Copyright 2010 Deah Curry PhD | All Rights Reserved
Therapists and other healing /helping arts practitioners like to think of ourselves as generalists. We take pride is being well trained in a broad range of problems. Most of us provide a holistic, integrated approach to solving those problems. So why should we limit ourselves to working with just one type of person or issue?
This is a very common concern. But it misses the point. Marketing is about attracting the highest number of people you most want to serve. It’s about presenting yourself as a specialist. And yes, we Are all better at some things, or with some people, than others. (We’ll talk later about the prevalent reluctance to claim our power)
The generalist’s concern is also misguided. It assumes that if we market to a niche that’s all we’ll get. But the reality is that in the over-saturated urban / suburban locations, by marketing to a very clear and specific niche and establishing yourself as a specialist, others will naturally assume you to be great at their problem, too.
Niche marketing in no way limits who you actually take as a client. It only makes more probable that your marketing will be compelling and will generate greater numbers of clients than the vague shotgun approach or the clinician credential-centered marketing attracts.
Niche? Absolutely!! IF you’re practicing in a location where your potential clients have lots of other professionals to choose from. Or, when you’re a coach who is competing in the global marketplace, niching is sheer survival.
When your practice is in a more rural setting, it’s likely that you have less competition, and your marketing challenges are somewhat different. The difficulty in the rural markets is to convince potential clients why they should seek services at all, why the usual ersatz helpers such as family members, clergy, neighbors, etc may not be the best equipped to get at root causes and provide lasting change.
Either way, though, at minimum, here’s what’s needed in both profiles and websites:
speak directly to a target client type
speak about their experience of their problem
speak about what it prevents them from doing or having
use words that have strong emotional impact — name their pain
make your profile be 80% about your potential clients, and only 20% about you
make your website be 60% about your potential clients, 30% for your current clients, 10% about you (remember that on a website that 10% is a whole page or two, not just a sentence or two as in a 200 word profile)
give the prospective client content on your website that is immediately helpful and directly meaningful to them — put yourself in their shoes, what would you feel desperate to know or get from a website in the middle of the night when you just can’t stand the problem one more second?
So who is your ideal client?
If you’re having trouble defining your ideal client in terms that help you market your practice, your marketing dollars are likely being wasted. For assistance in narrowing your niche, contact me for an email or phone consult.