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What is one thing that you can do to combine creating a new stream of income with growing your practice as well as your network? Have you considered hosting a Continuing Education event? Did you know that it’s not as complex as you might’ve considered?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about how to host your first Continuing Education (CE) Event with Dr. David Hall.
Podcast Sponsor: PsychMaven Webinar
Starting with 2021’s Killin’ it Camp, we started hearing from so many of you about your
dreams of creating new sources of income outside of the traditional practice setting.
Particularly, we saw a lot of interest in learning about new income streams that could really
So, with all that in mind, I wanted to see if you might join me live for a free webinar next
week! Dr. David Hall with PsychMaven was a recent guest of mine on the podcast and in our
episode, we talk about David’s passion for doing therapist continuing education trainings,
and how these can provide an amazing, scalable income.
I’m going to be live with David for this exclusive Practice of the Practice webinar, it’s called
“Three Therapist Secrets to Making Money Through Continuing Ed Trainings”. It’s how
continuing education income from in-person and online offerings is way more achievable
than you might think.
It’s going to be live on Thursday, April 13 th 2023 at 2 o’clock Eastern, 1 o’clock Central, noon
Mountain, and 11 o’clock Pacific, and it’s going to be hosted by PsychMaven. And even if
you can’t make it for the live webinar, we are going to have replays available. David is an
expert in this area and I’m so excited to be partnering with him on this!
Please sign up over at joe.mavenwebinar.com.
Meet Dr. David Hall
Dr. David Hall is a family therapist and mental health counselor who is the Clinic Director of Haven Counseling Center, which he founded as “Haven Family Psychiatry” in 2015. His expertise is in the therapeutic use of story, imagery, and metaphor as ways to help people see their lives and new solutions. Dr. Hall also provides clinical supervision for post-graduates seeking LPC-MHSP and/or LMFT licensure in Tennessee.
Along with his clinical work, Dr. Hall is the Founder and Creative Lead of PsychMaven, a group that provides courses, consulting, and other resources for behavioural health professionals seeking career/business development as well as clinical continuing education training.
Visit PsychMaven and connect on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
FREEBIES: A free training to do with Joe on April 13, 2023 AND a a free online therapist assessment on your “builder type” as a therapist.
In This Podcast
- Why you should consider hosting a CE event
- Different styles of CE events
- Welcome learning in all forms
- Dr. Hall’s advice to private practitioners
Why you should consider hosting a CE event
If you’re really into a topic: you’ve read books, you’ve listened to podcasts, you’ve seen people that are the true experts in your mind, and there can be [a] thought of, “Who’s going to come to hear me?” … but ultimately, you have a very unique voice in it.
As Dr. Hall mentions, expertise is overrated. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter, but expertise isn’t all that you need when it comes to delivering information.
Your unique experience, passion, and approach to the topic all come into play as well, and they can make a powerful impact on your ideal audience.
It’s really hard to become an expert until you start doing something.
Remember, you cannot reach your expert level without taking your first steps. If you are nervous about hosting a CE event because you are new to it, realize that you cannot host your 5th when you haven’t done your 1st.
Your voice is worthy to be heard even if it’s not the same level as somebody else that you have in mind … that doesn’t mean that you don’t have something else to offer.
Different styles of CE events
After the pandemic in 2020, the world has become more used to using technology for conferences. However, the balance has tipped back again, and there is still a market for in-person events that people are now more willing to pay for and attend.
Your CE event can be:
- Fully virtual
- A hybrid of virtual and in-person
- On a smaller scale like a workshop or retreat
I think sometimes people think that to do this [it has to be] one thing, and it’s not one thing, it’s lots of things … some people like a big crowd and they can thrive off [of] that … for some people, they’re introverted … for them, do something small.
Depending on what you enjoy the most, feel the most comfortable presenting in, and the preferences of your ideal clients, you can decide on the style of your CE event.
At the end of the day, these types of events are not a one-size-fits-all type of thing. They are adaptable, and you can change their parameters to suit the event that you want to create and launch.
Welcome learning in all forms
There will be times when things do not go well and remind yourself that it doesn’t mean that you have failed, but rather that you have learned something new.
If you want to get into things like this and you’re expecting them to go off without a hitch, it won’t, sorry! But, when it goes well, it’s great and even mistakes are [opportunities for] learning.
Value your mistakes when things go pear-shaped because they can offer you valuable insights if you choose to learn from them instead of feeling disheartened.
Dr. Hall’s advice to private practitioners
CE events scale well. As your name builds, and your credibility develops, you can go from hosting an event to one hundred people to one thousand. So, don’t be nervous to start!
Sponsors mentioned in this episode:
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 the social media below!
Right around the corner on April 13th, 2023 at 2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time, I am partnering with Dr. David Hall on Three Therapist Secrets to Making Money in Continuing Ed Trainings. How Continuing education income from in-person and online offerings is more achievable than you might think. It’s going to be live April 13th at 2 o’clock Eastern and it’s going to be hosted by PsychMaven. I’m so excited about this. Please sign up over at joe.mavenwebinar.com. Again, that’s joe.mavenwebinar.com.
This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 857.
I’m Joe Sanok, your host and welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. I hope that your year is just kicking off to a start, kicking off because I’m recording this at the beginning of the year, but by the time this goes live you’re going to be wrapping up your first quarter. So I hope your year is what you want it to be, whether that’s working less or working more, or diving into group practice. At the time of this recording, we’re planning our Level Up Week, which will have just happened a couple weeks ago and really glad that you’ve been a part of that as well. There’s a lot going on in the world. One thing is that a lot of us have some big ideas. We have things that we’re good at, maybe it’s trauma work, maybe it’s couples work, maybe it’s some clinical skill that you teach or you find that you’re answering questions all the time.
Well, my friend Dr. David Hall is hanging out with us today. It’s funny because we were just talking before we were recording and we’ve done webinars together. We’ve been invited into Zoom calls with other consultants. We’ve hung out at podcasting conferences and I had totally thought that I had had him on the show and he’s like, “No, this is my first time.” I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, that’s crazy.” I’m so excited to introduce Dr. David Hall to you today. So Dr. David Hall is a psychotherapist, a group practice owner and the founder of PsychMaven, which is a group that offers approved continuing education and business career resources for behavioral health professionals. David’s also the co-host of the Scaling Therapy podcast, sorry, Scaling Therapy Practice Podcast, and you can find more out over at psychmaven.org. David, welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. Glad you’re here today.
[DR. DAVID HALL]
So happy to be here with you, Joe. Glad to do this. I’m glad to be talking with you today.
Yeah, we we’ve been on each other’s radar for a while and finally here you are. So let’s just start with who’s David Hall? Tell us a little bit about your group practice and why you started PsychMaven.
Yeah, so it’s funny, things go in different directions. I think some people get into group practice and then figure out some side gigs, and I was the opposite. I started doing, getting in the continuing education business. I started it in 2011 and I’ve only been a group practice owner since 2016, 2017, around there. But yeah, I’m a Doctor in Psychology and I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and professional counselor in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains in East Tennessee. It’s where I’m from originally. Yeah, I’ve, I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. I’m the only person in my family that’s a therapist, but I grew up in a business minded environment and when I went into the field of being a therapist, I think I already had just, I was incubated in such a way that made me think about how to think about different business sorts of things.
For me, I was, early in my career how I got into the business of trainings as I was early in my career. I’d reached that point that I think a lot of therapists reach where I was growing in my personal caseload. I was working for another group practice and I was hitting about that 25, 30 sessions a week. I realized some people have a lot more capacity than that, but I was realizing that was the top end of my capacity. I liked the work, I enjoyed the impact, I was able to feel at least I was having with my clients and it was good, but I was at my limit, but I had more time. I felt like I had energy to do other things, just not more therapy and I had a certain amount of ambition.
So I began looking around of what else could I do? I had had the opportunity to co-present at some conferences with some professors of mine as I was just finishing grad school and so I had some experience in doing workshops, presentations, and I realized I liked it and I felt I had a certain capacity for it. So I began looking around of, well, how do I do more of this? My initial thought was basically how to get on like the speaking circuit sort of thing, like Pessie or organizations like that. But the problem was is I was in my late 20’s, early 30’s when I first started looking at this, I wasn’t even fully licensed yet, I hadn’t finished my doctorate, I hadn’t written a book, I didn’t have a podcast, I didn’t you all these things that create platform and so I was not super marketable as to be hired by somebody else.
So when left with that dilemma, I thought, well, how do I figure this out? How do I mean if I can’t get hired, how do I start something? So I began the process of exploring that. My initial group was called the Narrative Institute. I’m a big passion for narrative therapy. I thought, well, what if I start doing trainings around that? It evolved years later into what is currently my group, PsychMaven. But initially I did something called the Narrative Institute. Yeah, I just began the process of how do I, and to be clear, I didn’t have a manual I was going through, I didn’t have a guide. I just thought, well, this seems to be a thing people seem to do, put on events. I would get flyers in the mail from the big companies, the big names, but I would also see smaller things. I thought, well, maybe I can do this and maybe I can make money at this. So that was how it began for me. Then group practice just came out later in my journey as a therapist. My wife as an LPC and we co-own a group counseling practice together Haven Counseling Center in Knoxville. We’re a large group. It’s funny, I enjoy being a group practice owner. I enjoy supervising and mentoring. But it’s funny, I feel I went backwards where a lot of people, they grow a group practice or they grow a successful solo practice and then want to branch out in other things and I started with other things and ended up in group practice.
Yeah, yeah. So what were some of the things initially that you thought through before starting offering CEs and then this afterwards? I would love to hear if you do it the same way or if you would do it differently if you were to start now.
I’ll answer you the second bit, first shortly, and then expand. I would do it very different ways. It’s hard when you have, I know Joe, it’s a lot of your own story that you share of when you first branched into private practice and this ideas of I want something more, I want some more margin into my life and looking around and not finding a lot of resources. Then one of the things I admire about your journey is you decided, well, I’m going to figure this out and I’m going to document it so other people can have the benefit of that. How I started, I guess my initial thought was I began talking to the few people I knew that seemed to be involved in different presentation spaces. I had a friend who worked or was on the board for the Tennessee Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, which was the state division of AAMFT and they would do lunch occasionally, and they would offer CEs.
I said, well, you asked some questions there, but there was only so much information. The first thing I figured out was, oh, I’d go to these events and having NBCC approval seemed to be something that people would do. So I would go, so I went on NBCC’s website and found their application to do an approved continuing education training, how to do that and then I printed out the application and began working through it. It was hard because there were just a lot of things. It weren’t very clear to me, but just made some guesses. Fortunately, again, like I said, I, even though I didn’t have a background for my family in the therapy world, I did have some good general business council.
So the first approved event I did was an ethics event. It’s not because I had this huge background in ethics, but for depending on who you are and where you’re listening to this most states and most licenses in therapy require a certain number of continuing educations per renewal. The most common topic that people have to make sure they get a certain number of hours in was ethics. So I thought, well, I’m an unknown and I want people to pay me money to come to an event, let me pick a topic that will have some draw. I thought, well, I’ll do ethics because everyone has to do ethics. Yeah, there was a lot of just hustle and grinding that out where I got my application done and then I went to Kinko’s, because Kinko’s was still a thing, and then and printed out flyers. I went on Psychology Today when it was fairly new. This was in 2012 when I did this first event. I looked up every practice in town and I physically went to every practice in town and dropped off flyers. It was not the most efficient way to do things —
But just went out. I cold emailed people. I wasn’t spamming necessarily because I was individually emailing people through Psychology Today saying, “Hey, this is who I am, this is my what I’m doing. If you’re having interest, would love for you to show up. Did this first event, we did it in this presentation space in the office building that my practice was in, because I could use that without having to pay anything extra and we got 71 people to show up for that first event. Now some of them were people who worked my group practice and friends of mine, but I had a lot of people that had never met me before, but I just, I had a reasonably priced event for a topic they needed and yeah, that’s how it began.
Well, I love, what I love about that is it’s so practical and so often we hear, “Follow your passion,” or like all these things that are true, we want to have work, we do that, we love that we stand behind, that is great. But there’s also sometimes that you just got to put in the hustle and you choose a topic like ethics that maybe that’s not, you’re not the ethics guy. You don’t necessarily want to be the ethics guy, but it’s a starting place where then you get the audience, it’s needed, there’s a vacuum and 71 people showed up for your first event. Like, that’s an insane amount of people for a first event. So I think that there’s a tendency oftentimes in our field of having the heart, the values all that be like, leading, which is great. I don’t want to diminish that. But then to also say, sometimes you just got to say like, what do people need here and if that’s something that you feel like you want to offer to go for it.
Absolutely. I try to do a blend, like I took an ethics topic on an angle that I found interesting. It was on the ethical concept of autonomy of client independence, which I was reading a lot of the time as a narrative, leaning therapist, very post-modern in my thinking and this idea of really valuing the client perspective. But I was also reading things about basically, you’re influencing your clients constantly and how do we have this balance? So I took a topic that had, as you said, Joe, like a practical need, but how do I could add my own spin to it to make it interesting? I wanted to do a non-boring ethics thing, and yeah, I think I accomplished it. But yeah, I think sometimes there’s this feeling like we’ll have this vision of this beautifully done polished thing. And I’m a big believer then and am now in the importance of really crappy first drafts because you can’t really do anything well until you’re willing to do it ok.
This first event was not great. It was okay and it was okay enough that people were willing to come to another one and that was the beginning of the process for me. To your second question, Joe, would I do it different? Yes. Part of it now is I probably would’ve done a little bit more research to find, if I was going back in time, what I would’ve done is I would’ve gone on something like the NBCC directory for approved continuing education providers. I would’ve looked up like what were other organizations that seemed to have, that weren’t just graduate schools or state associations, but seemed to be other entrepreneurial-minded people. I would’ve reached out to them and to see what I could have gleaned from them.
I would’ve, I there was a limit of how much guidance was available at the time, but I would’ve, because there were a lot of things I did really inefficiently and there were a lot of things that as I continued to put on events that I realized like, oh, this is important. Like, one of the biggest negative bits of feedback I got for a future event I did was I was trying to save money so it was an all-day training and I didn’t provide coffee. And I’m not a coffee drinker, it’s not something I think about, but that was the biggest negative thing I got on my CE on the evaluation form saying there was no breakfast. So I’ve learned that if I do in-person events, you have to have something for people to nosh on.
But anyway, just stuff like that, I think sometimes we feel to do something we have to bootstrap it completely by ourselves. And there’s things out in the world, there’s wisdom that you can find. I wish I had, I spent more time investigating that. I understand now that there wasn’t necessarily a lot available, but I still could have gathered more. There are other things, I guess there’s something else I learned, cost management. That was a big part of my journey and years of doing it because I began, once I began doing this, I began, like traveling with it. I initially did stuff in my local community, but then I started exploring going out of town and I would, and that was a thing to learn to co-sponsor in a city that I didn’t live in. So I would rent out presentation space and I would market, I learned how to start using list brokers at the time to collect mailing list for other therapists to community. I’d mail out postcards. One of the biggest things I had to learn there was cost management, because I could make money off these events, but I could spend a lot of money too and it meant that not everything came out in the black. I did events that I lost money in. That’s probably one of the biggest things I wish I would’ve learned a lot of the things I’ve learned over the times about how to manage cost.
Starting with 2020 ones Killin’It Camp, we started hearing from so many of you about your dreams of creating new sources of income outside of the traditional practice setting. Particularly we saw a lot of interest about learning about new income streams that could really scale. So with all that in mind, I wanted to see if you might join me live for a free webinar. I’m going to be live with David for this exclusive Practice of the Practice webinar. It’s called Three Therapist Secrets to Making Money Through Continuing Ed Trainings. It’s how continuing education income from in-person and online offerings is way more achievable than you might think. It’s going to be live on Thursday, April 13th, 2023 at 2 o’clock eastern, 1 o’clock Central Noon Mountain, and 11 o’clock Pacific. It’s going to be hosted by PsychMaven. Even if you can’t make it for the live webinar, we are going to have replays available. David is an expert in this area and I am so excited to be partnering with him on this. Please sign up over at joe.mavenwebinar.com. Again, that’s joe.mavenwebinar.com. Also, it’s free.
I want to get more into how to start hosting CE events, but before that, I want to dig into just like what’s the opportunity? So we’ve got average solo practice person, maybe group practice owner. They’re great with any topic, trauma couples therapy, ethics, whatever it is, they are brand new, totally green to the CE world in regards to hosting an event. Like what would be your pitch to them in regards to like, here’s why you should consider even hosting your own CE events?
This is a quote from someone I really enjoy following, and I know he is a buddy of yours Joe, Pat Flynn from the Smart Passive Income Podcast. One of the things I’ve heard him say several times is you are 100% unique. I think what is hard for people, you have a passion, it’s on trauma work, it’s on OCD, it’s on working with certain people groups. If you’re really into a topic, you’ve read books, you’ve listened to podcasts, you’ve seen other people that are the true experts in your mind and there can be the thought of who’s going to come hear me? I don’t have whatever credential, I don’t have what, I have these years of experience. But ultimately you have a very unique voice in it and it doesn’t matter, expertise is overrated is something I say. It’s not that expertise doesn’t matter, but I think oftentimes we think we have to be an expert to do something. My hesitancy for that is it’s really hard to become an expert until you start doing something. You, through your own journey, Joe became an expert on practices, but you didn’t start that way. You didn’t wait till you truly became an expert on practices when you began talking about practices. Because I don’t know how you could have done one without the other.
Right. That’s a great point. I want to pause there because that’s such a great point because when I started the podcast, and now it’s been 10 years I was just interviewing people that I needed to learn. Like, I remember being like, SEO, what’s SEO? I’m like, I should find someone that knows something about that and then I’d interview them for the podcast. Even initially, I wasn’t even trying to position myself as an expert, but as a co-learner but in that process, eventually people are like you know a lot more than you realize you know. And that happens in the therapy world where you don’t realize how much you know over time but that idea that you have to be an expert in order to start teaching, sometimes just the process of getting a speaking gig is enough to make you realize, holy crap, I have to like fast forward my learning before next month so that I can have something of substance to say.
Well, also, you think about that from the experience of grad school when you have to do a class presentation. In the process of planning for the class presentation, you become a little bit of an expert. And that’s okay. That’s, in some ways it’s expertise. One of the other downsides of expertise is it can create barriers in teaching well, because if you in your own journey are too far ahead of your average student, communicating down to them can be really difficult. But if you’re just a few steps ahead, it’s sort of the guy that’s trying to impress the girl, and so he says he’s a French tutor and he just reads a little bit ahead every week, and which is a premise of the 90’s movie, 10 Things I Hate About You, but you can actually teach better that way because you’re just a little bit ahead.
So I think some of that is that your voice is worthy to be heard, even if it’s not the same level as somebody else that you have in mind. That doesn’t mean you don’t have something else to offer. Or simply you’re the person that’s showing up and you’re the person there in that community without audience to speak about the topic. But to go on what something you were saying, Joe, too, I think the other thing is too, is part of putting this together and even making money off it, money off of it, you don’t have to be the person. I get, you can hire somebody else or you can partner with somebody else. You can, if you’re interested in this topic, but you have a coworker or a friend that you feel really has a deeper knowledge based on what you want to do something on, have them co-teach it with you and you can be in the co-pilot seat. That doesn’t mean it can’t be a profitable endeavor for you.
So I think there are all these expectations that I have to be in a certain place to even begin this thought and that’s the biggest thing I try to deflate for people. I, one of the things I wish I would’ve done differently, I waited until I didn’t start doing independent events, until right after I finished my doctorate, which was something I pursued after I initially became a therapist. I had, in my mind I needed that level of credential to really teach. That just, that’s complete bowl. That’s an absolute lie. If I had a time machine, I would wish I would want to go back to myself just when I finished grad school. I finished my master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at 25 years old. If I could go back and convince that version of me to start doing CE events, I would. And it’s not because that person was an expert, but I had a lot of enthusiasm, I had drive and I could have started then and I wouldn’t want to teach as if like, I’m an expert, you need to listen to me on this, but it would be like, hey, I’ve really been passionate about this topic. Here’s some things I’ve researched on. I’d love to share it with you. I’m fan of being an enthusiast versus being an expert.
When you look at people who have gone through your course what things are they saying or what are some examples of like just how people are taking this knowledge that you give them and then what they’re doing with it? Because I think that sometimes when someone hears launch a CE event, they’re like, what would that even look like? Sketch out what it could look like for people that are listening that maybe haven’t even considered hosting their own CEs.
Yeah, absolutely. To add to what Joe’s referring to, so part of my journey, so I do CE events, but I also created a course for people who want to create CE events. Joe and I are actually going to be doing a webinar on that together. That was, it’s in April and I know this is coming out, I think, is it April 13th, Joe?
Yeah, let’s see. I have it right here in our text. So yeah, it’s going to be Thursday, April 13th at 2:00 PM. We’re going to be talking about —
Yeah, we’re going to be talking about, because it’s something I teach people how to do now. It goes to one of those things of, I wanted to create a course that I wish I had accessible to me, which is how to create. And I teach people how to do CE events, but I even teach people how to do events that aren’t designed for other therapists, but they just want to create a training and learning experience for the general public. But so to circle back to your question, Joe what are the big things of, it’s interesting, I’ve been on a journey in this where initially a lot, I mean, I did exclusively in-person, I did in-person events from 2000 my, the first event I did was 2011, which was just a community event without CE approval. Started doing CE approved events 2012 and between then and 2019, I only did in-person events. It was in 2019, I began learning how to put things online.
So there’s so many different ways to do it. Like I think there is still a demand for in-person events as we live at an age where online stuff is so highlighted and there’s convenience in that, there’s scalability in that. Like I do a lot of those, I really like them, but I can tell you, I got a conference email or mailer I think a few months ago for a larger national conference that they were doing all virtual and I said no. They asked in the, they emailed me afterwards because I was on their mailing list, why haven’t you signed up and I said, I’m fatigued for virtual events right now. I think there’ll always be a market for it, but there’s something to being in-person and monetarily one of the things that the, we live in an age now where you can do things online and that’s an option, that’s a convenience, but because that option is there charging a premium for in-person events is now more expected and more accepted for people to accept that like, oh, but this is in-person, this is going to cost me more.
So there are all these different sorts. There’s in-person in the classic sort of way. There’s in-person large and small. Sometimes people, they want to do a larger seminar, so that’s get big presentation space classroom style. That’s a different way of doing it but I also encourage people to consider small things like a true workshop or like a retreat where one model I’ve walked people through that is a lot of fun of things like VRBO and Airbnb now means that people can, you can rent out a house somewhere that’s larger and allows you to accommodate things and you can do a this high touch event that is, can be really profitable because even though you don’t have a lot of people, people are going to pay a premium for that.
So you go to that extreme to completely asynchronous automated online offerings and courses. I do all of those things. I think they’re all great. But I guess to the core of your question, Joe, I think sometimes people think it that to do this, it’s one thing and it’s not one thing. It’s lots of things. Some people are much, they like a big crowd and they can thrive off that and they can, they may, I may steer them in one direction. For some people they’re really introverted, they really feel intimidated by getting as an expert or a supposed expert in the room full of people and for them I’m like, do something small. Do like a set a five-person event, a 10-person event. Half of them could be people that are pretty warm contacts for you and just say, hey, I’m going to put together this, we’re going to, I’ve really into act into acceptance and commitment therapy and I’d just like to do a two day on that. So I guess one of the big things is people will assume that this is a one size thing and it’s not a one size thing. You can, if you have an idea or a passion and you like the idea of sharing that passion with somebody else, there’s a framework for you to be able to deliver that that would be congruent and consistent with your personality and your desire.
It’s interesting how sometimes events come together. I put on this event called Pinot and Practice. Northern Michigan’s known for its wine tasting and what had happened, and this was just a couple years into the podcast, so a good eight years ago, is my washer and dryer just like totally died and I’m like, oh my gosh, I need to make like a couple thousand dollars, like really quickly. I was still working at the college and the podcast was just this side thing and my group practice was growing. So I was like, what can I do? What can I host in the next like in a couple months? So I threw together this idea of Pinot in practice because I could use the Chamber of Commerce for half a day. They had this group room that you could use for free but then the other half, I couldn’t use it. If you had a full day, you had to pay extra for it. And you could book two days in a row.
So I’m like, okay, so two mornings in a row we’re going to do this, like dig into your practice thing and then I’m going to have a wine tour bus pick us up and we’re going to go wine tasting in the afternoon. It just came together. I think I had 12 people that came and I want to say they paid $500 or $600 each and it was one of those things where it was like, man, I usually overthink things. Not that there’s not, you want to be well prepared, you want to put things together, you want to have the details sorted out and there’s also times when you just don’t overthink things as much, that idea that you said at the very beginning of having a draft. So I would love to just encourage people and would love to hear your thoughts on this, David, of just if you have an idea, what are the steps you could take towards that idea instead of finding things that will get in the way of that idea.
No, I love that, Joe, what you just described, because that’s some of what I teach for people is like when I sharing that I started traveling, my default thing there was okay, I’ve got to rent out hotel ballroom space, hotel conference space, because that’s when I would go to trainings. That’s where it would be. I rarely recommend people do that now. Hotels are so expensive to do
If you want to provide any food, it’s like $5 per pitcher of water
Oh, it’s ridiculous. Like the cheapest things is usually, yeah, I could go off on that. So I really recommend people think about like, what are community centers? What are, like church fellowship halls are one things, local libraries, elk lodges. There’s so many different things. And I include this in things I teach. And I love the hack you did without like, okay, if I did a half a day, it’s free, if it’s full day it was charged, so I’ll do two half days, and that’s brilliant. That’s, and I think you’ve got to think outside of the box. Two things I want to share in the sense of that you sparked as you shared that Joe is of ways to consider doing things that that involve not overthinking and not overthinking, like how to make it profitable. In my main training, I teach six different ways to monetize trainings because oftentimes people think it’s one way, like people pay to come to an event. That is one of the six. But there’s several others.
One person who I was, who had done my training, I was talking with them, they were in a similar situation where they weren’t quite ready to launch their thing. They had begun to build up a contact list so they had some people that were hearing them and, but they weren’t quite ready to launch, but they needed to do something to create a cash infusion. What I encouraged them to do is they were building out their stuff on Kajabi, which is one of several course creation platforms. And Kajabi has a pretty a generous affiliate program where if someone, if you affiliate for Kajabi, which I think they let anyone who has a Kajabi account do that and someone else buys Kajabi through you get a 30% lifetime commission. That can be pretty lucrative over time.
So what I encourage them to do is I had them reach out to their current following and say, hey, I’m, because they were in the process of learning Kajabi, building things up. They were not a Kajabi expert yet, but they had been working on it for a little bit. They offered like, hey, I’m going to be live and I’m going to just do this live workshop where I’m going to take you through building out a course on Kajabi and it’s free for you if you just use my affiliate link to sign up for a Kajabi account. They had 15 people show up for that, which ended up being initially several hundred dollars for them, but also continually, for as long as those people stayed with that account, it was a revenue. And that was for basically a free training. They just said, Hey, you can do this for free as long as you sign up with my Kajabi affiliate link. That wasn’t too complicated and that they were just sharing going live and screenshotting some work they were already doing themselves. So that’s one thing.
The other thing, and this was from, I shared about the idea of when I began going on the, on the road, as I say, I used to, I have a background as I was a musician. So I still use a lot of lingo. I talk about gigs and being on the road, but when I would travel, I was realizing like, hey, there are a lot of expenses. How do I keep it down? The main event I was teaching on had a strong component teach them about addiction and what I began doing was reaching out to local or regional, at least drug and alcohol treatment centers and asking if they would sponsor my events. I would get, I would offer two slots of non-competing treatment groups that would be like an adolescent group and adult group and I said, I came up with a price $1,800 and I said, it’s $1,800 a piece and here’s what you get for that. You get the contact list of the people that attend the event. You can do a little pitch in the middle of the day and I didn’t have a problem getting people signed up for it. So before the first person registered, I would typically have $3,700 in or $3,600 in revenue for an event. That was before anything happened.
That idea of selling sponsorships ahead of time, I mean, I think is such a smart thing to reduce your liability. I got to tell you a story about being on the road with abandoned college and cost saving. It has nothing to do with private practice, but it’s just ridiculous. So I was in a band with my brother, we’re in southern Ohio and the place we were playing two nights in a row we’re going to get a like amount per head that showed up, so if a hundred people show up, I don’t know, it was like five bucks ahead, 500 bucks a night or something. Well, the first night like 15 people show up. There was like some big event all weekend that like nobody was coming to this place and we’re like, we’ve got to find a second place to play on Saturday night because this is ridiculous. So we end up at this this biker bar that’s right on like the river and it’s like the middle of the day and we’re like, is there any way that we could play here? Like just, we just want to have some extra money to get us down because we were going to Texas after that and had some shows on the way and they’re like, well we can give you 50 bucks and 30 kobasa that are pre-cooked. We’re like, we’ll take it. So literally from Ohio until Texas, we would stop and fill up with gas and have lunch, like pull these kobasa out of the fridge, or out of the cooler, get more ice and just like, not have to pay for lunch for the whole drive down.
But that’s great. I will say if you’re interested in things like this, there is going to be a little bit of that. There’s going to be a little bit of feeling that it’s just hair and scare him and you’re just pulling things together. That’s, it’s fun if you’re willing to take that attitude with it. It, if you want to get into things like this and expecting everything’s going to go out with, go off without a hitch, it won’t, sorry. But when it goes well, it’s great. Even mistakes are learning. It’s one of the big things I highlight in the training I do for this, the course I do for this is I spent a lot of time unpacking the ways I screwed up and the things I learned from it. Like, one of the things that I did that was a big money losing event for me is I went down to Florida and I was doing a double event a week apart. I was one in Tampa and one in Fort Lauderdale and did a whole bunch of investment in advertising. I could not, it was just, it confused me because at that point I’d gotten used to, I’d send out a postcard and I would look at my analytics on my website of when people would start visiting the website and just the numbers weren’t adding up. What I found out later was I was doing these events two weeks after everybody had just renewed their CEs. So that, I didn’t know that because in Tennessee where I am CEs not everyone renews at the same time. You renew your license every two years on the year, on the month of your birthday. Some states weren’t like that. Some states it’s the months you get licensed, but other states, everybody renews the same date.
Michigan’s that way.
Yeah. Florida’s like that. I didn’t know that and because of that meant everybody, people weren’t looking to do events because they had, if I had planned something six weeks before, it probably would’ve gone gangbusters because there would’ve been a lot of last minute people needing to top off their hours. But just because everybody had just renewed, everyone had paid their renewal fees for their licensure, people had just finished whatever CE events they needed to do, they weren’t looking to go do something. That was a big, I lost several thousand dollars in in those two events combined after all said and done. I got people came but not enough to offset. That’s something I teach about. So it is, I can’t remember your initial question, Joe. I think it was something —
That’s ok. We just got talking about being in bands and sausage and all that stuff.
Did you like kobasa before then? Did you still like that?
I did. I was raised Polish, so I mean like, yeah, so for sure. Well, the last question I always ask David is if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
I think there is, we’ll get this model of what growth looks like. I have a new podcast I’ve been co-hosting with James Marlin who is a background in virtual assistants and worked a lot within the therapy space. He’s in a therapist himself, but has worked in that. He and I got connected several months ago and we talked about he was interested in doing a podcast and I said this is, I’ve avoided doing podcasts because in disinclined towards open-ended commitments. I’m married, I have a group practice, I have, that feels like enough for me to commit to long-term. I like having flexibility, but I said I’m willing to be the number two seat and to do a podcast a week.. it’s called the Scaling Therapy Practice Podcast. It’s all about just the process of growing and scaling in that.
One of the themes we talk about that I think is very relevant to this is I think sometimes we’ll have a singular vision of I want to increase my income, I want to increase my impact, what do I do? If I’m a solo practitioner, it means how do I see more clients? Or how do I hire other therapist? Those are valid things to do, but there’s a natural limit to that. Here’s one of the things that gets me so excited about doing trainings, doing CE events, whatever it looks like is, I’ve not come across anything as a mental health provider that scales quite in the same way. Even if you’re only doing in-person events, rooms can get big. I’ve presented to nearly a thousand people at once and it could, you can get to certain levels where you’re, this is rare, but there are people in our fields that can fill out auditoriums and that scales differently. Particularly when you start doing things online that scales real differently. When I’m particularly, if I’m selling an a prerecorded online course, I could sell 10 copies or 50 copies or 1000 copies. It doesn’t create more work for me necessarily, maybe like a little bit in customer service, but not really.
And I don’t have fewer courses at the end of the day if I sell 10, I don’t have widgets in the back office that I’m having to ship. The scaling aspect of that is really, really nice. And I think with that too is as you’re in practice, as you have, even if you’re not the biggest expert in your field, you have a skillset and you have knowledge that matters to people. When I’m talking to people about them doing creating workshops or courses for non-therapists, that it’s just a psychoeducational sort of thing, is that the same thing as people going to therapy? No, it’s not the same thing as going to therapy, but it doesn’t mean it’s not valuable and it doesn’t mean that it isn’t transformative to people and it worth their time and their money. You can create digital products, you can create online courses that can really scale your time in ways that you, you could be the busiest therapist, you still won’t have enough time. If you’re looking to scale, I’m biased, I’ve drunk my own Kool-Aid, so I believe in doing courses and trainings, it’s what I do, but even with my bias, I think I haven’t come across anything that scales quite in the same way.
I’ll tell you, I do not enjoy overhead. I do not enjoy, I run a decent-sized group practice, but I don’t have any admin staff because, and certain things in my life are harder because of that, but I’m not a good manager. Anyone that comes to work for me, I tell them I’m not a good manager. I feel okay as a leader in the sense of charge and follow me, but I’m not a good detail person in so many ways. I’m not, I tell my staff you’ve got to, sometimes you have to ask me more than once. I’m not trying to be neglectful, I’m just kind of ADHD. So if you’re in practice and you’re trying to figure out how to scale, I said I’m biased, so I do hope, check out like, I said, Joe and I are going to be together in a free webinar talking about this. Registration for that is, will be in the show notes, I’m sure, but it’s joe.mavenwebinar.com and we’re going to be live April 13th with that and hopefully that you’re catching this podcast episode in a time where you can listen to that. But we’ll, I’m going to unpack some of what that looks like, but yeah, it’s fun and it’s fun. I really love it. I’ve gotten to meet so many people. I’ve gotten to so many relationships professionally that I’ve developed from people that I met, either they hired me to do a training or they attended one and I love that. So anyway, that’s a sloppy ending, but that’s it.
Well, David, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice Podcast.
Oh, thanks for having me, Joe, it’s been fun.
So again, if you want to attend that training, it’s Three Therapist Secrets to moneymaking CE trainings. We’re going to be covering all sorts of different things together. We’re going to be talking about how continuing education income from in-person and online offerings can really make a difference in your life and in the people that you serve. That’s going to be a live webinar on Thursday, April 13th at 2 o’clock Eastern. You can register for that over at Joe, that’s [JOE], sorry, joe.mavenwebinar.com. Again, that’s joe.mavenwebinar.com is where you can register for that. We’re going to be talking about all things continuing education. David’s going to be walking you through step-by-step, a number of different very practical steps that we couldn’t get to on today’s show. This was one of our longer episodes, but there’s so much to cover in this area. That’s why we are having that live webinar. Again, on April 13th, that’s going to be at 2 o’clock Eastern, 1 o’clock Central, noon Mountain, and 11 Pacific.
Thank you so much for letting us into your years 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.
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