We’ll talk through your marketing goals, and determine if we’re a great fit.
While in school, business and marketing was not a focal point of coursework. Unfortunately for you, that means you have to learn about business from the school of hard knocks.
Just because you opened your medical practice doesn’t mean your calendar will be overflowing with new patients. You need a game plan to help you grow regardless of how big or small your practice is.
If you are here you need help.
From our experience from successfully marketing practices,
We compiled our list of the 30 best marketing tactics for private practices to help you build and grow a healthy sustainable practice.
While helping you remain HIPAA Compliant in your marketing efforts.
First you may be asking,
As a doctor, you need to remember that you are an advocate for your patients and must be sure to make this clear to them from the start. This should be your main message. Making sure your patient base understands who you are and what your values are is an important part of marketing yourself as a doctor they can turn to in times of need. Which can lead to more patient referrals.
When a patient wants to learn more about you, the first thing they are likely to do is head to good ol’ Google. Give them something meaningful to look at when they find you; invest in a site that is professional, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to navigate.
Gathering testimonials from current or past patients that highlight their positive experiences with your private medical practice is one of the best ways to build a trustworthy reputation. Studies have shown that half of patients think it is important for their doctor to be well liked by others, and 77% ranked trustworthiness as the most important trait their doctor needs to have.
Best of all, collecting testimonials is a relatively straightforward process. Keep up your excellent care and bedside manner. Then ask your patients to review your medical practice and attest to your high level of care.
However, always maintain HIPAA compliance. Only use testimonials or reviews with the patient’s expressed SIGNED consent. Don’t assume that if you get a review online you can respond any way you want or post it on another site, never reveal any personal identifiable information.
Social media is the ultimate modern marketing tool. Billions of users flood social media platforms daily for information, entertainment, and so much more. So, how can you take advantage of it? Create social media accounts on major platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, of course.
Before establishing your presence on any of these sites, however, it is important to research what platforms you are most likely to find your patients on. For example, Facebook is the go-to social media platform for many older people. If you see mostly adults who are 60 or older, then, it only makes sense to work hard to establish yourself on Facebook above any other platform. Here is a helpful breakdown of social platforms by age group as well as income levels.
As a doctor, you are a valued member of your community. Your private medical practice is also part of that community. Therefore, taking the time to invest in your community shows others that you are not just in it for the money but you genuinely want to help people. Examples of community outreach include attending charity events or volunteering medical supplies or services several times a year.
These are not only excellent ways to show the community that you care but also a great opportunity to make your practice locally known.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Using SEO best practices ensures that your website ranks high when prospective patients search for you. Good SEO strategy takes into account quality content, word choice, and local listings. You can hire an SEO company to help you with this or read up on these best practices yourself here.
Local listings display information about your practice like address, website, and contact number. All of this information makes it easier for patients to find you. Make sure to claim and verify these so that search engines can easily pull up your information. Search engines like Google are such an integral part of our everyday life—it would be a detriment not to effectively utilize this form of advertising!
Blogging is a great tool for connecting with your audience and building your reputation. Information shared on your medical practice’s blog not only helps you build credibility as a doctor but also gives your patients insight into your business. Offer health tips, post information on health conditions, or touch on other topics your readers would be interested in.
When used correctly it can support your SEO strategy.
After establishing a website, it can be easy to think that your work has been done. However, it is not quite that simple. Make sure that you are taking the time to update your website on a regular basis.
You do not want patients or potential patients coming across a site with outdated information or old technological functionality. These issues can create distrust or frustration among your patients or leave you open to a hack.
Show your patients that you care by actively engaging with them. Utilize social media platforms to share information and keep in touch with your patients. Also make sure you are replying to all comments or messages, not just the positive ones. This shows that your practice’s first concern is ensuring patients are taken care of and that their concerns are not being ignored.
Important to note that when replying to comments that are available publicly do not include any personally identifying information. It is best to direct feedback related comments or questions to a pre approved list of canned HIPAA compliant responses that move those conversations offline or to a more secure environment.
Direct marketing strategies include sending out newsletters, birthday cards, “welcome to the family” greetings for new patients, and even friendly reminders for upcoming appointments. Patients want to feel valued and seen. Direct marketing can be impactful because it creates personalized experiences that make patients feel welcome and more than just another number in your records.
As a doctor, you have knowledge and experience that can benefit your entire community. Use your expertise to educate your community on staying healthy; hold seminars at local events to offer patients tips on a variety of health-related topics. You might even visit schools, nursing homes, and other institutions to educate others. In any case, showing your willingness to help others builds trust.
The best way to win over your patients and ensure that they want to come back? Simply provide them with top-notch care. Maintain quality care, and the good reviews will follow. This method depends upon building a loyal patient base by promoting your practice via word-of-mouth. It may take time to pay off; however, if you are persistent and passionate about everything you do, it will be worth it.
Branding plays a key role in marketing and is a dynamic way for patients to recognize you in the community. Make sure to create a cohesive logo, website, and practice “look” so that your practice is easily identifiable. Focus on creating a memorable experience for your patients. There are great resources on building and defining brands online that can help you with this.
Make visiting your practice seem more enticing than ever. Discounts may come in the form of free screenings or referral discounts for patients who are introduced to your practice by a current patient. Moreover, discounts can give patients the opportunity to test out your care or explore new services.
Like blogs, webinars are great for building trust and showing off your expertise. These online speaking events inform your patients on topics they may be interested in while also giving them a chance to engage back. Webinars usually incorporate question and answer sessions or discussions, which can help you connect with the community your medical practice serves.
Let potential and current patients know that you have time in your schedule by emailing, posting online, or putting up signs that state that you are “Accepting New Patients”. This will signal to people that you want to prioritize them.
Personalize pens, notepads, magnets or other free items with your medical practice’s brand and contact information. Then, pass these out to your patients or at various events throughout the community. These little items keep your patients and strangers alike excited. After all, who doesn’t like receiving free things? Not to mention, even a little pen with your name and practice plastered on it is a great way to advertise yourself.
Become familiar with other professionals in the area and in your field. They can become critical supporters of your medical practice, and you can even help them build their client bases. They will do the same by referring patients to you.
Paid search campaigns can easily drive your target audience to your social media and website while also targeting patients interested in your private practice’s specific services. Pay-per-click advertising buys you advertising space on search engine results pages–for example, Google, Bing, or Yahoo. The best part is that you only pay if your paid ad is clicked on and you can get in front of higher competitive searches your SEO and content marketing campaigns may have trouble ranking for in the search results when you are new.
As your private medical practice continues to grow, consider adding additional staff and services to your practice. This not only attracts new business but creates more loyalty within your patient base, because they may visit your office for multiple services instead of just one. For example, if you are a pediatric orthodontist, you may team up with a general pediatric dentist to offer more services in one office.
While digital marketing has grown significantly in the last decade, you shouldn’t overlook the benefits of traditional marketing to attract new patients. In fact, traditional advertising strategies like TV ads are still the most effective based on indicators such as sales and new accounts. Reach out to local radio, newspapers, and TV stations for some of your practice marketing needs. Just remember to target advertising towards your desired audience.
Offer to be a medical reference for news articles relating to medicine. This is a great way to gain exposure while establishing your expertise in the medical world. Being cited in a news article as a medical source or as the health column expert helps you foster trust among your current/prospective patients. While also improving your local SEO and reach.
A chamber of commerce is a business network that works to further the goals and interests of businesses. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to community outreach, you can get in contact with your local chamber of commerce to get involved. This network can help you identify areas where you are needed and is also a great way to build relationships with other businesses in the area.
Open houses are a great way to welcome the community to your private practice and help you establish important relationships. Show off your facility and your services to the community by inviting the public to an open house. These events give potential patients a chance to meet your staff and see what your office looks like.
Health fairs help you build brand awareness and can help you advertise your services to people who may otherwise have been unaware about you or your practice. Use these events to give back to your community while also speaking to them about the services you offer. They can also be an effective way to build professional relationships with other providers who can become a great source of referrals.
Contribute to medical journals or publications to show your knowledge on particular topics. You can build your reputation and credibility by referencing studies and research that your doctors have participated in. These can help assure your patients of your expertise. White papers also can help in a SEO strategy for building up your brand mentions and backlinks.
3.5 billion people in the world own smartphones. Tap into this market by making sure your website is mobile friendly. For example, you might make it so that your patients can call your office simply by tapping a button on your website.
Create materials for distribution and information to hand out to your patients when they visit your office. Pamphlets and brochures not only teach a patient about your services and the values and mission of your medical practice, but they are also easy to pass along to others. In addition, you can hand these out at any events you attend.
Stay in touch with your patients and keep the lines of communication strong with email. Emails can include appointment reminders, links to your blog or newsletter, and updates on upcoming events or promotions your practice is holding. This strategy allows you to keep in touch with patients outside of regular office visits.
Don’t forget the patient release documentation to allow you to market to them.
Let your new and long-time patients know that you appreciate them with handwritten letters. Personalized touches like this remind your patients that you care about their business and will help your practice stand out.
There are plenty of marketing ideas out there both for new and established medical practices. For those looking to keep costs down, focus on marketing strategies that you can personally carry out. Learn how to build great social media and other marketing courses in Udemy. However, don’t forget about HIPAA when engaging in social media.
Design apps like Canva offer free basic graphic creating tools while a basic internet search can teach you how to put out helpful content. If spending money on advertisements is too costly, focus on word-of-mouth marketing and building a loyal patient list and find some networking groups to gain professional relationships that will help promote your business through referrals.
The world of marketing is expansive. Take time to test different strategies and find what works best for your medical practice.
Conflict is a part of life that a lot of people like to avoid, and those who don’t avoid it typically are not very good at resolving it. In a study by CPP global (2008), they found that 85 percent of employees at all levels of an organization experience conflict at some point during their career. Further, they state that in 2008, $359 billion dollars in paid hours were spent dealing with conflict in the workplace. Due to this large amount of time and money being spent on conflict, we should probably understand how to effectively handle it, so that it can be resolved quickly.
Consider the following scenario:
It’s Friday at 3:00 pm and your employee, Mike, has still not gotten you the final report that is due at 5:00 for one of your clients, so that you can do final edits before you send it off. This is not the first time that Mike has done this. You are fed up and decide to confront Mike. While walking to his office, you realize that you have two options: To use your power ranking and potentially anger Mike, or to work together to find the root of the issue and see what can be done. Although the first option is tempting, you realize that you need your employees on your side, and decide to be effective in your conflict management.
In order to do this, you:
See how our scenario plays out after following these steps:
You followed these steps and had a nice conversation with Mike, rather than a heated argument. Learned that Mike feels as though he has been given too much work in too little of a time. And you agree to take some off of his plate. Because you followed the four steps above of being constructive, identifying the root, understanding each other’s goals, and actively listening, you were able to successfully resolve the conflict.
YES! With visible reviews on places such as Glassdoor, Yelp, etc, your companies reputation and talent acquisition can be tarnished by ineffective internal employee conflict resolution. While you will not be able to avoid all bad employee reviews as you grow. By training your management and yourself in how to handle potential internal conflicts you can mitigate organizational risk and retain better talent. When we work with businesses with their online reputation management, the first thing we typically evaluate is internal processes that may have lead up to their situation. Bad press (PR) can happen and can be largely be out of your control. However, bad internal processes/ work environment are very much in a business owner’s control. We help fix your public image and make past mistakes less visible.
While this list is not extensive, it does provide great, simple conflict management skills that have been shown to work. It is important to remember that although you can never control the way that someone else acts during a conflict, you CAN control how you act and what you say. By practicing the above steps, you may have a better chance of having an overall constructive conflict and reducing the amount of time you spend dealing with these issues.
Our team’s marketing communications consultant, Kaitlyn, has studied communication for more than 6 years (She has her Masters in it). For more information on conflict/resolution or other communication strategies, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or contact our team. After all, our mission is to make your business better!
Beebe, S. A., Beebe, S. J., & Ivy, D. K. (2016). Communication principles for a lifetime (6th ed.). Pearson Education Inc.
Chastain, A. (2013, December 2). Use active listening skills to effectively deal with conflict. Retrieved from: msue.anr.msu.edu
CPP Global. (2008). Workplace conflict and how businesses can harness it to thrive. Retrieved from: https://shop.cpp.com
There are plenty of things you can do to boost your image, generate buzz, and drive new customers to your business. You can slap your logo (or your face) on a bunch of promotional goodies and hand them out to potential customers. You can drop so much money on advertising it brings your financial advisor to tears. You can build an awesome website (complete with bells and whistles, of course), start a Facebook group, become a content generating machine… seriously, the possibilities are endless.
But there’s one thing that will do more to boost your image, generate buzz, and drive tons of new customers than just about any other trick you have under your sleeve – and it’s something money can’t buy.
We’re talking about…
Reviews are one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet. According to a 2017 study, a whopping 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses – and 85% of them trust those reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from a friend.
Online reviews have become the digital generation’s word-of-mouth, and word of mouth is always going to be a more powerful marketing tool than advertising. Consumers today are much hipper to the advertising game than they used to be, and they tend to tune out – or at the very least, take with a grain of salt – messaging they know comes straight from a brand. But when they read a review that was written by someone just like them? A review that sings your business’ praises? That they’ll listen to.
Which is why, if you want to take your business to the next level in 2019 (and start making the kind of cold, hard cash that goes along with it), you need to hop on board the review train and start racking up as many 5-star reviews as humanly possible.
Like we said, reviews are straight up powerful. Think of your online reviews like a bus driver, and they’ve got a bus chock full of every potential customer you could ever want. And they can drive those customers in one of two directions – either towards your business or away from it. Positive reviews will steer that bus (and all the customers in it) straight into your business, while negative reviews will steer them so far in the other direction you couldn’t pay them to do business with you.
Because reviews are so powerful, it’s beyond important that you get a handle on your review situation. You’ve got one shot to make a positive impression on your potential customers, and if that one shot is ruined by a bad review, it can be nearly impossible to recover. 40% of consumers form an opinion about a business after reading just one to three reviews – and if those reviews are negative? Well, you can kiss that customer goodbye.
On the flip side, if what that customer reads is positive, it can be the nudge they need to get in touch and start doing business with you. 73% of people said positive reviews made them trust a local business more. So if you’ve got a backlog of positive reviews to greet your potential customers, not only is it going to make them trust you – it’s going to make them want to do business with you, too.
In a perfect world, getting a ton of reviews for your business would be simple. You offer an awesome service, people use that service, they write a stellar review. Easy peasy.
Unfortunately, that’s not usually the way things go down. Because even though people read online reviews like they’re going out of style, not everyone is actually writing them.
Now, just because people aren’t singing your praises on Yelp doesn’t mean they don’t have positive things to say about your business. It just means they need a push in the right direction in order to get those positive things out into the world. So if you want to get a review out of them, you’ve got to ask.
When asked, 68% of consumers have written a positive review for a local business when they were asked. That’s 68% of your customers that would say “Sure, why not?” if you asked them to write a review. Think about the impact that could have on your business!
The Five secret tricks you can use to become a review-generating machine
So, clearly, the secret to taking your business to the next level is generating a lot of positive reviews. Well, what if we told you we could make the process of getting reviews fast, effective, and oh-so-easy?
Spoiler alert: we can.
This system will completely change the way you think about reviews – and it will completely change your business in the process.
Want to learn more? Get in touch today for your free reputation report and we’ll take it from there.
Get started now by scheduling an intro call. We’ll talk through your marketing goals, and determine if we’re a great fit.