As therapists, we offer a service in exchange for money. We often don’t have products to sell or employees and we only have a limited amount of hours we can work. This limits the amount of money we can make. I know a lot of therapists don’t like to think about money. However to be successful, we have to consider the business side of therapy. Learn how to make extra revenue when you’re not working in your office.
Consider how many clients you can see in a week, usually about 30 to 35 is the most we can handle. Multiply that by how much you make per client, subtract expenses and you have the greatest amount you can make in a week. Multiply that by 50 weeks (you probably want to have a couple of weeks off) and you have your yearly income. Depending on how high your expenses are, it can be a decent income but there are other things to factor into the equation.
There will always be clients who don’t show up. I found the holidays took a big chunk out of my income. Clients felt they were too busy the week of Christmas plus I was limited in the days I could see clients. I took Christmas and Christmas Eve off plus my building was closed the day after Christmas so that was three days I couldn’t see clients. The other two days not many people scheduled because they were busy getting ready for the holiday.
Added to this, we have had a bad winter in Pennsylvania where I live. That meant cancellations when people couldn’t make it due to snow. There were mothers whose kids didn’t have school and they didn’t have a sitter. Plus there were days it was so bad that I couldn’t make it to my office.
Added to this, there will always be clients who drop out of therapy. And new intakes which take up more of your time. As you can see, it is never a simple equation for how much you make and you rarely make the same amount each week. Other forms of revenue can help stabilize our overall income.
How to Make Extra Income
It’s obvious that we need other sources of revenue when business is slow or clients don’t show up. So, how do you find other ways to generate income?
Here are a few ideas:
- Freelance writing
- Writing professional articles
- Selling workbooks and self-help books
- Writing a book
- Speaking engagements
- Distance counseling
- affiliate marketing
- products for sale
The first few ideas involve writing. You may be thinking, “I’m a therapist, not a writer” but don’t discount the knowledge you have about many mental health topics. Whatever your specialty is you can write about that. I’ve met therapists who have written books for children, self-help workbooks and even books about life in general. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. to write either. Many Master’s level clinicians write books and workbooks.
The best place to start is with a blog. If you attract a lot of interest in your blog, it can open a world of possibilities for you. You can send samples of your work to sites online that are looking for writers. I got started in professional writing by answering questions about addiction for free on a website. The website owner liked my writing and asked me to write articles about addiction which he was willing to pay me for. You have to just get your name out there and opportunities will open up for you.
Contact websites related to your specialty and ask if they need writers. Most of the time you will never hear back but that one time you do can lead to extra income for your business. Once you get the hang of writing, you may want to try writing an eBook, book or workbook.
Networking is the greatest resource for developing extra income. Talk to people you meet online through your blog or social media. When someone comments on your blog, talk to them. You never know when networking will lead to an opportunity for extra income.
The more people you talk to, the more you hear people say things like, “we need someone to do this” or “we need someone knowledgable about that.” If they need something in an area you’re familiar with, it can lead to work. If you don’t have the knowledge or skills, pass the information along to someone who does. That person may then hear about an opportunity that would be perfect for you. If you mentioned their name and got them work, they are likely to remember you when they hear about something you can do.
Whatever you choose to do for extra income, pick something that you have education and experience with and gives people the best product or service. Think about what you know the most about and how you can use that knowledge to improve therapy or your client’s lives for the better. Anything that will help people live more fulfilling, happier lives will be marketable. People are always looking for ways to improve their lives and you could be the one who helps them.