The Jan/Feb 2017 issue of Family Therapy Magazine (FTM) included an article on ways that therapists can earn more money. In this post, I include information from the FTM article (by Ben Caldwell, PsyD), along with some additional tips that come straight from me. These six tips are both for business-owners and non-business owners.
If you're seeking full or part-time employment, or you're currently employed, negotiate your salary.
- If your starting salary is non-negotiable, then negotiate time off, or a flexible work schedule. Time is money, after all, and you may be able to use the flexibility to start other income-generating projects.
2| Seek free money
- Take advantage of grants for new business owners (link to an article from Entrepreneur Magazine on grants for women-owned businesses)
- Work for an employer that will pay a portion of your student loans, or that qualifies for for loan forgiveness. The National Health Service Corp offers loan repayment at varying levels, and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program offers forgiveness on the remaining balance of your student loans when you make 120 qualifying loan payments while working for a nonprofit organization. Here's more information on these options:
- Apply for fellowships or assistantships for your graduate studies. Assistantships are school and program specific, but most include full tuition remission in exchange for some teaching duties. The AAMFT also offers tuition scholarships through its Minority Fellowship Program.
3| Raise your fee
- If you are in private practice, or if you offer services for a fee, even a small increase (e.g., $5-10/hour) results in a significant amount of additional income each year. Experiment with small increases to one or two services, until you feel comfortable raising your fee across all of your services.
4| Stick to Your Fee
- Raising your fee can help you earn more money, but so can sticking to your current fee. If sticking to your fee is a problem for you, it may not yet be time to raise your fee. If you find yourself lowering your fee without a strategy, then work on setting strict boundaries around when and why you will lower your fee as well as setting your absolute lowest fee.
- Go deep rather than broad with your knowledge and services early in your career, and you will have developed a strong niche that appeals to your ideal client. Also, if you're a mid- or late-career therapist, it's not too late!
- Specializing will create more demand for your services, because you will stand-out when compared to other therapists offering similar services in your geographical area.
- Bring your creativity into your work, and write books, create workbooks, speak at conferences, offer workshops, etc.
- If you have a website, sell your books and other products on your site, or sell them via Amazon.com.
- Creating online courses on your area of expertise can also generate a strong additional income stream.
- Seek guest speaking opportunities not only at live events, but also on podcasts and Youtube programs, if relevant. An online presence is essential these days for reaching a larger audience with your message.
- Take your groups online. You can run live groups easily through online meeting software. This allows you to offer groups to clients located throughout the state(s) in which you're licensed. (Friendly reminder: Make sure that your software and process is HIPAA compliant.)
This post was developed from an issue of the Family Therapy Basics newsletter, News + Notes. If you'd like weekly professional and personal development tips, learn more about News + Notes here.
Download your copy of the Make More Money Checklist and Plan. Find it in the free Resource Library.
Let me know in the comments below:
- Which of these options will you try first?