Should I put rates on my website? I get this question so often! In fact, someone called in an let me it as a message. Also, I cover a few other listener questions in this episode.
Today’s Private Practice Resource
I’ve been using Bluehost for all of my hosting for my private practice and consulting blogs. You can have multiple domains hosted and their customer support is great!
What you will discover:
1:09 The best website hosting for counselors in private practice
2:57 Should I add prices on my private practice website?
4:10 My take on raising prices, posting prices, and how to decide whether you should put your prices on your website.
6:55 How to raise your prices and value in private practice
8:15 What ethical obligations do we have when we are advising others online?
12:57 How to use questions to create content
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He 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+ .
Full Transcript of the Show
This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, Session 82. Well before we get to the questions from Mihel and Danielle today, I want to thank Bluehost. Bluehost has been the hosting that I’ve used for my private practice and for Practice of the Practice, and it’s such a great resource.One thing I really like about Bluehost is once you pay for the hosting, so on a website if you’re not sure how that works, the hosting is where the information is kept that keeps your website going, so sort of like the foundation of your house. You don’t really see it but it keeps everything stable.
The best website hosting for counselors in private practice
What I like about it is you pay $4 to $5 depending on which plan you select. I wouldn’t say that you need to do any of the upgrade plans. They’ve have all sorts of upgrades but if you do that, then you can have all of your websites hosted on this. If you launch a consulting website, if you have your private practice website or just personal websites, you’ve got hosting for all of them for that 5 bucks a month. So, I’ve really, really liked having Bluehost and have multiple websites hosted through Bluehost. So, the best way to connect with Bluehost is to just go to practiceofthepractice.com/host H-O-S-T and that will redirect you to Bluehost so I get credit for sending you there way.
Today, it’s super exciting. I’ve got two listener questions, people that have called in and left me a message and have given me permission to put their question on the podcast. So, if you want to do this, if you have questions, I would love it. I just think it just adds such a cool dynamic too, when we’re doing private practice discussions on the podcast. So, just go to speakpipe.com/practiceofthepractice. SpeakPipe does a great job. You just, with any microphone, whether it’s your phone, or whether it’s your computer, you can just record directly from that and then it’ll email me the mp3 and I can use it right in the podcast. So, thanks so much for doing that if you have some questions, or have things that you want me to cover.
So, let’s listen to the first question.
Danielle: Hi, Joe. This is Danielle calling from Montreal, Canada. I am a music therapist who started a private practice and I’ve been listening to your podcast for the past three months or so. My question is about adding prices on a website.
Should I add prices on my private practice website?
My prices as a music therapist are much lower than other practitioners like occupational therapists, psycho therapists, and so I’m kind of caught between two thoughts. One is that it could be a selling point that I add my prices on my website and have people see how affordable they are. My other idea is maybe it’ll cheapen the image of my practice to those prices if you’ll go by potential clients. [3:13] would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.
Danielle, what a great question about prices on a website. I totally agree with you that this is an area that a lot of people struggle with. So, let’s start with well, what are the advantages of both? And I think you kind of touched on both of these. In putting your prices on the website, it helps someone make a decision before they even get in touch with you. That kind of can weed out some lost time. Maybe it would if people are just price-shopping and they see your price then they might say, “Well, okay. I don’t want to see that person.” So, it could save you some time.
My take on raising prices, posting prices, and how to decide whether you should put your prices on your website.
On the other hand, by not having your prices on there, then people are more likely to follow through and contact you and have a talk with you. And so I guess, my question that I’m thinking you said that seeing your prices might cheapen the image and I’m wondering, well is there an opportunity to raise your prices? Should you? I know that’s not your question but if right away you’re saying, “Well, this kind of cheapens my image” well, maybe your image needs to be uncheapened and you should raise your prices. And I’m not sure how it works in Canada if there’s fixed pricing or anything like that in regards to how you do things. But I think that’s really important to at least ask yourself, okay if you’re asking does it cheapen the image, maybe you should uncheapen it by raising your prices.
I tend not to put my prices on my website directly. On Psychology Today, I do put the range for Mental Wellness Counseling on there. We do do a sliding fee scale and I know some clinicians choose not to do a sliding fee scale. But I tend not to broadcast my prices. I think they are actually on our website but it’s kind of — someone has to really drill into it. So, I think they have to go to new, click here. And then it says, like about our clinicians and then I think even within there is rates and prices. We don’t broadcast this. I think it’s within the website so if someone was really trying to find it, they could search it for it. But it’s not like under every clinician we have here’s how much they cost.
That’s for a couple of reasons. I think one is that oftentimes, people think they’re shopping for price but they really aren’t. They want to get a value and if they see that your value is higher than they initially perceive, they’re willing to pay more than they initially perceived. So, there are ways that we can increase our value online by blogging, by showing your expertise, by you know, we can be on the radio, we can write for the local newspaper, we can do presentations, so that people know us and they refer their friends and family members to us — all those things increase our value because someone says, “I really want to see Joe, not because he’s just a name on a list but because he’s someone that a friend of mine recommended.” Or my doctor recommended or my kid’s teacher recommended.
I think that increasing your value should be really kind of the discussion and you do a lot of that ahead of time before the person ever even connects with you. And then also, you can add more value after you talk to that person or during that first discussion so on the phone with them or when your virtual assistant is talking to them they can talk about, “Well, hey. Joe Sanok does this or Danielle’s art therapy is like this. Or I’m sorry. Music therapy is like this. The more that there’s value added and that they see that you’re the best fit for them the more they’re likely to pay.
How to raise your prices and value in private practice
Sometimes, people will go into a discussion saying, “Well, I’m not going to pay more than this amount per hour” in their head, but then when once they hear all that you offer, all that you can help in regards to change, or the hope you can bring, those things all add value.
I tend to — I think my — that’s a long-winded answer but I would say you can put it on your website but I wouldn’t have it be front and center so that if someone’s really looking for it they can find it but also, I would — do your best to just add more value in that first discussion with someone so that you can raise your rates. The rates can be a little bit higher and I think that that’s going to help you continue to grow.
Thanks, Danielle, for calling in.
Let’s listen to our next question.
What ethical obligations do we have when we are advising others online?
Mihel: Hi, Joe. My name is Mihel Bernard. I’ve listening to your podcast for a while and great job. You know, I was implementing a bunch of strategies and I’ve also listened Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast that I’ve discovered through you and people started emailing me with their concerns and I’m just feeling a bit over my head with what’s my responsibility legally and ethically in terms of responding to them. They’re from all over the world and people struggling with anxiety or trauma and I was just wanting to make sure I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing ethically and legally correctly and I was just wondering if you could speak to that. We have a counseling website and people finding us through our blog and then they email with a question or a thought or a concern that’s somewhat counseling-related. How do we handle that? How do we make sure we’re on track, and we don’t violate any ethical or legal standards? And of course, to the best of your ability, I’d appreciate your thoughts on that.
Thanks again for all you’re doing and hopefully, I’ll hear from you shortly. Thanks, bye.
Mihel, what a great question. I think it’s such an important question as we put ourselves out there more. So, it sounds like you’re putting out all sorts of different things around anxiety and trauma and people from all the world are asking you deeper questions which is so great that that’s happening because you’re getting some international exposure and national exposure. It sounds like it’s a bit much to keep up with.
Let’s just start with ethical obligations. I’m going start with the ACA code of ethics because I’m a licensed counselor and that’s what I go from, depending on if you’re a social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist you’re going to have a different code of ethics, but I think the principles are going to be pretty similar.
In Section C6C Media Presentations, I think that’s one that comes closest to this question. It says, “When counselors provide advice or comment by means of public lectures, demonstrations, radio or television programs, recordings, technology-based applications, printed articles, mailed material or other media, they take reasonable precautions to ensure that and there are three of these things. One, the statements are based on appropriate professional counseling literature and practice so you’re giving good advice. You’re basing it on sound clinical advice.
Two, that the statements are otherwise consistent with the ACA code of ethics so that you’re not saying things that go against the code of ethics in the things you’re talking about.
Third, the recipients of the information are not encouraged to infer that a professional counseling relationship has been established. I think that’s probably the most important one. That you’re not inferring that you’re their counselor. That you’re not inferring that by reading this article you’re giving them clinical advice.
At the end of this podcast, you’ll hear that I give kind of a legal statement. I personally do that just to kind of protect myself and just make sure that everybody knows that I’m not providing clinical advice in the sense of like I’m your counselor or legal advice or accounting advice that you know, you need to find a competent professional to answer those questions.
You may want to put that in your blog post, but I think that the bigger thing is that you have quite an opportunity. I mean, this is a great thing that you have started that people are reaching out to you.
My question is well, how do we then expand what you’re doing beyond just kind of clinical work? And so, maybe you take the top 20 questions that people ask and you create an E-book and you say, “You know, I’ve taken all of these questions that people keep emailing me and I’ve decided to make an E-book all about it.
By doing that, you then can potentially monetize this work that you’re doing and then have extra time to help people even more because if you’re doing such work that people are saying, “Hey, I want to talk to you more. I want to hear more about what you’re doing. I want your advice.” That’s really important. They then really are connecting with you on a deeper level.
I would just encourage you to not shy away from too much of kind of the people coming to you for questions because that’s really showing you that there’s a larger market here kind of beyond what maybe you have initially thought which is just locally.
I guess both of these questions kind of raise some larger questions of how do you gain an audience? How do you gain people that want to come to your private practice but then if you’re putting work out there, what can you do even just beyond kind of that work? There’s a lot of ways that you can get your name out there.
It sounds like Michele or I am mispronouncing your name. I’m sorry. She has been writing blog posts. She’s getting people that are responding to her and ethically, I don’t think that she’s out of line by not giving them advice or putting them in the right direction, but I do think that for me, personally, I feel a certain obligation to my audience. I try to respond to every email that comes in and some days, I can get up to 50 emails in a day. Even if it’s a short email saying, “You know, here’s a blog post that tells you a little bit more.”
How to use questions to create content
When I’m hearing questions over and over, I use those questions to write blog posts for and then I can just say, “Hey, check out these blog post that goes deeper into your question.
If you’re hearing questions from people from all over the world, it’s like telling you that there’s an audience opportunity there and maybe that’s going to come out in the form of a blog, maybe it’s going to come out in the form of a podcast — there are all sorts of different ways that that can come out.
Thanks so much today. I know it’s a little bit shorter episode, a couple of questions here but thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have a tremendous week and if you’ve more questions again, just go to speakpipe.com/practiceofthepractice and again, Bluehost, the resource of the week, we love Bluehost here.
Again if you just go to practiceofthepractice.com/host, that will redirect to Bluehost and they’ll know that I sent you there.
Thanks for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an awesome week. See you.
Special thanks to the bands Silence is Sexy and The Black Parrot. We like your music.
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