Are you looking to change up your career path while retaining your hard-earned skills as a therapist? Can one monetize pastime passions into viable income streams? What are some basics to know when working towards this goal?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about how to know if coaching, consulting, or online courses are the next right income stream for you with Katie Read.
Are you frustrated with the burden of insurance billing or credentialing? Have you had to write off several claims due to insurance issues? Have you spent hours on hold with insurance companies?
Practice Solutions’ mental and behavioral health billing solutions are designed to save you time so you can stay focused on providing superior care for your Patients and growing your practice.
Meet Katie Read
Katie helps therapists grow and outgrow their private practices by leading them into vibrant secondary income streams in coaching, consulting, and course creation.
Visit her website.
In This Podcast
- Which passions of yours could be made into secondary income streams?
- Starting an e-course
Which passions of yours could be made into secondary income streams?
I constantly feel like if anyone should be out there doing these things, it is us. It’s the therapists, it’s the people who do have all the training, who do have the strong backbone of ethics, who do understand human psychology and there are so many ways that we can help people, even if you’re not necessarily helping somebody with a DSM diagnosable issue.
First steps to consider
- Evaluate your favorite pastimes and passions, conduct a deep interest assessment, and ask yourself; if you could stay up talking all night with someone, what would you like to talk about?
- Which topics do you search online in your free time? What are most of your books about?
These are the topics that you do not find yourself tiring of and they could be multiple, you do not have to choose one or two just yet. What would you love to do if you had more time on your hands?
Utilizing life experience for teaching purposes
Once you have your top interests noted, think about any life experiences that you have had that connect with them. Do you have lived experience that can deepen your understanding and explanation of these passions to people around you? Your experiences can be learning curves for your potential customers. In the coaching world, this lived experience is incredibly valuable and can carry you far.
Starting an e-course
Choose niche and brainstorm
Think about your target audience, your niche. Who are the people you want to connect with? Take some time to envision the outcome that you are going to help people achieve and brainstorm these possibilities – the closer you can get to a deferential outcome, the better you will do when you start marketing yourself because you know what your goals are.
Brainstorm the roadmap, from start to finish – what are all the things they, your audience, will need to go from start to finish and how can you offer those things to them?
Build an audience prior to product
Having that audience before you launch is so important. We often say ‘fall in love with the pain and the people before you pitch the product.
Once you have a general direction, start working on an audience immediately because when you have built your e-course, you will need people to sell that e-course to.
Build your audience through the way that you find most comfortable in marketing yourself
Katie refers to it as ‘feel-good marketing’ – by putting your message out in a manner that feels best to you will help your message carry farther, and people will feel that they can connect with you.
Perhaps you can start a podcast, or work on a mailing list, write articles for websites you know your target audiences interact with or write your own blogs. Putting yourself out there into your niche means that when you start providing services, people will respond to your presence because they are familiar with it.
- Instagram for Therapists with Whitney Goodman | PoP 490
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- Apply to work with us
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!
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Are you still doing your own billing? What a waste of time. You could be doing counseling or any of the other things that you’re really really good at. My friends over at Practice Solutions are amazing at billing. They’ve collected millions and millions of dollars on behalf of their clients, counselors just like you. Katherine and Jeremy, the owners, are this amazing couple that has built such a crazy, awesome team. A team that will go after the bills, that will get them collected, and you only pay if they collect. As well, they can help you with credentialing. Take this off of your plate, put your time into something that really matters. I want you to head on over to practicesol.com and reach out to them. That’s practicesol.com, and let them know that you heard about it on the Practice of the Practice podcast.
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session 491.
Well, today’s episode is part of a series all with Killin’It Camp speakers. So, this year Killin’It Camp is going to be completely online. We have over twenty speakers, we have it all getting recorded – assuming the technology doesn’t act silly on us – and we have some killer deals from TherapyNotes, Brighter Vision, and other folks during Killin’It Camp. So in early October, we’re going to be having Killin’It Camp and you can come live to those. Or if you get a ticket and you want to just pop in, pop out, though they’ll all get recorded for you as well. And so for only $95 you can get access to all of these speakers, all of the recordings, all the bonuses, gotta head on over to killinitcamp.com. These are just a couple of the speakers that I’m having here on the podcast, but we’re having over twenty speakers; it’s gonna be amazing. We have three tracks – one track is called Pillars of Practice. These are short form, TED Talk type talks that are twenty-five minutes long; they’re on very clear, particular things of private practice. The other types are fifty-five minutes long, and those are How to Scale a Practice. So that’s gonna be all around group practices, and expanding, and scaling your practice. And then we also have the Multiple Streams of Income track. And the thing about this is you don’t have to choose between the tracks. We’ve set it up that only one session is going at a time. We have one login that you can pop in, pop out, wherever you can catch the talks, so we really want it to be accessible to you. Again, it’s only $95. So head on over to killinitcamp.com, and you can learn all about the speakers that will be there. We can’t wait for this. So without any further ado, here we go.
Today on the Practice of the Practice podcast we have Katie Read. Katie helps therapists grow and outgrow their private practices by leading them into vibrant secondary income streams in coaching, consulting, and course creation. Katie, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
Hey, thank you.
I am so excited you’re here. I feel like before we got recording, we could have just kept talking forever about lifestyle design, and like creating our own worlds, and like we’re cut from the same cloth, for sure.
Totally. I know. I always feel like you and I are kind of singing the same song out there. I love it.
Yeah. And to me, there’s nothing wrong with that. I feel like there’s so many people in higher education that are singing the same song and teaching a modality of just like – I don’t even know how to frame it – just not what I think that the private practice world or counseling world should be. And so if there’s more of us singing the same song, I say, bring on the chorus.
Absolutely. And I feel like I do see it more and more. I see more and more therapists sort of waking up to this. Oh, wait, there is a whole life of helping professionals that is not necessarily just a traditional therapy room, and people are waking up to it. And I don’t know what you see, I feel like more and more, too, I see younger people coming out of grad school. And people like me, we had to go through, you know, twenty years of being a clinician to realize, oh, hey, maybe I want something more. But I feel like younger people coming out of grad school now, they know within like two years. They’re like, okay, this is great, and I’m good at this, but I also want something more. And they’re just ready for it.
Well, and for you, how did that waking up happen? Like, when did you start saying wait a second. I don’t know if I’m gonna keep doing this.
You know, it’s such a good question. So for me, and my story is kind of, I’m sure, different than the norm, like, I was a clinician forever. I’ve had private practices, I’ve taught grad school, I’ve created therapist training materials, I’ve directed at nonprofits, I have supervised over forty interns. So I kind of joke that I feel like I have had and loved – truly loved – every job in this profession. And I had been doing it a long time, I still loved it. To me, private practice was still the best of the best. But I hit this point where both of my children were young and they were both diagnosed, within eight weeks, with kind of severe special needs.
Yeah, and because of that diagnosis, I suddenly needed to be the mommy case manager, I needed to be able to bring them around for various appointments, be available for various services, like I really needed to reorient my life around being able to do whatever they needed. And what that did for me at the time, like, we still needed some income. And honestly, between you and I, I still needed some degree of sanity, of like talking to other adults a little bit during the day. And so what that meant for us was my husband had a typical nine to five job, so he would get home around five, I would have had an entire day of like running services with my kids, doing everything they needed, and at five o’clock, I would be fixing up my makeup, putting on my work clothes and heading into the office. And then I would see clients in the evening. And it was exhausting, and it was not sustainable. And so what eventually happened was with my husband’s work, we were transferred. We were transferred from California to Arizona. I had a long relicensure process. Arizona has different exams, they didn’t care about all my experience, you know, as so many people have discovered when they move, it can be a huge pain, right?
And so during that time, I wasn’t licensed in Arizona, I couldn’t go open an office, I was still doing a lot of different things with my kids, different services during the day. But they were also getting a little older, my oldest was heading into kindergarten at that time, and so I did have some little bouts of free time. And I started doing some other more creative things that I could do without a license. I was approached to edit an online psychology magazine. Doing that really reinvigorated in me this love of copywriting, of editing, of doing these other things that I had been passionate about always, but I was just so busy being a therapist, I hadn’t pursued them in years. And from that… it’s funny, I went through the exams all over again, which let me tell you, when you take exams like twenty years later, the retention rate is not what it was when you were younger. Oh my gosh, they were hard to study for the second time around.
But I did that, and then I got licensed. And I had, at the point that I got relicense in Arizona, I had started offering out myself as a copywriter to therapists who maybe needed… therapist websites, let’s be honest, most of them are kind of terrible. We didn’t come out of grad school knowing how to create an awesome website. And so I was offering just inexpensive copywriting services kind of as something for me to do, and that was growing really quickly. And I realized, I was like, I love getting on the phone with other therapists, and talking about their marketing, and helping them to find their niche, and helping them figure out like, what do they want their days to be like as a therapist? What kinds of clients do they want to be working with? What I didn’t actually love then was going off into a room by myself and doing the writing. And so slowly, my focus shifted, and I became a marketing consultant for therapists. And I helped therapists with all of that marketing, and I realized, I was like, I’m a consultant now, and I’m loving this, I consider myself a coach, a consultant, a strategist. I was loving it. I have my license now. I could go rent an office and open up shop, and I didn’t want to, because I was so excited about all this creative work that I was doing.
And so I know that my story is strange. It’s not necessarily the norm. But what I get to see now… because a lot of what I do is helping therapists who, like you and I, are ready to outgrow the office, they’re ready to do more things. Because I get to meet so many of them, the stories that a lot of people have, either it’s stories like mine where they were in the field for years and years. And they come to me and honestly, they kind of whisper it, they’re kind of embarrassed about it, but they go, sometimes I get a little bored. Like, I’ve been doing private practice…
Why do you think they get embarrassed, or like, why does that cause some shame for them?
Yeah, I think there is shame. I think because honestly, for so many of us, and I know for me, becoming a therapist really felt like a calling. I had such a strong internal drive to become a therapist. It just felt like this is what I’m meant to do with my life. And we don’t want to believe that that might change over time. We don’t want to believe that maybe we’re actually going to outgrow certain things, even if they really were callings, or they are callings. And I think too, there’s a limitation because therapy is so regulated, because we have to go through so much training, so much ongoing work to be able to stay licensed as a therapist, we put limitations around what we consider true helping professionals. And so for people to start to expand that view, to say, you know what, I am still helping people, I’m still a helping professional, even if I’m a coach, even if I’m a consultant, even if I’m a course creator, a podcaster, a retreat leader, like all the things that you do, you actually are still a helping professional, and you can still take pride in that. But I think people get a little embarrassed about it. They feel like therapy is the ultimate, they should be so thrilled to be able to do it. And they should never ever walk back from that one bit. I don’t know, what do you think, in what you’ve seen?
Yeah, I think that for a lot of therapists, the same sort of thing. I mean, my dad’s a school psychologist and in second grade I wrote ‘I want to be a psychologist’. I had to learn to spell it but it’s like, you know, I think what comes to mind is, you know, sometimes there’s these girls who, when they’re little they play dress up to have a wedding and then you see them in college and they’re always reading these wedding magazines. I remember this one lady who she wasn’t even dating anyone and she read wedding magazines all through college. And I can’t imagine what her wedding ended up being like with that much advertising in her brain. Luckily, social media wasn’t around or otherwise I would have followed her and found out what a disaster it was. But then it’s like you have that day you get married, and then you realize, like, oh, I have the rest of my life with this person. I spent years preparing for a wedding day only to realize, now I gotta learn to be married. It feels sort of like that, where we spend years to just become a therapist, but then we never really ask ourselves, like, what’s the actual impact I want to make? What do I really care about? And I actually don’t even know how many just people in general even take the time to say like, do I like my life? Do I want to do this? Do I want to change? Or am I just doing it because I’ve always done it and change is too scary for me? So I think that shame sometimes comes from, for sure, like you visioned yourself being in that role, but then not even taking the time to say, if I were to start over, like, would I even do what I’m doing now?
Yeah, that’s absolutely true. I think that’s true. I think too, what I’ve seen at least change about our field over time… I kind of laugh when I think back. When I first realized that I wanted to be a therapist, I had a part time job at the time working for a woman who was a career coach. And I remember her saying to me, like, just come be a coach like me, I’ll train you to be a coach, you can use… she had all these materials that she had created and trademarked and her programs and whatnot, and she was like, just be a coach. It’s brilliant. Now this was like twenty years ago, and coaching at the time, I knew nothing about it. I was working for her, but I didn’t really think it was an industry and it wasn’t much of an industry probably back then. And of course, in that moment, I was like, I’m not going to be a coach, I’m going to be a therapist. You know, the grand like, this is the great thing.
And now what we’ve seen is the coaching industry has exploded, the consulting industry, oh my gosh, the online course industry that of course didn’t even exist back then, has just exploded. And I constantly feel like I’m beating the drum because I feel like if anybody should be out there doing these things, it is us. It’s the therapists. It’s the people who do have all the training, who do have this strong backbone of ethics, who do understand human psychology. And there are so many ways that we can help people, even if you’re not necessarily helping somebody with a DSM diagnosable issue. There are a million other ways.
Yeah. Now, I know you’re gonna really dig into this in your talk at Killin’It Camp, but if someone’s listening and they’re saying, okay, Katie, I love it. I have these skills, like I want to launch something. I want to have an additional stream of income through either coaching, consulting, courses, what are a couple steps to help them figure out even what they should spend their time on developing?
Yes, that’s a great question. So let me do a little tiny side tangent on this one. I think a lot of therapists hear the word ‘consultant’ and they don’t know what it means, and they don’t think they’re qualified. And I always have this little part of me that wants to kind of beat the drum for consulting. I think, consulting, if you think about it, it’s usually and not always, but usually somebody’s going in to help a business in some way. Right? Now a business might be a big corporation, it might be that nonprofit that you worked at that was really terribly managed, and that you saw a million different things that they could do that would help employee morale, that would help it be better managed, that maybe would help the people in charge have more empathy, and better communication with their staff. Going into a company might also mean that you’re working one on one with entrepreneurs, with solopreneurs, with other therapists. I have a lot of people who come to me who actually want to offer their services to other therapists in various ways.
So consulting can be any number of things and what we often take for granted is that the people who are business leaders, the people who are entrepreneurs, they didn’t go to the grad school that we went to. They don’t understand family systems the way we do. They don’t understand empathy and communication and leadership. They don’t understand structures and how you can change those structures the way that therapists do. So often I feel like therapists don’t have the confidence to say, hey, I could actually go in there and help and make a difference. And yet, if you step back and talk to them about what they’re good at, you realize they would be such an amazing leadership consultant, a trainer for managers. I have one client right now – I think his niche is so cool, because it’s so niche – he goes into construction companies where all of the bosses are more in the boomer generation and all the employees, all the guys out on the work sites, are more in the millennial generation, and they’re not communicating well. And he’s like, I bridge the gap. I help these two different generations talk to each other, work together, build morale, keep your best guys, all of that stuff. Like, isn’t that a unique niche?
Yeah, and I think about right now in the midst of this COVID pandemic in the fall, like even just thinking about what are therapists good at? Well, most of them can do pretty good crisis management. We’re all taught de-escalation techniques. Every Subway, pizza place, takeout place is going to get someone that won’t wear their mask. And if they just learn some basic de-escalation techniques, like, how valuable would that be to a team of teenagers that are working in a Subway making sandwiches only to get some maskless person yelling at them? So we have these skills that are transferable to so many different businesses, even just testing out some of these different ways of consulting and throwing it out there and seeing what you like, seeing what businesses like, even if it’s just local. There’s so many opportunities for people to think about the way that they do counseling in a much different way.
Yeah, absolutely. And then, let’s say somebody’s like, you know, I’m not into the consulting thing. But the coaching thing is sort of interesting to me. I’m curious about that. What I say to people is, look around. What are either clients you’ve had in the past, or maybe things you’ve dealt with in your own life, I want you to think about what are the things that you could talk about all day? This is where we kind of do that deeper interest assessment, right? Like, what could you stay up all night talking to somebody about? What if I looked at your Kindle? What are half of your books going to be about? What are the things that when you have free time just to surf around online, what are the topics that you are going back to over and over again? And then you can go beyond that and you can say, do you have certain life experiences that maybe it would be extremely useful for someone else to learn from? And honestly, in the world of coaching, this can run such a gamut. I mean, you might say, I’m an avid rock climber, and I can actually coach people in how to mentally prepare to climb Everest like I did – not that I personally did, but you get the idea. But maybe you have a skill like that, a life experience like that. Maybe you just have an interest that has always been with you, has always been strong, you love to talk about it, you get excited about it, you’re passionate about it. These are the kinds of things that lend themselves well to coaching.
And people always say, well, what’s the difference? What’s the difference between counseling and coaching? I don’t know what the difference is. Now this is just my… there’s no like official line in the sand that somebody drew that is there forever. My personal definition, the way I help my clients think about it is, everybody has needs, very specific needs, that may not be clinical levels of need. And so there are a million in the world people with very specific needs. Maybe somebody needs to learn to be a better public speaker at work because every time they get called on to talk at work, they get clammy, and they freeze up, and they forget their train of thought, and they lose it. Maybe somebody… I think back to when my youngest, he just was a terrible, terrible sleeper for years. And we went through everybody out there, we went through everybody, we went through every form of baby sleep specialist, baby sleep coach, you know, there was like the baby sleep chiropractor, like, we did everything. So there are these experiences that we’ve had that we can say, you know, I can help somebody else through that, I can coach somebody else through that, I can help with that now. And those are all the kinds of things that I encourage people to start looking at as they start thinking about what is an exciting secondary income stream, like, what would I love to do if I had more time on my hands?
Yeah. Now what about ecourses? What are some kind of starting points for people there?
So for an ecourse, I always say the process is very similar. Whether you want to coach, consult, or build an ecourse, you first need to choose who you’re talking to – so that’s your niche – you want to choose the outcome that you’re going to help these people achieve, and in general, the closer you can get to a pretty defined outcome, the better you’re going to do in terms of your marketing. So in other words, when somebody comes to me and says, well, I want to help women feel more balanced, I’m like, no, back to the drawing board. It’s not a clearly defined outcome and it’s going to be very hard to market that. So no matter what you’re doing, choose your niche, figure out what outcome do I want to help people achieve, and then you start brainstorming, right? You start your major brainstorming process. What are all the ways I’m going to do this? What are all the things they need to learn along the path, from where they are now to the point that I’m going to get them to? And then while you’re doing that – I strongly encourage people – start building your audience in that subject area, immediately. Start building your audience as quickly as you can, because if you want to launch an ecourse, you have to have people to launch it to.
And so the ways to do that, as you know, Joe, a podcast is an excellent one. You start putting out content in whatever way you’re most comfortable. I talk a lot about ‘feel good marketing’. So you start putting out content, authority content in your area. Maybe you’re doing videos, a podcast, blog posts, maybe you are doing guest articles on websites that you know your ideal clients are reading. But you’re really starting to get yourself out there. You might even be running ads, for example, starting to build an email list, starting to put yourself out there in your niche. Because then, once you’ve got that ecourse built and you’re excited, and it’s ready to go, well, hopefully at that point, you’ve already got a couple hundred people following you, you’ve got people to launch to the first time around, which makes all the difference.
Yeah, I can’t underline that enough, that having that audience before you launch is so important. We often say, fall in love with the pain and the people before you pitch the product. And so often people are like, oh, I spent all this time building this ecourse, and then it’s just crickets and you’re like, come on. No. You gotta get some people that trust you before you pitch them the product. Well, Katie, the last question I always ask is, if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?
I would want them to know that the world is changing – we’ve obviously seen that more than ever in 2020 – the world is changing. The limits to what you can do, as a helping professional, are blowing away. The doors are being blown off what we can do as helping professionals. And no matter what you can dream up, chances are there is a need for that somewhere in the world. And honestly, all you need to overcome – the only thing standing between you and that dream – is your own fear, your own imposter syndrome, and the work that you do every day just to show up, to say I’m gaining control of my own mind and gaining control of my own imposter syndrome. I am taking steps toward this dream. That work that you do will absolutely pay off. I believe that we therapists are absolutely redefining the coaching industry, the consulting industry, the online course industry. We are the future of it. We are redefining it. We are raising the bar on it. And any therapist who wants to step up into that role, you should not hesitate.
Oh, so awesome, Katie. Well, I am so excited to have you and more than twenty other speakers at Killin’It Camp this year. We’ve got the Pillars of Practice track, we’ve got the Scaling a Practice track, and then we have the Multiple Streams of Income track. You don’t have to choose between speakers because we have them just one after another in one Zoom session you can pop in and out of. For only $95 you get access to all of Killin’It Camp, the live online Killin’It Camp. As well, we’re going to chop that up into an ecourse that you’ll get full access to. Lots of times they’ll have at conferences a low price, and then to get the recording – because you probably miss some – they charge you an upcharge; we’re not doing that at all. For that $95, special thanks to Brighter Vision and TherapyNotes who are our major sponsors. We couldn’t have done all of this without them either. So make sure you grab your ticket over at killinitcamp.com and we can’t wait to see you there. Katie, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.
This was awesome. Thank you for having me.
That was so amazing. Thank you so much for hanging out with us. Make sure you grab your Killin’It Camp ticket over at killinitcamp.com where you can see a list of all of our speakers, when they’re speaking. You can pop in and pop out throughout all of Killin’It Camp and you’ll also get access to all the videos in the form of an ecourse. We are so excited to be offering this to you. Also, huge thank you to Practice Solutions. Practice Solutions is the premier billers for therapists. Practice Solutions is the best. So head on over to Practice Solutions’ website. We absolutely love them. If you just go over to practicesol.com. Go over there to practicesol.com, and they will get you started. They will get you onboarded. They will get you all registered with insurances. They are amazing. Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a great day. Bye.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music; we really like it. This podcast is designed to provide accurate, authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It 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.