As you build your online counseling practice, you may be interested in ways to supplement your income as your practice grows, make extra income in addition to your practice salary, or create a stream of passive income. Online counseling is convenient and provides you with the flexibility to explore a variety of additional revenue options.
1. Licensure in Multiple States
At this time, there is not a nationwide licensure option for counseling. Instead, each state’s independent board determines the rules and regulations for the counselors within that state. In addition, we are unable to practice across state lines except in rare instances or with the approval of the state where the client resides. However, you can go through the application process (which varies significantly by state) to become licensed in other states across the US. This would allow you to further expand your clientele base. Are there other states where you could charge more per session based upon the typical rates of counselors in that part of the country? If so, you could become licensed in that state, charge more per session, work fewer hours, and support your lifestyle business. Or, perhaps you maintained your licensure from a previous state in which you lived and are licensed in a new state. If so, you can market and practice in both of these states concurrently.
Have you determined the niche for your particular online practice? Is it working with women who have survived trauma? Cancer survivors? Addiction recovery? Whatever your niche or specialty may be, you have a unique skill set in this area with a vast knowledge to share. With this specialized knowledge, you can create e-courses to share this content with others. Perhaps someone is unable to afford counseling. Or they are not ready to make a commitment to therapy. But they would benefit from learning some strategies and ideas to enhance their quality of life in this unique area. The person could purchase the e-course from your website and view your lessons at their convenience while you benefit from the passive income of these sales and could possibly have a new client too if they decide they are ready for formal therapy in the future.
Much like e-courses, you might have a unique niche or area of specialty that you would like to share with others. Or do you have a passion that you want to share more about with the world? Podcasting is a popular medium to share this knowledge with an expansive audience. Sponsorship can help you to support your podcast as it grows and eventually can be an added income stream. In addition, potential clients might listen to your podcast and become actual clients.
As you become settled and successful with your online private practice, you can begin to help other budding clinicians as they build their own online practices. Through consultation, you can help to educate a growing field of online private practitioners, guide them in best practices, legal and ethical considerations, HIPAA compliance, etc while having an added stream of income for your own business. Be sure to check with your state laws and liability insurance provider before beginning consultation services.
Do you have a desire to share more about your niche or advanced knowledge via written mediums? If so, there are many local and national publications where you can share your writing. You can also take this further by writing an e-book for publication and sale online. With each book sold, you can be creating a passive income stream for yourself.
6. Speaking Engagements
Do you enjoy presenting to large groups? If so, you can advertise your services to local, state, and national organizations who would be interested in learning more from you about online counseling, your unique niche, etc. While some speaking opportunities are pro bono, you can add to the counselor base who refers to you when they have clients who would benefit from online counseling or you may find clients directly this way as well. In other cases, the speaking events are paid, and you have found another stream of income for your practice while also promoting your practice in the community and beyond.
Wendy Galyen, LCSW and BC-TMH, is the founder of Thrive for Life Online Counseling, solely private pay and entirely online private practice in Indiana. She has degrees from the University of Indianapolis and Indiana University where has also served as an adjunct faculty member. Wendy has over 16 years of experience working with individuals, couples, families, and children. She also has extensive social work research experience. And has published and presented this research in textbooks, journals, online periodicals, magazines and at national conferences. In addition to her work with clients via online counseling mediums, Wendy also provides consultation services to other counselors who are looking to add online counseling as a component of their practices.