With 2015 just around the corner, it’s time to do a little planning for it so you start the new year off with a bang and a burst of energy to make it be your best year to date.
After holiday time, revving the practice engines back up with some promotion is a good place to start. There are so very many ways of promoting that it would be too long a list for this short article. However, the key is to get enough of them being done that you then see your number of new patients or clients going up week after week. Then you know you are doing enough marketing.
Here are some promotional actions that you and your team could be doing. I have included some obvious ones and some outside-the-box ideas:
Email newsletters to all your patients/clients of record. These are short (i.e. equivalent to one page of paper) and can have little 2-paragraph “Did You Know” type of articles, a contest for “Funniest Vacation Picture”, “most beautiful sunset picture”, “funniest Selfie”, “best recipe”, etc., and the winner is published in the next newsletter and they win a $100 gift certificate at Future Shop (or wherever) or a free iPad Mini, or whatever you think would be popular. Patients/clients will then open and read the newsletter. Post them on your website and Facebook page.
Broad mailings to your area. Hot tip: Take one third of the area around you and mail 3 different fliers to those same people within a couple of months. This will result in more new business than one mailing to the whole area around you.
Have a staff member call past patients or clients to see how things are going with regard to the work that was done a few months earlier; this shows that your practice really cares about them and causes referrals.
The whole team having uniforms with a logo and the name of the practice on it that they wear to work and when they go out to lunch or shopping after work … people see the logo and ask questions. It is a promotional action that has been known to work.
Asking patients to refer friends, family, co-workers and neighbours is a tried and true method of acquiring more new patients. Ways need to be worked out by each person as to how they could comfortably ask for a referral. Not everyone can do it the same way. This is internal marketing and it needs to be practice policy that this is routinely done and by whom.
Websites are so vital that it cannot be stressed enough that you should have one. Additionally, it must be done correctly, and continually added to and must be interactive. Along with it, you need a Facebook presence that is connected to your website and that too needs to be continually having things put up on it, such as videos, pictures, articles, news items, games that your patients/clients can get involved in, etc. Your website needs to be connected to all sorts of social media and this is not a one-time action … it is a continuous process. You may have someone right on your own staff who are great at this.
In the community
How about having a float in the local Easter Parade or neighborhood parades. Or a booth at these local events. So much fun to plan and do these.
Plan an annual pool party and take over a recreational centre pool for the day and have games and contests so that by the end of the afternoon, everyone has won something. You have to promote this very well in advance but these have been amazing practice builders because they are PR. You can use it to raise money for a cause that you believe in as a team.
An annual golf tournament put on by your practice in June is a similar promotional action that can be held to raise money for a cause.
Back to everyday, your sign may need to be enlarged, refurbished, updated to look more current, cleaned, lighting improved, positioning improved, etc. Window signage needs to be updated frequently too. Make it look like you are evolving and on the ball, not stuck in the past and unchanging.
Branding your practice with whatever it is that makes you unique and getting that same message out everywhere takes a bit of work and imagination but is very important. The message should be on your business cards, letterhead, website, signage … everywhere, for consistency.
This list could go on and on. We just wanted to give a wide variety to get the mental juices and imagination started with you and your team. Have a meeting on your first week back from holidays and decide which items to get started on and who will be responsible for doing each one and get going. Great staff love having things like this to do that puts some fun and zing into their days. Have monthly or weekly follow-up meetings to analyze progress and success. The true measure of the successfulness of your marketing is the Number of New Patients/Clients Statistic going up weekly and monthly.
Promote, promote, promote and have an awesome 2015!!!
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