The Generalist Private Practice Problem
Far (FAR) too many therapists I coach try to build a generalist therapy practice because they fear creating a niche will turn off too many clients. They're motivated by scarcity and worried about paying the bills.
But they're missing the mark.
Marketing for your private practice is all about inviting the right clients to come work with you. Let me give you an over-simplified example, if I invite you to a party you might come, but you won't know it's a costume party and you may show up unprepared- it might not be a good match.
If I invite you to a Halloween costume party on a Saturday night I know some of you might not be interested and know its not for you. But those of you who are interested will be there with literal bells on.
When we talk about niche we mean being specific about what you have to offer who you are offering it to. I am not saying don't build a generalist practice- but I am saying, your marketing materials need to be specific about what you are offering and who you work best with.
If you're not into costumes, maybe my Halloween party isn't the best fit for you.
The "Niche" Private Practice Problem
I've worked with many others who try to confuse niche with therapeutic orientation, specific diagnosis, or technique.
They're clear and specific- but they're missing the mark too.
Using the party invitation from before, this is like me wanting to host a halloween costume party on a Saturday night but sending invitations for an Orphan Black Halloween party. A few of you might know who the characters are from Orphan Black (it's a great show on BBC), but those of you who don't might get confused or overwhelmed by a theme you don't understand.
Worst of all you might not think I understand or connect with your Halloween party needs and you might not show up at all.
Okay maybe I stretched the metaphor a little far there, but I think you get where I am going. If your potential clients don't know what you're asking for because you're using therapeutic jargon they won't find you.
When we talk about niche we're not always clear what this means.
A solid niche has the following:
1. Client based language (ONLY use terms your dream clients can fully understand)
2. Specificity and clarity (it isn't a niche if it doesn't leave someone out, but that's okay, there are other great therapists to help those folks).
3. Clients willing to attend
That third one is the real challenge. Niche can be location-specific in this way. If you are the only therapist in a 50 mile radius you might not have the same kind of need to specific with clients because their motivator will be seeing someone close.
But most of us have others around us. We're listed in huge therapist directories, or sharing street addresses with many other providers. We need to stand out and get specific.
Take a look through your website- are you clearly identifying your practice focus area (niche) in language your clients can understand?
Think about the way you introduce yourself to others- are you inviting people to your work with clarity?
If you want to continue a conversation about clarity in counseling private practice hop over to our private Authentic Marketing for Therapists facebook group to chat with other professionals on the field.
And if you want help clarifying your niche, download the free Find Your Niche Mini E-Course below. Over 600 therapists have used it to clarify their dream client descriptions and market counseling practices with clarity and ease.
Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.
Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media.
Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.