“Should I choose a mental health niche for my private therapy practice?” Over the years, I’ve been asked some variation of this question many times when helping mental health professionals build a marketing strategy. From my own personal experience taking both approaches in building a marketing company and having helped hundreds of mental health professionals build strategies, I can tell you unequivocally that choosing a mental health niche is CRITICAL in many ways for your private practice.
They say if you target everyone you target no one. In this guide, I will review different aspects of choosing a mental health niche as well as the pros and cons for doing so. Keep reading!
What is a Niche in Mental Health?
Before we dive into the meat of this subject, what is a niche in mental health? In mental health, a niche refers to a specialized area or focus within the field of counseling or therapy where a practitioner concentrates their expertise and services. Instead of offering general counseling, therapists may choose to specialize in a particular population, mental health concern, or therapeutic approach. This specialization, or niche, allows therapists to tailor their services to meet the unique needs of a specific group of clients or address particular mental health issues more comprehensively. In this post, I will highlight 4 areas of a niche you can choose. Keep reading to learn more.
Benefits of Having a Mental Health Niche for Your Practice
So why build a niche? Here are 10 benefits of niching your mental health practice:
- You’ll become a better therapist treating that specific niche
- You’ll receive referrals from other therapists because they know YOU are the expert in that niche
- Your intake process and treatment plans will be simpler and more focused
- You’ll become more efficient in treating your niche client
- You’ll be seen as more of an expert by potential clients
- All your marketing will be focused and precise
- You’ll get WAY MORE clients coming to you if you build a proper marketing strategy
- Your private practice will make more money
- It’s easier to hire more therapists when you know exactly what your practice does and who they treat
- You’ll be less likely to burn out mentally (having to treat different clients all over the place cause you more difficulties)
My Personal Experience Building a Niche
Having built a marketing business targeting many types of clients and a marketing business targeting a specific industry (mental health), I have seen first hand how niching can dramatically improve your business.
Without a Niche
Here are some things I noticed with my business without a niche:
- I was not getting many qualified leads
- People viewed me as an expert in no specific area
- My company was overlooked for niche companies
With a Niche
Here are some things I noticed with my business with a niche:
- I started getting quality, qualified leads (and many of them, too many even)
- People viewed me as an expert marketing mental health practices (after all, that’s the only information I had on my site, and all my content was geared towards mental health professionals)
- My company was highly sought after by mental health professionals
- My revenue increased dramatically
Ways to Niche Your Practice in Mental Health
There are many ways you can niche your therapy practice down. I’d suggest before you build out your website (if you haven’t already) to establish exactly the people or types of people you’d like to serve. Below are some ways you can niche your private practice. You can use one of these methods, combine them to get even more focused, or choose several of the below.
1) Type of Client Served
Think about the type of clients you’d prefer working with or have expertise working with. Maybe you love working with children? Maybe you are targeting business executives? Once you figure this out, it can make marketing your practice much easier.
2) Type of Therapy Offered
Think about your expertise. Maybe you are great at and enjoy art therapy? Maybe DBT is your thing? It’s okay to offer multiple types of therapy when building a strategy.
3) Mental Health Conditions Treated
Choosing the conditions that you want to work with is an important part of niching. I have worked with multiple mental health professionals who specialize in eating disorders, and building their strategy was much more simple. It’s okay if you treat many conditions, as many conditions overlap. But when you niche down, think about what you love treating and what you’re great at treating. This will help you find a niche to focus on when it comes to mental health conditions.
Most people don’t think having a location is a niche, but it is! If you serve clients only in your city or state, you already have started niching. In the case of a psychologist with perhaps licenses in multiple states, building a strategy to target those states can be beneficial if you niche down in the above 3 areas.
Choosing a Mental Health Niche Example
I recently worked with a psychologist with whom we started niching down her strategy. We determined that she most wants to work:
- Type of clients: “high achievers.” This was further broken down into: Business executives, professional athletes, professional coaches, and about 5 more categories.
- Type of therapy offered: CBT, ACT, Existential, Interpersonal, Motivational Interviewing
- Mental health conditions / issues treated: Career issues, relationship issues, and personal development issues (each of these was further broken down into about 30 subcategories)
- Location(s): Mainly Fort Lauderdale, Florida but also remotely in large cities across Florida
Based on the information above, you can clearly understand the type of client this client wants to work with. The types of therapy offered and conditions / issues she treats align with that type of client. Her entire website and brand was built around these concepts, positioning her as an expert working with these types of people. Now, these types of people want to work with this psychologist based on how she was positioned!