Before I start telling you about how I made money in counseling, I just want to say that running a private practice is awesome! How are you doing at it? I’ve been interviewing a ton of counselors and consultants recently. There are four major phases of running a private practice:
- Start-up: During this phase of running a private practice the counselor is getting their feet wet and trying to get clients to meet their own income goals. Eventually they get busy enough and then they move into the next phase.
- Adding counselors: One of the smartest and quickest ways to grow influence and income is to bring in counselors to the private practice. Lots of counselors have no idea how to add a 1099 counselor to their practice, get help so you do it right and don’t make the IRS mad.
- Reducing Personal Clients: As more clinicians join the private practice, owners are usually more selective in how they work with clients. This can be through having a less flexible sliding-fee scale, only working specific hours, or only seeing specific populations of counseling clients. Also, many owners begin to offer consulting at a higher rate. As they become a consultant, they raise prices, make more, and serve individuals better.
- Reduced Responsibilities: Lastly, smart private practice owners begin to higher assistants, virtual assistants, and take more and more off of their plate so they can grow the parts of the business that they know best and hand off the rest.
What happened in November
Well, I took some time off at the end to hang out in the wild Michigan Upper Peninsula without wifi. It was awesome and also sort of made me stir crazy. I’ve tried to just keep on keepin’ on. I’ve been:
- Doing interviews for my How to Become a Consultant Podcast
- Ending my evenings early on my late nights so I can tuck my girls into bed
- Planning my move to full time private practice
- I also launched a new way to do consulting cheaper, email me if you want to know more
Great counseling and marketing articles and podcasts from November
Past Monthly Income Reports
People often ask me why I disclose all this information? To me, I am inspired when other people are open and honest. Then I can learn from how they succeed or fail. My hope is that this helps others to grow in their businesses!
September 2014 Monthly Income Report $7,084.45 (but took 2 weeks off for baby)
2013 Annual Counseling Income: $54,513.97 (January-December 2013)
November 2014 Earning Report
What I’m going to be reporting about how to make extra money and what I’m not going to be reporting
Since some of you are new and some of you have been around Practice of the Practice for a while, I’m going to give a quick summary of where I make income. My full-time job is at a community college as a counselor, however I am currently on unpaid FMLA. I love the job and it gives me great opportunities. So I am there getting insurance and working 2 days a week to help pay for that. I’m not going to disclose my full-time wages there, since it is not something that is part of my private practice.
I do 9-10 sessions a week in my private practice. I don’t take insurance, so it is private-pay. As a result, I don’t have many expenses in time or actual money. I also do consulting with private practice clinicians and supervision for LLPCs in Michigan (Limited Licensed Professional Counselors), a 100 hour requirement in Michigan.
The term “passive” makes it sound like I don’t have to do work. What I mean is money that I make that is not in direct exchange for my time. I will outline what these are under each item.
How I increased revenue in November 2014
Disclosure: many of the links below are affiliate links that will earn me a commission if you purchase through them, it’s one way that I help support the work I put into the website. Please click on them to help support Practice of the Practice.
Private Practice: $6,344.18
Other counselors: I have four counselors that work for my Traverse City counseling private practice as 1099 contractors and I get a portion of what is brought in: $1,185
Paperwork Packet: $0
Consulting: (this sometimes includes building a website as part of the private practice coach session) I do private practice coaching.
Usually there are three parts to private practice consulting:
- A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) Analysis
- Website redesign or re-optimization
- Coaching: developing a niche within the private practice, building stronger referrals, increasing rates, and launching products to grow income
In my August Monthly Income Report I had a number of new private practice consulting clients start with me. Because of having the baby I wanted to make sure I provided excellent service to those I’m consulting with, so this number is way lower than normal. But, I spent 2+ weeks with my new baby. I don’t feel bad about this one bit!
LLPC Supervision: $875
The Motherload: $0
E-books: You may have noticed that the Practice of the Practice book has been showing up in the 3-D fashion on the website, this has really helped drive traffic, but isn’t in your face selling. $97.82
Paperback Copy of my book Mental Wellness Parenting: A remarkably simple approach to making parenting easier. Most people would see this as a really bad thing, however, when I wrote the book, I really wanted to focus on it being something to hand out to clients or potential referrals. It’s sort of an over-sized business card. It’s great when people buy it, but I’m not disappointed when they don’t, since I see it more as a marketing tool: $0
Member’s Newsletter to Launch/Grow a Practice
Member’s Newsletter: This is the weekly newsletter that walks people through exactly what they need to do when starting a private practice. $99.82
Affiliate Marketing to Increase Revenue
Aweber: This is the service I use to create emails, manage lists, and create follow-up emails where they can be in order for the person. It’s super cool! $14.40
BlueHost Referrals: If you are setting up a website, this is the best hosting because of their customer service and the ability to have unlimited websites hosted! $65
Amazon Affiliate Referrals: If you are buying something on Amazon, it’d be great if you clicked the link. I get a small commission without you having to pay anything more: $7.91
NameCheap is who I use to purchase my URLs, they are so easy to work with when you’re setting up a website!: $0
Google Ads: I have a few ads through the website and these bring in a bit of passive income. Since my podcast interview about How to Rank Higher in Google with Sarah Barnes I’ve been doing a lot less of this: $26.11
LegalZoom: This is the second month that someone has clicked and bought something through this link! It’s so exciting, also my wife bought her PLLC so I got to really see it firsthand. It is amazing and super easy to use. $67.05
Grasshopper: This is the amazing virtual phone system I use, rather than an expensive land line system. I have the $12/month one and it is awesome. At least check them out and watch some videos. $100
ZynnyMe: I recently connected with Miranda and Kelly to become an affiliate. They have a Business School Bootcamp that is what I wish I could build. Maybe sometime in the future, but for now I’m just going to refer folks to them! $0
November 2014 Total: $11,695.30
Not a new record, but it is another 5 figure month!
Lastly, you are the reason
When I look back just over 2 years ago, when I started keeping track of all my counselor wages, I made $1,361.60 that first month. I have not increased my workload much, in fact, in a lot of ways I have cut back. You, the folks that read articles until the end, listen to the whole podcast, and implement all the things I talk about, are the reason that Practice of the Practice keep growing.
- You are out there letting people know about the marketing and small business blog, private practice podcast, and our social media on Facebook or LinkedIn page!
- When you have great experiences, implement things, and grow because of our free content, you tell others about what I’m doing here.
- A small percentage of people click on adds, use the affiliate links, sign up for the Member’s Newsletter, or get started with private practice consulting.
- Having this website and podcast forces me to keep growing, learning, and improving my marketing, business, and clinical skills, which helps my Traverse City counseling private practice, Mental Wellness Counseling, to grow too!
Thank you so much for all your support
Some of the numbers from Google Ads, Amazon, NameCheap, and my e-books will not be paid until they reach a certain amount or 60-90 days after the sale. I report what has been sold in the month it was sold. Also, I do not take expenses off of this report.
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant.
Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI.
To link to Joe’s Google+ .
Photo by David Beyer