What’s Next? Series: An Interview with Marissa Lawton | GP 75

Do you want to expand your streams of income beyond your group practice? How do you tailor your products to suit the lifestyle of your clients? What should you consider if you’re still practicing at the same time as making an income online?

In this podcast episode, Alison Pidgeon speaks with Marissa Lawton about building additional income streams and how you can start setting this up for yourself.

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


  • Going beyond the therapy room
  • Successful low-touch products
  • Practicing therapy while working online

Going beyond the therapy room

You’ve already learned how to free up your time, you’ve already learned how to step into a different skillset, so moving into online income really isn’t much of a stretch at all once you’ve already got your group practice up and running. (Marissa Lawton)

Due to the fact that therapy is already “high-touch” or face-to-face, many clinicians prefer to create streams of income that are passive or “low-touch” and require less direct energy and input from their own person.

1 – Lower-touch streams of income, such as:

  • E-books,
  • Asynchronous online courses, or
  • Digital products

Do not require as much personal input from the therapist but they are often low priced. You need to do a lot of marketing, build a substantial audience and sell a lot of products for this to become a viable stream of income.

2 – Mid-touch categories include:

  • Membership websites,
  • Courses with one monthly coaching call, or
  • A course with an active Facebook group wherein you are active

With mid-touch products, therapists are still putting in effort into marketing and building up an audience however the revenue is higher on average.

3 – High-touch streams of income include:

  • Group programs,
  • Group coaching, or
  • One-on-one coaching programs

Here you are much more involved in the program however you charge a premium price for these products and courses.

You need to make less sales, you need a smaller audience … once we conceptualize that they fall in a line there, we can start to think [about] what feels like the right fit for you. (Marissa Lawton)

Successful low-touch products

I think any time you can mix in different media elements, you’re going to have higher success. (Marissa Lawton)

Before you sell an e-book, try to sell an audiobook series which are four, five, or six audiobooks consisting of 10 to 15 minutes where you discuss the same sections as you would have in the e-book.

  • Audiobooks sometimes have higher sales than e-books because they fit more easily into people’s lifestyles.
  • Audio has become more in demand than reading material, therefore, the more you can create your products to better suit the lifestyle of your clients, the more likely you are to sell.

Beyond audio, you can push yourself beyond your comfort zone and publish a video series.

  • You could also price a video series higher than an e-book because even though it is pre-recorded it enables your client to have more interaction with you, your voice, and your personality.

Marissa’s tip: use the free option of Zoom to record both videos and audio files of your work.

Practicing therapy while working online

If you’re going to be practicing clinically and doing online income at the same time … we want to have something in our informed consent for clients that says … “so and so provides services beyond the therapy room that are not considered therapy. Clients of said practice are under no obligation to purchase or participate in those programs.” (Marissa Lawton)

Make sure you have a statement available to your clients that states that the work you do in your varied income streams is separate and not an extension of the therapy that you also may offer.

Having some standard operating procedures is also wise. If you see a client having an emotional response during a course you offer, make sure you have a process at hand that you can use to refer them out to a clinician in their area.

If you market yourself with your license, your business may be beholden to your license. If you do coaching on the side and are simultaneously advertising yourself as a licensed therapist, that means you have to document and you have to abide by confidentiality laws with your coaching clients.

Instead of saying “I’m a licensed clinical social worker and a coach” you can say things like “my Master’s in social work” … you can lean on your degree instead of your license. (Marissa Lawton)

Useful Links:

Meet Alison Pidgeon

A portrait of Alison Pidgeon is shown. She discusses ways to grow your group practice on this week's episode of Practice of the Practice. Alison is a serial entrepreneur with four businesses, one of which is a 15 clinician group practice. She’s also a mom to three boys, wife, coffee drinker, and loves to travel. She started her practice in 2015 and, four years later, has two locations. With a specialization in women’s issues, the practices have made a positive impact on the community by offering different types of specialties not being offered anywhere else in the area.

Alison has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016. She has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, through mastermind groups and individual consulting.

Thanks For Listening!

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