Are you ready to position your boutique therapy practice?
An article “Dear Google, Is There a Shrink for That?” by Casey Schwartz, just came out in the New York Times yesterday.
She discusses the way that therapists are creating niche practices more than ever before.
Here she talks about how this is related to online searches:
“Undoubtedly, the Internet has contributed to the shifting therapeutic landscape. Where before, word of mouth was crucial to the search for a therapist, prospective patients are now likely to take to the web, and faced with thousands of anonymous possibilities, look for some way in which to determine who may be the best fit, whose boxes check their own boxes.”
The article points out that this is mostly an urban phenomenon. When you’re in a crowded market there’s more of an opportunity and a necessity to choose a niche. It’s hard to stand out as a therapist with a general practice.
Please don’t panic. You can choose a niche and still do plenty of work outside of it. (Keep reading).
The internet is not the ONLY place your clients are looking for you.
Every day, people are still asking their friends and other professionals for referrals.
Your online presence is an ideal place to focus on a niche.
You still have plenty of room to recieve other kinds of referrals from your colleagues and clients.
I’ll use my practice as an example.
The Bay Area Relationship Center focuses on couples therapy in our web presence. Our average mix of individuals to couples is about 30% individuals, 70% couples. Many of our referrals for individuals come from past clients and our colleagues who know about our skills outside of couples therapy. They didn’t find out about our individual work on our website, but through interacting with us in person.
Many of the therapists I coach have used a similar approach, focusing on a niche for their online presences, and building other parts of their practices through referral partnerships and word of mouth.
Boutique or no, is it time to build the therapy practice only you can build?
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