Jeff Guenther on Jun 24, 2018
What’s your favorite client to work with? When someone lands on your therapist profile or website, they should be able to tell within the first five seconds.
My favorite client to work with is the client that feels anxious and codependent in relationships. You can clearly see that I love working with these clients the moment you visit my profile. Check it out.
You can even tell that that’s what I specialize in when you’re browsing through therapists on TherapyDen’s search page. Take a look at the screenshot below. Katherine and Joseph are very good therapists. I know both of them. They are very skilled. But the text in their intros, the first thing potential clients read about them, are marketed towards the general population, not their favorite client.
Since Katherine and Joseph have language that is more general, they are more likely to be thrown in the generalist pile of therapists. And when that happens, you have a good chance of never getting clicked on. But if you happen to be a client that’s struggling with anxiety in your relationship, you’ll quickly click on Jeff’s profile to learn more.
And when you do, you’ll be greeted by a little blurb called “About My Clients.” The "About My Clients” section is an optional section when you are filling out your TherapyDen profile. But I highly recommend it. It’s a space where you can really connect with potential clients and help them see themselves in your practice. Check mine out below.
In this article, I’m basically saying that you should choose a niche and run with it. There are tons of articles about marketing to a niche and its a pretty common marketing practice. Allison and Katie have both written very convincing posts about why you should choose a niche. But if you’re still feeling hesitant, let’s go over a few of the most common concerns.
There’s a fear that if you don’t cast your net as large as you possibly can, then you won’t be able to build a full caseload. That makes sense. I get it. But if you mark down that you treat all the issues, then you’re just a boring general practitioner and you’ll be more easily passed over. And so what if you exclude a bunch of potential clients. They probably weren’t a very good match for you anyway. It’s also bordering on unethical when you say you specialize in treating everything…
My niche is helping therapists market their practices. You’re reading this blog because you’re a therapist who wants to market their practice. You’re not reading other, more general, blogs about marketing your small business, because what do they know about all the ins and outs of marketing a counseling practice? I rest my case.
Well, then you should change your niche down the line. Practices evolve and so do our specialities. It might feel like a burden to have to change your marketing and website copy. But it’s really not that big of a deal. You should regularly refresh it anyways to stay current and reflect who you are. You may have to choose a weekend to make all the changes to your site. Or maybe you’ll just do it gradually over time. But don’t let the possibility that you might want to change your niche stop you from choosing one in the first place.
Yes you do. I promise you that you do. There’s something getting in the way for you here. It may be that you don’t feel competent or good enough in one specific thing to call it a niche. But I like to think of a niche more as a favorite client, demographic, population, issue or treatment that you like to experience in session. I don’t think you have to have the most extensive training ever on your niche. I just think you first have to be passionate and truly curious about the niche. You can then read books, go to trainings and get extra supervision around your niche, so that you can build and improve your skills when treating it.
First of all, I have never had more than 50% of my practice filled with codependent and anxiously attached clients. And you won’t fill up your practice with only your niche client either. Secondly, it sounds like you’re living in a world of scarcity and if you don’t market your practice to as many people as you can, then you’ll never be able to fill up your practice. You’re letting your fear take a hold of you. You should try shifting your beliefs closer to an abundance mind frame. All you need is about 20 clients to identify with your niche and schedule an appointment with you. I guarantee you that there are a ton more than 20 clients that fit your niche. Trust me, you’ll be fine.
So if you don’t already have a TherapyDen profile, then what are you waiting for? It’s free and you’ll be able to customize your profile perfectly for your ideal clients. It can be the first step you take to truly try out this niche thing. And, if you are already signed up, don't forget to log in to your account to add content to the new "about my client" section.
Jeff Guenther, LPC, is a therapist in Portland, OR. He has been in private practice since 2005. Jeff is the creator and owner of Portland Therapy Center, a highly ranked therapist directory. Jeff, and his team, have launched a new progressive therapist directory, TherapyDen.