Do you have a niche for your practice?
Do you have a niche for your practice? What is your area of specialty? Are people contacting you in relation to your niche?
Many marketing and sales specialists teach people to focus on developing their niche. The whole idea is to define your ideal client and explore what their concerns are so that your marketing speaks to that audience directly. It’s a good idea. It can help bring clarity to your marketing and sales efforts.
General Practice as a Foundation
If you are early in your career (5-7 years), it is advisable to continue to gain experience working with different populations. It is not wrong to determine a niche early in one’s career. In fact, some clinicians have always known what they want to do and who they want to serve.
Problems can arise when one does not have sufficient foundation and experience in general practice. General practice is where one builds knowledge and confidence and the ability to address various treatment issues common in therapy (depression, anxiety, trauma, identity issues, relationship problems). It is my sincere belief that general practice is where you find your niche.
Your Niche Evolves
Your niche can evolve.
- It changes as you learn.
- It changes as you gain experience.
- It changes when you do what you thought you wanted to do for long enough.
- It changes when people want to come to you for something else.
- It changes when there are not enough opportunities or people seeking services in niche/specialty area.
- It changes when you recognize that a niche is not just what you offer and/or sell…a niche is what people want from you…what they request from you.
Your Niche Doesn’t Have to be Forced
The truth is you don’t have to search for your niche. You don’t have to find it. You don’t have to rack your brain and sign up for webinars or programs that are going to teach you how to market yourself and how to grow.
You only need to be quiet. Quiet enough so that you can listen and notice what is already happening and evolving. You don’t need to learn someone else’s system or way of doing things. You only need to learn your way of being a therapist. Your way of practicing. Your way of building a career. Your way of building a business.
Of course, your way must be guided by ethics and competency that are gained by knowledge and with supervised practice.
You learn your way by making decisions and inevitably by making mistakes. You expand your practice, cultivate business, and build a career by recognizing what’s not working and by making course corrections.
You learn your way by keeping your own pace and by not comparing yourself to others.
Lastly, once you are marketing your niche, don’t be inflexible. Occasionally, opportunities and people will come along and they don’t necessarily meet your preferred client profile. As long as you are competent as a general practitioner and their treatment or service needs are not outside of your scope of practice, accept those clients who want to work with you.
They are coming to you for a reason. Perhaps there is something more to experience…something more to learn and from someone unexpected for you to learn. Don’t get so stuck in your niche that you miss your evolution and development.
Copyright © 2017 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.