In this episode, David Hall joins the show to talk about continuing education events. At first, David had significant “impostor syndrome”. However, he has come to realize that you do not need to be an expert to lead a training; you simply need to be an enthusiast of your topic. David explains some essential steps you need to take while planning your CE training, plus he describes some different ways you can profit from the event. Later, Gordon and David talk about the pros and cons of online courses.
Meet David Hall
Dr. Stephen “David” Hall heads up content and creative direction as the “Chief Maven” of PsychMaven. He began his work as a psychotherapist in 2005, and he currently holds clinical licenses in Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. He has built up multiple counseling practices in his years as a clinician, first in Georgia and then in his home state of Tennessee. In 2015, he led the start-up of an independent psychiatry clinic, Haven Family Psychiatry, in Knoxville, TN. Dr. Hall maintains a psychotherapy caseload and supervises postgraduate therapists in the practice he leads in the clinic, Haven Counseling Center at Haven Family Psychiatry.
David says he would have started doing continuing education events earlier in his career. In David’s mind, he needed enough credentials to do CE. David thought he needed to be an expert to lead a training. However, David now knows that you do not need to be an expert to train other people. The first paid CE event David put on was about ethics. He isn’t an ethics expert, but he knew it would be a high-demand topic, so he was going to figure it out. David doesn’t like to present himself as an expert; he wants to present himself as an enthusiast.
Starting a CE Event
There are a lot of different steps to holding a CE event. Figure out what the CE requirements are for your state. Some states are easier than others to get approval. David’s first event involved getting his event approved for a pretty broad audience. The next step is figuring out where you are going to hold your event. Keep your costs as minimal as possible – it’s effortless to overspend when putting events together. Remember that it does not have to be a significant event. You can do a ten-person event and still make money. David does a lot of direct mailings; there is a lot of expense in this. The reason David picked ethics because he knew it would have a big draw. What do people want to learn about? In the CE State Guide, there is a list of required topics.
Making Money from CE Events
There are lots of ways you can make money from CE events. The most obvious way is to charge for the event. The best place to start is by looking at the mailings you get. You will price the event based on how many CE hours it includes. Between $15 and $20 an hour is a good starting point. Plus, you can also lower the price for an early-bird special, then charge more once the event gets closer. Sponsorship is another way to make money from CE events. Affiliate marketing is another way to make money. You can recommend a subscription service or another course and become an affiliate with them. The rate can be up to 30%, and the revenue can even be reoccurring. If you do a CE event at cost, because of that, you deepen your reputation and get an extra five clients.
When David travels, he likes to do talks in hotels. However, the cost can be high with hotel space and catering. In a church space, David can do way cheaper catering. Managing your expenses is the biggest thing you will have to worry about when holding a CE event. David thought he needed to “go big or go home.” Nobody told him that he could “go big and go home.” Start lean by keeping your expenses low, and you can always add to your events later on when you know what your audience responds to.
There’s a lot of benefits to in-person events; the audience will have a significant commitment. Online, people are signing up and not attending. If you want CE events to be a steady source of income for you, then you should be doing both online and in-person events. The best way to build up your email list is by doing online events. If someone knows you, it’s easier for them to buy your online product. However, if there is no relationship there, people will start to question if the product is legitimate. Plus, many states have limitations on how many online credits you can do.
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Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT
Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog. He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer, and writer. PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn and Pinterest “Like” us on Facebook