Selling the Couch

Melvin Varghese, PhD

With 1.81 million+ downloads, Selling the Couch is an Apple Top Career podcast for current and future mental health private practitioners who think differently. Psychologist Melvin Varghese interviews successful therapists in private practice about how they built their businesses as well as top entrepreneurs, business/marketing, and social media experts.* You'll learn how therapists get referrals, grow their practices, work through fears, find their enough, and stop "trading time for income." Melvin also shares the lessons as he grows his impact + income beyond the therapy room (podcasting, YouTube, writing, online courses, masterminds, investing, etc) and the tips and tools he uses to grow STC from a single-person business to the CEO of a 6-figure business.* Featured in Psychology Today, Good Therapy, and Psych Central ****Get show notes and even more good stuff at sellingthecouch.com/stcpodcast* read less
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Episodes

ENCORE: How to Start Writing a Book: Things They Don’t Tell You
Today
ENCORE: How to Start Writing a Book: Things They Don’t Tell You
If you’ve ever thought about writing a book, you’ve realized that the process is intimidating. Just knowing where to begin and how to proceed pose big challenges. We are tackling this topic with today’s guest and uncovering the things nobody tells you about writing a book. Join us to get real and learn more!Our Featured GuestRaj LullaRaj Lulla is a StoryBrand Certified designer and strategist. He and his partner, Ben Lueders, are the co-owners of Fruitful Design & Strategy, where they “create and grow compelling brands.” Raj has spent the last few years writing a book called The Caring House, and he joins us to dive deeper into the book-writing process. He shares why he chose to write a fiction book, how he approached the publishing aspect, and the financial outlay for a project like this. We wrap up with Raj’s perspective on the things no one tells you about marketing a book and Raj’s best tips for anyone who wants to write a book. Fruitful Design and Raj LullaYou’ll Learn:Raj’s choice: fiction vs. nonfiction?Big questions to confront around the grief-processing journeyRaj’s idea for The Caring House as part of his personal healing processWriting to answer the question, “What is this book for?”Narrowing your purpose to the “most important thing”Understanding the publishing dilemma: a traditional publisher, indie/hybrid publishing, or self-publishing? Differences in the pitching/publishing process between a fiction vs. nonfiction bookFinancial considerations in the book-writing processDetails about the “print-on-demand” publishing option and the hard work required to market a self-published bookRaj’s advice to aspiring writersResources:Want to launch your podcast?Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)https://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshopWant to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
ENCORE: How To Make Money From Your Podcast Without Just Relying On Sponsors with Melvin Varghese PhD
1w ago
ENCORE: How To Make Money From Your Podcast Without Just Relying On Sponsors with Melvin Varghese PhD
Podcast sponsorship is often seen as the “golden goose” of podcasting. We started working with sponsors on STC a few years ago, and they have generated over $95k to this point. However, I’ve learned that relying solely on sponsorships is not the wisest stance because your success rides the ebbs and flows of another company’s marketing budget. I’m very grateful for the sponsors who have worked with us, but I don’t want to depend on them for the main source of income for STC. Today, I’m sharing three ways you can make money from your podcast from Day One, without having to depend on securing sponsors down the road. Join me for a closer look!You’ll Learn:The increasing responsibility I feel to be a good steward in today’s podcasting environmentThree ways to make money from your podcast from Day One:One-on-one work–I share how to use analytics to pinpoint your niche and impact to specialize your focus and offerings. (I use and recommend Fathom Analytics.)Scalable work–This includes things you can continue to do for the next 8-10 years, like paid speaking engagements, coaching groups, therapy groups, writing books, and establishing a “private podcast” feed. Online courses–The time and energy investment comes on the front end, but they become an asset into which you can invite others.It’s best to view podcast sponsorship as “the cherry on the top” that may come to you, but not as the financial foundation to depend on from month to month.Our free podcasting workshop can help you launch your podcast! Resources:Want to launch your podcast?Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)https://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshopWant to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
ENCORE: Low Risk Ways To Host Your First Retreat with Megan Gunnell
Jul 4 2024
ENCORE: Low Risk Ways To Host Your First Retreat with Megan Gunnell
Hosting a retreat sounds like a great idea, right? When you stop and think about all the logistical and financial details, that’s when many fears and questions come to the surface. Perhaps the biggest fear is whether enough people will pay for your retreat to make it a success. Join us as we dive into this topic with today’s expert guest!Our Featured GuestMegan GunnellIn addition to being a business owner, author, and triathlete, Megan Gunnell is a Clinical Social Worker who has been hosting 1-day retreats, workshops and weekend/week long retreats for 20+ years. She hosted her first one at a local community center–complete with harp music! From these humble beginnings, Megan’s retreats have evolved into weekend retreats and international retreats that started in 2012 in Costa Rica, Italy, France, and other places around the globe. In this episode, we discuss why therapists find it so appealing to consider hosting a retreat, along with common fears related to the risk of hosting your first retreat. Megan explains how to find suitable venues that offer 100% refund options and points out the important legal and logistical considerations. We wrap up our conversation by discussing retreat marketing, which is vital to the success of your retreat. Megan shares what she has learned along her journey as a retreat host. Megan's Website and Thriving Therapists ® Facebook GroupYou’ll Learn:Megan’s inspiration to expand beyond private practice into hosting retreatsMegan’s #1 lesson learned: Start small and grow later.The attraction of retreats? They are transformative spaces for people to pull away from everyday life and reinvigorate their passion and purpose.The major differences between private practice work and group retreats as income sourcesLegal considerations around liability, disclaimers, emergencies, etc.Megan’s low-risk tips for hosting retreats:Start small with a test audience and test venue with a half-day or one-day retreat.Look for 100% refundable venues through a certain date prior to the event.Do the math and “beta-test” your audience.Making your retreat a profitable ventureFinding 100% fully refundable venues—and why international properties are desirableMegan’s top marketing strategies for retreats:Be very clear about your intentions. (Who is this for, and what is the purpose?)Think about your runway. (Make sure it is long enough to “land the plane.”)Build a warm excitement with your audience around the date for open registration.Handling the cancellation or rebooking of your retreat with flexibility and transparencyResources:Want to launch your podcast? Check out our free podcasting workshophttps://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshopWant to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey...
ENCORE: The Anxiety Of Finding A Private Practice Niche
Jun 27 2024
ENCORE: The Anxiety Of Finding A Private Practice Niche
About a month ago, I shared that I’ve decided to go into private practice, in addition to keeping STC running and growing. There are three main reasons for this decision: I miss the therapy room, a clinical arm to my business is a wise move, and I’ll be able to more strategically diversify my income. I think this venture will offer new opportunities for the future that are beneficial in many ways, but, to be honest, this decision has brought me some anxiety, insomnia, and depression. I’m addressing these issues with my wonderful therapist, and I’m doing all the things that we therapists tell our clients to do. My worries and fears are probably normal for someone who feels the pressure to be successful in multiple businesses and endeavors. In today’s solo session, I’m sharing my insights on finding my private practice niche. Join me for a closer look!You’ll Learn: What is a niche, and how did I choose my niche for private practice? Who do I want to work with?My top four insights on finding my private practice niche:Niches are living and breathing things that evolve over time.Family and friends will always recommend people outside your niche.There is a relational component to marketing beyond your website.Even though my niche focuses on tech and business founders, working within other branches of these niches will add diversity to my work. (These last two insights come from my friends, Raj Lulla and Ben Lueders, the founders of Fruitful Design.)Resources:Interested in becoming part of our affiliate program? Learn more athttps://sellingthecouch.com/jointhehealthcasters  Want to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
ENCORE: Using Brainspotting To Work With Athletes
Jun 20 2024
ENCORE: Using Brainspotting To Work With Athletes
Today’s session is all about brainspotting, a powerful and fascinating psychotherapy technique that I have personally found to be helpful. Specifically, we discuss the technique as it is used to help performance athletes. Join us to learn more!Our Featured GuestThad Frye, LCSWThad Frye is a licensed clinical social worker in Boulder, CO. As a certified brainspotting consultant, Thad has gone through multiple levels of training in this therapy technique. In our conversation, Thad explains why he was motivated to pursue training in brainspotting after previously focusing his work with families through hospice care and end-of-life journeys. He describes the technical aspects of brainspotting and how he uses it in his work with athletes, specifically in those with the “yips,” a puzzling phenomenon of the loss of an ability.Thad Frye Counseling and Brainspotting Coaching for AthletesYou’ll Learn:Why Thad pursued training in brainspotting in 2016 as a way to serve families betterHow Thad experienced the somatic connection with his personal grief in new and real ways during his brainspotting trainingHow brainspotting differs from EMDRTechnical aspects of “inside window” and “outside window” reflexes within brainspottingHow different clients might respond during a brainspotting sessionHow training phases are structured in the brainspotting certification processWhy Thad chose to use brainspotting with performance athletesHow Thad uses brainspotting with athletes who experience muscle-guarding and the “yips”Resources:Interested in becoming part of our affiliate program? Learn more athttps://sellingthecouch.com/jointhehealthcasters  Want to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
ENCORE: What Therapists Should Know As Billions Are Invested In Mental Health Startups
Jun 13 2024
ENCORE: What Therapists Should Know As Billions Are Invested In Mental Health Startups
Today’s session covers a topic that many clinicians are pondering. Many, like me, are having conversations with themselves in their heads about the available opportunities and the most efficient and ethical ways not to be left behind as technology presents new options in our field. The issue is how we can navigate the world of mental health tech startups that are available to join us to support our good work. Examples of what these startups provide are electronic health records, website design, marketing, and more. The truth is that the pandemic changed everything and catapulted the tech startup world into the range of billions of dollars. Don’t miss my enlightening conversation with today’s guest!Our Featured GuestMichael FulwilerMichael Fulwiler is Head of Brand Marketing at Heard, a company that assists therapists with bookkeeping and financial needs. I’ve come to rely on Mike’s expertise as a good friend as I navigate the aspects of STC, trying to be a protector of our field while staying in alignment with my values. In this session, Mike and I discuss the mindblowing numbers around the multitude of mental health tech startups and how clinicians can be informed about which ones are most likely to succeed or fail. We also discuss the vitally important topic of client data privacy and the top three considerations we should have before signing up for a product or service. Heard WebsiteYou’ll Learn: How to view tech startups in the mental health industry in terms of “headwind” and “tailwind” tendencies since the COVID-19 pandemicWhat the data shows about tech startups: 90% will fail!Why the big risk also comes with big opportunities in the startup worldWhat happens when a clinician contracts with a mental health tech startupWhy client data privacy is a valid concern when working with a tech startup (Hear Mike’s advice about watching out for red flags!)Top three considerations for a therapist about a tech startup:How they handle the data Whether or not there is a mental health professional on their team who helps with decisions and developmentHow compensation for therapists is structuredMike’s advice about doing your due diligence when contacted by a tech startupAn overview of Mike’s work and mission at Heard and what they provide for therapistsResources:So you’ve probably heard that blogging is one of the best ways to attract your ideal clients as a therapist. But I know that it can be intimidating to SEO optimize your blog post so that it’s actually getting found by your current and future clients. Simplified SEO Consulting is a team of mental health professionals who genuinely want to help you attract more of your ideal clients using a proven on-page SEO process.Please visit https://sellingthecouch.com/simplifiedseo.**Use the code “MELVIN” to get 20% off any online, DIY SEO courses, and mention Melvin during your consultation for $100 off your onboarding fee for Done-For-You SEO services!Interested in becoming part of our affiliate program? Learn more athttps://sellingthecouch.com/jointhehealthcasters  Want to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned...
ENCORE What I Learned from Creating a Course for CEUs with Matthew Bierds
Jun 6 2024
ENCORE What I Learned from Creating a Course for CEUs with Matthew Bierds
Many of us have thought about creating continuing education courses and wondered how the process works and what factors are involved. Who better to learn from than someone who has done this successfully? Being successful at CEU course creation takes innovation, creativity, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Join us for informative insights from today’s guest!Our Featured GuestMatthew BierdsMatt Bierds, from Duke City Counseling, is a licensed professional counselor, course creator, and professional speaker who does in-person and virtual counseling and LPC supervision in Texas and New Mexico. As far back as ten years ago, Matt realized that the world of online education was expanding, and he knew there were interesting opportunities for LPCs in the area of online courses. After jumping into this arena, Matt went through a “failing forward” phase before making a few tweaks and creating a course for LPC supervisors. In today’s session, Matt shares the lessons learned along his fascinating journey and the mistakes and successes that have brought him to where he is today. Matt's WebsiteYou’ll Learn:Matt’s wisdom: “I learned the hard way that selling general continuing education courses online is pointless and a waste of time and money.”The value in pivoting and niching down when something isn’t workingDiscovering the sweet spot: How Matt created a course designed for a specific person in a specific situationCourse creation is successful when you see the need and solve the pain point.Matt’s path to building trust and cultivating repeat customersThe progression and development of Matt’s 40-hour course and 6-hour refresher coursesThe challenges in maintaining compliance and navigating changes in licensing requirementsCourse creation challenges: creating content and incorporating more video interaction and student engagementMatt’s biggest mistakes and successes in marketing his coursesResources:So you’ve probably heard that blogging is one of the best ways to attract your ideal clients as a therapist. But I know that it can be intimidating to SEO optimize your blog post so that it’s actually getting found by your current and future clients. Please visit https://sellingthecouch.com/simplifiedseo.**Use the code “MELVIN” to get 20% off any online, DIY SEO courses, and mention Melvin during your consultation for $100 off your onboarding fee for Done-For-You SEO services!Interested in becoming part of our affiliate program? Learn more athttps://sellingthecouch.com/jointhehealthcasters  Want to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
368: What I Learned After My First Two Talks
May 30 2024
368: What I Learned After My First Two Talks
To keep you informed, this will be the last session before I take a summer break. Along with taking time for much-anticipated rest, I’ll be busy with my family and many STC-related projects! STC will still be here, though, as we run replays of our best episodes for you during this time. I look forward to returning in a few weeks with another great season of podcast sessions for you! As I prepare to see clients very soon in my return to private practice, I’ve been given unique opportunities to do two talks related to mental health for folks near my childhood home of Dallas, Texas. Through a childhood friend, I became connected to a nonprofit there and was asked to share my personal experience with mental health. As a high-achiever, I grew up as a South Asian kid in the US, struggling with anxiety and depression. It was REAL and led me to see a psychologist, prompting my love for psychology and changing the course of my life. I shared my story with parents of high-achieving kids through this nonprofit and led a Q & A session with them; it was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I was subsequently asked to do a second talk with another organization on a similar topic, focusing on risk factors for kids/teens growing up in hyper-competitive public and private schools. These kids are in what I call “the gilded pressure cooker,” feeling enormous pressure to achieve almost impossible feats. In today’s session, I want to share the three biggest lessons I’ve learned as a result of these unexpected opportunities to talk about the intersection of my experiences, passions, and callings. You’ll Learn: My three biggest takeaways after doing these talks:Leaning into social media platforms, podcasting, and teaching workshops has helped me refine my speaking skills and learn to enjoy public speaking. (I’ve learned to silence my ever-present inner critic!)Doing talks like these takes a LOT of work and planning. (These were pro bono talks, but I will charge a fee in the future because of the multiple hours required. I don’t want to focus on revenue but on reach)For every talk I do in the future, I will capture the email addresses of the audience members to expand my community. (Adding people to your email list takes them from a “rented” audience on social media to an “owned” audience.)My thoughts and plans for the future in creating community, products, and services for this niche of families of high-achieversThis is a new area for me, but I would love to connect with more groups and organizations around this topic of high-achieving kids and their parents. If you have a contact for me, please email me!Resources:Mentioned in this session: Sign up for the newsletter for high-achievers!Want to launch your podcast?Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworkshopWant to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals....
367: Psychedelic Therapy: What You Need To Know As A Therapist
May 23 2024
367: Psychedelic Therapy: What You Need To Know As A Therapist
As I’m moving back into clinical work, I’m compelled to do more clinical-related podcasts. Today’s session fits that bill as it delves into psychedelic psychotherapy, an area of clinical work that is exploding with interesting potential. There is a lot to navigate within this topic; join us to learn more!Our Featured GuestKeith KurlanderKeith Kurlander is the co-founder of the Integrative Psychiatry Institute (IPI) and the co-host of the Higher Practice Podcast. The IPI is the largest training provider of clinicians in psychedelic psychotherapy. In this conversation, we explore psychedelic psychiatry, the drugs available for use, and the causes of the recent surge in this field. We also discuss the practical cautions and considerations for therapists. Keith's Website and The Integrative Psychiatry InstituteYou’ll Learn:A simple definition that helps us understand psychedelic psychotherapyCauses of the recent surge of interest in this field and a briefing on the history and current researchThe current mental health crisis is changing the landscape of mental health care!Right now is an opportune time for therapists to get on board with psychedelic psychotherapy and get their training.The differences between traditional talk therapy modalities and psychedelic psychotherapyA glimpse into the often uncomfortable intensity of a psychedelic psychotherapy sessionThe logistics of a psychedelic psychotherapy session around the length of sessions and payment/insurance parametersCommon psychedelic psychotherapy medications: ketamine, psilocybin, and LSDThe type of client who is well-suited for psychedelic psychotherapyResourcesWant to launch your podcast?Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworkshopWant to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
366: Finding Your Enough As An Entrepreneur with Jeanetta Garrison, LCSW
May 16 2024
366: Finding Your Enough As An Entrepreneur with Jeanetta Garrison, LCSW
More is not always better. We often find that what we are chasing in our pursuit of success is not what we thought it was. Entrepreneurship for private practice clinicians naturally attracts many high achievers and recovering perfectionists, so we need to take a pause and periodically reassess and redefine what success looks like. Join us for a closer look at this important topic!Our Featured GuestJeanetta Garrison, LCSWJeanetta Garrison is an anxiety therapist in private practice in Charlotte, NC. She is the perfect person to share insights into today’s topic. In this episode, Jeanetta shares a personal story about what she learned about money during her childhood, along with how we navigate our aspirations and what we go after to achieve success. We wrap up with a discussion of knowing what is “enough” and being cautious about who we follow after as mentors and examples. Crown Counseling & ConsultingYou’ll Learn:Common characteristics of entrepreneurs in private practiceJeanetta’s family story of how she learned about money from her upbringingHaving big hearts of service sets us up to allow boundaries to be crossedThe need for clarity in communication with clients about cancellations and no-showsChasing the proverbial “carrot” to reach successJeanetta’s advice: “Remember your WHY and center your head, heart, and spirit around it.”Think about your success in terms of what you are sacrificing for it!Navigating the ebbs and flows that are inherent in entrepreneurshipHow Jeanetta grounds herself with what is “enough” for her in her businessThinking about money in terms of what it symbolizes to us (“All money is not good money.”)Resources:Want to launch your podcast?Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)https://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshopWant to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
365: Starter Podcaster Setups
May 9 2024
365: Starter Podcaster Setups
One of the most common questions I’m asked is about the gear needed to begin podcasting. I will honestly admit that it’s a difficult decision when you’re just starting because you want reliable equipment that does a great job, but you are also hesitant to break the bank for it. As you progress, several factors complicate the choices of gear, such as how you conduct guest interviews and whether you have a co-host. In today’s session, I’m walking you through four common podcasting scenarios and the gear I recommend for each. All of this information is compiled in the Buying Guide found inside our Healthcasters course. You’ll Learn:My gear setup as I started the STC podcast in 2015 with a teeny, tiny budgetMy advice for beginning podcasters: “Don’t go out and purchase all the gear I mention, but go with the basics as you focus on building and honing your storytelling and interviewing skills.”Four podcasting scenarios and the recommended equipment:1- A single host with solo episodes and guest interviews via the Internet.I recommend the Samsung Q2U dynamic mic, Koolertron mic shock mount, OnStage foam windscreen, pop filter, mic stand, and Rode PSA mic arm.2- A single host who interviews guests in person.In addition to the basic equipment in Scenario #1, I recommend a 2-3 camera set-up (very expensive!), Calendly to coordinate interviews, 2 tabletop stands/mic arms, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for recording, and XLR cables.3- Co-hosts who connect and interview guests via the Internet.I recommend the basic equipment in Scenario #1 for EACH co-host, along with a recording platform, like Zoom or Ecamm Live.4- Co-hosts who get together in-person to interview guests in person. This is a dream set-up, but it is very expensive and complicated. I recommend the basic equipment in Scenario #1 for EACH co-host and guest (Yes, that is at least three of everything!), along with the Rodecaster Pro (the Rodecaster Pro II or Pro Mini), 32 GB SD card, and XLR cables.My advice: “Start with a lean setup. My current gear costs around $5000, but I didn’t upgrade for several years when I started out.”Check out the free workshop, Using Podcasting to Grow Your Business.Resources:Want to launch your podcast?Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)https://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshopWant to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
364: How to Start Writing a Book: Things They Don’t Tell You
May 2 2024
364: How to Start Writing a Book: Things They Don’t Tell You
If you’ve ever thought about writing a book, you’ve realized that the process is intimidating. Just knowing where to begin and how to proceed pose big challenges. We are tackling this topic with today’s guest and uncovering the things nobody tells you about writing a book. Join us to get real and learn more!Our Featured GuestRaj LullaRaj Lulla is a StoryBrand Certified designer and strategist. He and his partner, Ben Lueders, are the co-owners of Fruitful Design & Strategy, where they “create and grow compelling brands.” Raj has spent the last few years writing a book called The Caring House, and he joins us to dive deeper into the book-writing process. He shares why he chose to write a fiction book, how he approached the publishing aspect, and the financial outlay for a project like this. We wrap up with Raj’s perspective on the things no one tells you about marketing a book and Raj’s best tips for anyone who wants to write a book. Fruitful Design and Raj LullaYou’ll Learn:Raj’s choice: fiction vs. nonfiction?Big questions to confront around the grief-processing journeyRaj’s idea for The Caring House as part of his personal healing processWriting to answer the question, “What is this book for?”Narrowing your purpose to the “most important thing”Understanding the publishing dilemma: a traditional publisher, indie/hybrid publishing, or self-publishing? Differences in the pitching/publishing process between a fiction vs. nonfiction bookFinancial considerations in the book-writing processDetails about the “print-on-demand” publishing option and the hard work required to market a self-published bookRaj’s advice to aspiring writersResources:Want to launch your podcast?Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)https://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshopWant to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
363: How To Make Money From Your Podcast Without Just Relying on Sponsors with Melvin Varghese, Ph.D.
Apr 25 2024
363: How To Make Money From Your Podcast Without Just Relying on Sponsors with Melvin Varghese, Ph.D.
Podcast sponsorship is often seen as the “golden goose” of podcasting. We started working with sponsors on STC a few years ago, and they have generated over $95k to this point. However, I’ve learned that relying solely on sponsorships is not the wisest stance because your success rides the ebbs and flows of another company’s marketing budget. I’m very grateful for the sponsors who have worked with us, but I don’t want to depend on them for the main source of income for STC. Today, I’m sharing three ways you can make money from your podcast from Day One, without having to depend on securing sponsors down the road. Join me for a closer look!You’ll Learn:The increasing responsibility I feel to be a good steward in today’s podcasting environmentThree ways to make money from your podcast from Day One:One-on-one work–I share how to use analytics to pinpoint your niche and impact to specialize your focus and offerings. (I use and recommend Fathom Analytics.)Scalable work–This includes things you can continue to do for the next 8-10 years, like paid speaking engagements, coaching groups, therapy groups, writing books, and establishing a “private podcast” feed. Online courses–The time and energy investment comes on the front end, but they become an asset into which you can invite others.It’s best to view podcast sponsorship as “the cherry on the top” that may come to you, but not as the financial foundation to depend on from month to month.Our free podcasting workshop can help you launch your podcast! Resources:Want to launch your podcast?Check out our free podcasting workshop for therapists (and therapists turned coaches and consultants)https://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshopWant to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
362: Low Risk Ways To Host Your First Retreat with Megan Gunnell
Apr 18 2024
362: Low Risk Ways To Host Your First Retreat with Megan Gunnell
Hosting a retreat sounds like a great idea, right? When you stop and think about all the logistical and financial details, that’s when many fears and questions come to the surface. Perhaps the biggest fear is whether enough people will pay for your retreat to make it a success. Join us as we dive into this topic with today’s expert guest!Our Featured GuestMegan GunnellIn addition to being a business owner, author, and triathlete, Megan Gunnell is a Clinical Social Worker who has been hosting 1-day retreats, workshops and weekend/week long retreats for 20+ years. She hosted her first one at a local community center–complete with harp music! From these humble beginnings, Megan’s retreats have evolved into weekend retreats and international retreats that started in 2012 in Costa Rica, Italy, France, and other places around the globe. In this episode, we discuss why therapists find it so appealing to consider hosting a retreat, along with common fears related to the risk of hosting your first retreat. Megan explains how to find suitable venues that offer 100% refund options and points out the important legal and logistical considerations. We wrap up our conversation by discussing retreat marketing, which is vital to the success of your retreat. Megan shares what she has learned along her journey as a retreat host. Megan's Website and Thriving Therapists ® Facebook GroupYou’ll Learn:Megan’s inspiration to expand beyond private practice into hosting retreatsMegan’s #1 lesson learned: Start small and grow later.The attraction of retreats? They are transformative spaces for people to pull away from everyday life and reinvigorate their passion and purpose.The major differences between private practice work and group retreats as income sourcesLegal considerations around liability, disclaimers, emergencies, etc.Megan’s low-risk tips for hosting retreats:Start small with a test audience and test venue with a half-day or one-day retreat.Look for 100% refundable venues through a certain date prior to the event.Do the math and “beta-test” your audience.Making your retreat a profitable ventureFinding 100% fully refundable venues—and why international properties are desirableMegan’s top marketing strategies for retreats:Be very clear about your intentions. (Who is this for, and what is the purpose?)Think about your runway. (Make sure it is long enough to “land the plane.”)Build a warm excitement with your audience around the date for open registration.Handling the cancellation or rebooking of your retreat with flexibility and transparencyResources:Want to launch your podcast? Check out our free podcasting workshophttps://sellingthecouch.com/podcastingworshopWant to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey...
361: The Anxiety Of Finding A Private Practice Niche
Apr 11 2024
361: The Anxiety Of Finding A Private Practice Niche
About a month ago, I shared that I’ve decided to go into private practice, in addition to keeping STC running and growing. There are three main reasons for this decision: I miss the therapy room, a clinical arm to my business is a wise move, and I’ll be able to more strategically diversify my income. I think this venture will offer new opportunities for the future that are beneficial in many ways, but, to be honest, this decision has brought me some anxiety, insomnia, and depression. I’m addressing these issues with my wonderful therapist, and I’m doing all the things that we therapists tell our clients to do. My worries and fears are probably normal for someone who feels the pressure to be successful in multiple businesses and endeavors. In today’s solo session, I’m sharing my insights on finding my private practice niche. Join me for a closer look!You’ll Learn: What is a niche, and how did I choose my niche for private practice? Who do I want to work with?My top four insights on finding my private practice niche:Niches are living and breathing things that evolve over time.Family and friends will always recommend people outside your niche.There is a relational component to marketing beyond your website.Even though my niche focuses on tech and business founders, working within other branches of these niches will add diversity to my work. (These last two insights come from my friends, Raj Lulla and Ben Lueders, the founders of Fruitful Design.)Resources:Interested in becoming part of our affiliate program? Learn more athttps://sellingthecouch.com/jointhehealthcasters  Want to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
360: What I Learned from Creating a Course for CEUs with Matthew Bierds
Apr 4 2024
360: What I Learned from Creating a Course for CEUs with Matthew Bierds
Many of us have thought about creating continuing education courses and wondered how the process works and what factors are involved. Who better to learn from than someone who has done this successfully? Being successful at CEU course creation takes innovation, creativity, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Join us for informative insights from today’s guest!Our Featured GuestMatthew BierdsMatt Bierds, from Duke City Counseling, is a licensed professional counselor, course creator, and professional speaker who does in-person and virtual counseling and LPC supervision in Texas and New Mexico. As far back as ten years ago, Matt realized that the world of online education was expanding, and he knew there were interesting opportunities for LPCs in the area of online courses. After jumping into this arena, Matt went through a “failing forward” phase before making a few tweaks and creating a course for LPC supervisors. In today’s session, Matt shares the lessons learned along his fascinating journey and the mistakes and successes that have brought him to where he is today. Matt's WebsiteYou’ll Learn:Matt’s wisdom: “I learned the hard way that selling general continuing education courses online is pointless and a waste of time and money.”The value in pivoting and niching down when something isn’t workingDiscovering the sweet spot: How Matt created a course designed for a specific person in a specific situationCourse creation is successful when you see the need and solve the pain point.Matt’s path to building trust and cultivating repeat customersThe progression and development of Matt’s 40-hour course and 6-hour refresher coursesThe challenges in maintaining compliance and navigating changes in licensing requirementsCourse creation challenges: creating content and incorporating more video interaction and student engagementMatt’s biggest mistakes and successes in marketing his coursesResources:So you’ve probably heard that blogging is one of the best ways to attract your ideal clients as a therapist. But I know that it can be intimidating to SEO optimize your blog post so that it’s actually getting found by your current and future clients. Simplified SEO Consulting is a team of mental health professionals who genuinely want to help you attract more of your ideal clients using a proven on-page SEO process.Please visit https://sellingthecouch.com/simplifiedseo.**Use the code “MELVIN” to get 20% off any online, DIY SEO courses, and mention Melvin during your consultation for $100 off your onboarding fee for Done-For-You SEO services!Interested in becoming part of our affiliate program? Learn more athttps://sellingthecouch.com/jointhehealthcasters  Want to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire
ENCORE: How To Work Through Perfectionism When Launching Your Online Course (Katie Lear, LCMHC, RPT, RDT)
Mar 28 2024
ENCORE: How To Work Through Perfectionism When Launching Your Online Course (Katie Lear, LCMHC, RPT, RDT)
If you’ve had a standoff with perfectionism in starting something new, you’ll want to join us for this coaching call in today’s session. Like most clinicians who are branching out with an online course, my guest is struggling with her fears about this new endeavor and whether she will get it right. Join us to hear the conversation.Our Featured Guest for today’s coaching callKatie Lear, LCMHC, RPT, RDTKatie Lear is a therapist in solo private practice near Charlotte, NC. She was part of the Online Course School Live Cohort, and she’s part of the Online Course School Mastermind this year. She is preparing for the beta group launch of her course, and her next step will be to record the digital version. This process gives a chance to collect feedback from beta students on the lessons and modules before creating the digital version. Join us for this open and honest conversation around fear and perfectionism.Katie's WebsiteYou’ll Learn:A look at how Katie arrived at her private practice niche working with preteens and tweens around anxiety and OCD symptomsWhy Katie decided to jump into the online course worldHow an online course income stream helps clinicians build a balanced life outside their career, have more time and capacity for family, and utilize another way to reach clientsThe starting point for content in Katie’s course: teaching about coping skillsHow Katie is looking to incorporate a playful element into her courseHow Katie is dealing with “blank-page syndrome” in creating her course slidesTips for Katie in distilling and refining the content for her courseWhy heart and intent matter more in an online course than “Hollywood-level” productionWhy there is great value in teaching with the structure of three tips, three steps, and common mistakesResources:Interested in becoming part of our affiliate program? Learn more athttps://sellingthecouch.com/jointhehealthcasters  Want to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
ENCORE: How To Not Let Work Become Your Identity (Dan Cumberland)
Mar 21 2024
ENCORE: How To Not Let Work Become Your Identity (Dan Cumberland)
Welcome to a brand new season of Selling the Couch! After an extended sabbatical of several months, it’s good to be back on STC with new, exciting shows. Today’s topic is one that we have all contemplated to some degree. I imagine that many coffee shop conversations and therapy sessions have included discussions around how we think about work and integrate our work into our post-pandemic lives. Join us to learn more!Our Featured GuestDan CumberlandDan Cumberland is a creative, catalyst, and collaborator at The Meaning Movement. He created this blog and community to help people pursue a deeper meaning in what they do beyond simply earning a paycheck. From his personal experience, he knows what it’s like to sacrifice too much for work and face burnout and hopelessness. He is intensely passionate about helping others wrestle with the big questions around work, meaning, and purpose. In this conversation, Dan inspires us to find meaning without letting work become our identity, along with his top tips for finding a healthy balance between work and life. You’ll Learn:Why entrepreneurs are programmed to find meaning in their work through the areas of people, product, process, and profitWhy pursuing your passion usually means sacrificing something elseHow Dan came to a watershed moment with his passion, The Meaning Movement Why entrepreneurship is a constant reimagining of yourself and your purposeWhy there is never a clean line between who you are and what you doDan’s top tips for finding a balance between work and lifeHow to assess your happiness and satisfactionInfo about Dan’s beta cohort assessment for finding balance in lifeResources:Interested in becoming part of our affiliate program? Learn more athttps://sellingthecouch.com/jointhehealthcasters  Want to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitConnect with DanWebsite and Burnout AssessmentMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
ENCORE: Where Should I Focus My Online Course Marketing?
Mar 14 2024
ENCORE: Where Should I Focus My Online Course Marketing?
One of the new things for STC this year is the incorporation of coaching calls into the podcast from time to time. Join us for a glimpse into today’s coaching call about online courses.Our Featured Guest for today’s coaching callHeather McKenzie, LCMHCSHeather McKenzie came through Online Course School as a beta student back in the fall of 2021. Online Course School is a live, eight-week experience that takes your online course from a simple idea all the way through the development stages so that you are ready to record. Heather created a course specifically focused on anxiety that can be found at Dial Down Anxiety. Like most of us who create an online course, she faced a common struggle about how to handle marketing time and costs to promote her course. Join us to hear the coaching call!McKenzie Counseling You’ll Learn:How to handle logistical challenges in the online presentation of your courseWhy Heather’s course is an eight-week course to help people understand anxiety and DBT emotion regulation skillsHow marketing options for an online course can be overwhelming for most people How to pinpoint your own superpowers in teaching and the style that works best for youHow to structure the content levels for promoting your course in six-month blocks:Start with webinars, both free and paid.Offer a downloadable guide or cheat sheet.Use a core blog post as a stand-alone feature that blows people away.Tips from Melvin about content levels:Offering too many things can confuse people, so stick with one core webinar.Less is more!Be thoughtful about using the words “webinar” and “workshop” so as not to intimidate people.Link your blog post videos to YouTube to drive more traffic back to your webinar.Consider that high-quality offerings through webinars, guides, and blog posts help to establish your authority as an expert and give people value that keeps them returning.How podcasting can help with future promotion by giving a call-to-action to your webinarWhy you need to take notes during the first offering of your course with beta students to know what content resonates the most; that content can be used for future free webinarsIn summary, five tools to market an online course that have evergreen potential:Webinar (start with live ones and then transition to evergreen ones)Downloadable guides or cheat sheetsCore blog postSelect podcast episodesMini-podcast Resources:Interested in becoming part of our affiliate program? Learn more athttps://sellingthecouch.com/jointhehealthcasters  Want to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.
ENCORE: Avoid These 3 Mistakes The Average Investor Makes
Mar 7 2024
ENCORE: Avoid These 3 Mistakes The Average Investor Makes
Today’s show focuses on one of my favorite topics, which is personal finance. Investing can be overwhelming and very confusing. Join us to learn how anyone can approach investing with knowledge and confidence.Our Featured Guest:Andy GuptaAndy Gupta and I have become good friends over the past couple of months. He is a kind and genuine person who worked for 20 years on Wall Street. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School who understands the ins and outs of investing, and he wants to make investing more approachable for average people. Andy has a particular passion for helping women understand investing, and he looks to use his wealth in ways that help others.Andy’s 30-day investing course: Anyone Can Invest NowAndy's Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/418356686326993Andy's LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/andy-guptaYou’ll Learn:Andy’s background of growing up in a family without wealth in Mumbai, India, and then going to college in the US while holding multiple jobs to make ends meetWhy Andy feels that his mission is to help others with investing so they can achieve financial security and freedomWhy Andy’s definition of financial freedom revolves around increased time spent with his family, creating a financial safety net for them, and making a positive impact on othersThree mistakes that the average investor makes:Trying to “time” the market“This is a fool’s errand. The difference in trying to time the market vs. staying in for the long haul is astronomical.”Believing that cash in the bank is safeYou are guaranteed to lose money every year because of inflation.Taking on too much risk by overexposing themselves in one areaIt's best to mix asset classes to reduce your risk and potentially increase your return for the level of riskAndy’s tips for investing smartly:Have a cash reserve on hand.Diversity by investing in asset classes that don’t “move together.”Resources:Interested in becoming part of our affiliate program? Learn more athttps://sellingthecouch.com/jointhehealthcasters  Want to launch your online course?Please check out our free 7-Day Course Creator Starter Kit For Therapists: https://sellingthecouch.com/coursekitMentioned in this episode:Check Out PsycCareers!If you’re a psychology professional who is ready to take the next step in their career, check out PsycCareers, the American Psychological Association Services, Inc’s career center. PsycCareers is home to over 400 open positions tailored specifically for psychology professionals. Start your journey today by exploring opportunities that inspire and challenge you at sellingthecouch.com/apa.