Starting a Side Gig with Marissa Lawton | PoP 591

A photo of Marissa Lawton is captured. As a licensed counselor with a business background, she partners with fellow therapists to help them chase their non-clinical dreams and create side hustles. Marissa Lawton is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

What are some top tips for creating a group program? Are you considering starting a side hustle with an umbrella brand? Where is a good place to start with your ideas?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Marissa Lawton about starting a side gig, mindsets you have to change, and where you can start.

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A photo of Marissa Lawton is captured. As a licensed counselor with a business background, she partners with fellow therapists to help them chase their non-clinical dreams and create side hustles. Marissa Lawton is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast. Meet Marissa Lawton

Marissa is passionate about slow living and is actively cultivating more peace, ease, and joy in her life. She loves helping fellow therapists do the same by redefining the work they do. Her mission is to guide clinicians to repurpose and repackage their clinical skills into digital courses, group coaching programs, and membership sites.

Visit her website and connect on Facebook and Instagram.

Listen to her podcast and take the quiz to determine which online income stream is right for you.

In This Podcast

  • Mindsets to change before starting a side hustle
  • Do you have an ‘umbrella brand’?
  • Where to start
  • Starting a group program

Mindsets to change before starting a side hustle

Once you have decided to start a side hustle, you may be struggling with one of two mindsets, and it will be beneficial to you to change or release them because otherwise, you will stop before you even started:

  • I don’t have an idea, how do I come up with one?
  • I have so many ideas, how do I pick one?

Behind these two mindsets is the fear of failure. The one is afraid of starting because there seems to be nothing usable, and the other is thinking that narrowing down and committing to one would be a failure if that idea was the ‘wrong’ one.

Even just saying “how am I going to grow out of my position I’ve created for myself”, I think it’s so important for people to realize that you can change, you can do it different, it’s fine. (Joe Sanok)

Do you have an ‘umbrella brand’?

If you find yourself working with loads of ideas, access them and see if you can find a commonality between them all, discovering whether you have a potential “umbrella brand” or not.

On the other hand, if you do not have an umbrella brand, take your MVP: your most viable product and structure your marketing and any spin-off ideas, products, and services off of that main product.

Where to start

Start with the offer in mind:

Conceptualize your offer first, because this gives you a few things:

  1. The program type: course, coaching, e-book, and so forth,
  2. The person: who you are helping,
  3. The problem: what you are helping the person to understand, create or overcome,
  4. The promise: what you can offer them and give them at the end of their time spent with you.
  5. The price.

When we can have a conceptualization of those five areas, then it’s almost like the honey that draws the proverbial fly: if you know what you are starting with you can build the audience for that offer. (Marissa Lawton)

With promises, it is not like in therapy where promises are unethical, this is for your online content and it is helpful to your audience for you to explain how you are able to help them, and what they can expect from using your services.

Promises that do not work:

Outrageous claims:

  • You cannot guarantee them,
  • You cannot prove them

These promises automatically break any trust that your client had with you, because they are insincere, and you can spot them from a mile away.

Promises that do work:

Explain what you do differently, what it does, and how it works

  • This builds confidence and trust in your product because instead of glamorizing it, you are explaining exactly how it works and how it can serve your client.

The ideal outcome should be a biproduct of fulfilling that promise. (Marissa Lawton)

Next in starting a side hustle,

How high-touch do you want to be?

Being high-touch means that you are more involved with your clients, such as one-on-one coaching or therapy. Low-touch is more passive and less involved, such as publishing e-books or courses.

However, creating low-touch content often leads you into a high-volume space, where you spend a lot of time and energy creating content that will ultimately be passive.

Starting a group program

Group programs can be:

  • Short: something quick and intensive like a sprint or bootcamp. These are usually four to six weeks long.
  • Longer: three, six to even nine months.

A group program is a hybrid between group coaching, less structured, and a course, with more structure. There is a curriculum that anchors the group program; participants might get one lesson a week to go through on their own time and the lesson sets the tone for the weekly call.

What’s great about group programs is [that] they tend to be higher priced. So you’re kind of in a premium price category which means you don’t need to sell as many, so you definitely have touch there. You have the weekly touch point but that curriculum … keeps it … like you’re facilitating what they learned … you’re still holding space, but it is a lighter kind. (Marissa Lawton)

Books mentioned in this episode

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

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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