Jeff Guenther on Sep 26, 2021
Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi are my role models and I’m writing this article because they should be yours too. They are two of my very best friends. They started out as therapists just like you and now they’ve built something super impressive. And while they are special and unique souls that nobody can truly compete with (at least in my eyes), they have built an impressive business that you could copy and make a ton of money from.
Before I dive in and tell you what they’ve done and how you can do it too, I will say that Julie and Gina are very hard workers, super smart and put in a lot of hours over the last couple of years to build their empire. So this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme by any means. This is about building a second career that will set you free from your day-to-day practice. I’m using Julie and Gina as an example of what every therapist could do if they wanted to branch out, reach more people and make more money.
While you don’t necessarily have to find a business partner to work with, I kinda think that’s what makes Julie and Gina stand above the rest. Not only do they have an amazing rapport and similar clinical views, but they keep each other disciplined and on task. Also, if one of them starts to slip or get too busy, the other one picks up the slack. They both have a ton of respect for each other and share identical goals. If you can find someone you vibe with and trust, then I encourage you to work together.
Julie and Gina are experts, or “sexperts” as they like to say, on love and wanted to provide relationship advice to the masses. Both of them are progressive and modern practitioners that are knowledgable about almost everything connected to sex, desire, passion and romance. Julie has a therapy practice and Gina, who switched from therapist to coach, has a coaching practice. They’ve been helping people for years and felt super competent in their specialties. It was basically a match made in heaven.
So what are you passionate about? What do you want to specialize in? Who else in your community vibes well with you? Choose a niche and then get started with the second step.
Julie and Gina decided that their voices needed to be heard in the form of a podcast. They also just so happened to be friends with a very smart and handsome guy (me) who knew a lot about podcasting. We met up one day and talked about how they could start recording and publishing a podcast. They came up with topic ideas, episode formats and bi-weekly meetings where they would batch record as many episodes as they could. Nothing too daunting, just 25- to 30-minute episodes about topics they felt confident talking about. SWOON: Love Lessons with Julie and Gina was born. Find it on Apple and Spotify.
Julie and Gina didn’t have to start a podcast, that was just their medium of choice. The main goal was to create free and incredibly useful content that would appeal to a specific clientele. So what’s your medium of choice? Do you want to start with a website, blog and a newsletter? That’s what I’ve personally done. Works for me. Do you want to build a community in a private Facebook group? Do you want to create an Instagram feed that focuses on your niche? Do you want to create videos on TikTok or YouTube? The digital options seem endless these days. Choose a platform that feels comfortable to you or that you want to learn more about and start posting content weekly. And make sure it’s weekly, if not a lot more often than that. That is key. Consistent content that people can count on is the most important part. You need to start building a following and this is how you do it.
Julie and Gina have been pumping out weekly episodes of SWOON for over two years! Every now and then they let me come on as a guest host. I’m very flattered. Now that they have a faithful audience that eats up their content and trusts them, they can start offering more premium services that their listeners and fans can pay for. They offer an online membership at SwoonWithUs.com.
The online membership group is such an amazing idea. Unlike an online course that typically ends within a set number of weeks, the membership group allows people to pay a monthly fee and receive help from Julie and Gina on a weekly basis until the end of time. Well, it might not end up being until the end of time but Julie and Gina have started providing content with new videos, workbooks and handouts that change weekly. Each week is a different topic and all their weekly content is available forever, which means that as new users join, they’ll have a treasure trove of content they can dive into that was posted at the very beginning.
Julie and Gina charge a monthly fee of $50. It’ll increase as they continue to add more content. Eventually, it’ll start making a lot more money than what their practices bring in and they’ll be able to see fewer clients and spend more time building up their membership group.
Well, of course, it’s up to you. If this whole thing isn’t your jam, I get it. It’s a whole other business skill that you didn’t originally sign up for. But creating free content and then launching an online group are skills that can be learned. The digital products and services that are available to us are so incredibly user-friendly these days that the learning curve isn’t very steep anymore. Not to mention, you’ll be able to make extra money that a private practice won’t be able to bring in.
So be like Julie and Gina. Or, at the very least, listen to their podcast or sign up for their membership group. We could all learn a lot from them.
Jeff Guenther, LPC, is a therapist in Portland, OR. He has been in private practice since 2005. Jeff is the creator and owner of Portland Therapy Center, a highly ranked therapist directory. Jeff, and his team, have launched a new progressive therapist directory, TherapyDen.