Welcome to the Selling The Couch Resource Page! I thought I would create this page to save you time and to provide you with products and tools to help your private practice journey.
I’ve used or have extensively researched AND verified the products on this page with our colleagues.
Just a reminder that most, if not all, of these items are tax deductible if they’re being used for your private practice.
I’ll update this page often so please consider bookmarking it for your convenience.
Please note that some of products on this page are affiliate links, which means that I’ll receive a small commission from the maker of the product if you choose to buy it through the links on this page. Please know that I value the trust you’ve placed in me, am very protective of our field, and will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in just to earn some income. There’s no extra cost to you if you choose to buy through the links. I’m grateful for your support and use the income to continue to provide hi-quality content and to offset the costs of running the STC blog.
Top Recommended Tools
Site Ground: The website hosting company that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND for your private practice website (it’s what I use for all my websites). A website host is where your website information is stored.
Truth be told, I used another website host when I first started STC, and my experience with Site Ground has been like night and day.
Site Ground scores among the highest in independent reviews and also posts unedited reviews on their website, which speaks to their integrity. The best part? Site Ground has several data centers worldwide and will assign your website to the nearest data center. This translates into awesome speed and stability.
You’ll just need the lowest tier plan (Start Up) if you only have a single website.
Elegant Themes: After your get your website hosted, you’ll need a design for your website, which is also known as a “theme.”
I use Elegant Themes and, more specifically, the “Divi” theme. I chose Elegant Themes because they’re trusted by over 315,000 websites and chose Divi because of it’s flexibility and high level of security.
If you can fit it into your budget, check out the Lifetime Access plan from Elegant Themes, which is what I bought (I knew that I would have multiple websites down the road and didn’t want to pay extra later). Otherwise, you just need the “Developer” plan (Elegant Themes lets you upgrade or downgrade at any point).
The Lifetime Access plan will give you unlimited access to any current and future products that Elegant Themes makes and allows you to put your designs on unlimited websites.
FreshBooks: I know taxes are not fun, but keeping track of expenses is very important as a small business owner.
I used to write down expenses in a notebook, but switched to FreshBooks in early 2015, and I’ve been very happy with them (they’re trusted by over 5 million businesses and I can see why).
I take photos of receipts with my smartphone camera and FreshBooks stores it instantly.
The best part is that you can print a categorized summary of expenses when you’re ready to file taxes, which saves a ton of time manually calculating everything (and, between you and me, I kind of like calculating things =p)!
Mel's Current Projects
Selling the Couch Directory: A directory to help us better connect with others helpers and healers in private practice. This will make it easier for us to refer, connect, and collaborate with colleagues locally and around the world.
STC Sponsors(With Special Deals For My STC Fam!)
Just wanted to take a moment to welcome some awesome sponsors! These are companies doing amazing things for our field and that are huge STC fans.
I’ve carefully selected these companies based on their outstanding reputation and the value they bring to us as private practitioners.
Hushmail: Hushmail is a great option to check out if you’re looking for a secure way to talk to clients via email. I’ve gotten to know the team at Hushmail over these past months, and they’re wonderful people. Hushmail is trusted by thousands of our colleagues (including many in the STC community!). For a low monthly fee, you can send and receive secure, HIPAA compliant emails and documents even if clients don’t have a Hushmail account.
Step by Step Guides
Using Podcasting To Grow Your Business Podcasting Workshops: These live, free workshops have helped launched several successful podcasts, and my desire is to give you honest, practical, and easy to understand lessons that I’ve learned after 125k downloads and successful sponsorship.
Audiotechnica ATR-2100 USB: This is the mic that I use for the Selling The Couch podcast (warning: you may end up with a buttery smooth voice =p).
The Healthcasters: The #1 community for mind/body health, wellness, and fitness podcasters.
Logos, Photos, and Graphic Design
Kapa 99: I love supporting other small business owners and have used Kapa 99 for several graphic related work especially infographics. They also do logos, business cards, podcast cover art, social media images, shirts, etc. Please let them know that I sent you =).
99 Designs: This is the company that I use for the majority of my logos. You can run a design contest to have multiple designers submit designs or you can pick one of the existing designers. If you pick an individual designer, be sure to pick one of the Platinum Level Designers as these individuals are the best of the best.
Canva: This is the best online tool I’ve found to create awesome images for social media and blog posts. It’s free to use as long as you one of their free images or your own image (or only $1 if you use one of Canva’s premium images).
Unsplash: Free, “do whatever you want” hi-resolution images.
Pixabay: Check out this site if you’re looking for images but also for illustrations and images for Photoshop.
Investing and Retirement
Vanguard: This is the company I keep our retirement accounts in (Roth IRAs and my Roth individual 401k). I like Vanguard because they don’t have outside owners (i.e., conflicts of interests and having to pay others means that we keep less of profits) and because of their awesome customer service.
If you’re curious, I use a basic index strategy recommended by my favorite investor, Warren Buffett, who said in his 2016 letter to shareholders, “Over the years, I’ve often been asked for investment advice, and in the process of answering I’ve learned a good deal about human behavior. My regular recommendation has been a low-cost S&P 500 index fund.”
Betterment: Where I keep our emergency fund and any funds we’re saving for a big purchase (e.g., a car). You can set it up to automatically take out money of a checking or savings account and put it into your Betterment account (score for automation!). It earns more interest than a regular savings account, but please note that the money you make is taxable since it’s not inside of a retirement account.
Special Deal For STC Fans: 90 days managed for free (for new accounts only).
Personal Capital: This is an investment company with a handy, free, app. I use the app to track my investment across multiple accounts all in one place.
Special Deal For STC Fans: $20 to Join (for new accounts only and for checking out their free tool).
Fidelity Self Employed Calculator: The calculator I use to decide how much I can put away for retirement each year from my business.
SmarterQueue: This is the social media scheduling software I use for STC. Two of my most favorite features are content recycling and the ability pull content from other blogs. Content recycling means that we just need to upload the content once (e.g., a Facebook post to our business page) and SQ will post that content on a recurring basis. This is also really helpful if you have a Facebook Group and have regular threads. The ability to pull content from other blogs means that we can share things from other blogs without manually having to copy/paste =). Oh, and a bonus tip, SQ actually tells you the time/days that your posts get the most traction to help you get maximum engagement.
Special Deal For STC Fans: 30 Day Free Trial (vs. the 14 day they advertise on the site)
Zoom Webinar: This is the platform I use to host webinars. I did quite a bit of research and found Zoom to be the best balance of budget friendly, stable, and user friendly. You simply click a button to record your webinars in case you want to send a replay later. With other platforms, you often have to record on a separate device or use a completely different program. I use the “Pro Webinar 100” plan.
Leadpages: This is the software that I use to help folks sign up for my webinars. I like that Leadpages has pre-made templates that you can quickly customize and connect to your email service provider. Here’s an EXAMPLE of my webinar Leadpage.
AWeber: This is the email service provider that I use. You use Leadpages to get the name and email address of a participant and Aweber to store that information.
Audiotechnica ATR-2100 USB: I use the same mic for podcasts and webinars because it’s excellent for both. Simply plug it into the USB slot of your computer, and you’re set. This is seriously one of the best values out there!
Zippy Courses: This is the platform that my Healthcasters e-course runs on. If you’re a WordPress user, this works really well. You simply create units and sections and add content in. The feedback from users has been really positive. Users can buy your course, set up a username and password, access the course without you lifting a finger! It took me a little time to set it up initially, but the customer service was excellent.
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920: If you’re going to be recording yourself for your course, check out this webcam. It’s what I use. It’s much better quality than the webcam on my laptop.
Audiotechnica ATR-2100 USB: The mic I use to record my course.
ScreenFlow: Screen recording software for Mac users.
Camtasia: Screen recording software for Windows users.
Practice Building Books
From Melvin: I’ve learned that smart business owners read a lot to learn from the successes and mistakes of others. One of my goals is to read 12 books per year.
I recently discovered Audible, which is Amazon’s Audiobook program. Total game changer =)! I can now listen and learn faster by playing each book at 1.5 speed =P.
Here’s a link to get your first audiobook for FREE (and just $14.95 each month, which is about 30% cheaper than buying an audiobook individually). Enjoy =).
The Paper Office by Edward Zukerman: This book includes forms, guides, and resources for a legal and ethical private practice.
Building Your Ideal Private Practice by Lynn Grodski: A Step-by Step guide to building a profitable and personally meaningful practice from one of the top business coaches for therapists.
The Million Dollar Private Practice by David Steele: This book helps you figure out how to use your talents to expand your reach and create multiple streams of income.
The Private Practice Field Guide by Daniel Franz: I like this book because it’s written by someone who made the leap into private practice after working for an employer.
I’m Currently Reading:
The Millionaire Next Door:
The Surprising Secrets Of America’s Wealthy
by Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D. & William D. Danko, Ph.D.
“Before starting STC, I was really interested in personal finance. We grew up middle class but I’ve always been fascinated by how the wealthy think and live. For example, did you know that the majority of individuals purchase used cars so they’re not weighed down with car payments each month and not paying more than need on something that depreciates so quickly? This book is a classic and one I can’t wait to dig into.”
Melvin's Favorite Books
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier: This book shifted my mind about being a small business owner. Billionaire Mark Cuban (and owner of my favorite basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks), says about this book, “If given a choice between investing in someone who has read REWORK or has an MBA, Im investing in REWORK every tme. A must read for every entrepreneur.”
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau: This book is full of amazing stories of people who started small businesses on less than $100. I especially like that the author provides practical tools for you to use with your small business like a one-page business plan.
E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber: This book looks at why so many small businesses fail AND what to do instead. It can be a bit long winded at times, but the concepts behind it are solid.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck: My go to reference for posting on social media.
Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by by Carmine Gallo: Awesome book to check out if you’re thinking about doing workshops, speeches, and other events.
Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by by Nancy Duarte: Wonderful resource to transform your slide presentations from bland to inspirational and persuasive.
Want to learn about more resources to help build and grow your private practice? Please feel to sign up below and join over 5,000 colleagues. I’ll include The Tax Write-off Checklist for Mental Health Private Practitioners as a free gift.