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NICHE MARKETING

Angry husbands, wives, parents, employees, doctors--and more

We live in an angry society. Thereís anger in the home, on the streets, and in the workplace. So when veteran California therapist Tony Fiore began looking for a niche market to tap six years ago, he found that anger management was fertile territory.

Fiore, who has offices in Long Beach and Orange, CA, wanted to rebuild his practice to attract new clients, but he was also looking for more passive income streams. And he wanted to avoid the hassles of insurance claims. He achieved all three goals by marketing himself as "The Anger Coach," and offering a menu of services that includes individual counseling, psychoeduca-tion, plus CDs and books for sale online.

He tells us that 85% of his referrals are generated through his Web site: www.anger coach.com. However, Fiore makes a point to say that heís doing therapy, not coaching. For him, the word "coach" is mostly about finding a non-stigmatizing way to approach his clients.

His marketing efforts are focused entirely on the Web. "I find that print advertising is worthless for this." One tool that brings in clients is his e-newsletter, The Anger Bee, which goes out quarterly to about 1,000 clients, former clients, and others whoíve signed up for it.

Another solid approach, he says, is writing articles for e-zines--Web-based publications on anger or other mental health issues. He makes no money on the articles themselves. Itís about the advertising benefit. His Web address is tagged to each piece.

He also has a series of anger management videos on YouTube. "Thatís another good advertising technique." "I learned how to do this stuff myself, although I have a guy who helps me with some of the technical aspects." (See www.youtube.com/user/drtonyfiore.)

Fiore draws a few court-ordered anger cases, but says thatís not a prime referral source for him. "Itís usually what I call Ďwife-ordered,í or Ďhusband-ordered.í Thatís the biggest category. The second biggest is companies that order employees into a program. A manager loses his temper with an employee, for example.

"We have doctors whoíve lost their temper with people on staff...Every-one has their own individual reason. It might be that the Department of Family Services orders anger management before someone can see their kids."

But note that Fiore does not do domestic violence cases. (For info on that sub-niche, see the boxes, above.) Fiore doesnít see many road rage cases, either. "The courts arenít ordering people to do it as much anymore." (Thatís something weíve heard from several anger specialists recently.)

Beyond individual therapy, Fioreís tackling this niche with psycho-educational classes. These draw 5-15 people for a 10-week program, one hour per week. Attendees pay $65 to enroll, $30 for a workbook, and $35 for each class. Thatís $445 altogether. (Fioreís hired a second therapist to help with the classes.) And recently, he added a "fast-track class," that runs for four hours on two consectuive Saturdays. The total cost for that is $375.

A final menu item for Fiore is a 10-hour online anger management program--for $195. Taking that course is a prerequisite for a second online program aimed exclusively at teachers and other educators--a $215 course that helps them deal with angry students.

"Iím trying to develop more passive income sources," he says. "When I started, I was also looking for non-insurance income, and this is all cash. Thatís important now.

"And thereís a tremendous need for these service," Fiore concludes. "There arenít enough people who do this kind of work."

Alongside his anger management niche, Fiore has a general practice treating anxiety and depression, along with couples counseling. Altogether, heís seeing 20-25 clients per week. You can contact Tony Fiore at 381 S. Carole Ln., Orange, CA 92869, (714)745-1393, www.angercoach.com.

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