free to email me with your victories and struggles in private practice because I want to continue to create quality tools and resources to guide you.
You can also connect with me and over 8,000 colleagues from around the world in the STC community and receive support 24-7 (just a heads up, we're a fun and silly bunch =P).
Honored to support your private practice journey and wishing you nothing but success =).
You'll get valuable marketing, technology, and social media tips to grow your practice, along with FREE access to The Tax Write-Off Check List for Mental Health Private Practitioners!