Are you like many therapists and helping professionals who are looking beyond their clinical practices for other ways to help people that can also increase their income? With your training, knowledge, and skills there are many ways to leverage your professional expertise into creating additional income outside your normal office hours… even while you sleep!
Today we’d like to talk about a way to add value to your practice and your website that is often overlooked: Teaching an online course.
Much like writing a book, teaching an online course adds to your reputation while also providing you a new source of income. There are many platforms available for you to create an online course - and all of them provide the software to prepare a well-thought out course, as well as the tools to market it. In general, these sites have a revenue sharing model. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll reference Udemy which, with over 15 million students, is one of the largest and most popular platforms.
When you create a course with Udemy, you’ll be posting it on their site. Your share of the revenue will depend on how the student discovers (and subsequently) signs up for your course. Typically, your share will be 50%. But you can also post the course on your site and keep 97% of the course tuition. According to the Udemy website, the average instructor earns $8,000, but like any business, the better you are at marketing your course the more you will earn. Udemy lists hundreds of courses in health and mental health and they are available to people in 180 countries. You’ll find courses directed to consumers (potential clients) as well as courses intended for other mental health professionals (a great idea if you are already doing supervision).
Your first step would be to take an online course yourself (there as low as $15 dollars) to get an idea of the kind of commitment you need to make. Not surprisingly, Udemy, as well as the other platforms, offers both official and unofficial courses on creating an online course. You might also want to take a course on origami, digital photography, or making your own pasta.
When you review the course outlines, you’ll see they are divided into lectures typically ranging from 3 to 20 minutes, and there is always at least one lecture you can preview for free. You’ll also notice all the lectures are taught with video that falls into one of two styles: Either an on camera instructor or a slide show with the instructor talking in the background. Depending on the platform, courses include downloads, quizzes, and even certificates of completion.
While there is no question that creating an online course is an investment of time, with diligence you can create one in a week or two. Compare that with months or even years to write a book. And once you’ve learned how to create one course, you’ll find that process gets easier and quicker with subsequent ones.
Having value-added content on your website - like an online course - will also help drive traffic to your site, encouraging people to contact you for your clinical services. Your website can be optimized around the title of your course giving it an added boost when people search for your services. You can send out a postcard or brochure about your course, again bringing people to your site. Your local paper could do an article about your course or it could be included in a local adult education listing.
Designing a great website is an important part of growing your professional practice. But the design is just the beginning. At HelpingSites.com we go beyond the traditional conventions of any website building company you’ve ever heard of or have come across. We don’t just help you build a website, we help you build a business.
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Lawrence E. Shapiro, Ph.D, President of Between Sessions Resources
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