Ep 62: Therapist Corner Series – Introducing Sarah Rees & Sophie Wood


Listen here – Ask The Therapist


In this episode, Sarah Rees is joined by Sophie Wood, her life and business partner, to discuss their new Substack community, Therapists Corner. They share the story of how they started working together and the advantages of using Substack as a platform for therapists. They also provide an overview of what therapists can expect from Therapists Corner and how it can support them in thriving in the world of private practice. Sophie talks about her business, Pocket Site, and the role it played in their collaboration. Sarah elaborates on their decision to choose Substack as the platform for building a community. Tune in to discover more about the exciting opportunities and resources available through Therapists Corner.

The conversation begins with Sarah Rees, the host, expressing her enthusiasm for creating this community and the overwhelming response it has received in just three months. With hundreds of therapists already joining Therapists Corner, the energy and engagement within the community are remarkable.

Sarah explains that the podcast will be dedicated to Therapists Corner for the next four weeks, starting with an introduction episode featuring herself and Sophie Ward, the co-founder of PocketSite. They will share their journey in creating Therapists Corner and the vision behind it.

The subsequent episodes will feature insightful discussions and interviews with industry experts, including Sarah Tasker, a business coach and Instagram influencer, who will explore how therapists can utilize platforms like Substack to share valuable mental health information and generate additional revenue.

Listeners will also get a glimpse into the vibrant conversations happening within the Therapists Corner community through an exclusive Q&A session. Additionally, an interview with one of the founding members, Amy Rose, known as the Self Esteem Therapist, will delve into the topic of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for low self-esteem.

While this Substack series may not resonate with everyone, Sarah reassures listeners that regular content will resume after the Therapists Corner series, allowing them to pick up where they left off. She encourages those interested to visit TherapistsCorner.co.uk on Substack for more information and to join the thriving community.

The episode then transitions into a conversation between Sarah and Sophie, where they reflect on their personal and professional journeys. Sophie, with a background in IT and project management, shares her experiences in the corporate world and her growing frustration with its constraints. She explains how her collaboration with Sarah on website design and branding marked the beginning of their joint venture in assisting therapists with their online presence.

Sarah highlights the success of her website, designed by Sophie, which led to inquiries from other therapists seeking similar services. This recognition propelled Sophie’s skills to a higher level, resulting in multiple website redesigns and a growing reputation in the therapy community.

With their combined expertise and passion for supporting therapists in their business endeavours, Sarah and Sophie are thrilled to launch Therapists Corner, providing therapists with a valuable platform for growth, connection, and ongoing education.

Stay tuned for an exciting series of episodes as they delve deeper into the world of Therapists Corner and empower therapists to thrive in their private practice journey.

ATT62 SS1 Transcript

Thu, Jun 29, 2023 10:14AM • 40:30


therapists, work, people, private practice, therapist, website, business, bit, pocket, Instagram, seo, tasker, month, platform, nhs, sarah, founding members, support, corner, paid


Sophie Wood, Sarah Rees

Sarah Rees  00:10

This month Ask the Therapist is going weekly as I introduce you to my new Therapists Corner Substack Community, a space for therapists to get together and discover how the business of therapy can thrive. 

Sarah Rees  00:22

I’ve got some very exciting news to share with you all or more specifically, for you therapists out there who listen to Ask the Therapist. Recently, I’ve been part of launching something new, exclusively for therapists in private practice. It’s called Therapists Corner, over on Substack. It’s a place where therapists can come together, share valuable information and education, and support each other in setting up and building successful sustainable private practices. Imagine Therapists Corner as your go to spot, just like supervision is in your clinical world. Therapists Corner is for your business life. It’s a place where you can take a break, grab a coffee, ask your questions, and just feel less isolated in your business journey. And let me tell you, the response so far has been absolutely incredible. In just three short months, we’ve already welcomed hundreds of therapists into our new community and the energy around it is absolutely amazing. Now here’s the exciting part. I know many of you who listen to my podcast might be interested in joining us on Therapists Corner. So I’ve decided to dedicate an entire four weeks of the podcast over to Therapists Corner on Substack. We’re kicking things off on the 3rd of July with an introduction episode where Sophie Ward from PocketSite and I will share our journey in creating Therapists Corner.

Then on July 10th I’ll be sitting down with a fabulous Sara Tasker from Me&Orla. If you don’t know Sara yet, head over to Instagram and go and have a look at her beautiful account, Me&Orla. Sara is not only a business coach, she’s also an Instagram influencer. And she’s also a trained business coach and a Substack expert. Together we’re going to dive into how Substack can be utilised as a platform to share valuable mental health information that’s usually hidden behind the therapist’s door. Plus, we’re going to explore how it can serve as an additional revenue stream for therapists. Then on July 17th, get ready for an exclusive behind-the-scenes Q&A session from Therapists Corner. You’re going to get a taste of what we’re all about, and some of the amazing conversations that are happening within our community. Following that, I have an interview lined up with one of our founding members, Amy Rose, also known as the Self EsteemTherapist. Amy will share her insights on CBT for low self-esteem, a conversation you won’t want to miss. Now I understand this Substack series might not hit the spot for you all. So you can simply skip a few weeks and join us again on July 31st, with Amy, the Self Esteem Therapist, and then I’ll be back to my regular content each month. I’m incredibly excited to be able to share this series with you and I hope you all enjoy it. If you can’t wait and you’d like to know more now head over to TherapistsCorner.co.uk on Substack. We’d love to see you there. 


Sarah Rees  03:21

Hello, and welcome to Ask the Therapist, Sophie Wood, how are you?

Sophie Wood  03:25

Hello! I’m fine, thank you – hot! 

Sarah Rees  03:28

By the time it goes out there, it’ll be freezing and snowing, but at the moment it’s about 30 degree heat. So this is a slightly different episode than normal because this is the start of a series that we’re doing to promote Therapists Corner, which is a community that we are just building and putting together for therapists either in private practice or looking to scale and build their private practice. So we have come together to build this community. It’s all happened quite quickly. As will talk about the book, I’m writing, The Therapist’s Guide to Private Practice: Building a Values Based Business, which will be out next year. And as part of that, I think we wanted to build a community. And it was going to happen next year. But it’s all happened a lot earlier because of the work I’ve been doing Sarah Tasker. I mean, I should introduce you as my partner. I kind of always presume that people know we’re together. But then I think sometimes they don’t. We were just trying to figure out how long we’ve actually been together. [laughs]

Sophie Wood  04:33

And I said, don’t put me on the spot! [laughing]

Sarah Rees  04:38

About 20 years, 

Sophie Wood  04:39

We think

Sarah Rees  04:40

We think! I was, when we first met I was a nurse and in the NHS. Sophie worked, had a really really brilliant job in corporate banking, security. And that’s kind of. that’s where we were. Never did we think our worlds collided. You’ve always worked in IT, but you want Just tell us a little bit about you and a little bit about your career?

Sophie Wood  05:04

Yeah, yeah, no. So it is we never really thought about kind of working together, it just sort of happened really kind of organically over the years. And we were doing really separate, separate jobs. So Sarah has very much been in, you know, you’ve been in the care space a long time. And I’d always been in the corporate world. I’ve been working in IT. And working in banking for many years. I originally started out many years ago working for British Aerospace. I actually worked in the old computer rooms where they used to have kind of tape systems and things like that. So going back, dating myself quite a bit. [laughs] I started out there just working in, in support and working on kind of large computer systems as well. And then really moved from there more into a full kind of technical space. I worked a lot with kind of Microsoft products, working on systems integration as well. And that took quite a few a few years. I enjoyed doing that going around doing kind of implementations and all sorts of different things. And from there, I’ve kind of moved into into project management, which I love doing. I enjoyed kind of working with the different people. But I slowly started to feel a little bit frustrated by some of the kind of corporate world and the sort of restraints that you have to work within it. It lost some of its kind of creativity for me. So although I enjoyed working with people, I enjoyed some of the technical aspects, I was struggling working in that large kind of corporate space and I think banking, just being kind of honest, really, it finished me off to be honest.


Sarah Rees  06:50

They had lots of processes didn’t they? And performance reviews you struggled with. So if we go back to, I was in an IAPT role, I trained as a CBT therapist. And because you were working in the banks, you had a brilliant salary at the time, you supported me going into private practice, didn’t you?

Sophie Wood  07:09

Yes, I did. Very generous of me, I think. [laughing]

Sarah Rees  07:11

Very generous. It came back to hit me on the bum, though, a few years later, I was the main breadwinner and you took a year off. So I, you let me finish the NHS and supported me and setting up my business. And you came, at that point, you did my website for me, didn’t you?


Sophie Wood  07:31

That’s where it first kind of started because you were you know, I’ve worked on it in in a corporate space. But then I’ve not done it kind of in small businesses. And I think yours was the first time that we actually started doing that kind of website based work and branding work as well.


Sarah Rees  07:49

So I launched my first website, and then I we did it for a while didn’t we. And then I think somebody else another therapist did a website very similar to mine. So you, I got you to redo it for me completely. 

Sophie Wood  08:03

Yes. You were very upset about that. So I remember. Yes.


Sarah Rees  08:07

So I needed a whole new website very quickly. Which really up levelled your skills. And my website did very well for me didn’t it, and especially I think the second one you did, I think I’m on my fourth now. And people started asking me about who did you, who did your website because there was not so much out there.


Sophie Wood  08:29

That’s something that yeah, you started getting people kind of inquiring through that. And I was still I suppose doing doing those types of things sort of off the side of the desk a little bit. And then it’s slowly through through that it started to become something that was we thought, oh, maybe I can do this kind of full time and pull away from this corporate contracting work that I was doing, that as Sarah said, you know, it paid really well. But it wasn’t bringing me a lot of kind of satisfaction. So we just started building up that kind of website. 


Sarah Rees  09:02

My business kind of took off. I got busier and busier. We saved a year’s salary in the bank didn’t we, for you? And you went and became a graphic designer.


Sophie Wood  09:14

I did. I went off I did. I did some more studying kind of in the website space. And then I went off and did a nine month course on kind of graphic design, which was really intense, but an absolutely fantastic course, which I’d highly recommend for anybody else to kind of do. It was done through a company called Shillington College. And it was really good. You really got to know the ins and outs of doing graphic design. And it stretched me a lot but I absolutely loved doing it and everything I learned in that course, I’ve been able to bring to bear on the day to day work that I do now. It’s in everything that I do now, a lot of the disciplines from it, a lot of the structure behind it, a lot of the creativity etc. Yeah, it was and I’d never, I’d never dreamed, I don’t think I’ve really been able to do that I’d always been interested in graphic design. And then as you say, your business kind of took off, and it just just gave us this opportunity to really do something, do something different. I always thought I’d be stuck in banking. And that was it. 


Sarah Rees  10:16

But you weren’t, you were a student! So that happened for a while, didn’t it? And then unfortunately, then you were you set up the website design business, but your dad got ill. And, you know, we were in that position where, you know, we just focused on your dad, didn’t we, for about a year, something like that?


Sophie Wood  10:35

Yeah. It was a kind of rough period of time. So yeah, over a year or so we, we had to sort of change things. I was struggling to really be able to focus on, on running my own business and providing the, you know, the care that I needed to provide. Not only kind of the physical stuff, but just a mental headspace for it more than anything else. So. So yeah, that set us back quite quite a bit, I think. 


Sarah Rees  11:00

Also, because we couldn’t focus on your business. I was working, you were with your dad, you decided to take a part time role, which I think you were looking for anyway, to do to work with the bigger agencies, so you now you work with OSF don’t you, which is huge corporate company. So you do that part time, and then part time you do therapists’ websites.


Sophie Wood  11:24

Which works really well. Yeah, yeah. So I get to do all the stuff I love kind of privately, you know, when I can kind of fit it in. But then I also get to do work with kind of large, larger businesses as well, on kind of their ecommerce sites, which is really fascinating stuff as well. So yeah, so the two work really well together. Yeah. 


Sarah Rees  11:47

Tell us about Pocket Site. 


Sophie Wood  11:49

Yeah, so pocket site is a, it’s effectively, it’s a website builder that’s designed specifically for, for therapists. So everything about it is all in that kind of appealing to the kind of health care kind of market, but also about building websites that are going to be easy for therapists to build. And also are going to appeal to their kind of client base as well. So that took, that took about six to nine months to get off the ground to actually develop that solution and build it out. 


Sarah Rees  12:28

And what was your motivation for doing that? 


Sophie Wood  12:30

Well, really, it was just about being able to service more therapists than I was able to do through building kind of individual sites. Because with an individual site, website, you’ve got a lot of working parts for it. And it’s expensive. And the demands of kind of the clients I was getting, I just couldn’t actually work with everybody kind of individually building single sites. So Pocket Site allows me to service far more therapists than I could’ve ever done kind of without it. And yeah, I love doing that as well.


Sarah Rees  13:05

It allows therapists to have a website, that’s quite cost effective. That was my understanding of it. If they get a bespoke website from you, it’s quite expensive. But Pocket Sites are cost effective. 


Sophie Wood  13:17

Yeah. So most therapists aren’t looking for a website that’s got loads of functionality on it. They just want a website that’s going to appeal to their particular clients, and is going to have a contact form on it, is going to have kind of clear calls to action of, you know, contact me here, get in touch here, read more here. So the functionality that a therapist needs off the ground is quite simple. And you don’t need huge amounts of technology to get that going. And Pocket Site can deliver that really, you should say cost effectively. And we were running at around it’s £30 a month at the moment to have a Pocket Site. I can design it for you, you can design it yourself, no problem at all, but I can design it for you. So there’s a fee of £550 to do that. Whereas if I was doing individual sites, then you know, you’ve got upwards of £1500 to do those individual sites. So from a purely a cost effective point of view, then Pocket Site works really well for those therapists that are just, just starting, starting out. But equally if you want to move on from it as well, there’s a clear migration path from it as well to other kind of WordPress solutions as well. So you’re not trapped into that one solution if your business changes.


Sophie Wood  13:17

So for the last few years, we’ve kind of, I’ve been doing a bit more coaching with therapists and private practice because I get asked for that quite a bit. You’ve been doing Pocket Site. And I was, I did build a community on Facebook, for therapists in private practice, which kind of lost its way and became a bit of a demon really that took up an awful lot of time, and you don’t get paid for it. And I suppose one of the reasons for setting up the Facebook page was to kind of support therapists in building private practice working mainly with self referring clients. And if they were going to work with referral companies around getting a fairer deal, and that I think the referral companies ended up coming into the Facebook kind of group. And, and I suppose because it’s free, it was, I don’t know, it just lost its way. It just for me like, it’s still going. I think it serves an absolutely brilliant purpose in terms of supporting people and giving people that sense of community. But it wasn’t sustainable for me. 


Sophie Wood  14:45

You wanted to focus on more on the business aspects as well. Rather than looking at the kind of some of the clinical side of things. It was all about, you know, you’ve got therapists that starting out, and it’s how you support them, and coach them to grow their business and get the client base that they need, so that they can, you know, they can make a good living out of it, a decent living out of it as well.


Sarah Rees  16:10

We’ve spent about a year or so doing weekly emails to our people on their email lists for Pocket Sites. So you can sign up to be on the email list through Pocket Site. And you were getting weekly mails, and we were writing those emails, putting a lot of effort into them, people really enjoying them, we’re getting great feedback. But they’re just going into the abyss a little bit weren’t they? And then I, we got the book deal. You’re writing the chapter on data protection, because GDPR, lots of people think that that’s really my thing. But actually, you’re the brains behind all the products we have around GDPR. And you’ve done a section on branding, and the website chapter as well. 


Sophie Wood  16:52

All about SEO as well. So yeah, so that’s been really interesting doing that piece of work, because 


Sarah Rees  16:58

So we’ve got that, and I suppose doing that book made us start to think about maybe we need a membership and doing another community. But this time, it really has to work for us. And just a couple of months ago, I follow Sarah Tasker, who is an Instagram influencer. She’s got over, I think about 300,000 followers on Instagram. And I’ve been part of her Insta retreat for years. And that’s the platform that helped me learn about Instagram. And I found her community really interesting. And I got an email to say we were talking about membership, where aren’t we? And we were thinking about platforms?


Sophie Wood  17:38

Yeah, I mean, we work with thinking about how do we serve more, more people, because a lot of the stuff, a lot of the questions that we get asked from therapists are the same, it’s the same questions. And it you know, we do do the, you know, the products that help in some of that space. So we do the GDPR products, but we also do the Getting Started Checklist, etc, through Pocket Sites. And we offer, you know, some of those products that can help in that space. But again, we were still just getting the same, the same kind of questions, and we were thinking about a membership site, but then we were being held back because you know, you’re working on the book, I’m doing some of the book and we’ve got our day jobs to do. And setting up a membership site brings a lot of its own kind of headaches, technically, and, and also from a cost point of view as well. And I think that was, I think it was more me to be honest, I think it was putting me off because I knew there was a lot of legwork. 


Sarah Rees  18:35

On the technical side, I can create the content and a lot of the content we had in the emails, but you would be the you’re the techie person, aren’t you? 


Sophie Wood  18:43

Yeah. And that whole process of onboarding people to a membership site from the encouraging people to sign up, what they get when they first sign up, making sure that they’ve got enough content once they get into the membership. You know, it all takes an awful lot of planning out and thinking ahead of time. And I just simply felt that with, you know, with the book…


Sarah Rees  19:05

And whatever way we looked at it, we were like that, there would be a community element. And the only thing we could think of was a Facebook group, until I got an email from Sarah Tasker, because I’m on her email list that said, I’m shifting my business, and it’s going on to Substack, and you can join and never heard a Substack. And I looked into it and I was like, oh my god, this is absolutely the right time. So Substack, how it’s different from other social media platforms is that there’s no algorithm and there’s not going to be an algorithm as well. So if you put good content out there, other people recommend it and read it and share it and that’s how you’ll grow your platform. And also, we could transfer our email list over to it. Substack will grow our email list for us. We will continue to put out emails but there’s an option to be paid for work that we’ve been doing anyway for a long time. So for the price of a couple of coffees a month, £8 a month, you can get access to a weekly blog post, which used to be the weekly mail. But also it provides a platform where we can do Q&A sessions, which offer the pay subscribers, we’re doing two half hour quickfire Q&A sessions. We can put videos on podcasts, all sorts of things in one space. So you have the community element, you have the emails, and also they’re not going to bring in paid advertising either. So Substack make the money, they take 10% of whatever you earn, rather than trying to get to kind of to get people to create content to sell to advertisers. So they sell space to advertisers like Instagram and Facebook, there’s more and more adverts coming on that. So it’s a more ethical platform in a way, is that?


Sophie Wood  21:02

I think it is. I think we were struggling to think about the right place for a community. And we looked at all the other options that are out there. And there is a number of options outside of Facebook or Facebook groups. But they all seem to have quite a steep kind of learning curve with them. And, you know, various kinds of pros and cons of each plus a cost that goes with it as well. And I mean, I was a bit sceptical when you first, I’d never heard of Substack. I was a bit sceptical of kind of using it. And I started to have a look at it. And the more I started to use it, I thought this is a really good platform for pushing out the content we’ve got.


Sarah Rees  21:40

You thought, Sarah, you are totally right.


Sophie Wood  21:42

[Laughs] Well, I don’t think I went that far. Steady! But I wasn’t I wasn’t a great fan. I was I mean, I listened to I think Sarah Tasker talking about it as well and did some more kind of research on it. And it just, it just made sense for what we were trying to do. And it was, for me, the great thing was the setup was so minimal on it to get going as well. 


Sarah Rees  22:08

Seasy and straightforward. But the more we’ve looked into it, the more we can see how we can put really great content out there, people can get free content, just the emails that they’ve always had. And they can get that for free. Or if they want a bit more information and a bit more time with us, they can get that really cheaply. And then there’s the founding member option, which we’re starting it off at £397 for a year, where people then get all of what we’ve just discussed, but they also get, they’re spending an hour with me and you, where we go really go through their business, give them a lot more intensive support. And then they do an hour’sPower Hour, don’t they a group coaching call with us, once a month. So there’s that element too.


Sophie Wood  22:53

Yeah. And I think it started to, because one of the things I’d really been keen on doing is starting to do kind of courses as well. So I think with Substack, we’ve found a platform where we can start not doing a, you know, a full on course but we can start to do kind of, you know, some video that goes through various things, you know, those kinds of pain points that we know all therapists have. And we can say Okay well, here’s a video that just kind of goes through it


Sarah Rees  23:21

Like, what is SEO is going to be one of the first ones. What is SEO, how you can do it. And people need to know like we’ve been talking to therapists, that’s one of the areas where therapists generally get ripped off. Amazingly, phenomenally by lots of agencies, they end up paying hundreds of pounds each month for SEO. But if just an hour’s training with you, they can understand that that bit better. So they don’t get ripped off.


Sophie Wood  23:50

Yeah, yeah. And he’s just having like, you know, sometimes you just need to have that bit of knowledge yourself. You know, it doesn’t mean necessarily that you’re going to do all of that SEO work yourself and become a an SEO specialist. What it means is you can have a level of understanding that if you wanted to do that you could start to invest the time to do a little bit more on the SEO side yourself. But equally, if you’re going to go to an agency about it, you’ve got some knowledge when you’re talking to that agency, so you can protect yourself a little bit more as well. Because there are, you know, there’s lots of kinds of snake oil out there around SEO and it’s not, it isn’t a complicated subject. In fact, it’s becoming over time, it’s becoming less complicated. Because of the maturity of the way Google is able to understand content on websites. So even the nature of SEO is starting to change over time as well.


Sarah Rees  24:41

So on the platform, we’ve got a podcast where we’ve just put the Q&As on that. We have done videos we’re doing Therapist Spotlights with our pay subscribers, because it gives us a platform to elevate people’s businesses. So therapists that are looking to take their bids this to the next level and want that visibility, which is so hard to get. They can they’re coming on Ask the Therapist to share their expertise and knowledge which the general public’s gonna get, be able to hear, which is fantastic. But we’ve done Therapist Spotlights with people, we’ve put those videos on YouTube and Substack. And that’s where I interview with therapists for 30 minutes about how they set up in private practice and, and ask those nosy questions. Is it financially sustainable? And what have you been the struggles and successes?


Sophie Wood  25:33

I always think that’s the most interesting thing, it’s kind of that that journey that therapists have taken to get to that, to that point, and, you know, from the people that we’ve met, just since we’re shortly been doing Therapists Corner, you know, people have had some amazing journeys. And there’s very often you know, there’s, there’s reasons why they’ve chosen the path that they’ve chosen as well. And I think that’s interesting, as much as you know how they run the business as well, because everybody runs the business kind of differently. And sometimes sharing some of that, you can really pick up kind of tips as to Oh, so and so does it this way, is using this tool, that could save me so much time,


Sarah Rees  26:11

When I was starting out, if I could have heard that people’s struggles and challenges, and it would have given me a lot more confidence because I was so uncertain, had so much nerves about Will it work out? Will I get referrals, and you know, to hear those stories, I think is really powerful. But also, this week, with our paid subscribers, we’ve got them to put their websites in a post. So there’s like a Twitter function. And there’s in terms of a thread. So people, we can post a comment, like this week, we’ve put share your website, and Sophie’s gonna pick three or four. And she’s gonna give them some tips on how they can improve their website. So that’s, and then everybody can learn from those tips that Sophie put out there. Rather than us doing it one to one, we can do it too many and have a bigger impact. And people can get access to us for £8 a month, which you know, is just so cheap and cost effective isn’t really? 


Sophie Wood  27:08

Which I just find is the rewarding bit been able to get to more more people, because I think therapists do, you know, I talk to therapists, it’s like, oh, well, I’m no good kind of technically, I don’t understand things technically. And I think that sometimes holds therapists back from really actually pursuing that kind of private practice, because they, they see this huge blocker of, you know, the technical side of it. And I think we’re hoping through Therapists Corner that we can knock down some of those barriers and just simplify a lot of those things for people so that the you know, therapists have the confidence to, to launch a private practice, because a lot that we speak to are, I’m still I still got one foot in the NHS, I’m still doing some of my NHS work as well


Sarah Rees  27:51

or working with referral agents. So yeah, yeah. So although we’ve come from completely different backgrounds, and never did we think our worlds collide. And we still we’ve, we’ve employed a moderator. [laughs]


Sophie Wood  28:07

It’s not all plain sailing listeners.  [laughing wryly]


Sarah Rees  28:09

We’ve got Claire, she’s on Instagram, she’s got a company called Grow with Moxie. And she has a technical kind of VA, which for me, I’ve worked with a number of virtual assistants. And and while they’ve been great, I think, to have somebody who can work technically, she understands Substack. And she understands websites. And it’s just so she’s going to be doing kind of we’ve got one document, haven’t we? And we put our todos in that. And she’s running with it. And so that kind of is going to help us manage.


Sophie Wood  28:44

I think it’s been a journey, hasn’t it? That kind of VA side of things. Because I’ve always been, you know, oh, we can do it ourselves. And sometimes you just you just can’t do it all yourselves.


Sarah Rees  28:53

I think you can, but it’s exhausting. And we’d like to go on holiday at times,


Sophie Wood  28:59

and stay married!  [laughs] 


Sarah Rees  29:00

And all those things. So, yeah, so I think this is gonna be a really big help. But the more we think about Substack, I can just see how, because we thought actually, we’d be wanting to attract Founding Members, and we’ve got a few founding members, and I’m really enjoying intensively working with a few small businesses. The people that have joined us as founding members are hugely motivated to make big changes and take their business to the next level or really kind of they are so determined to set up in private practice. They want that intensive support, but I actually think it’s the kind of monthly paid subscribers where it’s going to become financially a lot more rewarding for us, which I didn’t think would be where my eye was. But as we do this, I’m thinking therapists can add this as an amazing revenue stream to their private practice and in that way, help people who can’t afford therapy because the way therapy is evolving on mental health services, we need to provide lots of choice, don’t we? Lots of people are not ready to come to therapy, I think that is a big step. Sometimes, you know, there’s still 12 month waiting lists in the NHS, people want something while they’re on those waiting lists, they might not be able to afford private therapy. But a platform like Substack might help therapists provide their expertise and knowledge in a way that’s really affordable. £8 a month for people, they could then come on group calls, or, you know, ask you questions in the comments, you can share your blog posts, you know, I’ve been putting out blog posts for years, and it’s not financially…


Sophie Wood  30:45

And I think that, especially for small for anything you do if you’re just you know, you’re self employed, you think, Okay, I’m doing this, where is it bringing in some money? And you can clearly see that with your client work. But when you’re doing your blog post, it’s like, I’m spending a lot of time here. But how is this really, yeah, I want to do it, I want to help people. But I’ve also got to, you know, to put it simply, you have to put food on the table. And I think with Substack, it allows you potentially that mechanism to make all that effort that you put into blog posts, to make it earn you some money, but also to service your, your customers, as well to allow them to have more of an affordable way of accessing your, you know, your considerable skills and expertise in something as well. So yeah, I think it’s a real opportunity.


Sarah Rees  31:36

Just do the maths, quickly, I am using my calculator.


Sophie Wood  31:40

The abacas has come out! [laughing]


Sarah Rees  31:44

£8 times that by 50 is a revenue of £400 a month. So if you can get 50 people paying you £8 a month, that’s £400. And I think you can I mean, we’re putting out two posts a week, we’re doing three Q&A’s a month – the value people are getting


Sophie Wood  32:04

those Q&A’s and lovely to do as well, I really enjoy doing those q&a spots.


Sarah Rees  32:08

And we’ve set this up, you know, I’m a founding member with Sara Tasker, and you know, and I’m paying a couple of people £8 a month, and they are helping us set this up. You know, it’s just, it’s just feels like amazing value. So it’s gonna be interesting, because ultimately it was it’s kind of like a blogging platform. That’s what it is, isn’t it, and it gives you the option to email out to your email list, which is held within Substack. But you own the email list. So if you decide in five years time Substacks, you know, there’s a new platform in town, you can transfer your email list and, you know, email lists are very valuable. But a lot of journalists are leaving mainstream newspapers, magazines, and coming on and writing on substack, you know, Farrah Storr who we’ve, we’ve watched one of her interviews, she’s from Cosmopolitan, she’s earning, a lot of people earning a full time living on Substack now it’s, and nobody knows about it. So start early. You’re an early adopter. And it’s, you know,


Sophie Wood  33:15

It’s a way to monetize it gives, I think it gives journalists and authors a creative freedom that they perhaps can’t get through normal kind of publishing houses, etc. And it also gives them an opportunity, gives them creative freedom and ability to monitize as well, which they’ve never had before. And anybody who I think we’ve we’ve just discovered anybody who writes a book knows you’re not going to become a millionaire through writing writing books, there just isn’t that much. And you don’t get that much back from it. Unless you’re, you know, obviously a JK Rowling. She does OK. A penny or two. [laughs]


Sarah Rees  33:56

I suppose this brings us on to kind of, you know, where we go from here, and very excitingly, we’ve got, I think, next week, I’m going to be interviewing Sarah Tasker. Her background is as a speech and language therapist, so she worked in the NHS. So while you think she doesn’t have much connection with therapists, she probably does know quite a lot about our landscape. And she became a mom and her health declined. And she started Instagram. And then that absolutely grew and grew and grew to over 300,000 followers and lots of sponsorship deals. She set up the Insta retreat, which is a course for people wanting to learn Instagram, and now she’s moving over to the Substack and she has got a course on the way but she’s going to come on the podcast, on Ask the Therapists to talk about what Substack is because she is now the expert in Substack and how therapists can add Substack to their business model, and potentially be able to help much, you know, many more people out there getting really important mental health information and support out there in a really kind of cost effective way for people, whilst earning an income for themselves. You know, because I do think that, you know, lots of, care is undervalued but you know, when we do need to make a living. Lots of therapists are women and they are supporting families and, and then


Sophie Wood  35:31

There’s that dirty word about kind of profit isn’t there on some I know, I know that but you do, you know, it’s about valuing what, you know, what you do, the skill set, that you’ve got, the training that’s gone into it, etc, over over many years, and you have a right to, to have a living out of that.


Sarah Rees  35:49

I also think there’s so much that goes on in the therapy room, that is really, you know, especially CBT, we do a lot of psychoeducation, there’s a lot of information that would be really useful if it was out there in the general domain. And every single therapist has their own unique way of getting that information across that’s valuable to people. So I might explain something in one way and, and a bunch of people get it, and somebody else explains it in a different way. And another bunch of people get it, we need choice over how we consume information. So she’s gonna come on and do the podcast and explain that, which I’m very excited about. 


Sophie Wood  36:31

I’m looking forward to that as well. 


Sarah Rees  36:33

And then for paid subscribers of Therapists Corner, she’s going to come in and do a private q&a where you can we can really drill down and I think she’ll be answering because I know lots of therapists are on Instagram, I’m sure she’ll be open to answering some questions about Instagram and how you manage that as well. So that’s going to be for paid subscribers on Therapists Corner. And then we’re gonna release a hour long q&a that we did with some people that joined us for one of our coaching sessions, which I can’t wait to release that it was a really kind of fun, q&a hour. And then we have a podcast episode where I’m interviewing Amy Rose Well Being who is on Instagram, as the Self Esteem Therapist. She has really done lots of transformation within her business, and she’s niched down. She’s in the process of doing a new website and branding. So that’ll be all ready to go. And you’ll get to meet Amy, and she’ll kind of talk to us about self esteem and how she works with clients. 


Sarah Rees  37:36

Thank you for coming on the podcast, Sophie. 


Sophie Wood  37:40

Yeah, we’ve made it! 


Sarah Rees  37:42

I’ve been doing this podcast for four years now. It’s had 80,000 downloads we are I’ve had a meeting with Emily and Suze this morning we really want to hit a million mark. So feel like you absolutely should listen to a few of the episodes because they’ve been rather good.


Sophie Wood  37:58

I listen to you enough at home, why would I do that? [laughing]


Sarah Rees  38:04

Right before it goes downhill. On that note, thank you very much for joining us. Thank you everybody for listening and supporting us and we look forward to seeing you in Therapists Corner hopefully or if you want to find out more about Sophie and what she does, she is nowhere to be found on social media at all. It’s Pocket Site so um, you’ve got Pocket Site which is the website builder for therapists but there’s there’s actually loads of resources on there. There’s some free downloads, you’ve got a free SEO download guide, you’ve got a free branding guide, the thing that people everybody loves is the fee calculator. So if you don’t know what to charge or you want to make sure that you are charging a sustainable fee per hour for your clients, you can use the Fee Calculator. People really love that. What else have you got? You’ve got we’ve got the free getting started in private practice checklist as well.


Sophie Wood  38:59

Yeah free branding guide on there as well. 


Sarah Rees  39:02

So you can go and have a look around she also does if somebody thinks that pocket site might be right for them or they want you to do a bespoke website you do a 30 minute free consultation, don’t you?


Sophie Wood  39:15

Yeah, I’ll have a chat with people and talk it through and just just explain how Pcket Site works and it you know it depends where people are in their kind of business journey as to whether Pocket Site is going to be the right solution or something more


Sarah Rees  39:26

But I’d always recommend that you know that people talk to about three website designers because it’s it’s a long-term relationship like your accountant i,s you know. There are these core people that you work with in your business and you need to really get on with them, they need to, you need to feel like you can work with the person don’t you? And that you can phone Sophie up if it’s Sophie and she’ll be able to help you and support you and get a good feel with them. So even if you think Pocket Sites for you do you know reach out to a few people. 


Sarah Rees  40:00

Thank you for listening to today’s episode of Ask the Therapist. I’ll be discussing all you’ve heard in this episode and more over in the Therapists Corner community on Substack. To join me there just click on the link in the show notes. Until next time, take care of your mental well being as you continue on the path to becoming the best version of yourself.

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