Q&A: Should my private practice have a niche?

Oct 20, 2021


Question: Should my private practice have a niche? 

ANNA: Today's Q & A with the Nutrition Practice Network is whether or not I should have a niche in my private practice. So, Christie, do you want to take this one for us today? 

CHRISTIE: Certainly. So when I first started in my private practice 10 years ago, it felt like you needed to have a niche. And I know that sometimes when you look at social media stuff, you have this pressure to go ahead and have down your niche, but there are definitely advantages to not having a niche when you first start out. First of all, it brings more business in. It kind of throws a wider net so you can catch more people. It also really gives you the opportunity to determine what your niche is and give you the opportunity to kind of become the expert. I know that for our practice, we are a general nutrition practice and we do a lot of corporate wellness, but each of my dietitians, they kind of have their own subset of specialty. But we're not a practice that just specializes in one group. Now, there are certain situations where our group may not be equipped to see the consult that comes through. It might be something very specific. And then those opportunities we will refer out to another dietician. But I don't feel like you really do need to have a niche established from the beginning. And then as you decide what your niche is, then you can change your marketing strategy and kind of market to the people that would have those clients that would be coming your way, and those are the clients that you would want to see.

ANNA: I think that's such a great point because there's so many business coaches, nutrition business coaches, just general business coaches who talk about “you have to have a niche”, and there is a marketing benefit to having a niche: you can talk directly to a very specific group of people. But it's so hard when you're starting off to know what you want to devote all of this time and energy and continuing education towards. And how do you know what you want your niche to be when you're just starting off with private practice? So I think that's really great feedback. Like, don't feel the pressure that you have to start there. 

CHRISTIE: Right. And I also think you can do a more general marketing approach at the beginning to kind of look at who would be sending referrals your way. We have lots of great documents in our library that show you samples of our marketing pieces and what we are sending out and how we market the general nutrition practice, and that's a lot easier than trying to market to one subset of people. 

ANNA: Yeah. We have actual checklists that help you track everything and tune in with “who have I talked to lately?”, “who have I marketed to?”. So, some really great resources there. Thanks, Christie! And thank you guys for joining us for today's Q & A with the Nutrition Practice Network.

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