July 22, 2018

Why Therapists should Focus on One Niche of Clients


When they are starting out with their own private practice most therapists try to attract as many clients as possible, without differentiating among types of clients. They are open and eager to help people with depression, people with marital issues, expats who miss their home country, suicidal people, men, women, people of all ages etc.

The ineffective method

This is a technique that works pretty well… the problem though is that it takes time to attract a high number of clients when a therapist targets anyone and what we often see is young therapists having a small number of clients.

This number grows, but it grows slowly and the moment therapists have finally managed to attract a sufficient number of clients, they have reached their 50s, likely without enough stamina to efficiently help all these clients compared to when they were younger. So what’s happening here and what should therapists do instead?

Therapists don’t focus on a specific niche of clients (for example: couples with marital problems). So what you should do as a therapist is target a specific niche when starting up which can bring you clients faster as your marketing message can easily appeal to a prospective client. Let’s dive into the an example and compare 2 different marketing messages.

Generalist vs Expert

Let’s say you’re trying out two different marketing campaigns: One that says: ”Do you miss home, are you dealing with anxiety, do you have marital problems or you feel depressed and you want to talk to someone?“

And a second one that says: “Are you experiencing a difficult marriage? Does your partner look like a different person? Do you want to fix this and live the marital life you always dreamed of?”

The first message tries to satisfy 4 people each dealing with a different issue. The second message tries to serve only 1 group of people.

So, your hypothetical prospective client deals with marital issues with their partner.  Which type of the marketing messages do you think could help you attract this type of client?

When you are using the first marketing campaign you are trying to attract everyone, but you end up attracting no one, as people don’t see any expertise in that message. What they see is a therapist who supports that can help solve any type of issue their client may have which sounds ideal, but also a bit unrealistic for a young therapist who recently started out their private practice.

The effective method

On the other hand, when you are trying to attract one group of people (i.e. focusing on one specific niche) people are more eager to convert into paying clients as they see your message and then they see you as an expert in solving that one specific problem (marital issues in this case).

So your overall strategy should be to start focusing on one specific group of people (one customer niche). Once you master helping that group of people, you find a second one. Now you are serving two niches as an expert. This will continue until you end up having any type of client. That’s the ultimate point when a therapist can treat any client.

This is where you should aim, but remember that you need to start with your own niche in the beginning before reaching that level.

If you are a therapist are you focusing on a specific niche of clients? If yes, which one? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time.

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About the author 

Manos Syngarefs

I am a child of God, that loves gardening, growing my own food and trying to live as natural a life as possible. When I feel like I have something to say then I will write an article. I hope you enjoyed this one :)

  • I want to serve sexually abused single women. So how do I say that

    I want to serve emotionally abused women

    • Manos Syngarefs says:

      Sexually/emotionally abused women is a great choice for a niche Barbara. So, what you can do first is to build and optimize your website so as when women from this niche visit your website, they get the feeling that you are the expert who can help them.

      Once you do that you can start looking for places where these women hang out, both offline but also online. Join seminars they follow, or visit online Facebook groups or forums and help them out… provide some value and if you do that they will be the ones to approach you for help.

      Finally, when you are ready to use paid advertising in order to reach more clients at scale you will be surprised by how much targeted your advertising campaign can be. For example, platforms like Facebook or Google could help you target women of a certain age who are in a relationship and have X interests.

      I hope that helps.

  • Renata Nagy Vynikalova says:

    I am starting as a Rapid Transformational Therapy practitioner (hypnotherapy) and High Performance coach. My niche is working with artists, athletes and directors (as I have been in theater business for 30+ years and known it super well). They have many similar things in common – anxiety, stress, fear of loosing, lack of motivation, focus, energy, creativity – a stuff connected to performance issues.

    Do you think I narrowed it down enough?

    Thank you

    • Manos Syngarefs says:

      I think you actually narrowed it down very well, Renata. Since you have noticed that artists, athletes and directors share similar types of performance issues and you have big experience in the theater business yourself, then it should not be hard for you to resonate with your niche.

      And if you manage to convince them that you are the Expert High Performance coach that can help them with their own specific issues, then you are going to succeed (if you haven’t already).

      Keep it up!

  • ok let me try to narrow it down. I am a psychologist, an expressive art psychotherapist and a jungian coach.

    I want to work with 1.couples that are expecting a baby (new mums and dads), 2. couples with marital issues 3. young ages 17-27 yrs old that have all kids of problems. You are suggesting i pick one of the three mentioned?

    how do you choose?

    • Manos Syngarefs says:

      Yes Marily, I would suggest you to pick one niche when starting up. Out of the 3 niches you mentioned, you could actually work with the first 2 (couples/new parents AND couple with marital issues), as these 2 are very similar (couples in both cases).

      A good way to choose in general is to look at 3 things:

      1. With what type of people you (would) absolutely love to work with?
      2. With what group of people do you feel the most comfortable working with and you think you are skilled enough to help them?
      3. Is there demand in your area for the services you would offer to these type of people? For example, are there couples in your area who look for therapy sessions?

      If you can think about the first 2 questions and do your research on the 3rd one, then I think you will make a good decision.

      I hope this helps 🙂

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