Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed
Subscribe: Google Podcasts | Email | | More
Did you know that your clinical skills are transferable? What is the low-hanging fruit in your practice that you can pick right away to boost your income? Have you noticed your practice’s “sandwich effect”?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about building income outside of direct clinical work.
Podcast Sponsor: The Receptionist
Are you tired of running to the lobby to see if your next appointment has arrived? Would you like a more discrete, stress-free way for your clients to check in?
Take a deep breath — The Receptionist for iPad empowers your practice to create a Zen-like check-in experience.
This episode is sponsored by The Receptionist for iPad. It’s the highest-rated digital check-in software for therapy offices and behavioral health clinics, used by thousands of practitioners across the country including many who are just getting started.
The Receptionist for iPad is a simple, inexpensive way to allow your clients to discreetly check-in, notify providers of a patient’s arrival, and ensure your front lobby is stress-free.
The software sends an immediate notification to the therapist when a client checks in, and can even ask if any patient information has changed since their last visit.
Start a 14-day free trial of The Receptionist for iPad by going to the receptionist.com/practice, and when you do, you’ll also get your first month free when you sign up.
In This Podcast
- Why don’t some people branch out of clinical work?
- Pick your low-hanging fruit
- Observe your “sandwich effect”
- Observe your skillset – what is transferable?
Why don’t some people branch out of clinical work?
Many therapists stay in clinical work and avoid branching out because they are nervous to lose money or clients.
However, when you create great systems and products that can earn you passive income, you are less bound to direct clinical work, which allows you the space to branch out.
Other therapists are nervous to step outside of their trained area of expertise.
I can choose to do something else, and when I felt that freedom, I was like, “Oh, okay! Yeah, I like counseling and I liked having a private practice, and I also like doing consulting, and podcasting, and sharing my thoughts on things, and learning!”
Your skills are transferrable. Yes, practicing therapy in a field that you are not trained in (yet) may not be a good idea, however, you can definitely take your clinical skills and apply them elsewhere too.
Pick your low-hanging fruit
Now that you’ve decided you want to branch out, brilliant! The first place to start is where it’s already working well, and expand that.
Look at the low-hanging fruit in your practice; where are you getting referrals that you are referring out that maybe you could add clinicians to your practice [to convert those clients]?
It doesn’t have to be a full group practice.
You could hire a contractor to work a few hours a couple of times a week – even when you’re not in the office – to plug that client leak and bring some more money into your practice that is not wholly related to your hours.
Observe your “sandwich effect”
If therapy is the middle of the sandwich and the bread is on either side, which products or services make up the bread that supports the therapy?
What can you offer someone before they come into therapy and at the end of their sessions for them to do that will support their therapeutic journey and recovery?
Could you have e-courses on parenting that help people before they come into therapy? Could you have books that you sell? Could you have a membership community for couples when things are rough, but they’re not quite ready for therapy? What are those types of things that you could build before somebody needs therapy?
Then consider after-therapy services. What can help people in-between therapy sessions, like an email course or workbook that they can move through?
Look at your current clients and amplify the services you offer before, during, and after you do counseling.
Observe your skillset – what is transferable?
Your clinical skills are relevant in many ways, not just in the chair.
Build your audience outside of the therapy room, and ask them what they need. Which non-clinical services do they need that you can provide?
Useful Links mentioned in this episode:
Check out these additional resources:
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
Thanks For Listening!
Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 804.
I’m Joe Sanok, your host and welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. Every week or so we had a lot of interviews throughout the summer, so we didn’t do as many of the Ask Joe’s, but we are doing Ask Joe’s where you get to ask me questions and I give you answers. All you have to do is submit your question over at practiceofthepractice.com/ask Joe and you might get featured on the show. So let’s start with Regina’s question. Regina has a question specifically about branching out of direct clinical work. She’s into martial arts training, she said nerd dumb and life and wants to have some sort of compass to a line or tap out of environments that are not a good fit. So branching out of direct clinical work is the focus of today’s discussion.
Well, I think this is a great question because so often I see people not branch out of clinical work. Why is that they don’t branch out? Well, I think one of the reasons is they’re really scared about the money side of it, that if I stop working, doing this direct clinical work as much, that’s direct money that I can’t replace. A lot of times that’s true. They haven’t created systems, they haven’t created other products, they haven’t created a group practice or consulting or other things that they could do outside of that area. So it comes out of fear, it comes out of a lack of planning, it comes out of just not realistically having other income sources.
Another reason is we’ve been trained to think of counseling in a certain area. I remember when I had the light bulb moment of, wait, I don’t have to even do therapy if I don’t want to be a counselor. I could go become an insurance agent, I could go get trained to do real estate, I can do anything with my life. I don’t have to follow the script just because I got a Master’s in Counseling and a Master’s in Psychology. Like I can choose to do something else. When I felt that freedom, it was like, oh, okay, yes, I like counseling and I liked having a private practice and I also liked doing consulting and podcasting and sharing my thoughts on things and learning about different things and breaking down systems and helping people level up in new ways. Those are all things that I enjoy as well. It’s okay if it doesn’t fit what I learned in grad school.
I think the last reason is that a lot of people don’t have peers around them, friends, colleagues, or other people that are thinking this way. I mean, that’s the magic of Next Level Practice, of Group Practice Boss, of Audience Building Academy of being around these other people that are leveling up in ways that to most clinicians or even your friends would just be crazy. So to be around people that have done it can really help motivate you in a way that’s completely different. Let’s say you realize all that you say to yourself, yes, I do want to level up Joe, I am sick of doing so much clinical work. What should I do? Well one of the first steps I would suggest is look at the low-hanging fruit in your practice. where are you getting referrals that you’re referring out that maybe you could add clinicians to your practice?
You don’t have to have a full group practice. It may be that you have someone that comes four hours a week, one evening a week and another person that comes four hours a week, another evening when you’re not in the office anyway. Depending on your state, you set them up as a 1099 contractor and you’re just off and running and you have a really simple contract like what we have in our paperwork packet and you just get it going. That could be the low hanging fruit that when you run the numbers you’re like, oh my gosh, like I’m going to actually run numbers real quick. So let’s say you make $80,000 a year and you want to reduce by 25%. So you need to then have an extra $20,000 that you want to outsource.
Let’s just look at this from a 1099 or W2 perspective. say let’s see. Let’s say you’re going to take 35% of what comes in and that you’re going to take 50/50, but then you’re going to have a percent that’s going to go towards your expenses and other things. That means if we divide that by 35%, that needs to be $57,142.86 cents per week that comes in to replace that $20,000 take home that you want to replace. You’re like, I want to work a quarter less hours. So if we divide that by 48 weeks, that’s $1,190 per week and say we divide that by say, $125 per session. That means you need to have a person or people doing the equivalent of 9.52 sessions a week, so 10 sessions a week. 10 sessions a week at $125 is going to give you more than enough to run the business. You’re not going to have to level up your office and you’ll be able to work 20% less. That’s low low-hanging fruit. Bring somebody in for 10 sessions a week, five sessions a week, and have a couple people have four people that are doing three sessions a week that would help you replace that income.
When I had my group of practice, I was so sick of running to the lobby to see if my next appointment had arrived, or even more awkwardly to have a bunch of therapists run to the lobby when we heard the door open. Maybe you want a more discreet, stress-free way for your clients to check in. Take a deep breath. The Receptionist for iPad empowers your practice to create a zen-like check-in experience. This episode sponsored by the Receptionist for iPad, it’s the highest rated digital check-in software for therapy offices and behavioral health clinics used by thousands of practitioners across the country, including many who are just getting started. The Receptionist for iPad is super simple. It’s an inexpensive way to allow your clients to discreetly check in, to notify providers of a patient’s arrival and to ensure your front lobby is stress free. The software sends an immediate notification to the therapist when a client checks in and can even ask if a patient information has changed since their last visit. Start a 14-day free trial of the Receptionist for iPad by going to the receptionist.com/practice. Again, that’s the receptionist.com/practice. When you do, you’ll also get your first month free when you sign up.
Another thing is to look at your current clients and what I would call the sandwich effect. I’m sure I stole this from somebody, so if you know who that somebody is, let me know. But the idea is that the main product, so therapy is the middle of the sandwich, and then on each side is the bread. So what are products or services that you could offer before someone comes into therapy? Could you have e-courses on parenting that helps people before they come into therapy? Could you have books that you sell? Could you have a membership community for couples when things are rough but they’re not quite ready for therapy? What are those types of things that you could build before somebody needs therapy? Then let’s think about after therapy. What are support services that you could offer to people, sort of like an oil change type thing.
If people want to come in once a quarter for therapy, what could help them with between support? Could that be that they have some sort of email sequence they’re a part of that helps them? Could it be that you have a date night planner? Could it be that you have some sort of e-store that helps them with this specific topic that you’re talking about? That’s another way to do it, to look at your current clients and amplify the services you offer before, during, and after you do counseling.
The last way that I would say that you could really level up is looking at your skillset and saying, where does this apply in the world outside of here? Imagine you’re great at trauma, you’re great at conflict management, you’re great at debriefing conversations. Who in the world needs to have people that are good with those things? I mean, there’s banks that would love to have great customer service and people that can talk to people, calm them down when they’re amped up and worked up. County commissioners may need some help with that. Larger companies may need some help with that. There’s lots of ways that from a consulting standpoint, you could pitch yourself. You could also do things to build an audience like starting a podcast. You could start to explore different issues. You could grow in a number of different ways where you’re building that audience and then that audience is saying, here’s what I want to purchase.
Then once you have that audience, it’s a lot easier to be able to then say, okay, I have this audience of a hundred people on my email list. I would love to make something that’s going to help you continue to connect with other people. Maybe it’s folks with social anxiety. What is it that would help be helpful? Is it a membership community? Is it monthly teachings? Is it bringing in experts? Is it a self-paced e-course? Is it small groups of three to four people that are teaching social skills and practicing social skills? Really the creativity in sky is the limit. Then once you have those people there and you’ve built that audience, it’s a lot easier.
So finding these different avenues to allow you to bring in extra streams of income is a great way for you to leave some of that direct clinical work. This is the exact work that we do with Audience Building Academy, so audiencebuilding.academy is where you can read all about that. You can be on the info list for our next cohort that we’re starting in 2023. It’s also Podcast Launch School. We have a course that walks you through how to start your own podcast over at podcastlaunchschool.com. Those are all resources that are out there that are going to help you grow in ways outside of your clinical work. Also, reach out to us, practiceofthepractice.com/apply. Would love to chat with you about what you’re working on, how you’re growing in those particular ways.
Well, we couldn’t do this show without our amazing sponsors and honestly, the Receptionist is one of those sponsors. The Receptionist for iPad. It’s a simple, inexpensive way to allow your clients to discreetly check in and notify the providers when they arrive. The software sends an immediate notification to the therapist and even asks if there’s patient information that needs to be updated. You can start your 14-day trial for the Receptionist for iPad by going to the receptionist.com/practice. When you do, you’re also going to get a month for free. So check that out over at the receptionist.com/practice.
Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing day. I’ll talk to you soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, the producers, the publishers, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.