By developing additional income private practitioners can create greater income stability and add variety to professional endeavors.
Developing multiple income streams, or revenue from sources other than direct client hours, is a great way to create greater income stability as a private practice therapist. I'm often asked, "Where do I start when developing additional income streams?" In response to that question I've put together five key questions to help inspire you and guide you in developing additional sources of income.
5 key questions to help you get started
1) In what areas are others often requesting my help?
Consider the requests that you frequently get from the community or other professionals. This will give you clues to your potential income streams because it gives you insight into what your strengths are and what you can develop or build into another source of revenue. For example, are you frequently asked to consult with other professionals on trauma cases, to help develop marriage and family therapy curriculum for a college course, or to present a professional training on the newest play therapy interventions?
2) What activities do I currently engage in that are potential income sources?
What are you already doing that you could turn into an additional income stream? Over the past 6 years I've spent a lot of time on social media, blogging, tweeting, posting. It's a powerful way to educate and connect with people around the globe. This has turned into an income stream for me. I realized that because I tend to be an early technology adopter I could share what I've learned about building an online presence with other therapists. Over the last two years I have developed a private practice consulting business focused on how therapists can use social media effectively to build their practice. That is something that I was already doing. My consulting business currently brings in roughly 10% of my therapy-related income.
3) What are my passions and interests?
Consider your passions and interests. What areas of your life get you the most energized and enthusiastic. Build on the areas that bring you energy and joy. For example, if you love mentoring emerging therapists, then you may want to work toward building in supervision as a multiple income stream. If you are drawn to teaching, inquire about instructor or adjunct faculty positions. If you're an artist and enjoy creative therapeutic techniques, consider putting together training for other mental health professionals.
4) Who is seeking someone with my particular expertise?
Are there existing groups, organizations, or people who might be seeking someone with your particular expertise? If you're a marriage and family therapist with an eye for business, maybe you develop consulting services using your systemic lens, for small businesses who are having employee conflict. If your expertise is working with parents, try contacting your local school district and inquire about offering parenting courses through community education.
5) Where is an existing need that I am uniquely qualified to fill?
Is there a need in the community that no one is meeting? Maybe there's a large group of people who are looking for workshops on emotional eating, or there's no one in your community whose providing professional trainings on treating sexual abuse. Maybe you can't seem to find any books for "parenting" adult children living at home and you decide that you will write that book. Let an existing unmet need guide you to an additional income stream.