Should You Select a Niche for Your Private Therapy Practice?
You started your private therapy practice to serve everyone, but by doing so, you could be spreading yourself way too thin. You’ll spend your time offering services that you’re really not passionate about.
Instead of working as a generalist, you can become a specialist and establish authority as an expert in your field. Below, we’ll discuss why it’s a good reason to niche your private therapy practice, and how to do it successfully.
What is a Niche?
A niche is simply an area of specialty. As a private therapy practice, you may choose to specialize in any of the following:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Anger Management
- Eating disorders
- And more…
Why You Should Niche Your Private Therapy Practice
While any type of business may benefit from specialization, it is especially useful for a private therapy practice. Here are the reasons you should niche your private therapy practice:
Help to Define Your Private Therapy Practice
What’s your unique selling proposition? Why should a client choose you over the other private therapy practice across town?
By specializing, you can clearly define who you are and how you will help a potential client overcome their problems.
The perfect niche will align with your passion.
You Can Define Your Client Base
A niche private therapy practice that says, “I specialize in…” helps prospective clients self-filter. If you specialize in anger management for children, or self esteem for teenagers, prospective clients who don’t fit into that parameter will understand that they are not a good fit for your service.
I know that sounds scary at first, but it’s actually a good thing. Sure, you can provide general services to a wider clientele, but that’s not really ideal. It’s better to niche your client-base down to those you can serve with passion and a sense of purpose.
You Will Improve Your Marketing
You must know two things to market effectively: what you offer and who needs what you offer. You’ll sharpen your focus simply by specializing in a select field.
Your marketing dollars will also go further. When you specialize your services, you don’t have to appeal to every Tom, Dick, and Harry in your community. You can target your marketing to the specific demographic who needs your services the most.
You Will Improve Your SEO
Believe it or not, niching your private therapy practice also positively impacts your search engine optimization (SEO).
For example, a search for “therapists in des moines iowa” yields 13 pages, and 260 results in Google. Compare that with a search for “eating disorder therapists in des moines iowa” that yields only 17 results.
Google search for “therapists in des moines iowa”
Google search for “eating disorder therapists in Des Moines, Iowa”
As you can imagine, it’s better to compete against 16 other private therapy practices instead of being pitted against hundreds of others.
You Can’t Serve Everyone
…And you shouldn’t want to. There are billions of people on planet Earth, but the only one you. How many people can you effectively see in one month, one year, or one lifetime?
While you can herd people in and out of your private practice, I know you want more than that for your interactions with your clients. You want to make a positive, lasting impact on your clients, and begin to build trust. The best way to do that is through quality, not quantity.
You will ensure quality by limiting the amount of clients you serve. Instead of trying to fill your private practice with a steady influx of non-stop clients, match your area of passion and expertise with the needs of the client. It won’t fit everyone, but the beauty is, it doesn’t have to, and here’s why:
You Can Raise Your Rates When You Specialize
When you offer a generalized service, by necessity, you have to charge the same rates as your competitors. But when you elevate yourself to the status of specialist, you have the ability to charge higher rates, thus taking financial control of your private practice.
Most people are willing to pay a premium for a therapist who specializes. Because specialists have more experience and offer more specific advice, this type of therapist can command more money per session.
You Can Build Authority
When you specialize, you become an expert in that area. You’ll be able to build up your reputation with your clientele and within your community. You may even be sought out and used as a source by local and national reporters who need an expert opinion.
You Can Scratch Your Own Itch
Not sure how to come up with a niche for your private therapy practice? Often, the best indicator comes from your own story.
What have you struggled with in your own life that can be applied to your private therapy practice?
Perhaps you’ve battled with an eating disorder before and have a unique perspective to offer your clients. It’s deeply satisfying to overcome a problem and then help others through it. In fact, this struggle and ultimate victory may be the reason why you became a therapist, to begin with.
There’s nothing more powerful and encouraging to offer your clients than a deeply personal and triumphant story.
People Prefer Specialists
In matters of therapy, specialization trumps generalization. Your potential client will naturally have a more favorable view of you if you specialize in a service than if you offer general remedies.
For someone dealing with PTSD, they will actively seek out a therapist who understands and works primarily with those affected by this disorder. When you weigh a specialist against a generalist, the specialist definitely earns more respect.
This doesn’t mean that a generalist is a mincemeat, but it does mean that the specialist is more trusted.
A specialist focuses his attention on learning about a specific problem. This means that a specialist is more likely to have a greater depth of experience in treating this specific problem, too.
For most private practices, specialization is the way to go. It separates you from the pack, turns you into an expert, and will feed your sense of purpose. You can also market more effectively, knowing exactly who you are and what type of clients to go after.
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