Ask Joe: Regina L. Isaias wants to know how to branch out of direct client work? | PoP Bonus

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Image of Joe Sanok is captured. On this therapist podcast, podcaster, consultant and author, talks about how to branch out of direct client work.

Do you want to lower your client load? Are you scrambling for free slots in between sessions to work on your business? How can you branch out and grow your practice?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok answers Regina L. Isaias’ question about how to branch out of direct client work.

Podcast Sponsor: Gusto

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I’d like to take a moment to talk about the work Gusto is doing for businesses around the country. Gusto’s modern HR platform makes it easy to hire, pay, manage, and support your employees — all in one system of record. And with all the applications you’re jumping between each day, keeping everything in one place is a gamechanger.

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In This Podcast

  • Branch out — Start a group practice
  • Think about the sandwich approach
  • Grow your audience

Branch out — Start a group practice

Starting a group practice is a great way to build some momentum without having to start a brand-new product. (Joe Sanok)

Group practices are great ways to monetize something that is already working well.

If you are full seeing clients, have a waiting list, and you want to make a shift in your role, then consider starting a group practice.

Hire a clinician who works a skillset that is similar to yours and slowly hand clients over to them so that they have a full schedule and you have more time on your hands to be the owner.

Think about the sandwich approach

Consider your clinical work as the middle part of your sandwich.

Then ask, what are people who are not yet ready for therapy willing to purchase in the meantime? This can be one slice of bread outside your sandwich.

This could be:

  • A self-assessment
  • An e-course
  • A membership community

On the other side, the other slice of your sandwich, what would the maintenance program look like once your clients have completed their therapy with you?

Grow your audience

Offering free materials to your client base helps to build your authority and presence.

Consider offering:

  • Free e-courses
  • Live streams
  • Videos
  • Submit articles on Help a Reporter Out
  • Blogs on relatable topics

[Continue] educating yourself beyond the average clinician and person in whatever particular area you are in … as you grow your specialty area, you grow that audience, and that audience is going to tell you what they want. (Joe Sanok)

Grow your audience to help you structure your business around the needs and desires of your clients, which ultimately makes your expertise and skillset more valuable and desired by that audience.

Test your products and services with a small group of followers before you fully launch them. If it does not work, seek feedback and advice, change it, and then relaunch.

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

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!

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Podcast Transcription

This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, bonus episode.

I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I am so glad that you are here today. We are doing another Ask Joe show. We’re doing these, for a little bit we’ve been doing it two days a week. We’re doing at least one day a week. We have an awesome series coming up that Alison and Whitney are doing all about why it is a great idea to start a group practice in 2022. So that starts on Tuesday February 17th. They’re going to be doing all sorts of teaching as well as live interviews with people that have lived out group practice. So make sure you tune in for that. They are going to be doing a nine-part podcast takeover throughout the end of February, early March. It’s a pretty awesome series coming up. We’ve got a lot of great series coming up that have some themes.

Today, for this question, Regina Isaias wants to know how to branch out of direct client work. How do you bring out of direct client work? So I totally get this. I remember as I started to realize that I was loving Practice of the Practice, I was not enjoying doing as much of the client work as I had wanted to, or as I had in the past. So a couple ways to start to branch out of direct work is first, I mean, starting a group practice is a great way to build some momentum without having to maybe start a brand new product. Hold on. I need a little sip of water here.

A group practice is a great way to monetize something that’s already working. I mean, people are already calling your clinic, they’re already calling your practice. There’s so many different ways to do that. So whether it’s Group Practice Launch, or doing it yourself, we have a lot of supports in helping you to start a group practice. I would say that’s one big step that you can take. Even if you’re just hiring a couple people that work evenings or work on the weekend, you don’t necessarily have to upgrade your office right away just to make it work. You can do it in so many different scalable ways.

I would say another mindset is thinking about what I’ve heard called either the hamburger approach or the sandwich approach, and thinking about your clinical work as being the middle of the sandwich. Before that, what are people that maybe aren’t ready for therapy willing to purchase or be a part of? Maybe it could be some sort of workbook, e-course or thing to help couples before they need to come in and work with you one on one. Maybe it’s a self assessment, maybe it’s an e-course, a membership community. Maybe it’s something that you do just in your community. That’s a little bit more scalable.

Then on the other side, when people are done doing the work with you, what would that look like to have some sort of maintenance program, whether that’s through e-courses or membership communities or podcasts or check-ins. Technology has helped in so many different ways that even creating a software-as-a-service that can help people check in is a wonderful way of just helping you get to the next level financially, but also helping serve people in that line.
I’d like to TAKE a moment to talk about the work Gusto is doing for businesses around the country. Gusto’s modern HR platform makes it easy to hire, pay, manage, and support your employees all in one system of record and with all the applications you’re jumping between each day, keeping everything in one place is a game changer. Gusto offers full service payroll, comprehensive benefits, hiring and onboarding tools, and so much more to keep your team on track. Even if you’re remote, head to That’s, for three months free. It’s what we use here at Practice of the Practice.
Another way that I would say you can build multiple streams of income is looking at growing your audience in a variety of different ways. That’s what we’re doing with Audience Building Academy,, and it’s really amazing to see how people first figure out their specialty then they really start to build that audience. That can be through a podcast or are doing free summits, or you can be doing some webinars. You can be doing just live teachings through Facebook Live or Instagram Lives. There’s a lot of different ways that you can build that audience.

Offering a free email course or extra content that people say, “Holy cow, I can’t believe this is free,” helps you continue to build that authority. Then really finding yourself going into more media. So using Help A Reporter Out to get those “as seen on” so that you can get quoted in different magazines, in different areas, that you can be seen as an authority in a variety of areas, doing some keynote speeches and really educating yourself beyond the average clinician in person, in whatever particular area you are in.

Then if we continue to look at that trajectory as you grow your particular specialty area and you grow that audience, that audience is going to tell you what they want. That’s how we launched Audience Building Academy. At the time of this recording, we’re testing that out to see if it’s a good fit, to see if we have enough people that are really into it. From our initial launch, with the Thursday is the New Friday group, it went really well. So I’m super excited about that. We’re going to see how it goes with our Next Level Practice people and with other folks. Then at the time of this recording, I’m still launching it to a broader community. By the time this actually airs we’ll know.

But the thing is when you have a new product you test it, you do your best, you listen to people, you reflect back what they say that they want to buy at the price point they say that they’re willing to buy. Then you put it out there. Do people actually buy it? If, for example, with Audience Building Academy, if we don’t get enough people in this round well, we’ll re-tool. We’ll say, well, what is it that we missed the mark on? Where did we maybe not nail what people wanted? Or maybe people said they wanted something and would pay for something and they didn’t. That’s okay. I don’t need to have a bunch of ego wrapped up in it that, “Oh, I failed. I didn’t do something,” or, “Ooh, look, I succeeded. It’s amazing. It’s sold out.”

Either way I’m testing it. I’m saying, is there overlap between what you want for your support with audience building at a price that you think is reasonable, that it’s a heck yes, that’s a no brainer? Can my team and my self do that at that price and make money, make it worth it for us? Is there an overlap there? If you say I want to have all this amazing support and I would only pay $12 a month for it, the amount of people I would need to have that say yes to that is just too many. It would take too much effort. There’s no overlap between what my team can do at a price point that we would need and what maybe you want and can afford.

So there’s a gap. We don’t need to get all worked up over it and have our ego feel like, oh shoot, I’m such a failure. We’re all perfectionistic. I want to do it right. No, there’s a gap there. Then we just seek ways to find overlap and to show that there’s value in it and that the things that we can teach and that we can show and the outcomes that you can get at the price point you want, those overlap. So really that’s what you’re looking for. You’re looking for that overlap between what customers want, what they’re willing to pay for and what you can offer and what you need to get paid.

That’s, what’s is. Sales is where that overlap is, where on one side, somebody’s saying, this is exactly what I want. It’s a heck, yes, and that’s totally what I need, or it’s close enough to what I need. You’re saying, “Hey, I’m providing that service. The amount that I’m getting paid for that is worth it.” That overlap is where we find that sweet spot.

So pretty awesome stuff we’re covering here. We are continuing to help you level up here at Practice of the Practice. It’s really exciting to just be able to be hanging out with you in all these different ways. And just, I don’t know, it is really fun to do this work.

When you’re taking care of your own employees, it’s more important than ever to do that with care. With Gusto, everything you need to hire, pay, manage, and support your hardworking team, it’s in one modern solution. Gusto is people platform. Get three months free when you sign up over at, it’s the best payroll solution. We use it for our own team, and we want you to use it as well over at

Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. I’ll talk to you soon.

Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. And 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 publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.