Sharon Martin is a licensed clinical social worker with a private psychotherapy practice in San Jose, California. She also writes, speaks, and contributes to the media on topics related to emotional health and relationships. In this interview Sharon talks about becoming a licensed social worker, keeping up a busy blog, writing and marketing her eBooks.
[1:54] Sharon explains why she chose social work as a career. Her mother was a social worker and her father volunteers in his retirement. She was strongly influenced by her family’s emphasis on generosity. She worked with homeless and mentally ill people early in her career.
[4:00] Sharon had a small practice while working for a small nonprofit. In the last three years, her private practice has become her main focus. She sees clients in her office 3 days a week and spends 2 days at home writing and doing other work.
[5:40] Sharon sees between 12-15 clients a week in her private practice. She has two eBooks published and is working on a third one, on overcoming perfectionism.
[6:55] Sharon lives and works in the heart of Silicon Valley where there’s a strong culture of overachievement that leads to stress and anxiety. A lot of Sharon’s clients present with these problems. This is why she’s writing an eBook on perfectionism and external validation.
[9:30] Co-dependency is another issue that Sharon sees frequently in her clients, particularly in the adult children of alcoholics.
[11:20] Sharon speaks about writing eBooks instead of print books. She likes the autonomy of the format. She does a lot of blogging so she uses the material in her blogs for in her ebooks. She puts exercises, clinical activities, and interventions in the books so that people are active engaged.
[13:50] Sharon only sells the eBooks on her website. She chose not to sell them on Amazon because she has a lot of traffic going to her site and did not want to lose a percentage of every sale to Amazon.
[14:46] Sharon writes two blog posts a week for Psych Central and she writes articles for other media outlets, mostly for the general public. She also writes for therapists and coaches about how to blog and market.
[15:40] For her 3rd eBook, Sharon is working with a publisher who found her through her writing. She says publishers like to see that writers already have an audience.
[16:50] Sharon says she’s been blogging steadily for the last 2-3 years. Before that, she blogged but not in a cohesive way. Blogging has become central to marketing her private therapy practice.
[21:22] Sharon uses some of the major social media sites—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. She posts her blogs and pleasing images with quotes, which work well on Pinterest.
[24:02] Sharon talks about how she runs her business. She sees clients 3 days a week and has her case notes done by the beginning of the following week. She writes and does other marketing tasks on Mondays and Tuesdays. She also uses idle minutes during the week for social media posting.
[28:12] The learning curve with business and technology have been challenging for Sharon. She says when coming out of school for therapy it’s easy to feel unprepared for the business world.
[32:11] Sharon says blogging has been a huge benefit to her practice. She says sticking with blogging and doing it consistently will pay off for other therapists over time. When she started out, she knew nothing about blogging but gradually improved.
[34:37] Sharon’s advice to new therapists is to go for whatever you really want to do. Be brave. Therapists have more to offer than they give themselves credit for, so have the courage to put yourself out there. The right clients and projects will then come to you.
Sharon Martin, Licensed Social Worker, San Jose, California
Sharon Martin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, writer, speaker, and media contributor on emotional health and relationships. Her psychotherapy practice in San Jose, CA specializes in helping individuals overcome codependency and perfectionism and learn to accept and love themselves.
Sharon is the author of Setting Boundaries without Guilt and Navigating the Codependency Maze; both e-books are available on her website. Sharon is an avid blogger, writing the popular blog Happily Imperfect on PsychCentral.com, and enjoys coaching and teaching therapists how to use blogging and writing as both a marketing tool and creative outlet.
You can connect with her at:
Twitter at https://twitter.com/SMartinLCSW
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