Why you need a clinical niche.
“Must I have a niche to be successful in Private Practice?” is a question I’m asked almost every day.
When we’re starting out in Private Practice, it can be tempting to want to treat anyone who will pay to come and see you, after all, you want to learn a living, right?
I regularly suggest to Clinicians that I coach that they need to find a niche. Many say “I don’t have a niche” or “I like the variety”.
Is it really necessary to have a niche in order to be successful in Private Practice?
Let’s have a think about this.
Firstly, just putting up a big notice saying “I specialise in condition ‘X’ (alone)” doesn’t mean you’re going to have a tonne of patients flocking to your door. If only.
Having a niche, will, however, enable you to have a really good understanding of who you want to treat, and thus how you are going to attract them.
Let me give you an example from our Ninja community.Scott Newton is an amazing physio who treats runners (www.londonrunningphysio.com). It’s pretty easy to figure out who he treats, and when injured runners Google ‘running physio in London’, he comes up top.
Now he didn’t get there just by setting up a domain name. He got there by promoting himself online, with content that was useful for runners. He was successful at this because (no surprise here), he’s a talented runner himself. What sets Scott apart from other physios is that he can knock out a marathon in about two and half hours. 🏃♂️ He lives, breathes and sleeps running 🏃♂️
Scott’s passion for running differentiates him from other physios.
Having a niche means that when you’re reaching out to potential referrers, or making content to help you be found on line, it’s so much easier to produce blogs, vlogs and social media content, because you can focus on who you want to help.
Trying to market to every patient, is an almost impossible task. Your vague message will get lost in the online noise.
Having a niche will make it easier for you to become the go-to choice for patients.
Having a niche will also help those who aren’t the right fit for you, to look elsewhere..
What if you really don’t have a niche because you’re a generalist? H2
Let’s make the argument that you’re a Private G.P. By definition, that means your patients can call on you for help with any kind of medical problem. How do you stand out if you really can’t niche?
The answer is, you have to have something that differentiates you from other GPs, and this usually comes down to the experience that patients have when they come to see you. For instance, are you known for being the Doc you’ll want to bring your whole family to see, or the soul of discretion who looks after celebrities?
It’s super important that you work hard on your personal brand if you’re a generalist, so that patients really want to see you because they like the way you do things.
How you go about defining your niche?
I’m going be cheeky here and say that most Clinicians could do a much better job of this.
I’m not asking you to only treat one condition, but I do think you should get crystal clear on what you really want to treat, or really excel at treating.
- The mistake here, is to be too broad. “I treat foot and ankle” problems, will not help you to stand out from the other 1,275 foot and ankle surgeons in the South East.
Many of the surgeons I coach have a website that lists 30+ disorders that they treat, because a web designer told them that having lots of keywords would be “great for SEO”.
Well here’s the truth; you can pull web traffic to your site an in any number of ways, but the goal is to get the browser to convert to a patient who actually books in to see you. The “conversion” happens because patients read your content and watch you videos, and say to themselves, “yep, she really is the cardiomyopathy queen – I’m choosing her”.
Start by choosing three things you really want to treat, and really make these your messaging focus going forwards. Don’t worry. I promise it will bring you more patients, not less (unless you’re considering opening a frostbite clinic in Bermuda).
Does your online presence really reflect your niche?
Many of the Clinicians I coach can be clear on what they want to be treating, but when we compare it will how they appear online, there’s a total disconnect.
I’m going to suggest that you do a little online audit of yourself, or even better, ask someone who’s unfamiliar with what you do, to have a look at your website, blogs and social, and get them to tell you what they think your niche areas are?
If your version of your niche areas and their version doesn’t marry up, it’s time to make those changes to your website and social bios.
Need help figuring out your Private Practice niche? Get in touch. I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org
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