How to find your niche in Private Practice

Do you want to kickstart the growth of your Private Practice? One of the fastest ways to do this is to niche down on the kind of patients you are seeing.
Here’s how to find your niche in Private Practice.

It’s really tempting when you’re starting out to want to cast your net wide when it comes to seeing patients. Often the motivation is that you want to grow your practice quickly. You might also think ‘I like a bit of variety’ and ‘I can help lots of people’.

This strategy might work if you are the sole clinician on an island and patients have no other choice than to come and see you for their care.

However, most of us don’t live on a little island (wouldn’t that be nice?) By setting our net too wide, we’re signalling to patients that we are a generalist, when actually, patients want to see a specialist for their problem.

When your website has lots of wonderful content with lots of keywords – the same keywords that patients are punching into Google when they want their problem solved – you’re going to show up higher in search. Patients will choose to book with you (and not someone else).

It’s really important to find your niche or niche areas and then talk about it in lots of places- social media, on your website, and in emails that you are sending out. Many clinicians don’t do this, and instead, they list a giant smorgasbord of things they can treat.

When I’m coaching clinicians, many of them have a fear that they’re going to deter people and thus have no trade, but this is not the case. When you try to be all things to all people, you end up attracting nobody.

Patients don’t really care that you like to see a variety of problems, and they don’t really care that you can help lots of people.

They just want to know that you can help them with their particular problem.

And while it’s absolutely fantastic to have word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals from other clinicians, you can’t scale those ways of patients finding you.

If you are the kind of clinician who treats problems that people generally don’t feel comfortable talking about, (e.g. the acid test being, would I talk to one of my work colleagues about having anal fissures), then it’s really, really important that you can easily be found in search, because the patient with that ‘awkward’ problem is much less likely to be asking for recommendations.

How to go about settling on your niche

The first thing to remember is you don’t have to commit to this for life. All of us change gradually over time. In Private Practice, you might start out loving one thing, which then morphs into another.

Sometimes a niche is a clinical condition, sometimes, it’s the kind of patient persona you like treating, and sometimes it’s how you personally deliver that care. You don’t have to invent something brand new and shiny that other people aren’t doing.

It’s who you treat, how you treat, and the way you treat, that counts.

Start out by making a big list of the key interests in your clinical sphere. The things you really love treating. Think about the kinds of people you love treating, and then see if there’s some overlap. Are there some common themes?

For example, I love treating runners, but I also like treating runners who are disgruntled middle-aged women who are fed up with their hip pain, and I like treating ultrarunners who are completely obsessed and have disordered eating. Maybe that’s something that would send you running for the hills (forgive the pun), but I like it.

What floats your boat?

There’s no point setting up in Private Practice and treating people who bring in a large sum of money each month if they end up being a complete pain in the bum for you and your staff. So, the next step is to think about people you definitely don’t want to treat and conditions that are probably going to cause you work-life hassle.

For example, in your NHS life, you may get a kick out of really complex diabetic foot reconstructions, but when you’re working in Private Practice, do you really want to spend every weekend at the hospital checking up on those cases?

Be honest with yourself, and check whether your niche areas make commercial sense.

If you’re still feeling stumped, ask a colleague that you trust, “What do you think I am really good at? What would you say are my niche areas? ” They may give you an answer you weren’t thinking of.

Also remember that sometimes there’s something that you might really want to be doing clinically, but your ‘inner imposter’ might be holding you back, because you’re worried about what your peers might think. Don’t let it.

As you go through this process, narrow it down to maybe two or three niche areas, and then make sure you are talking about them on your website and in your social media posts.

Refining and promoting your niche will attract the right patients, deter the wrong ones, and will help you to grow your private practice a lot faster.

Need help with figuring out your Private Practice niche?

Ping me an email at