One of the questions I get most frequently is, Do I Have to Have a Niche? And I usually come down on the side of pro-niche. Here’s why:
Having a niche helps you:
- Define your marketing strategy.
- Know where to network.
- Gain clarity for your practice.
I think of niches as necessary to build at a reasonable pace for anyone and necessary for private-pay practices. Non-specific niches that therapists feel they have that clients don’t see themselves in are “people in a life transition” or ‘people who are feeling uncomfortable in their lives.” Sometimes, I talk to therapists who are like, “the thing all my clients have in common is that they’re uncomfortable!” or ”my favorite clients are all in some sort of life transition”. But if I’m in the midst of empty nesting, I’m not going to resonate with website copy that’s also written for people who are moving to a new city or getting divorced. And we’re all uncomfortable about certain things at certain times, so it’d have to be a really specific kind or cause of discomfort to make me feel like this therapist gets me.
A lot of people also try to define their niche by their modality. EMDR isn’t a niche. Your modality is not a niche. Similarly, they try to define their niche exclusively by demographic like working with kids or working with the LGBTQ community without being clear on what they bring to the table for that client.
Your niche is the pain your clients feel. So if you love EMDR, maybe choose your favorite trauma to work with or favorite way of coping with trauma. Working with kids can get nebulous, right? Besides the drastically different age ranges, are the parents involved in the treatment? Are you working primarily with the child as the client or are you working with parents who struggle with their parenting styles who want to be better parents? Are you working with teens or are you working with elementary school age? If you love working with LGBT adults in their 40s, great! What are they struggling with? Is it the coming out process? Is it heartbroken folx after a breakup? Job burnout? Demographics aren’t monoliths (duh, Allison), so narrowing down the people you do great work with is a service to them as well as the people that you’re not the right fit for. While there can be some people you see who don’t fit your niche exactly, gray areas can spell some cloudiness for you, your practice, and your schedule.
Having a niche doesn’t mean you have to only take those clients in your practice – but it can help you gain clarity on your website copy, building a referral network and most of all it can help you reach the people who need you.
If you’re stuck on the niche question, we have a course called Know Your Niche in the Abundance Party that teaches you everything you need to know to have a successful practice for only $49.00 a month so hop on in and gain that niche clarity!